The Wos effect: Throw money at consultants until you run out

Eventually, one of them is bound to stumble over the solution
This information came to light at a legislative oversight committee meeting last week. Counting DHHS’ recent extension of a no-bid contract with consultant firm Alvarez & Marsal from $3 million to $6.82 million, the agency has spent more than $7.2 million on consultants over the past 20 months, the Journal reported. This breaks down to $473 an hour for the consultant’s three principals; $394 an hour for five directors; and $242 an hour for each of nine analysts, according to a report by the News & Observer of Raleigh. Sen. Floyd McKissick, attending the meeting, noted that one of those consultants works out to $800,000 a year.
Right, but raising the minimum wage in NC from $7.25 to $10.10 would place an unnecessary burden on the job creators...

Watauga Voting Rights Task Force Sued the State Bd. of Elections on Friday

Good morning, BlueNC!

The “Watauga County Voting Rights Task Force” filed suit against the State Board of Elections on Friday in Wake County Superior Court. You can read our Petition for Judicial Review here.
 
We are breaking new ground. No one has ever sued the State Board of Elections for  intent to disenfranchise the votes of progressive and young voters. But instead of just wringing our hands at this obviously calculated voter suppression, we Wataugans have stood up strong together and are fighting back hard.
 
We are so proud that our small North Carolina county of just 40,000 voters has taken the lead in this important and ground-breaking statewide fight to ensure equal access to the polls. And we’re honored that progressives from Watauga and elsewhere across the state have been so generous of your time and money in moving this lawsuit forward.
 
Call to Action: We are still around $1,400 short of meeting our goal to pay for taking our lawsuit to Superior Court. Please show your support and encouragement by chipping in what you can to help out. Click HERE to donate now!

Happy Retirement Day James

For those of us who have been a part of North Carolina's political blogging scene for more than a few years, James Protzman stands as a leader in the political blogging movement. Long before newspapers paid journalists to blog, James, along with Lance and John, provided a megaphone for the rest of us. Today, we are celebrating his return to full-time blogging. 

HA! Just kidding. Today, James's friends and colleagues are gathering to celebrate his retirement from paid work. I make the distinction because blogging is hard work too...we just don't get paid to do it!

New Mecklenburg County charter school closing after only four weeks

Last Spring, Student First Academy closed after only 8 months of formal operation as a charter school reportedly because of financial mismanagement. Today, one of 11 new charter schools in Mecklenburg County, Concrete Roses STEM Academy, has told parents it is shutting its doors after only four weeks of operation. The Charlotte Observer is reporting the suspected reason is insolvency, however, there is no indication it is due to mishandling of funds.

Concrete Roses STEM was one of 11 charter schools approved by the state a year ago for the 2014-15 school year. At the time of its application, the school’s anticipated enrollment was one of the largest for proposed charters in Mecklenburg, with 2,400 students in grades K-12 expected by its 10th year of operation.

Mark Walker would have no qualms about bombing Mexico

This guy is in two heated contests. First, he wants to be the Congressman representing the 6th District of North Carolina. And second, he's in the running for America's Dumbest Congressional Candidate Ever.

Question: Mr Walker, I want to ask you how you feel about military, using the military to secure our southern border? I know a lot of people holler Posse Comitatus, that's when the military out enforcing local laws, guarding the border is not the same thing. And we've got other people, other countries going, "Why can't we guard our own?"

Walker: Well, my first answer for that is we need to utilize the National Guard as much as we can. But, I will tell you If you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat and if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don't have a problem with that either. So yea, whatever you need to do."

Moderator: "I hope you wouldn't have any qualms about starting up a little war with Mexico."

Walker: "Well, we did it before, if we need to do it again, I don't have a qualm about it."

As a commenter said on YouTube, "the stooopid, it burns."

Before after dark


A note from the Youtubers.

This entire film is a must-see. Get it at https://www.createspace.com/204634. This is one of the best music documentaries ever made - Live at Sing Sing Prison. Producer Harry Wiland and I filmed inside the joint. Scenes include a concert and other behind the scenes stories. This scene presents the amazing Voices of East Harlem. Other scenes involve BB King and Joan Baez, Jimmy Walker and the Voices of East Harlem and other performers.

Behind the scenes at the Voter "Integrity" Project

Land sakes. The big wheels at the so-called Voter Integrity Project are acting like a bunch of Thom Tillis losers. They get called out for questionable activities, and respond with cease-and-desist letters to silence their critics.

The main actors in this drama are Denise Stetter and Jay DeLancy, the communications director and executive director for the Voter Integrity Project respectively. It's a complicated story filled with conspiracy, intrigue, and incompetence, but it's well worth your while to dig through the details to see how the right-wing operates.

One thing you'll want to read is Stetter's original cease-and-desist letter. It's a beauty, hand-crafted with hysteria and hyperbole. Nice work, Ms. Stetter!

And then there's this remarkable transcription of a call between DeLancy and Cherie Poucher of the Wake County Board of Elections. Voice mail? Seriously?

The law says that as long as the voter approves and the judge approves that it’s OK, and I just want to be sure you’re OK with that - - but got a judge - - well, I’ll go ahead and tell you, Denise Stetter, she’s the chief judge over at Kiwanis in North Raleigh, near where we both live - - by Millbrook and Millbrook Exchange, I’m not sure what they call that place now - - the Millbrook Exchange Park. But the - - I think, if she had permission from you, I think she would allow it - - I haven’t even - - I just broached it with her - - but I wanted to talk to you also, just to see what you thought. We wanted to get in there and get a few shots of the interior with some people standing in line - - that are our people wearing masks, because we want to make some imagery, that makes the point that without ID you don’t know who’s voting.

And - - we would really like to have those shots and - - so much easier to do it there with all the right equipment you have rather than, than tryin’ stage it somewhere - - you know, with all the equipment we don’t have like the signage and whatnot - - but of course, that would be another way to do it, to - - you know, in the future like after the election, if you would lend us some of the signs to set up a fake polling station, but I’m wondering - - as dead as it’ll be tomorrow, if we could find a dead spot to bring about 6 or 7 people in there standing in line and get some quick imagery of them all standing there with masks on - - you know, and transacting the deal to vote, and so - - I know it’s off the hook - - but, it is technically it’s just imagery, so I’m thinking, you wouldn’t have to go to the County Board or the State Board for this kind of approval, as long as the - - you know, according to what I’ve read in the law as long as the chief judge and the voter himself approves of the photography - - and - - that’s it

I'm not a lawyer and this isn't a legal opinion, but it would be reasonable to conclude that the Voter Integrity Project is nothing but an ideological front for voter suppression, run by a bunch of morons and scammers. To my knowledge.

Winston Salem Police Department works to protect officers from needlestick injuries

Winston Salem Police Department Works to Protect Officers from Needlestick Injuries
Interview by Tessie Castillo, NCHRC Program and Advocacy Coordinator

On December 1, 2013 a law went into effect in North Carolina that protects law enforcement from accidental needlestick injury and potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis C during searches. HB850/Needlestick Prevention law states that a person cannot be prosecuted for possession of a syringe or other sharp object if the object is declared to a law enforcement officer prior to search. The law was designed after a survey of officers from 67 departments in NC revealed the majority of law enforcement were concerned about needlestick injury and supported a syringe decriminalization law in order to prevent it. But now that the law is in effect, are law enforcement actually using it to protect themselves? And how are they handling the issues of drug residue that is left in a used syringe? I spoke with Sgt David Rose at the Winston Salem Police Department to find out how his department is moving forward to protect officers from needle stick injury.

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