"Democratic" judicial mailer produced by GOP firm KAP Strategies

And the Board of Elections needs to investigate this nonsense immediately:

"He got his start in politics while attending junior college and did everything there was to do on a nationally-targeted congressional race. His tenacity and versatility as a “super volunteer” caught the attention of national Republican operatives who brought him to Washington, D.C. as an intern and then as a Capitol Hill staffer. But it was campaigning, not policy making, that Ted Prill loved so he went to work honing his skills on races across the country.

Besides the NRCC, groups like The Free Enterprise Fund, Freedom Watch, and the U.S. Coalition for Global Engagement have sought out Ted’s expertise. He brings his talents as a senior consultant, strategic thinker and hands-on operative to corporations here in the United States and to campaigns overseas."

Make no mistake, this is part of a concerted effort to suborn the judiciary, by doing two things: a) Stacking the November ballot with Democrats to dilute their chances, and b) Alienating voters from the Democratic Party in general with this ham-handed fake outreach. This story is developing, as I'm still trying to connect the moneymen behind it...

Salisbury's annual Pride Festival proves change can happen

Even in the most unlikely places:

Salisbury Pride President Beth Meadows said that this year’s Pride Festival was uneventful. Uneventful in that the crowds of attendees were large, the groups of protesters slim and the environment warm and welcoming for all, she said.

For the festival, now in its eighth year, things haven’t always been smooth sailing. Many protested the event and raised concerns after its first occurrence in 2011. Debate arose afterward about whether the event would be able to continue. “We were just going to do one year. We expected 500 people to show up. Then 2,500 people showed up,” said Meadows. “We saw how much we really needed this in the community. … It’s a passion of mine now that we have to continue to make it better every year.”

While it's fantastic to see the huge turnouts in metro areas like Raleigh and Charlotte, it takes an incredible amount of courage to do this in smaller cities and towns. And getting support from local government officials may be the key to jumping the hurdles put in place by those who don't want to stir the pot:

Monday News: Shameless

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GOP LEGISLATORS PUSH AMENDMENT GIVING THEM ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF ELECTIONS BOARD: Republicans want legislative leaders to appoint all members of the state elections board, a power now held by the governor. State House GOP leaders on Friday afternoon introduced a proposal to change the North Carolina Constitution to create an eight-member State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement with all members chosen by the House speaker and the Senate leader. Voters would have to agree in November to change the constitution if the proposal wins approval in the House and Senate. The GOP proposal released Friday would mean that the governor would have no say in elections board membership. Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, described the proposal as one attempting to blur the traditional separation of powers of representative government.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article213683029.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TIME FOR NC'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO STAND AGAINST INHUMANITY AT THE BORDER: What is going on at the Mexican border today is ugly, un-American and WRONG. That is why Gov. Roy Cooper has joined with other governors – Republicans and Democrats, in calling members of the state National Guard now deployed to the border back home. It is why Attorney General Josh Stein joined with 20 other state attorneys general to sign a letter calling on Sessions to end the current policy as “inhumane” and an abuse of children’s rights. There are other North Carolina voices that need to be heard from, loud and clear about where they stand on the Trump administration’s policies and actions that take children from their parents – about 2,000 in less than two months. Speak up Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Where do you stand? Do you back the president or will you work with Democrats to end this policy?
https://www.wral.com/editorial-time-for-n-c-s-congressional-delegation-to-stand-for-kids-and-against...

Offshore drilling update: Approval for seismic testing may come soon

Whether NC's coastal residents want it or not:

The steps to seismic testing in the South Atlantic include approval of the incidental harassment authorizations by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which could then be followed by approval of the permits from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). According to NOAA’s website, the public comment period for proposed seismic permits in the Atlantic closed last July. The comment review and final determination process typically takes, according to the site, one to three months.

“We are working through about 17,000 public comments as expeditiously as possible, but will take the time necessary to ensure that they are all appropriately addressed and that our final decision is based on the best available science,” Kate Brogan, a National Marine Fisheries Service spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

I can't help but stir my tea leaves when a government official says, "best available science." Because they are the ones who decide what's best, what's available, and (of course) what is "science" as opposed to opinion. All that said, both the NOAA and the Marine Fisheries branch are part of a dwindling group of Federal regulatory entities that are still at least trying to do their jobs properly. But that may be about to change:

Saturday News: Red Strawfish

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REPUBLICANS RESURRECT DEM HEALTH CARE BILL FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES: In an unexpected move Thursday, a North Carolina House Democrat moved to kill her own bill that would have started the process to create a statewide universal health care system. Republicans had resurrected the bill Wednesday night in an effort to highlight the economic impact of such a system. The bill — which had been sitting dormant in the House Appropriations Committee since April 2017 — was put onto the House Rules Committee agenda late Wednesday, surprising many observers because liberal policy proposals typically don't get committee hearings. Hours before the House met Thursday morning, the conservative Civitas Institute released an analysis of the bill, which it characterized as a "monster that could swallow the North Carolina state budget."
http://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article213667949.html

NC Senate Republicans spoil effort to increase school psychologists

Because they've never met a bill they didn't want to hijack:

Lawmakers focused on improving school safety for months have planned to address a significant shortage of school psychologists, but none of the related bills filed by legislators look like they are going anywhere during this legislative session.

The proposal had broad support, and passed unanimously in the House, but the bill failed after the Senate tacked on a controversial and unrelated healthcare provision. Then the Senate stalled the House's attempts to resurrect the psychology provision in another bill about licensing regulation in various industries. That bill did not make it past the legislature's self-imposed deadline to send all statewide bills to the governor's desk.

That's pretty much all you need to know about how Berger and his acolytes roll. No matter how needed and necessary a piece of legislation is, if they can't use (abuse) it to get something else they want, it's no longer worth their effort. The sheer arrogance and selfishness is breathtaking. And it's not like this is a "nice to have" enhancement of our schools, it's a crisis that has deadly consequences if not addressed:

Friday News: Welcome to the 1950's

NC GOP LEGISLATOR DROPS SEXIST BOMBSHELL ON VISITING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS: A North Carolina state legislator faced backlash on social media Wednesday after commenting about a group of visiting female high school students. After the introduction, Sanderson offered advice to the student group from the lectern. "I know for sure that if you continue to recruit young ladies like (those sitting in) the front row, you're not gonna have any trouble recruiting young men," Sanderson said. "We'll have more farmers then we know what to do with." The Twitter account of the Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted "Girls in the FFA can't just be there for an interest in farming? This is gross." Ginger Garner, Sanderson's Democratic opponent in November, responded with her own tweet saying: "Elected officials should serve as an example to our students through their actions & words. Senator Sanderson's comments today objectified female students & minimized their work & involvement in the FFA. His comments are appalling & entirely inappropriate."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article213582734.html

North Carolinians For A Fair Economy Host 2nd Congressional District Empty Chair Town Hall

Congressman George Holding is oblivious to the needs of his constituents. He voted with GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He voted for the #TrumpHoldingTaxCut that benefits big corporations, millionaires, and billionaires. Working families and children in NC’s Congressional District 2 are left behind while Holding enriches himself and his wealthy friends.

North Carolinians for a Fair Economy hosted an Empty Chair Town Hall last night in Wake Forest and had a great turnout. Check out the link below to hear from former US Congressman Bob Etheridge, NAACP NC President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, Deputy Director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Meg Wiehe, and former NC Senate District 18 candidate Sarah Crawford.

https://www.facebook.com/NCFairEconomy/videos/264484937635093/

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