GrayNewman's blog

Brad Miller trying to keep things straight in DC

The director of the highly acclaimed film about fracking Gasland, was arrested on Capitol Hill today trying to film an open to the public committee meeting. Brad Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment is trying to secure a procedural maneuver that would allow the detained film crew to re-enter the hearing.

Read More: Huffington Post

BREAKING: Charlotte police move on Occupy protesters Monday morning

The Charlotte City Council voted 10-1 last week on a new ordinance that greatly increases police powers during the Democratic National Convention.

Well, tomorrow morning between 4-6am, the CMPD will get to use their new found freedom to quash dissent and trample on the First Amendment for the first time. They have announced that they will be moving in to dismantle the Occupy Charlotte encampment and move the protesters out. While I have not always agreed with the occupiers tactics (flag burning for one), I feel that they should be allowed to stay.

Read more at the Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools team up with private funder

I am not sure how I feel about this. The Charlotte Mecklenburg School System is teaming up with a private funding group to help eight schools in Charlotte's west side. These schools can definitely use the help but the trade off is that Project LIFT gets to help control the schools:

The board votes Tuesday on a contract with Project LIFT, a group trying to raise $55 million for West Charlotte High and seven schools that feed into it. That contract gives the private funders a leadership role in crafting turnaround strategies and selecting staff for those schools.

DNC to have event at Charlotte Motor Speedway

The DNC announced today that they will be having an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

In lieu of the convention opening on Monday, Sept. 3 -- Labor Day -- organizers plan to hold an event at the speedway to showcase not only the Charlotte region but the South.

I think it is great they plan on showcasing the South. As someone who has lived in the South just about all my life (96% of it) I love my region, my family has lived here since the 1600's mostly living in the Virginia Mtns. This convention will allow us to show that we are a very diverse region despite all the "reality" shows that seem to have sprung up in the last few years. But I will admit that I discovered through research on my family that I am my own 8th cousin. I like to say I have a family wreath instead of a family tree.

History of ballot access in NC

I left the Democratic Party in 1986, after running for County Commission as a college student ... and having the local Democratic leaders support my Republican opponent because they didn't want a student on the commission. For the next 19 years I became very active in third party politics, eventually becoming a national co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. In 2005 I rejoined the Democrats for a myriad of reasons, one of them being that the Green Party did not have a chance of becoming a ballot qualified party in NC due to our highly restrictive ballot access laws. This was a very tough decision because I had worked for years on Green Party issues, spent many hours petitioning for ballot access, and even ran for office under the Green Party banner. But I came to the conclusion that I was not going to be effective for my causes if I was yelling from the wilderness.

Democratic National Convention ordinances worry the ACLU

I went to the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver and was able to use one of the BlueNC credentials which gave me access to the secured perimeter around the Pepsi Center. I can say without a doubt that without these credentials, I would have never gotten close to anything important so I don't see why Charlotte has to "out thug" Denver. I saw plenty of demonstrations, even participated in a few. Except for one they were all peaceful and the police did their job.

The powers that be here in Charlotte want to give the police pretty much free reign to search whatever they please:

The ACLU is specifically worried about the prohibition of a number of items during the DNC, including backpacks and duffle bags if they are "carried with the intent to conceal weapons or other prohibited items."

I carried my backpack everywhere I went in Denver and the only time it was ever searched was when I was entering a secured area which I totally understand.

Jim Black still haunting us

My former state representitive is still in the news

The Wake County school system stands to get less than half of the amount it expected from land that disgraced former House Speaker Jim Black gave to pay part of the fine for his state corruption conviction.

By the way, could someone explain to me why Wake County schools get the money?

read more at: Charlotte Observer

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