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Tuesday News: Guilty

REPUBLICAN FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEY CONVICTED IN WIFE-HIRING SCHEME: A former prosecutor in North Carolina has been convicted of providing a no-show job for a colleague's wife. News outlets reported a jury convicted former Person and Caswell County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher on Monday of obtaining property by false pretense, assisting in obtaining property by false pretense, felony and misdemeanor obstruction of justice and failure to properly perform his job. Former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer testified he and Bradsher agreed in 2015 to hire each other's wives to get around state ethics rules against prosecutors hiring their own spouses. Bradsher said the case was just administrative failure. Jurors return Tuesday on factors to be considered in Bradsher's sentence.
https://www.wral.com/ex-north-carolina-da-convicted-of-hiring-fellow-da-s-wife/17638217/

Monday News: Raleigh's third "A" hopeful

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NC'S CAPITAL STILL IN THE RUNNING FOR NEW ARMY COMMAND CENTER: A U.S. Army spokesman says officials have narrowed to five the number of cities under consideration to house a prestigious command center that's meant to modernize Army operations and technology. Col. Patrick Seiber tells the Austin American-Statesman that Austin, Texas, is a finalist for the Futures Command headquarters along with Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina. Seiber says 10 other cities — including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle — are no longer candidates. A final decision is expected by the end of June. The Army wants the center to be near experts in technology and innovation who can figure out emerging threats and what equipment will be needed to answer them.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/technology/article213324309.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BY NOT EXPANDING MEDICAID, LEGISLATORS FAIL THOSE WHO MOST NEED THEIR HELP: If ignorance is bliss, the state Senate might be the happiest place on the planet. It also may be where the largest number of President Barack Obama haters hang out. The logical conclusion: It is not about state money since the state’s hospitals have agreed to a plan that would cover the 10 percent cost of Medicaid expansion that isn’t being paid for through federal funds. That’s the only way to comprehend the unrelenting opposition to even study, much less expand, health care coverage to more than half-a-million citizens who don’t have it now. It is hatred of Obama. Period. It is far past time that North Carolina expands health coverage, as have 34 other states including most recently, Virginia. Does anyone care that refusal to expand Medicaid coverage is, truly, a life and death matter?
https://www.wral.com/editorial-by-not-expanding-medicaid-legislators-fail-those-who-most-need-their-...

Saturday News: Nope and nope

COOPER VETOES GOP ATTEMPTS TO MEDDLE IN ELECTIONS PROCEDURES AND JUDICIAL RACES: Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed two bills late Friday, one dealing with elections laws and the other one of two judicial redistricting efforts passed by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 486 deals with various elections issues, from requiring criminal background checks on state and county elections workers to setting parameters for vendors of electronic poll books to barring any candidate who lost a primary election from switching to a third party to run in the general election. One section of the law outlines how judicial races will be handled on the November ballot after lawmakers canceled primaries for those seats this year. "Continued election meddling for partisan advantage weakens public confidence. Judges’ races should be free of partisan labels," Cooper said in a statement. Senate Bill 757 redraws judicial districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, splitting Wake County into six districts in which District Court judges would run instead of running in a countywide election.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-vetoes-elections-judiciary-bills/17631549/

Friday News: Pay to not play?

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COOPER OPPOSES GOP PLAN TO BLACKMAIL STATES WHO OPPOSE OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Democratic governors of five Atlantic states are calling on Congress to reject a proposal to impose heavy fees on states that oppose offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper joined the governors of Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island in signing a letter to party leaders urging a halt to the plan. "North Carolina should not have to pay a ransom to protect our beaches from the dangers of offshore drilling," Cooper said in statement released Thursday. "Our coastal communities generate more than 30,000 jobs and the risk posed by offshore drilling simply isn't worth it." Cooper says North Carolina would have to pay more than $500 million in order to protect its coastline. The proposal would also establish a plan for states that permit drilling to share in the revenue the drilling generates.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article213209204.html

Thursday News: Abusing the Constitution

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NC GOP TAKES WANTS TO PUT INCOME TAX CAP ON NOVEMBER BALLOT: The resurrection Wednesday of a proposal to cap the state's income tax rate also revived tensions at the General Assembly over policy and political rhetoric. The Senate last year approved putting a proposed constitutional amendment before voters to prevent the individual income tax rate from rising above 5.5 percent. The current limit in the state constitution is 10 percent. Current tax rates are 5.499 percent for individuals and 3 percent for corporations, although both are set to slide lower next year. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, expressed concern that the cap would force the state to raise sales taxes and user fees on people to generate revenue in a future economic downturn, which he said would disproportionately affect lower-income families.
https://www.wral.com/tax-cap-proposal-stirs-up-simmering-legislative-tensions/17625092/

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Wednesday News: Corrupted, absolutely

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NC REPUBLICANS CONTEMPLATE AMENDMENT TO GRAB MORE POWER FROM GOVERNOR: Legislative leaders are considering a constitutional amendment that would limit Gov. Roy Cooper's power over the state elections board. House Rules Chairman David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican, confirmed the possibility Monday but said details of the amendment are still being worked out. "The elections and ethics board is something that we are indeed looking at in terms of its structure," Lewis told reporters. "I believe that the people of the state are committed to having elections administered in a free and fair way, and that includes free from influence from the chief executive." Lewis wouldn't say who'd appoint elections board members under a constitutional amendment, but said the language would make clear that "it is not an executive agency, it is a quasi-judicial agency that is not subject to the whims of one person."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article213072239.html

Tuesday News: Fight for 15 continues

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34 ARRESTED AS POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN RETURNS TO LEGISLATURE: Thirty-four protesters were arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building on Monday while fighting for higher minimum wages and unions in North Carolina. This is the fifth week of protests by the Poor People's Campaign, a coordinated effort across the country to push the plight of the poor to the top of the agenda in statehouses and the U.S. Congress. The Rev. William J. Barber II, the former head of the state NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday protest movement, co-founded the campaign. The protesters and rally speakers used statistics from the Institute for Policy Studies, the N.C. Housing Coalition, census reports, the state Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. "Quality Counts" report to highlight their concerns. Workers from several fast-food chains and other low-wage earners shared their stories to show how any unexpected illness or time away from work can upend a family budget.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212941824.html

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