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Buried on page twelve:

Five Triangle newspapers to shut down (Triangle Business Journal) -- Five small-town weekly newspapers in the Triangle – the Apex Herald, the Holly Springs Sun, Garner News, the Cleveland Post and the Fuquay-Varina Independent – will close their doors effective Aug. 1. The closings were confirmed in a news release issued by Civitas Media, the newspapers' owner based in Davidson, near Charlotte. “Our core business is focused on developing community news and information portals, in areas that are predominately rural and would not be served well otherwise,” said Michael Bush, Civitas CEO, in a news release. “The suburban newspaper isn’t a fit in this business model. We have offered employment in the Civitas Media organization to the 12 employees who are being affected by this decision.”

Tillis plays hooky to party with lobbyists

Apparently the smell of money is just too strong to ignore:

As the N.C. House debated a sweeping tax bill and a contentious gun resolution Wednesday, Speaker Thom Tillis spent the day raising money in Washington for his U.S. Senate bid.

The Cornelius Republican attended at fundraiser at 11 a.m., the same time session started, hosted by two lobbyists at the offices of the National Association of Wholesale-Distributors, according to an invite. The meet-and-greet invite included information about donations up to the maximum limit of $2,600.

Common sense would dictate that shirking your responsibilities for the job you already have would be kind of a no-no when you're planning to ask for a new and more important job. But this is politics, which has very little to do with common sense.

Daily dose

Setting the stage for fiscal collapse:

Tax reform, not (Durham Herald-Sun) -- Let's first be clear about one thing the tax plan announced Monday, and which as expected sailed through its first steps of legislative approval Tuesday, is not. It is not tax reform, at least not the sweeping overhaul of our creaking tax code the governor and the legislative leadership set out to deliver and which has eluded proponents for years. Don't take our word for that. Listen to Republican State Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte, who minimized Monday's agreement as no more than "the first itsy-bitsy step toward tax reform." … It also defies an underlying tenet of no less a figure than McCrory himself, who said at the outset of this legislative session he wanted reform to be "revenue neutral." This plan is far from that. … This plan’s proponents believe that the projected revenue losses will be offset by the economic growth and job-creation the tax cuts will provide. We’re dubious.

Coal ash lawsuit settlement with Duke Energy "toothless"

Bringing up a new word to describe John Skvarla's DENR, "useless":

In a proposed order that will be open for public comment for 30 days, Duke agrees to assess the sources and extent of contamination at Riverbend and at its Asheville power plant. Duke would be fined $99,000 if the order becomes final. “We must know the extent of any contamination before a meaningful corrective action plan can be carried out,” said Jamie Kritzer, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Really? You're going to rely on (and apparently are dependent upon) the company responsible for the pollution to yell you how bad the pollution is, before you can come up with a "meaningful" plan? What part of "conflict of interest" do you not understand? It's not unlike asking a criminal to prosecute himself, frankly, and is so far off the mark from what the public expects from the DENR that it boggles the mind.

Daily dose

McCrory caught in a lie (Creative Loafing) -- Gov. Pat McCrory's claim to be a regular attendee at Moral Monday protests raised a lot of eyebrows. "I go out in the crowd all of the time," he told a reporter from the Wilson Times who asked if he ever mingled with the protesters. "Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves 'moral' by cussing me out but that's the way things go sometimes.” Last week, I traveled to Raleigh to attend the protests for the first time. I saw what looked like thousands people of all ages, colors and backgrounds. But one person I did not see was Pat McCrory. I'm not alone. Apparently, no one in the media-heavy crowd had ever seen McCrory and his entourage mingling with the protestors that day, let alone "all the time." After his claim was openly questioned and widely mocked on the Internet, McCrory's spokeswoman, Kim Genardo, backpedaled for the governor.

DAG McCrory's pals pay-to-play with taxpayer dollars

Who didn't see this coming?

Gov. Pat McCrory named some high-powered individuals Monday to the North Carolina Economic Development Board that will be chaired by his long-time friend and political ally John Lassiter of Charlotte.

Lassiter, president of Carolina Legal Staffing, has been an advisor to McCrory, and is also involved in the governor's 5-1 c4 political committee.

Unless I missed it, there's not a single economist on this Economic Development Board, probably because it's not about economic development, it's about fleecing the taxpayers and "refining" the qualifications for country-club membership.

Daily dose

The movement continues:

'Moral Monday' crowd to rally for women's rights (WRAL-TV) -- Three days after an editorial in The New York Times ripped the policies of North Carolina's Republican-led General Assembly, Gov. Pat McCrory on Saturday wrote a response to the newspaper praising the state's leadership for making the "tough decisions that we were elected to do."


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