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Friday News: Shameful

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REPUBLICAN DONOR USED MENTALLY CHALLENGED SISTER TO FUNNEL CAMPAIGN CASH: Chad Price says Mako Medical, the fast-growing lab testing company he co-founded in Raleigh, started with frustrations he faced getting his younger sister the medical tests she regularly needed. His sister Jessica, 37, was born with a genetic condition that left her with the mental capacity of a young child. She lives with Price, who is her legal guardian, at his home in Apex. But in campaign filings, Jessica emerges as an administrative employee for Mako and a political donor, contributing $17,500 to five state or federal candidates in four states, including North Carolina. For three of those candidates, Chad Price had made the maximum contributions in his own name. Those contributions are among hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money flowing predominantly to Republican candidates from Chad Price and a small group of people and businesses connected to him over the past five years. During that time, Price developed deep connections with state elected and appointed officials, two of whom joined his businesses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239289663.html

Thursday News: Master of Innuendo

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TOM FETZER TRIES TO STYMIE ECU TRUSTEE INVESTIGATION: At Wednesday’s committee meeting, Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer opened up the questioning and initially asked Davenport to drop the complaint based on the fact that the student is not currently enrolled at ECU. Davenport denied that request, saying he has an obligation to ECU students and faculty to uphold the policies of the UNC System and state ethics. Fetzer asked Davenport about his knowledge of the meeting between the trustees and Hudson and about his potential role in orchestrating the recording of it. Davenport said he was told that Lewis had requested the meeting but did not know what it was about and did not help facilitate the recording. Fetzer also questioned why Hudson had the conversation with these trustees expressing her interest in the election when she had no intention of being a student this spring. Her attorney was not present to speak on her behalf.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239963778.html

Wednesday News: The company you keep

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DAN FOREST IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO BRIBERY SCANDAL: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's chief of staff reached out to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey's office in early August 2017, seeking a meeting for two men who would later be indicted and accused of trying to bribe Causey. At the time, the state Department of Insurance was reviewing three insurance companies Lindberg owned. Within a month of the reach out, more than $50,000 flowed into Forest's campaign coffers from associates of Greg Lindberg and John Gray, at least in part because Lindberg hosted a fundraiser at his home. Lindberg himself donated $400,000 that month to a second political committee that the lieutenant governor controls and that accepts unlimited donations. By the end of that year, Lindberg had deposited $2.4 million in political committees backing Forest's current run for governor. Forest put out a press release at the time, trumpeting his ability to bring in such a haul.
https://www.wral.com/forest-aide-sought-meeting-between-insurance-chief-financier-later-indicted/189...

Tuesday News: Really, UNC?

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KENAN-FLAGLER INVITES ANTI-VACCINE NUT-JOB TO SPEAK ON HER SUCCESS: The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has faced campus-wide controversy and debate after it invited an influencer who has made claims that align with the anti-vaccine movement to come speak on campus. Activist Vani Hari was invited to speak to students because of her entrepreneurial success from the perspective of mobilizing customers for change, Dean Douglas Shackelford of Kenan-Flagler said. The date of the speaker event is still to be determined. In Hari's blog, “Food Babe,” she claims some vaccines, including the flu vaccine, can have harmful effects such as Alzheimer's disease. She has been called a fearmonger by scientists, according to NPR and Business Insider. “Not only has Hari built her business on misinformation, but that misinformation has the great potential to harm people and impact students,” Majdic said. “And that’s where the University needs to draw the line.”
https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2020/02/kenan-flagler-speaker-0204

Monday News: Voter suppression tactics

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NAACP OPPOSES EFFORTS BY GOP TO FORCE VOTER ID IN PRIMARY: It's too late to restore a photo identification requirement to vote in North Carolina for the March primary, attorneys for the state and the NAACP wrote separately on Friday, opposing efforts by Republicans to suspend a judge's order blocking the requirement. The State Board of Elections — a defendant in a lawsuit challenging the 2018 voter ID law — is already appealing U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs' order on Dec. 31 halting the use of photo ID for the time being. But the state Department of Justice, which represents the board, didn't try to overturn her preliminary injunction before the March 3 primary because it said restoring voter ID now would cause confusion. That prompted North Carolina Republican legislative leaders to file a motion Jan. 10 seeking to officially enter the lawsuit and ask the voter ID law to be enforced in the primary.
https://www.wral.com/naacp-nc-lawyers-oppose-gop-attempt-to-restore-voter-id-now/18923128/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LT. GOV. FOREST--EMBRACE THE TRUTH. STOP SPREADING DIVISIVE FALSEHOODS: Forest has a passion for divisiveness. He was a leader and most vocal advocate of the mean-spirited and ill-conceived discriminatory House Bill 2 – bathroom regulations. The legislation became a national model for discrimination to a point where businesses and hosts of major athletic events didn’t want to associate themselves with North Carolina. Forest doesn’t stop there. He’s decried “diversity and multiculturalism” with the notion that everyone needs to assimilate to what he demands our state and nation adhere to. But, most disturbing about Forest’s King Day remarks on Planned Parenthood and abortion is that he was wrong. He DID NOT tell the truth. He spread fake news.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-lt-gov-forest-embrace-the-truth-stop-spreading-divisive-falsehoods/18...

Saturday News: Dereliction of Duty

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BURR & TILLIS VOTE TO BLOCK WITNESSES IN TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: North Carolina’s U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis voted with the majority of their Republican colleagues to block the Senate from calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Friday evening, clearing the way for a final vote on acquittal. The vote was 51-49 with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah joining 47 Democrats and independents in wanting additional witnesses and documents beyond what was provided by the House of Representatives. The final vote will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. after closing arguments on Monday and speeches from senators on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. “The hearsay that John Bolton or anybody else may bring to this is irrelevant because even if the president said this, it does not raise to the level of removal from office, which is a sacred thing because the American people have duly elected him,” Burr said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239836913.html

Friday News: No te olvides de votar!

NC'S LATINO POPULATION COULD SWING MANY ELECTION CONTESTS: Both parties are trying to mobilize North Carolina’s Latino vote. This week the Democratic Party announced a “multi-million dollar” push in North Carolina and five other battleground states that will pay for organizers and office staff. DNC Chair Tom Perez has cited North Carolina as one of the party’s most important battlegrounds. “Based on the turnout of Latinos in 2018 we’re very encouraged,” said Enrique Gutiérrez, the national party’s Hispanic Media Director. “In North Carolina it’s one of those important constituencies.” Exit polls in 2018 found that 69% of Latino voters supported Democrats while 29% backed Republicans. Perez has repeatedly cited North Carolina as one of the most important states nationally when it comes to Democratic strategy.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article239720638.html

Thursday News: Neocon convention?

JOHN BOLTON FEATURED SPEAKER AT DUKE ON FEB 17: According to a news release issued by the university on Wednesday, Bolton will talk about current threats to national security at a speech that will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Page Auditorium on the Duke campus. Bolton will be the spring 2020 Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lecturer, appearing as part of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. On Sunday, the New York Times released information about Bolton’s upcoming book, “The Room Where It Happened,” in which he claims that Trump told him he wanted U.S. aid to Ukraine held up until the nation agreed to investigate Trump’s Democratic political rivals. On Wednesday, Trump sent repeated tweets criticizing Bolton and his “nasty & untrue book.” “Frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now,” Trump tweeted.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239759513.html

Wednesday News: Causality

NC'S BLACK BABIES ARE DYING IN THE ABSENCE OF MEDICAID EXPANSION: Deaths of African-American babies declined most quickly in states that expanded Medicaid coverage, researchers have found. North Carolina isn’t one of those states. More than 15% of North Carolina women ages 19-44 don’t have health insurance, 10th most among states, according to the United Health Foundation. North Carolina is one of 14 states that has not adopted Medicaid expansion as allowed by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. States that expanded Medicaid, which allowed more low-income adults to have health insurance, also had greater overall declines in infant death rates, said a 2018 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Those improved rates were driven by declines in black babies’ deaths.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239501218.html

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