Monday, March 31, 2014 - 12:08pm

Apparently the truth won't set you free:

Attorneys in a trio of lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s voter identification law say that as of the middle of last week, the State Board of Elections had not turned over a single electronic document, despite a plan agreed to by both sides earlier this month to produce that material.

In a motion filed last week, lawyers who object to the voting law say the other side is stalling. Defense attorneys contend that the plaintiffs are to blame for any delay by asking for copious amounts of documents, including some that pertain to a portion of the law that doesn’t take effect until 2016.

Not sure what is worse, failing to turn over documents or waiting until 5 p.m. on a Friday and then crashing your system, which is what DENR did last week.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 10:45am

Unfortunately, voters can't always read between the lines:

Those who became disenchanted with Cannon worked behind the scenes last year to keep him from becoming mayor. Former Democratic Mayor Harvey Gantt took the unusual step of endorsing James “Smuggie” Mitchell in the primary.

But even some African-American politicians, who could have helped as allies and mentors, stayed clear of Cannon. Anthony Foxx, the former mayor, now U.S. transportation secretary, felt Cannon couldn’t be trusted, according to people close to Foxx. City Council member David Howard said that “out of a sense of caution” he kept his distance. “I always tried to put community first,” Howard said, “and I’m not sure I always felt that’s what he was doing.”

So neither Gantt nor Foxx endorsed Cannon, which should have raised some eyebrows in Charlotte's African-American community. And it very well may have. But as we've seen countless times in the past in North Carolina politics (both parties), ethical problems are only "real" problems when they blow up in your face.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 11:48am

But she was offered a sandwich as a consolation prize:

Of course, when a U.S. senator comes to town, you want to hear from him. And since Burr’s office had sent out his schedule in a “media advisory,” we at the Post figured that wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong.

When a Post reporter arrived just before the luncheon was about to start, she was met by Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks, the local EDC. “Who invited you?” Van Geons asked the reporter. Her editor, she replied.

Van Geons informed the reporter this was a private event and she couldn’t come in, a decision he apparently confirmed with Burr’s people. She was, however, welcome to take some photos beforehand and have a sandwich before leaving. No thanks, the reporter said.

I'm sure Burr's office will try to spin this as simply a "misunderstanding" by a young staffer, just as I'm sure everybody will forget when the Teflon Senator comes up for re-election. But this kind of exclusivity and dodging public scrutiny is sickening.

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Friday, March 28, 2014 - 10:40am

It's getting hard to keep up with them:

Our America, a Super PAC based in North Carolina, has announced that it has purchased a number of billboards that will highlight Senator Kay Hagan's continued refusals to back up her promises with regard to Obamacare. "On more than 20 occasions, Senator Hagan has stated that she will protect the rights of citizens to keep their health plan and to see the doctors of their choice", said Allison Milbridge, spokesperson for Our America.

Our America is working in several different states with a goal of returning Republican majority to the Senate. The group is preparing to release this commercial (http://www.ouramericaaction.com) in Minnesota targeting Senator Al Franken, the actual deciding vote in the passage of Obamacare.

Maybe you can find something more on Allison Milbridge, but I couldn't. And it looks like this is another case where the "Headquarters" is actually a UPS Store. Which should be a serious red flag for the NC BOE, but apparently not.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:07am

Knowledge is power, people:

The Cautionary Tales of Fracked Communities is a nationwide tour that is coming to North Carolina to help you in your fight. During the panel you will hear from those who are living with gas development everyday, and more importantly they will talk about how they are fighting back.

Speakers will include Karen Freudian, a grassroots activist from Kutztown Pa who has successfully helped fight against gas development in her community, with a major victory this past year by getting the PA Democratic party to add a Fracking Moratorium to their party platform. Also speaking will be Jill Wiener- Small business owner turned activist from New York who has been leading the charge to keep fracking out of New York. We will also be hearing from Robert Nehman a father from Iowa whose life was turned upside down after frac sand mining came to his town.

Where and when: UU Church of Charlotte 234 N Sharon Amity Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Starting at 6:30

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Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 10:29am

Save it for the Federal investigators, pal:

Thank you for pointing out in your March 23 editorial “ Before coal ash spill, GOP was bashing environmental rules, groups” that the spill into the Dan River from Duke Energy’s 1968 coal ash pond was not the fault of the McCrory administration. How gracious.

While the McCrory administration, the EPA and others work to solve this longstanding problem, you have used it in your ongoing efforts to attack the governor. It is unfortunate for you that you must include the inconvenient fact that, while nothing was done about coal ash for decades under Democratic leadership, the McCrory administration took swift action, suing the utility over groundwater contamination and illegal discharges within 45 days of taking office.

Which, as most people in the Continental United States are now aware, was merely a ploy to limit the damages Duke Energy would have to pay from a lawsuit that was already in progress. And it also answers the question of why Duke Energy would spend so much money (over 1.1 million) to get one man elected. Sarcasm and whining might feel good, John, but it rarely (if ever) solves your problems.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 2:13pm

Just what the Democratic Party needed, another corruption case:

FBI agents – working on a tip that Cannon, 47, was potentially involved in illegal activities – started an investigation in August 2010.

Cannon solicited and accepted money bribes and things of value from undercover FBI agents, who were posing as commercial real estate developers and investors wishing to do business in Charlotte, authorities said.

The first questions that popped into my head were, "Who knew about this and when?" Whether you're a paid consultant or a grass-roots activist, you better be just as surprised as we are, or your career/assistance has just come to a screeching halt.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 10:25am

Moving the goal posts to another field entirely:

“When we see polling places that have traditionally been on college campuses moved away and seemingly for not any good reason, it’s very concerning," said Bob Phillips, state director of voting rights group Common Cause. "It makes one think there are other reasons for this that have to do more with politics than, again, the goal of making voting easy and accessible for everybody.”

Phillips said he has heard Republican-led elections boards in Cumberland, Guilford and Forsyth counties also are targeting polling sites on the campuses of Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University, respectively. Votes cast on all three campuses have historically favored Democratic candidates.

This attack on college voters is doubly frustrating because, in addition to being a blatantly partisan move to cut down on votes for Democrats, it also serves to suppress the votes of the youngest demographic, a group that we should be encouraging to get involved.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 11:45am

And leave us even more confused than before:

Duke Energy is now talking publicly about coal ash, but the conversations with Charlotte City Council revolved around the issue of how to remove it from the River Bend Power Plant. The City and Duke are exploring the possibility of moving the coal ash by truck from Gaston County to land near Charlotte Douglas International.

State Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County was also part of the tour, and he wants to learn more about the idea. "What we really want to do is reuse the material not have it stock piled and put into landfills, " Tarte said. Governor McCrory said, "It's going somewhere, and wherever it goes we've got to do it in a safe environmentally and most affordable way we can. I'm open to any solution."

Fixed. But this doesn't prove McCrory isn't crazy. ;)

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