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Patrick Cannon Dodged Rumors and Won Voters

By now, most of you have heard of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon’s self-induced fall from grace. Rumors have circulated around him for years, and while a lot of us are not surprised he is seeing trouble, I do not think anyone expected this. Of course, Cannon is innocent until proven guilty, but that hasn’t stopped most of us from accepting the contents of the affidavit as the truth.

Steve asked in a comment on BlueNC earlier this week how Charlotte voters could elect Patrick Cannon if there were so many rumors flying around about him. It’s a good question, without a good answer, or it may be better to say it doesn’t have a simple answer.

Rumor Mill

Another shadowy Super PAC goes after Kay Hagan

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.

Campus Crusade for Koch

The Center for Public Integrity is out with an analysis of the Koch brothers giving to higher education. The brothers spent more than $12.7 million at 163 universities around the country.

Among the recipients were Duke University and UNC. At UNC, they paid $100,000 for a visiting faculty position.

The Center notes that the donations sometimes come with strings attached:

"...the Charles Koch Foundation in 2011 pledged $1.5 million to Florida State University’s economics department, a contract between the foundation and university stipulated that a Koch-appointed advisory committee select professors and conduct annual evaluations..."

"Some correspondence"

A court has ruled that Tillis, Berger and Co., must turn over "some" of their correspondence and emails related to Republican voter suppression agenda:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake issued a ruling on Thursday that addresses an attempt by lawmakers to quash subpoenas seeking email, correspondence and other documents exchanged while transforming the state’s voting process.

In a court hearing earlier this year, attorneys for 13 Republican legislators tried to turn back efforts to get the correspondence released ... Among them were were: Sen. Phil Berger, leader of the state Senate; House Speaker Thom Tillis; Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Matthews; and Republican Reps. Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte, Larry Pittman of Concord and David Lewis of Dunn.

Gee, I wonder what these folks don't want us citizens to see. And more important, who gets to decide which documents must be turned over?

Duke Energy & Pollution continues its arrogance

Apparently Duke Energy & Pollution has grown accustomed to running the state of North Carolina and in particular, receiving the response "How high?" when ordering officials at NC DENR to jump.

In their latest demonstration of disdain for rules to protect the environment, Duke Energy & Pollution has responded to DENR's notices of violation. DENR cited Duke Energy & Pollution for illegal stormwater discharges at 6 different sites.

Duke Energy & Pollution says those citations are "in error". They said they don't even need permits for two of the sites, and:

For the four other sites, the letter says, Duke has had permit applications pending for months or years at DENR and was working through the permitting process with the agency in good faith.

Court rules NC legislators must release voter suppression emails

Our friends at NC Policy Watch report the breaking news that a federal court has ruled that NC legislators must release emails associated with their conjuring of the voter suppression laws.

The court handling the challenges to the voting law changes enacted by the General Assembly last session ruled today that the doctrine of legislative immunity did not give legislators absolute protection from having to disclose some emails and other documents generated while those changes were being considered.

“North Carolinians have a right to know what motivated their lawmakers to make it harder for them to vote,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “Legislators should not be shrouding their intentions in secrecy. The people deserve better.”

Pat McCrory: Portrait of the reactionary conservative as a young man

Triad City Beat, an indie from the Greensboro area, has a piece by Billy Ingram who went to college with Pat McCrory. He recounts Pat's run for student council president against an incumbant "hippie" who tried to beautify campus, fund the arts, advocate for minority and women's issues, and have more transparency in student government.

Pat was having none of that.

Without a serious course correction, many feared Catawba College was on the verge of becoming a hippie enclave. The college Republicans — pretty much everyone who wasn’t in the drama or music departments — were especially alarmed.

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