John Skvarla's bridge to nowhere

John Skvarla doubled down today in a transparent attempt to blame the Southern Environmental Law Center for his own ineptitude and lack of foresight. He wants to build another "Bonner Bridge" on the outer banks, a bridge that is destined to go nowhere fast.

The issue is not the bridge itself, which no one doubts can be engineered to withstand hurricanes and the threat of constant erosion. The issue is the fragile highway that the bridge leads to. It is a thin ribbon of asphalt that is frequently closed by storms, and which will almost certainly wash away in our lifetimes. No amount of beach hardening, engineering, or wishful thinking will make that road a sustainable solution over the long term.

As evidenced by his dim-witted position on this issue, John Skvarla is very possibly the worst person North Carolina could have leading it environmental protection efforts. If allowed to build his bridge to nowhere, he will have a lasting memorial to that sad fact.

True colors: DENR's Skvarla will address Chamber of Commerce

Serving the only constituents he cares about:

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker has canceled her appearance Thursday in Salisbury due to an illness in her family. In her place, John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will speak at the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Oaks.

And he's probably giddy at the prospect, regardless of any potential conflicts that may arise in pandering to a group that cares little for environmental protection:

Pope makes a top-ten list

The ten greediest people in America

Art Pope: A Backroom Bully Goes Public

In North Carolina these days, few people think Francis first when they hear “Pope.” A different Pope has been dominating headlines here, an exceedingly deep pocket who owes his fortune to a discount store chain his daddy built. In the run-up to the 2012 elections, this Art Pope invested over $40 million of his personal wealth to gerrymander how North Carolinians cast their votes.

The gerrymandering worked. This year opened with the state sporting — for the first time ever — a conservative GOP governor, Supreme Court majority, and legislature all at the same time. The state budget director? Pope himself.

The state of the State

Friends, some residents in North Carolina believe that the state is heading in the right direction; in fact they believe that the North Carolina is just where it needs to be. I have to say, resoundingly I do not agree.

As we prepare for the upcoming mid-term elections in 2014, the people of North Carolina need to seriously evaluate what future they want for this great state. Residents of North Carolina need only to look at the negative trends that are occurring within the State to determine the path they want to choose. Issues that affect the future of North Carolina, such as Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure (Roads and Bridges), the Environment, Voter Rights, Women's Rights and many other "People" issues point to a downward spiral in the wellbeing of North Carolina.


Anyone who's paying attention knew this all along, but it's still troubling to see the truth of what our governor and legislators have done. This is on you, Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory.

What we found was that restrictions on voting derived from both race and class. The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted.

Sue Counts for NC House

Hello everyone. My name is Sue Counts and I am excited to announce that I'm running for NC House, 93rd District, representing Watauga and Ashe counties in the 2014 election year. I am a life long Democrat and I consider myself a Progressive Candidate who wants to see my great state of NC to go forward. I can no longer sit by and watch our beloved state wander down a path which is destroying the gains we have made in education, infrastructure, scientific research, job opportunities, and environmental protections.

Vouchers for disturbing home schools

Mother Jones has an article up taking a critical look at NC's school voucher program.

North Carolina's vouchers, which will become available in 2014, allow public money to go to unregulated private schools that are not required to meet any educational or teacher preparation standards. In addition, thanks to the way the law was written, the money will be available to "home schools"—literally schools set up in someone's house. Homeschooling traditionally has been done by parents. But the state recently changed its home schooling law to allow people who aren't parents or legal guardians educate kids in a group setting. The only requirement for such schools is that the teacher have a high school diploma, that the school keep immunization and attendance records on its students, and that it give kids a national standardized test every year.

Civitas behind campaign to defund Medicaid

As you may know, the UK newspaper the Guardian is running a series on leaked documents from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the industry lobbying group that has pushed "model" extremist conservative legislation, including "stand your ground" gun laws, through many state houses.

In this installment, they discover that Art Pope's foundation Civitas developed a campaign to discredit Medicaid and sought monies through ALEC to implement it.

What's not quite right about this is that Civitas is officially an "educational" non-profit, not a lobbying organization, under IRS and campaign finance regulations. The Guardian is publishing the series, questioning whether this direct lobbying and advertising is illegal (lobbying organizations have to report on their activities and funding).

Also interesting - their language and talking points seem to have been coordinated with the McCrory administration.

Chinese Hackers hack into Government Computer during Government Shutdown

Just wanted to thank the GOP and their radical arm, the Tea Party for shutting down the Government and allowing Chinese hackers to hack into the Federal Election Commission websites and obtained critical information on campaign contributions and associated information. This was accomplished by the Chinese because the GOP/Tea Party shut down the Government and the federal employees that managed the Federal Elections Commission website were sent home on Furlough. Remember folks, Jason Thigpen supported the Government shut down.

So now after costing the taxpayers $29B and the loss of crucial and very valuable information to the Chinese, and who knows what else, I have only one question for the GOP/Tea Party. Was it worth it?


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