scharrison's blog

David Wheeler pays visit to Word of Faith cult

After being invited to tour the (cult) church, Ralph Hise's Democratic opponent for NC Senate received a less than warm reception, probably due to multiple cameras. As has now been reported by the Washington Post, the next day trespassing charges were filed:

Above the law: Tiger Swan mercenaries get free pass from North Dakota judge

Blurring the lines between public and private law enforcement:

A North Dakota judge has refused to reopen a lawsuit that state regulators filed against a North Carolina-based private security firm accused of using heavy-handed tactics against people protesting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline. Judge John Grinsteiner's decision Monday ends the yearlong dispute in state district court, but doesn't resolve a disagreement over whether TigerSwan was conducting work that required a license in North Dakota.

North Dakota's Private Investigative and Security Board plans to appeal the case's dismissal to the state Supreme Court, attorney Monte Rogneby said. Should that fail, the board can still pursue tens of thousands of dollars in fines against TigerSwan through an administrative process.

Before we proceed, just a side-note: This North Dakota government regulatory board is exactly the kind of organization groups like Civitas want to abolish, because they exert control over private businesses by requiring licenses and permits and such. But in the case of Tiger Swan, they not only ignore such boards, they infiltrate and influence the operations of legitimate law enforcement agencies:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Words of wisdom:

And of course the right to choose your own legal representation is also critical in our legal system. But that won't stop the right-wing nutters from acting like little children.

Durham makes the wrong list on affordable housing

The free market of real estate sales takes no prisoners:

Ten years after the housing collapse during the Great Recession, a new and different housing crisis has emerged. Back then, people were losing their homes as home values crashed and homeowners went underwater. Today, home values have rebounded, but people who want to buy a new home are often priced out of the market. There are too few homes and too many potential buyers.

This isn't just a problem in San Francisco or New York, where home prices and rents have gone sky-high. It is also a problem in midsized, fast-growing cities farther inland, like Des Moines, Iowa; Durham, N.C.; and Boise, Idaho. In Boise, an analysis by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed there is a demand for more than 10 times the number of homes being built right now.

Quick NIMBY anecdote: My town government is having a tense struggle (with me right in the middle) with some neighborhoods over new construction projects, and one big takeaway is: They definitely don't want anything resembling "affordable housing." No apartment buildings, no modest townhomes (less than $200,000). Of course, many of these folks would prefer to see nothing at all built there, but if it's happening, they want to make sure no poor people, or even lower middle class, move in next door. Here's more about the problem, and the conundrum of not having nearly enough homes for the people who need them:

Roy Cooper files lawsuit to preserve Separation of Powers

“The General Assembly has proposed two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that would take a wrecking ball to the separation of powers. These proposed amendments would rewrite bedrock constitutional provisions— including the Separation of Powers Clause itself. They would overrule recent decisions of the North Carolina Supreme Court. They would strip the Governor of his authority to appoint thousands of officials to hundreds of boards and commissions that execute the laws of our State. They would confer exclusive authority on the General Assembly to choose those whom the Governor can consider to fill judicial vacancies. And they ultimately threaten to consolidate control over all three branches of government in the General Assembly.”

Toxic Amendments update: The biggest power grab of them all?

This is a rather long but very important thread:

The company you keep: Thomas Farr's roots in White Supremacy

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His now-deceased business partner was a champion for segregation:

The recent death of Raleigh lawyer and political strategist Tom Ellis at 97 marked the passing of perhaps the last prominent North Carolinian who once advocated for the white supremacist views of Wesley Critz George of Chapel Hill. George believe blacks were biologically inferior to whites and that “the protoplasmic mixing of the races” would diminish the white race, hurting its ability to survive.

“As good citizens, we should do all we can to insure that ten generations and more from now we shall have a breed of people in this country capable of maintaining American civilization,” George wrote in 1956. “Integration and amalgamation of the two races is not the way to insure having such a breed of people.”

While this story is mostly about Tom Ellis and the racists he admired and supported, it's also about how mainstream Republicans have absolutely no problem ignoring white supremacist backgrounds. At best, that's what we're supposed to assume about Thomas Farr: That he was simply a business partner of Ellis and did not automatically share his opinions. But these guys worked together for over thirty years, so spare me that painfully thin legal argument. Here's more if you can stomach it:

Alamance 12 face jail terms for casting votes

And a former Democrat turned rabid Republican is determined to put them there:

Mr. Sellars, 44, is one of a dozen people in Alamance County in North Carolina who have been charged with voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election. All were on probation or parole for felony convictions, which in North Carolina and many other states disqualifies a person from voting. If convicted, they face up to two years in prison.

“That’s the law,” said Pat Nadolski, the Republican district attorney in Alamance County. “You can’t do it. If we have clear cases, we’re going to prosecute.”

Just a side-note, which is definitely relevant to this discussion: Pat Nadolski lost his Republican Primary for District Attorney a few months ago, which had many hoping he would relent and drop the charges against these folks. But true to form with this crazy election cycle, a local judge retired from the bench, and rumor has it Nadolski will be chosen by local R's to run. We (Alamance Dem executives) just chose our candidate Andy Hanford, who lost to Nadolski in the 2014 Democratic Primary. The year after that Nadolski switched parties to Republican, and has since allied himself with our local Latino-hating tyrant Sheriff Terry Johnson. The reason I (tried to) explain that convoluted mess was to underscore Nadolski's determination to prosecute these folks, who merely made a mistake about their qualifications. He's still got right-wing voters to impress, and maybe a little national attention to garner for himself:

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