scharrison's blog

Open thread: 2018 early voting blows the doors off previous mid-terms

GOP darling Gerry Mander gets another kick in the pants

3-judge panel rules 4 Wake County House districts unconstitutional:

The ruling won't change the lines for Tuesday's legislative elections, but the panel said the General Assembly must redraw the districts no later than the end of its next regular session or July 1 of next year, whichever comes first. The districts involved are House District 36, currently held by Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake; House District 37, held by Rep. John Adcock, R-Wake; House District 40, held by Rep. Joe John, D-Wake; and House District 41, held by Rep. Gale Adcock.

N.C. House Elections and Ethics Law Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, said leadership will review the ruling over the next few weeks and decide its next step. "Obviously I disagree with the Decision and believe it will create voter uncertainty and confusion," Lewis said in a statement.

Oh, that's rich. Drawing unconstitutional districts is not the danger, it's fixing the problem we should be afraid of. If you look the word "Hubris" up in the dictionary, there a picture of David Lewis over in the margin.

Former GOP County Chair accuses Senator Michael Lee of "influence peddling"

Sometimes swinging your weight around makes you fall over:

The complaint was filed by William R. Shell and Terry Reilly, both of whom spoke during public hearings for The Avenue development on Military Cutoff Road. Sent to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission, the complaint alleges, in short, that Lee uses his position as a state senator to implicitly pressure New Hanover County and Wilmington boards when he appears before them in his private role an attorney for developers.

“There is nothing illegal about lawyers who are members of the General Assembly representing private clients,” the complaint reads. “However, the problem here is that Lee is representing those clients before local governmental boards and commissions which are dependent upon the North Carolina General Assembly for things they wish to have done and funding and frankly, for even their existence … the members of the governing boards of counties and cities cannot afford to cross a local senator.”

If you don't think local government officials worry about getting on the "wrong side" of General Assembly members, especially those in the NC Senate, think again. Not only because of grants and earmarks that municipalities are desperate for, but there's always the aura of the stick, as well. And with our weird "local bill" rules that preclude a Gubernatorial Veto, if you piss off the wrong person, all of a sudden your zoning and taxing authority evaporates. This is most definitely a conflict of interest, and I am not (one tiny bit) surprised that Tom Fetzer is right up in the middle of it:

Libertarian candidate drops out, endorses Republican opponent

And his state party is not very pleased with this decision:

Members of the Libertarian Party expressed disappointment after Ethan Bickley, a Libertarian candidate running for the District 9 seat in the North Carolina Senate, announced Wednesday he has decided to endorse the incumbent in the race, Sen. Michael Lee, a Republican seeking re-election to a third term representing most of New Hanover County.

Brent DeRidder, the vice chairman for North Carolina’s Libertarian Party, expressed his disappointment at Bickley’s decision. “We fight hard against the idea that we’re Republican-light or Conservative Democrats,” DeRidder said in an emailed news release. “Libertarians have a distinct ideology. It’s disappointing when any Libertarian endorses big government, but it’s particularly painful when it comes from a Libertarian candidate.”

Yeah, I'm not so sure about that "distinct" ideology. Every Libertarian I talk to seems to have a different idea of what the party stands for. They used to talk about open borders, but I haven't heard that in a while, probably because they know it won't play with Trumpites. They also used to talk about marijuana reform, but now that everybody else seems to be talking about it, it's not fun anymore because they're supposed to be "different." Back to Bickley, and a comment that got my conflict-of-interest antennae waving:

Senator Dan Bishop helped create Alt-Right platform GAB

And he needs to answer some questions about that synagogue massacre:

A Republican politician is an investor in Gab, the now-shuttered social media network used by the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman, DailyMail.com can disclose. Dan Bishop, a state senator in North Carolina who is up for re-election next week, boasted in August 2017 that he had backed the site because he was 'about done with SF [San Francisco] thought police tech giants.'

Bishop is one of the only known investors in the tech startup, which had billed itself as 'a free speech platform' for anyone who wanted to join.

And one of the many questions he needs to answer is: How much money did you earn by capitalizing on hatred and anti-Semitism? After what happened in Pittsburgh, we're just going to go ahead and call that blood money. The synagogue shooter (Robert Bowers) not only announced his intent on GAB, he has a history of posting anti-Semitic rants on there, including the personal information of Jews:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Finally something of which North Carolinians can be proud:

I'm sure BergerMoore is stewing like an apple, but they better leave this one alone.

GENX contamination emerges as a major campaign issue for NC Dems

And Republicans' defunding of environmental protection is coming back to haunt them:

Democrats also are making a push for House and Senate seats held by Republicans in and around coastal Wilmington. Favored by beachgoers and transplanted out-of-state retirees, the region became fixated last year on the presence of a little-studied chemical compound, GenX, in the Cape Fear River, which provides drinking water to many.

In campaign ads, Democrats and environmental groups are blaming GOP incumbents for passing budgets that reduced staff in the state environmental department responsible for water quality, and for failing to do enough for the river cleanup.

But it's not just the coastal & Cape Fear watershed areas where this is a big campaign issue; right here in Alamance County, GOP Legislators are being raked over the coal (ash) in numerous ads that began on Facebook but have jumped to radio and other Internet venues, like the intro to Youtube videos. And it's not just one group funding these environmental spots, there are several running ads similar to this one:

Maya Little walks out of Honor Court over biased student-judge

Recusing himself would have been the honorable thing to do:

Maya Little and her supporters walked out of the second half of her Honor Court hearing Friday afternoon after Little expressed concern over the fairness of the trial.

The Graduate and Professional Honor Court gathered at 3 p.m. Friday for the second half of the hearing that will decide Little’s fate for painting Silent Sam with red paint and her own blood in April after Thursday's hearing ended with tension. Audience members found pro-Silent Sam material on adjudicator Frank Pray’s social media, and deliberations ensued concerning his ability to be impartial.

Okay, aside from the fact that Pray is an outspoken Silent Sam supporter, he's also the Chairman of UNC's College Republicans. He shouldn't even be on the honor court, and the same goes for political leaders from the left. It may seem like a trivial exercise when compared to the real criminal justice system, but it's far from trivial. Decisions made there will follow students for the rest of their lives, and those adjudicators need to be as objective as is humanly possible. And after Pray brought anti-Muslim extremist David Horowitz to campus a few years ago, his objectivity is literally non-existent:

Word of Faith cult adds unemployment fraud to list of crimes

These are actually RICO violations:

Prosecutors say Covington and McKinny decided to lay off employees at one of Covington's businesses so they could collect unemployment benefits in 2008 when the company was struggling financially. But the employees continued to work at the company, Diverse Corporate Technologies. They later put the scheme into place at Covington's other business, Integrity Marble & Granite. Covington then implemented a variation of the scheme at Sky Catcher Communications Inc., a company he managed, prosecutors say.

After starting the scheme at Diverse Corporate Technologies, Covington, McKinny, Whaley and others "promoted variations of the scheme to other businesses," the court filing said. "These conspirators promoted the scheme as a way for (the church) community businesses to weather the financial downturn," the document said.

Seriously, this is straight out of a Soprano's episode. The only thing missing are the dead bodies of those who either betrayed the family, or were so crazy they jeopardized the smooth operations of the scam. But I have no doubt that once this religious house of cards collapses, bodies will be found somewhere on the premises. This is actually election-related, too, because Ralph Hise has been providing cover at the state level for this criminal cult, and David Wheeler has been dogging his and the cult's footsteps for months now:

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