scharrison's blog

NC Supreme Court upholds "no firearms for felons" law

Justice Brady gets it right this time:

North Carolina's Supreme Court has upheld a state law that bars felons from possessing firearms, reining in a controversial ruling that made an exception for a nonviolent felon. The court ruled Friday that a 2004 state law barring convicted felons from having a gun did not unconstitutionally punish felons.

The high court ruled last year that the no-guns law could not be applied to a Wake County man convicted of felony drug possession in 1979. The man's right to own a gun had later been restored.

Here's the decision, which will give me something to read on my flight today.

Open government workshop in Asheville 10/14

New laws in North Carolina promise increased transparency and more effective procedures to settle public records disputes, including mediation and financial incentives. The Sunshine Center will explore these new laws and more with its regional workshop 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Karpen Hall 038 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The event is free and for a wide audience, including the general public, media, public servants, civic organizations, legal professionals, students, educators - anyone with a stake in open government.

Even if you don't live in the Western part of the state, you should check this out. Besides, any excuse to visit the Asheville area is a good excuse, right? Leaf colors should be pretty sweet by then, and the apples? Forget about it. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Cherie Berry: Tracking workplace injuries a waste of money

Labor Management Commissioner at odds with OSHA:

A high-ranking federal OSHA official took sharp issue with recent comments by N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, saying her critique of a federal program was "rife with errors."

"We reject their notion that the way to make North Carolina workplaces safer is through higher penalties, 'shaming' businesses through the media, beefing up enforcement, relegating consultation efforts to the back row, and a one-size-fits-all approach," Berry wrote in an e-mail. "I'll go after the bad apples but we must have consultation, education and training as part of an effective safety and health program."

Translation: "If we have to keep track of all these pesky injuries, it makes it harder for us to do nothing about them."

U.S. Chamber using foreign dollars for electioneering

It ain't your dad's (or granddad's) Chamber of Commerce, folks:

Having aired more than 8,000 campaign ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone and having spent 85 percent of its current expenditure on Republicans, the Chamber's spending has "dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending."

What the ThinkProgress investigation found is that the Chamber has spearheaded efforts "to raise money from foreign corporations, including ones controlled by foreign governments" and funneled that money into its general 501(c)(6) account. Foreign members send money either directly to the U.S. Chamber or to their country's local American Chamber (AmCham), which then transfers dues payments back to the Chamber's H Street office in Washington, D.C.

Hat-tip to Rob Schofield of the Progressive Pulse.

Coop to B of A: Stop foreclosures by Friday

The devil is in the details:

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper is giving Bank of America until Friday to halt foreclosure proceedings in the state amid concerns the Charlotte bank and other lenders haven't properly reviewed documents.

Cooper has asked 13 other large mortgage servicers to also halt foreclosures in the state until they prove compliance. Those lenders have until Tuesday to respond to the attorney general's questions. North Carolina also seeks more information about practices at Ally Financial, which has halted foreclosure-related evictions in North Carolina and 22 other states.

Richard Burr: AFP is the "cavalry" in the "war here at home".

Why talk about real issues when fear-mongering nonsense works so good?

...the average American goes to bed scared at night. Scared about what tomorrow holds. It’s not all limited to our job security, it truly is about whether the same America we have had the privilege to participate in is the same America that our children are going to enjoy.

To me the movement, whether you want to call it tea party or whether you want to call it Americans for Prosperity, whatever label you want to put, it’s like the cavalry coming to me. It’s a sign the American people have woken up, that they’re engaged, that they’ve said enough is enough, no more.

If AFP is the cavalry, then this is what their war is all about:

Tedesco attacks Goldman as new zoning plan dies

Someone needs a time-out in the corner:

In a surprise reversal, the Wake County school board threw out its controversial, 16-zone student assignment plan Tuesday night on a motion by vice chairwoman Debra Goldman, who spent much of the meeting complaining about being shut out of the development of the plan.

Tedesco, offering a handshake, approached Goldman before they left dais, saying, "I've enjoyed our friendship while it lasted." At one point, Tedesco called Goldman "a prom queen." The controversy seems certain to continue.

Also passed during meeting: the board voted 7-2 to restrict "tantrums" to a 15 minute period at the beginning of each meeting.

Janet Cowell joins coalition to curb corporate campaign spending

You need to put Variety Wholesalers and PPD on your speed dial:

Elected officials from five states are forming a coalition aimed at fighting unlimited campaign spending by corporations and independent groups. The group is known as CAPS. That stands for Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending.

New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio said Monday that CAPS will urge corporations to voluntarily agree not to spend money on political campaigns. It also will press corporations and other groups to disclose all their donors.

You can go here to learn more:

Gang of Four?

Ball-hogging Tedesco about to lose a teammate:

Debra Goldman, vice chair of the Wake County school board, says she will vote against the board’s emerging student assignment plan if she continues to be shut out of the process, leaving her unable to meet her promises to voters.

Specifically, Goldman says, the plan should provide each student with a base school assignment, a calendar option and magnet opportunities. But she says her efforts have failed to win support among others in the five-member school board majority, and that she's being shut out from the three-member committee that is designing the new assignment plan.

Richard Burr: misleading and nonsensical

Do-Nothing sings a sad song for voters:

The candidates for U.S. Senate in North Carolina don't agree on much, but they concur that with persistent high unemployment and lingering uncertainty about the economy, voters haven't stopped worrying and struggling.

"It's the American people that feel it day in and day out," Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said. "You can't judge it on whether Wall Street's up or Wall Street's down."

And if it was up to you, they'd be feeling it even more. By voting against extending unemployment benefits (several times) and voting against small business assistance, you've demonstrated your contempt for working families. But will they notice?

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