scharrison's blog

On mudslinging and lawsuits

Another legal battle brews in the NC Senate race:

State Senate candidate Wesley Meredith and the state Republican Party may sue Democratic state Sen. Margaret Dickson and the state Democratic Party for defamation.

The Republican Party believes that the Democrats knowingly filed a complaint with no merit, wrote Jim Blaine, director of the state Republican Senate Caucus, in an e-mail to The Fayetteville Observer on Friday. "Knowingly filing a frivolous action is defamation. It may take a couple of days but expect a more complete response," he said.

In addition to the duel between the party leaders, there could be an additional (legal) battle between the candidates themselves about references to a 2003 SBOE investigation of Meredith:

Republicans use 9/11, cancer to solicit funds

But it's where they did it that may hurt them the most:

Any proceeds from a fundraiser held at the Bee Tree fire station in Swannanoa on September 11 by the Buncombe County GOP spent on political activities would likely result in campaign finance violations, says Adam Ragan, campaign finance compliance specialist with the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Anthony Penland, chief of the Swannanoa Fire Department, told the North Carolina Independent News that no fee was paid for use of the facility by the Buncombe County GOP. Penland said he thought the fundraiser was to “raise money for cancer,” and that he was unaware that the fundraiser would benefit the local Republican Party.

Senate Republicans continue to fight transparency efforts

They don't want you to know:

Senate Republicans on Thursday stood fast in blocking legislation requiring special interest groups running campaign ads to identify their donors.

The campaign finance bill, which narrowly passed the House on a largely partisan vote, would have required nearly all organizations airing political ads independently of candidates or the political parties to disclose their top donors and the amounts they paid.

It would have banned a variety of political activity by entities holding a government contract worth more than $10 million and corporations where foreigners own more than a majority of voting shares.

This issue alone should cost people like Richard Burr the election. If voters were paying attention to what they're actually doing that is. Big "if".

EPA extends public comment deadline on coal ash

Heads-up from the NC Conservation Network:

Last Tuesday, our staff member Dan Conrad attended the EPA public hearing in Charlotte and delivered the petition. Hundreds of concerned citizens came out in support of strong public health protections.

We have good news - the EPA decided to extend the public comment period on coal ash rules to November 19th! Can you help spread the word and ask your friends and family to sign the petition? Our new goal is to have over 2000 names on our petition and we need you to make it happen.

If you haven't done so yet, please sign their petition. North Carolina has (at least) 13 ticking time-bomb impoundments, and some of them are already tainting local water tables.

More belt-tightening at the Char-O

And the shrinkage continues:

The Charlotte Observer will eliminate 20 positions through a combination of buyouts, layoffs and frozen job openings, part of an effort to reduce costs in a sluggish economy, the company announced Wednesday. The paper is also implementing weeklong furloughs in the fourth quarter for full-time staff.

The changes come as the Observer reaches more readers than ever, due to the Internet. Yet the newspaper, like others across the country, hasn’t been able to generate comparable revenue from its online product.

Burr crashes Stimulus party

Once again, Richard Burr takes credit for something he tried to stop:

“Hypocritical Senator Richard Burr voted against the stimulus package and called it 'wasteful' and said it would provide 'little to no stimulus' but that hasn't stopped him from showing up at stimulus funded events in North Carolina,” said Deirdre Murphy, spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“If Senator Burr had had his way, this company would never have received funding to expand and add jobs,” Murphy said.

The Burr campaign did not respond.

Of course they didn't. What could they say? "Um, Senator Burr fully supported this, but he wanted to pay for the Stimulus with the, er,...Stimulus funds, but the Democrats blocked him! So there!" ;)

Renewable energy bill has potential

It's not just a consolation prize:

In a rare show of bipartisanship, a group of Democratic and Republican senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require utilities nationwide to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and biomass by 2021.

“I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard,” Mr. Bingaman said in a statement. “I think that they are present in the House. I think that we need to get on with figuring out what we can pass and move forward.”

Tea Party flavor selections

Now available with 15% less astroturf!

"They try to portray themselves as some sort of grass-roots movement, but they are a classic example of what those on the left would call astroturf," Meckler said of the Tea Party Express. "They are fake, they're not from the grassroots. These are longtime Republican political activists with their own agenda."

Even as Meckler touted his Tea Party Patriots as representative of the grass-roots movement, he also announced his group had received the $1 million donation from a single contributor. The contribution came with conditions, Meckler said, including one that requires the donor's name to remain secret despite the tea party movement's stated commitment to openness.

That's one big-ass grass root right there. That would take a backhoe to pull up. Or dynamite. Better use dynamite.

I've got your litmus test right here

You guys are making it real hard to stomach:

The North Carolina Democratic Party is paying for a mailer in a state Senate race that calls for “bringing the Arizona immigration crackdown to North Carolina.”

The mailer was sent on behalf of Senate candidate David Redwine of Shallotte who is in a hot campaign with Republican Bill Rabon of Southport for the seat held by retiring Sen. R.C. Soles.

Andrew Whalen, executive director of the state Democratic Party, said the mailing reflected the views of Redwine, not the party, reports Rob Christensen.

Then why in the hell are you paying for it?

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