Monday News: Too much money

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CALLS FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ECHO IN WAKE OF BRIBERY SCANDAL: “This just unfortunately creates more of the jaded cynicism that people across all spectrums have toward democracy and politicians,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of the advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina. Phillips suggested going back to a system in which the candidates in some elections were eligible for taxpayer-funded grants to their campaigns — if they promised not to take above a certain amount of money from other sources. North Carolina had such a process for a short time in the 2000s. Last Tuesday — the same day the charges against Lindberg, Hayes and the others became public — Democrats in the N.C. Senate filed a bill that included election, redistricting and campaign finance reforms. One of the proposals was to bring back a public financing system, which the bill calls the “Fair Election Program.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article228882764.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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THIS NAVY TEST PILOT SAYS SEN. BROWN'S WIND ENERGY BAN IS MISGUIDED: I served in the U.S. Navy for 35 years as an aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer and commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, retiring at the rank of vice admiral. I later served as assistant Secretary of the Navy, responsible for all Navy and Marine Corps installations around the world. Nothing is more important to me than protecting the safety of our military aviators and ensuring the continued viability of our military training facilities. With that in mind, Senate Bill 377, the “Military Base Protection Act,” recently introduced in the North Carolina Senate, caught my eye. The bill’s title actually is a misnomer. It has little to do with protecting military bases. Rather, the legislation really is just a ban on wind energy development along North Carolina’s coast. And while it is important that all development (not just wind development) be compatible with critical military missions, this bill is unnecessary.
https://www.wral.com/dennis-mcginn-this-navy-test-pilot-says-sen-brown-s-wind-energy-ban-bill-is-mis...

Mark Johnson's "ClassWallet" program is a costly boondoggle

Somebody should design an app to detect idiots:

Several influential Republican lawmakers and GOP State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Wednesday the creation of the N.C. Teacher Classroom Supply Program that would be funded by new legislation requiring school districts to transfer $400 to each teacher. If passed, educators would use the ClassWallet app to spend the money and to submit reimbursements for supplies they purchase.

“Giving teachers the maximum control over classroom supply funds is the ultimate local control,” Johnson said at a news conference. “Teachers can be nimble and they can use these funds to buy what they need, when they need it.”

This is even worse than we initially thought. If that money was given directly to teachers, they could pool their resources and make larger (bulk) purchases, and/or contribute to local businesses. But being forced to use an app restricts their choices, and allows for the (huge) inflation of prices. Don't just take my word for it, listen to the teacher:

Saturday News: Cleaning house?

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NC GOP COMMITTEE MAY REMOVE WOODHOUSE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: A key group of North Carolina Republicans will meet Sunday to plot the state party’s path forward after the indictment of its chairman and a top donor and two of his associates on federal bribery charges. Among the changes it could discuss: Removing NC GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse, the outspoken Raleigh operative who has become the face of the state party in recent years, attacking Democrats and defending Republicans whenever necessary. The state party’s central committee, a group of 30 or so elected officials, district chairmen and party loyalists, is responsible for hiring and firing the executive director, according to the state party’s 2018 organizational plan. It is the only position the committee is responsible for. No staff will be on Sunday’s conference call.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article228879894.html

Teaching supplies "shell game" criticized by education leaders

Robbing from Peter to pay Paul could make matters worse:

After Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson backed a bill Wednesday that would shift money from school districts to give teachers $400 each for classroom supply needs, several State Board of Education members expressed issues Thursday with the bill’s potential consequences for districts.

Both teacher advisors on the board, 2017 Teacher of the Year Lisa Godwin and 2018 Teacher of the Year Freebird McKinney, were vocal Wednesday about their opposition to Senate Bill 580, saying the reallocation of the money would take away resources districts need to buy supplies and equipment in bulk. Thursday, board member Jill Camnitz said she agrees with the advisors’ sentiments.

Not only is Mark Johnson not qualified to be NC's SuperNintendo, he apparently has a damn short memory. Just last Summer, he took money that was supposed to be disbursed to individual teachers and bought a bunch of IPads with it:

Friday News: Run away, Forest, run away

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INDICTED BUSINESSMAN DONATED $2.4 MILLION TO LT. GOVERNOR'S COMMITTEES: Lindberg gave $1.4 million to the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, which Forest chairs. For that committee, Forest appeared in a tongue-in-cheek video that instructs voters how to commit voter fraud. Lindberg also gave $1 million to the NC-registered super PAC “Truth and Prosperity,” for which Forest has raised money. But Lindberg hasn’t contributed to Forest’s official campaign account, the Committee to Elect Dan Forest, Weatherman said. However, a party invitation sent by Forest’s committee in 2017 gives the impression that Lindberg donated the legal maximum to Forest’s campaign. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest invited people to celebrate Forest’s 50th birthday in October 2017, according to a digital invitation obtained by McClatchy. The invitation says a donor can be listed as a “co-chair” if he or she gives $5,200. Lindberg is listed as a co-chair.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article228828629.html

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