Friday News: More gun nuttery

LAWMAKERS WANT TO ALLOW HANDGUN CONCEALED CARRY WITHOUT PERMIT (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A bill sponsored by 10 North Carolina Republican legislators would allow people to carry handguns concealed without a permit. In North Carolina, concealed carry of a handgun without a permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class H felony for a subsequent offense. Lawmakers proposed lifting permit requirements last year in the form of a constitutional amendment that would go to voters for consideration, but it never received a hearing. It would still be illegal to concealed carry a bowie knife, dirk, dagger, sling shot, loaded cane, metal knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun or other deadly weapons except on a person’s private property.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article131771434.html

Two more HB2 Repeal bills filed in General Assembly

Including a state-wide non-discrimination policy similar to Charlotte's:

Democrats filed the bill in both the House and Senate Thursday. In addition to a “clean repeal” of HB2, the bill will include a broad statewide nondiscrimination law that would include sexual orientation, gender identity, military veteran status and other categories, according to Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro.

“It’s long overdue,” Harrison said. “We will do our hardest to enact this legislation.” The nondiscrimination provision would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations – including bathroom access for transgender people.

I'm probably going to get tarred and feathered (and maybe rode out of town on a rail) for the following commentary, but I choked back these words last week, and now I'm thinking that was a mistake. There has not been a "clean" HB2 repeal bill filed by either party, and regardless of how much you value the additional language or policy initiatives inserted in said bills, they are simply not viable. As in, they will never escape from a Committee to earn a vote on the floor, much less pass that vote. Even Jeff Jackson's bill, which is virtually identical to the one filed back in December, has additional (and in my mind unnecessary) language that killed it upon birth:

Thursday News: Putting on a show

WAITING FOR GODOT (WRAL-TV) -- A Senate committee on Wednesday did its own performance of "Waiting for Godot," staging a confirmation hearing for a cabinet nominee who senators knew wouldn't show up. Former Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham, had been scheduled to appear before the committee as Gov. Roy Cooper's choice to head the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, but a panel of three Superior Court judges late Tuesday put the new law calling for Senate confirmation of members of Cooper's cabinet on hold. Republican senators turned the event into theater, blasting the court ruling, while their Democratic colleagues called the committee hearing a charade.
http://www.wral.com/wednesday-wrap-waiting-for-godot/16515438/

Blatant sexism in Tim Moore's staff salary levels

Welcome back to the 1960's:

A list obtained by North State Journal indicates that Moore's Chief of Staff Bart Goodson, is the highest paid in the office at just more than $172,000 in annual salary, followed by senior adviser Mitch Gillespie at $104,545. In total for 2017, the 14 staff members supporting the N.C. Speaker of the House earn $1,046,135. In 2016, the 13 member staff made $1,108,154.

On the staff list for 2017, is a key promotion; Leah Burns is now deputy chief of staff, earning $69,000. In 2016, Burns served as a policy adviser to the speaker.

In typical Republican fashion, Moore is trying to show off how he's "reduced spending" and "tightened his belt," or whatever is the conservative Pavlovian bell phrase of the day. But it doesn't take Hercule Poirot to figure out where he saved most of that $62,000, by seriously stiffing one of his female employees. I tried to find Bart Goodson's salary (who held the deputy chief of staff position last year) before this promotion, but I had to go back to 2015 to get pertinent numbers:

Voters fight back: Guilford GOP accuser sued for defamation

This isn't Salem in the 17th Century, and false accusations have consequences:

William Clark Porter IV, who is named as the defendant in the lawsuit, could not be reached for comment. Porter is committee chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party. He accused nine voters of casting ballots in another state, eight of voting with felony convictions and said one deceased person voted.

Karen Niehans, 74, and her husband Sam Niehans, plaintiffs in the lawsuit, were both accused of voting in two states. They moved to Jamestown in 2016 to be closer to family and both of the claims against them were found to be without merit. “This was personal,” Karen Niehans said. “My democratic right to vote was challenged. It’s as if someone was saying that I was less than others, that my voice shouldn’t count. That’s just plain wrong to do to someone and I am not going to take it. I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

I hope this dude gets raked over the legal coals, and I also hope there is some evidence uncovered of monetary compensation from state GOP officials for leveling these false allegations. So tired of their unethical behavior, and having to watch them get away with it, over and over again.

Digging deeper into wind farm opposition

Lisa Sorg skewers John Droz for his disingenuous deceptions:

However, the tone of the letter — histrionic and at times, sycophantic —and even the punctuation are similar to that in Droz’s blogs and articles. Reached by email, Droz did not answer a direct question about any involvement in drafting the letter. Instead, he wrote: “I have no problem with communicating with journalists who are making an honest effort to objectively describe a situation. However, years ago I made it clear to you that I was never a real estate developer — yet you continue to include that falsehood in your correspondences.”

(Droz’s online “real-estate focused resume” says he owns and has renovated numerous properties in New York State. He also claims to have co-founded one of the largest real estate companies in central New York. He also writes that in the 1980s he taught a widely acclaimed course on “How to Succeed in Real Estate Investing.”

Yeah, not sure how much of that resume is fact vs fiction. It does say he's a member of Mensa, which is difficult to swallow, after engaging in a few online debates with him. Pretty sure there's less there than meets the eye, if you catch my drift. But back to the notorious letter and its dubious claims:

Wednesday News: BergerMoore loses in court, again

gavelbanging.jpg

COURT APPEARS TO PUT TEMPORARY BLOCK ON CABINET CONFIRMATIONS (WRAL-TV) -- A three-judge Superior Court panel appears to have delayed state Senate confirmation hearings on Gov. Roy Cooper's cabinet pending further hearings on whether a new law giving the General Assembly a say in those appointments is constitutional. Judges Jesse Caldwell of Gaston County, Todd Burke of Forsyth County and Jeff Foster of Pitt County held a hearing in the case via telephone late Tuesday afternoon. The dispute between Cooper and the state Senate stems from a law the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed in December. It grants the Senate the power to accept or reject cabinet appointments by the governor. That law passed shortly after Cooper, a Democrat, ousted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory signed off on the bill shortly before his term expired.
http://www.wral.com/court-appears-to-put-temporary-block-on-cabinet-confirmations/16512351/

Republicans hate eminent domain, except when they love it

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has more rights than citizens:

(1) Corporations, bodies politic or persons have the power of eminent domain for the construction of railroads, power generating facilities, substations, switching stations, microwave towers, roads, alleys, access railroads, turnpikes, street railroads, plank roads, tramroads, canals, telegraphs, telephones,communication facilities, electric power lines, electric lights, public water supplies, public sewerage systems, flumes, bridges, facilities related to the distribution of natural gas, and pipelines or mains originating in North Carolina for the transportation of petroleum products, coal, natural gas, limestone or minerals.

Underlined text is new, and text that has been struck through is being removed. Republicans are pretty much letting the pipeline company steal people's property, and (once again) the faux Libertarian "property rights" crowd at Civitas and JLF are exercising selective silence on one of their biggest issue platforms.

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