Dallas Woodhouse's stealth Tillis US Senate campaign ad

Which is really not that stealthy:

The question you should be asking, Tim, is where did Dallas get the $1.5 million to run this commercial?

Pat McCrory: I didn't know I did it until I didn't know that I didn't know I did it.

He came into office with such promise. Even some Democrats, who should have known better, crossed the aisle to support him. People took him at his word. When he said, "None" in response to a debate question about signing further restrictions on abortion, women and progressives breathed a sigh of relief. Surely he meant what he said, right?

Wrong. In retrospect, we have all come to understand that McCrory's answer to the abortion question was a calculated lie, the first of countless mistakes in judgement that would define him as irrelevant, confused, unethical, and above all, dishonest. That's a potent combination of weaknesses, and it shows no signs of letting up.

NCGA Republicans subverting judiciary to suit their desires

If it won't bend to your will, break it:

Without a doubt, these rulings have irked conservative lawmakers. But instead of examining the constitutionality of their policies, or allowing more amendments and debate, Republicans in the General Assembly have now fundamentally altered the court system to protect themselves.

This year's state budget contained a provision, added just the week before Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law on Aug. 7, requiring a three-judge panel to rule on any constitutional challenge to state law. North Carolina is now the only state with such a judicial system. The new system not only helps shield state law from challenges, but also puts more power in the hand of an increasingly partisan and politicized judiciary.

You better believe, if it was Democrats pulling this tyrannical stunt, JLF and Civitas would be stirring up the snake-flag-waving peasantry into a frothing-at-the-mouth display of outrage and barely-contained violence. But since it's Republicans doing it? Crickets.

Daily dose: You can't believe anything Tillis and McCrory say. Not one damn word.

POLICY & POLITICS
LAWYER’S ROLE? McCrory ‘misstated’ Duke holdings, sold stock after coal-ash spill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The governor’s previous disclosures had not revealed that he owned Duke stock at the end of 2013. McCrory’s lawyer, Bob Stephens, says the content of the form was his mistake.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/13/4070158/mccrory-changes-financial-disclosure.html

Conflict of interest statements for NC officials now online (WRAL-TV) -- A new website launched quietly last month by the State Ethics Commission allows users to look up state officials' potential conflicts of interest.
http://www.wral.com/conflict-of-interest-statements-for-nc-officials-now-online/13889394/

NC education budget change worries some districts (AP) — The General Assembly removed a requirement in North Carolina law that said the recipe to build the two-year state budget begins with projected public school enrollment among its first ingredients.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-education-budget-change-worries-some-districts-2623143

Candy corn, pimps, and Marc Basnight

Anyone who reads the newspaper on a consistent basis usually finds their niche. It might be the front page, the sports page, or the obituaries. For those that read daily, year in and year out, that niche tends to change. The frontpage takes a backseat to letters to the editor, other opinions, or editorials. We eventually become interested in what the newspaper has to say about the news; or people in particular. Like everything else in life, newspapers are not, and should not, be void of opinion; or cheap on heaping praise, especially when it is extraordinarily due. Sister newspapers owned by the same company sometimes tend to vary, both in opinion and editorial. In the case of the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer (McClatchy), that's not readily apparent. On the coast, it's a different animal.

New North Carolina Ethics Commission website allows citizens to check on potential conflicts

A new website launched quietly last month by the State Ethics Commission allows users to look up state officials' potential conflicts of interest.

WRAL

See it here: http://www.ethicscommission.nc.gov/masterSearch.aspx

The new SBI

One of the many non-budget items added to the "budget update" during the short session was to move the State Bureau of Investigation from the Department of Justice, overseen by the elected Attorney General, to the Department of Public Safety, overseen by someone appointed by the Governor.

To be sure, this had nothing to do with the budget; it has to do with petty politics, namely, punishing the current Attorney General, Roy Cooper.

[State senator and former deputy AG Josh] Stein said the move doesn't save any money and no one at either agency asked for it. Police chiefs and sheriffs don't like it, either, he said.

This is a bad idea for lots of reasons, notably the very real potential for conflict of interest (anyone remember Watergate?) and opportunities to conveniently overlook wrongdoing in the governor's administration.

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