Bill Rabon plays the privatization game, and wins big-time

Pay-to-play politics at its absolute worst:

State Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) said it was a pretty easy decision to start outsourcing some services at NCDOT when he and other Republicans took the majority in the state legislature in 2011. “One of the things that I think all of the Republicans wanted to do when they came here was downsize government, become more efficient,” Rabon said.

Campaign finance records show Rabon has collected campaign money from employees of private engineering firms and other companies involved in building roads and bridges, their political action committees and industry-related special interest groups. Records show Rabon’s campaign has taken more than $124,000 since 2012, the first year in which NCDOT was required to hit a specific outsourcing target.

If this was a fictional narrative, these revelations would trigger an inquiry, there would be scenes of Rabon running away from questioning reporters, and soon he would be announcing his early retirement, citing the need to "spend more time with family" or something similar. But as we've learned (the hard way) with GOP domination of the Legislature, the truth is stranger than fiction, and outcomes are simply not predictable. As far as that "more efficient" claim, it appears Rabon and his colleagues really don't care if it's true:

Thursday News: First in city-bashing

N.C. LEADS NATION IN PREEMPTION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Route 50) -- The number of states passing laws superseding city ordinances is on the rise, spurred by industry lobbying and single-party dominance of legislatures. According to the “City Rights in an Era of Preemption” report released by the nonpartisan National League of Cities, North Carolina offers the most extreme cases—preempting localities on tax and expenditure limitations, municipal broadband, ride-sharing, anti-discrimination, paid leave and minimum wage ordinances. “When states seek blanket policies counter to the needs of their cities, local leaders do not stand down,” Brooks Rainwater, NLC Center for City Solutions’ director and the report’s co-author, said on a Wednesday conference call.
http://www.routefifty.com/management/2017/02/state-local-preemption/135638/

Republican snowflakes hide from their constituents

When you have no answers, questions are to be avoided at all costs:

It’s not that there isn’t time for such meetings, it’s just that many in North Carolina’s congressional delegation, like many others around the nation, simply don’t want to face angry and confused constituents. They’ve seen and read the reports of the raucous confrontations and are doing all they can to avoid those difficult scenes.

Trump uses "states' rights" excuse in attack on transgender students

Abdicating the Federal government's responsibility for basic civil rights:

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the Trump administration will issue new guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students. The comments came in response to a question during a White House press briefing about reports the White House would rescind the Obama administration's guidance that sought to bar discrimination against transgender students and ensure they had access to bathrooms of their choice.

Wednesday News: Putting VoterID to rest

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COOPER AND AG SEEK TO END US SUPREME COURT REVIEW OF VOTER ID LAW (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Roy Cooper and state Attorney General Josh Stein have taken steps to end a U.S. Supreme Court review of North Carolina’s voter ID law, reversing a request made by former Gov. Pat McCrory in the final days of his administration. But it was not immediately clear whether the request by the two newly elected Democrats to withdraw the appeal would fully end attempts to reinstate voter ID and other limitations on voting.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article134017644.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Reports of the death of the Patriarchy were premature:

And it's about to get worse, since the NCGA is trying to shrink the Board. More from Hannah:

Tuesday News: This is how you do it

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COOPER ANNOUNCES A PLAN TO BOOST TEACHER SALARIES (Greensboro News & Record) -- Gov. Roy Cooper and state Republican leaders circled each other warily Monday after the governor unveiled the outlines of his plan to boost average teacher pay to $55,000 in two years. The Democratic governor described his proposal as a multi-year investment in North Carolina teachers that would raise their salaries to the highest in the Southeast in three years and to at least the national average in five. “These aren’t just investments in our teachers, they are investments in our children’s future,” Cooper said.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/government/cooper-announces-a-plan-to-boost-teacher-salaries/article_...

Anti-abortion nuttery shifts into overdrive at NC General Assembly

Embracing quackery is now acceptable in GOP circles:

He claims the reversal process makes logical, scientific sense and said that animal studies in Japan showed that rats that were given Mifepristone had its effects reversed when given progesterone. He also pointed to a study published in 2012 in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy that described six case studies where four women had successful reversals and two lost their babies.

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