Watauga Board of Elections Voting Plan Unconstitutional

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens has ruled the voting plan produced by the Republican majority on the Watauga County Board of Elections is unconstitutional and he has ordered that the early voting plan be redrawn with at least one polling location on the Appalachian State campus.

You can find the full ruling at Watauga Watch, but the two most scathing paragraphs follow:

Private sector water testing lab falsifies coal mine samples

So much for the fossil fuel industry's self-reporting credibility:

The Charleston Gazette reports that an employee of a state-certified company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act after he faked compliant water quality samples for coal companies between 2008 and 2013.

John W. Shelton, who worked as a technician and then a field supervisor for Appalachian Labs Inc., a Beckley, W.Va., firm, admitted to diluting water samples taken from mine pollution discharge points with clean water, among other unlawful measures taken, to ensure pollution levels were in compliance with permitted limits. Prosecutors say Appalachian Labs conducts water sampling at more than 100 mine sites in West Virginia, but for now it’s unclear what mine sites or coal companies could be implicated in the case.

Which might shed some light on why Duke Energy's water samples almost always show lower levels of toxins than DWQ and third-party samples. And you're right, I'm repeating myself. Because I have absolutely no faith in relying on industry to report the truth of their own pollution, and any elected official who does have faith in that is either an idiot or a partner in crime.

Judge rules Charlotte airport to stay under city control

Alaska has its 'Bridge to Nowhere' and North Carolina has its 'Commission without a Cause.' Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin has ruled that the Charlotte Airport Commission that was created by the Republican legislature cannot control Charlotte Douglas International Airport without an order from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has said it would not grant the commission permission unless the city requests it and that is unlikely, since the city has been fighting to retain control of the airport.

McCrory (again) tries to blame University system for dismal employment numbers

Tilting at the ivory tower:

In his keynote speech Sunday for UNC’s 221st birthday celebration, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said that universities must prepare more students for technology and research jobs that need to be filled right now.

If that doesn’t happen, he said, thriving industries could leave the state:

“To ensure we get a return on our investment – more importantly, to ensure that no more students at any of our universities graduate with a huge debt, and no job comparable to their investment – universities must continue to help decrease the job gap by honing in on skills and subjects employers need while also stimulating a student’s passion and interest.”

McCrory is basing much of this most recent attack against universities on a Q3 Manpower Survey, which is where he got the 36% stat on employers complaining about talent shortages. But that's the Global average; the US is actually at 40%, which tells you McCrory didn't even read the damn survey, somebody just tossed him a percentage to quote. Which also explains why he missed the most important findings of said survey:

Daily dose: Lt. Governor is a little crazy edition

Lt. Governor Dan Forest on Friday's Court Decision (News Release) -- Friday, an unelected federal judge violated the foundational principles of this great nation. … The courts have essentially stated that a man “marrying" another man, or a woman another woman, is rooted in our nation’s traditions and history, inferring that states have no interest in the preservation of marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman. This strains credulity. Our people will either submit themselves fully to a federal oligarchy of unelected judges or stand up and proclaim that federalism is alive and well. I hope that you will join me in standing against judicial tyranny, and fight to restore the balance of power intended in the Constitution of the United States.
http://www.ltgov.nc.gov/Newsroom/tabid/3116/EntryId/636/Lt-Governor-Dan-Forest-on-Fridays-Court-Deci...

Lt. Gov. Forest Hosting Town Hall Meetings To Discuss Convention Of States (N.C. Political News) — Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will be joined by constitutional scholar Michael Farris at two upcoming townhall style events to discuss the many arguments for and against the Convention of States Project. Michael Farris is the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He was the founding president of each organization. Farris is a constitutional appellate litigator who has served as lead counsel in arguments before the United States Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and the appellate courts of 13 states. He has been a leader on Capitol Hill for over 30 years and is widely known for his leadership on homeschooling, religious freedom, and the preservation of American sovereignty.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=11239

Rep. Mike Stone: Gambling with the Truth

The Rant has busted Rep. Mike Stone lying in print. Last week, ProgressNC held an event calling for Mike Stone to donate the $4000 campaign contribution he received from Chase Burns (something other politicians, like Pat McCrory have done) to education-related causes. In response, Stone told The Sanford Herald that he was instructed to “hold onto this money and not touch it.”

The Rant knew better and contacted the State Board of Elections. We’ll let The Rant take it from here:

John Arrowood endorsed for Court of Appeals by NCDP Executive Council

John Arrowood has received the endorsement of the North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council to return to the NC Court of Appeals. He is running in a field of 19 candidates that includes almost an equal number of registered Democrats and Republicans. The NCGOP endorsed former judge John Tyson. The candidate who receives the most votes wins the seat that came available when Chief Judge John Martin announced his retirement.

Wesley Meredith supports expanding Medicaid -- to his family

It seems that state Senator Wesley Meredith, in addition to being racist and misogynist, also feeds at the public trough then lies about it.

An accusation of potential Medicaid insurance fraud against Republican state Sen. Wesley Meredith dates back nearly 20 years, but documents dropped by his Democratic opponent, Billy Richardson, have stirred up what was a quiet election campaign in Cumberland County.

The documents include Medicaid ID cards from 1996 naming Meredith's son and his then-wife, Elizabeth, as recipients. One hospital record obtained by WRAL shows Medicaid covered the birth.

There is no signature, but it lists Wesley Meredith as the guarantor. At the time, tax records show Meredith, a landscaper, was making around $100,000 a year.

Another NCSU professor wearing two hats

Objectivity in the fracking debate is becoming more elusive every day:

People curious about fracking in North Carolina attended an informational panel Saturday afternoon. Panel speakers were Viney Aneja, professor at N.C. State University; Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, a member of the N.C. Mining Energy Commission that is writing rules; and Hope Taylor, a fracking critic and director of Clean Water for North Carolina.

Aneja began the panel presentation by explaining the process of fracking and how it has worked in other states. He said he wanted to offer the benefits and disadvantages on the industry in the state. "Let us not be afraid of this industry," Aneja said. "Let us have the good science that we have today and make a decision based on that science."

No, Aneja isn't a geologist, he specializes in atmospheric (air) pollution. An issue that has been the subject of much research recently re fracking, as we try to determine just how much methane escapes into the atmosphere throughout the process. But he isn't just an academic, Aneja is also a "specialist" for a business consulting firm, which has natural gas drillers, coal mining companies, and other energy-related industries as clients:

Daily dose: Dallas blames Kay, forgets Burr and other Republicans

JUDGE COGBURN MAY BE HARD FIT FOR ‘JUDICIAL ACTIVIST’ POSTER BOY – In the wake of Friday’s court action to strike down as unconstitutional, North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, those who don’t like it have focused on the U.S. district court judge who issued the order -- Max Cogburn of Asheville. “It nationalizes the election and focuses it on federal issues that deal with the U.S. Senate: One key role is confirming or not confirming the president’s judges,” Dallas Woodhouse told reporters on Saturday. Woodhouse runs Carolina Rising, a conservative nonprofit organization based in Raleigh. “If you don’t like this ruling, it is appropriate to take it out on Kay Hagan.” It may also be appropriate to take it out on North Carolina’s other U.S. senator, Republican Richard Burr – and 94 other U.S. senators.

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