NC Republicans marching to the ALEC drummer

Unfortunately, there are no cliffs handy for them to march off:

Conservatives are using the April 15 deadline to celebrate tax changes that North Carolina lawmakers argue will keep more money in family wallets and encourage job creation.

Gov. Pat McCrory and key legislators plan to join right-leaning policy groups Tuesday for a tax-filing day news conference in Raleigh. They plan to highlight a new annual report from the American Legislative Exchange Council to promote the tax overhaul law.

And now would be a really good time for some of our larger news outlets to do an in-depth evaluation of how ALEC operates, including how corporations take a direct hand in the crafting of legislation that is subsequently and stealthily inserted into our "public" policy system. In the absence of that explanation to the people, reporting on state government is woefully incomplete.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start with a fine example of ineffective government:

Here's at least part of the problem:

Duke Energy shareholders calling for directors' heads on a platter

Two major Duke Energy shareholders are urging other investors to vote out the directors in charge of the company's environmental, safety, and health compliance.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the New York City Pension Funds wrote fellow shareholders Monday. They asked that shareholders not re-elect four members of the Duke board’s regulatory policy and operations committee at the May 1 annual meeting.

:::snip:::

The letter cites the Feb. 2 ash spill into the Dan River, saying Duke had “forewarning of the public risk” from environmental groups that had intended to sue Duke over ash contamination.

McCrory & Decker: The free market isn't working, so the state steps in

Ya gotta love the cognitive dissonance on parade in Raleigh these days, especially in the Department of Commerce, where McDecker just announced more interference by government in the affairs of business. Apparently, companies like Monster and Indeed are incapable of helping workers and employers connect with one another, so the State is getting into the act as well.

Democratic primary alternatives to oligarch-servant Hagan

There are two alternatives to Kay Hagan in the Democratic primary.

More on the Cambistat tree treatment controversy

Greensboro's Billy Jones was also dosed, in an effort to limit the growth of questions:

"You also made a lot of other claims in your article/ blog please provide sources for those. We are concerned that you are being paid by someone who prunes trees and does not want this technology introduced as it will hurt their business. Much of what you say is not true in your blog.

Please disclose this if this is true.

You are far too articulate to have made so many errors in factual data in your blog. Plus it mimiced another blog that was written in blue DNC."

Apparently there's a conspiracy of tree-pruners out there waging a campaign against the poor chemical companies. ;) Just a little primer for Mr. Prosser on the phenomena of 21st Century blogging, and especially the hyper-local flavor of such: we in the blogging community learned a long time ago that calling attention to something before it happens can sometimes stop it from happening. If it doesn't stop it, it does often result in answers to questions a lot of citizens may have. And pointing a bulldog like Billy Jones to further information on the subject (thanks for that, by the way, my diary had fallen off the radar), is a sure-fire way to keep him interested. A few words from Billy:

CBO updates Obamacare price tag projections and it's a shocker

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have released updated projections on the cost of Obamacare over the next ten years and the savings start immediately.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have updated their estimates of the budgetary effects of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that relate to health insurance coverage. The new estimates, which are included in CBO’s latest baseline projections, reflect CBO’s most recent economic forecast, account for administrative actions taken and regulations issued through March 2014, and incorporate new data and various modeling updates.1

More of Pat's customer service: Crime victims' personal information exposed

WRAL reports that thousands of crime victims had their personal information potentially exposed on the DPS web site for years.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety officials scrambled Thursday to take down a website that included the names and personal information of thousands of crime victims, including rape victims, who had applied for financial assistance from the state.

State officials say it's unlikely that anyone actually accessed the site, but if anyone did, well, it was chock-full of personal information.

Klansman and former NC Gubernatorial candidate arrested after shooting spree

A lifetime of hatred leads to tragedy:

The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who has extensive ties to North Carolina. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, ran for governor of North Carolina and for the Senate in the 1980s under the last name Miller.

According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman shot two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested him in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.

It appears this nutcase was working his way down to small children when they caught up with him. I'm going to do some digging to see how many votes this dirtbag received back in the day, but here's some more history to contemplate:

Life or death: NC Supreme Court on trial today

Four Racial Justice Act cases under scrutiny:

This morning, the state supreme court will hear the cases of four defendants who were removed from death row under the state's racial justice act. The court will review whether the now repealed-act should apply to these defendants.

Experts say the state supreme court could come out with a narrowly tailored decision that would only affect those four people, or their decision could be broader and affect the more than 150 defendants who have filed motions for relief under the act.

It may be several days before the actual text of the arguments are made available, but we'll post them when we can.

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