Skip Stam: We shouldn't release police body cam footage, because ISIS

No really, he actually said that:

Rep. Skip Stam (R-Apex) also had a doozy of a theory on what could happen if the public gains access to body camera footage, when discussing a clause in an amendment offered by Rep. Robert Rieves (D-Sanford) that would make it mandatory to give access to body cameras to "just about anybody in the world who claims that they might have some civil suit," as Stam said.

"What’s the guy’s name in ISIS? [Abu Bakr] el-Baghdadi? He’s got a lot of money," Stam said. "It's sort of a secret that, rather than blowing up the World Trade Towers (sic), they could bring state and local government to a halt by using some of their billions to send public records requests out the wazoo to every town and county in North Carolina, and make all of these requests just because they say they want it. It would just completely bring the operation of state government to a halt."

What? Seriously, what? A calculated, comprehensive out-the-wazoo attack on all of our town and county governments? To be closely followed by what, Twitter shaming? "It took nine rings before the Fuquay-Varina clerk was able to answer the phone. Victory!" I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Dan Bishop's "fear of God" controls his actions

Cotton Mather would be proud:

The architect of the state’s controversial law to stop cities from extending non-discrimination protection to gay and transgender people insists no amount of protests and pressure could convince him to back down or soften his stance. And, when that architect — Rep. Dan Bishop — isn’t debating the merits of the law known as House Bill 2 with constituents and critics, he is championing and celebrating those who support the measure.

“I don’t fear man. I fear God. So I won’t be backing down,” Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) stated in a message he sent to a Charlotte man who implored the lawmaker not to allow persistent opposition to the law to lead to concessions.

Okay, he's either a shameless panderer, or a dangerously delusional man. Either way, unfit for public office.

Thursday News: Queen of NC's 4th Estate

LAURA LESLIE: BEST LOCAL REPORTER WE'D LIKE TO SEE INTERVIEW GOV. MCCRORY (Independent Weekly) -- Due to egomania, anxiety, or an admixture of the two, Pat McCrory tends to do more national press than local press these days, ensuring that he embarrasses us and himself from the biggest platforms possible. Here's an idea, Capitol Broadcasting Company: let Laura Leslie interview the governo. The capitol bureau chief is righteously tenacious and wry, sporting the composed kind of fierceness that would make her a perfect sparring partner for the sitting political pawn. Crabtree brings out McCrory's goofy, creepy grin. Leslie may bring him to genuine confusion and glorious tears.
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/writers-picks-best-local-reporter-wed-like-to-see-interview-governo...

Club For Growth spent $1.2 million in two NC Congressional races

And North Carolina voters danced well to their tune:

In an otherwise quiet primary, money spoke loudly Tuesday. The biggest spender, The Club for Growth Action, was the most successful.

The Washington, D.C.,-based Super PAC spent $700,000 to defeat U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers in the 2nd District Republican primary. She was crushed by fellow Rep. George Holding, who moved in from the 13th District, 53 percent to 24 percent. Even an endorsement from Donald Trump couldn’t save Ellmers, who was not considered conservative enough by her opponents.

Conservatives have been gunning for Renee Ellmers for well over a year, so this spending might have been merely icing on the cake. But when you decide to coronate a nobody, those dollars are critical:

Privatization of public school facilities under "leasing" contracts

Janet Cowell cuts loose on General Assembly plotters:

Most consequentially, this legislation allows state student and teacher funding (the average daily membership) and all other state education funding to be used for school facilities, in this case to pay private developers. North Carolina has a long history of supporting state funding for teachers and education staff and county funding for school buildings. This bill would blur that division and could result in the layoff of school personnel to pay private companies.

It would allow sales taxes to go to a private, for-profit company. Specifically, the bill would permit a local unit to refund a private for profit business entity for expenses incurred in operating the building from local sales or use taxes. Sales and use taxes are an important source of local government revenue. This bill assigns away these revenues to the private entity.

This fits a broader pattern Republicans in the Legislature have developed over the last 5 years or so, in which they steadily erode the powers of local governments while also shifting costs down to them. In this case, the GOP is nudging local governments to allow private entities to actually own newly-constructed public schools, and force the local government to pay rent. It's a classic privatization scheme, but this time it's not a parking lot, it's our children's development that is being leveraged. And it's as easy as adding the two words "or other" to the statute in question:

Wednesday News: Cause & Effect version

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N.C. VOTERS STAYED AWAY FROM THE POLLS IN DROVES (Carolina Public Press) -- Predictions of very low turnout for special primary elections Tuesday for Congress and North Carolina Supreme Court proved correct, with only about 6.65 percent of registered voters participating, according state elections officials.
http://carolinapublicpress.org/25003/handful-of-voters-decide-on-supreme-court-congress

PITTENGER BARELY RETAINS DISTRICT 9 SEAT (Fayetteville Observer) - -U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger squeaked by in the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional District seat,
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/pittenger-barely-retains-district-seat/article_9d13083c-5f00-5...

Here's me elevating the debate: Dan Forest is an idiot

Which is kind of an insult to idiots worldwide:

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said, “Well, pretty much all of our media in North Carolina newspapers, a handful of very liberal newspapers all across the state, every city has a newspaper like the Charlotte Observer.”

“So, Charlotte and the Raleigh News & Observer are two of the most liberal rags in the country right now. It’s pretty much leftist, propaganda arms anymore. And most of them are. TV stations are the same way.”

As reported by the Christian News Service. That's actually the punchline to my joke, but a little context might make you laugh (or cry) harder:

Tuesday News: There was something I needed to do today...

ONE VOTE COULD DETERMINE TODAY’S RACES (Winston-Salem Journal) - Yep, that headline is right. There will no runoff races after today’s special primary. One vote, maybe yours, could determine any of these primary races. Such are the unpredictable political times in which we find ourselves. But however you feel about the battles that ultimately led to this primary, people on both sides fought hard. That’s part of our democracy. So is our precious right to vote. Americans have fought and died for that right. People the world over are still fighting and dying for that right. Yet too many of us take the right for granted. Today would be a good day to start turning that trend around.
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-one-vote-could-determine-today-s-races/article...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Election day madness:

It's amazing what having an unlimited checkbook supplied by Kansas oil industry billionaires can help you accomplish. By "amazing" I mean disgusting, of course. I have no great sympathy for Renee Ellmers, although she did jeopardize her Congressional career by pushing back against anti-abortion nut-jobs. I just hate to see the Koch Brothers being allowed to spend so freely in elections, especially ones in our state. Sticks in my craw. And that's not the only NC race they're trying to manipulate:

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