NC Bar needs to dismiss charges against Christine Mumma

We need more legal advocates like her, not fewer:

David and Bollinger said on several occasions that reports about the Sledge case published in March 2013 in The News & Observer left them fighting an image that they “had in innocent man languishing in prison.” David described the Sledge case as being part of a “soap-opera-like atmosphere” and he suggested that Mumma was behind that “by leaking details to the press.”

Mumma’s attorneys pointed out that though David contended “leaks to the media” were “very troubling,” he did not find any factual errors in the news report.

Guess what? You did have an innocent man languishing in prison. And if Mumma hadn't pushed as aggressively as she did, he would likely still be there. If any individuals need to be punished for misdeeds dealing with this case, it's the original investigation/prosecution team who railroaded Sledge into prison:

Thursday News: Defending the defenders edition

LAWSUIT CHALLENGES NC LAW AGAINST TELLING COMPANY SECRETS (AP) — Animal-rights, food-safety and other groups sued Wednesday to stop a new North Carolina law that helps employers punish people who get hired to steal company secrets or dig up dirt.

GROUPS SEEK TO OVERTURN NC 'AG-GAG' LAW (WRAL-TV) -- A group of animal rights and consumer protection organizations filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to have a state law that allows employers to sue workers who conduct undercover investigations to expose questionable or illegal activity declared unconstitutional.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy's new PR firm


DEQ's "damage control" unit defends revised classifications:

State regulators say that a controversial early draft of classifications for Duke Energy’s (NYSE:DUK) coal-ash ponds in North Carolina was largely based on incomplete dam safety information and lacking key data about groundwater and soil conditions at the sites.

And the early draft leaned heavily on dam safety information that Rusher says was out of date. “Later, dam safety considerations were updated to include current and future structural repairs that would remove the threat that the dam presented to the environment and public safety,” he says. “Early versions of any draft documents during the development of the draft classifications are incomplete and are not inclusive of the most current data and information that was collectively considered.”

Bolding mine. These classifications are meant to describe the current condition of the dams, not some "forward-looking" statement for investors. A problem isn't fixed until it's fixed. And considering Duke Energy's history of negligence in dam safety, any promises they made to repair these dams is seriously in question:

More regressive sales taxes on NC's horizon

And the Taxed Enough Already crowd is strangely silent:

But the state still ranks 33rd in the sales tax category because North Carolina’s sales tax is not broad enough, according to the foundation. Republican Sen. Andy Wells of Hickory said that is a cause for concern.

“We’re still in the bad half of the country as far as sales tax,” he told Drenkard. “Can you give us ideas of things we could look at to get our sales tax ranking down?”

Let me translate that for you, because Republicans and their conservative "think" tanks have (once again) crafted a language all their own to describe their misplaced priorities: By "bad" half Andy means they haven't shifted the tax burden onto the shoulders of the poor and middle-class enough yet, and bringing our sales tax "ranking down" will actually entail increasing the sales taxes citizens will end up paying. Hope that helps.

Wednesday News: Media management edition


MCCRORY ADMINISTRATION SEEKS TO CENSOR REPORT ON I-77 TOLL LANE HEARING (WBTV-TV) -A state Department of Transportation official wrote WBTV over the weekend asking a reporter to remove a quote, which was said in open court, from a story reporting on the I-77 toll lane hearing. Mike Charbonneau, with NCDOT Communications, wrote reporter Steve Crump Saturday afternoon asking that a quote from the attorney representing "Widen I-77" be removed from an online article. Attorney Matt Arnold argued the negotiations for the Interstate 77 toll road project were flawed.

DEQ's obfuscation and outright lies in battle with EPA

Unwilling to protect the environment, and inept at legal arguments:

In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart told the federal agency it was wrong in its suggestion that citizen groups cannot challenge in court environmental permits issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Van der Vaart said those concerns are unfounded because the EPA appears to misunderstand what occurred in each case it referenced. In one case cited by the EPA, the North Carolina Attorney General argued, and the judge agreed, that the citizens had their day in court but failed to prove their case. In the second case referenced by the EPA, the Superior Court did provide access the special interest group.

Bolding mine, because that directly contradicts what Van der Vaart claimed in a previous statement on this issue:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The war on women turns Orwellian:

I long for the day when the New York Times no longer has a bi-weekly update on how backwards and misanthropic North Carolina has become. But as long as its happening, I'm glad they're paying attention.

Tuesday News: Koch Brothers' blood money


FATHER OF KOCH BROTHERS HELPED BUILD NAZI OIL REFINERY, BOOK SAYS (New York Times) -- The father of the billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch helped construct a major oil refinery in Nazi Germany that was personally approved by Adolf Hitler, according to a new history of the Kochs and other wealthy families.

Murdering Klansman gets parole hearing

No doubt he will have a bible in his hand when he stands before them:

The State Parole Commission is reviewing the case of a former Ku Klux Klan leader convicted of killing a 16-year-old girl with a crossbow in a racially motivated attack. Records show Hinson hit Houston in the chest with a razor-tipped arrow as she walked down a sidewalk.

Under state law, the commission reviews first-degree murder convictions every three years once a convict is eligible for parole. Of 217 cases reviewed last year, parole commissioners approved four.

He got ripped off in a drug deal, tracked the guy down but missed his first shot, then decided to kill a teenage girl because she was also black. The girl was not with the drug dealers, she just happened to walk out an apartment door at the wrong time. And then he and his racist pal got more drunk and celebrated their "brave act." Why isn't he on Death Row, you ask? Because the all-white jury couldn't agree he deserved it. I can't imagine the Parole Commission will actually release this guy, but never underestimate the impact of "I found Jesus" on the faithful.


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