Tillis, Interstate Crosscheck, Big Data, and you

You've no doubt heard and read about the heart palpitations among our Republican state leaders today when Thom Tillis announced evidence massive voter fraud, which seems to have turned out to be about 700 people *alleged to be* voting here in NC and another state in the last election, about .00075% of the total voter turnout in the state 101 million voter records that were claimed to be checked by Interstate Crosscheck, the service being used by the state.

Of course, it was an opportunity for Tillis and Company to defend and promote NC's voter restriction laws, called the "worst" in the nation and being challenged in court by the NAACP and the ACLU. Tillis and McCrory didn't use it as an opportunity to announce any investigations or sharing of what was found with the FBI since what might be going on here besides felony voter fraud is identity theft or other activity.

Who cares about investigating possible felonies when there's a press release to push out, really?

What's more disturbing to me is how this suspected voter fraud was found.

At the heart of Tillis's evidence are some disturbing questions about data the state of North Carolina has about you, how secure that data is, and what might be happening or could happen with it.

Decker wants business recruiters to act unethically

After successfully forming an unaccountable arm of government in one of their first privatization schemes, Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat and Commerce Secretary Duker how want to exempt that private entity from state ethics rules.

Draft legislation reworking the rules for a new private nonprofit designed to recruit businesses to North Carolina would make the corporation's employees subject to state ethics, personnel and travel polices – prompting objections from Commerce Department leaders.

"The objective here is nimbleness, speed of movement, the ability to take action and to market the state effectively," said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. "I'm looking at all of the legislation with that lens. So, I've got concerns about legislation that might be preventive."

Thom Tillis sinks deeper in to pay to play ooze

First he shook down the payday lenders and gave them what they wanted.

Then he skipped out of the legislative session he's supposed to lead to rake in campaign cash in Washington DC.

Now Thom Tillis continues his extortion fundraising by shaking down other parties who want Thom to get legislation passed that favors their interests.

The second largest contributor to his campaign is EUE/Screen Gems, a movie studio company in Wilmington with credits that include “Iron Man 3”, HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” and CBS’ “Under the Dome.”

Friday fracking video

Very brief, yet surprisingly fulfilling. For those with more appetite for knowledge:

Come support Alma Adams

If you are in the Triangle area and are able to help, please join Jane Brown, Laura Edwards, Deborah Hylton, Verla Insko, Sue Jackson, Florence Peacock, and the NARAL Pro-Choice America at a reception honoring ALMA ADAMS in support of her election for U.S. Congress-North Carolina’s 12th District.

Today, THURSDAY, APRIL 3RD, from 5:30PM – 7:30PM at the home of Jane Brown and James Protzman, 451 Lakeshore Lane, Chapel Hill.

Minimum suggested contribution: $50

Please RSVP to erika@almaadamsforcongress.com, or contribute online at http://almaadamsforcongress.com/contribute

_____________________________________

I'm not really on the fundraising circuit this year, but am giving to selected candidates based on their records of progressive action and on the company they keep. Alma Adams is on my short list of candidates to support.

Phil Berger Jr tells 6th grader about men marrying dogs

Phil Berger, Jr appeared at a Q&A at the Greensboro Montessori School with other candidates vying for Howard Coble's seat.

Sixth-grader Lana Torres explained that she supported marriage equality, and asked Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. what he would do ensure equal rights for LGBT people.

“Two years ago, the voters of North Carolina overwhelming approved Amendment One, which only recognized traditional marriage, and I was a leader in that effort,” Berger replied, according to the Greensboro News & Record. “I was the spokesperson for traditional marriage in North Carolina, and I am very much in favor of traditional marriage.”

Torres told the paper that she pressed Berger following the conclusion of the forum.

He's definitely not the education governor

A new poll shows that about half of registered voters disapprove of Deputy Assistant Guvnor McCrory's job performance, but 78% people who rank education as their top issue disapprove of ol' Pat.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s approval rating among registered voters stands at 39 percent in North Carolina, while about half – 49 percent – disapprove, according to a new poll.

One interesting number from the cross-tabs: Among likely voters who identify education as their top issue in the U.S. Senate race this year, McCrory’s approval is 16 percent and his disapproval is 78 percent.

Yeah, just like the dentists in the toothpaste commercial, 4 out of 5 education-minded voters disapprove of Pat's job performance.

Open thread: Tax facts

Hofmann Forest sale looking uglier by the minute

Draining and clear-cutting our precious wetlands:

The Corps and EPA officials will likely visit the forest before deciding whether wetlands were illegally ditched, Sugg said. He had told Coastal Review Online in early February and other media since then that some wetland rules appear to have been violated in the Hofmann.

The Corps’ investigation began early this year after the N.C. Coastal Federation asked for information about ditching activities in the forest. The request was triggered by an “investors’ prospectus” that surfaced late last year after N.C. State shocked many by announcing the pending sale. The document raised numerous questions about what the new owners would do with the land; it outlines commercial and residential development on thousands of acres, calling into question assurances from the prospective new owner that it would maintain most of the forest for research and timber management and sales, and not convert it to agricultural, commercial and residential uses.

The prospectus noted that more than 5,500 acres in the Hofmann had been clear cut and could easily be converted to agriculture.

And what's becoming more and more obvious as time goes by is the State's premier agricultural institution (NC State) is managed by people who only give a passing nod to conservation of our natural resources:

NC GOP once again turns cold shoulder to unemployed

And the lack of concern is disheartening:

The latest bipartisan congressional effort to restore several months of federal unemployment insurance benefits received a cool reception Wednesday from a state legislative oversight committee. U.S. Senate Bill 2149 would provide five months of federal UI benefits, retroactive to Jan. 1, to more than 2 million eligible claimants nationwide. That would include more than 170,000 North Carolinians. States would not be required to pay back the 100 percent federally funded benefits.

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said they would not support North Carolina trying to become eligible for the retroactive benefits. Howard said much of her opposition is the “logistical nightmare” cited by Avrette. She also the North Carolina economy hasn’t “fallen off a cliff” since North Carolina became disqualified from receiving the federal extended benefits.

If you've quite finished your navel-gazing, maybe you should talk to some of those families who did fall off the cliff when their benefits were abruptly cut off. There's a hell of a lot more to this story than just paying off the debt early, and refusing this money that won't cost the state a dime except in administrative functions is unnecessarily cruel.

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