What's next?

Well, we're nearing the end of the current legislative session and it's pretty much been a disaster.

We've seen the extremist Republicans push through laws that restrict voting and abortion rights, give tax breaks to the rich and put more of a burden on the poor and middle class, defund education, take over the authority of local government, and encourage fracking. And I won't even go into absolutely stupid legislation like the Sharia law, the corruption and conflicts of interest in appointments in the Governor's office, or the gerrymandering and passage of Amendment One that they pushed through before the current session even began.

I think we really have to ask what else this bunch can possibly do in the next legislative session.

They're pretty much passed the full buffet of laws being pushed by ALEC and extremist religious organizations. What else can they do?

Skvarla's whiny op-ed linked to ALEC

Republican hypocrisy on private water well testing:

Being neither a politician nor a bureaucrat, I have been frustrated at times to see the process up close. A case in point was your Dome item, which implied that McCrory acted unethically by appearing in a public service announcement alerting North Carolina residents to the necessity of proper well-water testing.

You're not an environmentalist either, John. If you were, you would know that DENR has been pushing (unsuccessfully) for years to do more vigorous testing of private water wells and has been stymied by conservative "private property" advocates, and recently efforts have been made to roll back current private well permitting standards. So why have Republicans done an about-face on this issue? Because (of course) there's money to be made from condemning private wells and forcing people to purchase supplied water:

ALEC-inspired water conquest going statewide?

From the comment section at Scrutiny Hooligans:

Whoops! After Rep. Moffitt requested that S112 be taken from the top of today’s agenda and moved to the very end after the hours-long contentious abortion debate, he dropped a surprise amendment:

Section 31.(a) The Environmental Review Commission shall study the statutory models for establishing, operating, and financing certain organizations that provide water and sewer services in the State. The Commission shall specifically consider the statutory models for the following: (1) Sanitary Districts (Part 2 of Article 2 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes). (2) Water and Sewer Authorities (Article 1 of Chapter 162A of the General Statutes). (3) Metropolitan Water Districts (Article 4 of Chapter 162A of the General Statutes). (4) Metropolitan Sewerage Districts (Article 5 of Chapter 162A of the General Statutes). (5) County Water and Sewer Districts (Article 6 of Chapter 162A of the General Statutes). (6) Any other similar organizations that provide water or sewer service in the State.

It was never just about Asheville's water. Or now Greenville's. Little Timmy Moffitt and his overlords from ALEC are determined to wrest control of all water resources from the people who depend on them, so that a small group of future water tyrants can squeeze profits from the parched mouths of citizens peasants.

Moral Monday #6: 84 arrested; 388 arrests so far

Hundreds of supporters crowded the third-story balcony above the 84 participants in civil disobedience plus media covering the prohibited peaceful gathering at the NCGA on June 10, 2013.

The start to yesterday's Moral Monday at the N.C. General Assembly in Raleigh was delayed a bit because of tornado warnings and a sudden spate of harsh weather, but pouring rain didn't dampen the spirits of the many hundreds of protesters who gathered at the Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly building to speak out against the raft of odious bills being pushed through the state legislature by the Republican supermajority.

The total number of arrests in six waves of what the NAACP-North Carolina has dubbed "Moral Monday" was brought to 388 by the 84 people (myself and a couple other Kossacks, including the fantastic joank, who was also celebrating her birthday through civil disobedience) who entered the General Assembly to sing songs of resistance, to pray in front of the doors of the second-story N.C. House chambers, and to hold up protest signs (which are prohibited in the building) and refusing to disperse. Click here for the News & Observer's photos of the arrests.

Kim Yaman is arrested for civil disobedience for peacefully assembling with others at the N.C. General Assembly on June 10, 2013. Photo by News&Observer.

This week, however, an 85th arrest was made: Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk was handcuffed and detained by G.A. and Raleigh police officers for "failure for disperse." Funk was visibly wearing media credentials and was interviewing Charlotte-area clergy attending the protest and arrests.

We saw Funk amongst us, along with other journalists, and he was clearly taking notes in a notebook, interviewing clergy, not singing or praying, carrying no signs, and holding up his media credentials and explaining his role to the G.A. police officers when they made the dispersal announcements. Those of us near him also explained to officers that Funk was not a green armband (designating civil-disobedience participants) and was not among our group. Nonetheless,

Funk, who was wearing Charlotte Observer identification, was handcuffed and taken along with the arrested protesters to the Wake County magistrate’s office to be arraigned on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and failure to disperse.

Jeff Weaver, police chief for the General Assembly Police in Raleigh who oversaw the arrests, told The Associated Press that Funk did not heed a warning from officers to disperse before the arrests began.

Funk was taken to the Wake County Detention Center with the 84 civil disobedience arrestees and processed for charges, then released around 11 p.m. with the fourth busload of arrestees.

Despicable Republican legislation

There are so many important issues in North Carolina progressing in a negative direction due to the emergence of a Republican controlled legislature that takes its marching orders from ALEC, to try and pinpoint the single most egregious one is an almost impossible task.

I would suggest the passing of new legislation to suppress the vote of people of color, college students, the elderly and other minorities in our state is by far the single most despicable Republican undertaking. Voter ID laws have absolutely no useful effect on diminishing voter fraud because study after study show that the incidence of any real voter fraud in NC or for that matter in any state is so miniscule as to be virtually meaningless.

N.C. civil disobedience: Nearly 100 arrested so far for protesting ALEC-ification of state

More than 200 people gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.
More than 200 people gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Garrison Keillor opens his monologues with "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon." But North Carolina is not a quiet town on the prairie, and we are no longer being quiet.

This week in North Carolina started with 49 arrests at the N.C. General Assembly -- arrests of people peaceably assembled and singing songs of peace and unity to protest the ALEC-ification of our state. This brings the total number of civil-disobedience arrests so far to 96, including 17 arrests April 29, 30 arrests on May 6, and 49 arrests on May 13.

ALEC diagram of power, access, and money

"Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told the press 'we really believe in transparency,' new documents show the organization directing legislators to hide ALEC meeting agendas and model legislation from the public."

Read more: from

Great image of the cycle of money, influence peddling, and state government bills.

NC GOP: Corporate socialists

In last Friday's Charlotte Observer, Republican Rep. and ALEC Task force member Ruth Samuelson said, "There's a natural sense of urgency," in regards to a new tax plan to fund a new stadium for the Panthers. And by that she means one of her largest donors is calling his marker.

NC GOP and ALEC Legislation

Conservatives, especially the true believers that now populate the NC General Assembly, are fond of quoting Adam Smith, the 18th century Scottish moral philosopher and political economist. They love the quotes, but the content escapes them.

Smith wrote in "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations",
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Smith went on to observe, "But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less render them necessary."

Every time one of our Republican legislators goes to an ALEC seminar or meets behind closed doors with ALEC representatives to write laws, they are conspiring against the public ... and corporations are always the direct beneficiaries.

ALEC assault on public education

The ALEC inspired assault on public education continued in earnest last week. On March 12th Guilford County Teabagger darling and ultra-con Sen. Trudy Wade introduced SB 317, a bill that would redraw school districts along party lines, reduce terms from two to four years, inject political partisanship where it's unwanted,and make it easier for conservatives to take over and control local school boards.

When asked what he thought of the bill by the News and Record, High Point realtor and school board member Ed Price, who is a friend of mine, responded, "Don't they have better things to do down there." Indeed they do Ed, unemployment is 9.6% and rising, but addressing it doesn't fit the agenda in Wingnut Land.

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