Daily dose

Daily dose: whine with that sleaze


McCrory: 'We Haven't Broken Any Rules' (WUNC-FM) – Gov. Pat McCrory is responding to charges that he misstated when he sold his stock in Duke Energy. McCrory worked for the company for almost 30 years. Speaking to reporters after an education conference held by the North Carolina Chamber, the Governor faced a series of questions about when he sold the Duke stock that was part of his 401k. "We haven’t broken any rules or ethics violations or anything," McCrory said. "And I was very transparent that I did own it. I was 29 years, and I’m proud of that experience and I had a 401k retirement account, like many of you may have had, or still have.”

As ethics scandal erupts, Carolina Rising launches $1.5M NC pro-McCrory ad blitz (AP) — A group promoting policies implemented by North Carolina Republicans is running a television ad before most public schools open to praise Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis – GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate -- for education legislation.

Daily dose: You can't believe anything Tillis and McCrory say. Not one damn word.

LAWYER’S ROLE? McCrory ‘misstated’ Duke holdings, sold stock after coal-ash spill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The governor’s previous disclosures had not revealed that he owned Duke stock at the end of 2013. McCrory’s lawyer, Bob Stephens, says the content of the form was his mistake.

Conflict of interest statements for NC officials now online (WRAL-TV) -- A new website launched quietly last month by the State Ethics Commission allows users to look up state officials' potential conflicts of interest.

NC education budget change worries some districts (AP) — The General Assembly removed a requirement in North Carolina law that said the recipe to build the two-year state budget begins with projected public school enrollment among its first ingredients.

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Duke Energy takes coal ash message to public (Greensboro News & Record) -- Newspaper ads from the energy company pledge to manage coal ash, despite legislators’ failure to regulate it.

State closes Brunswick ball field after coal ash found (Wilmington Star-News) -- The district's softball field is the only known case of the hazardous material within the county

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GERRY COHEN: Celebrated as the Legislature’s ‘Consummate Professional' (WUNC-FM) -- One of the most respected and beloved figures at the General Assembly is about to retire. Gerry Cohen will soon finish his current job as the special counsel for the state legislature, where he was first hired as a staff attorney back in 1977. Later, he became head of the bill drafting division, where his encyclopedic memory and reputation for fairness made him a favorite among Democrats and Republicans alike. … "We have a non-partisan central staff, which is the model in like 40-plus states, where central staff works for both parties and both houses," said Cohen. "That was a really good experience, I liked doing that. Some states have separate House and Senate staffs, some states have separate Democratic and Republican staffs."

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Just don't undercook the fish:

Health officials OK recreational use of Dan River (Greensboro News & Record) -- People can fish and swim in the river without fear of skin irritation or other potential health problems linked to coal ash, N.C. health officials said.

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94 percent of Duke Energy coal ash still in Dan River (Danville Register & Bee) -- A Charlottesville-based environmental group has criticized Duke Energy following its clean-up of a 2,500-ton coal ash deposit at Schoolfield Dam, saying the company has not accounted for the remainder of its 39,000-ton coal ash spill into the Dan River. "Where are the other 37,000 tons?" said Kathleen Sullivan, senior communications manager for the Southern Environmental Law Center, in an email to the Danville Register & Bee last week. "They have not accounted for 94 percent of the coal-ash waste spilled into the Dan River. Duke has removed about 6 percent of the coal-ash waste it spilled and at just two places: at the spill site itself and the Danville dam. It is hard to believe that the coal ash hasn’t collected elsewhere in places in the river where it could be removed."

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Environmentalists Not Satisfied As Dan River Cleanup Ends (WFDD-FM) -- Duke Energy announced last week that it has completed its cleanup of the Dan River following a massive coal ash spill in February. The cleanup operation began May 6, and Duke Energy says that two-and-a-half tons of coal ash and river sediment were removed. The cleanup was monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but some environmental groups are unhappy with the result. Frank Holleman is senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. He says too much of what was dumped into the Dan River is still there.

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Creative response to a created crisis:

All the world's a poet: Laureate flap inspires more verse (Raleigh News & Observer) -- We asked readers to send poems responding to the uproar that ensued when Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t go through established channels, chose a relatively unknown poet from Fuquay-Varina as the state’s poet laureate. Valerie Macon has since stepped down. Here is a sampling of those poems: PAT IN THE HAT -- There once was a governor named Pat/ Who put on his own stupid hat/ When appointing a poet/ He didn’t quite know it/ The state has a system for that. WARM EMBRACE -- When art’s left to our politicians,/ It’s subject to noxious conditions./ The state’s warm embrace/ Can become a disgrace/ And displeasing to academicians.

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And that was all she wrote:

9:15 p.m. Secretary Susan Kluttz Comments on Resignation of Valerie Macon as Poet Laurearte (N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Release) -- Valerie Macon, recently appointed North Carolina's poet laureate, resigned from the position today stating in her letter that she does not want, "the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of Poet Laureate." "I am saddened by this entire situation," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources. "I met with Valerie Macon and was very impressed with her passion to use her talent to combat homelessness. I am sorry that she became the focus of disingenuous comments that she did not deserve. I pledge to her and to all artists, both new and experienced, that this department will do all we can to support their creativity."


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