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Wednesday News: No Teachercops


OPPONENTS OF BILL TO ARM TEACHERS HEADED TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY TODAY: A growing number of mothers is voicing opposition to arming teachers in the classroom. On Wednesday, hundreds of people are planning to confront state lawmakers about the issue and other school security issues. The advocates plan to voice concerns at the State Legislature about the School Security Act, a bill that would give teachers a 5 percent raise if they become sworn police officers. This would give them authority to carry a concealed weapon in class and give them arresting power. The group speaking out Wednesday consists mainly of moms, but they're not the only ones opposed to arming teachers. State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the N.C. Associations for Educators have also spoke up, raising concerns.

Tuesday News: Denial is a river in Egypt

CHARLES TAYLOR CLAIMS HE MADE NO MONEY OFF MONEY-LAUNDERING BANK: A former congressman from western North Carolina says he never made any money off his shares in a Russian bank and sold off his stock before accusations of money laundering by banking authorities in Moscow, WLOS reports. The Bank of Russia revoked the license for Commercial Bank of Ivanovo last week. The Russian central bank said CBI broke money laundering rules “on multiple occasions,” according to a press release. Bloomberg News reported last week that Taylor, a Republican who served in the House for 16 years, owns 80% of the bank. “While I bought stock in the bank of Ivanovo several years ago, I have never been an officer or director in the Bank. Further, the Bank has never paid any dividends fees or other monies to me,” Taylor said in the statement, which he also sent to the Asheville Citizen Times.

Monday News: Too much money


CALLS FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ECHO IN WAKE OF BRIBERY SCANDAL: “This just unfortunately creates more of the jaded cynicism that people across all spectrums have toward democracy and politicians,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of the advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina. Phillips suggested going back to a system in which the candidates in some elections were eligible for taxpayer-funded grants to their campaigns — if they promised not to take above a certain amount of money from other sources. North Carolina had such a process for a short time in the 2000s. Last Tuesday — the same day the charges against Lindberg, Hayes and the others became public — Democrats in the N.C. Senate filed a bill that included election, redistricting and campaign finance reforms. One of the proposals was to bring back a public financing system, which the bill calls the “Fair Election Program.”

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


THIS NAVY TEST PILOT SAYS SEN. BROWN'S WIND ENERGY BAN IS MISGUIDED: I served in the U.S. Navy for 35 years as an aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer and commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, retiring at the rank of vice admiral. I later served as assistant Secretary of the Navy, responsible for all Navy and Marine Corps installations around the world. Nothing is more important to me than protecting the safety of our military aviators and ensuring the continued viability of our military training facilities. With that in mind, Senate Bill 377, the “Military Base Protection Act,” recently introduced in the North Carolina Senate, caught my eye. The bill’s title actually is a misnomer. It has little to do with protecting military bases. Rather, the legislation really is just a ban on wind energy development along North Carolina’s coast. And while it is important that all development (not just wind development) be compatible with critical military missions, this bill is unnecessary.

Saturday News: Cleaning house?


NC GOP COMMITTEE MAY REMOVE WOODHOUSE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: A key group of North Carolina Republicans will meet Sunday to plot the state party’s path forward after the indictment of its chairman and a top donor and two of his associates on federal bribery charges. Among the changes it could discuss: Removing NC GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse, the outspoken Raleigh operative who has become the face of the state party in recent years, attacking Democrats and defending Republicans whenever necessary. The state party’s central committee, a group of 30 or so elected officials, district chairmen and party loyalists, is responsible for hiring and firing the executive director, according to the state party’s 2018 organizational plan. It is the only position the committee is responsible for. No staff will be on Sunday’s conference call.

Friday News: Run away, Forest, run away


INDICTED BUSINESSMAN DONATED $2.4 MILLION TO LT. GOVERNOR'S COMMITTEES: Lindberg gave $1.4 million to the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, which Forest chairs. For that committee, Forest appeared in a tongue-in-cheek video that instructs voters how to commit voter fraud. Lindberg also gave $1 million to the NC-registered super PAC “Truth and Prosperity,” for which Forest has raised money. But Lindberg hasn’t contributed to Forest’s official campaign account, the Committee to Elect Dan Forest, Weatherman said. However, a party invitation sent by Forest’s committee in 2017 gives the impression that Lindberg donated the legal maximum to Forest’s campaign. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest invited people to celebrate Forest’s 50th birthday in October 2017, according to a digital invitation obtained by McClatchy. The invitation says a donor can be listed as a “co-chair” if he or she gives $5,200. Lindberg is listed as a co-chair.

Thursday News: It's Veto time again


BILL TO FORCE SHERIFFS TO COOPERATE WITH ICE PASSES NC HOUSE: The House on Wednesday narrowly passed legislation that would require sheriffs statewide to cooperate with federal immigration officials. The proposal was prompted by the decisions of new sheriffs in Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg counties to stop honoring detainers issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they took office in December. The detainers are requests to keep people charged with crimes whose immigration status is in question in county jails until ICE agents can take them into custody. Under the bill, anyone who believes local law enforcement isn't cooperating with ICE can file a complaint, and a judge could fine the agency $1,000 to $1,500 for every day it doesn't comply. A second offense would boost that to $25,000 a day.

Wednesday News: Time to pay the piper


BRIBERY SCHEME INVOLVING NC GOP CHAIRMAN REACHED $1.5 MILLION: Greg Lindberg, two of his business associates and state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes were all indicted by a federal grand jury last month, but the indictments were sealed until Tuesday. They turned themselves in to the FBI in Charlotte on Tuesday, had first appearances before a U.S. magistrate judge and all pleaded not guilty. They're all accused of trying to bribe state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who got in touch with federal investigators and recorded conversations quoted in the indictment. The alleged scheme would have traded more than $1 million in political contributions in exchange for regulatory help at the department. Hayes, a former congressman and GOP candidate for governor, is also charged with three counts of lying to the FBI. On Monday he announced that he wouldn't seek another term as chairman of the state Republican Party, citing his health.

Tuesday News: Dig it up, Duke


DEQ ORDERS DUKE ENERGY TO EXCAVATE ALL OF ITS COAL ASH PITS: The Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill, which has represented environmental groups in lawsuits that sought to force Duke to remove its ash, called the decision “one of the most important steps in the state’s history to protect North Carolina’s waters and its citizens from toxic pollution.” Duke has until August to submit its excavation plans, including where the excavated ash will go and how long the process will take. Duke will have the option of offering other options, such as recycling the ash for use in concrete, in addition to excavating it. “DEQ elects (excavation) because removing the coal ash from unlined (ash) surface impoundments ... is more protective than leaving the material in place,” the department’s orders said for each of the affected power plants. “DEQ determines that (excavation) is the most appropriate closure method because removing the primary source of groundwater contamination will reduce uncertainty and allow for flexibility in the deployment of future remedial measures.”

Monday News: Inherently racist


CONFEDERATE VANDAL ARRESTED ON UNC CHAPEL HILL CAMPUS: At least one person will face charges after hate speech was found on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill early Sunday morning. According to an email send by Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, two individuals defaced the Unsung Founders Memorial with “racist and other deplorable language” at about 1:30 a.m. University police also discovered an installation outside the Hanes Art Center had been vandalized with “hateful language and racial slurs,” school officials said. Guskewicz said both incidents are being investigated, and university police are in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for a person identified on surveillance footage. Officials said that person is known to be affiliated with the Heirs to the Confederacy group.


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