Gov. Pat McCrory

Coal Ash Wednesday: Stith's refusal to testify begs the question


What is he trying to hide?

Stith declined, on advice of attorney, to answer questions about coal ash pollution, the interaction between Duke Energy and state government, or about enforcement efforts against the utility. But he agreed to answer questions about his comments on Rudo.

Duke Energy parrots squawk about saving people money

Van der Vaart is still confused about what his job really is:

This bill says Duke can seek permission to leave ash where it is, if it repairs dams and reduces other risks at its coal ash basins - something environmentalists oppose.

“The new coal ash law establishes a firm timetable for providing permanent water connections and repairing dams at coal ash ponds,” DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart said in a statement. “It also protects customers by allowing for less expensive methods of closing coal ash ponds that won’t be passed on in the form of higher electricity prices.”

The fact van der Vaart is even talking about economics should scare the bejesus out of people in our state, and it should also be a source of major concern for the General Assembly. But there's little doubt their decision to let go of the Coal Ash Commission was at least partly an effort to suck up to the campaign contribution behemoth known as Duke Energy. It's like watching a couple of academically-challenged football players trying to impress the Homecoming Queen, only less amusing. And the fact this development came just one month after a real scientific assessment exposed the depth and breadth of the problem is even less amusing:

Roy Cooper attends, speaks at reception in Raleigh

On Wednesday, May 18th, a reception was held at the home of Christine and George Reddin in support of Roy Cooper's gubernatorial campaign. Cooper, North Carolina's current Attorney General, was in attendance and even gave a short speech to a room full of around 40-50 supporters, donors, legislators, and more.

Koch "army" being trained to defend McCrory in November


Knocking on doors and leaving oily fingerprints:

The i360 Walk app for iOS and Android provides the AFP army with voter information on the go so they can identify houses strategically and make use of their time efficiently. The most GLA training sessions have been in scheduled in North Carolina where 12 classes of activists and mobilizers will have graduated by the end of June.

The Kochs are heavily invested in North Carolina having held (or scheduled) 12 GLA training sessions and with close to 200,000 AFP "in-state activists" as of January 2015. In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is likely their man.

I post this as a cautionary tale for those who speculate political parties have lost their usefulness. When we give up the ability to leverage the resources of an organization, insanely wealthy individuals like Charles and David Koch can easily step in and take the lead. To them, the loss of influence and cohesion in the two major parties is a gift, and they will use it to control us. Live together, die alone.

“I’m not going to publicly announce that something discriminates.”

McCrory's campaign advisors must cringe every time he speaks:

McCrory said the Justice Department gave him an unrealistic “three working days” to respond. “It’s the federal government being a bully,” he said.

Myers Park Pat is literally coming apart at the seams. The more he speaks, the more he shows himself to be painfully unqualified for the job voters gave him.

McCrory's DMV actively engaged in voter suppression

It's no longer just a coincidence:

Knowing that she would need a photo ID to vote in North Carolina, Burke asked a friend to drive her to the Department of Motor Vehicles office on Patton Avenue on Feb. 10. She had with her a Maine driver’s license, social security card and North Carolina Medicaid card, but was told that she needed a document showing her full middle name rather than the initial “M” (for Marie).

“Because I didn’t have anything that the DMV said I needed to have, like a birth certificate, divorce decree, income tax or W-2 forms stating what the M stood for, I was refused a picture ID,” wrote Burke in a statement.

Her voter registration has her listed as "Juliet M. Burke." Verifying her full middle name should not be part of the DMV's task, and it probably isn't officially. This needs to be investigated properly, with all e-mails and other communications from the agency down to regional offices subpoenaed, to see what kind of guidance and directives have been sent out.

Lawyer for McCrory: Interviews "arranged," but not coordinated

The evidence is clear, the BoE needs to follow its own guidelines:

"The Committee's interviews with elected officials after the January 5 rally were arranged in a straightforward manner," wrote Steven Long, a lawyer for the Connect NC bond committee. "The Committee's staff asked several government officials, including Gov. McCrory and Rep. Goodman, if they would be willing to answer questions before a television camera to explain what they thought of the bond. ... None of the officials interviewed were aware beforehand of the questions that would be posed, none received a script or suggested comments form the Committee, and none were told how the film footage of their interviews would be used."

Both the Goodman and McCrory ads were plainly produced in a manner that boosted not only the Bond but the candidates themselves also. And both were in direct violation of the special opinion rendered by the NC Board of Elections:


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