Gov. Pat McCrory

Legislative hearing today on McCrory's pay-to-play activities

One day of hearings not nearly enough:

“Gov. McCrory’s enforcement demands were obviously "donor-driven," not data-driven,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “Residents across North Carolina have a right to wonder if their highway safety concerns are ignored because they don’t have a political donor to sponsor their issue and grab the ear of the governor whose policies are influenced by a pay-to-play culture in Raleigh. The Guv Ops Commission should look into donor-driven targeted ticketing, as well as pay-to-play prison contracts.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is currently investigating whether McCrory’s administration improperly gave millions in state Medicaid contracts to a company which supported his political campaign, and the FBI is also looking into the prison maintenance contract scandal.

WHO: Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations
WHAT: Public hearing on prison maintenance contracts influenced by governor's political donors.
WHERE: 643 Legislative Office Building, Downtown Raleigh

I doubt anybody will be napping during this hearing...

McCrory's dodging makes him a "back-door" Governor


Avoiding all those pesky questions about the risks of offshore drilling:

Approximately 70 opponents of offshore drilling gathered in Manteo on Aug. 28 for what was billed as a “peaceful demonstration” aimed at Governor Pat McCrory, a strong supporter of offshore energy exploration who was holding a fundraiser in the Dare Arts Council building.

McCrory entered and exited the Arts Council headquarters through a rear entrance, without acknowledging the presence of the protestors. Kill Devil Hills Mayor Sheila Davies, who attended the fundraiser and later joined the anti-drilling protest, said she thought the governor was aware of the demonstration.

He was definitely aware. Hopefully the protesters stuck around long enough to get a look at the donors who attended. They're just as responsible (if not more) than McCrory is, by writing checks to keep him in office.

Coastal residents up in arms about offshore drilling


And the un-democratic approach of local lawmakers:

Some 300 people showed up at the town hall that Monday evening, filling the meeting room and spilling into the parking lot. Angry locals waited as long as two hours to confront Mayor Dean Lambeth, who recently had signed a letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, endorsing a move to begin seismic testing for oil and gas deposits off the North Carolina coast. The letter had been written by America's Energy Forum, an arm of the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas industry lobby group. Lambeth had signed it, lending his endorsement as the mayor of Kure Beach, without any public debate.

It's a good bet a lot of those angry locals rely on tourism for their livelihoods, even if they're not environmentalists in the classic sense. And the last thing you want to do as a small-town Mayor is piss off small business owners. They can flip a local election in the amount of time it takes to say, "Start packing your stuff, we may have to leave town." And it doesn't take much to spread that outrage statewide:

Chalk another one up for We the People

Hi, James.

Thanks for your reporting on voter suppression efforts all across the state and for your help here on our battles in Watauga!


‘Twas the night before local elections board appointments all over the state, and the State Board of Elections had no intention whatsoever of appointing Voting Rights Advocate Stella Anderson to the Watauga County Board of Elections.

McCrory off on another RGA excursion

Adding to his collection of fancy little hotel soap bars:

Three Republican governors will break out their crystal balls Tuesday at The Aspen Institute as part of the McCloskey Speaker Series.

The governors will be discussing “their forward-looking solutions to the issues of health care, the economy, immigration and other areas that are pressing in their states,” says an event description.

If McCrory were forced to take sodium pentothal before going up on stage, he would probably say, "Well, in North Carolina we're hovering on a government shutdown, because instead of hashing out the annual Budget, Republicans in the Legislature have spent their time worrying about possums, protecting Confederate statues and disenfranchising thousands of voters that live in cities which prefer Democrats. Also, I'm pretty sure I shit my pants a little bit approximately twenty minutes ago, but I don't know if it's a stomach bug or that all-you-can-eat breakfast bar the hotel very graciously provides to hungry travelers like myself."

In-depth reporting on NC's looming offshore drilling fiasco

Coastal Review is rolling up its sleeves to cover all the bases:

This is the first of more than 40 stories that we will publish over the next two months on offshore drilling and its potential effects on the N.C. coast. In our most ambitious reporting project, seven reporters have spent several months talking to dozens of people trying to determine what drilling might mean to the state’s coastal environment, economy and lifestyle.

We’ll run the results of all that reporting on alternate weeks, starting this week with stories about the history of drilling in North Carolina, the geology of the Atlantic Ocean and why oil or gas might be out there, the federal process that manages offshore drilling and the politics in Raleigh that are promoting it.

We'll try to bring these installments to our readers here at BlueNC, but since that's over a year-and-a-half's-worth of articles, we may miss a few. I'd also like to issue a fair warning to the rest of the news media: Much of the information provided to them, especially from the Governor's office, will be heavily tainted by industry lobbyists. Not only do you need to double- and triple-check the data, you also need to expose the relationship that produced that tainted data:

McCrory headed to RGA "Corporate Policy Summit"

Another paid-for vacation for the Governor to forget to disclose:

Gov. Pat McCrory will be spending the next three days in Texas at the Republican Governor's Association spring meeting.

If you're wondering why that news brief is so brief don't wonder any longer. The RGA's activities are even more secretive that ALEC's, and their "Corporate Policy Summit" is the tightest-held secret of them all. And yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: Corporate lobbyists wining and dining Governors, promising them scads of money for their campaigns, and telling them all the government actions they need to do to acquire that money. And when you're ethically challenged like McCrory, it's like waking up on Christmas morning.

A closer look at NC DHHS' systemic voter suppression

This level of incompetence and non-compliance doesn't occur without some driving force:

North Carolina’s violations of Section 7 of the NVRA are demonstrated by multiple sources of information, including data reported by the NCSBE as well as the state Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS program forms, interviews conducted at North Carolina Department of Social Services (“DSS”) and Public Health (“WIC”) offices (collectively “DHHS offices”); and review of third-party contractor processes. Together, the sources of information reveal that DHHS is systematically failing to provide the voter registration services mandated by Section 7 the NVRA.

More lies from the master himself

And this time McCrory's lying to the US Congress:

Gov. Pat McCrory was in sync with this talking-points paradox Monday when he testified before a U.S. House committee in Washington. McCrory’s budget proposal depends on $475 million in increased gas tax revenues that will be available only if the legislature adopts the Senate plan or something similar. But when he spoke about the state’s need for more transportation money, he touted the legislature’s push for a short-term gas tax cut.

“I just supported an effort … to reduce the gas tax,” McCrory told the House committee, pumping his hand in a palm-down gesture to emphasize the point. “I supported an effort to stabilize the current funding source that we have now.”

Call it what it is, Bruce. It's not a "paradox," it's an outright lie. A lie that started with Phil Berger in the NC Senate and has now made its way to Washington, DC. And the reason such a blatant falsehood has made it so far is because our media outlets can't bring themselves to challenge Republican leaders for their casual twisting of the truth. It would be funny if it wasn't so ominous.


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