Moffitt trying to get BOE complaint dropped

Photo from Scrutiny Hooligans

And enough lies might get the job done:

The complaint stems from a Feb. 24 meeting between Moffitt and Turner at an Asheville restaurant. Moffitt has said he merely suggested that Turner would make a good candidate to head UNC-TV because of his experience as a producer at MTV and more recent work as a vice chancellor at UNC Asheville. A national search for a new UNC-TV director is expected to begin later this year. "Rep. Moffitt did not give or promise Brian Turner any political appointment or support for public office," according to Moffitt's response.

In a sworn statement included in the response, Buncombe County Commissioner David King, who attended the meeting between the two candidates, also says Moffitt didn't give or promise Turner "any political appointment, support for political office, or for any job in the government or with UNC-TV." King, a Republican, also says in his statement that he called Turner in early March to ask why he was making false claims against Moffitt, and Turner responded, "It is good for my campaign."

Riiight. In one breath, you call Turner a liar, and in the next breath, you claim he told you something outrageous, something that can't be verified or disproved. It's a liar's wonderland. Lesson learned: if you're a Democrat, don't meet with two Republicans without wearing a wire.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start out with a healthy dose of election year madness:

Can I just go ahead and throw up right now? Thank you. Speaking of throwing up:

Chronicling the coal ash crisis: Alaska Dispatch weighs in

Setting the wrong example:

Mr. Rumpler of Environment America says he worries cash-strapped states would feel compelled to "weaken their standards and endanger public health and the environment in a bid to get more business coming into their state." State legislation could also be particularly subject to changes in administrations.

The Duke Energy spill, for one, has focused media attention on North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, a former Duke Energy employee. He appointed businessman John Skvarla to head the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Secretary Skvarla views industry leaders such as Duke Energy as "customers," according to several former DENR officials who say they quit because they were kept from doing their jobs.

The sad part is, people like John Skvarla actually believe they're serving the best interests of the public by giving industry a free hand. It's not just a minor character flaw for the person in charge of DENR, it's a major one, which is why the US DOJ and the EPA are being drawn into NC's politics. And why the rest of the nation is looking on in disbelief.

Why is the BOE holding out on documents?

Apparently the truth won't set you free:

Attorneys in a trio of lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s voter identification law say that as of the middle of last week, the State Board of Elections had not turned over a single electronic document, despite a plan agreed to by both sides earlier this month to produce that material.

In a motion filed last week, lawyers who object to the voting law say the other side is stalling. Defense attorneys contend that the plaintiffs are to blame for any delay by asking for copious amounts of documents, including some that pertain to a portion of the law that doesn’t take effect until 2016.

Not sure what is worse, failing to turn over documents or waiting until 5 p.m. on a Friday and then crashing your system, which is what DENR did last week.

Richard Burr's staff block reporter from econ development meeting

But she was offered a sandwich as a consolation prize:

Of course, when a U.S. senator comes to town, you want to hear from him. And since Burr’s office had sent out his schedule in a “media advisory,” we at the Post figured that wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong.

When a Post reporter arrived just before the luncheon was about to start, she was met by Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks, the local EDC. “Who invited you?” Van Geons asked the reporter. Her editor, she replied.

Van Geons informed the reporter this was a private event and she couldn’t come in, a decision he apparently confirmed with Burr’s people. She was, however, welcome to take some photos beforehand and have a sandwich before leaving. No thanks, the reporter said.

I'm sure Burr's office will try to spin this as simply a "misunderstanding" by a young staffer, just as I'm sure everybody will forget when the Teflon Senator comes up for re-election. But this kind of exclusivity and dodging public scrutiny is sickening.

Double-vision: NC's employment picture out of focus

And that lack of clarity will hurt the unemployed even more:

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell again in February, but employers in the state continued to shed jobs, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Commerce. A survey calculating nonfarm payrolls recorded 11,300 fewer jobs in the month after a decline of more than 7,000 jobs in January.

Despite the drop in jobs, the state's unemployment rate dipped to 6.4 percent, marking the eighth straight month of steady decline. North Carolina's unemployment rate is down 2.2 percentage points from February 2013 and is now better than the national unemployment rate, which was 6.7 percent last month.

And with that questionable drop in the unemployment rate comes a tiered drop in the number of weeks benefits will be paid. If this trend continues, it could drop down to as little as 7 weeks. Not even 2 months, when previously (with the Federal extension) a family could get help for 2 years. The word "catastrophic" comes to mind, but I'm not even sure that covers it.

NC GOP lie machine cranks up after dismal jobs report

The NC February employment report is out and it's not good.

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell again in February, but employers in the state continued to shed jobs, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Commerce.

A survey calculating nonfarm payrolls recorded 11,300 fewer jobs in the month after a decline of more than 7,000 jobs in January.

As usual, the NC GOP lie machine latches on to a decreased unemployment rate and ignores the very real job losses, claiming good news when the news is clearly bad.

GOP Senate hopefuls bad blood: Tillis & Harris exchange

For a seasoned politician, Thom Tillis sure is sensitive. Earlier he complained that the Senate Majority PAC was running negative ads about him (after Karl Rove and AFP ran negative ads about Kay Hagan); now Thom is upset that US Senate nominee rival Mark Harris said things about Thom.

House Speaker Thom Tillis recently sent a personal email to rival Mark Harris accusing him of “going negative” in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Tillis accused Harris’ campaign of trying to “tear (him) down” and referenced the two Charlotte area residents’ mutual friends.

Harris, a Baptist minister, responded quite publicly. Harris sent his reply to Tillis, and later included it in an email to his supporters Wednesday evening. In the message, Harris rejected Tillis’ assertion, saying that “discussing the facts of one's record is not ‘going negative.’”

Even Republicans tiring of Wos' blithering double-speak

"If I didn't have to waste so much time thinking up lies to tell you, I might get something done."

Lawmakers publicly aired their frustrations with a string of problems at Wos' agency, from difficulty getting budget data to IT problems affecting Medicaid providers and patients alike, and said it could jeopardize their willingness to move forward with the governor's Medicaid reform initiative. Wos responded that her agency is being "micromanaged" by state lawmakers.

Asked to clarify, Wos said federal and state requirements for reporting are onerous, and lawmakers' additional requests for information are an extra burden.

"We beg – ask only what you need from us and not more. We have an incredible amount of reports that we have to present to you," Wos said. "Set your goals, set your expectations and allow us to get there," she told the panel, "allowing people to do what they need to based on their portfolios once you establish what you would like."

Errr...what? On second thought, don't even try to explain it, because that will just make things worse.

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