SEX is back, at ‪#‎NCGA‬!!

Sex Education, that is. They just can't keep their hands off of it.

Now that I have your attention, a new addition to SB279 would allow anyone who calls themselves an expert to approve sex ed curricula-meaning ANYTHING could be taught. It could be written by James Dobson's Focus on the Family or your Great Aunt Rose.

Once again, teach lies and call it education. This opens the door to Abstinence Only, or any kind of erroneous information a school or district finds their parents are comfortable with.

GOP puts tax reform back in the Budget

And crams it down the throats of Legislators who haven't seen it yet:

“With the tax reform package within the budget, the Special Provisions will run to over 500 pages,” McGrady wrote on Facebook Sunday.

Senate leaders announced Monday morning that they’ll hold the first vote on Tuesday – meaning rank-and-file senators will have only one day to read a complex spending bill that spans 500 pages.

Really? You've been given an additional 2 1/2 months to dick around compose the Budget, but you're only giving duly elected representatives of the people less than 24 hours to study it before casting their votes? Just on principle alone that deserves a whole bunch of "Nay" votes and a Veto, but I'm sure the long knives are coming partially out of their scabbards to force Republican puppets to stay on their strings. What a frickin' circus.

Tim Moore: Speaker for Cleveland County

Driving back home with a trunk full of pork:

The speaker, a lawyer from the Cleveland County town of Kings Mountain, has slipped some nice items into the state budget now under consideration. There’s the grant for water and sewer infrastructure, to go to towns under 12,000 people. Kings Mountain has 10,000.

Then there’s the $200,000 grant for the American Legion World Series, which has an annual baseball tournament in the Cleveland County seat of Shelby. The region has a long and grand history with American Legion baseball.

He's not just a lawyer "from" Cleveland County, he is the lawyer for Cleveland County. On the payroll, with an employment contract shielded from public scrutiny via personnel records confidentiality rules, or some such nonsense. Why do I say it's nonsense? Because he's currently the most powerful lawmaker in the NC House of Representatives, and we need to know if his County contract encourages him to wield undue influence in his State government position. It ain't rocket science, it's Ethics 101. And he appears to be failing miserably.

No respite for weary environmental advocates

A real shift in public opinion or wishful thinking?

In recent elections, North Carolina voters have teetered between red and blue. But the only green in the mix was the color of money, not environmental concern - or even basic awareness.

This state has the gift of a magnificent natural environment, but most voters take it for granted, seldom worrying about issues like water or air quality. That may be changing. Environmental issues have become serious political issues, especially in the past year.

The operative word there is "may" be changing, but I believe even that is a reach. Yes, there have been some high-profile environmental problems that surfaced (or leaked just below the surface) in the past year and a half, but it doesn't automatically follow that a larger chunk of the public has become concerned. I've watched these numbers since 2007, and the percentage of people who list the environment as their top issue has remained around 3 percent, just like in this Gallup poll covering 2015. Yes, that's a national poll and not targeted on NC voters, but it is hard numbers vs speculation of what should happen:

The eminent domain faux-Libertarians don't want to talk about

When for-profit energy companies take your land:

Property owners in Henderson and Polk counties are learning about the limits on their rights to control the property they own and to control what happens to the hillside they view from their back porch.

When electric power lines and pipelines are needed for the public use and benefit, the state of North Carolina grants private companies the right to condemn the property necessary for their projects. So when Duke Energy provides a case that the increasing use of electricity in Western North Carolina justifies the installation of a new power line from South Carolina leading up to Asheville, they are granted the ability to condemn the property along a selected route for the transmission line.

While the issue of government exercising eminent domain to secure land for the general public's transportation and utility needs is complex, and not suited to across-the-board declarations of right or wrong, the hypocrisy of "property rights" advocates on the right is neither complex nor justifiable. If elected officials overreach they can be removed from office, but the general public has no recourse when corporations are granted the power to take property. And when those conquests result in profits, the perpetrators are usually rewarded, sometimes to the tune of millions in salary and stock options. True Libertarians would be horrified by that, but corporate puppets wearing a Libertarian mask? Crickets.

In defense of NC's wildly successful Solar tax credits

It's foolish to even consider stalling this engine:

The Tar Heel state ranked fourth nationally for total solar electric capacity and ninth per capita, according to a new report by the Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center. State House lawmakers used the report Thursday as a launch pad to talk about the potential freeze to North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and the hangup in the budget over extending renewable energy tax credits.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Greensboro Democrat, said clean energy is an “economic success story” for the state. “It’s not time to cut it off,” she said. Nearly 23,000 North Carolinians are employed in the clean energy industry, Harrison added. “These jobs, businesses, investments in new revenues are at stake right now as the House and the Senate debate budget provisions,” she said.

Ten years ago, we used to get excited about a couple of hundred kilowatts of Solar PV being added to the mix, but in 2015 North Carolina will bring online 76 megawatts of Solar power in the 2nd Quarter alone. It's no longer a boutique-level "novelty" for the well-to-do to show off to their friends, it's grown into a baseload-providing system powering hundreds of thousands of homes. It's not on the drawing board, folks. It's a reality. And the last thing we need to do is screw around with the formula.

Too little, too late: NC GOP's film incentives shell game

Happy talk won't put these pieces back together:

Ted Davis has declared North Carolina’s film industry “officially back open for business.” The state representative’s statement–made after lawmakers reached a $30 million compromise on the N.C. Film Grant Program–was preceded earlier this week by news that a TNT pilot is set to shoot in the Port City next month.

Senator Michael Lee would agree. “I am pleased that my Senate colleagues, after much negotiation, have agreed to increase the funding levels for this important program,” he said. “While there is still much more that can be done, today is a victory for both our region and our state.”

A victory? The only "victors" in this embarrassing series of blunders are the State of Georgia and the anti-government nut-jobs at the John Locke Foundation. We've sent a clear message to not only the film companies already engaged in North Carolina, but also those who might have considered shooting here, that we are simply not mature enough to maintain a stable environment for their business. Aside from slashing film incentives and chirping about what we "might be willing to spend," the fricking budget is two months late already, and negotiations are not promising. Two months of uncertainty in the film business, especially when you've got television schedules to consider, is a project-killing nightmare. And for Davis and Lee: The people in the Wilmington area know the Republican Party caused this nightmare. You might want to update your resumes.

Drunk-driving county commissioner indicted again

But it's okay if you're a Republican:

Rockingham County Commissioner Keith Mabe was indicted Tuesday on alcohol- and traffic-related charges from two separate incidents. This is the second time this year that a grand jury has indicted Mabe on alcohol-related charges.

In March, a grand jury returned indictments against Mabe on charges of driving while impaired, possession of Valium and possession of paregoric in connection with a 2014 accident.

There's nothing quite like a double-dose of opiates to mellow out that alcohol buzz. Sheesh. No wonder he drove through somebody's yard. If that's what he considers "being a public servant," I'd hate to see what he'd get up to if he really didn't care...


Subscribe to RSS - NC GOP