NC GOP

Report details massive fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by the charter school industry

Enough to buy a shitload of public school textbooks:

The 2015 report cites $203 million, including the 2014 total plus $23 million in new cases, and $44 million in earlier cases not included in last year’s report.

It notes that these figures only represent fraud and waste in the charter sector uncovered so far, and that the total that federal, state and local governments “stand to lose” in 2015 is probably more than $1.4 billion. It says, “The vast majority of the fraud perpetrated by charter officials will go undetected because the federal government, the states, and local charter authorizers lack the oversight necessary to detect the fraud.”

The lack of oversight wasn't an oversight on the part of Republicans, they're counting on it. In the absence of that needed fraud detection, they can continue to expand the program until the private sector gains a controlling interest in public education. And some of them probably genuinely believe that fraud and abuse in the private sector is still better than efficiency and good results from government entities. Which is reason #27 why they need to be booted out of the Legislature.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy's cozy relationship with DENR

Be careful what questions you ask:

Holleman praises what has happened in South Carolina and says citizen lawsuits brought by the SELC have moved things along there. And he says, there’s another reason why it has not happened here: “The very, very close relationship between the regulator and Duke Energy.”

“That’s insane,” says Tom Reeder an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”(What would) a career state employee have to gain by entering into some sort of special relationship with Duke? It’s very hurtful when you hear that, actually.”

The answer to your question is contained in the question itself. Thanks to McCrory's liberal use of the "fire at will" policy of exempting DENR supervisors from employment protections, keeping a "career" at DENR viable is now more about politics than professionalism:

GOP moves to delay Supreme Court review of redistricting

That's one way to preserve the supermajority you cleverly created:

The United States Supreme Court’s recent procedural action in these cases does not justify the schedule proposed by plaintiffs. While defendants agree that this Court’s further consideration of this case should proceed reasonably expeditiously, plaintiffs’ motion suggests a schedule that might apply if the United States Supreme Court had reversed this Court’s judgment on the merits and remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with its opinion. The United States Supreme Court took no such action and the schedule on remand should reflect that reality. This Court should set a reasonable timetable for further
briefing and oral argument. In setting such a timetable, defendants request that this Court take into account scheduling conflicts that impact counsel for all the parties as more fully explained below.

Wait a minute, I thought this was just a totally-anticipated procedural issue, with no substantive impact on NC's redistricting law:

Legislative committees scrambling to meet crossover

So many ways to punish people, so little time:

EXECUTIONS: The House Judiciary I Committee takes up a bill at 3 p.m. that would clear the way for executions to go forward without a doctor directly overseeing the lethal injection.

DEBTS: The House Banking Committee meets at 4 p.m. and will take up a bill to make it easier for debt collectors to sue for judgments against people who may or may not owe money.

Only in the minds of Republicans would multiple exonerated death row cases and revelations about systemic misuse of tainted hair and fiber evidence lead to the conclusion we need to "hurry up" and execute these people. And apparently their much-vaunted "tort reform" is only meant for bottom-up cases, not for corporations trying to squeeze the last drop of blood out of struggling families.

New DENR head imitating Skvarla

Donald van der Vaart pens whining response to criticism:

The recent op-ed “Assault on N.C. Environment” (April 19 Viewpoint) ignores facts and fails to recognize North Carolina’s commitment to bettering our environment. DENR is proud of the policies and modernization that have dramatically improved the quality of life for all North Carolinians. The facts show the author’s assertions are wrong. Here’s why.

North Carolinians breathe cleaner air today than any time in more than 25 years. Ozone levels in North Carolina are the lowest on record and toxic air emissions have decreased by more than 80 percent since 2000 despite a 50 percent growth in population and a two-thirds increase in vehicle miles traveled in the same period.

That improvement in air quality was the result of our moderately aggressive Air Toxics rules, but thanks to the "policies and modernization" of the current leadership you're so proud of, those rules have been gutted and higher levels of toxins (including asbestos and arsenic) are now being allowed:

Charlotte police declare open season on shooting suspects

When your lawyer and the DA are friends, it's all good:

Even though Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Anthony Holzhauer was represented by the same law firm, Murray did not recuse himself. He ruled this month that Holzhauer was justified when he shot and killed 20-year-old Janisha Fonville in her north Charlotte apartment. The decision meant Holzhauer will not face criminal charges.

Legal scholars contacted by the Observer said Murray’s ties to his former firm pose the appearance of a conflict of interest and that Murray should have removed himself from the Fonville case.

Heck, at least in Ferguson there was a Grand Jury, even if it did work to convict the victim posthumously. In this situation, one man gets to decide not to prosecute a client of the firm that funded his election campaign. In the excerpt below, there are two gaping inconsistencies that reveal Murray's poor judgment. See if you can spot them, the answer will be in the comment section:

Religious discrimination bill stalls in NC House

Unfortunately, it's all about the Benjamins:

“For this session, the bill is not going to move,” Moore said during a hastily called news conference. “This bill in its current format, at the current time, is not the proper path to go.”

It came a day after the bill apparently divided House Republicans, who discussed it in a private caucus meeting. The measure had drawn opposition from businesses, including IBM and American Airlines. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory had also expressed reservations.

Don't get me wrong, I'm encouraged by the fact that powerful corporate entities opposed this measure. But what if they hadn't? When your elected officials gauge the propriety of a piece of legislation almost exclusively by whether or not it will hurt them come fundraising time, it simply proves their moral compass is spinning madly. That's no way to run a sausage factory.

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