Who is Jim Hunt raising money for again?

A Feb 01 Charlotte Observer story told us something we already knew - that Jim Hunt (and others) are forming SuperPACs to raise money to influence elections. He declined to elaborate on the group and exactly what they are doing even at the Sanford-Hunt-Frye fundraising dinner where he was a speaker.

That same weekend, the N&O's John Frank reported that Hunt donated $1000 to Tea Party Republican Justin Burr during the 3rd quarter of 2013.

ONE MORE FUNDRAISING NUGGET: Former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt gave state Rep. Justin Burr, a Republican budget writer, a $1,000 contribution Oct. 12, campaign finance reports show.

NC GOP establishes pattern of suppressing college voters

Moving the goal posts to another field entirely:

“When we see polling places that have traditionally been on college campuses moved away and seemingly for not any good reason, it’s very concerning," said Bob Phillips, state director of voting rights group Common Cause. "It makes one think there are other reasons for this that have to do more with politics than, again, the goal of making voting easy and accessible for everybody.”

Phillips said he has heard Republican-led elections boards in Cumberland, Guilford and Forsyth counties also are targeting polling sites on the campuses of Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University, respectively. Votes cast on all three campuses have historically favored Democratic candidates.

This attack on college voters is doubly frustrating because, in addition to being a blatantly partisan move to cut down on votes for Democrats, it also serves to suppress the votes of the youngest demographic, a group that we should be encouraging to get involved.

Elected officials explore different methods for disposing of coal ash

And leave us even more confused than before:

Duke Energy is now talking publicly about coal ash, but the conversations with Charlotte City Council revolved around the issue of how to remove it from the River Bend Power Plant. The City and Duke are exploring the possibility of moving the coal ash by truck from Gaston County to land near Charlotte Douglas International.

State Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County was also part of the tour, and he wants to learn more about the idea. "What we really want to do is reuse the material not have it stock piled and put into landfills, " Tarte said. Governor McCrory said, "It's going somewhere, and wherever it goes we've got to do it in a safe environmentally and most affordable way we can. I'm open to any solution."

Fixed. But this doesn't prove McCrory isn't crazy. ;)

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Heading for a runoff:

And when it does deteriorate into an extended political brawl, the NC GOP can thank outside elements:

The Voter Integrity Project is at it again

Challenging voters in Buncombe County:

Tea party volunteers in Buncombe County went door-to-door to find out whether inactive voters lived at the addresses they have filed with the elections office. Volunteers also mailed a letter to each of the voters, which was returned undeliverable. The letters became the evidence in the challenge.

Election officials must wait two presidential election cycles, or eight years, before removing an inactive voter from the roll under federal law, Parker said. DeLancy said his group disagrees with this characterization of the rules. He said the group believes the two election cycles include midterms, which would shorten the time frame to four years.

Proving once again the Tea Party is a bunch of hypocrites. Harping about defending freedoms from an overzealous government and waving the US Constitution around, but they're more than happy to take away your right to vote if given half a chance. Mind-numbing contradiction.

DAG McCrory's happy talk express pulls into Morganton

But apparently it's not a "listening" tour:

A voice from the crowd told the governor that job availability is a major concern in this area. McCrory responded by addressing the challenges that he and the state legislature have faced in the arduous budgeting process.

“We decided not to extend unemployment, because small businesses owed the federal government $2.6 billion,” he said. “Myself and the legislature decided to tear up the credit card that we owed the federal government. We weren’t going to keep increasing the debt.”

Okay, grammar first: when determining which pronoun to use, mentally remove the other subjects you're joining and see if it fits. You wouldn't say, "Myself decided to tear up the credit card..." Proper form would be, "The Legislature and I decided..." or simply, "We decided..." But McCrory's egotistical drive to put himself first makes this difficult.

Now for the content: the voice from the crowd didn't complain about jobs that weren't being filled, the voice complained about the lack of jobs available. But all McCrory heard was "jobs" and went off on a spiel about cutting unemployment. And as far as this argument is concerned:

NC Republicans seen as "culture warriors"

The Economist takes a look at NC's new ruling class:

A bigger problem for him is that he has come to be seen as a figurehead for an increasingly unpopular state legislature. The 2010 election gave the Republicans enough seats to control the redistricting process, and in 2012 they took full charge of North Carolina’s state government for the first time in a century. The party now enjoys a veto-proof “super-majority” in the General Assembly, which means they can basically pass whatever laws they want.

Unlike the pragmatic conservatives who have long dominated state politics, the Republicans now in charge are culture warriors. Their priorities ensured that Mr McCrory’s first year in office was contentious. The governor found himself passing laws to ban sharia (Islamic law), restrict abortion and introduce strict voter-identification rules, which are being challenged by the federal government.

The Economist makes the same (big) mistake that others have in evaluating the behavior of the Republican-led NCGA: they label the obvious (anti-abortion, VoterID) as a cultural attack, while implying that other acts like flattening the tax rate and cutting various programs are different, and maybe even admirable. But make no mistake, those actions are also part of the culture war, and arguably more devastating. There is no "moderate" side to the GOP machine in this state.

Judge smacks down Duke Energy over delaying tactics

Apparently doing the right thing is not on Duke Energy's priority list:

Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway rejected Duke's request that he delay the impact of his ruling until April 7, while the power company decides whether to appeal the earlier ruling to a higher court.

The ruling came in a lawsuit that environmental groups filed last year against the state Environmental Management Commission, which had ruled that the state's cleanup regulations do not require Duke to stop pollution from its ash ponds while it develops long-range plans to clean up the previous pollution at various sites across the state.

Try to wrap your mind around that. We have active coal ash leaks that are polluting various water resources, and Duke Energy doesn't even want to start cleaning them up. The utility would rather tie the issue up in the courts, or run it all the way up to the idiot Paul Newby. It's plain as the smudge on your face the General Assembly and DENR have abrogated their responsibility to protect us from Duke Energy, so it's time to expand the involvement of the Federal government beyond the current investigation.

Friday fracking video

Hopefully you'll be seeing this on the telly very soon:

Kinda short, so here's a bonus video:

More on the lack of transparency in NC charter schools

Taxpayers don't have a "need to know" on administrators' salaries:

“Charter staff are not employed by a public school board but by a private nonprofit board and, as a result, their salaries are not subject to public records law the way public school board employees’ or state employees’ salaries are,” said DPI spokeswoman Vanessa Jeter.

Cohen, N.C. Press Association lawyer Amanda Martin and CMS attorney George Battle III say she’s got it backward: There’s no legal protection for any information in the files. “It’s the privacy act. It’s not the publicity act,” Cohen said. “If they’re subject to the public records law, then nothing is private.”

It will be interesting to see if the Legislature clarifies this in the upcoming Short Session, as there seems to be a consensus from both sides of the aisle these salaries should be made public. That said, you have to question the relevance and integrity of an oversight Board that is so conflicted:

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