NC GOP

Love won, hate zero

Energy Summit draws industry reps and protestors

The happy talk express gets derailed:

Three protesters disrupted proceedings inside, shouting at speakers Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who responded to their calls against offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Continuing, McCrory added, referring to the protester: “And for that individual and other individuals who will now get in their car and fill up with gas or turn on their air conditioner or heater, they’re using energy from the same sources that they’re protesting against.”

That prompted another protester to call out at McCrory before being escorted out. Rob Kaiser, publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, who emceed the event and interviewed McCrory, spoke over the outburst to ask the governor how such environmental concerns are balanced with business interests.

And he just became part of the story instead of reporting it. This forum may not have been set up to allow questions/comments from the audience, but a journalist who drowns out somebody else's voice, even if he's trying to "smooth things over" and get some kind of answer the reporter thinks may address the protestor's concerns, is no journalist at all. He's a pundit, and we have more than enough of those. As to the Governor himself, his illogical mouth runneth over:

Tom Murry's degrading propaganda back in action

Because nothing says leadership better than photoshopping pictures of your opponent:

Murry's campaign, backed by the state GOP, has been relentless in attacking Adcock and her record on the Cary Town Council. In a mailer sent out this summer, a doctored image of Adcock shows her with a Pinocchio nose, claiming Adcock and her "liberal supporters" aren't telling voters the truth.

This tactic is similar to the one the North Carolina GOP executive committee used in 2010, when it sent offensive mailers on behalf of Murry depicting then-opponent Chris Heagerty in a sombrero and claiming he supported higher taxes with the line "mucho taxo," driving jobs "south of the border."

Sadly enough, this sophomoric behavior doesn't seem to backfire as much as it should. Which doesn't reflect well on the voters who respond favorably to such tactics.

Coal Ash Wednesday: What do you think?

Coalition of government agencies seeking public input on mitigation efforts:

Love the Dan River? Hate what happened to it in this winter’s coal ash spill? Got an idea for fixing some of the damage? A government committee with a highfalutin’ title wants to hear from you, possibly adopt all or part of your plan, and stick Duke Energy with the bill for carrying it out.

The group’s trustees released its “Scoping Document for Restoration Planning for Public Review and Comment” late last week, seeking public input on ways to undo damage the spill has caused to fish and wildlife, migratory birds, places in the river and wetlands where these creatures live, people’s recreational opportunities, and surface water and sediment. The initiative stems from an agreement Duke Energy signed in June with Uncle Sam and the two states, accepting its role in causing the spill and agreeing to restore the river, to the extent possible.

I have a feeling Duke Energy's definition of "to the extent possible" would differ greatly from what you or I might define it as. That being said, large rivers affect multiple ecosystems, and there's always a lot that should be done, coal ash spill or not. This appears to be an opportunity to maybe get some of these things done:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Let's start out with a non-starter:

Wesley, according to your cohorts in the Republican Party, Medicaid fraud is a pretty dang serious issue. I understand why you wouldn't want to talk about it, it's just not a legitimate reason.

Prominent Cabarrus County Republican shoots his own son

Being Cabarrus County, this is probably not front page material:

“There appears to have been an altercation between Mr. Cowherd and his son,” said Cabarrus County Chief Deputy Paul Hunt. “A gunshot went, off striking the son.”

The younger man, whose name was not immediately available, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Phil Cowherd III was interviewed at his home but was not taken into custody Sunday, Hunt said. Deputies have collected the gun used in the shooting as evidence.

When he was finally tracked down for a comment, Cowherd replied, "Ahh, he'll be alright, I just winged him. Besides, how I discipline my children is nobody's damn business but my own." You're right, I just made that up. It happens. ;)

AFP fights public education funding, even at the local level

Bound and determined to destroy our public school system:

Last week’s sales-tax forum brought out several arguments against raising more money for Guilford County Schools: Taxes are high enough. Commissioner Jeff Phillips, state Rep. Jon Hardister and Donald Bryson of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina stated opposition to the extra levy at the forum sponsored by the News & Record and PNC Bank.

Taxes may be high enough already for most North Carolinians, but state funding for schools is lagging behind what it should be because of large tax cuts at the state level, particularly for corporations. Will these tax cuts promote economic development, which in turn will generate more tax revenue for schools? We can hope, but there’s no sign of it yet.

Donald Bryson should have been laughed (or booed) right out of this forum. Not only did he champion giving tax breaks to the wealthy, which has precipitated the state budgetary fiasco, he's also behind the push for private school vouchers, which will drain even more resources from public schools:

While coal ash ponds leak, Duke Energy patches holes in its image

One more example of the utility's misplaced priorities:

One of the worst accidents in Duke Energy's history turned out to be a big opportunity for a fledgling creative agency and video production shop in the shadows of the utility company's headquarters.

In two weeks during the spring, Wheelhouse worked with Duke to develop a concept, write scripts, shoot and edit video, complete post-production and launch the "It's Important" ad campaign. The series of 30-second spots played on TV, radio and online. "They needed a quick response and there wasn't time to go through a traditional agency," Williams says.

No, they needed a quick response to locate large deposits of the coal ash they spilled, so those concentrations could be removed from the riverbed ecosystem. Instead, they picked a spot where everybody could see them working, and ended up leaving 95% of the coal ash in the river. And now they've spent God knows how much money on radio and television ads since the spill, which we'll probably end up paying for via rate increases, and those other ash ponds are still in the same (bad) condition they've always been.

Wesley Meredith's Medicaid ghost haunting him mercilessly

This house (Senate, whatever) is not clea-uh:

This week Meredith’s Democratic opponent, Billy Richardson, accused the senator of collecting Medicaid benefits for his then-newborn son back in 1996 and 1997, despite the fact that Meredith had a (barely) six-figure income at the time. Richardson even has the documents, including copies of tax returns and Medicaid cards, to back up his story.

The Cumberland County Republican Party on Wednesday went with the latter theory, issuing a statement blasting Meredith for “financially abandon[ing] his wife and child,” before later deleting the post. Maybe because later that same day, Meredith’s ex-wife put out a statement that said, naw mang, he didn’t financially abandon me, we signed up for Medicaid together!

You gotta love Wonkette. When they come across stupid people, they're not afraid to have a little fun with them. As for Senator Meredith, take him out of the oven, 'cause he's done. If you're a Republican, it's okay to rip off investors or pocket big cash donations from out-of-state indicted gamblers, but when you get caught hitching a ride on the Welfare gravy train, you've crossed the Rubicon and will be tarred, feathered, rode out of town on a rail, and forced to wear a scarlet M. The "M" stands for Moocher, by the way.

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