NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Francis DeLuca joins the ranks of petty tyrants trying to steal the election:

He's going after Same-Day Registration voters in an effort to delay the outcome of McCrory's stunning loss, implying many of these voters are "illegitimate" and should not be able to counter "legitimate" voters. And he's also using the same Civitas legal entity that challenged NC's very first wind farm. Let's hope they fail just as bad this time too.

Woodhouse's Carolina Rising gets free pass from FEC

Apparently blatantly violating campaign laws is no big deal to Republicans:

Dallas Woodhouse, who ran Carolina Rising in 2014, could not be reached for comment Friday night. He is now the N.C. Republican Party’s executive director. Carolina Rising indicated on its 2014 tax form that its mission was to promote limited government, low taxation and a thriving economy.

After the 2014 election, the Center for Public Integrity found that Carolina Rising ran nearly 4,000 ads praising Republican Thom Tillis in the U.S. Senate race. Tillis defeated Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Center for Responsive Politics published documents showing that Carolina Rising had used 97 percent of its revenue to pay for those ads, and that most of the money, $4.82 million, came from a single donor.

We might as well not even have a body like the FEC, if they can't (or won't) act on something so obviously unlawful. As far as reaching Woodhouse for a comment, he's probably passed out on a couch somewhere, sleeping off another celebratory drunk.

Environmental justice problems in Wake County

Drinking water while black:

In Wake County, some predominantly African-American neighborhoods completely lack access to the municipal water system. As a result, residents are exposed to notably higher quantities of microbial contaminants via well water.

In previous studies, MacDonald Gibson and colleagues identified neighborhoods in Wake County that depend on private wells for drinking water. In many cases, these neighborhoods are home to largely African-American populations, but are surrounded by mostly-white neighborhoods that do have municipal water access.

In the last few years I've learned a great deal about how municipalities function, and what criteria they use when contemplating extending water service to areas outside of the standard town/city limits. It's an expensive process, and figuring out how long it will take to recoup that investment via water service fees (and additional property taxes, if you annex) plays a major role. All that being said, there is a broader moral and historical background that simply must be factored into that equation, because (as we all know) economics has a nasty habit of leaving some people behind. Let's take a stroll down a lane that is likely not part of the average white Southerner's memory roadway:

More school privatization on the menu with Mark Johnson

I'm already missing June Atkinson:

Johnson, an attorney who taught public school with the Teach for America program before entering law school, deserves credit for running an energetic campaign, and he made his fast-paced pitch to voters in every corner of the state. One priority: reducing testing, which Johnson believes is taking too much energy from teachers. Another: more help for local districts from DPI. And another: support for charter school expansion and a voucher program wherein public money goes to parents (for now, only to lower-income parents) who want to send their children to private school.

Standard, boiler-plate Conservative stuff. Testing has gotten out of control, but the charter/voucher mantra is getting tiresome. A lot more failures than successes, and the tenacity in which these people pursue such a dubious program screams a hidden agenda. Whether that is greed for profit or the desire to undermine government-controlled education, it really doesn't matter. Education results are a secondary consideration, which means these programs will continue to fail, pissing away public monies in the process.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Looking for malfeasance? Look in the mirror:

An SBI which was removed from the Attorney General's control and placed directly under his opponent, Governor McCrory. The stench of corruption in his administration is overwhelming.

Capitol Broadcasting calls for transparency in vote counts

Keep it clean, and keep it open:

What is important isn’t merely that the votes are counted – but that North Carolina citizens know and feel assured that all votes have been counted accurately and fairly. In that spirit, we call on Gov. McCrory, Attorney General Cooper, the State Board of Elections and the county election offices throughout the state to go the extra mile and provide full and complete transparency in this process.

McCrory, Cooper and the Board of Elections should make any and all communications with local and state officials and agencies, public. The candidates can do this easily by posting them on their campaign websites. The state Board of Elections can do the same.

As I mentioned on another diary, I am genuinely concerned McCrory's army of lawyers and other diehards are going to try to get as many Dem ballots rejected as they can during this process. That could be one ballot at a time, or the wholesale rejection of large numbers of provisional ballots, such as those from Durham County. And the tone of his recruitment message sounds more like a pre-election call-to-arms than merely a request for neutral observers:

Is van der Vaart trying to take his incompetence to DC?

Birds of a feather destroy the environment together:

President-elect Donald Trump has named Myron Ebell to head up his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The news was met with name-calling, even though Ebell agrees with the same position taken by a former top scientist with the Obama administration, Steve Koonin (formerly of Cal Tech) namely, that scientists simply do not know what fraction of observed global warming is due to manmade CO2 emissions.

Consequently, Ebell has expressed concern about EPA positions, including the Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s controversial power plan is based on an inadequate understanding of global warming and should not drive our middle class into energy poverty against congressional will.

Koonin worked for British Petroleum before his brief stint at the Department of Energy, and is widely considered as much of a nut-job as Myron Ebell. And van der Vaart's "what fraction" argument is merely the next tier for Climate Change deniers. They've given up on the idiotic "man doesn't cause this" position because it is patently indefensible, so now they demand a hyper-accurate, to-the-decimal-point percentage of how much carbon is anthropomorphic vs natural. Nevermind the fact that vulcanism is wildly erratic from year to year, so that percentage is naturally a moving target. Oh no, now you're bringing more science into it. Can't have that. Van der Vaart is an embarrassment, frankly, and we can't be shut of him soon enough.

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