NCGA

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.

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.

McCrory backs Troxler on banning guns from state fair

Increasing the likelihood of Paul Valone's head exploding from rage and frustration:

Gov. Pat McCrory doesn’t want to allow guns into the N.C. State Fair, according to his office. That means he’s supporting Steve Troxler, the head of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in trying to uphold a ban on firearms at the Fair in the face of a potential legal challenge.

Troxler is a supporter of the right to carry a concealed firearm, but believes that guns would be detrimental to the Fair’s family-friendly environment, he said at a press briefing on Tuesday. McCrory supports that position, according to Josh Ellis, a spokesman for the governor. “Commissioner Troxler called the governor yesterday to discuss the situation. The governor agrees with the commissioner’s conclusion,” Ellis wrote in an email on Wednesday night.

Just a warning to the Gubernatorial staff: You can expect a barrage of nasty phone calls incited by Grass Roots NC and NC Renegade, and you should record every single one of them for security purposes. There may be some e-mails as well, but it's hard to bark and growl in an electronic format

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy to recreate the wheel, says it has a rounder version in mind

Reassessing water that's already been reassessed:

Duke Energy has met its first deadline under the regulatory framework codified in the state’s new coal ash law, providing regulators with detailed plans for assessing the groundwater issues at its 14 operating and retired coal plants.

Environmental groups have criticized the state for requiring the new assessment program. They contend the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources already has evidence of leaks from Duke coal ash ponds into groundwater.

There is abundant evidence that Duke Energy's water quality testing protocol is miserably flawed. Both DWQ and third party testing have found much higher concentrations of toxins than reported by the utility, so all this reassessment will accomplish is more conflicting data, and more delays for remediation. Future headline: "Duke Energy tests have confirmed coal ash ponds much safer than previously reported."

Something fishy going on with coastal Republicans

Apparently enforcing the law is bad for somebody's business:

The state budget, echoing a directive from the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, gave Dr. Louis Daniel, NCDMF’s executive director, the authority to enter into an Joint Enforcement Agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service that would provide the state with an estimated $600,000 per year to allow the marine patrol and NMFS enforcement officers to respond to fisheries violations in either state or federal waters off North Carolina.

But Daniel is apparently waiting on directions from John Skvarla, director of the NCDMF’s parent N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, before doing anything. And Skvarla is apparently waiting for an okay from Gov. Pat McCrory. Why? Six weeks ago, Daniel, Skvarla, McCrory, Rep. Thom Tillis (speaker of the state house and a candidate for the U.S. Senate) and Sen. Rep. Phil Berger (president of the state senate) received a letter from 10 Republican legislators expressing their opposition to the JEA, despite its having been part of the budget that was passed by both Republican-controlled houses of the legislature.

They cut the Fishery's enforcement budget in lieu of receiving these Federal dollars, and now they're trying to block that partnership. And the only logical reason is: The big commercial fishing operations are profiting from violations of the law, and they want to sink the boats of those who are tasked with enforcing them. Law and order, indeed.

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