NCGA

Voices rising to extend voter registration deadline in light of Matthew damage

From the flooded trenches in Fayetteville:

Hunt says he's disappointed in the board for "choosing not to provide adequate relief to eligible voters" unable to register when Hurricane Matthew shut down local boards of elections and other registration sites. Registration deadline is today, but the board has told local officials to accept mailed-in registrations that arrive late. The board also notes that same-day registration is available at all early-voting sites, which will be open from Oct. 20 through Nov. 5.

At this point, it's not clear that all early-voting sites will be able to open by next Thursday. It's fortuitous that the courts struck down state voting reform legislation and that same-day registration is still an option. But it may not be enough in some of this state's hardest-hit communities.

No doubt the State Board is concerned local boards will have difficulty processing voter registrations while also preparing for early voting to begin. But that difficulty pales in comparison to the difficulties faced by those whose homes are (still) under water in much of Eastern North Carolina.

JLF uses Hurricane Matthew to attack NC's REPS

Because natural disasters are a great opportunity for propaganda:

And then there are the inhabitants of the so-called “free market think tanks” funded by those fun-loving fossil fuel barons, the Koch Brothers, and their not so silent junior partner from North Carolina, Art Pope. Take a gander at a column released yesterday by the Director of Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. In it, the author argues – we are not making this up – that the mass, storm-related electricity outages of recent days lead to one overriding conclusion: North Carolina must reduce its commitment to renewable energy and the law (the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” or “REPS”) that requires public utilities to derive a proportion of their electric load from renewables.

Everybody needs to understand why Koch and Pope's Puppets are so dedicated to overturning REPS in NC (and other states): Because it's working. The REPS was designed to create a demand for renewable energy, thus driving up production of Solar panels and wind turbine parts, which (in turn) would bring the costs down to a competitive range.
What you won't hear from people like JLF's Jon Sanders is how much those costs have already dropped:

Using Legislative "Privilege" to obscure racial gerrymandering

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Trudy Wade & Company defy judges order:

Webster gave the legislators 30 days to create a list of documents they want to keep private — and to describe the documents and explain why they should be withheld. He said he would look at the privilege log privately, then decide whether to make legislators comply with the subpoenas.

But creating such a list — even for a judge’s eyes only — would create a “chilling effect” on confidential communication between lawmakers and staff members, attorneys for the legislators said in Thursday’s filing.

If those communications had any impact on how legislation would be written or implemented, it should not be confidential. It's called "public policy" for a reason. And since this particular piece of legislation deals directly with the voting process, the need for transparency is doubled. And it's the height of arrogance the GOP thinks this is a sound argument:

School privatization "boosts" real estate market

May not be good for (all) the kids, but home values apparently soar:

Once we realize that assigning children to schools results in concentrating poverty, we can begin to imagine the social benefits of systems that avoid assignments.

Research recently published in the Journal of Housing Research shows homes are worth more in the places that use this scholarship system instead of the more rigid assignment system. Homes are worth significantly more in tuitioning districts than in districts with weak assigned schools. The more school options that were available, the larger the price premium. Studies on similar systems in Paris, France, and San Antonio, Texas, find similar results.

I have developed a (maybe bad) habit of scrolling to the bottom of an Op-Ed to get an idea of who a writer is, and where that writer is coming from, before I digest the information being put forward. Usually it's pretty straightforward, but sometimes there's a weird confluence. In this case, it's an associate professor of finance and real estate talking about education. Like I said, weird. But this guy's approach to the subject is even weirder, talking about areas that don't even resemble North Carolina's school districts:

Van der Vaart continues his political gamesmanship

Attacking the Federal government and Roy Cooper whenever he's given the opportunity:

The U.S. Supreme Court took the unprecedented step this year of halting the Obama administration’s attempt to take over the nation’s electricity system. The federal scheme, supported by North Carolina’s attorney general, would punish lower- and middle-class families by increasing energy bills more than $400 a year.

NC GOP caught in (another) lie

And the newspaper caught in the crosshairs is having none of it:

You may have recently received several pieces in the mail paid for by the state Republican Party that criticize Democrat Brownie Futrell, who is challenging Republican Bill Cook in the District 1 Senate race. Those pieces include the statement: “But State Senate Candidate Brownie Futrell supports Hillary Clinton’s plan to give single, able-bodied young men who won’t work ‘free’ healthcare funded by taxpayers.” Next to those words is a footnote that cites “The Outer Banks Sentinel 12/16/2015” as the source for that assertion.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Stith's refusal to testify begs the question

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What is he trying to hide?

Stith declined, on advice of attorney, to answer questions about coal ash pollution, the interaction between Duke Energy and state government, or about enforcement efforts against the utility. But he agreed to answer questions about his comments on Rudo.

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