North Carolina

The perils of counsel in North Carolina

An award for renowned lawyers either in or connected to North Carolina and her politics is long overdue. There should be posthumous recipients; too numerous to list here. Three living, breathing law school graduates have now come to mind. First up is Bob Stephens, counsel to Pat McCrory. While helping the Governor complete his 2014 Statement of Economic Interest form for submission to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission, the apparent misunderstanding of how to define "date" and "time" became an issue; still is. Not too far behind Stephens is an attorney named Tom Harris. Anyone who has kept up with the State Employees Association of North Carolina along with the trials and tribulations of Dana Cope knows Mr. Harris both counsels and lurks in the shadows. As an alternative to confession at Our Lady of Lourdes, Harris, Cope and others went to the News & Observer several weeks ago seeking pats on the head in exchange for repentance. We now know how that turned out.

Two-thirds of the General Assembly earn a failing grade on the environment

Two-thirds of the General Assembly Earn a Failing Grade on the Environment
Legislators take the state backwards on environmental initiatives

Raleigh, NC- Today, Environment North Carolina released its 2014 legislative scorecard, and the results don’t bode well for our state’s environment.

“From fast-tracking fracking to failed action on coal ash, legislators showed their true colors this session, and it’s clear that their priority is not protecting North Carolina’s air, water or open spaces,” said Dave Rogers, Field Director with Environment North Carolina.

Tillis finds one teacher who loves Republican policies. Turns out, she's a liar.

Birds of a feather and all.  To my knowledge.

As a teacher, when someone gets something wrong, I correct it. So when I see these negative ads, talking about massive budget cuts and textbook shortages, that is incorrect. Thanks to the leadership of Governor McCrory and Speaker Thom Tillis, North Carolina has increased funding for public schools by a billion dollars.” Wilburn’s chiding is enough to make Democrats go stand in the corner. But in this case it’s the teacher who needs a time-out to go check her math.

The $1 billion increase Wilburn refers to is deeply misleading. Most of that spending includes state contributions to pension and health funds and salary adjustments. It’s not in any real world sense spending for the education of North Carolina’s public school students.  In the real world, spending for education is down. Wilburn could have learned that by going to the financial officer for her own school district. There has been a slight increase in special education funding, but the overall funding for the 5,400-student Yadkin County school district is down.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/20/4168035_an-ad-repeats-fuzzy-math-on-nc.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

McCrory and associates finally defined

Sooner or later, more than just journalists, bloggers, or opinion writers had to step up. Fortunately for all three, and the state of the State of North Carolina, there's a fourth.

In his (Cooper's) remarks at the Levine Museum of the New South, Cooper attacked McCrory and the GOP legislature without ever mentioning the governor or any other Republican by name. He said both are “not just conservative but extremist.”

The greatest act in politics is when incumbents hand deliver their vacuous heads, on a silver platter, to potential opponents.

Executions to Frame Thanksgiving

Getting into the holiday spirit, North Carolina has decided to execute three individuals between Nov. 11th and the first week of December. The AP has picked up on these executions and noted that they bracket the Thanksgiving holiday.

The facts of these cases give fascinating insights into our legal system. And all of them have family members of both sides asking Easley for clemency. As someone against the death penalty, I am against all of the executions, but I wonder whether Easley will grant any of the clemencies.

N.C. Fourth Hungriest State

This is embarrassing. North Carolina is tied for fourth among states with the most hungry families at 4.9%. We are only doing better than Oklahoma (lots of reservations that are difficult to serve), Arkansas, and South Carolina. While the reason for North Carolina's place on the list are unclear, the loss of manufacturing jobs certainly plays a role. But regardless of the reason, this is unacceptable. Certainly the progressive agenda to allieviate poverty will help, but for 1 out of 20 North Carolinians it cannot happen soon enough.

New Numbers Show NC Losing Insurance, Patience With Bush

A new survey shows that the burden of paying for healthcare in North Carolina increasingly falls on individuals, not employers. That means that a lot more North Carolinians go through their days just hoping that they and their families don't get sick.

The report, Prognosis Worsens for Workers' Health Care, published by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, found that the proportion of North Carolinians with job-based health insurance fell by 6.7 percent between 2000 and 2004.

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