scharrison's blog

2018 elections: The only thing certain is uncertainty

And the NC GOP has certainly screwed up the electoral landscape:

This week, Democrat Anita Earls announced she would run for the seat on the state Supreme Court held by Republican Justice Barbara Jackson. But will there be an election in 2018 at all?

There's a different question surrounding legislative elections in 2018: which incumbents will be forced to share districts? New proposed district lines are out, drawn by an independent mapmaker, but that's not the final word.

Even though the court has spoken (clearly), and even though Percily only redrew a handful of districts, Republicans are still trying to bully their way in to scribble on the damn maps. They need to be called out by the press for their efforts to undermine democracy and the voters who rely on it, and they need to be spanked a lot harder by the courts for constantly muddying the waters. The people need to reclaim their time.

GOP meddling in teacher pay is like gasoline on a fire

Kicking turnover and teacher shortages into overdrive:

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding maze, but lawmakers’ hints that they may abolish the state’s teacher salary schedule or other state-set funding allocations is already spurring criticism from local district advocates. Talk of nixing a state-set pay scale emerged this year when lawmakers took on a revamp of school principal pay, and it’s resurfaced multiple times in the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform’s first meetings in November.

The state’s teacher pay struggles coincide with massive teacher shortages in many of the state’s 100 counties, as well as a substantial drop in students seeking teaching degrees in the UNC system. Mark Jewell, president of the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE), the top lobbying organization for North Carolina teachers, said lawmakers’ invitation to ditch the salary schedule would be “short-sighted,” adding it may “jeopardize teacher retention and recruiting.”

With every year that passes under Republican reign, it becomes more clear what they are actually trying to achieve: A massive failure of our pubic school system. Making it much easier to stimulate the growth of charters and private schools, pushing millions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of businessmen instead of genuine educators. In a political environment where scams are around every corner, this one has the potential to top all the others by a wide margin.

Profiles in idiocy: GOP women who voted for Trump have buyer's remorse

Sometimes your explanation just makes things worse:

Republican women who voted for President Trump in North Carolina said during a focus group Wednesday night that they are embarrassed by and exasperated with him.

-- Annie Anthony, 56, voted for Trump last year because she opposes abortion and did not like how Hillary Clinton handled Benghazi. Now she fears that Trump is marching us toward war with North Korea. She describes the first 10 months of his presidency as “chaotic, stressful and an uphill battle.”

Benghazi? During his campaign, Trump demonstrated time and time again that he wasn't even remotely qualified to serve as President, that he had nothing but contempt for women and viewed them as merely sexual toys to be played with when the mood came on him, and that he would lie about any subject, no matter how easily that lie would be exposed. But you didn't like Clinton because of a totally fabricated controversy that Fox News fed to you every day. You should be embarrassed, and don't expect the slightest bit of sympathy for your condition.

Coalition headed by ACLU files suit for farm workers in NC

Democracy NC wants BoE to probe Forest television studio issue

danforest.jpg

Somebody needs to look that gift camera in the mouth:

A voting rights organization has asked North Carolina election officials to scrutinize spending by a nonprofit group for equipment for a television studio in the office of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall wrote a letter Monday to the state elections board seeking review of $60,000 in purchases by what’s called the North Carolina Promotion and Development Fund. WRAL-TV reported the fund owns the equipment, which Forest can use to produce videos about issues important to him. One fund donor is a longtime Forest supporter.

And while they're at it, they might as well look into all the renovations this same supporter did to the Hawkins-Harnett House, which this little blurb leads people to believe Forest paid for it himself:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Bound to be the hot topic for at least a few days:

Since Persily's mandate only covered a handful of districts, the redraw does not represent sweeping changes to the whole state, just a few clusters:

Shadowy non-profit sets up TV studio for Dan Forest

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for political propaganda:

A little-known group set up by the Lieutenant Governor's Office and headed by a major campaign donor has provided Lt. Gov. Dan Forest with enough television equipment to build an in-office studio. Forest's arrangement with the North Carolina Promotion and Development Fund appears to be unique in North Carolina state government. Gov. Roy Cooper doesn't have his own television studio, and neither does General Assembly leadership.

NCPDF is a 501(c)(4), also known by its IRS designation as a "social welfare organization." These groups are perhaps best known as political advertising vehicles for anonymous donors, and they're often called "dark money" groups. But attorneys who specialize in this section of the tax code said the category is much broader, and that the way Forest's office uses the NCPDF seems to be allowed under state and federal law, without disclosing donors, provided the group doesn't fund campaign activities. Neither "the studio nor any of the items purchased by the NCPDF have been or ever will be used for campaign purposes," Forest Chief of Staff Hal Weatherman said.

Aside from Dan Forest's inclusion in committees he's not really qualified for (like the Energy Policy Council), the man has no direct influence or responsibilities that would require him to "inform his constituents" about ongoing government matters. So this studio doesn't really serve or promote the office of Lt. Governor, it just promotes Dan Forest. And for at least one wealthy businessman, that promotion is worth a a big pile of money:

Harry Brown's anti-wind energy "maps" are still alive

windturbines.jpg

This is why we can't have nice things:

Brown, whose district includes the largest Marine base on the East Coast, believes the turbines could interfere with military radar or flight routes, and cause Department of Defense officials to close, downsize, or relocate military installations to other states. The solution, he says, is a statewide map that will rule out wind energy in certain places.

“The map says it’s okay here, it’s not okay here,” Brown told Southeast Energy News this summer. “To me that’s the only way we’re ever going to be able to resolve this issue.”

There's nothing to resolve, you idiot. There are already multiple mechanisms in place to safeguard the airspace for both military and civilian aircraft, which means this move by Brown is really about something else. And that something else becomes clearer by his effort to draw in Solar and Biomass energy projects into his crusade:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog