teddyrooseveltprogressive's blog

The bizarro world of the Koch family

If you're curious about the two men trying to buy NC politicians, you might want to pick up a new book by a reporter for Mother Jones who used interviews and court documents to pull back the veil behind the Koch family.

From an ultra-libertarian father who had fascist sympathies, feared a "race war" that would be started by Communists, and feared his gay son turned out "effiminate" because he didn't engage him in vicious physical altercations with his brothers to the battles that included office bugs and rifling through trash cans for one brother's bid for control of Koch Industries, it sounds like an Ayn Rand novel gone horribly wrong.

How does a democracy survive two psychologically scarred school-yard bullies that can buy anything they want?

Teacher tenure law unconstitutional - state plans appeal

The Republican plan to strip North Carolina teachers of their tenure has been declared unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge. Judge Robert Hobgood issued a permanent injunction against the law, ruling that it violated the contract clause of the US constitution and was an illegal seizure of property under the state constitution.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, who crafted the provision to end tenure, called the ruling "a classic case of judicial activism" and said lawmakers would work to appeal the decision.

"Today, a single Wake County judge suppressed the will of voters statewide who elected representatives to improve public education and reward our best teachers with raises," Berger said in an email.

NC legislative committee changing rules for building

If you have a bunch of protestors pointing out your bad policies, what's the best way to solve the problem?

If you're Republicans in the NC legislature, the answer is simple - change the rules to make the protestors go away.

WRAL reports that a committee that hasn't met since the 90s has been convened to look at the rules for the legislative building. The ACLU and others are concerned that the new rules will allow police to do "selective enforcement" against particular groups or individuals.

Operation American Spring brings out the NC extremists

Operation American Spring, as reported by Raw Story, is an event styled on the #Occupy and Arab Spring protests where ten to thirty million self-described "patriots" will show up in DC this Friday to drive Obama out of office.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

“We are calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration,” said retired Army Col. Harry Riley, leader of the Operation American Spring protest group. “They have all abandoned the US Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.”

Congressional candidate Crisco dead

It's being reported on Twitter, but WRAL has the full story - Keith Crisco, who was Clay Aiken's opponent for the Democratic nomination in Congressional District 2, died in a fall at his home today. Crisco was trailing Aiken by 369 votes in the primary.

"This is a shocking day," Crone said. "I have known Keith for nearly 30 years and consider him a good friend. He has done a great deal for his community and his state. I will miss his insights and his wry sense of humor and his keen mind for math and statistics."

WS Journal on Republican ticket tax

As the state legislature heads back in to session on Wednesday, the Winston-Salem Journal follows up on one of the new taxes passed by the Tea Baggers in the last session - the event ticket tax.

Some organizations, such as the Piedmont Opera, won't have to deal with the tax until next year - the tickets for their current season were already sold before the tax went into effect in January. Others - like the River Run Film Festival - have had to raise prices.

11 other things you should know about Thom Tillis

On May 6th, when voters were turning out for primaries here in NC, the Washington Post published a fluff piece about Thom Tillis, full of little "factoids" to help DC insiders have some conversation starters at cocktail parties about an eventual (possible) new face in town.

A few of the fascinating things we learned from the Post's listicle:

He sends messages with lollipops. Tillis would keep a mug full of Dum Dum lollipops on his desk. If he thought an idea was, well, less than brilliant, he would reward its author with a sweet treat that sent a less-than-subtle message.

Doesn't that sound like Reagan's jellybean fetish in a more twisted, Machiavellian sort of way?

Tillis likes the outdoors. He’s an avid water skier and mountain biker.

NC charter schools highlighted in report on fraud and waste

Via Salon, we have a link to a new report co-authored by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education that examines the lack of oversight of charter schools. The report looked at just 15 states, pulling news stories, criminal complaints, audits, and other sources.

The report "found fraud, waste and abuse cases totaling over $100 million in losses to taxpayers" and noted that, due to lack of oversight, “the fraud and mismanagement that has been uncovered thus far might be just the tip of the iceberg.”

Three NC charter schools are highlighted in the report:

NC Board of Elections website showing incorrect info on election night; news outlets contacting counties

A hat tip to Wautauga Watch for linking to this story from WSPA in Spartanburg, SC. On election night the NC State Board of Elections site was showing incorrect information on the races - news outlets wound up calling local county offices to get results.

Henderson told WSPA that the system they were using "was only three days old".

After the problems at the NC DMV and the Department of Health and Human Services, Teddy has to ask if the McCrory administration has spent the past few months hiring contractors to break the state's IT systems.

Orange County Register of Deeds race and Amendment One

ThinkProgress has a story on one low-level race that could have a big impact for LGBTs in the state.

On the surface, the election appears somewhat mundane: Chilton defeated incumbent Deborah Brooks in the Democratic primary for the Orange County, North Carolina register of deeds, a seemingly innocuous government position primarily tasked with keeping track of county real estate practices and issuing birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses. What makes the election interesting to LGBT advocates is Chilton’s unusual campaign promise: upon taking office, Chilton has vowed to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though doing so would violate “Amendment 1,” a North Carolina law passed in May 2012 making it illegal to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions in the state.


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