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Cleveland County Sheriff's investigating Kansas shooter's ties to 1987 NC gay triple murder

RawStory has the news that the Cleveland County Sheriffs are sending investigators to question Frazier Glenn Miller about his possible ties to a brutal 1987 triple murder in a gay adult bookstore. Two attorneys involved with the case previously told Raw Story they thought Miller was the prime suspect in the case - the FBI may have "looked the other way" since they were working out a plea deal to get Miller to turn informant on the white supremacists groups he was involved with.

More on the case here.

Groupie Pat parties at Moogfest as protest rages

Pat McCrory made a surprise appearance at Moogfest, attending a VIP pool party atop the Aloft Hotel. Meanwhile, protestors went on with a planned rally against his policies.

McCrory was originally scheduled to appear at a kickoff panel of the five-day festival, which celebrates music technology and innovation. Local residents organized a protest against the Republican governor after the announcement.

Jill Lieberman, a Moogfest spokeswoman, said Friday morning that McCrory would not attend “due to a scheduling conflict.” Later that day, McCrory’s office said organizers asked him not to attend the event but sent best wishes for a successful event. Moog said that it regretted any miscommunication between the parties.

Minorities hit hard by NC Republican's decision to not expand Medicaid

The NC Institutes of Medicine has released a report noting that minorities are being hit hard by the refusal of McCrory and the Republicans refusal to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

According to KFF, it was estimated that at the end of 2012, the majority of uninsured, non-elderly persons in North Carolina were minorities – 44 percent Hispanic and 21 percent black – compared with 15 percent of whites.

By not expanding Medicaid, “North Carolina has been left out of a major health program,” said Victor Schoenbach, an epidemiology professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. “There is no additional revenue for the state. North Carolina is forgoing millions in revenue and potentially offering fewer jobs in health care than expected.”

McCrory gets most campaign money of any sitting governor from Duke Energy

The News and Observer highlights a new report out from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

From 2000-2012, McCrory got $16,000 from Duke Energy's political action committee and $82,000 from it's executives - a total of $98,000. The next closest on the list, Indiana's Mike Pence, received $13,000. Duke Energy gave a total of $128,000 to just six sitting governors. (Sam Brownback in Kansas only received $500.)

The full report is here.

Now, what would really be interesting is to look at the number of former Duke employees working in different state governments. How do you think the McCrory administration compares on that count?

Duke Energy coal ash? You're soaking in it, Pat.

Did Frazier Glenn Miller commit a 1987 NC gay triple murder?

Raw Story has a heart-wrenching piece about the ties of Frazier Glenn Miller, the white supremacist who shot and killed three people at a Kansas City community center, to a highly publicized 1987 triple murder in Shelby, North Carolina. (Kudos to Matt Comer, editor of NC's Q-Notes, who co-authored the story.)

The brutal murders created quite a sensation at the time and was one of several crimes against gays in the South in the 70s and 80s - fires at gay nightclubs and murders and disappearances of gay men - that made being out much more dangerous than it is today.

Brannon, Beck and Tea Party political Payola

Politico has an in-depth look at the financial ties between Tea Party PACS and prominent conservative radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. In deals with millions of dollars, Tea Party political groups are not only buying ads on top-rated conservative radio programs, but also paying the personalities for hawking membership to the groups. The sweetheart deals were exposed in memos from FredomWorks obtained by Mother Jones and Politco and FEC filings on spending by the groups.

On page two, NC Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon pops up:

Brannon, a Raleigh-area doctor, added more volunteers and raised more money in the month after his first appearance on Beck’s show than in any previous month, he told Beck during his second appearance.

Beck responded by urging his listeners, “If you have money, donate. If you have time, donate. GregBrannon.com.” But he also added a bit of shtick betraying his radio roots in the early 1980s as a Top 40 disc jockey in the then-emerging “morning zoo” genre. “I could tongue-kiss you and I’m not a guy who does that,” said Beck, who has become increasingly engaged in primary politics since the early days of the tea party and his partnership with FreedomWorks.

McCrory, Pope lie about tax numbers

Since the News and Observer gave us Art Pope's op-ed singing the praises of his TeaBagger legislature's tax "reforms", let's give equal time to Chris Fitzsimon, the Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, with his op-ed from the Robesonian to bring some of Pope's rhetoric down to earth.

The N.C. Budget & Tax Center finds that most middle class and low-income families will pay more on average under the tax plan, but it’s easy to see why the folks on the Right feel obligated to distort the facts.

There’s no dispute that a millionaire will pay nearly $12,000 less under the tax change. That’s a hard sell.

The claim that most taxpayers are paying less is based on a study plagued by flawed methodology. rth Carolina.

GOP Senate candidate Brannon plagiarized website

Raw Story and Buzzfeed are reporting that Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon plagiarized parts of his website from Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and copied - word for word - other sections directly from reports by the conservative Cato Institute.

The leader in the Republican primary, Thom Tillis, previously lied about his college credentials.

Quite a bunch of cocoanuts the Republicans have assembled for the race this time.

Hey, NC media outlets, what's going at in the NC DOT?

While no one was noticing, McCrory's hand-picked leader for the NC Department of Transportation, the controversial Tony Tata, reworked the formula for distributing funds for transportation projects around the state, shifting monies away from rural areas and guaranteed support for secondary roads.

Tata was profiled this month with kid gloves in the industry publication Government Technology, the only media outlet that's mentioned Tata's tenure in the job in much detail. There have been a couple of boneheaded goofs (here and here) by the NC DOT noted by BlueNC.

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