Thursday News: Supremely qualified

GERRYMANDERING OPPONENT ANITA EARLS ANNOUNCES RUN FOR NC SUPREME COURT: The 57-year-old Democrat from Durham announced her candidacy for the one seat on the seven-member bench that will be open in the 2018 elections. “I passionately believe in the importance of the right to vote, and that an independent judiciary is crucial to the balance of powers necessary to maintain democratic government of, by and for the people,” Earls said. “... In these times, I am seeing how those values are under attack, and I admire the determination of ordinary people who take great risks to stand up for their rights.” In her recent travels around the state, Earls said she tells people who are concerned about North Carolina “to continue to believe that they can make a difference by engaging in our democracy.”

NC-BORN CALIFORNIA MASS MURDERER HAD HISTORY OF VIOLENCE TOWARD FEMALE NEIGHBOR: One of the first victims of a Northern California gunman told a judge earlier this year that she and her family lived in fear of him because he was violent and unpredictable, firing off guns at all hours and threatening her with "all kinds of perverted things." On Tuesday, Neal shot and killed the 34-year-old woman before embarking on what authorities called a "murderous rampage" through a neighborhood in Tehama County about 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of Sacramento. Neal was arrested and charged with stabbing Poland and attacking her mother-in-law during a Jan. 31 encounter in their rural neighborhood. Poland filed for a restraining order a week later, writing in a plea to a judge that Neal "is very unpredictable and unstable ... has anger issues." Tehama County district attorney Gregg Cohen said he sought a protective order for Poland and her mother-in-law after Neal's release from jail on bail. "Simply put, the victims were very scared of him," Cohen said.

NC GOP PUNISHES HAYWOOD COUNTY SPLINTER GROUP FOR DISLOYALTY: Accusations against the Haywood Five included doctoring GOP voter guides to support Democratic candidates, writing emails criticizing Republicans, authoring blog posts to support Democrats and sharing pro-Libertarian or pro-Democrat posts on Facebook, according to The Mountaineer and The Smoky Mountain News. The Haywood County GOP held an unannounced closed session during a special meeting in May to accuse the Haywood Five of party disloyalty, according to allegations reported by The Smoky Mountain News. “I have never campaigned for no Democrat and they didn’t even accuse me of that. It was for badmouthing a RINO,” said Eddie Cabe, a member of the Haywood Five, using an acronym for Republican In Name Only. In addition to Davis and Cabe, the Haywood Five also includes Monroe Miller, Richard West and Paul Yeager.

FEUD GROWING BETWEEN PEDOPHILE ROY MOORE AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN DC: With President Donald Trump standing on the sidelines, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his allies on the ground in Alabama are bracing for an extended conflict — not with Democrats, but with their own party in Washington. The divide between the state and national GOP reached new depths late Wednesday as more allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Moore, an outspoken Christian conservative. Already, the Republican National Committee, the Senate GOP campaign committee and the party's leading voices in Congress have called on the 70-year-old former judge to quit the race. Ever defiant, Moore offered fighting words in a tweet addressed to the top Senate Republican: "Dear Mitch McConnell, Bring. It. On." Chris Hansen, executive director of the national GOP's Senate campaign committee, fired back, "'Bring It On' is a movie about cheerleaders." Tee hee...

2005 COMPROMISE ALLOWED ABUSE AT SPINDALE CHURCH TO CONTINUE: Former members of a controversial North Carolina-based church want the state to take legal action to overturn a court-ordered compromise they say has crippled child abuse investigations involving the sect. The former congregants of Word of Faith Fellowship also want Rutherford County child protection agency director John Carroll to resign, saying he pushed for the 2005 settlement and has failed to protect children from abusive practices inside the church. As part of the compromise, the agency agreed to pay the church $300,000 and guaranteed that abuse inquiries could no longer be solely based on objections to such core sect practices as “blasting,” when congregants surround a church member and shriek, sometimes for hours, in an attempt to expel demons. The agreement also bars social workers from asking children about religious beliefs or practices. Several experts who reviewed the stipulations at the AP’s request called the agreement highly unusual and spoke of a potential chilling effect on investigations. In letters they plan to send to state and federal officials, the former members — some of whom were plaintiffs in the lawsuit — implore North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to motion for a judicial review of the compromise.



You might recognize one of those Haywood Five

Especially if you've been monitoring the #ncpol feed on Twitter over the last couple years:

He went batshit crazy over Jim Womack this Summer, posting hundreds of duplicate Tweets within just a few days. And before Jim, it was Hasan Harnett, who was railroaded out of the NC GOP Chairmanship by Dallas Woodhouse. Yeager (easily) posted 500 times using the same 3 or 4 Tweets about Harnett. At one time, I thought he was just a bot created to do that stuff, but apparently he's a real person. Go figure.