Daily dose

Daily dose: Modern-day bigot statue to replace ancient bigot statue

Billy Graham honor sparks bitter debate (AP) — A proposal to honor North Carolina favorite son Rev. Billy Graham with a statue in Washington won state House approval Thursday, but not without complaints from Democrats about the process and counter-claims from Republicans that critics had something against Graham.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina/billy-graham-dedication-inside-u-s-capitol-in-d-c/art...

Graham statue bill leads to angry debate (WRAL-TV) -- A bill naming the Rev. Billy Graham to represent the state at the U.S. Capitol led to angry debate in the state House Thursday after its backers circumvented the standard legislative process.
http://www.wral.com/graham-statue-bill-leads-to-angry-debate/14587273/

Daily dose: The truth hurts edition

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McCrory gets defensive after Obama’s comments about N.C. public schools (WFAE-FM) – Democratic President Barack Obama’s lament about the declining state of education in North Carolina drew a defensive reaction from Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. "This used to be the state in which the promise of education was understood at the state government level and the reason North Carolina did better economically than many in of the other Mid-Atlantic and Southern states was because of the Research Triangle and the emphasis on education." Obama said. That comment drew the ire of McCrory, who’d spent the day in Washington asking members of Congress to allow oil and gas drilling closer to the state’s seashore and beaches. "I was disappointed to learn that the President used a portion of his quick visit today to unfairly and incorrectly malign our education system," McCrory said in a press release, citing last year’s teacher pay increase – that, in fact, hiked pay for starting teachers but left most teachers with little or no pay increase.
http://wfae.org/post/potus-pitches-mommy-bloggers

Daily dose: Justice for Nisour Square edition

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Blackwater guard sentenced to life in Iraqi shooting (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Defense lawyers are vowing to appeal the convictions of four former Blackwater security guards after a federal judge handed down lengthy prison terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq.
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/04/blackwater-guard-sentenced-life-iraqi-shooting

Daily dose: Burr's problem with female judges edition

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The Most Ridiculously Long Judicial Vacancies (Huffington Post) -- Here's a look at the worst Senate offenders when it comes to not filling long-vacant judgeships in their home states. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) There's a seat on U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina that's been empty for 3,387 days. That's more than nine years, and it has no nominee. Burr avoided questions from The Huffington Post last year about why he was blocking a previous nominee for the slot, Jennifer May-Parker. His obstruction of May-Parker was particularly puzzling, given that he previously recommended her to Obama.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/10/obama-judicial-nominees_n_7042996.html

Daily dose: That's a lotta fancy shirts edition

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Ex-SEANC leader Dana Cope misspent $500K, audit finds (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former state employees director Dana Cope repeatedly and willfully spent the organization’s money on personal expenses. SEANC says it will work to get the money back and that it has new controls on spending.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article18281918.html

Daily dose: Vote or get cut from the rolls edition

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Elections office cleans up voter rolls (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Forsyth County has been involved in a mandated effort to maintain and cleanup voter rolls, and a new process could mean that more names will be removed from the voter registration list in the future. Every other year, counties send out cards to registered voters who have not voted and have had no contact with the elections office in the previous four years — two federal election cycles — to confirm that they are still living at that address.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/elections/local/elections-office-cleans-up-voter-rolls/article_6f74ff...

Daily dose: Rhino stumbles edition

Right-wing newspaper appears to have manipulated voter survey on redistricting bill (Greensboro News & Record) -- A poll that seems to suggest that more Greensboro residents support a controversial bill to restructure the City Council than oppose it, may have been rigged by the local conservative newspaper that paid for it and the company that conducted it. But polling experts question the poll’s results and the methods of the company that conducted it. On its website Revily, the firm hired by the Rhino Times to conduct the survey, describes its mission as “to increase the probability of winning for Conservative Campaigns and Organizations.” The poll seems to have the same mission, said Ken Fernandez, an assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon Poll at Elon University. “I would argue that a poll like this has no value and could in fact harm the public’s knowledge,” Fernandez said.
http://www.news-record.com/news/government/sb-survey-draws-scrutiny/article_8e7e040e-df07-11e4-91d6-...

Daily dose: Coop takes a stand version

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Cooper would veto religious exemption bills if NC governor (AP) — Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday he supports requiring North Carolina police to wear body cameras and rejects proposals allowing public officials and potentially businesses to cite religion for declining to serve gay couples.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/cooper-would-veto-religious-exemption-bills-if-nc-governor-2840861

Cooper would veto gay marriage bills (Raleigh News & Observer) -- NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday if he was the governor he would veto two pending bills related to gay marriage.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Daily dose: The GOP's unpopular agenda edition

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GOP Legislature vs. The People – A new survey of North Carolina registered voters shows a stark divide between the Republican-dominated legislature and the people it represents. Only 31% of North Carolinians agree with the legislature’s GOP leadership The who think business owners should be allowed to refuse service to gay customers. Public Policy Polling’s survey found 56% of North Carolinians say it shouldn't be permitted. Voters think their legislators took the wrong tack on a bill to redraw county commission lines in Wake County while killing a bill to end religious exemptions for vaccinations. Only 12% of voters think the General Assembly should be involved with things like drawing City Council and County Commissioner lines while 73% think that should be left to the local level. A mere 24% of voters think parents should still be allowed to exempt their children from immunization requirements for religious reasons, compared to 64% who think there should not be an exemption. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/04/carolina-state-fans-pulling-for-duke.html

Daily dose: Tarnished golden years edition

McCrory, GOP tax ‘reform’ has elderly facing big bite (Hendersonville Times-News) -- Don Ward spends nearly every hour of the day in his Hendersonville home caring for his 82-year-old wife, Cynthia. Two caregivers help him most of the week. Between the caregivers, insurance premiums, medicine, surgeries and other related costs, Ward's medical expenses totaled $40,000 for 2014. In 2013, when his expenses were about the same, Ward's North Carolina income tax refund was $1,000, which he put in a medical account that took care of expenses such as paying the two caregivers. For 2014, however, Ward will take a big hit and owe nearly $3,000.
http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20150405/articles/150409951

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