Daily dose

Daily dose: Frustrated Francis edition

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House budget frustrates government shrinking advocates, unlikely to find favor with senators (WRAL-TV) -- "Handouts to cronies." "Disappointing." "Fiscally irresponsible." "Stuffed with pork barrel spending." Those reviews of the $22.1 billion budget developed by Republican leaders of the state House came not from liberal campaigners or Democratic lawmakers but from nonprofits singularly devoted to cutting taxes and the size of state government that have traditionally backed policies pursued by GOP lawmakers and helped them get elected. "We are not happy with what happened last night," Francis De Luca, president of Civitas Institute, said hours after the House approved the spending plan.
http://www.wral.com/house-budget-frustrates-conservatives-unlikely-to-find-favor-with-senators/14663...

Daily dose: More scorn for Rucho edition

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Rucho, ‘power-mad potentate,’ violated democratic process (Greensboro News & Record column) -- It’s ironic that members of the same party that accuses President Barack Obama of being a dictator are themselves acting like power-mad potentates. For the most flagrant disregard for the democratic process, we go to the N.C. Senate, where Finance Committee Chairman Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenberg) added measures to a bill without notice, banned any debate on those measures and refused a show-of-hands vote on the bill.
http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/susan-ladd-rucho-violated-democratic-process/article_e1b8...

Daily dose: The Pope/McCrory assault on higher ed version

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This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public Universities (The Nation) -- After the economic crash of 2008, almost every state in the nation cut its higher-education budget. (The exceptions were oil-rich Alaska and North Dakota.) As the recession eased, most states started restoring some of that funding, though not to previous levels. According to a 2014 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, average per-student state spending is 23 percent lower than it was before 2008. Eight Republican-dominated states, however, have kept cutting. Among them, North Carolina. In North Carolina, the influential political donor Art Pope, a close associate of the Koch brothers, has led an ideological crusade against the state’s university system. As Jane Mayer reported in The New Yorker, “In order to support the claims of political bias, the Pope organization has dug up the voter-registration records of professors and trustees.” The governor, in turn, has spoken out about universities being used to “indoctrinate” students, and the state government has closed academic centers on the environment, voter engagement, and work and poverty, all seen as left-leaning.
http://www.thenation.com/article/207697/gentrification-higher-ed

Daily dose: Charity comes to Dukeville edition

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1100 gallons of water delivered to Dukeville (Salisbury Post) -- More than 1,100 gallons of water, about 10,000 pounds, were delivered to the Miller’s Ferry Fire Department Friday following a donation from the Mooresville plant of Niagara Water. The delivery was organized by the Wallace and Graham Law firm, who is representing many of the neighbors of Buck Steam Station with contaminated well water.
http://www.salisburypost.com/2015/05/23/1100-gallons-of-water-delivered-to-dukeville/

Daily dose: 3 cheers for Solar PV edition

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NC House votes to keep solar energy tax credits (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The N.C. House voted down an effort from some Republicans to kill a tax credit for solar energy projects. Rep. Marilyn Avila, a Raleigh Republican, sponsored the amendment to let the program expire at the end of the year. Her proposal failed in a 38-77 vote.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article21...

Daily dose: "Rucho, party of one" version

Rucho bullies committee amid questionable rushed approval of energy bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Senate finance chairman Sen. Bob Rucho pushed through a bill freezing renewable energy rates on Wednesday, cutting off discussion and refusing to allow a head count instead of a voice vote. He declared the bill had passed, despite a louder and possibly more numerous chorus of "no" votes. The meeting ended with several senators, including at least two Republicans, openly complaining about the way Rucho had handled it. "It wasn’t even close," Sen. Jerry Tillman, a seven-term Republican from Archdale, told Rucho afterward.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article21...

Daily dose: "Say what?" edition

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House Medicaid budget provision draws fire (WRAL-TV) -- The proposed House budget would give Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos sweeping authority to run North Carolina's Medicaid program, allowing her to push forward with changes to the program's details and overall structure with relatively little intervention from the General Assembly. "This is audacious," Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, said of the provision during the House Appropriations Committee's vetting of the budget Tuesday morning.
http://www.wral.com/house-medicaid-budget-provision-draws-fire/14655988/

Daily dose: Too much information edition

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Why 500 Attack Emails Couldn't Take Down Thom Tillis (Roll Call) -- There were a few constants during the 2014 cycle: death, taxes, my three young kids waking up before 7 a.m. and a daily Democratic email attacking North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis. But in the end, even in the face of hundreds of blistering emails, the Republican challenger knocked off Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. All of that time and effort spent electronically attacking a candidate who ends up winning begs the question: “Was it worth it?” Looking back, the North Carolina legislature was the national poster child for what Democrats hated about alleged Republican overreach, and Tillis led one of the chambers.
http://blogs.rollcall.com/rothenblog/thom-tillis-2014-campaign-kay-hagan-attack-emails/?dcz=

Daily dose: "Hall of Shame" edition

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'Hall of Shame' adding more legislators (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County’s Republican state legislators are being added to the “Hall of Shame” established by leaders of the Moral Monday movement. The North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement are joining the Pitt County NAACP and other local partners at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, 1100 Ward St., at 7 p.m. today to hold an organizing meeting and to induct state Reps. Brian Brown and Susan Martin and state Sen. Louis Pate into the “Hall of Shame.”
http://www.reflector.com/news/8216hall-shame8217-adding-more-legislators-2882829

Daily dose: Hands across the sand version

Hundreds join hands on the sand in peaceful protest (WWAY-TV) -- Hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered at the Kure Beach fishing pier this afternoon to help spread awareness about the topic of off-shore drilling for oil. Those in attendance said they believe that the approval of off-shore drilling on the NC coast would be bad for the environment. Instead they are pushing for NC leaders to look into wind power further, and other sources of clean renewable energy.
http://www.wwaytv3.com/2015/05/16/hundreds-join-hands-on-the-sand-in-peaceful-protest/

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