Daily Dose: Who wants to be like South Carolina?

The lead story today reports on the "incentives deficit" North Carolina faces in competing with South Carolina. For a variety of reasons, North Carolina isn't able to give away the many millions of dollars required to buy lure company interest. That's suits me just fine. I've visited South Carolina many times over the past year and, aside from excellent state parks, there is nothing about the Palmetto State that North Carolina should want to emulate. Yes South Carolina attracts new jobs, but those jobs come at a high cost to poor and middle class families. If you think poverty, racism, and environmental destruction are rampant here, just take a trip south of the border for an eye-opening experience. The whole state of South Carolina is little more than an abusive company town.

POLICY & POLITICS
Emails show NC faced long odds vying with SC for big companies (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina officials want to close the gap with South Carolina and other states that offer larger incentive packages and lower tax rates to lure companies --- sometimes causing Charlotte to miss out on hundreds of jobs. But emails and documents obtained by the Observer under a public records request show the state has hurdles to overcome if it wants to keep up with South Carolina and other rivals:
http://www.thestate.com/2014/12/20/3885842_emails-show-nc-faced-long-odds.html\

Boehner has invited Obama to give the State of the Union address

After a hissy fit in which he threatened not to invite the President to speak before Congress, Boehner has made the offer. Here's what Obama should say.

I come before you today to report on the State of the Union. And though it pains me to say it, I must tell you that our once-great country is well and truly screwed.

Progressive State Blogs round-up this week

Meteor Blades at Daily Kos tirelessly covers state political blogs, year in and year out. I read the coverage every week to see what other state blogs are doing, even when BlueNC isn't featured. There are lots of good story ideas to discover, and it's always good to show a little blog love to our colleagues in other states. Here you go.

Two tales of anthropogenic eagle fatalities

And they're both energy-related:

The U.S. Justice Department says 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds have been found dead at the company’s wind projects in Carbon and Converse counties from 2009 until now. The bulk of the fine money will pay for projects to preserve golden eagles.

It’s the second prosecution of a wind energy company for harming or killing protected birds. Duke Energy pleaded guilty last year to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.

More than likely this is the result of siting wind turbines without taking into consideration local or migratory avian behavior. They did the same in California with horrific results, and it almost scuttled the wind power industry. But before you decide generating renewable energy from wind is not worth the cost in bird lives, know that they are dying from coal-burning power plant toxins as well:

Daily Dose: Corruption continues edition

BIG BICKERING
AP reporter who irked McCrory gets 'year of excellence' award (Raleigh News & Observer) -- When Gov. Pat McCrory complained — repeatedly — this week about an Associated Press story, he was complaining about one reporter in particular: Michael Biesecker. Last week, Biesecker and reporter Mitch Weiss each received “AP North Carolina Staffer of the Year Award: In recognition of a year of excellence” on an engraved plaque. Weiss and Biesecker co-authored the story on McCrory’s stock payout as well as many of the AP’s coal ash stories. The Raleigh-based reporter not only irked the governor for the story he co-wrote about McCrory receiving a large stock payout from an online mortgage broker, but Biesecker’s coverage of coal ash this year also got under the administration’s skin. McCrory distributed a 34-page report outlining his supposed “mistakes, mischaracterizations and omissions.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/19/4416942_ap-reporter-who-irked-mccrory.html?rh=1

Homeowners Insurance Decision: Zero Change = $600 Million Savings

It's been a long time since I've posted here but I thought folks would appreciate hearing some (good) news.

Here's a link to the press release and the full Order I issued on Thursday afternoon, plus additional information. This was the first hearing (i.e., trial) on the subject of homeowners insurance in North Carolina since 1992.

And, here is a link to the News & Observer article and a link to WRAL's coverage of the matter.

Was McCrory's Tree.com compensation (much) larger than we thought?

It's possible there was more fruit on the Tree than we were led to believe:

Insider/Relation/Last Date/Transaction Type/OwnerType/Shares Traded/Last Price/Shares Held

MCCRORY PATRICK LLOYD Director 01/30/2013 Option Execute direct 10,063 0.0000 31,672

I don't know what it was worth then, but the stock is trading for just over $43 now, making that January 2013 option worth some $432, 709. And if that last (Shares Held) means what I think it does, that comes to $1.3 million and some change that McCrory is still(?) holding. I will freely admit, Fridays are bad days for me and my math, so please check behind me.

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