Daily Dose: Tholl Road Thom edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Tillis donors could make millions from toll lanes (WCNC-TV) -- Toll lanes on I-77 – the DOT says they're coming – but many voters don't like them. A group of big time campaign contributors to Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis stands to make millions from your tax dollars tied to the toll lanes. There have been protests and organized opposition from a group called Widen I-77 as well as from some local elected officials in Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville. Thom Tillis supports the toll lanes. He has for years. In a May 2011 televised interview on Carolina Business Review, Tillis told interviewer Steve Crump, "I think we have to take a serious look at toll roads…we don't have enough money coming in for the needs we have." Now the NBC Charlotte I-Team has documented that a group of big time Tillis campaign contributors stands to make millions from your tax dollars tied to the toll lanes. This story all starts with a prime piece of Cornelius real estate called Augustalee.
http://www.wcnc.com/story/traffic/2014/09/22/tillis-donors-could-make-millions-from-toll-lanes/16036733/

Tillis finds one teacher who loves Republican policies. Turns out, she's a liar.

Birds of a feather and all.  To my knowledge.

As a teacher, when someone gets something wrong, I correct it. So when I see these negative ads, talking about massive budget cuts and textbook shortages, that is incorrect. Thanks to the leadership of Governor McCrory and Speaker Thom Tillis, North Carolina has increased funding for public schools by a billion dollars.” Wilburn’s chiding is enough to make Democrats go stand in the corner. But in this case it’s the teacher who needs a time-out to go check her math.

The $1 billion increase Wilburn refers to is deeply misleading. Most of that spending includes state contributions to pension and health funds and salary adjustments. It’s not in any real world sense spending for the education of North Carolina’s public school students.  In the real world, spending for education is down. Wilburn could have learned that by going to the financial officer for her own school district. There has been a slight increase in special education funding, but the overall funding for the 5,400-student Yadkin County school district is down.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/20/4168035_an-ad-repeats-fuzzy-math-on-nc.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Trouble on the coast

Hat tip to NC Policy Watch for spotlighting this frightening story of our sinking coastline.

Many of those data are highlighted in a new, “must read” investigative report from the news service Reuters entitled “Water’s edge: The crisis of rising sea levels.” This report finds that: a) the data are overwhelming and, perhaps even more disturbingly, b) that public officials are doing little-to-nothing about the problem except pouring more and more money down a very big drain — even when the impacted area are federal lands.

The Wos effect: Throw money at consultants until you run out

Eventually, one of them is bound to stumble over the solution
This information came to light at a legislative oversight committee meeting last week. Counting DHHS’ recent extension of a no-bid contract with consultant firm Alvarez & Marsal from $3 million to $6.82 million, the agency has spent more than $7.2 million on consultants over the past 20 months, the Journal reported. This breaks down to $473 an hour for the consultant’s three principals; $394 an hour for five directors; and $242 an hour for each of nine analysts, according to a report by the News & Observer of Raleigh. Sen. Floyd McKissick, attending the meeting, noted that one of those consultants works out to $800,000 a year.
Right, but raising the minimum wage in NC from $7.25 to $10.10 would place an unnecessary burden on the job creators...

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