Tale of two Skvarlas: A great opportunity becomes nothing important

He's not the sharpest tool in the shed:

“It hasn’t moved the needle one iota,” Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews. “PayPal wasn’t even a grain of sand on the beach,” he said. “It was 400 call center jobs over five years. Much too much is being made of PayPal.”

When the state announced PayPal was coming to Charlotte in March, however, the commerce department painted the move as a big win for the state. “North Carolina’s technology-savvy workforce will provide the perfect fuel for PayPal’s continued growth,” Skvarla said in a news release at the time. “This company’s global reputation for innovation and customer service makes it a strong fit for our state’s business-friendly community.”

The laughable contradiction aside, you have to wonder what the Charter Communications folks were thinking when Skvarla started spewing this vindictive nonsense. Are we going to be next? Especially considering Charter is laying off 258 employees in Charlotte next month after its purchase of Time Warner Cable, those employees are likely a little sensitive about a state government leader scoffing about job losses. Which won't move Skvarla's logic needle one iota, since that gauge is apparently broken.

Tuesday News: Tossing Burr


RATING CHANGE: N.C. SENATE RACE MOVES TO TOSSUP (Roll Call) -- Months ago, Republicans boasted about the amount of opposition research available on North Carolina Democrat Deborah Ross. But with just two weeks to go before Election Day, she has a legitimate shot at defeating GOP Sen. Richard M. Burr. This looks like it will be a close race and it’s hard to continue to give Burr an advantage, particularly as Donald Trump lags behind Hillary Clinton at the top of the ballot, which explains why Ross is now trying to tie him to Trump in her latest ads.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Voter turnout numbers encouraging:

Unfortunately, this also means Republicans will be chirping, "See, even with only one site open, it didn't deter voters." And of course we'll never know how many more votes would have been cast if there had been multiple sites open the 1st seven days of voting. We do know most of those voters had to stand in line for 1-2 hours, which is unacceptable. And it's certain they will ignore this:

NC GOP swings and misses against Andrew Barnhill

Calling this ham-handed would be a gross understatement:

In its ad, the GOP used a screen shot from First Baptist Church in Wilmington to claim that "the Church he claims to pastor doesn't even list him on their website." But Barnhill, who is running against incumbent Sen. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, has said he is a former pastor of First Baptist Church in Whiteville -- not in Wilmington.

The Whiteville church's current pastor, Rev. Ryan Clore, confirmed Monday that Barnhill served as a pastor at the church. "Andrew is a good man. He is certainly no liar," Clore said. "He was a very good pastor for this church."

But of course, instead of apologizing, the NC GOP doubles-down on its jackassedness by demanding Andrew provide proof, because apparently the current pastor (mentioned above) is not to be trusted either:

On the importance of your vote

Kirk Ross gets to the meat of the matter:

If you’re having trouble mustering that belief in self-governing and are still determined to withhold your vote, consider for a minute that you might not be voting for just you. Because you’re not. One person, one vote doesn’t translate to “my vote.” It means a lot more than that.

Of course you vote for yourself, but you also vote for everyone who can’t. In Orange County that includes the roughly 30,000 people under 18, six thousand of whom are age 5 or younger. It includes students from abroad studying at the university, people in prison, those too ill to vote, the undocumented and the dreamers and everyone you know who died this year who would have stepped up.

Over the years, I've always considered those who engage in the system and cast votes to be responsible. But in recent years, I've come to consider those who don't vote to be not just disengaged from the system and aloof, but patently irresponsible for their lack of concern. That may be an effect of immersing myself daily in political issues and exploring the long-term consequences of poor leadership, but I can't help it. Once you know, you can't un-know. So the challenge is (and always has been), getting those other people to know.

Monday News: Dynamic duo coming to Winston-Salem


HILLARY CLINTON, MICHELLE OBAMA PLAN WINSTON-SALEM RALLY (Winston-Salem Journal) -- With less than two weeks until Election Day, Hillary Clinton and ace supporter, First Lady Michelle Obama, will campaign together Thursday at Wake Forest University at a rally to encourage early voting. The appearance, their first joint campaign stop this election season, will be from 2 to 4 p.m., at Hearn Plaza, an outdoor space in the center of campus. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

Duelling Chairs: Keever and Hayes square off in the OpEd column

So many analogies to choose from, but Rocky and Bullwinkle keep coming to mind:

Even if we set aside the tremendous damage HB2 has done to our economy and our reputation, McCrory’s claims of a “Carolina Comeback” ring hollow. Most of the state’s economic gains have flowed to those at the very top, thanks to McCrory’s tax cuts for the wealthy and tax hikes on the rest of us. McCrory has raised taxes on the middle class in 67 different ways – you can see each of them at

Our choices are clear: Will we continue to move forward? Will we work together to build a greater North Carolina and a stronger United States? Or will we let ourselves be divided by fear, bigotry and hatred?

While Patsy may have dedicated a little too much column space to hammering on HB2 when there are so many other Republican-backed policies that have plagued our state, her position is well-reasoned and factual. Can't say the same for Robin Hayes, who predictably throws reason and reality to the wind:

Sunday News: Yes Donald, they vote


EARLY VOTING SHOWS UPSURGE OF WOMEN (Politico) -- In three crucial battlegrounds — North Carolina, Florida and Georgia — women are casting early ballots in disproportionate numbers. And in North Carolina, a must-win state for Trump with detailed early voting data available, it’s clear that Democratic women have been particularly motivated to turn out or turn ballots in. In North Carolina, 87,000 Democratic women have already moved to cast early ballots compared with just 60,000 Republican women, according to data shared with POLITICO by J. Michael Bitzer, an expert on North Carolina’s early vote at Catawba College. Men in the state, meanwhile, are closely divided: 50,000 Republicans and 52,000 Democrats have voted.


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