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Two-thirds of the General Assembly earn a failing grade on the environment

Two-thirds of the General Assembly Earn a Failing Grade on the Environment
Legislators take the state backwards on environmental initiatives

Raleigh, NC- Today, Environment North Carolina released its 2014 legislative scorecard, and the results don’t bode well for our state’s environment.

“From fast-tracking fracking to failed action on coal ash, legislators showed their true colors this session, and it’s clear that their priority is not protecting North Carolina’s air, water or open spaces,” said Dave Rogers, Field Director with Environment North Carolina.

The GOP's privatization of DOT costly for schools

Boom for the paving industry is a bust for struggling local education funders:

The budget bill provision mandates that the DOT outsource more of its pavement preservation work over the next four years. At least 80 percent of the department’s pavement preservation budget must be going to the private paving industry by 2018, Herron reported.

Darrell Walker, assistant superintendent of operations for the local school district, told the Journal that the district was mainly using the DOT crew to chip seal student parking lots. The average price from the DOT has been about $5.25 per square yard, he said, and he estimates that the private-sector move will cost the district about $12 per square yard.

No doubt Republicans in the General Assembly will pat themselves on the back for "saving taxpayer's money" at the state level, while ignoring the fact it's being horribly wasted at the local level, thanks to them. And they'll have all the supporting misinformation they need from idiots like this:

Daily Dose: Tillis is toast edition

EARLY VOTING (through Oct. 28) – TOTAL-546,965; Democrats 48%, Republicans 32%; Others 20%

Over Half-A-Million Accepted In-Person Early Ballots (Old North State Politics) -- Tuesday's voting brought in nearly 118,000 in-person accepted early ballots to push the total early in-person accepted votes to nearly 550,000 so far (546,995 to be exact). Of all early ballots submitted, and that includes both in-person and mail-in, 583,864 have been accepted as votes, with ballots from registered Democrats at 281,313, registered Republicans at 184,161, registered Unaffiliated voters at 117,510, and registered Libertarians at 880.
http://nc-politics.blogspot.com/2014/10/over-half-million-accepted-in-person.html

Early vote update: N.C. Democrats are banking a lot of votes (Washington Post) -- Our semi-regular look at the state of early voting across the country.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/10/29/early-vote-update-north-carolina-democrats...

CAMPAIGN 2014
Hagan maintains lead, 45%-41%, in final stretch of Senate campaign (Elon Poll) -- Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan holds a steady lead over her Republican challenger with Election Day just days away, according to the latest Elon University Poll. Hagan has solidified a 45-41 margin against Rep. Thom Tillis, the speaker of North Carolina's House of Representatives, since the Elon University Poll found the same numbers in early September. Another 6 percent of likely voters plan to support another candidate, while 7 percent remain undecided. Hagan's strongest support is among women and those likely voters under 30, and she maintains an edge among true independents. The live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 687 likely voters was conducted Oct. 21-25, 2014, and has a margin of error of 3.74 percentage points.
http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/elonpoll/10_30_14_ElonPollExecSummary.pdf

Voting machine swiches Hagan vote to Tillis

And it's unknown how many other votes it may have changed:

The problem occurred at the Craft Recreation Center in Greensboro Wednesday morning. A voter intended to vote for Kay Hagan. But before he pressed the vote button, it switched to Thom Tillis. He tried again, and the same thing happened.

The voter then alerted poll workers. Guilford Elections Director Charles Collicutt says they re-calibrated the machine and now it is reporting as is should be. The error with the Craft Rec Center machine is the only one known to have the problem this cycle. He says there’s no way to know for sure how many times such an error has occurred.

There's one way they can check: Check all the votes for that particular machine, and if a voter chose mostly Democrats in other races but also voted for Thom Tillis, there's a good chance that Tillis vote was incorrect. Especially after what happened with the Pat McCrory fiasco, I doubt there's many crossover Dems voting for Thommy Boy.

On fears, fantasies and critical thinking

In which I discuss monsters, both real and imagined:

As Halloween approaches, many are consumed with the desire to scare each other with elaborate costumes and behavior. Ghosts and witches, who previously ruled this holiday, have been replaced by more horrific entities: The ubiquitous walking dead and chainsaw-wielding psychopaths. It’s all in fun of course, but it’s also extremely ironic. Because many of us live in genuine fear of imaginary monsters for the other 364 days of the year, and it negatively alters our understanding of the world around us.

Campaign season is a time when reality suffers and the truth becomes a vague concept, but it's really the most important time for such things. Here are a few more excerpts from my appeal for thoughtful evaluation:

Say the "magic words" or your right to vote is questioned

New Hanover County BoE administers geography test to student voters:

In New Hanover County, dormitory students who cannot state their street address will not be allowed to cast a regular ballot in the coming election. The New Hanover County Democratic Party is challenging this procedure, saying it disenfranchises student voters.

"In other counties, they send dormitory lists to the polling place, and the poll workers have them, and if the student can identify the dormitory they live in, they assist them with the street address. And there’s really been no good reason stated by this Board of Elections why they’re out of sync with the State Board of Elections and other counties."

There's a reason all right, it just isn't a "good" reason. Assisting average voters is not high on the GOP's list of priorities, and assisting student voters is not on that list at all. It's on another list, that would be titled "suppress these people," if they were dumb enough to actually write it down somewhere.

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