Greensboro moving in the right direction on police bias

A broken tail light should not land you behind bars:

The police chief in Greensboro, N.C., has ordered his officers to stop pulling over motorists for minor infractions involving vehicle flaws like broken taillights, an action he called a first step toward eliminating “alarming” racial disparities in traffic stops.

The chief also promised to better supervise young officers, a response to data showing that four times as many blacks as whites were charged with the sole offense of resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer after traffic stops and other police encounters. “That, too, is alarming,” he said.

Bolding mine. As a society that is supposed to encourage blind justice, we have failed miserably. We've allowed our law enforcement community to freely exercise discrimination, we've allowed our court system to reject black jurors at an alarming rate, and we've done very little to limit the flow of our school-to-prison pipeline. These biased interactions between cops and random minority drivers are just one aspect of the problem, but fixing it can be a game-changer. Especially for the age range 18-25, where the young person's future is a blank slate. Unfortunately, we also live in a society that has become so self-centered a problem doesn't exist until it affects us individually and directly. Some random facebook comments from said group:

Thursday News: Rucho's graceless exit edition


NEARING RETIREMENT, RUCHO REFLECTS ON BIG CHANGES, ‘LIBERAL’ CRITICS (WFAE-FM) -- A fiery state lawmaker from Mecklenburg County is retiring after next year. Republican Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews has represented the area off and on since 1996. When the GOP gained control of the legislature after the 2010 election, Rucho played a significant role in some of the state’s major legislative changes. WFAE’s Michael Tomsic sat down with him Tuesday and filed this report.

The SBI's probe of Internet gambling corruption on the horizon

And the stakes are considerable:

The case raises clear concerns about pay-to-play politics, but there are significant other issues. One involved contributions from Chase E. Burns of Oklahoma, owner of a company that developed software for the sweepstakes machines. Burns paid $274,000 in campaign donations to North Carolina candidates and party committees from a trust fund filled with $5 million transferred from his company, International Internet Technologies. Burns’ contributions may have violated laws against direct corporate contributions to candidates, and the money itself was tainted by illegal gambling. Burns was indicted in Florida on racketeering charges and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge.

And once again, the N&O failed to mention the SBI has been moved from the Attorney General's office to answering directly to the Governor. Have McCrory's recent diatribes about being persecuted by the media forced the editorial board into being more circumspect? That conflict of interest is not imaginary, it's very real, and ignoring that conflict won't make it go away. Our Governor has demonstrated a severe lack of understanding when it comes to ethical considerations, and he needs to be put on notice that trying to influence the SBI's investigation results will land him in more hot water.

Wednesday News: 4th branch of NC government


ALEC'S FINGERPRINTS ON HARSH NEW NC IMMIGRATION LAW (Facing South) -- North Carolina joined the ranks of states with harsh immigration policies when Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law HB 318 . Language in North Carolina's sanctuary city ban predates Steinle's death: It comes from a model bill, titled "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants," crafted in 2009 by the American Legislative Exchange Council , a nonprofit that brings together corporate representatives and conservative state policymakers to craft model state legislation that member lawmakers then introduce in their home states.

Grier Martin gets a Republican challenger

You're going to have to do better than this, BergerMoore:

According to a post on Morris’ Facebook page, House Speaker Tim Moore helped with the announcement during a fundraiser at the home of Jim Cain, an attorney and former U.S. ambassador to Denmark.

Morris, a Republican, has worked at the General Assembly for two years. Prior to that, he’s worked as a banker, a builder and a pastor.

We got your back, Major. Just keep your feet and knees together and we'll get through this thing in one piece. ;)

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Look who's joining the sophomoric #ncpol mudwrestling match:

Here's an idea, instead of chirping on social media and whining in the op-ed pages, why don't you get back to protecting NC's Environmental Quality?

Tuesday News: Chase Burns redux edition


WAKE DA LAUNCHES PROBE INTO SWEEPSTAKES CAMPAIGN DONATIONS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Wake County district attorney has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into potential wrongdoing related to 2012 political contributions from the video sweepstakes industry. The announcement comes months after state Board of Elections investigators found no inappropriate activities.

Tainted media alert: RealClearPolitics partners with coal industry

Fresh from BlueNC's inbox:

Washington, D.C. – RealClearPolitics announced today its "Powering the Road to 2016" presidential candidate forums in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the discussions will provide presidential candidates an opportunity to outline their energy policies and priorities to primary voters across the country.

The "Powering the Road to 2016" policy discussions, previously held in Denver, Co are turning toward pivotal primary states at a time when important energy issues are being debated on the campaign trail. The events will allow candidates to make remarks to voters and take questions. The events will include 200-250 state and local elected officials, politically engaged voters, media, local policy makers, business leaders, decision makers and academia.

While their bent will come as no surprise to many reading this, I have seen an increase in (Progressive) folks who have linked to some of their polls or articles, especially on Facebook. Please don't do that here. We welcome many points of view, but "clean coal" is such a laughable contradiction it might just break the Internet. You don't want to be responsible for that, do you? I didn't think so.

Monday News: Wealthy ghosts in the machine edition


CHANCE TO SHINE LIGHT ON 'DARK MONEY' POLITICS (Fayetteville Observer) -- If laws are only as good as the people who enforce them, maybe we should give up on campaign-finance regulations. Bad enough that the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the door to unfettered purchasing of elections by wealthy donors. But so much worse when the few remaining restrictions on the buying of elections are ignored, as well. North Carolina has a picture of how bad it can get. We see it in Carolina Rising, a 501(c)(4) social-welfare organization that apparently served the welfare of just one man: Thom Tillis, who now represents North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.


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