2017 "Special Election" for some GA seats a possibility

That's what happens when you disregard the Constitution:

Attorneys for the state lawmakers who have been forced by the federal courts to redraw congressional and state legislative district maps have suggested July 28, 2017, as the deadline for coming up with a new legislative districting plan that complies with the federal court ruling.

The challengers plan to provide more details by Sept. 30 on why they think the court should order a special election in 2017 instead of waiting until 2018 as the lawmakers have suggested.

Honestly, it should be the other way around. Republicans should have to explain why waiting for *two years* to repair these screwed up districts is justifiable. And I can't think of any reason how it could be.

New documentary "Starving The Beast" a must-see

The right-wing's vigorous attack on higher education:

Who gains when public universities start to think of themselves more like businesses and treat students like customers? Are America's public research universities, long a magnet for brilliant students around the world, in need of reinvention by conservative businessmen? What is education for, anyway? These are just a few of the questions raised in Starving the Beast, Steve Mims' look at trends in higher education that are often poorly understood by a public whose attention is focused on skyrocketing tuition and student debt.

These stories are all so interwoven with statehouse politics that Mims finds himself discussing everything from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's war on collective bargaining to the vast influence of Art Pope, a businessman described here as North Carolina's version of the Koch brothers.

I'm curious to see which of Pope's efforts to infiltrate universities will be explored. The fact that it could be one of several is in itself an interesting notion.

Friday News: Off-script, off his rocker


MCCRORY: COOPER’S RESPONSIBLE FOR HB2 (Charlotte Observer) -- After speaking in Charlotte Thursday, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory slammed his Democratic opponent over education and HB2. McCrory said Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper “has a history of doing nothing” on education. And he blamed Cooper and the “political left” for prompting the law known as HB2. McCrory also declined to elaborate on comments he made Wednesday that the N.C. Chamber helped write portions of HB2. A Chamber official denied that Thursday.

Big surprise: Steve Troxler is in favor of wood pellet industry


Better paint those trees now, before they're gone:

Exporting wood energy is a sustainable way for North Carolina to create jobs at home, draw attention to our state's robust forestry industry and reduce carbon emissions by providing a green alternative to fossil fuels.

North Carolina is in a position to capitalize on global demand for wood-derived energy. Nearly 60 percent of the state is forest land. The wood energy industry has already created 168,732 jobs statewide and that number is set to grow. As it is, at least one major wood energy supplier, Enviva, has plans to open two new plants in Richmond and Sampson counties by 2017, creating over 170 permanent jobs and injecting over $214 million into the local economy, a boon for North Carolina, both in jobs and economic stimulus.

Bolding mine, because that's the biggest load of equine droppings I've seen from a public official in a long time. And considering the prolific liars running our state right now, that's saying a lot. No doubt he got that number from an industry rep and not Commerce or Labor. And he also misrepresents the NC State study I dealt with a few months ago:

Thursday News: Terrymandering?

NC GOP LEADER LOBBIED COUNTIES TO OFFER SINGLE EARLY VOTING SITE IN ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ EMAIL (Raleigh News & Observer) -- While the N.C. Republican Party’s executive director pushed counties to reduce early voting opportunities, another GOP leader, 1st Congressional District GOP Chair Garry Terry, went a step further: Calling on Republican county election officials to offer only one early voting site for the minimum hours allowed by law. Terry encourages board members with questions to contact him or NCGOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse, who wrote his own memo to Republican board members calling for “party line changes” limiting early voting.

Scathing editorial on the NC GOP's attack on voters

Stifling democracy is inexcusable, no matter how you slice it:

Enough is enough. First, North Carolina citizens are gerrymandered so extensively that the politicians picked their voters. Then, there’s an election law bill that slashes voting opportunities for African-Americans and young people. So, some politicians make it more difficult for those who might oppose them to get to the polls.

Playing these cynical games with voting shows a lack of respect for our most important right and makes a mockery of our elections. The state’s Republican leadership, party officials and power players in the General Assembly who are responsible, say it’s just politics as usual and an appropriate part of the process. Meanwhile the courts have said that the legislature has crafted discriminatory and unconstitutional voting laws.

The irony is, these flag-waving, pledge-of-allegiance-reciting, "representatives" of the people have attacked the US and NC Constitutions so many times we've lost count. Their arrogance and hubris know no bounds, and they will continue to grab whatever power they can get their grubby little hands on, until we put them back in the minority where they belong.

The Koch Brothers involved in NC beach access dispute

Attacking government religiously, no matter how small:

Some have suggested that the beach property rights case between Diane and Gregory Nies and the Town of Emerald Isle, now before the N.C. Supreme Court, pits property rights against public recreation. This is incorrect. The case pits constitutionally protected property rights against lawless government.

J. David Breemer is a principal attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, a donor supported watchdog organization that defends property rights nationwide. PLF represents the Nies free in their litigation against the Town of Emerald Isle.

PLF dates back to the Reagan years, and has been propped up by the Scaife Foundation and the Kochs every time its finances dwindled to the point it was at risk of total collapse. And they've been the leading edge in some of the most disgusting anti-environment moves ever attempted, including trying to get the endangered manatees de-listed in areas down in Florida, so wealthy boat enthusiasts wouldn't have to worry about killing the few that are left. And they were the ones who targeted polar bears a few years ago, doing the dirty work for their fossil fuel masters:

Wednesday News: Governor McTravel in trouble again


MCCRORY, KEY ADMINISTRATORS SUED FOR WITHHOLDING TRAVEL RECORDS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A political organization whose president, Jay Reiff once advised former Gov. Mike Easley, has sued Gov. Pat McCrory and his administration for withholding travel records requested more than a year ago. Real Facts NC, a nonprofit formed in 2010 to conduct research and disseminate information about public policies and public officials, filed the lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday.


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