The search for Art Pope

The search committee to find the successor to UNC President Tom Ross has been announced. What characteristics were the Board of Governors seeking in search committee members? Perhaps knowledge of the university system, experience in recruiting top-level academics or knowledge about a presidential search process?

“You like to think that ideologies don’t matter because we’re all trying to find the very best leader for the university system, but in reality you do need a viewpoint of different ideologies in that process,” [Board of Governors vice chair Lou] Bissette said.

The GOP's bloodless coup of Wake County

The rise of the mapmakers:

Despite the fact that about 30,000 more voters chose Democrats than Republicans, the Republican candidates would have ended Election Day as the dominant party in Wake County government.

The law stacks up tens of thousands of Democratic voters in a few districts, guaranteeing huge margins but fewer victories. For example, a Democratic candidate could win 80 percent of the ballots in District 4, covering southeast Raleigh, Garner and Knightdale, or 72 percent of District 2, covering central Raleigh.

While Republicans have proven to be very clever at manipulating maps to gain majorities they don't really possess, their arrogance and patently un-democratic motives are becoming more and more transparent each time they do it. And more likely to come apart under the harsh scrutiny of judicial review. This is also another prime example of the folly behind "local" bills not requiring executive review. The Governor's mansion sits square in the middle of this particular crisis, and cutting him out of the loop is a sign of terminal hubris.

Daily dose: Vote or get cut from the rolls edition


Elections office cleans up voter rolls (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Forsyth County has been involved in a mandated effort to maintain and cleanup voter rolls, and a new process could mean that more names will be removed from the voter registration list in the future. Every other year, counties send out cards to registered voters who have not voted and have had no contact with the elections office in the previous four years — two federal election cycles — to confirm that they are still living at that address.

Goolsby will lobby for illegal sweepstakes industry


A marriage made in hell:

According to N.C. Secretary of State filings, the Small Business Coalition was incorporated in February by Gardner Payne, a Charlotte attorney and lobbyist who once faced criminal gambling charges for sweepstakes machines he operated in Duplin County. The charges were later dismissed.

The news release about Goolsby’s new role said that Rep. Harry Warren, a Salisbury Republican, plans to file legislation this session to legalize sweepstakes.

Apparently swindling people out of their money can be habit-forming.

Daily dose: Rhino stumbles edition

Right-wing newspaper appears to have manipulated voter survey on redistricting bill (Greensboro News & Record) -- A poll that seems to suggest that more Greensboro residents support a controversial bill to restructure the City Council than oppose it, may have been rigged by the local conservative newspaper that paid for it and the company that conducted it. But polling experts question the poll’s results and the methods of the company that conducted it. On its website Revily, the firm hired by the Rhino Times to conduct the survey, describes its mission as “to increase the probability of winning for Conservative Campaigns and Organizations.” The poll seems to have the same mission, said Ken Fernandez, an assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon Poll at Elon University. “I would argue that a poll like this has no value and could in fact harm the public’s knowledge,” Fernandez said.

John Brooks dismissed as chair of NCDP Council of Review

Former Labor Commissioner John Brooks has been removed as chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party’s Council of Review, the party’s committee tasked with resolving internal disputes. In her letter dismissing Brooks, NCDP Chair Patsy Keever referenced multiple violations of the party’s Plan of Organization, as well as, Brooks’ refusal to delay a hearing scheduled for Sunday April 12, at 9:00 a.m. after the Respondent suffered a serious heart attack on Thursday April 2, and underwent emergency surgery. Keever ended her letter with the simple admonishment,

The ten-percenters: Armed and angry


Effect, meet cause:

Angry people with ready access to guns are typically young or middle-aged men, who at times lose their temper, smash and break things, or get into physical fights, according to the study co-authored by scientists at Duke, Harvard, and Columbia universities.

Study participants who owned six or more firearms were also far more likely than people with only one or two firearms to carry guns outside the home and to have a history of impulsive, angry behavior.

Cue the argument from GRNC or other firearm fetishists: "It's not against the law to be angry. At least not yet." Within that (admittedly fictional) statement is the paranoia and distrust that underlies the thought patterns of many gun enthusiasts, who are also the people who expect us to not be paranoid about them concealed carrying in parks and restaurants. But they simply can't (or won't) grasp the contradiction.

Daily dose: Coop takes a stand version


Cooper would veto religious exemption bills if NC governor (AP) — Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday he supports requiring North Carolina police to wear body cameras and rejects proposals allowing public officials and potentially businesses to cite religion for declining to serve gay couples.

Cooper would veto gay marriage bills (Raleigh News & Observer) -- NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday if he was the governor he would veto two pending bills related to gay marriage.


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