90% attendance is still AWOL, Thommy boy

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Tillis skips ISIS briefing to brown nose Cheney:

Tillis came down on Hagan for missing a briefing about the terrorist group ISIS. It was a fact. She missed the briefing. There was no context in the ad as to why she missed it. Just the fact.

Tillis said he could do a better job protecting you on matters of national security. But 2 Wants To Know found another empty chair. Now that Thom Tillis is in office, he's replaced Hagan on that Armed Services Committee. And Tillis also missed a meeting a briefing about ISIS from the Pentagon last Tuesday.

I would have been less concerned if he had missed the ISIS briefing in favor of taking a shower in lobbyists' $100 bills. The only time Cheney was "right" on Iraq, or the anywhere in the Middle East for that matter, was back shortly after he worked for Bush the Elder:

Daily dose: McCrory's secretive governing edition

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McCrory, GOP lawmakers talk secretly about budget, bonds (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory met with the N.C. House GOP during an out-of-the public’s-eyes 45-minute caucus meeting Thursday morning, but ignored the gaggle of reporters outside the door. He did the same with the Senate GOP caucus later in the afternoon.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article27447259.html

McCrory’s top lawyer kept secret Election Board member’s conflict of interest (AP) -- The chief legal counsel for Gov. Pat McCrory knew almost a year ago that the law firm of a N.C. Board of Elections member had received $1.3 million from the target of an investigation into questionable political donations. But Bob Stephens didn't say anything to McCrory about the potential conflict of interest or other issues with Paul J. Foley, including his alleged abusive behavior of staffers, a spokesman with the governor's office said.
http://www.wral.com/gov-s-legal-counsel-knew-of-board-member-interest-conflict/14778666/

Day 4: Stifling the youth and college vote

Long live the Intervenors:

The six plaintiffs, referred to in court documents as "the Duke Plaintiffs," are students attending various colleges in North Carolina. In November 2013 they filed a motion asking to join the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, The NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and other plaintiffs in their bid to overturn the law.

Go and read the whole thing, and Kelly's previous entries if you haven't already. The testimony so far has been very compelling, and regardless how the judge eventually rules, these narratives deserve to be chronicled.

I just filed to run for the Board of Aldermen in Gibsonville

Something I've been threatening to do for at least ten years, and finally ran out of decent excuses. And I am fairly certain some of you reading this have struggled with this decision yourselves, and may be doing so right this moment. Is it worth the hassle? What if I don't win? Even scarier maybe, what if I do win? Am I smart enough to navigate the intricacies of municipal management, and help to actually improve the lives of the people I want to represent? Guess what, if you're asking yourselves these questions, you are ready to put those excuses away and take the next step. Filing ends by noon tomorrow, so take a deep breath and make the plunge.

Foley resigns from State Board of Elections

Apparently he can take a hint:

Paul J. Foley resigned early Thursday, less than a week after the Associated Press reported that for more than a year he regularly pressed staff at the agency for updates and details about the probe targeting his firm's longtime client. He eventually recused himself, but only after elections staff learned of nearly $1.3 million in payments from Chase Burns to the law firm where Foley is a partner.

Not only was Foley caught with his meddling hand in the investigation cookie jar, he very well may be playing a role in the current lawsuit in Winston-Salem, due to his involvement in suppressing the college vote in Watauga County. All that being said, I can't help but have some suspicions over the timing of his fall from grace. We were kept in the dark about this investigation into Foley until less than a week ago, and a few days after that the BoE presents its findings that nobody did anything wrong in the whole Chase Burns fiasco. The term "convenient" comes to mind, with the word "distraction" closely following on its heels.

Daily dose: Stifled protest edition

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NC lawmakers pass bill to end development protest petitions (AP) — A bill eliminating a formal track for North Carolina homeowners to protest development in their communities passed the General Assembly on Wednesday and is headed to the governor, who will likely approve it.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina_ap/nc-lawmakers-pass-bill-to-end-development-protest-p...

Monuments to white supremacy

Republican members of the North Carolina General Assembly offer misleading rationalizations for legislation with which they wish to protect monuments to racism from being either moved or removed altogether.
They make the transparent argument that protection of "patriotic" monuments in general is their goal.
Yet Confederate monuments were under fire in April when the legislation was approved by the #NCGA Senate and no other monuments were or are now at risk.

Day 3: Poverty is already a big challenge to voting

More courtroom observations from Kelly Fetty:

The study, called the Family Life Project, had looked at the challenges facing poor families in three rural counties. In her previous testimony Dr. Vernon-Feagans outlined a number of problems faced by poor rural families, including lack of access to reliable transportation, telephone or Internet service.

Strach asked her if the problems she outlined could be the result of poor decisions made by the families studied. "We don't make judgements like that," she replied.

Keeping it classy, eh Phil? It's their own fault that they're not in an economic position to take the day off from work and cruise to the polling site in their Audi.

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