Reflections on Amendment One!

Originally posted on Monday October 6

I can still remember how I felt the day after Amendment One passed in North Carolina. I awoke the following day a stranger in my own world, a second class citizen at best. I was exhausted, angry, disappointed and yes, even felt like giving up the fight.

Many good people all across the state stood up and spoke up for equality. They pointed out that it was human rights not gay rights and that all North Carolinians deserve to have the same freedoms and rights. Unfortunately our efforts fell short.

Daily dose: Trailer park Thom edition

Thom Tillis Trailer Park Deal Shows 'What Conflict Of Interest Is All About’ (Huffington Post) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate and state House Speaker Thom Tillis bought a trailer park in early 2007 -- an investment he hoped would increase in value while providing him rental income. But now, as he presses his run for the Senate, the story of that trailer park may cause voters to question whether Tillis used the trappings of his office as a state legislator for personal gain. That's because in the months after he bought the trailer park, Tillis introduced state legislation and sought political compromises that likely would have increased the value of his property. … Tillis' involvement in legislation with the potential to affect his personal portfolio complicates Republican attacks against his opponent, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who has been accused of profiting from federal stimulus funds. That Tillis wasn't forthcoming about his potential conflict at the time -- he would disclose the property a year later when he was required to by law as part of his ethics disclosure forms -- also has raised concerns from government watchdogs. "The problem is that as Tillis was advocating a bill that would impact his property value, he should have disclosed his ownership," said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a good-government advocacy group with a history of calling out both Democrats and Republicans on ethical lapses. Tillis' actions may not have violated North Carolina's lax ethics laws, but Hall said his conduct nevertheless left a bad impression.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/thom-tillis-real-estate-conflict_n_5929934.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Let's start out with a non-starter:

Wesley, according to your cohorts in the Republican Party, Medicaid fraud is a pretty dang serious issue. I understand why you wouldn't want to talk about it, it's just not a legitimate reason.

Update of AFP Investigation from NCSBE

official complaint from NCDP

Today I was able to speak with the North Carolina State Board of Elections' official public information officer - Joshua Lawson. Although it took some effort to get in touch with him, Mr. Lawson was extremely mannerly, and helpful in answering my questions about the recent allegations of Americans for Prosperity committing voter fraud. I was quickly provided with all the public documentation on record about the case including the official notice of complaint addressed to Americans for Prosperity from the NCSBE, the official complaint letter from the NCDP, as well as a copy of the mailer that is in question.

WNCN: 'spirited debate Monday in Pinehurst'

Ellmers gets ugly in debate with Clay Aiken

The hour-long debate before delegates to a North Carolina Bankers Association conference will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Monday on WRAL and at 11 p.m. on WRAZ Fox 50. The video will also be available for viewing on WRAL.com through Election Day.

Read more at http://www.wncn.com/story/26715341/ellmers-aiken-clash-in-congressional-debate from WNCN in Raleigh.

Let them eat ... wedding cake!

gay wedding cake

I am so happy for my friends who want to marry and will soon be able to in NC. I am happy for friends who traveled to other states to marry, who will soon not have to worry about whether their marriage is acknowledged in NC. I am happy for those who will have an easier time filing taxes, adding loved ones to benefits plans, adopting children, visiting partners in the hospital, and all the other things the rest of us take for granted. Love is winning.

Prominent Cabarrus County Republican shoots his own son

Being Cabarrus County, this is probably not front page material:

“There appears to have been an altercation between Mr. Cowherd and his son,” said Cabarrus County Chief Deputy Paul Hunt. “A gunshot went, off striking the son.”

The younger man, whose name was not immediately available, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Phil Cowherd III was interviewed at his home but was not taken into custody Sunday, Hunt said. Deputies have collected the gun used in the shooting as evidence.

When he was finally tracked down for a comment, Cowherd replied, "Ahh, he'll be alright, I just winged him. Besides, how I discipline my children is nobody's damn business but my own." You're right, I just made that up. It happens. ;)

Daily dose: Tillis has no base edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Tillis struggles for conservative support in N.C. (Washington Times) -- North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan was supposed to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year but she has managed to consistently lead in the polls, as Republican challenger Thom Tillis struggles to muster the support of tea party voters he needs to win in November. Mrs. Hagan meanwhile is energizing her base by accusing Mr. Tillis, speaker of North Carolina’s House, of being a right-wing extremist who she characterizes as anti-woman and anti-education. … From his career in corporate America to his support of toll roads to his comment that legal gay marriage is likely inevitable, Mr. Tillis has alienated much of the state’s conservative base, said Thomas Mills, a Democratic political analyst in North Carolina. “If you’re living in a town of 2,000 people in rural North Carolina that’s the base,” he said. “He culturally can’t connect with those people. He’s not a tea party guy and they never accepted that he is.”
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/5/thom-tillis-struggles-for-conservative-support-in-/

AFP fights public education funding, even at the local level

Bound and determined to destroy our public school system:

Last week’s sales-tax forum brought out several arguments against raising more money for Guilford County Schools: Taxes are high enough. Commissioner Jeff Phillips, state Rep. Jon Hardister and Donald Bryson of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina stated opposition to the extra levy at the forum sponsored by the News & Record and PNC Bank.

Taxes may be high enough already for most North Carolinians, but state funding for schools is lagging behind what it should be because of large tax cuts at the state level, particularly for corporations. Will these tax cuts promote economic development, which in turn will generate more tax revenue for schools? We can hope, but there’s no sign of it yet.

Donald Bryson should have been laughed (or booed) right out of this forum. Not only did he champion giving tax breaks to the wealthy, which has precipitated the state budgetary fiasco, he's also behind the push for private school vouchers, which will drain even more resources from public schools:

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