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.
http://www.news-record.com/news/government/sb-survey-draws-scrutiny/article_8e7e040e-df07-11e4-91d6-...

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

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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

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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.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/cooper-would-veto-religious-exemption-bills-if-nc-governor-2840861

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.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Quid pro tobacco

e-cigarettes are booming. States are trying to determine how this new product should be taxed, especially as it relates to tobacco products.

The NC GOP had this debate last year, and to no one's surprise, it was all about pay to play.

Months after state lawmakers agreed to apply a favorable tax rate to their e-cigarette products, Reynolds American Inc, the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., gave $50,000 to a nonprofit group affiliated with state House Republicans.

Skip Stam sez don't worry, no child sacrifice allowed

And no, this is not a parody post:

“It’s the first freedom,” Stam explained. “It’s what a lot of people came to North Carolina for originally, was to have religious freedom, at that time from the Church of England.” The lawmaker added that the law was not unreasonable because it would not allow activities like “child sacrifice.”

“If you had a person who believes in child sacrifice as part of their religious principles, we’re not going to allow that,” Stam insisted.

Setting aside for the moment that Stam just might be insane, the General Assembly has already done a hell of a job with that whole child sacrifice thing. Between the "guns for everybody" culture, malnutrition associated with poverty, the school to jail pipeline, and many other unnecessary social ills, being a child in North Carolina is not what I would describe as an uplifting experience.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Sanford passes resolution opposing dumps

The Sanford City Council passed a resolution opposing the dumping of coal ash within city limits, but there's a lot more...

Posted by BlueNC on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Junior Berger approves polluting of Blount's Creek

It would have been safer to send him to Congress:

Administrative Law Judge Phil Berger Jr., the son of one of the state’s most powerful politicians, heard the case in late January, less than a month after being appointed to the post. At issue is a state permit issued to Martin Marietta Minerals Inc. that would allow the company to pump 12 million gallons of wastewater a day from a new marine limestone mine into the Blounts Creek Watershed.

In his ruling on the permit challenge Berger Jr. sided with the data submitted by Martin Marietta in their application, finding that the discharge “will have no likely significant adverse effects on aquatic life.” The ruling cited scientific data supplied to Martin Marietta by CZR Incorporated of Wilmington.

Of course he did. Martin-Marietta spent good money paying for that fictional data, and it would be an insult to ignore it. Besides, you can't make an industrial omelette without breaking a few ecosystems and commercial fish spawning grounds:

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