GOP rewrites local bill to defend Confederate statues

Your crossover dates and other rules mean nothing to us:

AN ACT to amend the procedures for Protecting Monuments, Memorials, plaques, and works of art on public property.

(b) Except as provided by subsection (c) of this section, no monument, memorial, plaque, or work of art commemorating events, veterans, or persons of North Carolina history on public property of the State or any of its political subdivisions, may be relocated, disturbed, altered, or defaced.
(d) A person who lives, owns property, or operates a business in the vicinity of any monument, memorial, plaque, or work of art as set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be considered a person aggrieved by a violation of the provisions of this section for the purposes of G.S. 150B‑4.
(e) A person who willfully violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be guilty of a Class l misdemeanor."

That's the earliest version of the Bill listed on the NCGA's website, supposedly "as filed," but they haven't fixed this later version (Edition 2) yet, which shows you what the Bill that survived Crossover was actually about:

Profiles in idiocy: The removal of air quality monitors

Because knowledge and early warning systems might erode someone's profit margins:

SECTION 4.25.(a) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall review its ambient air monitoring network and, in the next annual monitoring network plan submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, shall request the removal of any ambient air monitors not required by applicable federal laws and regulations.
SECTION 4.25.(b) No later than September 1, 2016, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall discontinue all ambient air monitors not required by applicable federal laws and regulations if approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency is not required for the discontinuance.
SECTION 4.25.(c) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the Department from installing temporary ambient air monitors as part of an investigation of a suspected violation of air quality rules, standards, or limitations or in response to an emergency situation causing an imminent danger to human health and safety.

Of course, it never crosses their mind that keeping (a) & (b) in place would very possibly prevent (c) from ever happening. The GOP is likely working from the hypothesis, "If the air gets bad enough, we'll know because birds will start falling from the sky and people will be getting nosebleeds." Idiots.

Daily dose: Foley all over the news edition


Emails: NC board member involved in disputed voting plan (AP) -- Paul J. Foley, a Republican member of the N.C. elections board, appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, worked closely with local officials to eliminate a heavily Democratic voting site, according to hundreds of emails. That plan, a judge ruled, was intended to suppress voter turnout. The state Board of Elections is supposed to act as a neutral arbiter when policy disputes arise involving county elections boards. The emails show that Paul J. Foley worked closely behind the scenes with GOP officials in Watauga County as they crafted a plan to eliminate the early voting site at Appalachian State University.

Counting on Cary: Gabe Talton for City Council

I learned yesterday that my friend Gabe Talton may be entering the race for Cary Town Council. If true, this is very good news for both Cary and North Carolina.

When I first met Gabe, he had volunteered to represent me and Jane after our arrest at Moral Monday two years ago. He is a creative and effective attorney, with a deep commitment to fairness. He will likely be running against Don Franz, a long-time Republican who recently declared Independent. Franz ran for state house against Jennifer Weiss in 2010.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Greensboro tells Trudy, "We'll see you in court."

Federal court, no less. I can't wait to hear what the judge says when they tell him what went on in the Caucus meeting where a bunch of lawmakers were forced to change their votes is "Top Secret" and they don't have to tell him what was said. ;)

Daily dose: Two-faced Tillis edition


Tillis backs protection for pharmaceutical firms (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Sen. Thom Tillis has been trying to work out a compromise on a patent reform bill, which would benefit the pharmaceutical industry by carving out an exemption from a streamlined review process for FDA-approved drugs. Last year he criticized Kay Hagan for taking campaign donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

Business likes solar

It's not just wind energy getting a boost in North Carolina.

The leadership at NCGA may not care for sustainable energy, but business really likes solar power. Solar power saves money and that has a direct impact on the bottom line. Target Stores like solar so much they are planning to add solar to their stores' rooftops.

Triangle Business Journal is reporting:

Target Corp. plans to have rooftop solar projects on as many as 30 stores in North Carolina by the end of the year, according to information from the company and filings with N.C. regulators.

Day 1: New voting law goes to trial

Some good reporting from a BlueNC friend. First of many.

Signed into law in August 2013, VIVA is a sweeping overhaul of North Carolina voting law. The new law ended same-day registration for voters, cut seven days from the state's early voting calendar, ended pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds and eliminated out-of-precinct ballots, among many other provisions.


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