Mayor Vaughan speaks out on SB36

While she still has a voice to speak with:

The moment she introduced Senate Bill 36 (entitled, “An act to clarify the form of government, method of election, and determination of election results in the city of Greensboro”) state Sen. Trudy Wade ignited a fire storm. The fuel on this fire is that this act does not actually “clarify” the current method of electing the City Council; it completely changes it.

The 5-3-1 system gives the voter greater representation. The beauty of this system is that it allows every voter the opportunity to vote for a majority of the City Council. With the 7-1 format, each voter is limited to choosing only one voting member of the council — his or her district representative. That is a substantial reduction in constituent influence. The math is simple: When there is an issue before the council, do you want five people directly accountable to you or just one?

One need only look at demographics to understand why Trudy Wade is making this move: Republicans only make up 19% of registered voters in the City of Greensboro. Which makes their holding 2 out of 9 seats on the current City Council a true representation of the people. But it also makes them powerless, a position the GOP finds untenable, especially when the GOP-led General Assembly is just sitting there waiting for another opportunity to screw with local (and especially metropolitan) governments.

Daily dose: HKonJ edition

'Moral March' participants again demand changes to NC laws (AP) -- Still working toward substantial victories at the ballot box and the legislature, thousands of demonstrators opposed to Republican policies within North Carolina demanded again Saturday that laws be repealed that they say harm the sick, the poor and minorities.
http://www.wral.com/annual-mass-moral-march-for-nc-held-saturday-in-raleigh/14446306/

GOP siphons more money away from low-income schools

In support of their unwise privatization efforts:

The White House on Friday issued a report that said a House Republican plan to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would reduce North Carolina’s federal Title I money for disadvantaged students by an estimated $17 million in 2016 and $220 million over the next five years.

Currently Title I funds are concentrated in schools with large numbers of poor students. The House bill would allow this grant money to follow each low-income child to the traditional or charter public school of the parent’s choice.

The emergence of this legislation during a time when many new charter schools are failing due to fiscal mismanagement is no coincidence. The people behind the curtain in this movement are well aware their "efficiency" leaves something to be desired, so they've been scheming to find various flows of public monies to tap into. And in case you were wondering, yes, this is an ALEC initiative:

Daily dose: Sex, lies, and video streaming

LAP DANCES IN LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS? Ethics panel says sex acts don't violate gift ban (WRAL-TV) -- Sexual acts between lobbyists and a state official covered by North Carolina's state ethics act do not constitute a "reportable expenditure" or "things of value," according to a ruling the State Ethics Commission published the Friday before Valentine's Day.
http://www.wral.com/nc-ethics-commission-sex-acts-don-t-violate-lobbyist-gift-ban/14445227/

I'm agin NC legislative staff members' salaries

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"Staff." Sounds pretty important. The more you have the more important you think you are. Or, how about posse? Folks you can deputize to do your business.

It comes as no surprise that a body of government hell bent on moving backward would need more staff to affect their changes. But thirteen staff members with annual salaries pushing almost one million dollars seems ripe.

The General Assembly has gotten more complicated over the past 20 years or so, Berger, R-Rockingham, said this week. While the use of non-partisan staff should be maximized, he added, I think there are from time to time issues that it's important for us to have folks that are aligned with the majority in the General Assembly.

NC farmers join class action against Syngenta

Caught between GMO corn and a Chinese "No!":

A group of North Carolina farmers has joined hundreds of others around the country who are suing crop science giant Syngenta AG, alleging that the company's use of genetically modified corn varieties caused them substantial financial losses.

The eastern North Carolina farmers are accusing Syngenta of "overly aggressive commercialization" by selling a genetically modified corn variety, a strain called MIR 162 in its Viptera variety, after it had been approved for use in the U.S. but had yet to receive approval in the important export market of China.

No doubt Syngenta will try to blame our government for failing to ensure commercial success in a foreign country. And depending on the makeup of the jury, that argument is liable to work.

Daily dose: The People vs. Trudy Wade

State delegation plays to full house at City Hall (Greensboro News & Record) -- Residents packed into City Hall on Thursday night to get two minutes in front of their legislative delegation. Many had the same message: They do not like Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill to reconfigure the Greensboro City Council.
http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/state-delegation-plays-to-full-house-at-city-hall/article...

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