The Fine Young Federalists: Is SB 524 an attempt at indoctrination?

At least once a week, I find myself talking to someone who has absolutely no awareness of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at all. Each occurrence of this phenomenon brings about the same feeling of utter disbelief in me. Slowly, I’ve realized that while I have a keen awareness of the influence ALEC has within the halls of NC Government, many, many people simply do not. In truth, although few of our Legislators publicly associate themselves with ALEC, if you name a regressive bill this NCGA has passed since 2010, there’s a high likelihood it came from ALEC.

Setting the record straight on NC's unemployment debt

Kudos to the N&O editorial staff for telling it like it is:

North Carolinians can be forgiven if they don’t applaud the payoff of the state’s unemployment insurance debt a year early, which the governor and the self-satisfied architects of the GOP agenda in the legislature celebrated Tuesday with big smiles on their faces and disgracefully over-the-top rhetoric by McCrory. Said he, “It took visionary leadership, it took courage and it took fortitude to make it happen.”

That’s insulting and ridiculous. Courage? Whose courage? The people who needed courage here were the ones victimized by Republican policies cutting their benefits for their families. Fortitude? The fortitude came from those whose hills got a little steeper thanks to the Republicans.

Daily dose: Bitter pill for renewable energy edition


NC House OKs freezing renewable energy demands on utilities (AP) — A renewed effort to freeze the percentage of North Carolina's retail electricity sales required to come from renewable sources or efficient efforts passed the state House on Wednesday

Renewable-energy advocates take beating in N.C. House vote; opponents say bill will save customers money (Charlotte Business Journal) -- N.C. House advocates of renewable energy on Wednesday lost industry protections they thought a compromise last week had protected.

CTS tries to bully professors near Superfund site

Standard operating procedure for the purveyors of poison:

Twice in recent months, lawyers and contractors on behalf of CTS of Asheville have tried to keep the UNCA science professors and their students away from property bordering the Superfund site.

A letter in September from a Chicago-based attorney representing CTS indicated Wilcox and Wasileski could be prosecuted. The law firm, Jones Day, did not return a call for comment.

Grrr. Nothing pisses me off more than polluters threatening legal action against people who are trying to assess environmental damage or speak out in warning of potential environmental damage. And frankly, the fact that our court system even entertains these lawsuits, much less rules in favor of, is one of the best examples of how truly bent that system has become.

Coal Ash Wednesday: 93% of tested wells contaminated

And Duke Energy still refuses to take responsibility:

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Tuesday that 152 wells tested near Duke's dumps failed to meet state groundwater standards. That represents more than 93 percent of the 163 wells for which tests have been completed so far.

So far, Duke is providing bottled water to "about half a dozen" of the residents, but the company indicated that number is expected to rise. The company maintains the groundwater contamination is all naturally occurring.

What is that? 4% of the people with contaminated wells are getting some bottles of water? That number had better rise, and with the quickness, or Duke Energy's public relations nightmare will get a lot worse.

Daily dose: Moms step up edition

Protesters target NC bill on gun permits (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Nearly three-dozen moms flooded the General Assembly Tuesday protesting a proposal they said would eliminate background checks on nearly half of all handgun buyers in North Carolina.

Gun bill on hold amid growing opposition (WRAL-TV) -- controversial proposal to loosen North Carolina's gun laws has been temporarily put on hold as criticism of the bill grows louder.

The "Broken Promises" tour is back on the road

And the GOP propaganda machine is running in overdrive trying to catch it:

A coalition of progressive groups Monday began rolling a billboard around North Carolina urging Gov. Pat McCrory to veto a bill that would extend the waiting period for an abortion.

“We find this to be medically unnecessary, we find this to be bad medicine, we find this to be bad law and bad for the people of North Carolina,” said Shoshannah Sayers, interim executive director of NARAL Pro Choice North Carolina. She spoke in front of a rolling billboard that features McCrory and his 2008 response when asked what further restrictions on abortion he would sign. “None,” McCrory replied.

Here are this week's stops on the tour, hat-tip to NC Policy Watch's Clayton Henkel for compiling the list:
Greensboro, NC: Old Guilford Co. Courthouse (301 W. Market Street), Wednesday, May 6th at 12:30 PM
Greenville, NC: Pitt Co. Courthouse (100 W. Third Street), Thursday, May 7th at 12:30 PM
New Bern, NC: Craven Co. Government Building (406 Craven Street), Thursday, May 7th at 4:00 PM
Wilmington, NC: Wilmington City Hall (102 N 3rd St), Friday, May 8th at 11:00 AM


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