Rand Paul disagrees with NC GOP leaders

Cat read to vote

From NC Policy Watch:

North Carolina’s Governor and state legislative leaders have indicated that they will appeal today’s Fourth Circuit ruling that enjoined two key voter suppression provisions that they helped enact in the 2013 “monster voting law.” Interestingly, however, this position runs directly contrary to several strong statements by one of the nation’s most prominent GOP presidential contenders, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky...

Also, check out the numerous cat memes flooding the internet in the wake of the AFP mailer fiasco that has resulted in a formal complaint from the NC Democratic Party.

Janet Colm is retiring from Planned Parenthood

You'll find an extensive and thoughtful interview by Indy Week's Bob Geary with Janet Colm of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. And a bit of sad news too:

"When she (Hagan) wins, I think it will be a statement to North Carolina about our belief in progressive policies overall, and it will be a statement to the country that we're not this crazy state that's been on The Daily Show for the last few years." Colm's political comments were made in her role as head of the action fund. In a few weeks, she'll be retiring from that job and as CEO of the Planned Parenthood affiliate after 32 years at the helm. Her plans are to make no plans for six months.

My wife Jane Brown has served on the board of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina for many years. During that time, we have both become big fans of Janet Colm, and for good reason. Janet has done more than any other person alive to protect the rights of North Carolina women to make her own reproductive health decisions.

4th Circuit blocks two provisions of the GOP's Voter Suppression Law

More Tillis mischief undone by the courts.

RALEIGH — The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that two provisions of North Carolina’s 2013 election law overhaul cannot be enforced during the November election. The three-judge panel’s ruling reinstates same-day registration and restores out-of-precinct provisional voting. The judges did not reinstate the seven days of early voting that were eliminated by the law adopted last year when the Republicans gained control of both General Assembly chambers and the governor’s office.

The ruling came five days after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments on the pros and cons of an emergency appeal filed in late August by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, registered Democrats in North Carolina and others.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy to recreate the wheel, says it has a rounder version in mind

Reassessing water that's already been reassessed:

Duke Energy has met its first deadline under the regulatory framework codified in the state’s new coal ash law, providing regulators with detailed plans for assessing the groundwater issues at its 14 operating and retired coal plants.

Environmental groups have criticized the state for requiring the new assessment program. They contend the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources already has evidence of leaks from Duke coal ash ponds into groundwater.

There is abundant evidence that Duke Energy's water quality testing protocol is miserably flawed. Both DWQ and third party testing have found much higher concentrations of toxins than reported by the utility, so all this reassessment will accomplish is more conflicting data, and more delays for remediation. Future headline: "Duke Energy tests have confirmed coal ash ponds much safer than previously reported."

Barbed wire facing in

Back in the day, one of my favorite musicians was Joni Mitchell. The woman's voice is sublime and startling all that the same time, with lyrics that have proven timeless. In Big Yellow Taxi, she wrote:

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

That's how North Carolina is feeling these days. After years of moderate Democratic leadership, voters threw "the bastards" out in 2010 and 2012, looking for greener pastures under the watchful eye of responsible Republicans. Boy were they fooled. Instead of having to contend with Democratic bastards, voters invited in the Devil himself, a trinity of wanton destruction in the form of Thom Tillis, Pat McCrory and Phil Berger. These are men who don't quality for the faintest of praise; they don't even mean well.

Daily dose: Tea Party Tillis edition

Tea party activists remain wary of Thom Tillis (Charlotte Observer) -- Tea Party champion Rand Paul will campaign with Thom Tillis in Raleigh on Wednesday, trying to shore up a base that could threaten North Carolina’s GOP Senate hopeful.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/30/5211245/tea-party-activists-remain-wary.html

With a month to go, Tillis still seeking to secure GOP base, brings in Rand Paul (AP) -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is helping N.C. Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis even after supporting Tillis' chief rival in the GOP primary.
http://www.wral.com/rand-paul-in-nc-to-help-tillis-jones/14032664/

Whitewash coming

You've no doubt heard all about #votercat, the unprecedented interference by NC AFP in North Carolina's upcoming elections. Not to worry. The State Board of Elections, under the direction of party loyalist Kim Strach, is on the case. The SBOE is looking into the matter with all of the urgency of paint drying. Their conclusions are foregone.

An AFP lawyer apologized for the problems the mailer caused the state elections office in a meeting with Elections Board officials on Monday, Lawson said. The office has handled at least 2,000 calls about the mailers, Lawson said. The latest batch of AFP mailers went out late last week, Lawson said, so people may continue to receive inaccurate information over the next few days.

No one will be found in violation anything of substance. No one will be fined at a level commensurate with the crime. No one will go to jail. Kim Strach is nothing if not willing to protect the machine that arranged for her to have her job.

Moffitt, Murry contributions connected to "Biggest Gambling Ring Bust in SC"

NC House members Tim Moffit and Tom Murry received campaign contributions from two South Carolina men who have since been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering totalling $386 million.

The campaign committee of Tom Murry, NC House District 41, received a $2,000 check from J Michael Caldwell of South Carolina, listed as "President" of a company simply stated as "Gateway", on 1/29/2013, one day before the North Carolina State House reconvened (after a 1/9/2013 organizational session). On the same day, 1/29/2013, the campaign committee of Tim Moffitt, NC House District 116, received a $2,000 check from Bobby Mosley of South Carolina, listed only as "Principal" with no employer notation. Caldwell is Mosley's son-in-law and together they ran a gambling enterprise spanning multiple corporate entities and over 600 internet cafes in multiple states.

On 8/14/2013 an indictment was entered in federal court in South Carolina naming J Michael Caldwell, Bobby Mosley, Sr., Gateway Systems, LLC, Gateway Gaming, LLC, Frontier Software Systems, LLC and Frontier Gaming, Inc, as defendants on one count of conducting an illegal gambling business and one count of money laundering related to the alleged illegal gambling. It has been described as "the biggest gambling ring bust in South Carolina history."

Something fishy going on with coastal Republicans

Apparently enforcing the law is bad for somebody's business:

The state budget, echoing a directive from the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, gave Dr. Louis Daniel, NCDMF’s executive director, the authority to enter into an Joint Enforcement Agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service that would provide the state with an estimated $600,000 per year to allow the marine patrol and NMFS enforcement officers to respond to fisheries violations in either state or federal waters off North Carolina.

But Daniel is apparently waiting on directions from John Skvarla, director of the NCDMF’s parent N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, before doing anything. And Skvarla is apparently waiting for an okay from Gov. Pat McCrory. Why? Six weeks ago, Daniel, Skvarla, McCrory, Rep. Thom Tillis (speaker of the state house and a candidate for the U.S. Senate) and Sen. Rep. Phil Berger (president of the state senate) received a letter from 10 Republican legislators expressing their opposition to the JEA, despite its having been part of the budget that was passed by both Republican-controlled houses of the legislature.

They cut the Fishery's enforcement budget in lieu of receiving these Federal dollars, and now they're trying to block that partnership. And the only logical reason is: The big commercial fishing operations are profiting from violations of the law, and they want to sink the boats of those who are tasked with enforcing them. Law and order, indeed.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start today's edition with a call to words:

Just a heads-up: The MEC is going through these comments like a Florida Republican elections board, with an eye towards discarding anything that "lacks relevance." Or some such nonsense. So if all you have to say is, "Fracking is bad!", you need to do some more thinking and expound on that idea.

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