Instead of cracking down on polluters, Skvarla battles EPA

Protecting the business environment:

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked for the extension because additional time is needed to understand the potential impacts of the rule on the environment and the economy, John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a letter sent this week to the EPA.

“Our review to date has revealed that the rule will have a significant impact on electric power providers and rate payers,” Skvarla’s letter states. “We believe the proposal creates a regulatory scheme that affects all aspects of how electricity is generated, dispatched, and used by businesses and consumers while creating a new EPA oversight of every state and local authority involved in these complex issues. EPA’s current comment period deadline of October 16, 2014, simply does not provide sufficient time to understand this far-reaching and complex proposal.”

For a climate-change denier who believes fossil fuels are a renewable resource, I'm not sure there is a sufficient amount of time to understand this, or any other "complex" issue.

Daily dose

LISTEN IN
Gerry Cohen, recently retired after more than 30 years as a bill drafter for the N.C. General Assembly, will be live on WUNC 91.5 Monday noon-1 pm (rebroadcast at 8 pm) as Frank Stasio's guest on "The State of Things."
http://wunc.org/programs/state-things

CAMPAIGN 2014
Senate spoilers: 6 states to watch for third-party candidates (THE HILL) -- Spoiler alert: As both Democrats Republicans calculate their odds of a Senate majority, several third party candidates are complicating their math. Popular dissatisfaction with both parties — and bitter campaigns that are driving up candidates’ negatives on both sides — have helped boost third-party candidates in a number of states into the high single digits. Here are six races where third-party candidates could have a real impact on the election. NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heel State is similar to last year’s Virginia race — tons of negative advertising and two unpopular candidates, opening the door for a protest vote. Enter Libertarian Party nominee and pizza delivery man Sean Haugh, who despite almost no money has been pulling between 8 and 12 percent in most public and private polls. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) may be able to pull some of those votes back from Haugh if he can unite a GOP base still somewhat split after the May primary. But Haugh is currently providing a home for some unhappy Republicans and right-leaning independents, making it harder for Tillis to catch up to Hagan, who’s had a lead in most recent polling. “In North Carolina [Haugh] could matter,” admitted one national Republican. “There are a lot of folks that haven't come around, they're still harboring ill will from the Republican primary and maybe haven't come around to Tillis yet. That doesn't mean that they un-persuadable though.”
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/215329-senate-spoilers-...

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RIP P. R. Latta

Just learned that my good friend and a great Democrat has passed. You can find the profile on this site that I wrote about him in 2010 as the Young Democrats of Wake County honored someone with the award in his name in August. He will be missed by so many of us that he mentored and shared his time and his history with.

Perception and politics: how a man, his businesses and altruism, changed North Carolina and beyond

People, in most instances, do not experience a transformational awakening when it comes to watching music videos. But music has its place; whether telling a story, making a political statement, or making a yet as defined, point. Yesterday, I attached a music video to the bottom of a post I wrote. And as long as there are politics …….. humor, parody and especially music and their associated videos, will follow and survive. David Robert Jones, to this day, continues to make some people blush. With his attire, hair, makeup, gaze from the stage or music itself, people still, raise their hand to cover their mouth and mutter, "Oh My."

Alamance County's racial profiling Sheriff makes national news

Throw 'em in jail first, ask questions later:

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a sheriff, Terry Johnson of Alamance County, is on trial this month, accused by the Justice Department of rampant racial-profiling abuses against Latinos. Two retired supervising deputies testified at the trial that Sheriff Johnson had told officers not to give Latino drivers traffic citations, but to take them directly to jail.

Starting in 2007, Sheriff Johnson was a partner in the federal 287(g) program, which trains local officials as immigration agents. The government revoked that agreement in 2012. As with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., an inveterate immigrant victimizer whose 287(g) authority was belatedly curtailed, Sheriff Johnson seems to be a prime exhibit of the dangers of outsourcing immigration authority to peace officers who don’t get the memo, or heed the Constitution.

No doubt many of my fellow Alamance County-ites consider Terry Johnson some kind of hero, but I'm sure that would change if a burned-out tail-light landed them in jail until somebody checked and double-checked their papers. Which (of course) will never happen to these navel-gazers, since they are sporting the preferred skin color.

Killing good, productive programs

While McDecker attempts to get her hands on a wad of taxpayer money to use to bribe corporations to come to NC, so that her boss Guvnor Pat can brag about bringing 11 new jobs to Charfayleighashington, existing programs that have proven to be effective economic engines and job creators have been killed by the Tillisberger.

First, they replaced NC's highly successful film industry tax credits with a lame grant program that has been panned by the film industry.

As of late July, the state film office reported, North Carolina has experienced $268 million in estimated direct spending by the industry and nearly 19,000 jobs.

Then they outright killed the historic preservation tax credit program.

Daily Dose: $51 billion giveaway edition

FIVE THINGS TO BE GLAD YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT:

The sour, critical commentaries that are populating the editorial pages this weekend aren’t the only things causing some heartburn around the McCrory camp. In the coming days and weeks there are even bigger concerns looming.. Here are five questions that Gov. Pat McCrory, his brain trust, top DENR officials and his legal/communications team might be, are, or should be, pondering:

News reporters don’t wake up on sunny late spring morning and say to themselves: “We think we’ll toddle on down to the Ethics Commission and check out Ol’ Pat’s latest financial disclosure statement.” Someone, somewhere, made sure the news reporters knew what to look for and where.

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NC GOP tries to become immune from judicial checks and balances

The NC GOP, stung by a series of judicial rulings that their unconstitutional laws are...er...unconstitutional, isn't about to put up with that.

When judges get in their way of passing unconstitutional laws, Tillisberger just passes a new unconstitutional law.

After passing laws imposing new conditions on abortions and elections, taking away teacher tenure and providing vouchers for private school tuition, Republican state legislators have seen those policies stymied in state and federal courtrooms.

So they have passed another law, this one making those kinds of lawsuits less likely to succeed when filed in state court. Beginning in September, all constitutional challenges to laws will be heard by three-judge trial court panels appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

That'll be $2.5 million, please. Cash or credit?

Blogging the bloggers' conference

Nearly 20 bloggers and wannabe bloggers have showed up in Raleigh today for a chance to share ideas that can help shape the political environment in North Carolina. Great representation from many great organizations.

Speakers include Rob Schofield, Greg Flynn, Thomas Mills ... with lots of ideas to be shared by other participants. If you have have questions about blogging, the blogging ecosystem, who's who in NC blogging, how to do it, how not to do it, etc., please post them below and I'll make sure they get asked.

I'll post some of what happens today, but mostly am here to learn.

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