Follow the Oil:

Take a look at the industry money behind the "Kill, Baby, Kill" people and the connection to the BP disaster:

The folks at Brave New Foundation have put together a short, powerful video that connects the BP disaster, politicians promoting “Drill Baby Drill” and campaign contributions.

The color of foreclosure: Blacks, Latinos still losing homes at record numbers

Thanks to a certain oil spill and other attention-grabbing events, the nation's home foreclosure crisis has drifted off the news headlines.

But a new study by the Center for Responsible Lending shows that it's still a big and growing economic disaster -- and silently draining billions of dollars of wealth out of communities, especially African-American and Latino neighborhoods already battered by the recession.

Send me and Sue to investigate the Gulf next week

Dear BlueNC reader -- I'm writing to ask for your help today.

As you know, the BP oil spill is one of our country's biggest disasters ever -- and for many on the Gulf Coast, the situation is only getting worse.

But do you feel like you're getting the whole story about the BP disaster? Over and over again, BP and politicians have blocked access to information and downplayed the impact of the catastrophe on ocean life and coastal communities.

I, along with Facing South's ace reporter Sue Sturgis, want to change that.

If the Citizens United Decision Made You Mad...

Check this out: Citizens United got a special press designation so now they don't even have to disclose who is giving them money. Contact your federal reps if you want Congress to pass a law overturning this or making it impossible in the future:

The hostility of the Supreme Court to regulation has emboldened Republicans on the Federal Election Commission to grant new “press” exemptions for ideological groups that produce and distribute political propaganda to the general public; by a 4-to-1 vote, the FEC awarded Citizens United’s film operations a special press pass so it won’t have to file disclosure reports about its donors or spending.

There is such a thing as a free lunch!

Join Us in Raleigh: BlueNC friends -- I hope some of you can join me on June 22nd for a citizens lobby day about voter-owned elections and the need for an alternative to the big donation-driven system of running for office we now have. We'll help you make appointments with your state reps. National commentator, Harvard law professor and institutional ethics expert Larry Lessig will be a keynote speaker. If you sign up, please tell them Katy sent you, so I can continue to actually get paid to hang out here! :) From the Democracy NC Link of the Day:

If you want to feel good...

... Take a moment and get to know our ten Democracy Summer 2010 interns. We always have a great bunch, but this year's group is in a whole new class. It'll make you feel better about North Carolina's future. And if it also makes you feel old, well... I feel your pain!

Don't Let It Happen in NC:

Some of you may have heard by now that Blanche Lincoln's victory over Bill Halter in the Arkansas Senate primary run-off has been somewhat tainted by the revelation that 40 out of 42 runoff election polls in Garland County were closed for early voting on the Saturday before Election Day after a public promise to keep them open. Only 2 polls were open throughout the entire county that day and hundreds of voters who showed up to vote were reportedly denied. Since Garland County was the most populous county Bill Halter won 3 weeks ago, his supporters are crying foul.

Why we can't rely on the media:

For those of you who think we spend all day ferreting through campaign finance reports trying to nail wrongdoers -- we don't (although you are certainly welcome to). We're trying to educate people on the wholesale abuses of money and power now considered to be business as usual in our electoral system and change that system. We're not trying to stop legitimate campaign donations or make candidates afraid to approach their friends for contributions. But it can be incredibly frustrating trying to get a message out in these short attention span times, especially when the short attention spans *start* with media reporters. From Democracy NC's Link of the Day, written by our Exec Director Bob Hall.

Reaching non-college youth for GOTV:

A new report shows that non-college youth vote at levels nearly half of that for college students -- exacerbating the divide between economic levels when it comes to civic participation. Ideas for changing that statistic are welcome! (Or even just an answer as to why you would go on record as opposing youth voting as happened in Illinois!) From the Democracy NC Link of the Day:

NC's "Dumpsites in Disguise"

Cross posted from from Facing South

Coal ash isn't just dumped; it's increasingly being recycled into building materials and other uses. But in states like North Carolina, the failure to adequately regulate one so-called "beneficial use" of the toxic-filled waste is putting communities at risk.

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