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Tuesday News: Better skip Maaco

LEGISLATURE’S TAX HIKE MEANS CALLING THE HANDYMAN WILL COST YOU MORE (Charlotte Agenda) -- Calling the handyman is now likely to cost you more, thanks to a new expansion on sales taxes. Effective this week (New Year’s Day, to be precise), a lot more services are now subject to sales taxes. It’s a continuation of a new tax plan that lowers overall North Carolina tax rates but broadens the scope of things that are taxable. Some of the newly taxable things include: Minor home repair, Re-keying doors, Hardwood floor refinishing, Kitchen cabinet replacement, Swimming pool cleaning

Monday News: Civitas attacking voters again

POPE CIVITAS RENEWS SAME-DAY REGISTRATION CHALLENGE (Winston-Salem Journal) -- An alt-right think tank has informed the State Board of Elections and six county election boards, including Watauga, that it has renewed its review to challenge same-day registration policies. With De Luca’s letter, Civitas is renewing accusations of voter rolls “fraught with ineligible voters, unverified voters, active felons and voters who don’t live in North Carolina.”

Sunday News: Governor Roy Cooper

COOPER SWORN IN AS 75TH NC GOVERNOR (WRAL-TV) -- Roy Cooper was sworn in shortly after midnight Sunday as North Carolina's 75th governor, taking the reins of a deeply divided state and facing an openly hostile legislature as he tries to accomplish an agenda calling for improved schools and a stronger economy for middle-class families. The formal inauguration for Cooper, a Nash County native and former state lawmaker, and the other members of the Council of State will be next Saturday.

Saturday News: GOP challenges 2017 Special Elections


OFFICIALS ASKS US SUPREME COURT TO HALT 2017 ELECTIONS (Raleigh News & Observer) – North Carolina officials asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block elections ordered for 2017 after a federal court found 28 state Senate and House districts were illegal racial gerrymanders. They asked Chief Justice John Roberts, in a request for emergency intervention, to put a halt to the three-judge panel’s order for redrawn districts by March and a special election in 2017. In the petition, They want the chief justice to enter an order by Jan. 11, when the General Assembly is set to convene its next session. “On Election Day, millions of North Carolina voters went to the polls and selected the state legislators who would represent them in the General Assembly for two-year terms in accordance with the North Carolina Constitution. Or so they thought,” Paul Clement, a Washington-based attorney representing McCrory, stated in the petition signed by Thomas Farr, a Raleigh-based attorney who has represented the legislators on redistricting, Phil Strach, another Raleigh-based attorney, and Alec McC. Peters of the state attorney general’s office.

Friday News: Bureaucratic Defensive Posture (BDP)


FACING FIRING, POLARIZING VAN DER VAART GIVES HIMSELF LESSER ROLE. (AP) — The N.C. environmental agency leader who headed Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s response to coal ash and other pollution problems is taking a demotion and pay cut to avoid being fired by incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper. State Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Donald Van Der Vaart is claiming a job as an environmental program manager effective Saturday — a day before Cooper becomes governor, according to employment records kept by the Office of State Controller. His pay will drop to about $97,000 after making $131,000 a year as agency secretary.

Thursday News: Just go already...

AS CLOCK TICKS ON HIS TERM, PAT MCCRORY TO RETURN TO CHARLOTTE (Charlotte Observer) – Gov. Pat McCrory and his wife, Ann, kept their home in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood throughout his four-year term in Raleigh. It was unclear Wednesday how long they plan to stay in Charlotte as McCrory considers job options, including the possibility of his taking a post in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. McCrory’s communications director, Josh Ellis, said Wednesday morning he had no information on McCrory’s next steps after leaving the governor’s office.

Wednesday News: Ode to Jim Martin

EVEN HIGH PROFILE REPUBLICANS SAY LEGISLATURE'S GONE TOO FAR (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- The latest hastily conceived and enacted, GOP legislative power grab even has some top N.C. Republicans saying it’s wrong-headed. They are right. Former Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican who often tangled with a Democratic-controlled General Assembly over maintaining his office’s authority, also voiced strong concerns about the bill. Martin, in an interview with WFAE-FM in Charlotte, said provisions of the law taking appointive authority from the governor were violations of the state Constitution’s separation of power clause. “They (legislators) write the laws but they don’t have the authority to carry them out.”

Tuesday News: Rip van Holding's precious can


CURIOUS ABOUT GEORGE HOLDING’S SPECIAL GARBAGE PICKUP DEAL? (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A Raleigh sanitation worker using a specialized trash truck empties the garbage cans behind the house of U.S. Rep. George Holding. Raleigh requires homeowners to pull their trash cans to the curb, although some receive special service. Holding received an exemption due to his "steep driveway."

Monday News: March of the kangaroos


TRUMP IN POSITION TO RESHAPE JUDICIARY WITH MORE THAN 100 VACANCIES (Washington Post) -- In addition to an open Supreme Court seat, openings throughout the federal circuit and district courts will allow Donald Trump to quickly make a wide array of lifetime appointments. The new Republican president will have nearly twice the number of vacancies to fill than President Obama had when he took office.

Sunday News: Good will lacking


DISCRIMINATION UNDER FIRE IN N.C. (Albuquerque Journal) -- North Carolina Republicans have provoked a political firestorm. First, Gov. Pat McCrory refused to concede his loss for close to a month. Then, under the guise of providing Hurricane Matthew relief money, they convened several back-to-back special sessions, all geared at stripping power from Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper before he takes office. Whereas President Barack Obama is honoring the tradition of the peaceful transfer of power, a fundamental pillar of American democracy, North Carolina Republicans are taking a different path.


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