Daily dose

Saturday News: Duke Energy's economic blackmail

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COAL ASH PITS: DUKE ENERGY TELLS NEIGHBORS TO WAIVE CLAIMS (WRAL-TV) -- Neighbors living near Duke Energy Corp's coal ash pits in North Carolina are being told they have to give up the option of suing over any future water problems if they want extra compensation from the utility. The country's largest electric company sent out letters last week to about 1,000 homeowners living near 13 of the company's coal-burning power plants spread across North Carolina. In them, the utility said it will require the waiver to release the company from "any claims for further compensation or recovery from Duke Energy" related to alleged groundwater pollution or unsatisfactory municipal water connections. Duke Energy said its coal-ash pits are not to blame for any contaminants detected in groundwater. The company is offering a $5,000 "goodwill" payment to neighbors "to support your transition to a new water supply," the letters said.
http://www.wral.com/coal-ash-pits-duke-energy-tells-neighbors-to-waive-claims/16496307/

Friday News: Hager spins through the revolving door

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CASHING IN: EX-HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER OPENS LOBBY BIZ (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former N.C. House Majority Leader Mike Hager, a Rutherfordton Republican who resigned from the legislature last August, says he’s launching a lobbying firm. The firm will be called Hager Strategic Solutions, and for now it’s just the former legislator with no other lobbyists on staff. He said Thursday that he’ll officially register as a lobbyist in a few weeks once his six-month “cooling off period” ends. Under state law, elected officials must wait six months after leaving office before lobbying. “There’s still some work left on regulatory reform issues, and there’s still some good conservative issues out there,” he said.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article13...

Thursday News: HB2 repeal bill filed by Dems

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SENATE DEMOCRATS FILE HB2 REPEAL BILL (WRAL-TV) -- Senate Democrats have filed a bill to repeal the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights, but it faces a difficult road. Although Jackson did his best to exude optimism after filing the bill, in reality, it faces an uphill battle in the General Assembly. A December effort to repeal the measure ultimately collapsed amid accusations and counter accusations, and top Republican leaders say that any repeal effort this year would likely involve a compromise of some sort.
http://www.wral.com/senate-democrats-file-hb2-repeal-bill/16492704/

Wednesday News: Go, Josh

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AG STEIN SAYS IF NEEDED HE WILL SUE TRUMP OVER IMMIGRATION ORDER (TWCN-TV) -- State Attorney General Josh Stein says he'll sue President Donald Trump over his executive Oorder on immigration if he needs to. Tuesday afternoon, Stein said protecting North Carolinians is his top concern, even if that means taking on President trump and his recent executive order clamping down on immigration and refugees practices. "I can sue to protect North Carolinians so that if there are North Carolinians who are suffering because of this travel ban, and it's very ham handed way in which it was written and being administered. Then I could come in on behalf of the people of North Carolina,” said Stein.
http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triangle-sandhills/news/2017/01/31/nc-ag-stein-says-he-will-sue-president-...

Tuesday News: The real HB2 bullies

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OVERBEARING GOP LEADERS STOP RANK-AND-FILE LEGISLATORS FROM TAKING A STAND (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- A majority of N.C. legislators won't say how they stand on HB2 repeal. The citizens they represent deserve to know. Barely a third of the 50-member Senate and 44 percent of the House of Representatives shared their positions on repeal when the Associated Press and eight newspapers asked. Overwhelmingly, those who refused to respond were Republicans. It is a sad and shameful display of timidity and fear. These Republicans are cowed by their leadership, particularly Senate boss Phil Berger, R-Rockingham and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. They fear reprisal should they express opinions contrary to those dictated by their party caucus commanders.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-overbearing-gop-leaders-stop-rank-and-file-legislators-from-taking-a-s...

Monday News: Resisting Fascism

ANTI-DEPORTATION PROTESTS HELD AT NC AIRPORTS (TWCN-TV) -- Outrage and opposition continues to President Trump's newly enacted restrictions on travel from some predominantly Muslim countries. Protests have been taking place all weekend at airports across the country. Six people were arrested at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Saturday night. Opponents to Trump's new travel mandate found the next best spot Sunday -- the median at the airport's main entrance. Standing with them in voicing outrage over what some say is a Muslim ban was Democratic Rep. Alma Adams. “I find it appalling,” said Adams. “I think it’s one of the most insensitive things we could do.”
http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triangle-sandhills/news/2017/01/29/six-arrested-in-anti-deportation-protes...

Sunday News: Trump's Muslim ban already in legal trouble

2ND JUDGE HALTS DEPORTATIONS AS TRUMP ORDER CREATES CHAOS (McClatchy Newspapers) -- Two federal courts ruled late Saturday against part of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim nations from entering the United States. A federal court in Brooklyn granted a nationwide stay preventing the government from deporting people who arrived with valid U.S. visas. A second judge in Virginia, Leonie M. Brinkema who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the bench, issued a temporary restraining order preventing the deportation of permanent U.S. residents who arrived at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article129406304.html

Saturday News: Berger entrenches bigotry in NC

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BERGER ON FULL REPEAL OF HB2: NOT NOW, NOT EVER (WTVD-TV) -- NC Senate leader Phil Berger said in an interview with Time Warner Cable News Thursday that there are not enough votes in the General Assembly for an outright repeal of the controversial HB2 law that has cost the state millions. "I think the window for that compromise (on repeal of HB2) may not be open at this point. And I certainly don't believe the votes exist for an outright repeal without anything else." Equality NC executive director and former state representative, Chris Sgro, told ABC11 that Sen. Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore aren't looking out for the best interest of North Carolinians. "It's childish. It's not about left, right, or center anymore," said Sgro. "It's about their actions being in a childish fashion that's not best for the people of North Carolina."
http://abc11.com/politics/nc-senate-leader-says-support-lacking-for-hb2-repeal/1724973/

Friday News: Berger channeling Trump

BERGER'S REFLEXIVE SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS STIFLE DIALOGUE (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Senate leader Phil Berger should focus on discussing issues and reaching consensus rather than seeking confrontations via social media. Sen. Berger needs to remember that North Carolina voters support Medicaid expansion -- 63 percent -- and increased funding for public schools. Gov. Cooper did not run in a gerrymandered district. He ran statewide. He has not proposed a "massive tax hike" or "massive budget busting." Someone should take Berger's phone away from him. Maybe he would then talk with the governor about his proposals and see what common ground might be found. It is what North Carolina citizens want and expect from their leaders. Sen. Berger knows that.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-berger-s-reflexive-social-media-blasts-stifle-dialogue/16474888/

Thursday News: Zero credibility

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BERGER DEMANDS COMPROMISE BUT WON’T PROMISE REPEAL OF HB2 (Policy Watch) – Senate boss Phil Berger is continuing to demand more “compromise” from Democrats if there’s to be any action on HB2 – but won’t say there could be complete repeal. “I think it’s possible for there to be some arrangement to address that issue,” Berger said. “I think it’s going to take compromise on both sides.” The General Assembly failed to repeal the controversial last month in one of several hastily convened extra sessions just before Christmas.
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/01/25/berger-hb2-compromise-still-possible/#sthash.uVLRvtrp.dpbs

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