NC General Assembly

What could you do with $650,000?

That's the cost to taxpayers of the General Assembly's incompetence. The main reason they're in Raleigh at all is to pass a budget. Now, 13 days past the end of their planned session, they've spent $650,000 of your money, with nothing to show for it. And there's more to come.

Just be clear, it's not a bipartisan problem. This high drama is nothing but Republican egos on parade. If you're a North Carolina citizen who votes for any Republican, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Don't try to rein them in

Most years, there are a ton of dedicated people working their asses off to try to influence the legislature to pass responsible, effective policies for the good of the state. I've been there and done that myself.

But today things are different. Looking to upstage their performance last year, Republican members of the General Assembly have launched an all out assault on reason, decency and fairness.

So instead of trying to moderate their insanity, let's give them free rein to push the limits beyond the breaking point. That's what it will take for the people of North Carolina to wake up and vote these sociopaths out of office. And if the voters won't rise up, then the federal government will. Virtually every policy being passed will be challenged in a never-ending spate of lawsuits, and in the end, the people will prevail.

So let 'em run, guys. Give them all the rope they want, and then some. We'll have the pleasure of seeing them hang before too long. Mark my words.

Guess what the last day of the upcoming short session will be?

If you think Republican legislators aren't scared to death of public school teachers and parents, think again. That's why they're planning to wrap up the short session "no later than June 10," which just happens to be the last day of classes in all of North Carolina's public schools (except for year round schools). Yes, legislators will be scurrying out of Raleigh like rats before they risk the ire of few hundred thousand pissed off educators.

Tom Tillis, of course, is totally irrelevant because of his US Senate bid, and Pat McCrory totally irrelevant because he is Pat McCrory. That leaves only two people who matter: Art Pope and Phil Berger, in that order. Neither man gives a flying flip about public schools or teachers, and neither has a plan to address the growing unrest in the teachers' ranks.

It's going to get ugly.

WRAL's series for Sunshine Week

WRAL is posting new material daily this week to its website about Sunshine Week. Today they are doing a webcast (almost over now) with the following panelists:

  • Ryan Thornburg, founder, Open N.C. and professor at UNC School of Journalism
  • Jason Hare, founder, North Carolina Open Data Institute
  • Moderator: William Moner, Elon University

1:30 p.m. Shining Light on the Legislature: Panel discussion of efforts to bring transparency to Jones Street

  • Brent Laurenz, executive director, N.C. Voter Education Center
  • John Clark, director, Reese News Lab at UNC School of Journalism
  • Laura Leslie, capitol reporter, WRAL
  • Moderator: Connie Ledoux Book, Elon University

A challenger for Mike Stone

Brad Salmon announced Saturday that he will be a candidate for the NC house district 51 seat currently held by Mike Stone. Salmon made his announcement at a Harnett County Democratic Men's Club meeting held in the Barbeque community in western Harnett County. The 51st district includes western portions of Harnett County and most of Lee County.

Salmon is a lifelong resident of the Mamers community where his family has farmed for generations. A product of the Harnett County public schools, he is a graduate of both North Carolina State University and Campbell University, where he obtained his law degree. Salmon continues to farm while practicing law in Lillington.

Can the Republican Party maintain control?

WUNC radio now:

Can The Republican Party Maintain Control?

With control of the House, Senate and Governor’s mansion, the North Carolina Republican Party pushed through a variety of bills this past session.

Voter identification, abortion restrictions, unemployment benefit cuts and a variety of other laws galvanized the GOP base and spurred negative reaction and protests from opponents. How did the party seize control and can it maintain its hold on power?

Host Frank Stasio talks about the state of the North Carolina GOP with Becki Gray, vice president for outreach at the John Locke Foundation; Brian Balfour, director of policy at the Civitas Institute; and Marc Rotterman, a GOP political consultant.

McCrory: Airport bill, no compromise in sight

The NC Senate will convene in less than two hours (2:00 pm) Thursday.

Here is the latest scoop on the Charlotte Airport takeover from the Charlotte Observer:

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday morning he doesn’t think there will be a compromise before 2 p.m. on who controls Charlotte Douglas Airport, despite his efforts to reach a deal.

Senator Hagan leads GOP field by double digits

'Hagan leads GOP field by double digits' from PPP

“North Carolinians continue to be closely divided on Kay Hagan,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But she’ll get a break if she can run against the leadership of an extremely unpopular GOP legislature.”

Raleigh, N.C.— The unpopularity of the North Carolina General Assembly may be starting to take a toll on the Republican Party’s chances of ousting freshman Sen. Kay Hagan next fall. Last month, she led eight Republicans tested against her by margins of only four to nine points. In this month’s poll, that has shot up an average of six points.

They will be out of here in no time

Next up, budget
Under the Dome, by Lynn Bonner

The legislature still has a lot to do before it adjourns, but now that Republicans have agreed on a tax plan, the legislature can now move to finalize the other big money bill, the budget.

Sen. Pete Brunstetter, lead negotiator for the Senate, said the budget subcommittee chairmen have finished their work and now the "big chairs" as they're called are working through the differences in the House and Senate budgets. Each chamber passed $20.6 billion budgets, but they differ in the policy details.

Brunstetter said he doubts there will be a compromise budget made public this week because House and Senate negotiators have a lot to talk about.

"We're making best speed, but there's a lot of stuff," the Winston-Salem Republican

Nonpartisan redistricting bill HB 606

House Bill 606
Nonpartisan Redistricting Process. Last Action: Ref to the Com on Elections, if favorable, Government on 04/09/2013

Sponsors: Stam; Glazier; McGrady; D. Ross; (Primary)
Adams; Alexander; Baskerville; L. Bell; Brandon; R. Brawley; Carney; Cleveland; Cunningham; Dockham; Earle; Faircloth; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Foushee; Fulghum; Gill; Goodman; C. Graham; G. Graham; D. Hall; L. Hall; Hamilton; Hanes; Hardister; Harrison; Holley; Horn; Hurley; Insko; Jackson; Jones; Jordan; Lucas; Luebke; McManus; Michaux; Mobley; R. Moore; Murry; Pierce; Queen; Ramsey; Richardson; Saine; Shepard; Steinburg; Stevens; Szoka; Terry; Tine; Tolson; Waddell; Warren; Whitmire; Wilkins; Wray;
Attributes: Public;
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