NC GOP

The "Broken Promises" tour is back on the road

And the GOP propaganda machine is running in overdrive trying to catch it:

A coalition of progressive groups Monday began rolling a billboard around North Carolina urging Gov. Pat McCrory to veto a bill that would extend the waiting period for an abortion.

“We find this to be medically unnecessary, we find this to be bad medicine, we find this to be bad law and bad for the people of North Carolina,” said Shoshannah Sayers, interim executive director of NARAL Pro Choice North Carolina. She spoke in front of a rolling billboard that features McCrory and his 2008 response when asked what further restrictions on abortion he would sign. “None,” McCrory replied.

Here are this week's stops on the tour, hat-tip to NC Policy Watch's Clayton Henkel for compiling the list:
Greensboro, NC: Old Guilford Co. Courthouse (301 W. Market Street), Wednesday, May 6th at 12:30 PM
Greenville, NC: Pitt Co. Courthouse (100 W. Third Street), Thursday, May 7th at 12:30 PM
New Bern, NC: Craven Co. Government Building (406 Craven Street), Thursday, May 7th at 4:00 PM
Wilmington, NC: Wilmington City Hall (102 N 3rd St), Friday, May 8th at 11:00 AM

Argumentum ad Temperantiam brings REPS to its knees

Also known as "middle ground" or "appeal to moderation" logical fallacies:

When a similar bill filed this session was voted down in committee, Hager added the substance of the bill as an amendment to Regulatory Reform Act of 2015. Hager’s amendment capped the requirement at 6 percent and set it to expire altogether in 2018.

After push back from supporters of renewable energy, a compromise amendment approved late Wednesday caps the rate permanently at 6 percent and repeals an 80 percent property-tax break that solar farms and facilities now receive. “It saves REPS but freezes it,” said Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), who fought to establish the standards in 2007.

I would never dream of questioning or advising Pricey on legislative matters or environmental issues. That being said, it's my understanding that Hager's amendment (which, as a bill, couldn't make it out of Committee) was withdrawn when this "compromise" amendment was accepted. Meaning an amendment with a questionable chance of passing on the floor served as a "lever" to swing votes for this other, less damaging amendment. Here's a question for lawmakers: If either of these amendments were put forward by themselves, where no comparisons or compromises were involved, would either have passed?

Jeb Bush brings his cluelessness to NC

Coming to all the wrong conclusions:

Speaking shortly after charges were announced in Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore, Bush said "the process works, and it will go forward from here on out. People are innocent until proven guilty."

At the same time, Bush stressed that in any time of disaffection, the first responsibility is to make sure the rule of law applies. There are "ways to protest peacefully, but when you cross the line and you start doing damage to property and harming people, innocent people, that's a problem. "

Which reflects a core logical disconnect shared by many of his fellow Republicans: The total dismissal of cause & effect. It is somewhere between "very possible" and "likely" that, in the absence of social unrest following the wrongful death of Freddie Gray, no criminal charges would have been filed against the police officers responsible. They might have been temporarily suspended and/or had something scribbled in their personnel file, but charged with crimes? Doubtful. But that reality doesn't fit with the Republican narrative, so it's clipped out of the picture.

Crossover crapola: The NC GOP's misplaced priorities

It's quite possible that $13,951 per year is way too much:

Roughly 500 bills have passed one chamber or the other. Here’s a glance at some key bills still alive:

>State government would be banned from contracting with companies tied to Iran’s energy sector under Senate Bill 455.
>House Bill 630 would direct state regulators to look into using floating technology at Falls Lake that is being tested in Jordan Lake to prevent and clean up pollution.
>House Bill 601 allows for the sale of deer skins.
>House Bill 161 makes the bobcat the official state cat.
>House Bill 640 allows Sunday hunting on private land.
>House Bill 540 would put a statue of evangelist Billy Graham in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I suppose things could be worse, that all 500 of these bills could be punitive in nature, adding to the layers of attacks on citizens already in place or in progress. But the real problem with these bills is they combine to form a cloud of staticky noise, that diverts attention and the resulting debate on bills that do have a profound impact on people's lives. Which is probably why the leadership gives them time they don't deserve.

NC charter schools: All your dollar$ are ours

Even your bake sales and booster bucks:

Senate Bill 456 would force school districts to share all local tax revenue proportionally by striking the ad valorem exception. Sponsor Sen. Jerry Tillman R-Randolph, said the bill "puts the funding back where the courts say it should be."

However, the bill also strikes the law's exceptions for "sales tax refunds, gifts and grants restricted as to use, and trust funds." That means donations, from school PTA fundraising dollars to booster revenues for bands or sports teams, would all go into the shared pot unless the school district sets up a separate account for those dollars and unless donors specify that their contribution is for that particular account.

I'm sure Conservative band boosters and other alums will somehow perceive this as "the damn government" meddling in school affairs, which later will coalesce into "the damn Democrats" did it, since they can't grasp the idea of their intrepid Republican heroes pulling stunts like this. And if/when they do see something negative about the GOP on the news, the filters kick in to defend them from "that damn Liberal media." SMFH.

Jeter amendment guts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

Common sense gets lost in the crossover shuffle:

The proposal introduced Wednesday night as an amendment to House Bill 760, a regulatory reform measure, would cap the REPS requirement at 6 percent permanently and would allow a utility to claim energy-efficiency savings for up to half of that requirement. Power companies could seek reimbursement from ratepayers for any investments or contracts they've already entered into in order to meet the higher renewables requirements that the proposal repeals.

The measure would also repeal an 80 percent property tax break that solar farms and facilities currently receive.

And this amendment passed 98-18, meaning a whole lot of Democrats have some explaining to do.

Report details massive fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by the charter school industry

Enough to buy a shitload of public school textbooks:

The 2015 report cites $203 million, including the 2014 total plus $23 million in new cases, and $44 million in earlier cases not included in last year’s report.

It notes that these figures only represent fraud and waste in the charter sector uncovered so far, and that the total that federal, state and local governments “stand to lose” in 2015 is probably more than $1.4 billion. It says, “The vast majority of the fraud perpetrated by charter officials will go undetected because the federal government, the states, and local charter authorizers lack the oversight necessary to detect the fraud.”

The lack of oversight wasn't an oversight on the part of Republicans, they're counting on it. In the absence of that needed fraud detection, they can continue to expand the program until the private sector gains a controlling interest in public education. And some of them probably genuinely believe that fraud and abuse in the private sector is still better than efficiency and good results from government entities. Which is reason #27 why they need to be booted out of the Legislature.

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