NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Talk about brainless:

Yeah, those 17,000 who marched in Raleigh know exactly who they are, and they're proud of it. Also, I can't adequately describe the irony of using a cooking reference to attack women standing up for their rights. And an unhealthy cooking reference, for that matter...

Margaret Spellings is right: HB2 needs to go

It's a bigoted anchor around our necks:

“Our competitors have used this issue against us to some extent,” Spellings said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If I’m in Georgia and I’m in a competitive bidding war for a world-class faculty member, I’m going to say if this is a transgender or gay person, ‘Is this an environment where you’re going to live and work?’ So I think anecdotally there’s some of that going on.” Do you think?

Spellings is signaling the obvious. As long as North Carolina is a place that enshrines discrimination in its laws – and that is precisely what HB2 does – it will not be able to keep pace with other top-notch public and private colleges and universities. When the General Assembly gets down to work Wednesday, Senate boss Berger and House Speaker Moore need to immediately bring complete repeal of HB2, no strings attached, to the floor for a vote. Gov. Roy Cooper says there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in both houses to prevail.

I'm not sure they're capable of passing a bill with no strings attached, with no poison pills dropped in it to dissolve into ambiguous but deadly verbiage. But we'll see.

John Droz caught in multiple lies over wind farm opposition

And he tried to mislead Homeland Security, no less:

The U.S. military was forced to accept a wind farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties despite no guarantees it wouldn't impair a regional radar system, a North Carolina wind energy opponent claims.

John Droz, a physicist known for advocating against renewable energy, also acknowledges, however, that he has no direct evidence the former administration of President Barack Obama forced the military to approve the Amazon Wind Farm US East project.

Bolding mine, because integrity, something John Droz is sorely lacking. This also means every single one of those Republican lawmakers who put their signature on this letter lied to the umbrella organization that was created to protect the United States from domestic terrorism. Think about that for a moment. If you or I did something like that, we'd be lucky to avoid an intense interrogation session or two, and would likely be placed on the No-Fly list. But their lust for attacking Obama, not unlike that weasel van der Vaart, had them eager to take part in this fiasco. Here's more conspiracy theorizing from John Droz:

Environmental Injustice: Living in Hogland

Talk about your bad neighbors:

The EPA says the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has not done enough to reduce asthma, stench, flies, truck traffic and other problems caused by the facilities. The federal agency also says it has “grave concerns” about reports from minority neighbors of threats and intimidation against those who have complained.

“North Carolina hog farmers are good neighbors who care deeply about protecting our water and air,” Andy Curliss, chief executive officer of the Pork Council, said in a statement released Wednesday. “We welcome the opportunity to sit down with state regulators and those who live near our farms to address any concerns they may have.”

Oh, Andy. How far you've fallen. You used to investigate stories like this, and uncover the dark secrets behind the shining public façade. Now you are that façade. And you're not just covering up unethical business practices, some of this behavior is not unlike the mafia in its implied violence and brutality:

Introducing the NC GOP's favorite money-man: Roger W. Knight

A little background from our friend Greg Flynn:

The Carolina Business Coalition, Inc., has been in existence since May of 2011 but publicly dormant until recently. Originally set up by Roger Knight, a campaign finance attorney with fingers in various right-wing pies, the organization switched the record of responsibility in April to Peter Barnes who filed paperwork for the Carolina Business Coalition Education Fund with both the IRS and the State Board of Elections on May 10th. Roger Knight serves as a director of the parent Carolina Business Coalition which is chaired by Allen Gant, President and CEO of Glen Raven, Inc. a major contributor to Real Jobs NC set up by Fred Eshelman, and for which Knight has served as Executive Director. In 2010, largely funded by the Republican State Leadership Committee, Real Jobs NC spent $1.6 million on state races, a big factor in the Republican takeover of the NC General Assembly.

Since the early days of the Republican takeover of NC government, dark money has poured into individual races for the General Assembly, often in the form of vague (and hugely expensive) television commercials promoting Republican candidates or attacking their Democratic opponents. For the most part, those subsequently elected (or re) officials have tried to separate themselves from that dark money. But while doing a search on the new Appropriations Committee Co-Chair (Dean Arp), I stumbled across this relatively new 501(c)4 independent expenditure org which is directly tied to the NC House GOP leadership:

US Navy keelhauls Bill Cook's anti-wind attempt

Exposing his severe lack of knowledge and research:

The U.S. Navy did not contact state lawmakers about shutting down Amazon Wind Farm US East, nor does it have evidence the farm can't co-exist with its nearby radar facility, a Naval spokeswoman reported Friday.

“The MIT Lincoln Laboratory modeling of this wind farm determined the acceptable number of turbines and acceptable distance from the ROTHR receive site,” she wrote, also noting its modeling was based on the “specific turbine model proposed by the developer.” She continued the Navy agreed in November 2014 to let the developer build 104 turbines, reduced from 150, and then “conduct post-construction testing of the Avangrid wind farm this year to validate the compatibility modeling that was performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory.”

I was actually waiting for something like this, because Cook tried to pull the same BS with his "military flight path" bill, which would have outlawed wind farms on about 85% of Eastern North Carolina land. In that case, the FAA was (and is) intricately involved in mapping flight paths and the potential for obstruction for each turbine tower. Of course the Navy was already involved, and had taken steps to make sure its operations wouldn't be disrupted. And Bill Cook just made fools out of everyone who signed that stupid letter.

In pursuit of fairness and transparency, let the Carolina Journal in

Because it's not about them, it's about us:

The conservative Carolina Journal, which is published by the John Locke Foundation, says that its reporters have been banned from covering the new governor’s news conferences. The publication was not able to cover the governor’s Dec. 15 news conference, and the report says email requests for notice and access to other events went unanswered.

Cooper spokesman Ford Porter told the (Raleigh) News & Observer on Thursday that no one is being frozen out of news conferences or events, and if any reporter has been denied access, it was an “oversight.”

No doubt the truth is somewhere in-between, because the controversy of exclusion is a juicier story than witnessing department heads being introduced. That being said, favoring or disfavoring individual media outlets or their reporters is already a huge problem in this country, and we have a chance in this administration to show how it should be done. If Art Pope's people choose to write a skewed story, let's make sure it wasn't due to a lack of information or exposure.

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