Republican liars

Child Fatality Task Force opponent a mystery

Maybe the idea had supernatural origins:

"This just came forth like Aphrodite from the sea foam of the Aegean," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, told members on the House floor Friday, backing a move to preserve the task force.

On Thursday, when the measure was vetted by the House Rules Committee, Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, the committee chairman, said that the task force deletion was requested by the Senate. But House members and others who later investigated said they could not find a Senate member who would claim ownership of the move.

The only "foam" present during this session is what's dripping from the mouths of power-mad Republicans like Stam, who see a technical corrections bill as a handy vehicle to get things done that wouldn't pass muster on their own merits.

Chad Barefoot plays the Russian card in campaign outreach

Just when you thought it was safe, the Russians are coming:

Barefoot's email references these "negative attack ads" as well as comments by a NATO leader that "Russians are 'secretly' joining forces with extreme liberal environmental groups to spread misinformation regarding energy exploration." Although Barefoot stops short of saying this explicitly, the overall impression of the email is that "interests as far a field as Moscow and the Kremlin" are somehow playing a part in his state Senate campaign. Here's the text of the fundraising email:

"The environmentalists are on the attack again - and this time, Russia is in the mix...It is time to set the record straight and get this campaign rolling with our own TV ads. We can't let liberal, out-of-state special interests-even interests as far a field as Moscow and the Kremlin mislead the people of our district. That's why I'm coming to you right now."

Ahh! The Kremlin! The next thing you know, they'll be rounding up the Kulaks! (for the purpose of this discussion, the Kulaks would be farmers and private businessmen in Wake County) But it seems our good NATO Commander is angling for a Euro stink-tank position:

Op-Ed on Supreme Court race

In which I attempt to swing some votes:

Make no mistake, it’s no coincidence this third candidate jumped into the race, just as it’s no coincidence this latecomer has been on Art Pope’s payroll for several years at one of his “institutes.” This is a calculated move to exploit both a quirk in our elections laws and the general lack of knowledge and concern voters have over judicial contests. But those movers and shakers aren’t satisfied with merely unbalancing the boat and leaving this up to luck. Oh, no. In for a penny, in for a pound. And these folks got a lot of pounds.

I've had several disagreements with various pundits about the wisdom of attacking the third-party attackers. While it's true they are not going to be on the ballot, they are coming into everybody's living room and pushing their views onto voters. The best way to fight that and to make all that money work against them is to educate the voting public:

Moral Mondays return, with astroturf opposition

Cheerleading tryouts for the Dallas bus-driving squad are being held now:

Barber said that those affiliated with the Moral Monday movement would conduct a voter registration drive this summer. As well, he said, on the week of Memorial Day, the movement will lead a lobby day on that Tuesday.

Dallas Woodhouse, president of Carolina Rising, a recently formed conservative nonprofit, said his group had applied for permits to hold demonstrations on the opposite side of the General Assembly building. "You will see us offer to their message with factional information," Woodhouse said of the Moral Monday announcement. Woodhouse said his group would be "coordinating a policy response" to the Moral Monday protesters and highlight things like a dropping unemployment rate.

Before crafting the first hand-held sign he's already butchering the English language. The word he really wanted was "factual." Then again, it could be his Freudian slip showing from under his bus driver's tunic: fac·tion·al/ˈfakSHənl/ adjective: factional- relating or belonging to a faction. ;) Dumbass.

Dallas Woodhouse forms his own propaganda machine

Seeking to cash in on the river of right-wing money flowing into NC:

Dallas Woodhouse, the sometimes fiery former director of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, is launching a political nonprofit organization to bolster the conservative tide in North Carolina.
Woodhouse will announce on Monday that he has formed Carolina Rising to support free market, education and government reform policies.

“Right now North Carolina is witness to an astounding set of economic trends,” Woodhouse said in statement that will be issued Monday. “Our unemployment rate is falling faster than any other state, and our business competitiveness ranking is skyrocketing. At Carolina Rising, our goal is simple: Make sure those trends continue and North Carolina’s economy continues to grow.” Woodhouse said the organization will counter attempts by “proponents of big government” and the “increasingly radical political agenda of the liberal left.”

Pot, meet kettle. Seriously dude, your "free market, education and government reform policies" are the epitome of radical, using unproven theories and rhetorical devices to tear down and reconstruct the fabric of our public policy. And it's not working. In fact, people like you are having to bend the truth backwards in your efforts to claim success. But go right ahead, I look forward to exposing your stupidity.

Two-Faced Tillis: a half-million dollars' worth of lies

When the truth doesn't fit your narrative, just change it:

House Speaker Thom Tillis’ claim to have fired two staff caught up in a lobbyist sex scandal in 2012 doesn’t stand up to scrutiny or the public record, and his campaign should remove it from North Carolina airwaves.

The ad, which has more than $500,000 backing it according to Roll Call, contains no backup to the claim that Tillis "fired" his staffers. And Tillis’ own spokesman has repeatedly refused to make the same claim -- that Tillis "fired" the staff in question -- when discussing the ad. The Raleigh News & Observer, upon asking for a justification of the firing claim, was told that Tillis “initiated the action of asking for their resignation.”

If Tillis did "ask" for their resignations, which is not a foregone conclusion, it's only because the affairs were made public and forced his hand. But over and above the parsing of words, the intent of the ad itself is false: to make people believe he dealt with the problem in a rapid and harsh fashion. Here's a little historical context which completely undermines that message:

McCrory administration lies again about exhorbitant public records fees

It pays to research before you use the "They do it too!" argument:

On Feb. 7, McCrory’s general counsel, Bob Stephens, fired back, saying, “This administration is committed to transparency, open government, and broad access to public records.” In his letter, Stephens argued that many governmental entities charge more for “extensive requests.” “In response (to large requests), cities like Charlotte and Asheville have instituted special service charge policies,” he wrote.

“We don’t charge for requests, other than occasional costs for duplication,” said Dawa Hitch, the city of Asheville’s public information officer. Carolyn Johnson, a senior deputy city attorney for Charlotte who often handles public records requests, said that the situation is similar in her city.

“We charge our actual costs to copy paper documents – 3 cents a page, because that’s what it costs us,” Johnson said. And most often, she said, public records are delivered to requesters electronically, free. “We don’t charge for the staff’s time (spent gathering records), and not on the IT side either,” she said.

Whether the high charges are due to simple greed or a calculated effort to stifle public records requests, the end result is the same: a hefty pricetag on something we should be able to see for free.

And so it begins: candidate filing period starts today

Time to step up to the plate:

The State Board of Elections and county elections offices begin accepting candidate forms at noon Monday. The filing deadline is Feb. 28.

Voters this year will decide whether to re-elect U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan or one of her rivals. They'll choose members of the U.S. House delegation, all 170 members of the General Assembly and dozens of judgeships. There will also be scores of county commissioner and school board elections.

The primary is May 6, with runoffs July 15 if needed. The general election is Nov. 4.

If you are planning to run, go ahead and file now. It will narrow down the list of races in which a candidate may need to be found, and it will help potential donors decide where best to dedicate their resources.

Let the 2014 Election speculation begin

Playing on a gerrymandered game board:

Democrats have been weakened in Raleigh and their party leadership has been in disarray of late, but liberal groups, some business groups and others disaffected with legislative decisions on public education are laying the groundwork for challenges to vulnerable Republican lawmakers. Democrats don’t expect to win control of either house, but they see a chance to reduce their disadvantage heading into 2016’s elections, when they hope to bounce Gov. Pat McCrory.

Is that really the best we can hope for? Maybe getting rid of the Veto-proof aspect of the Republican majority in the General Assembly so a Democratic Governor taking over in 2017 can (try to) block some of their idiotic policies? I think we can do better. Am I crazy?

NC Chamber whitewashing propaganda video

What a monumental waste of time and money:

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