New North Carolina Ethics Commission website allows citizens to check on potential conflicts

A new website launched quietly last month by the State Ethics Commission allows users to look up state officials' potential conflicts of interest.


See it here: http://www.ethicscommission.nc.gov/masterSearch.aspx

Tillis caves, agrees to participate in debate

Thom Tillis, apparently acknowledging the tightening race for the NC GOP US Senate nomination, hiked up his big boy pants and agreed to participate in WRAL's debate after previously declining.

State House Speaker Thom Tillis says he will participate in a WRAL News debate on April 23.

Tillis initially declined the invitation, citing a scheduling conflict.

What was his scheduling conflict? An earlier story reveals that:

Review & report on the coal ash records

WRAL has posted the coal ash records released by DENR and they're encouraging folks to review them and report anything they find.

You can browse the full text of most of the documents on WRAL.com. If you want to search for terms like "Dan River," "coal ash" or other keywords, enter them in the search box and hit "Enter." Double-click on a file to open it in a new window (you may need to disable your pop-up blocker).

Find anything interesting? Contact our @NCCapitol team by email or via Twitter with the hashtag #coalashdocs to let us know.

Why? Because there are 900 files and 13,000 pages. So having a crowd review these makes sense. We're sure that the folks here at BlueNC are interested and can help.

WRAL: Dem Exec. Director fired

ALERT: Robert Dempsey, executive director of NC Democratic Party, fired http://www.wral.com/13374074 #breaking

By Kelly Gardner

RALEIGH, N.C. — After less than a year as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Robert Dempsey has been fired, multiple sources tell WRAL News.

According to those sources – some of whom talked to Dempsey – Dempsey said he was told Sunday that he's been let go.

Dempsey was installed as the party's executive director in May...

Is there really only one economist in North Carolina?

Watching how the media rely on Mike Walden at the NC State Department of Economics, you'd think he was god's gift or something. When in fact, he's really Art Pope's gift. A regular contributor to the Carolina Journal, Walden has been associated with Mr. Pope throughout his career, bringing free-market happy talk to the table at every turn.

So when Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory declared economic victory this week, WRAL's Mark Binker predictably turned to Walden to dish out more of McCrory's sunny outlook.

"What I tend to look at is job creation," Walden said. Over the past four years, he said, the number of jobs available in the state has been growing.

'incursion into Tillis' office': Guerrilla Warfare at the NCGA?

Raleigh, N.C. —

House lawmakers amended their chamber rules this morning in response to an incident earlier this month in which five Democratic lawmakers delivered a petition to Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and took pictures in his office while neither the Republican nor his staff were present.

The measure, put forward by Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham, surfaced yesterday. It was approved by the House Rules Committee Wednesday and then approved by the full chamber Thursday morning with little debate.

read about the "incursion into Tillis' office" at WRAL.com

Lack of transparency at NC General Assembly

Lack of transparency always a hallmark of NC legislature

Democrats have repeatedly cried foul during the six-month session, saying the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are circumventing public debate by introducing bills with little notice, if any, and using their numerical advantage to push them through the chambers quickly.

Soft targets, hard choices

From WRAL TV tonight, exploring gun violence. This should be an interesting, commercial-free hour, that will drive Tarheel Preppers over the edge. Dr. Jane Brown, my wonderful wife, will be one of the experts featured in the report. Starts at 8 pm.

State, Raleigh sign lease for Dix campus; what's next?

State, Raleigh sign lease for Dix campus
Story from WRAL.com.

I have yet to see the lease signed today by Governor Perdue on behalf of the state of North Carolina. I hope to see it soon to see which party, the state or the city, is responsible for environmental liability and clean up. I raised this issue to members of the Council of State and the Governor, but never received acknowledgment of my questions or the courtesy of a reply to my emails.

The pledge by Greg Poole, leader of the group which calls itself Dix Visionaries, to raise $3 million raises some questions on openness and transparency:

Is there a budget for the master plan? Will the group be inclusive, when appointing the leaders of the planning group? Will Gregory Poole fully commit to funding the master plan privately? Will he make the donors public?

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