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

WRAL records review of NC FAST snafus

A WRAL News review of thousands of pages of emails and other public records shows that for more than a month starting July 15, counties across the state struggled with a buggy, sluggish system that frequently froze up and prevented workers from keying in cases. By the time the NC FAST team identified the problem as a simple browser compatibility issue in late August, almost 70,000 food stamp customers statewide – many of them families with children – were waiting on overdue benefits, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That's 8.5 percent of the number of clients the state currently serves every month.

The 2013 General Assembly session by the numbers

The 2013 General Assembly session by the numbers
By Mark Binker

from http://www.wral.com/of-the-perfect-/12781694/

One of the most basic duties a lawmaker carries out during session is mashing the red or green button during recorded votes on the House or Senate floor. While plenty of hard bargains and hard luck lurk behind the numbers, vote totals can tell part of the story behind the 2013 legislative session.

Binker reports on quickies like this--most red member of the House: Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, voted most often with the majority, 98.8 % of her votes were with the majority.

And from the loyal opposition, her opposite: Of those who served a full term, Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, voted against the GOP majority the most, 74 percent of the time. She is virtually tied with Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham.

Some more interesting tidbits here for political junkies. Check it out.

Rep. Mickey Michaux says Republicans showing 'stupidity'

"We're gaining national attention for the stupidity being played out" in the NC General Assembly," said Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham). Michaux calls out GOP bills including one requiring drug testing to qualify for benefits passed by the NC Senate.

Laura Leslie questioned Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) about legislature's refusal to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.

See Michaux and Rep. David Lewis live now on WRAL Channel 5, or watch the video on WRAL.com.


Voter Photo ID bill debate now on WRAL.com video

WRAL Gov't Coverage ‏@NCCapitol
#ncga House Elections now taking up amendments to Voter Photo ID bill. Watch live: http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/video/12350440/#/vid12350440 … #ncpol

DHHS Secretary "explains" state of the agency

If you missed Vos' presentation to the Joint Committee this morning (as I did), you can watch the video over the net here:

DHHS Secretary explains state of the agency

State Department of Health and Human Service Sec. Aldona Wos gives a presentation to the Joint Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services on the state of the agency after a week of scrutiny.


I have been listening to the video online, and I have never seen a presentation like it in my days at the General Assembly. Overall impression: this woman is in way over her head.

'On the Record': Reps. Deborah Ross, Jim Fulghum of Wake County

On the Record: Reps. Deborah Ross, Jim Fulghum of Wake County

Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, and Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake, go On the Record about what has already happened in the early stages of this legislative session and what appears to be on the horizon


Roundtable discussion with Laura Leslie of WRAL.com and David Crabtree of WRAL with their invited guests from the NCGA. (Video)

Quick links from WRAL.com for Legislative watchdogs

Good sources of info on the NC General Assembly from www.WRAL.com:

THE WRAP: Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie and reporter Mark Binker talk over that committee reduction and appointments bill in Tuesday's edition of The Wrap @NCCapitol. (Video)

ISSUES: The 2013 N.C. General Assembly Issue Tracker has been updated with legislative action from Tuesday: http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/asset_gallery/11997682/

And just for good measure, a suggestion for those going to the Legislature today:
DO GOOD: Wednesday is the North Carolina Retail Merchant's annual food drive at the legislative building. If you're going to be downtown today, bring my some nonperishable food for a good cause.

Senate Hearing on Gun Violence

I am listening to the NRA attribute gun violence to the "homicidal maniacs" of the country.

You can view and hear video streaming live at WRAL.com the Senate Judiciary Commmittee Hearing on gun violence here:


On the Record: Republican agenda will drive legislative session

a good intro to major issues facing the General Assembly, as it convenes for 2013 session tomorrow

from WRAL.com a 30 minute roundtable discussion

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