Jun
27

The Cause Is Having Effect — DoS Edition

By

If you’ve noticed slowness on ScruHoo over the last few days and weeks (or have been unable to connect), according to Purple Cat it is because we have been under a Denial-of-Service Attack. That is, unless you have a lot of relatives in the Netherlands who suddenly took an obsessive interest in Asheville’s water fight with Reps. Tim Moffitt, Nathan Ramsey, Chuck McGrady and North Carolina’s GOP-led legislature.

We are working to correct the problem.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Comments

  1. Tom Sullivan says:

    And hello, China!

  2. I made it through! What do I win?

  3. Before China shuts us down, here’s the latest I’ve managed to figure out:

    They attached an amendment weakening the City of Asheville’s lawsuit against the water seizure, to Chuck McGrady’s huge “environmental” bill, H94 (page 20, line 32):

    “Section 1(a)(2) of S.L. 2013-50 is repealed.”

    Apparently, someone in the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee thought to ask, “Will this change render any other NC municipal water systems vulnerable to this sort of forced regional consolidation?” (paraphrased).

    The answer from staff was, apparently, “Yes, Greenville.”

    So now, the Greenville GOP delegation is hopping mad, and has managed to have the bill pulled from the agenda in the full Senate.

    Yee-haw! As the poet said, “Give ’em more rope boys, & we can leave the rest to them!!”

  4. arratik says:

    Was it indeed a DDoS attack or something else? There have been a lot of security issues with WordPress.com sites, but a lot of those same exploits have been used on hosted WP sites recently.

    Netherlands, huh… could be someone spoofed an IP address or used a proxy server or VPN.

    And no, I don’t think he did it.

  5. Tom Sullivan says:

    Ah, my iron lung is working again.

    Had a misbehaving plugin, too.

  6. Day 343 in Iron Lung Joke Watch.

  7. Doug Gibson says:

    Barry,

    Just for the sake of clarity, here’s how I understand what you’re describing re: HB94.

    1) HB94 was amended to include language that repealed a section of HB488.
    2) This change made the water system owned by the city of Greenville liable to forced “regionalization.”
    3) The folks from Greenville complained, and HB94 was removed from the Senate agenda.

    Do I have that right? If so, I’m curious why Greenville was going to be affected and not any other city. Is it because they already have an MSD in Pitt County?

  8. That’s it exactly, Doug. Contentnea Metropolitan Sewage District is based in Grifton NC, (The “Shad” Capitol of North Carolina), in Pitt County. Greenville is also in Pitt County. The language of H488, the Asheville water seizure bill, sets out the criteria of systems that are eligible for forced consolidation. They were created with the thought of restricting it to only apply to Asheville (but then, that will be its downfall in court – can’t pass laws that only affect one city’s water system).

    The first criteria is that there is an MSD already existing in your county. If you meet the other two, you have no choice but to transfer your water system assets to that MSD.

    The other two criteria: a) the legislation only kicks in if you serve over 120,000 people. (Greenville’s water system currently only serves 95,000, but they expect to reach 120K within 5 – 10 years), and b) NOT having an “interbasin transfer certificate”. This also took Greenville off the eligible list, because Greenville DOES have an interbasin transfer certificate (Asheville does not).

    So once that third criteria is removed, as H94 does, it’s just a matter of population growth, and Greenville would eventually be forced to turn over their water system to Pitt County’s MSD.

    Moffitt, Ramsey, and McGrady are trying to thread a teeny tiny needle here: amend the seizure law to make it appear to Howard “Howdy” Manning Jr. (the Superior Court Judge that will hear the Asheville lawsuit on Aug. 6th) that it does in fact apply to other municipalities, not just Asheville. But it can’t actually apply to other municipalities, because the affected legislators will scream bloody murder. Rep. Paul Stam did it when H488 came up in the House, and now Senator Louis Pate of Pitt County has done it when H94 came up in the Senate.

    You almost feel sorry for MM&R. They have spent two years crafting a massive, complicated lie to cover for their act of piracy, and it’s looking less and less likely that they will get away with it.

  9. But on the positive side, we can breathe easier: the Moffitt/Ramsey “Big Gulp” bill is back on the Senate agenda.

    No city ordinance may prohibit the sale of soft drinks above a particular size.

    Thank goodness they’re focusing all their energies in the last days of the session, on this type of crucial legislation.

  10. Sorry for the length of this, but the Greenville ‘Reflector’ published this today. I spoke to these reporters yesterday, and to the Greenville City Manager quoted in this story. Their primary source of understanding this issue appears to be Tim Moffitt, hence the “blame the victim” tone of it…

    The fate of Greenville’s water system has been tied to legal complications over a water system on the other end of the state, city officials and local legislative delegates confirmed on Thursday.

    A new law that allows the state to transfer ownership and operations of water systems from municipalities to a group of regional systems took effect in May for municipalities that meet specific criteria. Greenville and its state-chartered water authority, Greenville Utilities, were exempted from the law.

    But revisions being fashioned by the Senate Agricultural, Environment and Natural Resources Committee to another bill could eliminate that exemption.
    If amended in its current form and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the new law automatically would transfer ownership and operations of Greenville’s public water system out of the hands of the city and Greenville Utilities Commission to Grifton and the Contentnea Metropolitan Sewerage District, a metropolitan water and sewage system, without any compensation.

    The action is being taken because the city of Asheville in Buncombe County filed a lawsuit on May 14 challenging the General Assembly on the utilities transfer law, based on its narrow focus on that city alone.

    Counsel for the legislators had recommended a revision to House Bill 94 that would apply the transfer law to utilities statewide and overcome the legal challenge, local legislative delegates said.

    The Agriculture Committee action further complicated the issue, Sen. Don Davis, D-Snow Hill said.

    Session Law 2130-50 (House Bill 488) Section 1.(a) provides for the transfer of water services from public-owned systems like GUC to a state-owned system like Contentnea’s if the public system operates in a county where a metropolitan system exists; if the public system has not been issued a certificate for interbasin transfer and if the public system serves a population greater than 120,000 people.

    By repealing the second section — issuance of a certificate for interbasin transfer — Asheville would cease to be the only municipality affected by the legislation. Other public systems would meet the criteria and the grounds for Asheville’s lawsuit would be nullified.

    But the Senate committee’s proposed actions have drawn Pitt and Pamlico counties into the equation. Pamlico County has a customer base of about 6,000. It would not likely to be affected by the population requirement.

    Greenville, though, has a current customer base of about 95,000 and could be forced to transfer its authority to Contentnea within five to six years if the bill becomes law, according to projections by GUC General Manager/CEO Tony Cannon.

    Rep. Brian Brown, a Greenville Republican said Thursday that he was aware that Greenville would be excluded from the outcome that was aimed at Asheville because GUC met the interbasin transfer provision set out in the bill passed in May. When Asheville sued the General Assembly shortly after that, Brown was made aware that the interbasin provision would be pulled out of the Senate version of the bill, he said.

    “I immediately began to work on some prevailing language that would assure that GUC would not be affected by this change,” Brown said. “I met with Tony Cannon many times and met with Rep. Moffitt to try to reach a solution to his local issue in Asheville that would avoid GUC, the city of Greenville and all of its customers from being affected by this legislation.”

    Brown could not assure the outcome, but said that all the members of the Pitt County legislative delegation are working in a combined effort to protect Greenville Utilities’ interests.

    “We understand what’s at stake and we’re working well together to make sure our interests are protected,” Brown said.

    Davis said efforts are being made to clarify the Pitt County and Greenville positions for Agriculture Committee members and other legislators who might believe local authorities support the revisions.

    “It could be very devastating,” Davis said. “When you talk about transferring GUC operations to Contentnea, I wonder if they even have the capacity to do that. Interfering with the administrative arrangement that’s been put in place between the City of Greenville and its utility without asking the people who are served by this arrangement is absolutely a tremendous concern.

    This (situation) is purely spinning out of Asheville,” Davis said. “I can’t think of and don’t know of anybody in our community who is in support of this.”

    Sen. Louis Pate, Republican from Wayne County, said he found out about the legislative actions on June 21 and pulled the current bill from the Senate calendar on Thursday just before it was acted on. He said he will try to get his colleagues to take a different approach to solving Asheville’s issues that does not impact Pitt County and Greenville.

    “It’s all well and good for Asheville but it’s not helping Greenville out one bit,” Pate said. “Drawing Greenville and Pitt County into this is just insane by my way of thinking — and they have very nearly done it.”

    Cannon has been working on the issue for the past week, he said, including trips to Raleigh to meet with legislators.

    “This is a concern to us,” Cannon said. “It doesn’t immediately impact us and I think we’ve got some time to work on H 94 should it pass. We’ve been talking with the legislators on this and they want to help us on this. We’ve got to look at all of our assets and figure out the best way to protect Greenville’s water system.”

    Greenville City Manager Barbara Lipscomb, City Attorney David Holec and Councilwoman Kandie Smith also spent time in Raleigh on Thursday.

    “We expressed the city’s opposition to this provision to our local legislative delegation,” Holec said. “We requested that it either be deleted, not approved, or changed in some manner so it does not apply to Greenville.”

    Lipscomb said she would like to see Asheville’s issues resolved for that city without involving Greenville.

    “We’d like to see an orderly process wherein we evaluate our options and how we provide service and make a measured recommendation based on a clear understanding of the processes before we just accept a situation being placed on us by another community,” Lipscomb said.

    They haven’t fully grasped that they have to be on the chopping block too, if Mssrs. Moffitt, Ramsey, and McGrady are going to get their hands on Asheville’s water, and that this isn’t Asheville’s fault, it’s these pirate legislators.

  11. N.C.Rohan says:

    WRAL refers to the “Big Gulp” bill as a model bill from ALEC http://www.wral.com/-big-gulp-bill-headed-for-senate-vote/12602412/.. Not about FREEDUM! BLOOMBERG! but protecting their PPPartners from lawsuits over anything related in any way to obesity or any of the multitude of problems and other diseases tied to it. So when that third nipple growing out of your forehead becomes cancerous they can claim they didn’t know that the obscure chemical used to increase the shelf life of the can of sodypop for 5 more years could do that, but you should have known better. Didn’t learn about it from your uncertified teacher in charter school? Tuff! More Moffia tactics and Family values….

  12. Tom Sullivan says:

    “Biggest Liberal Protest of 2013”

    RALEIGH, North Carolina — To little national fanfare, the largest liberal protest of 2013 took place on Monday this week in North Carolina, with thousands in attendance and hundreds getting arrested.

    […]

    This week’s Moral Monday protest, which is being organized by the North Carolina NAACP with support from groups like the Advancement Project and the AFL-CIO, was the largest to date with more than 3,000 people in attendance.

  13. Doug Gibson says:

    Barry,

    One would assume that someone from the League of Municipalities, or maybe the Asheville City Council, is planning on getting in touch with folks in Greenville.

    So—pardon my ignorance, but what I’ve never understood is why MM&R have to do this tap-dance in the first place. Where does it say that they can’t pass a statewide bill that only affects a particular locale? And why didn’t they just introduce a local bill?

  14. It’s OK – I was ignorant about this too, until Rep. Paul Stam cited it in the House:

    North Carolina Constitution, Article 2, Sec. 24. Limitations on local, private, and special legislation.

    (1) Prohibited subjects. The General Assembly shall not enact any local, private, or special act or resolution:

    (a) Relating to health, sanitation, and the abatement of nuisances;

    The courts have held that to mean water and sewer. Can’t have towns making up their own rules about the purity of drinking water, or the rules for the safe handling of sewage, etc.

  15. TJ says:

    “We understand what’s at stake and we’re working well together to make sure our interests are protected,” Brown said.”

    ““It’s all well and good for Asheville but it’s not helping Greenville out one bit,” Pate said. “Drawing Greenville and Pitt County into this is just insane by my way of thinking — and they have very nearly done it.”

    WOW! Insane is right! “Well and good for Asheville,” “interests are protected.”

    Wow!

  16. With the inside baseball, and the legislative minutia, it’s easy to lose sight of one important fact, which needs to be stated clearly. Through this latest chicanery with the H488 amendments, Reps. Moffitt, Ramsey, and McGrady have made one thing clear:

    They know that what they are attempting, the seizure of Asheville’s water, violates the NC Constitution.

    Shame on them.

  17. Joe Minicozzi says:

    This is a great quote from the Greenville paper (thanks Barry):
    “Brown said. “I met with Tony Cannon many times and met with Rep. Moffitt to try to reach a solution to his local issue in Asheville that would avoid GUC, the city of Greenville and all of its customers from being affected by this legislation.”

    I particularly like the “his local issue” part. Gee… Think Asheville is being singled out? Greenville thinks so.

  18. Yeah, and I think they still don’t get why they are now on Moffitt & Ramsey’s menu alongside Asheville. This is not an accident. They are there by design.

  19. TJ says:

    “Shame on them.”

    Sociopaths feel no shame.

  20. TJ says:

    Moffitt reminds me of that cartoon where the evil character is always saying, “Now, I will take over the world!” with a weird laugh.

    Well, I’m off to take over Sunday School with my Rosetta feathers, and “Jailed for Justice” t-shirt, in my conservative class. Brruuhhaahaha! (or, however, you do it).

  21. N.C.Rohan says:

    WOW Rep. Robert Brawley(R!-Iredell) statement anti-PPP, specifically mentions water as essential service that shouldn’t be privatized. Doesn’t sound like he drank Moffitt’s kool-aid http://dailyhaymaker.com/?p=5716

  22. Tom Sullivan says:

    Damn, now that *was* unexpected. Wow, indeed.

  23. This is the same GOP rep who resigned as Chairman of the House Finance Committee, and took a swipe at Tim Moffitt in the process, especially over the water issue.

    “Brawley said he has supported GOP legislation aimed at Asheville, other than Rep. Tim Moffitt’s bill that would take the city’s water system and give it to a regional authority. Brawley said he didn’t back that bill because it’s not a local bill and he doesn’t want a regional water authority in own his district.”

  24. Moffitt must be mad enough to chew glass right now. This is anti-ALEC heresy going on, within his own caucus.

  25. Can’t resist pulling quotes out of this:

    “Unfortunately for millions of Americans, legislators are selling-out America’s prime infrastructure assets to corporations and private entities looking to capitalize off of the public and America’s infrastructure that was purchased, built and maintained with taxpayer funds. Whether it is roads, water systems or utilities, corporations and private entities are pervasively colluding with politicians to garner the acceptance of Private Public Partnerships (P3s). (I think he’s talking about you, Tim. Aren’t you still the Chairman of the House P3 Committee?)

    “The American public depends on the equitable accessibility to basic needs, such as water, roads and emergency services. Seeking ways to profit from the public for services that they cannot pick and choose from (such as the airport they use, the interstate they drive on, or the water they drink) is essentially forcing the public to buy your product – that is not a free market practice. (It almost sounds like he’s calling P3s, I don’t know… sort of un-American? Nah, I’m sure that’s not what he’s saying… This guy is a Republican, right?)

    “Socialist and non-democratic countries do P3s very well, which is another example why they are an un-American practice. I ask my fellow legislators and the public to speak up against plans to implement P3s for our roads and other public infrastructure assets that are essential to a free society.” (Whoops – that sure is what he was saying: “P3s are un-American”. Wow…)

    Somewhere tonight, somebody is sneaking up on a horse, with a saw in his hand…

  26. Pete Kaliner says:

    Rep. Robert Brawley also wanted to repeal the ethics ban on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers that were enacted after the Jim Black scandal.

  27. Good point, Pete. We must find a way to disregard or distract from his criticism of Tim Moffitt & his goal of privatizing public infrastructure.

  28. N.C.Rohan says:

    I thought he might get an invite to a little boat ride on a lake, ala Fredo, from somebody in the Family.

  29. N.C.Rohan says:

    Greenville gets it…http://www.reflector.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-hands-greenville-water-system-2095395#.UdFerk_Cp2w.twitter hope they have a large readership and vocal representation

  30. Doug Gibson says:

    And that’s why Carl Mumpower opposes the merger, too: because he wants to end the gift ban. Paul Stam, who kicked up a fuss about the Apex water system being liable for forced merger if there weren’t some changes in the bill? Same deal.

    In fact, every single Republican who thinks this is a bad idea, or a bad idea for their community, only thinks so because they want lobbyists to be able to give gifts to legislators. For instance, I have it on good authority that the only reason Chuck McGrady didn’t push for a forced merger of the Hendersonville water system is that he wanted lobbyists to be able to take him to lunch again. Anti-merger = free lobbyist lunches. It’s a universal law.

    And here’s the best news of all: I understand they’re working on a corollary that allows you to draw a connection between merger opponents and Jim Black every time without ever having to look like you’re stretching. At the moment, that’s the weak link in the chain, but not for long!

  31. Mim Toffitt says:

    If Asheville stands up for itself the terrorists win.

  32. TJ says:

    So, you’re calling yourself a terrorist?

    Do I need to report you to Homeland Security? You sure are not providing any security for citizens…in fact, your are severely injuring folks.

    Oh. You ARE a terrorist.