Archive for NC Governor

Jun
14

Friday Open Thread

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N&O has a surprise twist in a “Ya ain’t from around here ya?” letter:

Out with ‘outsiders’

Rarely do I agree with Gov. Pat McCrory, but his recent statement blaming “outsiders” for disrupting North Carolina progress is spot on.

Thom Tillis from Jacksonville, Fla., Phil Berger from New Rochelle, N.Y., and McCrory from Columbus, Ohio, have done all they can to eliminate the progress North Carolina made with the help of natives Sam Ervin (Morganton), Terry Sanford (Laurinburg) and Hugh Shelton (Tarboro).

Let’s do what we can to rid ourselves of these disruptive outsiders.

Lynnie Sullivan, Holly Springs

Jun
12

Paradise Lost and Unfounded

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Among the standard-issue slurs hurled by the right is that liberals engage in social engineering. That is, liberals want o use government to impose an impractical, unrealistic and costly utopian vision of society on down-to earth, sensible conservatives.

But in North Carolina, it’s conservatives pursuing a libertarian utopia doing the engineering. And since libertarians couldn’t get North Carolina to vote for a government that would do it, they had to buy one. Enter Art Pope, Gov. Pat McCrory’s new budget director.

Pope is, for all intents and purposes, North Carolina’s third, lesser known, Koch brother. In fact, he’s attended the Koch Brothers’ planning summits and considers himself their close ally.

In 2010, Pope’s organizations spent $2.2 million on 22 state legislature races, and won 18 of them. In fact, outside groups backed by Pope accounted for 75 percent of independent spending in those races. In 2012, Pope and his affiliated groups again spent more than $2 million on the election, leading to a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, and putting McCrory in the governor’s mansion.

If it feels as if you’re no longer in Kansas, maybe it’s because you’re in Art Pope’s North Carolina. Welcome to Oz. (Mind the flying monkeys.)

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MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry was in Raleigh, NC this week covering the largest Moral Monday protest to date against the GOP-led legislature’s radical rightward tilt. State NAACP president Reverend William Barber leads the protests that grew to well over 1,000 last week, with 150 arrests for civil disobedience.

Perry: We have a series of bills including voter I.D. requirements and doing away with same-day voter registration and a bill that would penalize parents of college students who vote where they attend school. A bill whose numerical name, SB666, is not lost on Reverend Barber.

Barber adds that North Carolina has joined the 15 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare — a group Paul Krugman’s Friday column labeled “The Spite Club”:

Barber: In the first two weeks of the session, they denied 500,000 people Medicaid. Not 500,000 black people. Not 500,000 white people. 500,000 poor people and disabled children in a state that has 1.6 million poor people and 600,000 of them are children.

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Then you’ll love what the NC General Assembly has in mind for you.

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May
31

Comparing 3 Sets of Budget Facts

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Here is a WRAL produced graphic that compares important parts of the three legislative budgets that are being debated by a party that seems to be in a real big hurry to shift taxes. Also, click through to WRAL for solid, daily reporting and analysis. Governor McCrory is saying that the Clodfelter/Hartsell Plan is the closest to his own ideas.

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A century and a half after the Civil War ended, the GOP-dominated North Carolina legislature is finishing the destruction Gen. Sherman’s troops never got to visit upon Raleigh, NC. Over 150 people have been arrested at the Legislative Building in four weeks of protests led by the NAACP. A crowd of 600 gathered last week for the latest Moral Mondays protest against a flood of conservative legislation targeting the poor and minority voters.

A few short years after Barack Obama won the state’s electoral votes, Republicans are firmly in control of the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion. They are busily unmaking the American Century in what has been one of the South’s most progressive states. The Washington Post calls it “a sweeping conservative agenda”:

Legislators have slashed jobless benefits. They have also repealed a tax credit that supplemented the wages of low-income people, while moving to eliminate the estate tax. They have voted against expanding Medicaid to comply with the 2010 federal health-care law. The expansion would have added 500,000 poor North Carolinians to the Medicaid rolls.

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May
18

Tax Shift NC

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Y’all know that your North Carolina state government is about to lower taxes for the wealthy and big corporate interests while raising taxes for the poor and middle class, right? They’re also going to privatize Medicaid, which will reduce services for the poor. They’re also slashing child care - 31,000 kids are expected to be cut. They’re also doing away with environmental protections. They’re also savaging voting rights. Both the Senate and House versions of the budget are a move towards regressive taxation and underfunded services.

More info to come, but know that the folks at the General Assembly are about to send you the bill for their ALEC ambitions. North Carolina is their new laboratory, and we’re the lab rats.

May
14

#AVLH2O Legal Docs

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I was reading the AC-T article about the legal efforts to halt the unnecessary and irresponsible forced merger of the Asheville Municipal Water System and the Metropolitan Sewerage District, and I clicked over to the comments. There, Tim Peck left this handy list. Have a read.

Water Merger Lawsuit: Temporary Restraining Order
http://www.scribd.com/doc/141476466/Asheville-Motion-for-TRO-With-Order

Water Merger Lawsuit: Complaint Filed
http://www.scribd.com/doc/141477000/Asheville-Complaint

Water Merger Lawsuit: Affidavit (Shoaf)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/141477238/Asheville-Affidavit-of-Shoaf

May
08

#AVLH2O Goes To Court

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Mtn. X:

“This course of action is the only rational response to an irresponsible effort,” Council member Gordon Smith told Xpress after the vote. “Just the debt and bond issues will take months and months to sort out, not to mention that the authority that we’re supposed to give the water system to doesn’t exist yet. They’ve crafted a bill that’s impossible to execute.”

He added his thoughts on why legislators filed the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt and supported by Reps. Nathan Ramsey and Chuck McGrady: “It’s just a case of vendetta politics.”

Read the whole Resolution authorizing legal steps forward.

This hit my inbox yesterday, and I thought I’d share it here:

Despite the sincere appeals from many of you, and the principled arguments made by representatives of the City of Asheville, the NC General Assembly has passed House Bill 488, the “Regionalization of Public Utilities”.

The main intent of this bill is to forcibly remove control of the Asheville water system and pristine 22,000 acre watershed from Asheville’s elected officials, and put it in the hands of an unelected Board controlled by the State. The studies have all been finalized: there will be no economic benefit to ratepayers from transferring control of Asheville’s water, there will be no “efficiencies” gained – this is about wrenching control of water from the people into the hands of the State.

The threat of privatization of this vital resource still exists, and the threat to make this the first of many such seizures across the State still exists. We need to take a stand now just as was done last November when 86% of Asheville voters expressed opposition to the sale or lease of the water system. To date, over 50 municipalities in North Carolina have passed resolutions opposing the forced transfer of local government infrastructure.

Our best hope to derail this ill-advised juggernaut lies with NC Governor Pat McCrory. As a former Mayor himself, he has to see that the State seizure of municipal assets is a terrible idea. What City or Town will make investments and improvements in their infrastructure (the kind that Asheville has recently made in their water system), once the precedent has been set that if one greedy neighbor wants your assets, the State may step in and take them? This is what is happening to Asheville.

Please take the time to send an email to Governor Pat McCrory.

Or give his office a call (919) 733-5811. As always: be polite, don’t attack the bill sponsors, be persuasive. Mention “Asheville Water” or the “Regionalization of Public Utilities” bill. Should the bill reach his desk, ask him to please Veto!

For more info & other ways you can help, you can always visit SaveOurWaterWNC.com

Thanks for speaking up for safe, publicly-controlled drinking water!

Barry & the whole crew at Save Our Water WNC