scharrison's blog

DCCC ready to step up for Dan McCready against Pittenger

This might get pretty dang interesting:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits. The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

Being named to Red to Blue opens doors for candidates who can tout their inclusion on the list to donors. Candidates also benefit from guidance and staff resources from the DCCC, which has been in contact with all Democratic House candidates who have been willing to collaborate and communicate with the committee this year. The DCCC evaluates candidates’ fundraising, grass-roots engagement, local support, ties to the community and campaign infrastructure when deciding who makes the cut for the program.

Of all the Dem Congressional candidates who have been popping up over the last couple of months, Dan has emerged as (by far) the best fundraiser, approaching 3/4 of a million already. He's also a veteran and a renewable energy supplier, which would have me supporting him even if the DCCC wasn't involved. It's still a tough race to win, but if anybody could do it, it would be Dan.

A closer look at Duke Energy's corruption of UNC Charlotte

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Our public universities should never allow this to happen again:

Daniels described the board in a letter to Tom Reeder, then the assistant secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, in a letter on April 5, 2016, arguing against a risk classification system for Duke’s coal ash ponds. “The NAMAB is an independent group of experts chartered through Duke Energy and managed by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte). Board members provide advice to Duke Energy, but they are contracted with and report to UNC Charlotte,” Daniels wrote. That same letter concluded with a final reaffirmation of the board’s independence. “And we are independent,” Daniels wrote.

But emails obtained by WBTV show staff from Duke Energy scheduled meetings, coordinated the distribution of research materials and facilitated the day-to-day operation of the board; a direct contradiction of what Daniels wrote in his April 2016 letter to Reeder.

There's nothing fossil fuel companies like more than penetrating a reputable university and setting up an industry-funded "research" operation. When you can dictate the scope of the research, you can (very often) achieve the results you were hoping for. Or make changes to those results if you're not happy with them:

2018 elections: The only thing certain is uncertainty

And the NC GOP has certainly screwed up the electoral landscape:

This week, Democrat Anita Earls announced she would run for the seat on the state Supreme Court held by Republican Justice Barbara Jackson. But will there be an election in 2018 at all?

There's a different question surrounding legislative elections in 2018: which incumbents will be forced to share districts? New proposed district lines are out, drawn by an independent mapmaker, but that's not the final word.

Even though the court has spoken (clearly), and even though Percily only redrew a handful of districts, Republicans are still trying to bully their way in to scribble on the damn maps. They need to be called out by the press for their efforts to undermine democracy and the voters who rely on it, and they need to be spanked a lot harder by the courts for constantly muddying the waters. The people need to reclaim their time.

GOP meddling in teacher pay is like gasoline on a fire

Kicking turnover and teacher shortages into overdrive:

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding maze, but lawmakers’ hints that they may abolish the state’s teacher salary schedule or other state-set funding allocations is already spurring criticism from local district advocates. Talk of nixing a state-set pay scale emerged this year when lawmakers took on a revamp of school principal pay, and it’s resurfaced multiple times in the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform’s first meetings in November.

The state’s teacher pay struggles coincide with massive teacher shortages in many of the state’s 100 counties, as well as a substantial drop in students seeking teaching degrees in the UNC system. Mark Jewell, president of the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE), the top lobbying organization for North Carolina teachers, said lawmakers’ invitation to ditch the salary schedule would be “short-sighted,” adding it may “jeopardize teacher retention and recruiting.”

With every year that passes under Republican reign, it becomes more clear what they are actually trying to achieve: A massive failure of our pubic school system. Making it much easier to stimulate the growth of charters and private schools, pushing millions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of businessmen instead of genuine educators. In a political environment where scams are around every corner, this one has the potential to top all the others by a wide margin.

Profiles in idiocy: GOP women who voted for Trump have buyer's remorse

Sometimes your explanation just makes things worse:

Republican women who voted for President Trump in North Carolina said during a focus group Wednesday night that they are embarrassed by and exasperated with him.

-- Annie Anthony, 56, voted for Trump last year because she opposes abortion and did not like how Hillary Clinton handled Benghazi. Now she fears that Trump is marching us toward war with North Korea. She describes the first 10 months of his presidency as “chaotic, stressful and an uphill battle.”

Benghazi? During his campaign, Trump demonstrated time and time again that he wasn't even remotely qualified to serve as President, that he had nothing but contempt for women and viewed them as merely sexual toys to be played with when the mood came on him, and that he would lie about any subject, no matter how easily that lie would be exposed. But you didn't like Clinton because of a totally fabricated controversy that Fox News fed to you every day. You should be embarrassed, and don't expect the slightest bit of sympathy for your condition.

Coalition headed by ACLU files suit for farm workers in NC

Democracy NC wants BoE to probe Forest television studio issue

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Somebody needs to look that gift camera in the mouth:

A voting rights organization has asked North Carolina election officials to scrutinize spending by a nonprofit group for equipment for a television studio in the office of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall wrote a letter Monday to the state elections board seeking review of $60,000 in purchases by what’s called the North Carolina Promotion and Development Fund. WRAL-TV reported the fund owns the equipment, which Forest can use to produce videos about issues important to him. One fund donor is a longtime Forest supporter.

And while they're at it, they might as well look into all the renovations this same supporter did to the Hawkins-Harnett House, which this little blurb leads people to believe Forest paid for it himself:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Bound to be the hot topic for at least a few days:

Since Persily's mandate only covered a handful of districts, the redraw does not represent sweeping changes to the whole state, just a few clusters:

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