Daily dose

Daily dose: Justice for Nisour Square edition


Blackwater guard sentenced to life in Iraqi shooting (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Defense lawyers are vowing to appeal the convictions of four former Blackwater security guards after a federal judge handed down lengthy prison terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq.

Daily dose: Burr's problem with female judges edition


The Most Ridiculously Long Judicial Vacancies (Huffington Post) -- Here's a look at the worst Senate offenders when it comes to not filling long-vacant judgeships in their home states. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) There's a seat on U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina that's been empty for 3,387 days. That's more than nine years, and it has no nominee. Burr avoided questions from The Huffington Post last year about why he was blocking a previous nominee for the slot, Jennifer May-Parker. His obstruction of May-Parker was particularly puzzling, given that he previously recommended her to Obama.

Daily dose: That's a lotta fancy shirts edition

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Ex-SEANC leader Dana Cope misspent $500K, audit finds (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former state employees director Dana Cope repeatedly and willfully spent the organization’s money on personal expenses. SEANC says it will work to get the money back and that it has new controls on spending.

Daily dose: Vote or get cut from the rolls edition


Elections office cleans up voter rolls (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Forsyth County has been involved in a mandated effort to maintain and cleanup voter rolls, and a new process could mean that more names will be removed from the voter registration list in the future. Every other year, counties send out cards to registered voters who have not voted and have had no contact with the elections office in the previous four years — two federal election cycles — to confirm that they are still living at that address.

Daily dose: Rhino stumbles edition

Right-wing newspaper appears to have manipulated voter survey on redistricting bill (Greensboro News & Record) -- A poll that seems to suggest that more Greensboro residents support a controversial bill to restructure the City Council than oppose it, may have been rigged by the local conservative newspaper that paid for it and the company that conducted it. But polling experts question the poll’s results and the methods of the company that conducted it. On its website Revily, the firm hired by the Rhino Times to conduct the survey, describes its mission as “to increase the probability of winning for Conservative Campaigns and Organizations.” The poll seems to have the same mission, said Ken Fernandez, an assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon Poll at Elon University. “I would argue that a poll like this has no value and could in fact harm the public’s knowledge,” Fernandez said.

Daily dose: Coop takes a stand version


Cooper would veto religious exemption bills if NC governor (AP) — Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday he supports requiring North Carolina police to wear body cameras and rejects proposals allowing public officials and potentially businesses to cite religion for declining to serve gay couples.

Cooper would veto gay marriage bills (Raleigh News & Observer) -- NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday if he was the governor he would veto two pending bills related to gay marriage.

Daily dose: The GOP's unpopular agenda edition


GOP Legislature vs. The People – A new survey of North Carolina registered voters shows a stark divide between the Republican-dominated legislature and the people it represents. Only 31% of North Carolinians agree with the legislature’s GOP leadership The who think business owners should be allowed to refuse service to gay customers. Public Policy Polling’s survey found 56% of North Carolinians say it shouldn't be permitted. Voters think their legislators took the wrong tack on a bill to redraw county commission lines in Wake County while killing a bill to end religious exemptions for vaccinations. Only 12% of voters think the General Assembly should be involved with things like drawing City Council and County Commissioner lines while 73% think that should be left to the local level. A mere 24% of voters think parents should still be allowed to exempt their children from immunization requirements for religious reasons, compared to 64% who think there should not be an exemption. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/04/carolina-state-fans-pulling-for-duke.html

Daily dose: Tarnished golden years edition

McCrory, GOP tax ‘reform’ has elderly facing big bite (Hendersonville Times-News) -- Don Ward spends nearly every hour of the day in his Hendersonville home caring for his 82-year-old wife, Cynthia. Two caregivers help him most of the week. Between the caregivers, insurance premiums, medicine, surgeries and other related costs, Ward's medical expenses totaled $40,000 for 2014. In 2013, when his expenses were about the same, Ward's North Carolina income tax refund was $1,000, which he put in a medical account that took care of expenses such as paying the two caregivers. For 2014, however, Ward will take a big hit and owe nearly $3,000.

Daily dose: R.I.P. driver's education edition

Driver's ed in reverse (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- The N.C. legislature’s move to redirect funding for driver’s education is among efforts to shore up the state Highway Fund while furthering a Republican agenda to shift more funding responsibilities to local governments. State Budget Director Lee Roberts, during a meeting with The Daily Reflector Editorial Board, confirmed those motivations behind the shifting of tax dollars away from driver’s education. Included in special provisions being drafted by Roberts is a measure to repeal the 62-year-old general statute requiring schools to provide driver’s education. With no state mandate or funding, most school systems would have little incentive for continuing their driver’s education programs. Losing those programs not only could threaten hundreds of jobs related to driver’s education, it could make roads less safe, cause insurance rates to go up, and it could create hardship for families with young drivers who still would be required to complete an approved driver’s education course under the state’s Graduated Licensing program.

Daily dose: Chicken hawk makes some noise version

Tillis: After 14 years, U.S. 2017 withdrawal from Afghanistan too soon (AP) — North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis says his visit to Afghanistan makes clear to him the U.S. military must keep a presence beyond President Barack Obama's projected troop withdrawal in early 2017.

After Afghanistan trip, Tillis worried about withdrawal (AP) — The U.S. military must remain in Afghanistan beyond President Barack Obama's projected troop withdrawal in early 2017 to discourage prospects for the Islamic State militants to get a toehold here, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said Friday following a visit there.


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