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Updated: 25 min 54 sec ago

Editorial: Time for GOP to put up or shut up on “voter fraud” claims

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 07:14

This morning’s editorial in the Fayetteville Observer gets it right in its assessment of the repeated and perpetually unsubstantiated claims of state GOP leaders that new laws are necessary to attack “voter fraud” in North Carolina elections. As the editorial points out, if there’s any area to look at in this regard, it’s absentee voting ...

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Governor Cooper announces major appointees

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 16:37

News from the Guv’s office: Governor Cooper Builds Team as Inauguration Approaches RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper today named new members to his senior staff after taking office January 1, 2017. To administer the state budget Cooper has appointed Charlie Perusse as State Budget Director. Perusse has experience administering state budgets and writing them to ...

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Unbalanced 2016 did little to even the economic score

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 13:08

You’re not imagining it, 2016 was an unbalanced economic year. The national economy had one of its best years in the last decade, and some parts of North Carolina significantly outpaced the nation, but many communities were left further behind.  (To view charts that summarize last year’s economic record, and to make commitments for the ...

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Predicting McCrory’s new job? The most amusing editorial of the weekend

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 08:05

The Greensboro News & Record had a fun lead editorial yesterday that offered several wild and wacky predictions for 2017. Consider the following: “The General Assembly, alarmed by the appearance of governing in the dark, convenes a special session today to review the constitutionality of Gov. Roy Cooper’s midnight swearing-in. The legislature remains in session ...

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As Cooper is sworn in, outgoing McCrory finds fault with HB2 opponents, ACC

Sun, 01/01/2017 - 08:33

Roy Cooper wasted no time with the start of the New Year in taking the oath of office to become the 75th governor of North Carolina. Gov. Cooper posting on social media just after midnight: “It is the honor of my life to be your governor, and to work for all of North Carolina. I ...

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DHHS Deputy Sec’y Randall Williams, involved in coal ash controversy, appointed to oil and gas commission

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 19:02

Now here’s a career move: Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Randall Williams, a gynecologist/obstetrician, has joined the state’s Oil and Gas Commission. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed 13 people to state boards and commissions today — with less than 30 hours left in office. This is the same Randall Williams who was a central figure in ...

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Endangered red wolf illegally shot, killed in eastern NC

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:48

Someone has illegally shot and killed an endangered red wolf on federal land in eastern North Carolina, the US Fish & Wildlife Service announced today. The wolf likely died Dec. 19; its body was found in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 21. The Virginian-Pilot reported the story today. It is illegal to kill ...

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Pat McCrory: Overmatched and confused to the end, lets loose last broadsides

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 08:00

There are, thankfully, less than 48 hours left in the governorship of Pat McCrory, but as has been his wont from the start, the soon-to-be-ex-Guv let loose another barrage of inane and blame-shifting comments yesterday in a typically maddening interview with WRAL. (As an aside, let’s hope Gov.-elect Roy Cooper treats his role as symbol ...

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NC DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart: Shameless self-demotion

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 17:34

To stave off an imminent firing by incoming Governor Roy Cooper, NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Donald van der Vaart has demoted himself to a position in the air quality division, according to The News & Observer. As secretary, van der Vaart is a political appointee, and thus serves at the pleasure of the governor. ...

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10 environmental fiascos that broke the FUBAR meter this year

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:59

Environmental reporting in 2016 was like shooting two-headed fish in a toxic waste barrel: It’s tough to miss. With just three days left in the year, this is an occasion for the airing of environmental grievances. For the sake of time, we had to limit ourselves to 10.   The saga of coal ash Two ...

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Editorial agrees: NC “not a full democracy”

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:22

This morning’s lead editorial in the Greensboro News & Record does a good job of highlighting and explaining the recent column by UNC Chapel Hill Professor Andrew Reynolds in Raleigh’s News & Observer decrying the sad state of North Carolina’s struggling democratic institutions. “North Carolina ranks with authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies in terms of electoral ...

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Democratic Governor. GOP Legislature. A look at what may come

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 11:00

Worth your time today: The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel takes a look at the possible future of North Carolina’s new political reality:  a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature. The consensus among experts: It’s going to be tough road for Cooper, but not impossible. From the piece: Still, it is not yet clear that ...

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Congressman Mark Walker – new position, still unpredictable

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 10:00

Back in November U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a Guilford County Republican, was made chair of the U.S. House Republican Study Committee – an influential conservative caucus in the U.S. House. Walker’s ascension to that position is the occasion for a new profile of Walker by McClatchy’s Anna Douglas. Douglas’ piece, which is worth your time, ...

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Congressional Republicans’ plan to keep decorum could silence live streaming of sit-ins, protests

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 08:30

House Democrats captured headlines last June when they staged a sit-in to demand a vote on gun control legislation. But events like that streamed online could become far less common under a new Republican House proposal. The initiative that will go before the U.S. House for a vote next month could result in members of ...

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State Board of Education meets to discuss response to new law that shifts their power

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 08:08

The State Board of Education will hold a conference call this afternoon to discuss their response to House Bill 17. The legislation, which Gov. Pat McCrory has signed, takes authority away from the board and hands it to the newly-elected Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction. Outgoing Superintendent June Atkinson is opposed to the power-shift. She ...

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Op-ed explains close connection between gerrymandering and HB2

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 12:25

There’s a great op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer that reminds us once again of the disastrous impact of gerrymandering on the North Carolina General Assembly. As Common Cause North Carolina Executive Director Bob Phillips observes: “When state lawmakers couldn’t come together to repeal House Bill 2, it was just another ...

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Raleigh man pushes for police to carry heroin antidote; Coalition reports more than 5,000 saved since 911 law

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 10:00

More than 5,000 people have been saved from heroin overdoses since the General Assembly passed the 911 Good Samaritan Law in 2013, according to the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition. The law allows limited immunity to people seeking medical help for an overdose and grants immunity to anyone who administers naloxone, an opioid antidote also known as ...

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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest: “Trump knows agriculture.” Yet PEOTUS flails in nominating USDA secretary

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 15:45

During a campaign event in late September, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest  told a crowd of farm families at the Duplin County Event Center that, “Donald Trump knows agriculture.” It was a puzzling assertion about a New York real estate mogul who likely doesn’t know the difference between revolving debt and rotating crops. Could Forest have meant Trump’s grape ...

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Legislators in surprise special session considered provision to give McCrory health care for life

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 14:00

The News and Observer reported on Christmas Day that legislation drafted but not enacted at a recent surprise special session would have kept outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory on the State Health Plan after he left office, meaning he would have received free health coverage for life. The health care provision would have also made any outgoing ...

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ICYMI: Outgoing state Superintendent June Atkinson reflects on her years in office, HB17 power grab, and the state of public education

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 11:35

If you missed Policy Watch’s weekend radio interview with State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, be sure to check it out the podcast below. Atkinson discusses House Bill 17, Republican-drafted legislation that reshuffles the duties of the state Board of Education. Atkinson also discusses her proudest moments as Superintendent and the challenges facing K-12 ...

The post ICYMI: Outgoing state Superintendent June Atkinson reflects on her years in office, HB17 power grab, and the state of public education appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

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