NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 59 min ago

Supreme Court expert: It’s as if NC lawmakers “were trying to get caught” on voting rights

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 15:20
Ian Millhiser, the extremely knowledgeable Supreme Court observer/analyst at the Center for American Progress, has some advice for the lawyers representing Gov. Pat McCrory and the other defenders of the state’s voter suppression law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a couple of weeks ago. This is from his new post: “Is ...

Panel of scientists, including several from N.C., disagree with EPA’s rosy fracking report

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 14:24
More than two dozen scientists, including several from N.C. State and UNC Chapel Hill, have criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 draft fracking report, stating it downplays the risks that horizontal drilling poses to local water supplies. This is conclusion of the EPA’s independent science panel, which recently released its own report  asking the agency to incorporate its findings, according ...

The ultimate insult? N&O blasts Tillis as “cable’s friend”

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 10:40
As we reported here last week, a federal appeals court in Ohio issued an unfortunate ruling on the matter of local governments establishing public broadband networks that compete with cable monopolies. There’s still hope that further appeals could overturn the decision, but for now the cable company giants have won a big victory and one ...

Six things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 09:29
Stumping across North Carolina – Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine will keep the intensity of the 2016 election season high with visits this week in Buncombe and Cumberland counties. Kaine will be in Asheville today promoting Hillary Clinton’s economic plan with a 6:30 p.m. rally at the Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center.(Doors ...

Best editorial of the weekend: Investigate McCrory administration’s water safety scandal

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 07:53
The Winston-Salem Journal minced few words this weekend in an editorial calling for an independent investigation of the McCrory administration’s handing of the ongoing scandal surrounding water safety near coal ash facilities. Here’s the excellent conclusion: “In a perfect world, McCrory, a former employer of Duke Energy, would initiate that independent investigation to dispel concerns ...

Rep. Mike Hager resigns; GOP to meet to suggest replacement

Sat, 08/13/2016 - 12:22
  The House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Hager (R-Burke, Rutherford) has resigned just three months before the November election. A former Duke Energy employee before he took office, Hager worked on several bills that favored fossil fuels and Duke, in particular. A three-term House member, introduced a bill that would have repealed the state’s renewable portfolio standard. He ...

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 14:21
1. McCrory’s determined efforts to make it harder for certain people to vote After listening to Gov. Pat McCrory talk about the recent decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn much of the voter suppression law he signed in 2013 you are left with only two explanations. Either he hasn’t read the ...

Who’s who at the EnergySure Coalition, backers of the Atlantic pipeline headed for North Carolina

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 12:31
  While North Carolina is rightfully focused on the coal ash scandal, another environmental tug-of-war is strengthening in some of the state’s poorest areas. Co-owned by Duke Energy, Dominion, PSNC and AGL Resources, The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would ship natural gas 550 miles, from the fracking hotspot of West Virginia through sensitive, federally owned land in Virginia, and then into eastern ...

Teacher op-ed blasts legislature for lack of funding for classroom supplies

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 12:12
In the coming weeks, students are preparing to return to the classroom in schools using the traditional school calendar. And, according to this Raleigh teacher’s op-ed in The News & Observer this week, getting students ready for “back-to-school” in North Carolina  is more of a challenge than ever. The author, Yolanda Barham, is a first-grade ...

Editorials criticize McCrory administration over clash with scientists

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:49
Multiple newspaper editorial pages are calling out the McCrory administration yet again this morning — this time over its troubling actions on the matter of drinking water polluted with coal ash chemicals and the interactions with scientists Ken Rudo and Megan Davies. The Fayetteville Observer: “On Thursday, McCrory was in Fayetteville, opening a new segment ...

Democracy advocates: Nonpartisan redistricting is essential in light of latest court ruling

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 16:50
The good government advocates at Democracy North Carolina issued the following statement this afternoon in response to today’s ruling by a three-judge panel that North Carolina legislators unconstitutionally used race when they drew legislative boundaries for state House and Senate members. Click here to read the ruling. “Today’s federal ruling overturning North Carolina’s racially-gerrymandered legislative ...

Residents affected by coal ash contamination call for resignation of Tom Reeder, Randall Williams

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 15:08
When the coal ash blew through the air in Sue Fife’s yard in Person County, she initially didn’t know what it was. “I thought, ‘What is this stuff?'” she said Thursday, before a rally in support of state toxicologist Ken Rudo and former state epidemiologist Megan Davies. “It looked like fog.” Standing outside the governor’s ...

IRS says N.C. Department of Public Instruction owes nearly $250,000 in back taxes

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 13:08
Officials with the IRS say the North Carolina agency that oversees the state’s public schools owes the federal government almost $250,000 in back taxes, according to an IRS letter obtained by Policy Watch this week. The letter, which was dated July 12 for the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), centers around an ongoing dispute ...

Court of Appeals ruling a defeat for Wilson’s public broadband efforts; Further appeals possible

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 10:01
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued a ruling yesterday that bodes ill for the efforts of towns like Wilson, North Carolina to get out from under the thumb of giant telecom monopolies. As N.C. Policy Watch reported back in March, Wilson was one of several American cities that had built out their ...

Voters, legal experts agree: Tillis and Burr are simply wrong on Supreme Court blockade

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 07:20
Not that it’s much of a surprise — polls have been consistent on this matter for months — but yet another one came out yesterday that shows overwhelming opposition amongst North Carolina voters to the U.S. Senate blockade (championed by Senators Tillis and Burr) of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. This is from the widely ...

Watchdog group sees “train wreck” looming in November without more time for NC voters to cast ballots

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 13:59
The good people at Democracy North Carolina released some startling numbers today that do not bode well for the mechanics of the November election in North Carolina. They also called on Gov. Pat McCrory to take immediate action to help address the potential crisis. Here’s their news release: 73,500 Extra Hours: More Voters, Needing More ...

This is news? Study: Closing the coverage gap improves access and health outcomes

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 12:05
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed the obvious facts that our Governor and legislature continue to ignore: when uninsured people get health care coverage, they enjoy improved health care access, fewer financial barriers to care, and better health outcomes. Over a two-year period between 2013 and 2015, researchers compared the health ...

Art Pope goes all in with partisan defense of HB2, attacks on LGBT advocates

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 10:54
The Charlotte Business Journal posted a lengthy interview that conservative financier Art Pope gave to reporter Erik Spanberg this morning. For the most part, Pope merely recites the usual partisan and ideological talking points that he has inflicted on followers of North Carolina politics for decades: Tax cuts are good. Public spending is bad. Gov. ...

Emails reveal that company provided “talking points” to McCrory administration

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 08:08
Ho hum – another day, another troubling example of the McCrory administration working as a virtual extension of a powerful corporation. Interestingly, however, the latest story is not about Duke Energy. This is from reporter Deon Roberts’ latest story in the Charlotte Observer, “State’s comments about MetLife were drafted by … MetLife”: “When MetLife announced ...

WATCH: Trump on ‘2nd Amendment people’ and Clinton’s judicial picks

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 21:33
Donald Trump raised eyebrows in Wilmington Wednesday suggesting that “Second Amendment people” could do something to prevent Hillary Clinton from making appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court who might restrict gun rights. Here’s the quote that has political pundits and the media buzzing: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” ...

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