Saturday News: Time for a change

DUKE HISTORIAN SAYS FT. BRAGG NEEDS A NEW NAME: According to the biography, Bragg received an appointment to the academy at age 16 through the political connections of his older brother and graduated fifth in the class of 1837. He served in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War before resigning from the military and moving to Louisiana to buy and run a sugar plantation, which relied on the labor of at least 125 slaves. Bragg rejoined the military to serve in the Civil War, during which the Battlefield Trust says he “won partial victories — at places like Perryville, Stones River, and Chickamauga — but never delivered the finishing blow,” in part because his subordinate officers often hated him and refused to obey his battle orders. “These men were, by definition, traitors who had conducted war against the United States,” said Newcity, deputy director for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at Duke University.

SECOND CHANCE ACT HEADED FOR A FINAL VOTE NEXT WEEK: "I stole food and clothing so I could try to keep my children from being sent to foster care," Burke said this week after speaking with lawmakers about the Second Chance Act. "My mother had passed away, and I didn’t have any means to take care of my family. I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I was 24 years old – stupid stuff." After she got out of prison, Burke raised her children and put herself through college and law school. She’s now a licensed attorney in Washington, D.C., but she can’t get a law license in North Carolina because of her record. Expunging a felony under the Second Chance Act wouldn't be automatic. A judge would have to approve it. But lawmakers said it will help people like Burke re-enter the workforce and support themselves and their families. In a rare show of bipartisan unity, the House and the Senate have both approved the bill unanimously. After a final vote next week, it goes to Gov. Roy Cooper.

RALEIGH PROTESTERS PRESENT A LIST OF DEMANDS TO CITY LEADERS: Raleigh Demands Justice has met with Gov. Roy Cooper, Raleigh City Council members and Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin to share their list of demands. They’ve also reached out to Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, but she has not set up a meeting with the group. The demands include allowing a proposed City of Raleigh police oversight board to investigate grievances, not building new police stations in areas with large Black populations and investing in community-led health and safety strategies instead of increasing funding for the police department. They also want a policy that requires officers to intervene when another officer becomes abusive to a detainee. They also demand removing Deck-Brown from her position if these changes don’t happen, which Baloch said is the biggest piece for systematic change in Raleigh. If the police chief isn’t taking accountability for a militarized police force that deployed tear gas, “a chemical agent that’s banned in war,” against peaceful protesters then there’s no reason for her to be in that position, she said.

TRUMP'S HOTEL BUSINESS IS TANKING BADLY: Interviews with current and former Trump Organization employees and tenants, and emails obtained by The Washington Post, show the pandemic in particular has rattled operations at the company. With thousands of Trump’s hotel rooms empty, the company laid off or furloughed more than 2,800 employees and scoured for even the smallest savings. It eliminated flowers, chocolates and newspapers at its New York hotel and turned off lights in common areas in its Chicago hotel to save on electricity, according to letters that hotel management sent to investors. The damage of the past months appears extensive. Out of Trump’s five top-earning hotels and resorts, four of them — in Miami, Las Vegas, Scotland and Ireland — shut down in March and remained closed through May. An analysis by The Post of Trump Organization revenue, based on Trump’s latest public financial disclosure, which covers 2018, indicates Trump probably lost out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue over the past three months. Even before the pandemic, Trump’s polarizing presidency had sapped revenue from his business. At least two of Trump’s U.S. hotels — in Chicago and Miami — had reported sharp declines in business after Trump entered politics. The company’s hotel in Washington is now up for sale. “They have too many rooms to fill in a market where demand has suffered,” the former executive said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the company’s private financial situation. “He is too divisive a character in Chicago and NYC. In any market one wants to be neutral — he leaves many potential guests bitter and hostile.”

WEST POINT CADETS HAD TO QUARANTINE FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE TRUMP'S SPEECH TODAY: The graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point have lived in Covid-19 quarantine for the past two weeks, confined to their dorms, wearing masks and watching Zoom conferences on leadership as they wait for President Trump to speak at their commencement on Saturday. Sent home in March because of the coronavirus, around 1,100 newly minted Army second lieutenants were ordered back to campus after the president abruptly announced in mid-April that he wanted to go through with his previously planned commencement address. The speech now comes during a breakdown in relations between the president and the nation’s top military leaders, who have vehemently objected to Mr. Trump’s threats to use active-duty troops across the country to quell largely peaceful protests against police brutality. In preparation for the president, the West Point cadets have been divided into four groups of about 250, with strict orders not to mingle outside their cohort. They eat in shifts in the dining hall, with food placed on long tables by kitchen staff who quickly leave. There are four designated paths for cadets who want to go for socially distanced runs. The ceremony, streamlined from previous years, will include no friends or family and is to be held on the main parade ground on campus, called the Plain, around 10 a.m. Cadets will be required to wear masks as they march in and take their seats, spaced about six feet apart. Once seated, they will be allowed to unmask. Mr. Trump, who has never worn a mask in public, is to speak at 11 a.m.



I was stationed at Ft. Bragg

for 5 1/2 years, and have a lot of memories associated with the base. But it will not hurt my feelings one bit for them to change the name. Especially now that I'm aware of Bragg's history.

Anyone know about Citizens for a Better NC Senate?

I got in the mail yesterday a very large (seriously, this thing is poster sized) glossy color card promoting Amy Galey for State Senate. You might recall her as the chair of the Alamance County Commissioners who defended the racist display of the Confederate flag in public schools a couple of years ago.

The flyer was from:

Citizens for a Better NC Senate
PO Box 99145
Raleigh, NC 27624

And, of course, it was paid for by this group and "not authorized by a candidate".

There's absolutely nothing I can find out about the group on Google. Oddly, their address is actually for a pet sitting and walking service, All Breed Care.

The card was printed and mailed by Relyus, a bulk mail printing and processing company in Hope Mills, NC.

Is this a new, just created dark money out of state PAC trying to fly under the radar? Or is the NCGOP or Galey trying to pull a fast one here?

Anyone else receive a flyer from this group or printed and processed by the same company?

I threw mine away...

I usually don't do that, but I was in a mood that day. That mailer was huge...

It could be dark money...

in the sense of an in-state or out-of-state organization trying to keep a GOP majority in NC. Or it could be a solo effort by the woman who owns All Breed Care and who wants to insulate her business from her political activities. Any way you look at it, it's an attempt to funnel support money to Galey without the donor(s) appearing on her financial statements. No matter the motivation, it's shady at best.

Good catch

Interesting that the group filed with the BOE just before this flyer went out. It would be interesting to know where, exactly, their money's coming from.

He appears to be a big Phil Berger

supporter, so it's possible the Bergermeister has funneled some cash into this PAC (or whatever the hell it is). Unfortunately, we won't find out for several weeks until the 2nd quarter campaign reports are published.

Keith Tatum of Yanceville

As treasurer for "Citizens for a better NC", Mr Tatum also appears to be contributing quite a bit of money (1.25 mill) to another dark money superpac called "Citizens for a Better NC senate", which is behind the flyers im receiving daily, attack ads against Alan Wellons who is running in district 11. Probably the same ppl behind both groups, per the NC State Board of Elections documentation below: