Tuesday News: ALEC's new poster boy

NC REP JASON SAINE AWARDED ALEC'S TOP CORPORATE SELLOUT PRIZE: State Rep. Jason Saine, a Republican from Lincolnton, will be the next chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a conservative group backed by corporations that proposes model legislation for state legislators to introduce. Saine will serve a one-year term beginning January 1, an ALEC spokesman said in an email. Saine spoke at ALEC’s States & Nation Policy Summit last week in Nashville, Tenn. He hailed the coming 45th anniversary of ALEC, and encouraged attendance at the anniversary celebration next year at the Trump International Hotel. The event is aimed at raising millions for the ALEC endowment, he said. The 45th anniversary “is an incredible validation that an idea exchange works,” Saine said.

JUSTICE ADVOCATES TAKE MISAPPROPRIATED COURT FEES TO COURT: Social justice groups rolled out their offensive against North Carolina's court fees Monday, arguing that many of them violate the state constitution and pushing back against both increasing fees and a General Assembly clampdown on the judges who waive them. The N.C. Constitution earmarks all penalties and fines collected in criminal cases "exclusively for maintaining free public schools," but many of the fees defendants are charged go to the courts system or law enforcement. In fact, in response to a recent new law requiring notice to agencies funded by these fees before a judge can waive them, the state's Administrative Office of the Courts identified more than 600 such agencies. "The purpose of these spiraling financial punishments is to support any and all state functions that the legislators deem appropriate," attorneys wrote in an motion filed Monday.

NC DEMOCRATS FIELD WAVE OF WOMEN CANDIDATES FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY RACES: The wave of women signing up to run for political office has hit North Carolina. State Democrats spent Monday announcing nine new candidates – including six women – in their 2018 effort to break Republicans’ veto-proof majority in the state legislature. Rep. Darren Jackson, the top Democrat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, said on Twitter that he thinks the rise in women candidates has been especially pronounced in the last year. “It’s something we were seeing way before all the sexual harassment scandals started to break,” he wrote. “After the 2016 election, a lot of women started turning out for events, indivisible groups, house parties. Many for the first time. Been seeing it for a year now.”

"FEMINISM" IS MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S WORD OF THE YEAR FOR 2017: Feminism’s roots are in the Latin for “woman” and the word “female,” which dates to 14th century English. Sokolowski had to look no further than his company’s founder, Noah Webster, for the first dictionary reference, in 1841, which isn’t all that old in the history of English. “It was a very new word at that time,” Sokolowski said. “His definition is not the definition that you and I would understand today. His definition was, ‘The qualities of females,’ so basically feminism to Noah Webster meant femaleness. We do see evidence that the word was used in the 19th century in a medical sense, for the physical characteristics of a developing teenager, before it was used as a political term, if you will.” Webster added the word in revisions to his “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” They were his last. He died in 1843. He also added the word terrorism that year.

DURHAM RESCUE MISSION NEEDS THOUSANDS OF TOYS FOR POOR CHILDREN BY FRIDAY: Rob Tart, Chief Operating Officer of the Durham Rescue Mission, said the organization has been in a pinch before, but the community often comes through. There have been years, though, where they fell short of their goal. “Gloves, baseball bats, any type of sporting equipment, balls, things like that. They love them,” he said. All year round, the Rescue Mission provides basic needs for families but, during the holidays, they believe toys are necessary for children to enjoy and create good memories. “To see these kids lining up out here at three, four o’clock in the morning, little children lining up early in the morning because they want to make sure they get a toy, it’s really important,” Tart said. The Durham Rescue Mission will be accepting unopened toys until Dec. 15 and toys will be given out on Dec. 22.