Tuesday News: Now that's more like it

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FLORENCE RECOVERY BILL PASSES, BRINGING FUNDING UP TO $850 MILLION: $65 million to draw down federal disaster recovery dollars that will go to victims of the storm, plus another $23 million for a homeowner repair and rehabilitation fund. $10 million to help develop new affordable housing. $65 million to draw down federal transportation funding. $60 million to help repair K-12 schools. $30 million to repair university campuses, particularly in Wilmington, Pembroke and Fayetteville, and $5 million for community colleges. $8.5 million to stabilize community college budgets and offset enrollment declines in the wake of the flooding. Scholarships of up to $1,250 per student per semester for university and community college students affected by the storm. $2 million for mosquito spraying programs. $20 million to help local governments make repairs and replace vehicles or other equipment.
https://www.wral.com/legislature-approving-800-million-in-florence-relief/17918141/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

One more thumb's-down before early voting begins:

As I've mentioned before, we have to teach them a lesson. Don't screw around with the Constitution for partisan political purposes.

Tillis' NRA ties are coming back to haunt him

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That's why they call it "illegal" coordination:

In a joint letter to FEC Chair Caroline Hunter and Vice Chair Ellen Weintraub, the lawmakers — led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — asked the FEC to “open an investigation into a potential campaign finance violation” alleged by the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, in two complaints that are currently before the commission. The complaints claim that the NRA uses a company called Starboard Strategic Inc. to circumvent laws prohibiting election-related coordination between campaigns and outside groups who support them.

Prior to the creation of Starboard in 2013, the NRA used OnMessage as a vendor to place political ads. Beginning in the 2014 election cycle, the group shifted to Starboard, spending millions of dollars for ads supporting the campaigns of three Republican Senate candidates: Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Tom Cotton in Arkansas. All three campaigns paid OnMessage as a consultant, and all three won.

Keep in mind, this was going on at the same time Tillis (and drunken Dallas) were using Russian-backed Cambridge Analytica to conduct a personally-targeted and invasive propaganda scam to trick voters into voting for one of North Carolina's emptiest of suits. Since Tillis is not running in this cycle, it might seem like an issue that could wait. But they're pulling the same shenanigans in a couple of 2018 Senate contests:

Monday News: Voters beware

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE HEARING FOR RALPH HISE POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER ELECTION: Hise has been under investigation by the agency since March 2017, when Greg Flynn, a government watchdog in Raleigh, filed complaints with the NCSBE alleging the senator pocketed roughly $10,000 from his campaign account. Earlier this month, the board announced it would consider the complaint against Hise at its meeting on Wednesday, October 17. Days later, an attorney for Hise requested the hearing be postponed because Hise’s mother—Shirley Hise, who served as his campaign treasurer during the period of time under investigation by the board—is hospitalized and undergoing treatment for cancer. “This past Tuesday, Ms. Hise was admitted to Mission Hospital—St. Joseph Campus in Asheville due to complications from her cancer treatments,” the letter from Hise’s attorney, Steven Long, said. “She is not able to walk and currently has serious health issues that will not allow her to come to Raleigh on October 17 to appear at the hearing.”
https://www.wbtv.com/2018/10/14/elections-chairman-ordered-hearing-candidate-complaint-before-invest...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DEMAND LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES PLEDGE TO END PARTISAN GERRYMANDERING: This is not about Republicans or Democrats. It is about elections reflecting the will of the voters. The current system is unfair. It needs to change. Unfortunately, the leadership of the illegally-constituted majority of the legislature refuses to budge. They have bullied, fought, obstructed and procrastinated to maintain the illegal districts. Bipartisan calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears. Efforts to advance proposals for the development of a non-partisan system of drawing congressional and legislative district lines have been blocked from any consideration. This coming election offers the best opportunity yet for voters to take direct action and elect state and federal representatives who will press to reform the way we draw congressional and legislative district maps.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-demand-legislative-candidates-pledge-to-end-partisan-gerrymandering/1...

Thanks Steve

We're a few weeks out from election day, and I want to take a minute before the frenzy kicks in ... to thank Steve Harrison for all he does to make BlueNC work. A steady, creative hand is what the site needs, and a steady, creative hand is what Steve brings.

Saturday News: It's never too late

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UNC CHANCELLOR CAROL FOLT ISSUES APOLOGY FOR SLAVERY: “As chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I offer our university’s deepest apology for the profound injustices of slavery, our full acknowledgment of the strength of enslaved peoples in the face of their suffering, and our respect and indebtedness to them,” Folt said. “And I reaffirm our university’s commitment to facing squarely and working to right the wrongs of history so they are never again inflicted.” She said the university must continue to reconcile its past with its present. The university also announced earlier this month that it will change the name on a plaque at Kenan Memorial Stadium to distance the university from William Rand Kenan Sr., who was involved in the Wilmington racial violence of 1898. The plaque on the stadium will be altered to honor William Rand Kenan Jr., Kenan Sr.’s son.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article219913965.html

Go high or go low? Democrats face a rhetorical crossroads

At the end of the day, it's the votes that really count:

In 2016, Michelle Obama’s words became the Democrats’ defining creed to counter Donald J. Trump’s battering ram of a presidential campaign: “When they go low, we go high.” Two years later, the appeal of “high” seems low. As much as any policy tensions or messaging debate within the party, this question of tone — of how to combat Mr. Trump effectively without slipping into a pale imitation — is perhaps the central divide of this Democratic moment (and the next one, with the 2020 campaign looming).

How will Democrats choose to revise Mrs. Obama’s sentence, with Mr. Trump heaving insults from the White House and the rally stage — his pre-midterm bully pulpit? “When they go low, we kick them,” Eric H. Holder Jr., the former Obama administration attorney general and a possible 2020 candidate, said this week.

I think the first thing we need to remember before making any decisions on our "tone" is that it doesn't need to be an "either/or" situation. Maintaining a high level of anger and outrage is not only exhausting, it threatens to dull the senses, allowing truly outrageous things to occur with little opposition. There are values associated with each incident or issue, and how we assess those values sends a message about our own judgment and moral character. The second thing we need to remember is that things happen even when we don't "fail.":

Friday News: Tipping the scales

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JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS AMENDMENT LEAST LIKELY TO PASS: Voters have the chance to decide whether the governor should have sole discretion filling judicial vacancies, or if the legislature should have a role in the process. While supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to give the legislature a role say it would help cut down partisanship on the court and increase diversity on the bench, opponents argue the amendment is another example of legislative overreach. It’s one of the two amendments that are opposed by all five living former governors and six retired chief justices of the state Supreme Court. A recent poll from Spectrum News/SurveyUSA found that 36 percent of those polled were against the judicial appointments amendment, and 35 percent were for it. More than a quarter of those polled — 29 percent — were undecided. It was the least popular of the six constitutional amendments in the poll.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article219843730.html

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