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Drought: Easley Calls For Federal Disaster Aid

Gov. Mike Easley announced today he will ask the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for a federal disaster declaration for farmers whose crops and livestock are suffering from the ongoing drought. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Farm Service Agency have nearly completed a statewide survey of crop loss data from farmers to determine which counties to include in a federal disaster request.

“Early indications are that more than 90 counties may meet the criteria for federal disaster assistance,” Easley said. “Our farmers need our help, and since we cannot make it rain, we will do everything we can to provide them some financial assistance.”

Once the crop loss information is certified by Farm Service Agency, the governor will send a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture asking for federal disaster aid for those farmers in counties that have at least one covered crop with 30 percent or greater reduction in normal yield. If it is approved, a federal declaration will make low interest Emergency Disaster Loans available to farmers who cannot get credit elsewhere.

Democrats Rising in the East

The Eastern Caravan is complete; Jerry just returned the van to the rental place. Young Dems President Zack Hawkins put about 17 hours of driving into that van, so we got our money's worth out of it.

Here is a synopsis of what we encountered and achieved:

  • 8/10, Lumberton: We sent groups out to most of the major neighborhoods of Lumberton to do a listening canvas. All over the city people talked about healthcare concerns, usually with other concern (education, housing, jobs) woven into their story. We got some of these responses on video. As we drove out the bank clock blinked 107... 4:05pm... 108.
  • 8/10, Clinton: Despite lightening, hard rain, and what Ben Akroyd described as "tornado sky," we sent groups out to canvas middle income neighborhoods. Because of the intermittent storms, people invited us into their homes so they could register to vote. The rain brought the heat down.
  • 8/11, Greenville: We assembled care packages with Give 2 The Troops. The Program Director repeatedly stressed the point "you can support the troops without supporting the war." We assembled over 50 boxes containing books, toiletries, dvds, and girl scout cookies. Read the article in the Reflector here.
  • 8/11, Kinston: Ben and Tara Ilsley met a man who was forced to have some surgery. The surgery cost $74,000. To pay it off, he faithfully sends a check for $20 every week. He said he was 66 years old, and if he lives to be 110 he'll have finally paid off his "debt" (his word, not ours). He went on, "I never have considered myself poor, but I've always thought the government ought to do more for people in a worse shape than I am."

Eastern Caravan Checking In

The Eastern Caravan is making the rounds. If you live in the east and we haven't already knocked on your door look for us tomorrow or Sunday. We've registered voters, collected email addresses, left flyers, and captured feedback from voters on video.

We started off the day in Raleigh (104 degrees), made our way to Lumberton (108 degrees), travelled to Clinton where a torrential downpour cooled us off to a crisp 98 degrees Fahrenheit. We then drove to Greenville for dinner and lodging. Ed Ridpath saw us off in Raleigh, and in Greenville Pitt County Chair Johnny Rouse greeted us. Zack Hawkins' driving was even more appreciated after we let Thomas Doyle take a turn at the wheel.

Eastern Caravan Hits the Road Tomorrow

The North Carolina Democratic Party is hitting the road on Friday, August 10th through Sunday, August 12th in eastern North Carolina.

Along the route, volunteers from across the state will work with local activists, registering voters, canvassing, performing community service projects, meeting with candidates and elected officials, and listening to the ideas and concerns of eastern North Carolinians.

Schedule below the fold....

Young Republicans National Chair Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Steps Down

from takingdownwords.com

Newly elected Young Republican National Federation Chair Glenn Murphy is under investigation for criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony, for allegedly engaging in oral sex with a sleeping victim. This is not his first run-in with the law for this kind of offense.

Read the investigative report and a prior arrest for sexual battery in 1998 here: glennmurphy.pdf

WARNING: This is some pretty graphic stuff. Don't let the kiddies read it.

Murphy recently sent an e-mail telling friends in Florida about his decision to resign from the YRNF position for business reasons.

Read his letter:

Our Vote Will Not Be Intimidated, Suppressed, Purged, Folded, Spindled, or Otherwise Mutilated

NCDP Chair Jerry Meek announced today that state Democrats would participate in an unprecedented 50-state election protection program to prepare for the 2008 election.

North Carolina will participate in an in-depth nationwide survey to collect critical data on the often confusing and complex sets of administrative practices and decisions governing our nation’s elections. We will work with election officials throughout the state to help identify potential issues so they can be resolved well in advance of the 2008 election.

More specifically, we will work with local election officials to answer critical questions about voter registration, centralized voter databases, voting systems and absentee voting, provisional balloting, polling place procedures and Election Day preparation.

Data collected from the survey will be analyzed to determine the needs of each election locality and the next steps for strengthening the election process in that locality.

“North Carolina Democrats will not rest until every single eligible North Carolinian can register to vote, cast their ballot without fear of intimidation or harassment, and have confidence that their vote will be counted fairly and accurately,” said NCDP Chair Jerry Meek.

“Our commitment stands in stark contrast to what we’ve seen from Republicans both here in North Carolina and across the country,” Meek said. “From false reports of voter fraud and restrictive voter ID proposals to voter purging and voter intimidation tactics, Republicans want to place a variety of roadblocks that keep countless Americans from exercising their right to vote."

John Locke Institute has taken strong interest in Jackson proposals

Call me partisan but I feel like if the John Locke Institute is involved it probably involves hurting people to make a buck. FYI this is from 7/18/2007 and the meeting was 7/19 so there is more information out there that my cut and paste job isn't providing.

from http://www.smokymountainnews.com/

Jackson County is on the verge of passing the toughest development regulations in the state this week, potentially making it a target for lawsuits.

Democrats Deliver While Pat Makes an Obstruction of Himself

While Democrats continue to deliver on promises that put working families first, North Carolina Republicans pride themselves on obstructionism.

Here’s a quote from the Republican Pit Bull Patrick McHenry in today’s edition of The Hill:
Read it here.

“We shut down the House for nearly a week, forcing the Democrats to make public earmarks in the appropriation bills,” McHenry said. “This was an enormous success.”

“Shutting down the House for an entire week to make a point that Republicans will remember but the public won’t robs voters of action on issues they care about like the Iraq War, health care, education and aid to military families,” said NCDP Chair Jerry Meek. “McHenry’s constituents ought to ask if his obstructionism serves his interests or theirs.”

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