Friday News: Break out the Veto stamp


TIM MOORE FILES BILL TO FORCE FULL ATTENDANCE AT RNC IN CHARLOTTE: Republicans in the North Carolina House will file a bill to require capacity attendance at all events for the scheduled Republican National Convention in Charlotte in August. The move is aimed at keeping the Republican National Committee from moving parts or all of the event to another state. N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Rep. John Torbett are the sponsors of the legislation, according to North Carolina GOP chairman Michael Whatley. “I cannot believe Gov. Cooper has made this necessary,” Whatley tweeted Thursday night. “Obviously the state of North Carolina cannot guarantee a full arena in August,” Cooper said. “We don’t know what the virus will be at that point.”

CITIZENS BLAST RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL IN VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: "I am appalled by the violence and destruction that the city council and to an even greater extent the police chief has overseen and instigated," one person said. "Our black and brown community members have a right to live, free with liberty and strength, just as our white family and friends do," another person said. "I was very upset to see citizens tear-gassed in Raleigh this weekend," another person said to the council. Second was calls for change in the police department, including the removal of Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. "There is literally no other profession on Earth that thinks they're completely above criticism and reproach like law enforcement does," another person said to the council. Finally, there was a call to council for lasting change in the city budget. "The budget before you reflects the violence of the status quo," said another citizen. "It offers not progress for the black community but rather maintains heavily militarized police force with little accountability."

GOVERNOR SENDS FORMAL LETTER TO ALAMANCE SHERIFF OVER RACETRACK PROBLEM: A letter from Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office formally asks Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson to enforce the governor’s order prohibiting mass gatherings against Ace Speedway. “Sheriff Johnson is formally requested to do his duty under the law and enforce the Phase 2 Order,” William McKinney, general counsel for the Office of the Governor, writes in a letter dated Friday, June 5, to Johnson and Alamance County Commissioners Chair Amy Galey. “If Sheriff Johnson declines to perform that duty, the Governor will take further action to protect the health and safety of the people of Alamance County and North Carolina.” After the governor’s statement May 26 saying the event was “reckless and dangerous,” Johnson did ask the owners to cancel future races while the Phase 2 Order was in effect. In spite of that request, the speedway opened for spectators again Saturday, May 30, with some safety measures, like taking temperatures at the gate, but ignoring the state-imposed limits of no more than 25 spectators, and not requiring safety measures like distancing and masks. McKinney calls the speedway’s actions “continuous and flagrant” violations of the order, and calls on the sheriff to enforce the order. “The Order is subject to enforcement by local law enforcement officers, and violations of the Order constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor. Yet local officials have declined to enforce the Order against ACE Speedway,” McKinney wrote.

AFTER MATTIS'S ATTACK ON TRUMP, LISA MURKOWSKI APPEARS TO HAVE GROWN A RUDIMENTARY SPINE: Mattis moved one senior Senate Republican to finally declare she had to speak out against Trump’s handling of the racial injustice protests, and against his moral leadership more broadly, while signaling she may not support him in November. “When I saw General Mattis’s comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Thursday. Murkowski, the 10th-longest-serving active GOP senator, told reporters that she agreed with Mattis’s broadside that Trump tries to deliberately divide Americans and the nation was “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.” “I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue,” Murkowski told reporters at the Capitol. Late Thursday, Trump lashed out at Murkowski on Twitter, promising to campaign against her in Alaska in 2022 when she faces reelection. “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!” he wrote.

TRUMP'S EPA IS STRIPPING THE POWER OF STATES TO ENFORCE CLEAN WATER ACT PROVISIONS: The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced that it had limited states’ ability to block the construction of energy infrastructure projects, part of the Trump administration’s goal of promoting gas pipelines, coal terminals and other fossil fuel development. The completed rule curtails sections of the U.S. Clean Water Act that New York has used to block an interstate gas pipeline, and Washington employed to oppose a coal export terminal. The move is expected to set up a legal clash with Democratic governors who have sought to block fossil fuel projects. Specifically, it limits to one year the amount of time states and tribes can take to review a project and restricts states to taking water quality only into consideration when judging permits. The Trump administration has accused some states of blocking projects for reasons that go beyond clean water considerations, such as climate change impacts. The rule was initially proposed in August shortly after President Trump issued an executive order directing agencies to “promote efficient permitting processes and reduce regulatory uncertainties that currently make energy infrastructure projects expensive and that discourage new investment.” Mr. Trump then directed the E.P.A. to revise rules for permits issued under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which gives states and tribes the ability to judge the potential impact that energy projects and other construction proposals might have on water quality. He called the current rules “outdated.”