Wednesday News: Rigging the ballot


NC REPUBLICANS PASS BILL REMOVING "R" DESIGNATION FOR SUPREME COURT CANDIDATE: Two Republicans are running for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court this November, but Republican state legislators don’t want voters to know that. A bill filed by state Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown would not allow Chris Anglin to be listed as a Republican on the ballot. But the incumbent in the election, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson, would still be listed as a Republican. The Democrat in the race, Durham civil rights attorney Anita Earls, would also continue to be listed as a Democrat. Anglin isn’t mentioned by name in the bill, which says: “The party information listed by each of the following candidates’ names is shown only if the candidates’ party affiliation or unaffiliated status is the same as on their voter registration at the time they filed to run for office and 90 days prior to that filing.”

RALEIGH MAN SUES DPS AFTER POLICE DOG ATTACK AND BEATING: Kyron Hinton argues the actions of the troopers showed negligence by their employer, the Department of Public Safety, according to his legal action filed with the state Industrial Commission. The judicial body hears civil cases against state agencies. While Hinton's complaint seeks unspecified damages, an accompanying affidavit says his medical bills and emotional distress have amounted to $1 million. Dashboard camera video from the April 3 altercation shows Hinton standing in a road, moaning, as officers surround him. A canine handler approaches and orders him to the ground. When Hinton doesn't comply, the officer releases the dog, which lunges and gets a mouthful of Hinton's clothing. The canine handler then pulls him down, the video shows, and at least one other officer can be seen punching him while others hold his legs trying to subdue him.

FEDERAL GRANTS FOR HURRICANE RELIEF REQUIRE COMPLICATED PROCESSING: The grant money (known as Community Development Block Grants, or CDBG) requires a complicated eight-step application process, and the state has received 1,982 applications so far. About 950 of those have made it to the second of eight steps, while most of the rest are still on step one, which requires extensive documentation. “NCEM currently has seven open application centers to collect this information and in August will begin operating mobile centers to make getting this information easier for storm impacted persons,” Thomas said. Cooper was scheduled to visit the application center in Lenoir County Tuesday. June was a busy month for another Hurricane Matthew relief fund, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. That’s a FEMA-funded program to buy out, elevate or reconstruct property in flood-prone areas impacted by the hurricane. The state applied for $100 million in grant money last October for more than 800 properties. So far, 627 properties have been approved, totaling $79.7 million across 33 counties and municipalities, with conditional approvals for 14 others in Wayne County.

PANTS-DROPPING RACIST GEORGIA LAWMAKER WILL RESIGN FROM LEGISLATURE: Rep. Jason Spencer had vowed to serve out his term despite the fallout. Now he'll step down at month's end, spokesman Kaleb McMichen told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday. In Sunday night's broadcast of Cohen's Showtime series "Who Is America?" Cohen poses as an Israeli military expert who persuades Spencer to take part in several outlandish exercises. The lawmaker is told they're making a counterterrorism video. Spencer repeatedly shouts a racial slur for black people after Cohen tells him the tactic is useful for drawing bystanders' attention to an unfolding attack. He also drops his pants, then his underwear, before backing his exposed rear end toward Cohen while shouting "USA!" and "America!" Cohen told Spencer this would incite fear in homophobic jihadists. The segment also shows Spencer speaking with a mock Asian accent while using a selfie-stick to surreptitiously insert a camera phone between the legs of a woman dressed in traditional Muslim clothing.

FEARING BLOWBACK IN NOVEMBER FROM HIS TRADE WAR, TRUMP PROMISES $12 BILLION FOR FARMERS: The plan focuses on Midwest soybean producers and others targeted by retaliatory measures. The Agriculture Department said the proposal would include direct assistance for farmers, purchases of excess crops and trade promotion activities aimed at building new export markets. Officials said the plan would not require congressional approval and would come through the Commodity Credit Corporation, a wing of the department that addresses agricultural prices. In Kansas City, meanwhile, Trump told a veterans convention that he was trying to renegotiate trade agreements that he said have hurt American workers, and he asked for patience ahead of key talks. “We’re making tremendous progress. They’re all coming. They don’t want to have those tariffs put on them,” Trump told the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention.