Wednesday News: Strike one...

DON DAVIS JOINS REPUBLICAN SENATORS IN VETO OVERRIDE: “We don’t need to create this law because it feeds a false narrative, of these incidents occurring,” Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Durham Democrat, said Tuesday in a speech in the Senate debate. In his original veto message, Cooper wrote that babies are already protected by existing laws and called the bill “an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients.” The bill originally passed the Senate 28-19, with several Republicans absent that day. All but two Democrats voted no originally — Sen. Ben Clark of Hoke County and Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County. But on Tuesday, all the Republicans were present for the vote. And even though Clark switched on Tuesday to side with Cooper, Davis provided the final vote that Republicans needed to override the veto.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS THROW RAISES AT TEACHERS RIGHT BEFORE MARCH: Teachers would get an average raise of 4.8 percent next year under the plan, while principals would see an average 10 percent increase and assistant principals 6.3 percent. House Speaker Tim Moore said raises in recent years have been focused on younger teachers, but the plan for next year provides more for veteran educators, with a top base salary of more than $60,000 a year. "Teachers that have been in the profession that long have been promised for years, 'We will get you to the national average,'" said Rep. Jeff Elmore, R-Wilkes, co-chairman of Education Appropriations. "Those teachers that have been promised that for basically their entire career will now see that in their base pay." Meanwhile, most other state workers will get a raise of either 1 percent or $500, whichever is greater. State retirees would get a one-time 1 percent pension supplement.

DAUGHTER OF DECEASED MAP MAKER GIVES HIS COMPUTER FILES TO COMMON CAUSE: A battle over document production in a redistricting lawsuit took a surprising turn Tuesday when debate shifted to 75,000 computer files the daughter of a deceased Republican map-making guru gave to the opposition. Stephanie Hofeller turned over four hard drives and 18 thumb drives of files earlier this year to attorneys for Common Cause, the North Carolina Democratic Party and 37 North Carolina voters after her father’s estate said it had no information about the case, Stanton Jones, an attorney for Common Cause, said during the hearing. The files are in the hands of a third-party vendor, he said, to maintain their integrity. Thomas Hofeller first drew redistricting lines for state legislative districts in 2011, after Republicans took control of the General Assembly. Those lines were overturned as unconstitutional, and Hofeller drew another set that are again being challenged. He died in August. Common Cause and the Democratic Party filed their lawsuit in November.

JULIAN ASSANGE SENTENCED TO 50 WEEKS IN BRITISH PRISON FOR JUMPING BAIL: Judge Deborah Taylor said it was hard to imagine a more serious version of the offense as she gave the 47-year-old hacker a sentence close to the maximum of a year in custody. She said Assange's seven years in the embassy had cost British taxpayers 16 million pounds ($21 million), and said he sought asylum as a "deliberate attempt to delay justice." The white-haired Assange stood impassively with his hands clasped while the sentence was read. His supporters in the public gallery at Southwark Crown Court chanted "Shame on you" at the judge as Assange was led away. The Australian secret-spiller sought asylum in the South American country's London embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.

MUELLER SENT LETTER TO BARR CRITICAL OF HIS CONCLUSIONS RE TRUMP'S OBSTRUCTION: Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William P. Barr objecting to his early description of the Russia investigation’s conclusions that appeared to clear President Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men. The letter adds to the growing evidence of a rift between them and is another sign of the anger among the special counsel’s investigators about Mr. Barr’s characterization of their findings, which allowed Mr. Trump to wrongly claim he had been vindicated. Mr. Barr, who was scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the investigation, has said publicly that he disagrees with some of the legal reasoning in the Mueller report. Senior Democratic lawmakers have invited Mr. Mueller to testify in the coming weeks but have been unable to secure a date for his testimony.



May be a national story before its over

Thomas Hofeller was also involved in working with other state legislatures on gerrymandering in their own states, so there may be much more fallout from this story in the long run.

Phil Strach is literally

shitting his pants right now. That's a lotta damn documents, and there's bound to be numerous damning ones in the mix. I've been off popcorn for a few years now, but it might be time to start popping...