republican corruption

This is how good state government deals with a sold-out FCC

Reason #54 why we need to take back the NC General Assembly:

Inslee’s proposal, which makes Washington state the first in the nation to act on net neutrality, includes pursuing the following actions:

Direct the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to establish a process for ISPs to certify that they will not engage in practices inconsistent with net neutrality principles. Limit state-conferred benefits to ISPs that have made such certifications. Limit applicability of UTC pole attachment rules to ISPs that are net neutral. Use the state government’s role as a big customer, and our ability to establish state master contracts used by local governments, to incentivize Washington companies to adhere to net neutrality principles. Pursue regulatory and legislative action to award contracts to vendors that meet net neutral business requirements. Lead the exploration of a multi-state purchasing cooperative to procure internet service from providers that adhere to net neutrality principles. Collaborate with legislators to strengthen our consumer protection laws to include the principles of net neutrality. Pursue legislation authorizing public utility districts and rural and urban port districts to provide retail ISP and telecommunications services.

As you can see, several of those actions would be impossible to implement with GOP control of our Legislature, and some (most?) of the other actions could/would be quickly undermined by the same. Which brings up another (broader) issue that Progressive activists need to keep in mind: I'm starting to see more of these, "Why doesn't Roy Cooper do this or that thing I want? He's just as bad as the Republicans!" Understand, we put him in the Governor's mansion, but we also crippled him in the process. Governor Cooper is held hostage by a supermajority that is hell-bent on stripping his powers and defunding his administration, but he's still made more progress for our state than McCrory did his entire tenure. Context is important, so put that energy to work where it's needed.

New York AG files lawsuit against FCC over Net Neutrality vote

And rumor has it Josh Stein just added NC to the effort:

Citing his investigation into the FCC’s public comments process preceding the vote, Schneiderman declared his office’s intention to sue to “stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of net neutrality” — a forthcoming legal challenge that’s sure to be in good company. In response to questions from TechCrunch, Schneiderman’s office noted that he will spearhead a multi-state lawsuit and that we can expect it “in the coming days.”

“We will be filing a claim to preserve protections for New Yorkers and all Americans. And we’ll be working aggressively to stop the FCC’s leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and to our economy,” Schneiderman said in a press release.

Hopefully they'll be able to get an injunction put in place with the quickness, before we start seeing shenanigans with our Internet access.

Blue Monday kicks off 120 seat strategy for retaking the General Assembly

Say hello to Army veteran and cancer warrior Dr. Rick Foulke:

Today, we rank 35th in teacher pay (41st in 2016) and 43rd in per capita student spending in the whole nation. Our quality teachers are leaving for other states every day because of low pay and lack of respect. Our politicians have played partisan games with our lives by refusing to expand Medicaid. As a physician, Rick Foulke saw first hand- every single day- how important it is to have access to quality healthcare.

Rick was successful because of his hard work and the opportunities afforded to him by the Army. Just as the Army invested in him, Rick believes we must invest in our best and brightest minds, regardless of race or income or social status.

I firmly believe we need to field more veterans as Democratic candidates, for both state and federal offices. And it's not just to swing votes, although I do believe it may be the best way to do that. It's also about integrity and self-discipline, which are traits sometimes hard to detect in more polished politicians. And it's also about representation: About 9% of North Carolinians are veterans, and we have a huge active duty military presence here, as well. They need to know the Democratic Party not only welcomes them, but values their experience and knowledge.

Billionaire trying to take over NC schools gave $50,000 to Dan Forest

And since Dan Forest will have a vote on who wins the contract, the conflict of interest is glaringly obvious:

John Bryan has contributed about $600,000 to legislative candidates in North Carolina, most of them Republicans, and GOP political committees from 2011 to 2016. Included is a $100,000 contribution to a group supporting GOP candidates for the state Supreme Court. He contributed $50,000 to a political action committee called Truth & Prosperity, set up to support Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Forest is a member of the State Board of Education, which will help select which companies are chosen.

Forest said in an interview earlier this year that he did not know why Bryan contributed to the PAC.

Whether you know or don't know why is beside the point; at minimum, you should recuse yourself from any actions dealing with the Innovative School District. But the best way to handle this would be to resign your seat on the State Board of Education entirely. Because make no mistake, this story is not going to "fade away" like you're hoping it will.

Democracy NC wants BoE to probe Forest television studio issue

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Somebody needs to look that gift camera in the mouth:

A voting rights organization has asked North Carolina election officials to scrutinize spending by a nonprofit group for equipment for a television studio in the office of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall wrote a letter Monday to the state elections board seeking review of $60,000 in purchases by what’s called the North Carolina Promotion and Development Fund. WRAL-TV reported the fund owns the equipment, which Forest can use to produce videos about issues important to him. One fund donor is a longtime Forest supporter.

And while they're at it, they might as well look into all the renovations this same supporter did to the Hawkins-Harnett House, which this little blurb leads people to believe Forest paid for it himself:

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates taken into custody

Hopefully this is just the tip of the Trumpberg:

The charges against Mr. Manafort, President Trump's former Campaign Chairman, were not immediately clear but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president's first year in office. Also charged was Manafort's former business associate Rick Gates, who was also told to surrender on Monday, the person said.

Mr. Gates is a longtime protege and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies Mr. Manafort's firm set up in Cyprus, to receive payments from politicians and business people in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by the New York Times show. Mr Manafort has been under investigation for violation of federal tax law, money laundering and whether he appropriately disclosed his foreign lobbying.

This is good news, but if Mueller really wants to get into money laundering, he needs to take a look at condos and apartments Trump has been selling to Russian crime-lords. That's a big, stinking mess, and one that should have already gotten Trump put behind bars. *Edited to add* Here's a link to the indictment, and it's a doozy.

Bill Brisson takes off his donkey mask and declares for the GOP

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out:

Democratic Rep. Bill Brisson announced Wednesday he will change his party registration and run for a seventh term as a Republican. Democrats now hold just 45 seats in the 120-member House.

Brisson, 71, represents parts of Bladen, Sampson, and Johnston counties. He has been a Republican ally for years. At times during his career, Brisson provided Republicans with crucial votes on important bills. For example, he and four other Democrats helped Republicans override former Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s budget vetoes in 2011.

That tear you see slowly coursing down my cheek is one of joy and relief, so don't fret yourself over my condition.

Just what we need, another Berger sizzling on the political grill

Rockingham Vice Commissioner Berger (ugh) wants to join Guilford in attacking the News & Record:

During Monday’s regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution requesting the North Carolina General Assembly to allow the publication of legal notices on the county-maintained website.

The resolution reads as a “response to technological advances” and cites the 2016 FCC Broadband Progress Report, which says 95 percent of Rockingham County residents have broadband coverage, as a reason for the change. It also takes aim at the “less than 4,000” subscription rate for local publication RockinghamNow, as well as the 5,900 total subscribed to Greensboro News & Record’s Rockingham section.

Sorry about the picture, but I just wanted to make sure you didn't overlook my comments about the existence of a 3rd f**king Berger on the loose.

The NRA has invested over ten million in Burr & Tillis

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Don't expect any sensible gun regulations any time soon:

NRA groups have spent nearly $7 million on behalf of Burr. That includes $5.6 million that NRA groups spent last year against his Democratic opponent, Deborah Ross. That was more than the NRA spent against any candidate with the exception of Hillary Clinton.

And Tillis has gotten $4.5 million in help, including independent expenditures against his 2014 opponent, then-incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Considering there have been 273 mass shootings (4 or more people shot) in the last year, it's not a huge stretch to describe this as blood money. You know what else this signifies? The NRA was scared shitless they could lose these statewide races in North Carolina. You know, like they did when Roy Cooper retook the Governor's mansion for the Democratic Party. Think on that.

Pittenger leans on Karl Rove for fundraising shortfall

Brother Jerry Williamson has the low-down:

Pittenger's seat had already been targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and it looks as though solar energy financier and Marine veteran Dan McCready is the DCCC pick (although there are a couple of other Democrats in the race, including the man who lost to Pittenger in the general election of 2016).

The Karl Rove appearance looks like flop sweat to Erik Spanberg. He writes, "A Republican insider told me Tuesday that, while Rove remains a reliable draw for GOP donors, he also represents the anti-Trump wing of the party. He makes it hard for Pittenger to say, ‘I’m a Trump Republican’ because Rove has been so critical of President Trump.” If Pittenger makes it through the primary with Harris, he's going to be potentially damaged goods in the general elections of 2018.

Maybe, but I've got two words that make that last part a little iffy: Luther Strange, who lost the Alabama GOP US Senate Primary by almost ten points, after being endorsed by Trump. Don't get me wrong, I think Dan McCready is a fantastic candidate, and would cut the margin closer than anybody else. But Pittenger beat Christian Cano 58% to 42%, even after a bitter and nail-bitingly close Primary with *reverend* Mark Harris.

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