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Citizen
INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Fast-track trade for the TPP: David Price says — No. (With an *) Plus, an afternoon update …

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 12:16 PM

[Update II, 3:30 p.m.: Let me bottom-line this as far as Congressman Price is concerned. TAA is likely to be voted on again. Price, if he's really opposed to fast-track, should vote no on TAA on any re-vote, given today's events — unless and until the trade-deal process itself (as he describes it in his statement below) is reformed. I say this because the fast-track bill has already been approved, 219-211, despite Price's opposition. All it requires now to be signed by Obama is House approval of TAA, which Price is so far supporting — but, to repeat, should not....

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

State Rep. Rick Glazier's pending resignation a big loss (and Justice Center gain).

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 1:43 PM

Folks around here may not know the name Rick Glazier, though we should. He's from Fayetteville, a lawyer, former Cumberland County school board member, and a seven-term member of the N.C. House of Representatives, where he's been a leading voice for public schools, environmental quality, voting rights, women's rights — you name it, he's been there. Rep. Rick GlazierFrom my vantage point, Glazier is that rare blend of intellect and know-how. When a constitutional question is involved, Glazier's the House Democrats' go-to scholar, cutting through the precedents and principles involved without mangling them, as politicians so often do. He can...

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sweepstakes gambling on the way out in NC?

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2015 at 12:01 PM

photo by Bob GearyPutting a stake in sweepstakes gambling?Looks like the U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker's office was ready to crack down, at which point the sweepstakes gambling "industry" made a deal to blow town and avoid prosecution. Or at least a big chunk of the industry in North Carolina is going dark. (I've copied Walker's press release below.) Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler, who's battled these outfits since when they were still calling themselves video poker games, calls it a major milestone in the battle to get rid of illegal gaming dens that somehow claim they're legal. If so, it's...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

McFarlane fundraiser kicks off 2015 Raleigh election year

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 11:20 AM

It's never NOT an election year in Raleigh given that congressional elections are every even-numbered year and, in between, every odd-numbered year has elections for two-year terms on the Raleigh City Council. McFarlane on Indy coverThus, 2015 is a Raleigh election year, and Mayor Nancy McFarlane is running again as evidenced by today's invitation to her fundraiser March 18 at the Southland Ballroom. Yes, you can be a sponsor for $2,000 or a cheapskate sponsor for $250 and still make it into the sponsors' reception. Or, just pay $50 for a ticket and you get to listen to Chatham County...

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Dix Park: The Deal is Done

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane were all smiles this afternoon as they announced that the state will sell the 308-acre Dorothea Dix Hospital tract to the city for $52 million. They announced the deal in a packed ballroom at the Governor's Mansion — to great applause. IndyWeek file photo by Lissa GotwalsDix Hospital landMcCrory said the sale and development of the land as a destination park will help Raleigh become the showcase state capital everyone in North Carolina should want. McFarlane called the deal "truly a win-win" for both sides and said the park will help spur...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thomas Crowder, longtime Raleigh Council member, died today

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Thomas Crowder died this afternoon. I believe the funeral will be Saturday at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church. There's also talk of a public memorial service on Friday, but I don't think it's set yet. I shared the news with some friends just now. Here's what I wrote: I'm very sorry to report this. Thomas Crowder, our longtime District D City Councilman and a man who loved his hometown of Raleigh, NC, died this afternoon. A close friend who's been acting as family spokesperson these last few difficult weeks just called with the news. She said some District D residents have...

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Breaking: Amendment One is about to fall.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Because the Supreme Court declined to review it, the Fourth Circuit ruling striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage will also become law in North Carolina. photo by Bob GearyPaula Womack and Jane Weidig were married in Massachusetts. Soon, their marriage will be recognized in North Carolina.This means Amendment One will be unconstitutional as a matter of federal law. North Carolina will be required to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and, presumably, to allow same-sex couples to be married in our state. I wrote about the Fourth Circuit decision a few weeks ago. The Supreme Court just opened its...

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day: A "Moral Monday" makeover is needed

Posted By on Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

photo by Bob GearyAFL-CIO's MaryBe McMillan with NAACP President William Barber (to her right) at Labor Day rally in Raleigh Today, Monday, is Labor Day, an excellent day to consider the work of the Forward Together, a.k.a. Moral Monday movement. Because as State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan said this morning, "If ever a Monday needed a moral makeover, it's Labor Day." McMillan spoke at a rally in Nash Square, in front of Raleigh City Hall, before getting on a bus with union members and leaders of the state NAACP, including the Rev. William Barber, the state president, and the Rev....

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Updated: 4th Circuit strikes down Va. same-sex marriage ban; Cooper drops Amendment One defense

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Breaking news 2: Attorney General Roy Cooper just finished a press conference. He said he's dropping his defense of Amendment One in the four N.C. cases brought by LGBT advocates. The 4th Circuit ruling is binding on N.C. judges, he says. So it's his obligation, if and when any of these cases moves forward — three are stayed currently, and the fourth has yet to be heard — to inform the judge as to what the law is now. And the law now, Cooper said, is that Amendment One is unconstitutional according to the binding Circuit Court decision. "Our lawyers...

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Renee Ellmers-Clay Aiken election campaign: Take one down, pass it around

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

photo by Bob Geary100, 99 … countdown to Election Day It's July — still — and no time to be thinking about elections, which aren't until — Bzzzt. My mailbox is overflowing with reminders that just 100 days remain … no, now it's 99 days … until Nov. 4, Election Day. Y'ouch. So, let's begin our election season with Renee Ellmers, Republican incumbent, versus Clay Aiken, Democratic challenger, for the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District of N.C. Remember the House? Hasn't done anything in years except try to repeal Obamacare and, now, get ready to sue President Obama. Is...

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

State shuts down Sen. Thom ("I call them Moron Mondays") Goolsby's investment biz.

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 12:14 PM

In the "Yes, We Did See That Coming" category, Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, got whacked today by the N.C. Secretary of State's office for misleading investors. Goolsby and his investment advisory firm in Wilmington were put out of business. Sen. Thom GoolsbyAs part of a Final Consent Order, Goolsby and his partner in the firm were personally stripped of their status as registered investment advisors and told not to try it again for a minimum of 10 years. For the rest of the year, Goolsby remains in the Senate, though he is not running for re-election in November....

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two years later, Amendment One is already overdue for the scrap heap

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM

photo by Bob GearyPaula Womack (right) and Jane Weidig were married in Massachusetts. Their marriage isn't recognized in NC — but as of today, it is recorded at the Wake County Register of Deeds office. Singing "One Step Closer Now, Love Won't Be Denied," same-sex couples who were married in other states marched with supporters to the Wake County Register of Deeds office this morning to have their marital status recorded, if not yet legally recognized by the state of North Carolina. Nine couples paid the $26 fee, and courteous clerks in the Register of Deeds office duly accepted their...

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Aiken, Cleary, win Democratic congressional primaries in Districts 2, 13

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 1:11 AM

Whoa, the Democratic primary in U.S. House District 2 was a squeaker, mainly because Fayetteville's Toni Morris captured almost 20 percent of the votes — very unexpected. That left Clay Aiken and Keith Crisco with little margin for error as they 1) tried to reach the 40 percent threshold for victory, and 2) tried to beat each other. With all the precincts in, Aiken finished with 40.8 percent to Crisco's 39.5, making Aiken the outright, if narrow, victor. (Crisco can call for a recount, of course.) Aiken, if he holds onto his lead, will face Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who...

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Tillis vs. Hagan: A U.S. Senate race about the General Assembly?

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:44 AM

Imagine a great Republican candidate to go against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan this fall. H/she is a business owner. Or a doctor. Self-made, anyway. A diplomat would be great — whatever happened to Jim Cain? The point is, you want a Republican candidate who personifies national issues — the economy, jobs, trade, the cost of health care — and can tell you what's wrong with Wall Street. Best case, your candidate's been to Libya and visited Benghazi. (I'm joking about Libya — I think.) At any rate, h/she's conservative, but in a non-threatening way that says "sensible," not a nut...

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Wake Dems' DA primary, Boz Zellinger displays weakness

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Updated at 5pm Thursday, April 24: Updated X 2 at 12 noon, April 26 — with the text of a Zellinger campaign email sent Thursday night. It's copied at the end of the original post. Also, Dana Cope of SEANC called, objecting to my statement that SEANC's attacks on Freeman are in retaliation for her criticism of his organization's connection to Purchasing Power. "That's not why we're in this race at all!" Cope said, adding that Purchasing Power is "wildly popular" with his members. Cope insisted SEANC's interest in the Wake DA's race is because the Wake DA has jurisdiction...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kentucky Attorney General is 7th who won't defend his state's same-sex marriage ban

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Democrat Jack Conway, Kentucky's elected attorney general and a prospective candidate for governor next year, tells Talking Points Memo why he cannot defend his state's law banning recognition of same-sex marriages: He said he came around "over the last few years" after conversations with friends in the gay community, and after thinking about how his two daughters would come to view his decision. "I thought long and hard. I thought about the arc of history," he said. "I thought about the fact that at one time in this country we discriminated against women. At one time we discriminated against African-Americans...

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Oregon's AG is 6th, so far, who refuses to defend state's same-sex marriage ban

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum: "Because we cannot identify a valid reason for the state to prevent the couples who have filed these lawsuits from marrying in Oregon, we find ourselves unable to stand before [U.S. District Court] Judge McShane to defend the state's prohibition against marriages between two men or two women." Oregon's ban was passed by voters in 2004. More on Rosenblum's decision here. The Washington Post has a roundup of statements made by the six — so far — attorneys general who've taken similar positions that such bans are unconstitutional in light of the U.S. Supreme...

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Pro-LGBT group calls on Roy Cooper to drop Amendment One defense

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

In a post yesterday, I noted that as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring was stepping up on the issue of same-sex marriage rights, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper was shrinking from an important immigrant rights issue — thus adding to Cooper's list of disappointing legal positions, including his defense of racial gerrymandering, of voter-suppression legislation, of anti-choice legislation and of Amendment One. Cooper's defense of Amendment One, the North Carolina ban on same-sex marriages, is the opposite of what Herring's doing. Herring announced that he will not defend Virginia's statutory ban in court; he will argue instead that it...

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today: Virginia's AG goes bold, unlike our AG Roy Cooper

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM

It can't be a good day for N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who's all but declared his candidacy for governor in 2016. On the same day that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, also a Democrat, announced that he will not defend Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages because he's convinced it's unconstitutional — a courageous stand — Cooper's office released a disappointing and weakly reasoned advisory opinion on immigrants' rights. Attorney General Roy CooperThe opinion: Young immigrants who are legal residents of North Carolina because of their protected status under federal law are nonetheless not entitled to in-state tuition rates on...

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sen. Rucho, who compares Obamacare to Nazi atrocities, is in the GOP mainstream

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

By now, you've read about Sen. Bob Rucho, the Charlotte Republican who claimed in a tweet that Obamacare poses a worse threat to the country than the Nazis, Stalin or terrorists ever did. If not, here's an overview. Sen. Bob RuchoSo you're probably thinking, who is this nut and why is he embarrassing the Republican Party? Sorry, but Rucho is no nut — at least, not to his fellow Republican senators. Rather, he is co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the senator most responsible for the GOP tax-deforming legislation which slashed rates for the wealthy and corporations while handing...

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Friday, November 22, 2013

The assassination of John F. Kennedy: What I remember

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I believe I'm the only Indy writer who is old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination. I was in the 8th grade in 1963, in Fair Haven, NJ, and I was vice president of my class. I mention that because I recall feeling that, as an elected leader, I ought to rise to the occasion in some way, though I don't believe I did. A black-and-white television was wheeled into the cafeteria and we watched in silence, taking in the news. From WikiMedia CommonsThinking back, I don't believe I was surprised. By the eighth grade, I'd become quite the student...

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Saturday: "The hottest local fashion show" and for a good cause

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

courtesy, Activate Good 'Tis the season* and one of my favorite causes in Raleigh at the holidays is Activate Good. They promote volunteerism and match volunteers with nonprofits that need them and will be compatible — kind of like online dating except less pressure. From scratch when she was an N.C. State student, our 2010 Citizen Award winner Amber Smith has built this idea into a first-rate organization. Tomorrow night — Saturday — is Activate Good's big fundraising event of the year, Couture for a Cause. It's at Marbles Museum in Raleigh. Doors at 7, show at 8. Best to...

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

McFarlane tops in Raleigh; moderates rule again on the Wake school board

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 3:24 AM

For all the turmoil in North Carolina politics, Raleigh and Wake County were an oasis of calm tonight. The full results are on Wake County's website. Photo by Bob GearyMayor Nancy McFarlane thanking supportersTwo headlines: * Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane stamped herself the undisputed leader of city government, winning re-election with 73 percent of the vote against a pair of lightweight Republican opponents. McFarlane is a political independent with strong support among progressive and moderate voters. She wasn't especially well-known when she succeeded Charles Meeker as mayor two years ago. But that was then. Today, she's popular and respected as...

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Raleigh: A new city manager and a new start on transit

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM

When I listen to the recording, I'll tell you exactly how many times Mayor Nancy McFarlane used the words transit or transportation this morning as she introduced Ruffin Hall, the new city manager. For now, I'll just say it was a theme — THE theme, really — that Raleigh intends to get transit off the ground as its next big thing, and Hall is being counted on to help make that happen. photo by Bob GearyRuffin Hall with City Councilor Eugene Weeks (right) this morning. Hall comes to us from Charlotte, where he was an assistant manager and budget director...

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Career employee to DENR Sec. Skvarla: Take this job and shove it.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

A friend forwarded this to me. It's the resignation of an unhappy — to put it mildly — career official in the Asheville regional office of Division of Water Quality in the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It arrived with the official's name on the From: line. I removed the name in an abundance of caution, and because it's not "who" resigned, it's "how." An email I sent came back with an auto-reply. "I've retired," it said. This, my friends, is how you remove yourself from a right-wing administration. (If you can. If you can't, start leaking...

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