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

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

[Updated] Feeding the homeless in Raleigh barred by cops until Mayor and Council intervene.

Posted By on Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

{A brief update, 6 pm: Food Not Bombs did bring food and they were allowed to distribute it. The Raleigh police stood down after Mayor Nancy McFarlane and numerous Council members intervened today with Police Chief Deck-Brown and Acting City Manager Perry James. Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin is pulling this issue into her Law & Public Safety Committee meeting — the Council majority must vote to put it there, which they will do by phone; but 48 hours notice of the "meeting" must be given first, and I think the rule is 48 hours more before the committee can meet. Until...

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Delightful 12-year-old, 1. Prickly Gov. McCrory, 0.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 5:49 PM

All I can say is, for a governor Pat McCrory has remarkably thin skin. And a remarkable lack of good grace or — absent grace — any ability to fake it. Consequently, Gov. McCrory missed his chance today to meet a delightful and very precocious young lady. Madison Kimrey is the 12-year old from Burlington who wondered why the governor signed a voter-suppression bill (my term, not hers) that, among other things, did away with pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds in high school. She has lots of friends who are teens and look forward to voting, she said.photo by...

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Monday, August 19, 2013

NCDP on Sen. Kinnaird: A true Tar Heel hero.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM

State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Orange County, a leading progressive voice on a wide range of issues, is leaving the General Assembly after 17 years in the Senate. Her departure comes on the heels, as it were, of decisions by state Reps. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, and Deborah Ross, D-Wake, to leave as well — Weiss didn't seek re-election in 2012 and Ross, who was re-elected, departed to become general counsel at the Triangle Transit Authority earlier this year. Sen. Ellie KinnairdThis isn't just a changing of the guard among Democrats, it's three notable women leaders lost from the General Assembly...

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Friday, August 2, 2013

In September, Raleigh's M.A.I.N. is our best events — it's so NOT the General Assembly

Posted By on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

So happy to be downtown in Raleigh today and have it NOT be about the General Assembly and the newest miseries the Republicans could inflict. But they're GONE, the Republicans — well, not ALL gone, but then Gov. Pat McCrory was little more than a spectator to the carnage ... the same as the rest of us. With the siege of Raleigh lifted, we can once more breathe the air of freedom and look ahead to one helluva great month in September. It's called Raleigh'S M.A.I.N. Event. *** Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin (left) with other Raleigh M.A.I.N. luminaries. Sarah Powers,...

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Watch! Good tune, bikes, Pullen Park, Planet Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 2:01 PM

"Calm Down," The Love Language music video, is fun....

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NC Libertarians: Republican anti-voting bill "a nightmare for free elections"

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I was thinking earlier today, which one of the N.C. Republican Party's moves in the General Assembly this year is the worst. The competition is stiff. But throwing obstacles in the way of voting is certainly in the running for worst, because it screws with a fundamental pillar of self-government. Which is what the Libertarian Party of N.C., not a bunch of flaming lefties surely, had to say this morning: Libertarian Party opposes HB 589 RALEIGH (July 24) - The Libertarian Party of North Carolina issued this statement by J.J. Summerell, party chair, regarding HB 589: “Just when it didn't...

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bob Hall: Senate rewrite of H-589, out today, is an anti-voting nightmare written by political bullies.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

[Updated to correct the bill number in the headline. Not Senate Bill 589, but House Bill 589 as rewritten by the Senate. Sorry: RJG.] When I need to know about election laws, I turn to Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carollina. He's the expert. He's also seen it all, so he doesn't exaggerate, doesn't say the sky is falling when it isn't. Hopes for better days even when it is. Today, as the Senate Republicans unveil what is perhaps the worst anti-voting bill in any state since Jim Crow and prepare to push it to enactment over the...

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Friday, July 12, 2013

[Updated x 2] Pat was there: Governor's tale has grain of truth, at least

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

[Update x 2: McCrory spokeswoman confirms, Governor hasn't been at a protest, but he does walk from the Mansion to the Capitol — which is not really what he said on Wednesday. The question remains why he won't listen to the protesters or meet with their leaders? http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/12/3026255/mccrory-says-he-mingles-with-protesters.html] When Gov. Pat McCrory told a reporter in Wilson on Wednesday that he frequently wades into the Moral Monday crowds, perhaps he meant that he sometimes walks by — incognito — with his earbuds on. @patwasthere — hahaAnyway, after I posted on Facebook that the Governor's claim to have been a regular...

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Equality NC: "Enormous victory" over federal DOMA, but discrimination remains the rule in N.C.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Equality NC [Update, 1:45 p.m.: Feel like celebrating? Equality NC is hosting a Decision Day event tonight in Raleigh: TIME AND DATE: Wednesday, June 26, at 8 PMPullen Memorial Baptist Church 1801 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC 27605 Still much to do in North Carolina.] Equality North Carolina, the LGBT rights group, has a statement out about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that makes two good points: (1) The wicked witch called DOMA is dead, and (2) its death matters most in states where same-sex unions are recognized — but North Carolina, because of Amendment One, is prevented from recognizing...

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Monday, June 10, 2013

More on Randy Voller: Raleigh's Nina Szlosberg-Landis, 1st vice chair, resigns in protest

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 10:10 PM

While Randy Voller was elected chairman of the state Democratic Party in February by a narrow margin — just 11 votes out of some 600 — the newly elected first vice chair, Nina Szlosberg-Landis of Raleigh, won by a landslide. The combination of Voller, the grassroots guy, and Szlosberg-Landis, who combines big-time fundraising experience with a progressive resume in women's and environmental politics, was a hopeful sign to those wondering if the two warring wings of the Democratic Party could be brought together. (I wrote about Voller and the warring wings in Citizen last week.) If Voller and Slzosberg-Landis...

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Who's the moron? Sen. Thom Goolsby on the protests he calls "Moron Mondays"

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

He's keen to start executing people again in NC, and he sneers at the concept of racial justice. In fact, sneering at black people seems like it's a specialty of state Sen. Thom Goolsby: Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, on "Moral Mondays." He calls them "Moron Mondays." Speaks — reeks — for itself: ncspin.com/2013/06/10/mor…— Bob Geary (@rjgeary) June 10, 2013 Click on the link within the tweet to read it all. Here's an excerpt: The circus came to the State Capitol this week, complete with clowns, a carnival barker and a sideshow. The “Reverend” Barber was decked out like a...

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Scenes from Moral Monday at the General Assembly: June 3 should be the biggest yet

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 11:21 AM

The General Assembly isn't in session on Memorial Day — next Monday — so no "Moral Monday" protest is planned. The next one, on Monday, June 3, is shaping up as the biggest yet. A "Mega-Moral Monday," if you will. As the poisonous policies of the Republican legislature are thrown at us, people are rising up in righteous outrage, using the great tool of nonviolent civil disobedience to call these politicians to account. Do read Will Huntsberry's account of the protest four days ago. And if you wonder what this all looks like, the NAACP has an excellent videographer helping...

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

[Kicking can / Update X 2] House not ready to renege on Dix Park lease just yet

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

[Update x 2, 4 p.m. Wednesday] The House Judiciary Committee approved a substitute bill for Senate Bill 334 and sent it to the House floor. Does it renege on the state's lease with Raleigh? No and yes. It says the lease is invalid, but takes no action to dissolve it for a year. Does it allow Raleigh to proceed with planning for Dix Park? Yes and no. Raleigh is invited to negotiate with the state through April, 2014 — with all issues on the table. Rep. Justin Burr, who spoke for the bill, repeatedly suggested that rather than lease Dix...

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

[Updated x 2: Another 'Moral Monday' next week: AP] Progressives promising Monday protests while General Assembly's in session

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM

[Update x 2, Thursday, May 9: The AP is reporting that next Monday will be another "Moral Monday" at the General Assembly, with non-violent civil disobedience again in the offing.] [Update, Tuesday, May 7: The NAACP called for a candlelight vigil and protest rally tonight outside the Legislative Building. Because of predicted bad weather, they've moved to Martin St. Baptist Church, 1001 E. Martin St., Raleigh. Start time is the same, 7 p.m. Details on the NC NAACP website.] The original post from Friday is below — On Monday, 17 protesters were arrested at the General Assembly. On Wednesday, the...

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

UNC-CH senior arrested at the General Assembly: "I cannot in good conscience stand idly by"

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM

photo by Bob GearyLegislature's cops arresting Zaina Alsous (left, in custody) after she crossed the police line blocking entrance to the General Assembly yesterday. She was one of five students arrested during the NC Student Power Union demonstration. Five UNC system students, members of the NC Student Power Union, were arrested at the General Assembly yesterday. They were part of a larger demonstration of about 100 students and others in the front of the General Assembly building, the purpose of which is explained in the statement released this morning by NCSPU. When the protesters arrived on West Jones Street, police...

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rep. Deborah Ross to TTA, former Rep. Grier Martin on deck

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 1:41 PM

It's one good progressive out, another ready to step back in: State Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, is leaving the General Assembly to be general counsel at Triangle Transit. Former Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, who was moved ("double-bunked") into the same Wake County district with Ross by the Republicans and stepped aside to let her stay in office, is willing to return — very willing, according to his Twitter account: Former 4-term legislator Grier Martin will run for the House District 34 seat being vacated by Rep. Deborah Ross.... fb.me/KObFUbN7— Grier Martin (@GrierMartin) May 1, 2013...

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

[Updated] Losing Jamie Hahn: Raleigh and the power of passionate people

Posted By on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Photo by Gerda SteinJamie and Nation Hahn (left and center; the person at right is unidentified their friend David Blair) at an Obama rally last year [Update, Friday, 11 a.m.: Visitation tonight at Pullen Baptist has been extended to accommodate an expected large turnout. The time is now 5-8 p.m. Also, Jamie was on the board of the Hope Center at Pullen, a ministry aimed at aiding the homeless, and she was helping to organize their annual fundraising dinner Sunday night. The family has established a memorial fund for the Hope Center and asks that, in lieu of flowers, folks...

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Raleigh cyclists, ho! BikeRaleigh's spring events 4 you

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Nice day to think about fun rides for cyclists — check the link below for a list. Hey, nice job! "BikeRaleigh Events! content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/N… via @govdelivery"— Bob Geary (@rjgeary) April 17, 2013...

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Breaking: Raleigh City Manager Allen out on 6-2 City Council vote

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The City Council just met in special session and voted to end the tenure of City Manager Russell Allen effective July 1. The vote was 6-2. Mayor Nancy McFarlane said Allen's been a good manager for Raleigh but after more than a decade in that job, someone with fresh ideas and a different approach to the job is needed. The meeting was over in a minute following the voice vote. Watching this online, I heard Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin's voice come through as one of the no votes. Not sure who cast the other one. [Update: Councilor Eugene Weeks and Baldwin...

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Why are they converging on Raleigh ... and when?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Answer: Climate Convergence on Raleigh is coming next weekend, April 20-21. It's a major coming-together of the growing network of people and groups working on climate change and related issues (e.g., fracking) in North Carolina. If you've been looking for a chance to link up with this movement and with 350.org, the great grassroots organization that is spreading not just across the U.S. but the world, here it is. All the events are free, and you can take in as much or as little as you want. There's a schedule on the website, but it needs to be fleshed out...

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Conscience, Raleigh: Protesters highlight Gitmo prisoners still in hell though "cleared"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Jule Shanklin, Peggy Misch and Christina Cowger (in the picture below, from right to left) were part of the anti-Gitmo protest contingent at the federal building on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh today. Did you know that 80-some prisoners at Guantanamo have been "cleared for release" — i.e., they've never been charged with anything, because there's no evidence they were ever more than in the wrong place at the wrong time in the "War on Terror" — yet they continue to be held more than a decade later. Forgotten and desperate, they're on a hunger strike which is now in...

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

[Updated] Wake County voters are 2-to-1 for Dix Park plan, strongly oppose state reneging: Public Policy Polling

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM

indyweek.com [Update, 10:30 a.m. Dix Park supporters are gathering on the site this afternoon at 5. See below for more.] Wow, if there was any question about whether the Wake County Board of Commissioners — the Republican-led board of commissioners — were representing their constituents or their political party by coming out against the Dix Park plan, it's answered in the poll released today by Public Policy Polling. They're sure not representing their constituents: Republican state senators have passed a bill to invalidate the City of Raleigh’s lease for the former Dorothea Dix campus, but at least in Wake County,...

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Prognosis good: Raleigh Councilor Crowder being treated for testicular cancer

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane began today's budget preview session with news about District D Councilor Thomas Crowder: He's been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will be enduring chemotherapy treatments over the next few weeks. His prognosis is good for a full recovery. He's out of action today and for tomorrow's regular Council meeting. I spoke with Crowder earlier. He said he was hospitalized during the first round of chemo but the rest will be on an outpatient basis. His doctors told him he'll need to dial back his work through June, but he can expect to be back at full...

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Friday, March 29, 2013

A Good Friday note: Resurrection will "Save Our State" (plus two upcoming events in Raleigh)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

First up, there's a strategy meeting set for 6 p.m. next Tuesday, April 2 at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh — 1801 Hillsborough St. If you are among those outraged by what's going on in the General Assembly these days, and especially with the new voter-suppression legislation — this will be the NAACP and allied social justice groups and individuals coming together to make some plans. Then, the following Tuesday, April 9, is a day for mass lobbying at the General Assembly. The same people and groups will gather at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 101 S. Wilmington...

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fitzsimon: State Republicans aim to reduce voter turnout — because more voters bad for GOP

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

The bill Chris Fitzsimon is talking about in the tweet below is House Bill 451, introduced yesterday by Rep. Edgar Starnes, a Republican from Hickory. (Democracy NC calls it the "Screw the Voter Act of 2013" — like!) As brazen as so much of what the Republicans have been doing is, this legislation is quite possibly the worst example of their partisan hackery yet. That is, unlike their Voter ID stuff, they can't even pretend that this bill has any public benefit. Its purpose is to reduce the number of Democratic voters — who've flocked to the early-voting sites and...

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