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

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Monday, October 31, 2011

[Updated] Occupy Raleigh, Day 16: They're still there, Governor

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 1:07 PM

photo by Bob GearySunday at Occupy Raleigh: Settling in at twilight. [Update 4:25 p.m.: Joe Huberman posted a schedule for the City Council meetings tomorrow on the Occupy Raleigh legal forum. Note that meetings are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Here is the latest as I understand it on tomorrow's City Council Meeting 11/1/11 1:00 P.M. Session Mayor Meeker will request a report on the Police action and our 1st amendment rights at the 1:00 session of the meeting. It is very unlikely that we will be able to speak, but we are welcome to be in the audience...

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Friday, October 28, 2011

[Updatedx3] Capitol cops arrest 8 @OccupyRaleigh when disabled woman remains seated

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

photo by Bob GearyMargaret Schucker as she was arrested by State Capitol cops; RPD officers stood by (the light blue uniforms) but did not make the arrests *** [Update3, Friday, 1:30 p.m. In response to the question I raised in the piece below, i.e., whether the Capitol Police acted at Gov. Perdue's instigation and, if so, why? ... Here's the response I received from Mark Johnson, Gov. Perdue's spokesman: It goes without saying that Gov. Perdue supports citizens' rights to express their First Amendment freedoms. Gov. Perdue also believes that all North Carolinians must have the right to enjoy the...

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Was that Art Pope calling? About "liberal Kevin Hill"?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Came home today to not one but two messages from Civitas Action on my voicemail. They were identical. "Carol" was calling to tell me that "liberal Kevin Hill" did a very bad vote at the Wake school board meeting last week and I should call him and tell him so. A phone number for Hill was supplied and repeated. "Carol" didn't tell me not to vote for Hill in the District 3 school board runoff election, nor did she say to vote for his opponent, the Civitas Action-favored Republican Heather Losurdo. It was strongly implied, however. Now, first off, I...

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupy Raleigh: Day 9 and all's well

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 8:24 PM

photo by Bob GearyThe General Assembly is in session At the General Assembly tonight — the people's assembly, not the Republicans' — we heard that plans are afoot to visit a very high-level state official's mansion for Halloween. In costume, naturally. The Direct Action working group is, uh, working on this. By the way, OccupyRaleigh now has a wiki in addition to its website and Facebook page. The wiki lists all the committees and working groups and can be accessed here. OccupyRaleigh does not have a permit to be on the State Capitol grounds, but the Capitol police force, decimated...

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Friday, October 21, 2011

(Updated) At the Capitol, Day 6: Occupation forces strike fear

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 6:34 PM

A beautiful day for an occupation [UPDATE, Friday, 10/21: Protest on the Capitol grounds? A day later, the N.C. Department of Administration says no — because regardless what the #OccupyRaleigh people may think the First Amendment means when it says "the right of the people peaceably to assemble (and) petition the Government for a redress of grievances" cannot be abridged, it doesn't mean peaceably assemble on your Capitol grounds. Why? Well, uh, because we say so. For more, there's a good writeup on the DOA's unresponsive response at N.C. Policy Watch's Progressive Pulse blog. [Below yesterday's post, I've added more...

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

PM Friday: Be in fashion at Couture for a Cause

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 1:57 PM

By Florio Photography for Activate GoodCouture for a Cause 2010 Couture for a Cause is back for its 3rd annual edition tomorrow night — Friday — at Marbles Kids Museum. CC2011 is a party and fashion show put on by Activate Good (formerly ME-3), Raleigh's group of unabashed do-gooders. Amber Smith, their founding leader, won an Indy Citizen Award last year. So put this in the shameless plug category if you will: Tickets are $20 if you buy them by midnight tonight, $25 at the door. Good times for a cause. A cause? The idea is that cool Raleigh-area fashion...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tata's choice plan passes 6-2; Hill, Sutton vote no

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Kevin Hill (right, in yellow shirt) at Wake school board work session. Tony Tata is seated at left; James Overman, Tata's task force leader, is standing. Effective in the 2012-13 school year, unless it's put off by the new school board when it's seated in December, Wake County has a new student assignment plan. Superintendent Tony Tata's controlled-choice plan was approved by the lame-duck school board 6-2, with the Republican majority solidly in favor (the chair votes only to break ties, but Chairman Ron Margiotta was cheering it on), and Democrats on the board split. Of greatest interest, Kevin Hill,...

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Raleigh: We're still occupied — @OccupyRaleigh

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 2:26 PM

photo by Bob GearyThe occupation continues on the sidewalk by the Capitol The occupation of Raleigh continues. Occupy Raleigh moved into its third day today, following a Saturday kickoff that brought at least 1,000 people to the State Capitol, according to organizers, and saw 19 of them arrested and quickly released without bail. I was away over the weekend and can't provide a first-hand crowd estimate. Other media estimates were in the hundreds. I can say definitively that at 2 o'clock this afternoon there were 17 people on the occupation line, not counting a few I saw on Fayetteville Street...

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Friday, October 14, 2011

(UPDATED) School choice and the Hill-Losurdo runoff: Two questions

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM

[UPDATE, 10/14: After the hearing last night, I spoke with Kevin Hill and Keith Sutton briefly. I asked Keith how he plans to vote on Tuesday, assuming there is a vote. "I'm deliberating," he said. Same question to Kevin. "I have my doubts," he said. I told him I'd written this piece, which is about how it would be smart politics for him to vote yes. "Because ..." I started to say, but Kevin jumped right in to remind me that he doesn't make decisions based on politics. That said, Kevin underscored that he's not in favor of going back...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wake, Raleigh election results a stunning repudiation of Republicans' tea-party politics

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Victorious Wake school board candidates Jim Martin and Susan Evans meet in downtown Raleigh The voters in Raleigh and Wake County soundly rejected "neighborhood schools" and Tea Party Republicanism Tuesday in favor of centrist Democratic candidates. Click here for a rundown of the vote totals: * The Republican majority on the Wake County school board is no more, pending only the result of a likely runoff election in District 3. But Board Chair Ron Margiotta, the Republican leader, was ousted by challenger Susan Evans, a registered Democrat, in District 8 (Southwest Wake), which is generally viewed as THE most Republican...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How's Tata's student assignment plan? Today's elections will tell us the answer.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 5:59 AM

As Donald Rumsfeld might've said if asked by his former Army general and now Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata, you go to war with the army you have, not the one you want. And you work up a Wake student assignment plan with the school board you have, not necessarily the one you want or that'll give you the best outcome. Thus we await the outcome of today's school board elections — on which the outcome of the two-year struggle over student assignment crucially depends. To put it simply, as the elections go, so goes the question of whether Wake...

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Raleigh: 99% of us should be enough, and yet ...

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

photo by Bob Geary#OccupyRaleigh occupies Moore Square First things first: Mark your calendars for this Saturday, October 15 from 11 am-3 pm. That's when #Occupy Raleigh will be occupying the State Capitol grounds for purposes of — well, that's a long story. The short version is, #OccupyRaleigh (like #OccupyDurham and #OccupyChapel Hill/Carrboro) is an off-shoot of #OccupyWallStreet, and if you don't know what #OccupyWallStreet is: a) Blame the mainstream media for its/their abject failure to cover it; and b) Nobody knows how important it is yet, but #OWS may be the spark that finally lights this benighted country's candle. In...

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Confused about your voting district(s)? It's EZ to look 'em up

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The N&O leads off today with a story about how some people don't know what voting districts they live in for Wake school board elections in particular, but also for Raleigh City Council and Cary Town Council elections. This may because they're getting mail and/or calls (including robocalls) from the wrong candidates. E.g., my wife and I live in School Board District 6, but until this year we were in District 5 — and sure enough, yesterday the phone rang with a robocall from Cynthia Matson, the Republican school board candidate in District 5. Sorry, Cynthia, whoever you're paying to...

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Perdue opposes anti-gay amendment because it's bad for business

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Gov. Bev Perdue came out against the General Assembly's proposed constitutional amendment to discriminate against the LGBT community, calling it bad for business. The amendment would ban gay marriage — as state law does already — and go further by banning civil unions and recognition by the state of any other form of domestic partnership except one man, one woman in matrimony. Perdue says she does think marriage should be restricted to the one-man, one-woman variety. Here's Perdue's full statement: “My top priority is creating jobs. Too many people are out of work and I’ve heard from several business leaders...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pope exposed! Yes, the robes come off at ArtPopeExposed.com

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Unstinting as I am in giving Art Pope the credit he's due, I note with interest the new website, ArtPopeExposed, created by our Durham neighbors, the Institute for Southern Studies. ISS Executive Director Chris Kromm and Editorial Director Sue Sturgis have made it their business to get to know Pope as well as it's possible to know him if you're not (as he told me in no uncertain terms recently that I was not) his friend. Chris and Sue have shared some of their work with the Indy, for which we're grateful. Sue is an Indy alum. So what is...

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Meeker backing McFarlane in mayor's race: ICYMI

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

photo by Bob GearyCity Councilor Nancy McFarlane and Mayor Charles Meeker No surprise, but a nice boost for the McFarlane campaign in front of the TV cameras: Mayor Charles Meeker, who's been a Nancy McFarlane supporter from the get-go but never made an on-camera endorsement, did so today at a press conference: He wants McFarlane to succeed him as mayor. The event was held in a conference room at the Parker, Poe law firm where Meeker's a partner. It was festooned with McFarlane signs — done in the same green & blue motif that Meeker used in his winning campaigns....

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Art Pope makes the big time: The New Yorker says Pope's the buyer and NC the "State for Sale"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

"State for Sale" is the banner headline atop The Huffington Post this morning. It's Jane Mayer's profile in The New Yorker of our own Art Pope and his conservative empire in North Carolina. Subtitle: A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012’s top battlegrounds. No need to thank us, Art, for touting your accomplishments as Raleigh's right-wing potentate....

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