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

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nine remaining fast-track charter school applicants speeding toward approval

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

If anyone doubted that the State Board of Education intends to rubber-stamp the nine fast-track charter school applicants recommended for approval by the Public Charter School Advisory Council, I'd say their doubts were dispelled today. Board members, meeting as a committee, asked two or three pointed questions about charter schools in general. But when it came to the nine specific applications, most of them drew no questions at all — and the zero-questions category included the controversial Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. The full board will vote on the nine at its regular meeting tomorrow...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dems: Dan Blue out for governor, running again for Senate

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

And to the list of Democrats not running for governor, add the name of state Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake. His statement, as quoted by the N&O:: “After long and very deep thought, I have decided not to run for governor,” Blue said in a statement. “But I am greatly moved by and want to thank the hundreds of people who called, emailed and talked to me about mounting a campaign. I am forever grateful.''“As we look to our future,” Blue said, “its going to take a lot of discussion, deliberation, determination and thoughtful decisions, and we have to be focused...

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Dems: Erv Portman running for state Senate, Caroline Sullivan for his Wake Commissioners seat

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

In state Senate District 17, southwestern Wake, the incumbent Republican Richard Stevens isn't running, and this afternoon Democrat Erv Portman, a county commissioner, filed for the seat. Apparently that "Draft Portman movement" I mentioned last week came true. Portman, unopposed thus far, will likely face Tamara Barringer, a Republican activist and the only GOP candidate to file — with one more day to go. Senate 17 is a Republican-learning district, but no so much that a Democrat couldn't take it away if the wind is right. Especially with a formidable candidate, which Portman certainly is. A business owner, Portman is...

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Wake Rep. Grier Martin steps aside for Deborah Ross

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I don't have Martin's announcement Now I do have it ... h/t Greg Flynn ... along with the earlier statement from House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, on Martin's decision. First, Martin, who notes that Republicans seemed to target Democratic women legislators for extinction: The abusive redistricting plan enacted this year does many things. It seeks to racially re-segregate the state. It splits a stunning number of precincts, sowing confusion and putting up barriers to voting. And, it targets female legislators. One way the plan targets women is by “double-bunking” them into districts with other incumbent legislators. That is the...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

What does the anti-gay amendment mean? There's a commission for that.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Opponents call it Amendment One (or 1). Proponents call it the Defense of Marriage Amendment. If approved by the voters May 8, it will add to the state constitution language barring the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, same-sex civil unions and any other "domestic legal union" that two people might devise that isn't a marriage between a man and a woman. So what would this phraseology really mean to people's lives? Enter the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, which exists to explain it. Its job — per the 1983 statute which created it — is to write a clear explanation for...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

[Update] Tata apologizes to Evans and Kushner, admits he messed up

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Updating this post from two days ago School Superintendent Tony Tata met with board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner today for a heart-to-heart. One of those frank discussions. Board chair Kevin Hill was there also. Tata apologized for flying off the email handle and acknowledged that nothing Evans & Kushner did violated any ethics standard, as he'd suggested. Board Attorney Ann Majestic was there as well. Her statement that she'd have to research whether there was an ethics violation didn't help — she signed on as well to the obvious: There was no ethics violation. Not even close....

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No Moore: Former Treasurer won't go for Governor

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Moore won't run for governor: Former State Treasurer Richard Moore has decided not to seek the Democratic nomina... bit.ly/wEmUHL— underthedome (@underthedome) February 24, 2012...

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Lt. Gov. Dems: Dellinger out, Crisco mulling

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So far in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, it's former state Rep. Linda Coleman, favored candidate of the State Employees Association (SEANC), against Sen. Eric Mansfield, who's backed by a number of legislators and some prominent progressives. (E.g., Barbara Goodmon, Dan Besse, Nina Szlosberg-Landis.) MansfieldPR3V1_copy.pdf Coleman lives in Wake County, Mansfield in Cumberland County. Hampton Dellinger, a Durham resident and the Indy's endorsed candidate in 2008, was thinking about it. He issued a statement a brief time ago saying he won't run. But Keith Crisco, the state's Secretary of Commerce, may run. Various accounts quote him as giving it...

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Down with the DOMA: The campaign to defeat Amendment One

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

A brief update from Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for the Coalition to Protect All NC Families, on efforts to defeat Amendment One in the May 8 primary. Amendment One, called the Defense of Marriage Amendment by its supporters, would add a provision to the state constitution banning gay marriage or civil unions in North Carolina. The generous donor he mentions is Self-Help, which has pledged — click this link — to match donations up to $25,000. Watch:...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

[With a Dan Blue update] Politix: Who's running? Who's fracking?

Posted By on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM

photo by Jeremy M. LangeWake Sheriff Donnie Harrison salutes a flag and a video screen #whatacountry [Update, 2/18:: Sen. Dan Blue did come to the Wake Dems event last night, planted himself by the entry and worked to plant the idea that he is, in fact, giving serious thought to entering the gubernatorial primary. "Don't read too much in" to his not having been at the RWCA meeting Thursday, he said to me. So you're running? "I'm leaning," Blue said with a smile. I assume he meant leaning in the direction of being a candidate. He said he was having...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Brad Miller: Count me out

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Miller's statement: After much consideration, I have decided not to run for Governor. As a former state legislator and a citizen, I care deeply about the issues that North Carolina faces as a state. My mother struggled as a widowed bookkeeper to make sure I had the opportunity for an education that was denied her and my father. We need a Governor who will fight the efforts of Republicans in the legislature to close those doors of opportunity by their assault on public education. But the issues I have worked on in Congress for a decade are the injustice and...

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Raleigh events tonight, Saturday in anti-Amendment 1 campaign

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Late notice this week, but phone banking to defeat Amendment One, the so-called DOMA*, is taking place every Thursday night at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh hall, 3313 Wade Avenue. It starts at 6:30 — bring your cell phone and a laptop computer if you have one. Here's a Facebook link. Starting March 26, phone banks will be held at the UUFR on Mondays and Thursdays. And on April 24, as the May 8 primary election date comes close, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. So don't say you didn't have time(s). *** And this Saturday night, February 18, there's a...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dix Park: One step closer with Perdue boost

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

The Dix Visionaries plan Gov. Bev Perdue has commissioned an appraisal of the 306-acre Dorothea Dix Hospital tract. It's said to be worth $60 million in the current real estate market, more ($86 million) if the seller is patient. An appraisal is an integral step to make the vision of Dix Park a reality some day, Perdue said. (Update: If you've never seen the Dix tract, or if you've seen it only from a distance, here's a breakdown of what's there and what the possibilities are from our story in 2006.) (I'll add that it's time for Raleigh — the...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

State v. Occupy Raleigh's Margaret Schucker: Dismissed

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

photo by Bob GearyMargaret Schucker fought the law and — she won. Margaret Schucker, the disabled woman with Occupy Raleigh who wouldn't give up her seat on the sidewalk on that memorable day of October 27 and was summarily arrested for trespass by the Capitol Police, is a free woman. Scott Holmes, her lawyer, says the Wake County District Attorney's office dropped the charge against Schucker before a scheduled court date this morning. Schucker's case was first set for December, then postponed to January by the DA's office, then to February. Why was it dropped? Unknown; it wasn't done in...

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Clay Aiken joins campaign vs. anti-gay Amendment One

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Protect ALL NC Families, the leading organization in the campaign against Amendment One, is out with a brief video starring Clay Aiken, probably North Carolina's most famous openly gay citizen. (Am I overlooking somebody?) Aiken, who had my vote for "American Idol" when he was up against Ruben Studdard nine years ago (or he would've had my vote if AT&T had installed more phone lines around here), says he loves the state and harbored an ambition to be governor. He doesn't love discrimination, and says the anti-gay Amendment One, which seeks to ban not just gay marriages but civil unions...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Doesn't anybody wanna be Governor? (And is this the reason?)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Lewis-Dollar-Dockham 4: The Republicans' new House districts I see by this previous post that it's been eight days since Brad Miller told us he'd be making up his mind quite soon about running for governor. I have no need to speculate whether he will or he won't. I only note for the record that, although many were called to see if they'd be running, few have chosen to do so. Two weeks after Bev Perdue's abrupt announcement that she was terminating her re-election campaign, and one weekend away from the beginning of the filing period, we still have just three...

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Wall Street's "Inside Job": Movie party Saturday at Pullen Baptist

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

"Inside Job," the Charles Ferguson film about how Wall Street got hold of our economy, looted it and left it for dead, won the Academy Award for best documentary a year ago. I don't recall that it played in Raleigh; if it did, I missed it.* So tomorrow, MoveOn.org is sponsoring "Inside Job" viewings in various locations, one of which is Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street. The movie starts at 4:30 p.m. MoveOn is calling this a movie party. I don't think anybody's going to be in a festive mood when it's over, but spring is coming and...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unconstitutional: California's same-sex marriage ban is discriminatory, federal appeals court says.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision applies only in California, according to its terms. But by striking down California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved anti-gay marriage initiative, the court put the issue of gay marriage bans squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court. North Carolina has an anti-gay marriage statute, and we'll vote in May on an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriages and also civil unions between same-sex partners. However, a state — even in its constitution — can't discriminate against citizens in a way the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to the...

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Rep. Jennifer Weiss won't run again: Bad news

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 9:28 AM

State Rep. Jennifer WeissThe Republicans took hold of the redistricting process last year with a vengeance, and one casualty is Rep. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, a true progressive and someone you could depend on throughout her 12 years in the General Assembly to do what she thought was right, not what was politically expedient. Weiss's home address in Cary was drawn into a Republican-heavy district now represented by Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake; meanwhile, a Democratic-leaning district next door was left without an incumbent. That's how they roll. Weiss issued this statement today: For the past twelve years, it has been a...

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Planned Parenthood: "Enormously grateful" for the support, Komen's reversal

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

HUGE!! Komen reverses decision.See statement from PPFA President Cecile Richards - tinyurl.com/7v2nr3f— PlannedParenthoodCNC (@PPCNC) February 3, 2012...

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Tremors in Lillington? And Etheridge jumps in the Gov race

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

We discussed yesterday the phenomenon known as the political groundswell — some are earth-shaking, some a mere jostle. Former Congressman Bob Etheridge reports a groundswell for him to run for governor in the Democratic primary. He was at home in Lillington at the time, I believe. Etheridge joins Walter Dalton and Bill Faison in the race so far — three moderate-to-conservative white male candidates. Former State Treasurer Richard Moore, if he gets in, would make four, and if Congressman Mike McIntyre runs, make it five. We know that Congressman Brad Miller's feeling the progressive tremors; so is state Sen. Dan...

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Komen backs down, will fund Planned Parenthood (Update: Now Ellmers is deeply disappointed.)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

(Update: I don't read Komen's statement as being ambiguous about future funding for Planned Parenthood. But a writer for DailyKos is dubious.] (Update 2: Komen's cave-in has Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., deeply disappointed from her anti-choice perspective. I've posted her statement below.] Komen for the Cure just released the following statement from Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors: We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and...

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Hagan to Susan G. Komen: "Deeply disappointed" in your "Cure"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Hopefully, I don't need to tell you what the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation did to Planned Parenthood ... or about the storm of protest resulting from it. Around here, the annual Komen Race for the Cure 5K, scheduled for June 9, is the biggest road race & walk around. Or was. I know I won't be wearing my Cure T-shirts any more. [Update: Here's a good idea from Gray Newman: Mail your shirts back to them ... at this address: http://www.bluenc.com/join-me-mailing-our-komen-t-shirts-back-them] This morning, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC, called out the Komen folks in blunt terms. Hagan...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brad Miller: You'll know if I'm running very soon. (Update: MoveOn says go for it.)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM

With Erskine Bowles out of the running, the door is wide open for a Brad Miller candidacy for governor. That's my take. Miller's? He said he hasn't quite decided whether to run. "I've gotten a lot of encouragement that I haven't solicited," he says. "I'm thinking very hard about it. I know I need to make a decision very quickly." Don't forget, he just reminded me when we spoke on the phone, that a week ago he was announcing he wouldn't run for re-election to Congress ... and his assumption in making that announcement was that he would never again...

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My god, is it an earthquake? Or —

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNOAA's measuring the shockwaves I know I'm feeling it. The earth is rumbling, my friend. I can sense the tremors, but it's not an earthquake. No, it's that groundswell of political support that comes with a politician at campaign season ... and the ground is swelling at the same time for so many Democratic candidates for so many offices that the cumulative impact is literally nerve-jangling. Just today, I learned there's a groundswell of support for Hampton Dellinger to run again for lieutenant governor. The Indy endorsed him in the '08 Lt. Gov. primary; he ran...

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