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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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, March 21, 2013

Senate Republicans to Raleigh: Drop dead. (Contract? What contract?)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

As expected, Senate Republicans this morning started the wheels in motion to tear up the state's lease with the City of Raleigh for the Dorothea Dix tract because, the GOP legislators said, former Gov. Perdue shouldn't have signed it. Perdue, as is required for contracts involving state land, won the approval of the Council of State before finalizing the lease. By voice vote, the Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 334 and sent it to the full Senate, out-shouting the opposition Democrats. The bill is a condemnation measure to terminate the lease and recapture the land. The...

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Calling all Wake schools, Dix Park backers: Show-of-force time Monday at General Assembly

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 6:24 AM

The Wake County legislative delegation is meeting Monday at 4 pm in the General Assembly building on the first floor. It's an open forum and a chance to take a stand — with the county's Republican and Democratic legislators listening — on the inflamed issues surrounding the Wake school system and Dix Park. Both the Great Schools in Wake coalition and Friends of Dorothea Dix Park have issued alerts asking their members and supporters to show up en masse — and, for the Dix Park crowd, wearing green. Word of advice: The meeting room at the General Assembly is small-ish...

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hey, Pat McCrory! You're national (bad) news for sticking it to the jobless.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Gov. McCrory signed the bill slashing unemployment benefits in North Carolina, a measure which also makes North Carolinians the only folks in America who, if they lose their jobs, will not be eligible for federal emergency benefits as of July 1. Think Progress, the voice of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, found this outrageous ... in a story I just tweeted: So not proud: N.C. Governor Signs ‘Unprecedented’ Gutting Of Unemployment Insurance thkpr.gs/YEd0Y9 via @thinkprogress— Bob Geary (@rjgeary) February 19, 2013...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Voller to Dems: March with me at HKonJ-7 in Raleigh on Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 3:57 PM

At his first press conference since being elected state Democratic Party chair, Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller called on Democrats to take a stand against the Republican-led "radical, reactionary legislature" by joining in the 7th annual HK on J march and rally Saturday in Raleigh. from WRAL.comDemocratic Chair Randy VollerThe HKonJ website has details. The march, organized by the state NAACP and many other groups, starts at Shaw University at 10:30, heading for a rally in front of the General Assembly building on West Jones St. HKonJ is short for historic thousands on Jones — and thousands do march. Voller was...

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Friday, November 30, 2012

N&O: Dix deal emerging, Council of State to consider on Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

The News & Observer is reporting that the deal for Dorothea Dix is a 75-year lease by the state to Raleigh for $500,000 a year, with a 1.5 percent a year inflation factor. The Council of State will take up the lease Tuesday at 9 a.m. Background is here Someone who's better at calculating the time value of money than I can you what the city's offer is "worth" versus, say, an up-front payment of X amount. $500,000 a year times 75 equals $37.5 million, which is pretty close to the $35 million that city officials think the land appraises...

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