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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 for. (State appraisals were higher.)

The 1.5 percent inflation factor is some protection against inflation (that is, deflation in the value of the lease), but not much.

The N&O says the lease is for $68 million, but that doesn't mean the same as if the "price" were $68 million. Think of it this way: If the price of a mansion is $68 million, that's what seller wants for it right now, and if you don't have it in cash, you have to borrow it. Paying it out over 75 years — that's a bargain.

***

An unanswered question is whether any of this money is earmarked for mental health programs. Although, to be honest, any earmark would be subject to the same shenanigans as the lottery — that is, we earmark extra money over here, and cut the basic appropriation for mental health over there.

Assuring that mental health programs are properly funded is a job that will fall, in the first instance, to Governor-elect Pat McCrory — as I've noted elsewhere.

This deal is getting some pushback from mental health advocates. For example, here's a letter written to Council of State members by Bonnie Schell of Asheville (h/t, Martha Brock):

To the Council of State:

I am opposed to the sale or lease of the 300 acres left out of 1,000 acres that was Dorothea Dix Hospital. Politicians and state officials sometimes serve in a guardian role of targeted assets and that is the case with this property dedicated from its inception to the welfare of those with psychiatric disabilities. The Mental Health Trust Fund has been depleted, and not for mental health services. NC dogs have more options for park exercise and relieving themselves than the minimally served youth and adults with mental health disorders have choices in where to live in their communities.

Raleigh wants to offer you 50 million less than the best appraisal because now is not the time to sell real estate. The land comes with certain liabilities: old buildings with asbestos, a landfill, black and white patient cemeteries that would have to be moved, a main building listed on the National Historical Registry. The assets of the Dix property to the state and Division of MH/DD/SA, however, are many. Well-built two bedroom cottages (where staff used to live) scatter the landscape and could serve as housing for trainings, transitional housing for homeless and mentally ill persons, sites for new or bare-bones-budgeted nonprofits such as NCMHCO which is there at the present time.

With a caterer, small conferences such as the Recovery Conference held two weeks ago in Winston Salem at Benton Convention Center could use the gym, auditoriums, offices, wards, and the free parking and safe night strolling. The rooms in the oldest buildings at Pinehurst are equally small and not lavishly decorated. I suppose a golf course is easier to envision as a training destination than a former asylum, but at one time Dix provided some of the finest nurse’s training in the country.

I don’t think you can rest comfortably in your minds to improve the modernity of facilities for 1200 to 1800 Division staff while NC rates in the lowest group of states on money spent per adult mental health patient. I don’t think we should modernize office facilities until we bring our mental health programs forward 15-20years to catch up with evidenced best practices that include peer support, supported housing and employment, respite care instead of revolving emergency room doors, recovery and wellness centers, clubhouse experiences, a life in the community that goes far beyond a prescription and with it the reduced life expectancy of 25 years compared to that of general population.

It would be hard to explain to constituents why you would decide to build new buildings on land you have to bid on when you own the most beautiful land in the state near Raleigh.

I urge you to put off selling or leasing the Dix property or any part of it without honoring the vintage request that all proceeds go into the MH Trust Fund.
I urge you to go back to the parties involved in a proposed collaborative for research, training and program development and see if the issues could be worked out. I implore you to consult with persons who have mental illnesses and those who provide services to them on what the highest or best use of this property might be.

I invite you to have happy holidays knowing that you did the right thing by doing nothing until you can convene more information, look at more possibilities, bring more creativity and integrity to this issue.

Respectfully,
Bonnie Schell, MA,
Mental patient, taxpayer and voter, retired Director of Consumer Affairs for an LME

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

McCrory will take his oath Jan. 5, deliver inaugural address a week later

Posted by on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Governor-elect Pat McCrory's staff disclosed his schedule for taking the oath of office, delivering his inaugural address and hosting a string of open houses and inaugural balls. He'll be sworn in on January 5, with the rest spread over the next seven days.

Here's an edited version of the press release we received:

Governor-Elect McCrory Announces Inauguration Details

“North Carolina has incredible people, talent and resources, and to start a North Carolina Comeback, we must bring all parts of the state together to put them back to work. This year’s inauguration will be focused on highlighting North Carolina’s untapped potential and setting a vision for the future of our great state.”

— Governor-Elect Pat McCrory


Raleigh, N.C. — Today, Governor-Elect Pat McCrory's transition office released the following scheduling details for the inaugural proceedings:

After consultations with the Perdue Administration and the General Assembly, Governor-Elect McCrory will be officially sworn in on Saturday, January 5, 2013 in the Old Senate Chamber to ensure his cabinet and leadership team is in place prior to the General Assembly’s opening session on Wednesday, January 9.

Inauguration Festivities will be held on Saturday, January 12 in Capitol Square, where Governor McCrory will participate and deliver his Inaugural Address.

Between January 5 and leading up to his Inaugural Address on January 12, Governor McCrory will attend official and inaugural activities while holding public open houses across the state. Details of additional public and official events are forthcoming and will be released as they become available.

Additional scheduling details are forthcoming. A website has also been established for the inaugural proceedings: http://inaugural.nc.gov/.


Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 11:00am

WHO:

Governor-Elect Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Prayer Service

WHEN:

Saturday, January 5, 2013
11:00am

WHERE:

Christ Episcopal Church
120 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

PRESS: CLOSED


Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 12:00pm

WHO:

Governor-Elect Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Official Swearing-In Ceremony

WHEN:

Saturday, January 5, 2013
12:00pm

WHERE:

Old Senate Chamber
North Carolina State Capitol, Second Floor
1 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 5:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Western North Carolina Open House

WHEN:

Monday, January 7, 2013
5:00pm

WHERE:

Governor’s Western Residence
45 Patton Mountain Rd
Asheville, NC 28804


Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:00am

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Piedmont Open House

WHEN:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
11:00am

WHERE:

TBD


Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 5:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Eastern North Carolina Open House

WHEN:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
5:00pm

WHERE:

Tryon Palace
520 South Front Street
New Bern, NC 28562


Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Charlotte Open House

WHEN:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
4:00pm

WHERE:

TBD


Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Rock-the-Ball, Sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh

WHEN:

Thursday, January 10, 2013
9:00pm

WHERE:

Lincoln Theater
126 East Cabarrus Street
Raleigh, NC 27601


Friday, January 11, 2013 at 6:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Governor’s Reception, Sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh

WHEN:

Friday, January 11, 2013
6:00pm

WHERE:

Raleigh Convention Center Grand Ballroom
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Gala Presentation, Sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh

WHEN:

Friday, January 11, 2013
8:00pm

WHERE:

Raleigh Convention Center Exhibition Hall
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Inaugural Ball, Sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh

WHEN:

Friday, January 11, 2013
9:00pm

WHERE:

Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601


Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:00am

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory, Council of State

WHAT:

Ceremonial Inauguration Festivities & Inaugural Address

WHEN:

Saturday, January 12, 2013
11:00am

WHERE:

Capitol Square

Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 12:30pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory, Council of State

WHAT:

Inaugural Parade

WHEN:

Saturday, January 12, 2013
12:30pm

WHERE:

Downtown Raleigh

Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 1:00pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

North Carolina Open House

WHEN:

Saturday, January 12, 2013
1:00pm

WHERE:

North Carolina Executive Mansion
200 North Blount Street
Raleigh, NC 27601


Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8:30pm

WHO:

Governor Pat McCrory

WHAT:

Governor’s Inauguration Celebration, Sponsored by The Foundation for North Carolina, Inc.

WHEN:

Saturday, January 12, 2013
8:30pm

WHERE:

Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

###

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Linda Coleman concedes; Republican Dan Forest is Lt. Gov-elect

Posted by on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Linda Coleman was trying to be the first African-American woman elected statewide. (The late Ralph Campbell, elected state auditor, is still the only African-American male.) Coleman lost by 0.16 percent, or 6,585 votes out of more than 4.3 million cast. Forest, a tea-party style Republican, is retiring Charlotte Congresswoman Sue Myrick's son. I've seen it suggested — and think there's some truth to it — that if former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the governor-elect, proves too much of a moderate for the Republican General Assembly, Forest could challenge his Charlotte base in a 2016 primary for governor.

Here's Coleman's concession speech from this morning:

Thank you for joining me this morning. Let me begin by thanking my family, a constant source of love and support, who have stood by me every day of this campaign. In their eyes and in the eyes of their children, I see the hope and future of this generation.

How we lead, today, determines the tomorrow we leave for them. Delivering a better tomorrow for all North Carolinians is why I entered this race. This campaign, our campaign, has always been forward-thinking and I’m proud of the work we accomplished together.

I’m proud of the many voices who have championed the cause of this campaign—from Congresswoman Eva Clayton, to Governor Hunt, to Dr. Maya Angelou—it is a testament to the lives we have touched over the past several months.

I have said time and time again, that we have the best supporters North Carolina has to offer. From the men and women who joined our call for quality education, to protecting the middle class, for standing up for women’s healthcare. Together, we brought our issues to the forefront of the political discussion this year. I have always been a defender of the defenseless, a voice for the voiceless, that is why you have stood by me—not because of me, but because of what I stand for.

I want to thank my staff for working tirelessly, day end and day out, around the clock and through the night. They knew the stakes and the challenges facing every day North Carolinians—this was more than a job for them, it was a fight for the values we all hold dear. In them, I see future leaders and look forward to their continued service to our state and country.

The days since Election Day have been strenuous for all involved in this endeavor. Our post-election effort has, so far, shined a bright light on the flaws of our provisional ballot counting process. Together, we helped get at least several hundred additional ballots counted. And while we contend that there remain at least 3,000 ballots that should be counted, we face the reality that an extended legal battle would not alter the outcome of this race.

But, I want you to know that I am truly proud of all of you. The work you have done to make sure every vote counts means so much to me. We made sure the election was fair. We worked to make sure every vote was counted and everyone’s voice was heard. We know that what we were fighting for was bigger than just this race. We waged a fight to protect our most sacred constitutional right: access to the ballot box. In the end, our instinct was right and the results narrowed significantly.

But, today is a day for reflection and rebirth. Today is both a beginning and an end. We embrace the future undaunted. We remain confident that the resounding ideals we stood for will have a lasting impression on politics in North Carolina.

Moments ago, I spoke with Mr. Forest and congratulated him on becoming the next Lt. Governor of North Carolina. It was a hard-fought, spirited campaign and we have stark differences. But, in the end, in a tight race, North Carolinians have chosen Mr. Forest to serve. I pray that God guides him and his family on this journey. The trust of this office is now in his hands. I hope and believe that he will honor that trust with tempered judgment and a servant’s heart.

Now, more than ever, our leaders must answer the call of service. North Carolina will face many challenges in the next few years. We need the Governor-elect and Lt. Governor-elect to meet these challenges with dignity and loyalty to the people of North Carolina. A favorite adage of this campaign has been results, not rhetoric. We need results for our struggling middle class, resources for our renowned education system and innovation for a vibrant North Carolina economy.

North Carolina will always have a friend and an advocate in me. I seek only to serve this state and the betterment of its people.

I’m proud to live in a state that made history during this campaign by nominating the first-ever African-American woman to seek statewide executive office. I’m proud to be a part of our state’s rich history of progress and prosperity. While we may have fallen short, today, I want my friends and supporters to hold their heads high knowing that because of the trail we blazed, we’ve made it that much easier for the next generation to stand up and be heard.

I’m proud of the young people who knocked doors, made phone calls and engaged their friends to become a part of this process. Now, you must lead your generation to reach great heights—you are the future innovators of this state and of this country. You have touched my heart, and I will stand by you every day.

What we fought for in this campaign matters. A woman’s access to her own healthcare. Fair pay for hard work. Security for the middle class. A strong public education for our young people. These are the resounding issues of my public service—and they resonated as we crisscrossed this state. We didn’t hide from our convictions. We stood strong and proud.

I have dedicated my entire life in pursuit of that ideal. My heart has always been with the everyday men and women who work the 9 to 5 to provide a better life for themselves and for their families. That’s why I’m proud to have waged this fight for our future with our working families, including the State Employee’s Association, standing by my side. These people make up the fabric of what has made this state great: service, leadership and advocacy.

I’m convinced that the old phrase holds truer today than ever before: North Carolina, where the weak grow strong, and the strong grow great. We have grown strong, hand in hand, together over the course of this campaign. Now, we move on to the greatness that the next journey has to offer.

I know that many are disappointed with the outcome of this election. Do not be. We ran this campaign with dignity and integrity. We touched lives and held strong to our values. This is not failure, but a new beginning. With our eyes fixed squarely on the future, we stand strong together on this day and find solace knowing that North Carolina’s best days are yet to come. We have the creativity, the innovation and the drive to deliver for this generation—if we come together to face our shared challenges.

My heart is full knowing that we are knitted together with our history, our values and most importantly: our future. What we did over this year matters. I know it. You know it. North Carolina knows it. We continue our work with renewed energy. We face the future undeterred. We forge ahead. We move forward.

Thank you, my friends. God bless you and God bless the great state of North Carolina.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Get a job with Pat: McCrory says, Help wanted !!

Posted by on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

One thing I've learned about Republicans over the years: They have a very short bench.

McCroryHeadshot.jpg
Great public servants they're not.

Elect a Democrat governor, and all the activists line up for jobs — well-qualified and otherwise.

Elect a Republican governor, and the activists think all the jobs should be abolished. Except they aren't, because government performs essential functions that most Republicans aren't interested in doing.

Hence, you might not be wasting your time to check out Governor-elect McCrory's new website, WorkforPat.com.

Who knows, you could be the next deputy secretary of something.

***

Or, share your ideas with Pat.

He didn't seem to have an over-supply of them, either, during his campaign.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

McCrory off to a bad start: Pearce

Posted by on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Ah, the social media. Saving me lots of time today. Governor-elect Pat McCrory took the stage yesterday surrounded by Art Pope minions, Art Pope himself and a dollop of ever-lovin' Duke Energy ... which leads me to tweet Gary Pearce:



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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bill Clinton in Raleigh Sunday at Pullen Park: Tickets are free, online

Posted by on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 10:48 AM

The announced start time is either 3:30 or 4, depending on which Obama announcement you believe. That's when they open things up. "Get there early," they say. Expect Clinton to begin ... well, who knows? I'm guessing 5?

The entrance to Pullen Park is on Ashe Avenue. I wouldn't try to drive on Ashe, however. It's a very small street. There's lots of parking in the N.C. State lots, many of which are within a 1/2-mile of Pullen Park and open to the public on a Sunday. Or park somewhere on the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus, which isn't that far away on the other side of Western Boulevard.

You need a ticket to get in. They're free. They're available online only. Go to http://ofa.bo/ClintonRaleigh — or the slow way is through www.mybarackobama.com.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

N.C. not on Obama, Romney schedules thru Monday — so far

Posted by on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM

From NBC News guy (h/t Jonathan Kappler) —

Obama's travel plans:


Romney's plans, with a hole on Sunday:


But then there's this, a new Obama ad with Colin Powell's endorsement:


And this:

http://www.indyweek.com/citizen/archives/2012/10/29/yes-virginia-north-carolina-is-a-total-tossup-too-for-president-elon-poll

***

Bottom line: If Obama can still win North Carolina — as apparently he can — why hasn't he been in the state since the Democratic Convention in Charlotte almost two months ago now?

Answer (maybe): He's ahead in Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado and Ohio, and if holds his leads in them, he doesn't need North Carolina. If they slip away, it's trouble.

Plus, it's all ground game now in N.C. There are no undecided voters, only potential voters who may not come to the polls. Better to keep the campaign operation focused on turning them out rather than needing to gear up for a presidential visit that will generate TV coverage Obama's getting anyway.

Or something.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mayor McFarlane, UNA, comes out for Obama re-election

Posted by on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Mayor Nancy McFarlane is an unaffiliated voter on the rolls but a "D" at heart. Today, she joined Durham Mayor Bill Bell, a "D" for sure, at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which sounds like it was fun. And she endorsed President Barack Obama's re-election bid, which is a surprise only in that I would've thought she'd already done so.

Anyway, for the record, here's what the Obama for America NC folks had to say:

Raleigh, NC — Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane today endorsed President Obama alongside Durham Mayor Bill Bell at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub overlooking the site where Raleigh's new transit hub, Union Station, will be built. Mayors McFarlane and Bell outlined their support for the President’s vision that a thriving economy depends on a thriving middle class.

Mayor McFarlane said, “In this election, voters in North Carolina are facing the clearest choice they’ve faced in a generation — a choice between two competing visions for the future of our state and our country. President Obama understands what has made North Carolina into the best place in the country to live, work, state a business and raise a family. Which is why I am standing here today to officially announce my endorsement for President Obama for another four years in the White House.”

President Obama has remained committed to investing in infrastructure, education and innovation. He fought to keep tens of thousands of teachers in North Carolina’s public schools through Race to the Top, and invested in major infrastructure projects such as the new high-speed rail line from Raleigh to Charlotte and the new Raleigh Union Station, which recently received a $21 million TIGER grant.

“The Romney-Ryan budget would slash investments in local infrastructure and education. Governor Romney simply doesn’t understand what it takes to grow our economy from the middle class out,” said Mayor McFarlane. “He plans to reduce Pell Grants by $830 on average for North Carolina students and could cut scientific research by up to 20%. The choice for North Carolinians couldn’t be clearer.”

Mayor Bell said, “President Obama’s plan to grow the economy from the middle out is the same blueprint that transformed North Carolina into a leader in the global economy over the last half-century, and it is the way forward to our future economic success. We have come a long way, but there is a lot more work to do. That’s why I am asking every North Carolinian to vote early for President Obama.”

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

N.C. House District 35 race: It's not for a seat on the Wake school board, and yet —

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

With redistricting, N.C. House District 35 is essentially new and wide open, with no incumbent in residence. The Republican nominee is Chris Malone, who lives in Wake Forest and is currently a member of the Wake County school board — one of the four who remain from the erstwhile Margiotta Majority. (Now, with ex-board chair Ron Margiotta ousted, they could be known as the Malone Minority.) The Democratic nominee is former Wake school board member Lori Millberg, who lives in Wendell and who served before Margiotta & his Republican mates took control in 2009.

I just looked at the stats: District 35 is 37% registered Democrats and 37% registered Republicans, with a handful of Libertarians and the rest unaffiliated.

Should be a close contest, maybe turning on which candidate mounts the more motivated, better-organized campaign?

Which is all by way of introducing Millberg's campaign manager, Michael Evans.

Yes, he's the Michael Evans who was chief spokesman for the Wake school system when Millberg was in the majority. Evans was replaced when Margiotta's Republicans brought in Tony Tata as superintendent.

This just in from the Millberg campaign:

Millberg Names Campaign Manager for N.C. House Race

(June 21, 2012)— Lori Millberg, candidate for N.C. House District 35 today announced the addition of Michael Evans as Campaign Manager.

Evans who has 28 years of public relations, marketing and communications management experience served as Chief Communications Officer for the Wake County Public School System from 2002 until 2011. Millberg worked with Evans during her tenure on the Wake County Board of Education.

“I am thrilled to have Michael join my campaign team,” Millberg said. “His communications and organizational experience, and understanding of Wake County will be invaluable as I continue my work for the citizens of Wake County and House District 35.”

In this role, Evans will work directly with Millberg and her campaign team organizing and managing the day-to-day operations of her race to the N.C. House of Representatives for District 35. The N.C. House District 35 is a new district that encompasses parts of Northern, Northeastern and Eastern Wake County. The District also includes the towns of Rolesville, Wake Forest, and parts of Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon.


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday at the Capitol, 2 p.m.: Show support for equality, distaste for Amendment One

Posted by on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

The bitter taste of Amendment One is still in our mouths as we approach a holiday weekend dedicated to the men and women who died fighting for — well, we say freedom. We say equal rights for all. Some of us, as Jane Lynch narrates in the video below, are still striving to make it happen.

NCrainboximage.jpg

Our friend Seth Keel is one of the organizers, with Carly Campbell, of a "Rally for Equal Rights" this Sunday, 2 p.m., at the State Capitol. (The link is to a FB page.) Their message: "Don't mourn. Organize!"

In the wake of Amendment One, we need to take a stand and demand that every person in our state has the right to live and love! This is an opportunity for us to come together as a community and uplift the dignity of everyone.

We can send our lawmakers a message that we are here and we will NOT stop fighting for justice and equality. Don’t allow yourself to feel defeated because the Amendment passed – the march goes on, the fight continues, and we will see the day where we are all treated with dignity, love, compassion, and respect.

Please join us at the State Capitol on May 27 at 2:00 pm to rally for equal rights! We will feel the power of the people as we stand together and send a message to our state that we will NOT be silent.

Don't mourn, ORGANIZE!

I was also pleased to see this message of support from the Wake County Democratic Party:

Join us at the State Capitol on Sunday, May 27 at 2:00 pm to rally for equal rights! We will feel the power of the people as we stand together and send a message to our state that we will NOT be silent.

Address: 7 E. Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2012
Time: 2:00pm
Organized by: Seth Byron Keel

Elected officials and candidates are urged to be on hand to show their support.

The Wake Dems' note came with a link to this Obama campaign video on LGBT rights, narrated by Jane Lynch:

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    Don't Mourn, Organize. (Includes a Jane Lynch-narrated video for the Obama campaign.)

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No, no, no. You don't understand. Thom wasn't "misleading investors." He was just "letting the free market work."

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

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