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Friday, December 30, 2016

NCDHHS Employee Called Elizabeth Warren a "Dike!!!!" [sic] in State Email

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Ever wonder what McCrory administration employees do on taxpayer time? Well, here's an email from July in which a Trump-loving N.C. Department of Health and Human Services project manager named Janet Hensel sounded off on the Democratic National Convention ... and a certain senator from Massachusetts, an allegedly insufficient quantity of American flags on the DNC stage, and the presence of Paul Simon, Eva Longoria, and Susan Sarandon, the latter two whose names Janet misspelled. (This email was sent to the INDY as part of a batch of emails released in response to an unrelated public records request.) In case...

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rev. Barber Calling For 'National Economic Boycott' of North Carolina

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:41 PM

The day after the legislature's failure to repeal HB 2, North Carolina NAACP President the Rev. Dr. William Barber, surrounded by people who had been arrested at the North Carolina General Assembly during last week's protests, announced that he would convene the state chapter's executive committee after Christmas to "engage in serious deliberation and write up a national request to call for a national economic boycott of North Carolina." According to Barber, he will request that the boycott not be lifted until HB 2 is fully repealed, last week's SB 4 is partially repealed, and until the legislature redraws...

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What the Hell Happened at the General Assembly Yesterday?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 9:45 AM

The fifth special session of the year adjourned with no repeal of HB 2 Wednesday evening, after, earlier that day, the city of Charlotte fully repealed the nondiscrimination ordinance it passed back in February (after having repealed part of it Monday). For Republicans, it's a missed opportunity to shed the constant monkey on their back; for Charlotte and Governor-elect Roy Cooper, who helped broker the deal, it's a failure that leaves them with no ordinance and no opportunity for other cities to protect their marginalized populations from discrimination. At the beginning of the day, crowds—most of them on the anti-HB...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Special Session Number Five: Here's What We Know So Far

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Under the protest of ten Republicans, the fifth special session of the year is under way, and the state is waiting with bated breath to see if the legislature will repeal HB 2. Earlier today, Charlotte fully repealed its February 22 ordinance in full and didn't attach the 12/31 deadline for HB 2 repeal: Charlotte City Council set the fifth special session of the year in motion on Monday with the surprise repeal of a February ordinance that lets transgender people use the public bathroom of the gender with which they identify. The city council, meeting early Wednesday, voted 7-2...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The HB 2 Compromise Is a Bad Idea

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Yesterday, the Charlotte City Council signaled its intention to wind down the HB 2 fight with a grand bargain to repeal the city's ordinance protecting the rights of LGBTQ people to not be discriminated against in public—including when it comes to what bathroom transgender people can use. In exchange, state Republicans have given their word (maybe?) to repeal HB 2, the discriminatory law passed in March to preempt such ordinances, which resulted in a global backlash and damage to the state's economy. The resolution to repeal the ordinance was hastily introduced without any prior public notice and then passed unanimously; later...

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Resident: Durham City Council Ignoring Fatal Shooting of Frank Clark; Council to Cooper: Expedite Investigation

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 11:08 PM

Umar Muhammad characterized it as a slap in the face—the Durham City Council’s consideration of purchasing eighty cars to add to the police department’s fleet. So when the board opened the floor for discussion of the matter during their meeting this evening, he spoke his mind. Frank Clark, he said, is still dead—killed November 22 by DPD Master Officer Charles Barkley, a man Muhammad said “we told you” about. So in his view, any discussion about the police should center around the investigation into the thirty-four-year-old’s untimely death and not about putting more cop cars into neighborhoods like McDougald Terrace....

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Carrboro Alderman: LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Ordinance Possible in Town

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 3:07 PM

While members of the Durham City Council took to Twitter to voice their concerns about Charlotte’s repeal of its nondiscrimination ordinance and the supposed pending death of HB 2, a member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen told the INDY that deal apparently struck between legislators and Queen City officials “feels risky.” Alderman Damon Seils said this afternoon that should HB 2, in fact, be repealed, it perhaps came at too great a cost. “The fact is, the Charlotte ordinance still held a lot of symbolic power,” he says. “The idea that it’s being put up for bargain—something feels off about...

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Breaking: Charlotte Repeals Nondiscrimination Ordinance That Prompted HB 2, Legislature Reportedly to Repeal HB 2 Wednesday*

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 10:40 AM

In a shocking and sudden move, the Charlotte City Council has repealed the nondiscrimination ordinance providing protections for transgender people, in exchange for what Mayor Jennifer Roberts calls a promise from the legislature to fully repeal HB 2 by the end of this year.  From The Charlotte Observer: Mayor Jennifer Roberts said this is the first concrete opportunity to repeal HB2. The law, which limits LGBT rights, has been cited as the reason for millions in lost economic development and boycotts by the NCAA and others. There was no advance notice that the ordinance would be discussed. WBTV, the Observer’s...

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

State Rep: Protesters Were "A Group of Malcontent Thugs Who Were Likely Paid"

Posted By on Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 7:29 PM

All week long, Republican legislators, including Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger, and Representative David Lewis, expressed their disdain for the protesters who shouted down House and Senate votes during the special session. "I asked a couple of the protesters what they were protesting, they weren't sure," Lewis told reporters after the House went into recess Thursday night. "They were sure that they had been paid, got free lunch, and transportation. What we saw tonight was an impediment to the democratic process." Lewis's colleague from New Bern, Representative Michael Speciale—the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Military,...

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Special Session Update: McCrory Signs SB 4, HB 17 Passes

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM

The General Assembly's fourth special session of the year ended Friday as the House passed the SB 4, an electoral and judicial reform bill. The Senate also ratified SB 6 and SB 7, nominations to the Special Superior Court of Adam Conrad and Drew Heath, McCrory's budget director, and the nomination of Yolanda Stith, wife of McCrory chief of staff Thomas Stith, to serve on the Industrial Commission. Here's the NC Democratic Party's statement: Meanwhile, the legislature also passed HB 17, which would require Senate approval of all cabinet appointments and transfer significant authority over education to the Superintendent of Public...

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The Morning Roundup: This Is How Democracy Dies

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Happy Friday/Rogue One day, everyone. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty cold out there. We’ll begin at the legislature, where there are shenanigans afoot. Here’s a quick recap, courtesy of our own Paul Blest, who’s spent the last couple of days down at the legislature and posted some thoughts earlier this morning. On Thursday, the House and the Senate (many of their members unconstitutionally elected in illegally gerrymandered districts, according to a federal court) began the process of ramming through a series of bills—introduced Wednesday when the fourth special session of the year was suddenly dropped on everyone who...

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It's Time for North Carolina Democrats to Fight Fire with Fire

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:56 AM

Near the end of a marathon day at the General Assembly on Thursday, Representative Grier Martin, D-Wake, asked a question about why the doors to the House floor were still locked to the public. Well after the hundreds of protesters who had previously occupied the House balcony had dispersed following threats from police, and after two dozen protesters (and one NC Policy Watch reporter) had been arrested, Speaker Tim Moore got riled up. Moore called a personal point of privilege and then proceeded to drill into the now-dispersed protesters, calling them "lawbreakers" who wanted to disrespect the institution and...

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Congressman Butterfield: North Carolina Is a "Testing Ground for Alt-Right and Ultra-Conservative Ideas"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 4:31 PM

In an interview with the INDY, Congressman G.K. Butterfield - a Democrat who represents Durham and is the outgoing chair of the Congressional Black Caucus - expressed his frustration with the current special session, the legislation being considered, and Republican governance in the state overall. Speaking to the INDY via phone, Butterfield, echoing other Democrats, said that the new special session shows that the flood relief package was "only a pretext to get members back in town." "[The special session] has opened Pandora’s box for a flood of legislation," he said. "What makes it so suspect is that it’s at the end...

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Here's What Happened at the General Assembly Yesterday, and What Might Happen Next

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 1:34 AM

As you no doubt have heard, General Assembly Republicans put on quite a show yesterday. Minutes after passing a $200 million relief package for victims of Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina, Senate President pro tem Phil Berger announced that another special session —that's two in one day and four this year total, for those of you keeping score — would convene. Rep. David Lewis told reporters after the House adjourned for the night  that the legislature definitely wouldn't adjourn before Friday, and could very well be here until next week. So here's a rundown of what happened, and what...

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Special Session Part II: "This Is as Serious as It Gets in North Carolina"

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 4:00 PM

The House and Senate convened for the second special session of the day, and the fourth of the year, at 2 p.m. The House rules set a filing deadline of 7 p.m. for new bills to be filed (later amended to 7:30), while the Senate set a deadline of 3 p.m. Here is the running list of bills filed. They include: a dog breeding bills, a bunch of education bills, a (very good) anti-racial profiling bill, and a few bills taking aim at the controversial I-77 toll. Here's a big one: HB 17 requires Senate confirmation of Cooper cabinet appointees, among other...

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Stay Tuned for Shenanigans: The General Assembly Just Called Another Special Session

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Minutes after the Senate passed a "clean" version of the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016—meaning there was nothing nefarious in it—Senate leader Phil Berger announced that Speaker Tim Moore, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, and 60 percent of the members were calling another special session, to convene at 2 p.m. today, with a filing deadline of 5 p.m. for new bills. The House's rules set a filing deadline of 7 pm for new bills. This will be the fourth special session of the year, after the one we just had, the March one that resulted in HB 2, and the required...

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Special Session, Day One: The Calm Before the Storm

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 12:52 PM

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvened on Tuesday morning to debate a relief package for victims of Hurricane Matthew and western North Carolina wildfires. At the same time, however, questions persisted that Republicans might try to pack the state Supreme Court they lost control of in November or take certain powers and responsibilities away from either Governor-elect Roy Cooper or Attorney General-elect Josh Stein, both Democrats. After the House recessed, Speaker Tim Moore appeared to shoot down the much-maligned court-packing idea. "I don't believe we oughta do it," Moore told reporters. "I've made that clear from day one. That's...

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Monday, December 12, 2016

The Morning Roundup: An Oil Spill in the Swamp

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Good morning. Here's what you missed over the weekend. 1. Trump nominating (???) Exxon CEO for Secretary of State. Over the weekend, The New York Times broke the story that the president-elect would select Rex Tillerson, whose name sounds exactly like the villainous oil baron you'd expect, to be the nation's top diplomat. In a shocking twist, he's got a million conflicts of interest and he's also never been a diplomat. In an actual shocking twist, Senate Republicans have actually been willing to voice their displeasure with their King. From The New York Times: Mr. Tillerson has close ties with President...

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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Godspeed, John Glenn

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 8:29 AM

Happy Friday, everyone. It’s cold out there, so pour yourself a cup of Joe and join us for your morning primer. 1. John Glenn, American hero, RIP. The first man to orbit the Earth—not to mentioned a Marine Corps combat vet, U.S. senator from Ohio, and 1984 presidential candidate—died yesterday at the age of ninety-five. From The New York Times obit, which is worth reading in its entirety: In just five hours on Feb. 20, 1962, Mr. Glenn joined a select roster of Americans whose feats have seized the country’s imagination and come to embody a moment in its history, figures...

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Carolina RailHawks Change Name, Announce Plans For MLS Bid

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 5:10 PM

The Carolina Railhawks have changed their name to North Carolina FC and are pushing to become an NWSL franchise within the next six months and an MLS franchise within the next year and a half. Team owner Steve Malik said that his club is "well-positioned" for the jump to the top tier of American soccer. “The market is ready for an MLS team based on our geographical location, population growth, dynamic economic environment and significant soccer participation," Malik said. "MLS requires a minimum of 20,000 seats with amenities in order to maximize revenue, and a new stadium is vital to...

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Raleigh Approves Oak City Outreach Center Funding

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 2:51 PM

At its Tuesday afternoon meeting, the Raleigh City Council voted to approve funding for the Oak City Outreach Center. The move will appropriate $3.1 million to "establish a permanent site and facility for the Oak City Outreach Center,", a 30,000-foot space at 1430 South Wilmington Street which will serve as a multi-service center for the impoverished and homeless operated by the Raleigh-Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness. Currently, the Oak City Outreach Center is operated at 215 South Person Street. The move has generated controversy among some Southeast Raleigh residents, but on Tuesday, supporters came out in full force. There...

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Breaking: Jessica Holmes Retracts Resignation From Wake County Board of Commissioners

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 1:04 PM

Last night, Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes abruptly resigned. Today, she changed her mind. Here is her full statement: Yesterday, I shared my plan to resign my position from the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Serving the people of Wake County has been a privilege for which I am incredibly thankful. An opportunity had presented itself to me, and in part out of frustration, I had decided to pursue it. With the long awaited vote for the creation of Wake County’s first ever affordable housing committee, I felt proud for breathing life into an issue that has impacted me and...

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Monday, December 5, 2016

In Shock Move, Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes Resigns

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 10:41 PM

After winning an affordable housing vote and losing narrowly to become the vice-chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioner, Jessica Holmes - the youngest person to ever serve on the board, and the board's only woman - abruptly resigned Monday night, leaving commissioners in shock. Holmes, who clashed with other board members at the last meeting over the timing of the vote, said she had other business at the end of the meeting, and then it took a turn. "I’d like to take this time to say that serving Wake County has been one of the best experiences...

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Breaking: Pat McCrory Concedes Governor's Race

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 12:17 PM

In a video statement, Governor Pat McCrory has finally conceded the governor's race to Roy Cooper. "Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe a majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything in our power to support the 75th Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper," McCrory said. "The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition." Republican attorney general candidate Buck Newton, who is behind by over 24,000 votes, also conceded on Monday, to attorney general-elect Josh Stein. That...

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Profiles in Courage

Posted By on Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 8:32 AM

Good morning, here's what you missed over the weekend. 1. KKK "parade" is an utter failure. In the days after Donald Trump's election, the NC-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced that they would hold a parade in North Carolina to celebrate on December 3. They didn't specify the location until Friday night, that it would be in Pelham, where the group is based. In response, hundreds of counter-protesters showed up in Pelham on Saturday. Here's what happened: Yep, that's right. They never showed up. From our friends at Triad City Beat: After completing the 1.2-mile...

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"DACA DADA/IMMIGRATION BRAILLE"

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