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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thom Tillis: Trump Has Shown "More Respect for Our Troops in Nine Months" Than Obama Ever Did.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:02 AM

President Trump set off a firestorm earlier this week when he falsely claimed that Barack Obama never contacted the relatives of fallen soldiers. Since then, he has been dogged by revelations calling into question the sincerity of his relationship with Gold Star families. The mother of a soldier slain in June claimed the president disrespected the family in a condolence call, telling his widow her husband "knew what he was signing up for" and referring to him merely as "your guy." The story took a local turn yesterday, when the father of a soldier from Wake County, who was gunned...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WaPo: Trump Stiffed a Local Gold Star Family Out of $25,000

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 4:25 PM

In early June, Dillon Baldridge, a twenty-two-year-old soldier from Zebulon, was fatally gunned down by an Afghan police in a suspected insider attack. A few weeks later, President Trump called Baldridge's grieving father to express his condolences and offer him $25,000. He also vowed to create an online fundraising campaign for the family. Neither of those things happened, according to the fallen soldier's father, Chris Baldridge. These revelations come from the Washington Post, which published an article this afternoon detailing Trump's offer to the Baldridge family and his rocky relationship with Gold Star families. Although Trump claims that he has spoken to every family...

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Breaking: Research Triangle Regional Partnership Sends Amazon a Bid to Bring HQ2 to North Carolina

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 6:22 PM

The Triangle region sent off its bid Tuesday to become the site of the mega-corporation Amazon's second headquarters, potentially bringing fifty thousand highly paid workers and $5 billion in investments to North Carolina, a Research Triangle Regional Partnership executive said. Aided by the regional body, consisting of ten counties and Research Triangle Park, the area sent off information in response to the request for proposals, or RFP,  that Amazon made public September 7. A task force cochaired by Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority chairman and Durham mayoral candidate Farad Ali and Citrix vice president of project management Nate Spilker worked with local and...

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FERC Approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline, But N.C. DEQ Can Stop it in its Tracks

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Last week, the INDY published an in-depth look at the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5 billion infrastructure project by Duke Energy and Dominion Energy that would carry fracked gas through West Virginia, Virginia, and eight counties in eastern North Carolina. If approved and constructed, the pipeline would cross six hundred miles of the Southeast and transport about 1.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas to customers in North Carolina and Virginia. Since the project's introduction, it’s been controversial. In North Carolina alone, it would cross more than 320 waterways and directly pass through the properties of about a...

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Friday, October 13, 2017

How the Legislature Screwed Up Raleigh’s Runoff Elections

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:29 PM

Under state law, Raleigh mayoral candidate Charles Francis has until noon Thursday, October 19, to decide whether to request a runoff against incumbent Nancy McFarlane. Under a different state law, however, early voting for the November 8 election is scheduled to start Thursday morning—before Francis has to actually make a decision—which would seem to make the balloting process somewhat difficult. (Francis says he’ll make an announcement Monday, so perhaps the Board of Elections will be off the hook.) The whole snafu originated with ongoing efforts by state legislators to make it more difficult for black people to vote, according to...

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Poll: N.C. Voters Love Confederate Monuments, Worry About North Korea, Think the Country Is on the Wrong Track

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 3:44 PM

Meredith College is out with a poll today that finds that most North Carolina voters believe the country is more divided than it was six months ago and more than 60 percent of them say Donald Trump is to blame. (Sixty-five percent say the media is a “major reason” for the disunion as well.) Other highlights from the survey: 61 percent believe Confederate monuments should stay put, and 57 percent believe they are “important monuments to North Carolina’s past.” 54 percent believe that diplomacy will prove effective in the North Korea situation, and 58 percent want to see increased sanctions....

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Friday, September 22, 2017

N.C. Historical Commission Votes to Punt on Removing Confederate Monuments from Capitol

Posted By on Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 1:59 PM

In a move that was disappointing but not particularly shocking to activists, the N.C. Historical Commission voted nearly unanimously this morning to postpone a decision on removing Confederate monuments from the state capitol in downtown Raleigh. The decision came in response to a petition sent by Governor Cooper's administration earlier this month to remove three Confederate monuments from the Capitol in Raleigh to the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site in Johnston County. Cooper proposed moving the monuments in the wake of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the subsequent toppling of a Confederate monument in Durham last month....

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Latest Attempt to Repeal the ACA Would Be Disastrous for North Carolinia

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 3:59 PM

It's back. The latest, last-ditch attempt by Republican lawmakers to destroy President Obama's signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, has appeared in the form of something called Graham-Cassidy, the brainchild of Republican Senators Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. Like its predecessors, it would target some of the most vulnerable people in North Carolina: the poor, the sick, and the state's many children who rely on Medicaid as a source of health care. In a statement, Gov. Cooper said the latest iteration of the ACA repeal "may be even worse than recent proposals: Raising premiums, weakening...

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Three Durham Mayoral Candidates Have Raised More Than $260,000. Where’s the Money Coming From?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 2:53 PM

This year's mayoral race in Durham is shaping up to be one of the city's most expensive municipal elections yet, as candidates vie to set the tone of the Bull City after sixteen years of Mayor Bill Bell's leadership. According to the most recent campaign finance reports—which cover campaign contributions through August 29—Farad Ali's account holds $109,484.86; Pierce Freelon's, $96,676.59; and Steve Schewel's, $74,074.50. Other candidates in the race have raised no more than $1,600. With so much cash flowing into the election, we decided to map where each of those donations is coming from. In order to do this, we deducted...

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

N.C. Climate Activists Hold Prayer Vigil and Fast in Opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 10:48 PM

Just over a year ago, fifty-one-year-old Greg Yost decided to quit his job. It wasn't because he didn't like it—he loved teaching math to ninth graders in Madison County, just outside Asheville. But he had other concerns: namely, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a multibillion dollar, six hundred-mile project that would carry fracked gas through Virginia, West Virginia, and eight counties in eastern North Carolina. Yost was worried about the project's environmental consequences and the precedent it would set for the state. He saw the proposal as a make-or-break moment. "If this infrastructure gets built, it’s there for the next thirty or forty...

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Southern Environmental Law Center: RDU Rejected Land Deal in "Unlawfully Held Closed Session Meeting"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 6:22 PM

The Southern Environmental Law Center is asking the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority board to rescind any decisions it made in closed sessions over the past two years after questions were raised about a decision not to sell a tract of land by Umstead Park to the Conservation Fund. In a letter sent on behalf of the Umstead Coalition to the board's chairman, Farad Ali, who is running for mayor of Durham, the SELC sets a September 19 deadline for a response. The Conservation Fund in July made a more than $6 million offer for 105 acres of land between Umstead...

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Friday, September 8, 2017

UNC Board of Governors Kills the Historic Center for Civil Rights

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:41 PM

After months of contentious back-and-forth, the UNC Board of Governors voted this morning to ban the UNC Center for Civil Rights from doing legal work on behalf of the state's poor and minority populations. The ban would effectively neuter the Center from providing legal representation to those who cannot afford it—groups it has been advocating for since it was founded by the famed civil rights attorney Julian Chambers in 2001. Since then, however, the UNC Board of Governors has taken a turn to the right. That's because board members are elected by the state legislature, which, since 2010, has been...

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

“Durham Is All I Know”: DACA Recipients, Supporters Rally in Durham

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 10:02 PM

At an early age, Pam Gonzalez knew she was good at math. "It was something I like doing. I like numbers," she says, talking excitedly with a broad smile revealing dimples in her cheeks. A Riverside High School graduate, she's now a sophomore at Meredith College studying math. But that isn't what she wants to do with her life. As a teenager, Gonzalez enrolled in the BOOST program at Duke University, designed to bring minority students into careers in science and math. She now works for that program and hopes to make a career helping first-generation immigrants get into college. She knows...

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“With DACA, I Feel Like I Have a Superpower”: After Trump Ends DACA, Triangle Recipients Tell Their Stories

Posted By and on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 4:52 PM

In the waning days of Barack Obama's presidency, sixteen-year-old Reyna Gutierrez learned that she had finally been granted something she had worked toward for months: DACA, the Obama-era program that grants temporary work permits and a deportation reprieve to undocumented immigrants who arrived as minors. Throughout the months-long application process, Gutierrez's mom talked excitedly about the program. The two had come to the U.S. from Veracruz, Mexico, when Gutierrez was four-and-a-half years old. Growing up, her mom always spoke to her realistically about the obstacles she would face. Now, more than a decade after the duo's arrival, Gutierrez had the opportunity to...

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Monday, September 4, 2017

N.C. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan Sees the Potential for Progress, Even in an Antiunion State

Posted By on Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 11:45 AM

As we celebrate Labor Day—now more associated with the end of summer than anything else—it’s important not to forget the holiday’s century-old history and why it matters, perhaps now more than ever. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, via an eighty-three-word law signed by President Grover Cleveland. But that law was presaged by years of advocacy for better conditions; at the height of the Industrial Revolution, American workers often labored twelve-hour days and seven-day weeks just to eke out a living. Labor unions rose in prominence, ordering massive strikes. In 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Labor Company—organized...

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

General Assembly Approves New Legislative Maps. Next Up, Federal Court.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 5:47 PM

After more than a week of tense back-and-forth among lawmakers and an angry public hearing, the legislature voted this afternoon to approve new legislative district maps. Lawmakers were ordered to redraw the maps after the Supreme Court sided with a lower court ruling that 28 of the state's 170 legislative districts were illegally racially gerrymandered. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have spent the better part of the past week sparring over the proposed maps drawn by the GOP-led House and Senate Committees on Redistricting, and the House and Senate voted largely along party lines this afternoon to approve each other's maps. The...

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

House and Senate Redistricting Committees Approve Maps, Headed to the Floor Next

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Lawmakers are moving forward with their new legislative maps as the deadline to submit them to a three-judge panel draws nearer. The House and Senate committees on redistricting approved each other's legislative maps this afternoon after the maps passed their second and third readings in the House and Senate yesterday. The order to draw new maps came after courts found that 28 of the state's 170 legislative districts were illegally racially gerrymandered. Most of the redistricting committee meetings and floor debates have been accompanied by hours of partisan back-and-forth, with Democrats accusing Republicans of gross partisan and political gerrymandering and Republicans retorting...

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Trump Is About to Kill DACA. What Will That Mean for North Carolinians Like Cinthia Marroquin?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 1:58 PM

Immigrants are worried about losing their work permits and driver's licenses—and possibly being deported—if President Trump decides to rescind DACA. The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gave nearly eight hundred thousand unauthorized immigrants temporary work authorization and relief from deportation. But on the campaign trail, President Trump railed against Obama’s “illegal executive amnesties,” saying, “In a Trump administration, all immigration laws will be enforced.” Since taking office, Trump has seemed to waver. In April, he said DACA recipients should “rest easy” because his administration would only go after criminals. But now, that softer tone has gone away. As The...

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As the Senate’s Redistricting Plan Passes Its Third Reading, Republicans Say Democrats Are Haunted by Their Own Shortcomings, Not Gerrymandering

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 6:22 AM

The Senate's redistricting bill cleared its third and final reading Monday evening after the House's redistricting plan moved forward that afternoon. Following more than an hour of debate and a long speech on the Senate floor by Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, the chamber voted 31–15 to advance the new map they were ordered to redraw after courts found that 28 of the state's 170 legislative districts were illegally racially gerrymandered. The court gave the legislature until September 1 to redraw the gerrymandered districts, and the map must be approved before that deadline. Democrats have been railing against the maps since they were made public last week, saying...

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Monday, August 28, 2017

House Redistricting Plan Passes Second and Third Reading

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM

The House redistricting plan passed its second and third reading this afternoon and is headed to the Senate for its third and final reading next. During this afternoon's debate, Republican and Democratic lawmakers clashed over the decision by the Republican-led redistricting committee to exclude racial data from the criteria used to draw the new maps. "How do you correct a racially gerrymandered district without including race?" Representative Mickey Michaux, a Democrat from Durham, asked Representative David Lewis, chairman of the House Committee on Redistricting. Democrats also chafed at the House's proposed new maps, which they said were gerrymandered along racial...

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

North Carolinians Blast Lawmakers Over Redistricting: "Whoever Drew this Map Certainly was Coloring Outside the Lines"

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 12:13 PM

Dozens of people packed into seven public hearings across the state last night to weigh in on North Carolina's proposed maps for nearly thirty legislative districts, and they were not pleased. "When I look at the new maps I'm amazed by the contortions and variegated shapes of many areas," said Kim Koo, a member of the Rocky Mount Racial Justice Group. "It looks like a collage and a distortion of reality. It's so twisted. It takes a lot of work and conscious thought to come up with such a map, and it is both racist and divisive." The new maps come...

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Redistricting Committee Releases New Legislative Maps. Critics Say They're Still Gerrymandered

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM

It's been a busy few days in the world of legislative redistricting. Stay tuned, because we're not done yet. Over the weekend, members of the Republican-led joint commission on redistricting released their proposed maps for the state House and Senate districts, after the current ones were determined to be illegally racially gerrymandered earlier this year. Yesterday, the committee released demographic data for the proposed districts, including an area’s past voting patterns. And today, there will be seven public hearings across the state for people to weigh in on the mapmaking process. Much attention has rightfully been paid to the redistricting process...

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Monday, August 21, 2017

A Lesson from Charlottesville: What Are the Consequences of Misidentifying People On Social Media?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 6:00 AM

The tweet heard 'round the world was posted last Saturday morning at nine a.m. "If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in #Charlottesville," the Twitter user @YesYoureRacist wrote, "send me their names/profiles and I'll make them famous #GoodNightAltRight." The account quickly went viral as shocking images of Saturday's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, made the rounds on the news and social media. Videos showed neo-Nazis and white nationalists donning swastikas, carrying tiki torches, chanting "white lives matter" and the Nazi-era slogan "blood and soil,” and beating counterprotesters. At least nineteen people were injured and thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when...

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Confederate Statue At Duke Chapel “Defaced,” University Says

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 2:19 PM

A statue at Duke Chapel "bearing the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has been vandalized," the university said in a statement. Damage to the figure's face was discovered Thursday morning—three days after demonstrators pulled down a Confederate monument on Main Street in Durham and as monuments to the Confederacy are being removed and covered up across the country. According to the university's statement, Duke officials are investigating and reviewing video from inside the chapel. Security has been stepped up, the statement says. “Duke Chapel is a place of sanctuary and refuge that belongs to every member of...

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Constituents to Congressman George Holding: You Suck

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 2:13 PM

A small group of Triangle activists and constituents gathered in front of U.S. Representative George Holding's office yesterday to deliver a simple message: he's failing. In the form of a fake report card, they gave the Republican representative a bright red "F" for his track record on issues related to health care, the economy, special interests, and Internet privacy. Holding did earn high marks on one category, though: hiding from constituents. For months, constituents from Holding's district, which represents part of Wake County, have been imploring the lawmaker to hold a public town hall. Holding, like many of his Republican...

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Most Recent Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

So I guess the only question open in this election is:
Who, if anyone, does Pierce Freelon endorse?
(As …

by JoeJoey on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Yes, I really hope this is put on YouTube or something. It would maximize voter reach, especially as there are …

by JohnnyDollar on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

We are lucky to have had such a primary field of bright, excellent, visionary candidates for Mayor of Durham, and …

by Sam M-B on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

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It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

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