“FISHY” AQUARIUM GIVEAWAY HIGHLIGHTS GOP’S PENCHANT TO REWARD CAMPAIGN DONORS. A six-figure, tax payer-funded giveaway to a prominent GOP donor made its way into the 2017 budget, with several GOP members shepherding it along. The move would be shocking if it didn’t fit right in line with a GOP more worried about their donors than taxpayers. In recent months alone, Sen. Wade took $10,000 to push “garbage juice in a snowblower” even though companies don’t want the technology and a state audit found that a towing contractor, who Rep. David Lewis ensured kept their contract after a $5,000 campaign contribution cleared, lost (ed: illegally sold?) hundreds of cars.
THREE JUDGE PANEL HEARS FINAL ARGUMENTS IN NC’S FIGHT FOR FAIR MAPS. Republican legislators had an opportunity to fix their racial gerrymander. Instead, they used the same GOP dark arts gerrymandering expert to AGAIN draw lines by race. The federal three-judge panel heard final arguments yesterday and asked both parties in the case to submit three people from whom they would select as Special Master who would independently redraw the maps (or portions of it). We hope the courts step in and return North Carolina’s elections to the people.
GOOD NEWS IF YOU’RE IN THE MARKET FOR A PRIVATE JET OR YACHT, BAD NEWS IF YOU’RE A WORKING FAMILY. NC GOP is painting a “rosy fantasy” of NC’s 2013 tax reform, holding it up as a model for the nation. North Carolina’s tax reform is nothing to imitate – it gave breaks for yachts, country clubs, and private jets but raised taxes on middle and lower income people. Only the wealthiest few felt a “Carolina Comeback,” while fewer dedications and higher sales and local taxes are making it harder for middle-class families to afford the everyday items they need.
TRUMP COMES TO NC FOR FUNDRAISER AS MATTHEW VICTIMS SAY “I NEED YOUR HELP.” On Saturday, President Trump visited North Carolina for the first time as president, coincidentally on the anniversary of Hurricane Matthew. Instead of visiting victims of Matthew and fulfilling his promise to help them, our Commander-in-Chief attended a $2,700 per plate fundraiser at the home of GOP mega-donors Aldona Wos and Louis DeJoy. Meanwhile, Matthew victims called out for help:
Less than a week later, most of our GOP Congressional delegation voted against a $36.5 billion disaster relief package even though NC is still waiting on Matthew relief. Rep. Pittenger’s vote stood out, given his penchant to talk about how he’s working “behind the scenes” and how the state is “dragging its feet.” Seems like voting “no” on disaster relief goes against both of those stated positions, but hey, what do we know.CHARTER SCHOOLS: RICHER, WHITER, AND COURTESY OF OUT-OF-STATE LIBERTARIANS. Lynn Bonner, Keung Hui, and the News & Observer took a week’s long look at the boom of charter schools since GOP took over the General Assembly, uncovering how taxpayer funded charter schools are more segregated and have more affluent students, and are being pushed by an extreme political agenda from a wealthy Oregon resident. The entire series is terrific, and serves as a warning for why the state should not syphon tax-payer money from public schools to fund far-right voucher systems and unaccountable charter schools (more here, here, here, here).
North Carolina has “the strictest anti-gerrymandering standards in the entire country.” – Sen. Berger
Sen. Berger and Speaker Moore continue to spin a tale that North Carolina’s maps are fair and balanced, despite our state routinely being labelled one of the most gerrymandered in the country. But don’t take our word for it – here’s PolitiFact giving the above claim a FALSE: “PolitiFact couldn’t find, and Berger’s office couldn’t point to, an expert or ranking system that puts North Carolina’s redistricting standards among the nation’s best.” We would’ve used more creative language…
TWEET OF THE WEEK