Friday, July 31, 2015

Foxx Scolds Meadows

Told you so!

Virginia Foxx is never ever going to buck her party's leadership in Congress. We're referring, of course, to Congressman Mark Meadows' attempt to oust John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

Dan Way of Carolina Journal is reporting that Congresswoman Foxx "scolded" Meadows for invoking a rare procedural move to fire Boehner. “Rather than dwelling on the divisive behavior of one member, I remain focused on working with all of my colleagues on the priorities of the people of North Carolina’s Fifth District.”

To which anyone who knows her voting record, her attitude toward people who annoy her, and her petty theft sez, "Oh, do shut up!"

Meet the Most Notorious "Clerical Error" in North Carolina

Mac Butner is the newly installed chair of the Rowan County Board of Elections. He has made numerous inflammatory (i.e., racist) comments on Facebook, some of which are detailed here and here. Much of his junk has been taken down. MOST OF IT WAS/IS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS, a form of internet abuse that belongs to another century.

Butner was chair of the Rowan County Housing Authority a year ago. He was also posting racist comments then to his Facebook page that were so foul that the Rowan County Commission called for his resignation and launched an investigation. Butner was defiant. He tried to get on the ballot in 2014 for County Commission via petition, but he failed.

Now he's Chair of the Rowan County Board of Elections, thanks to the recommendation of the Chair of the Rowan County Republican Party, which the Chair of the state GOP merely rubber-stamped and forwarded to the State Board of Elections, which duly appointed Butner last month.

Stephen Kidd, left, Chair of the Rowan GOP who
recommended Butner
Now the state GOP has discovered it has a poisonous racist running elections in Rowan County and is trying to distance itself. Although Butner's offensive Facebook posts in 2014 made national news, North Carolina GOP Press Secretary Kara Carter said yesterday that party officials were "not aware" of the posts, which she termed "offensive."

And then Kara Carter said this: "His nomination was submitted to the State Board of Elections as result of a clerical error. We have absolutely asked him to resign."

Butner, as is his habit, is defiant. He's claiming he's the victim. Many in the new, reconstituted Republican Party of North Carolina will agree with him.

For its part, the North Carolina State Board of Elections doesn't need another scandal right now. It certainly doesn't need a character like Mac Butner in charge of voting in Rowan County, or in any county.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Stewart's "Secret" Meetings With Obama

I love this man! What in the world are we going to do without him?

"Power, Money, & Flesh" -- True Words, Spoken Eight Years Ago by Pat McCrory

Back on February 2, 2007, on the Mayor Pat McCrory radio show in Charlotte ("The Inside Story with Mayor Pat McCrory"), the Mayor of North Carolina said this:
We all have to be reminded when we're in positions of power and influence, that we have to keep our ego in place, and we have to be careful of three things: power, money, and flesh....
And I'll tell you what else happens with power, and I seen it with eight mayors ... friends of mine who have been elected in the past eight years. They then started believing that they deserved more money because many of their decisions make other people money. Eight friends of mine throughout the U.S. that are now in federal jail. Because they took money believing that it was okay to take money because they're working hard and their decisions are making other people money. You justify the sin, you justify the behavior in the name of "I'm doing good for my city, I'm doing good for my community, my state, my neighborhood." When in fact, what you're trying to do is line your own pockets.
Prescient on his part. We're sorry to be reminding him of those words in the same year that he failed to report expensive luxury trips on other men's credit cards. And failed to report ownership of Duke Energy stock and failed to report income from ($185,000+) after he was sworn in as governor.

He probably feels like he earned it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Boehner: "Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Congressman?"

Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows is only a sophomore in the U.S. Congress -- first elected in 2012 after Heath Shuler gave up his seat representing the 11th District of North Carolina -- but Meadows chose his 56th birthday yesterday to file a motion in the House to "vacate the chair" -- i.e., fire John Boehner from the speakership -- a parliamentary maneuver that has only been used once before in history, in 1910. It didn't succeed then, either.

Who is Mark Meadows? He grew up in Florida, and like all Floridians, he found his way to the mountains of western North Carolina where he settled in Highlands in 1981 and opened Aunt D's sandwich shop.

He's an acid-swilling Tea Partier. Since he joined the House, he...

  • led his fellow conservatives in shutting down the government in 2013
  • helped found The Freedom Caucus, which has been "a hotbed for scheming against leadership" (Boehner)
  • was one of 25 Republicans who voted against Boehner's reelection as Speaker in January
  • was one of 34 Republicans who voted against fast-tracking Obama's new trade initiative
  • hates President Obama and took a blood oath against Obamacare
For his pain-in-the-ass uppityness, he got kicked off his chairmanship of a government oversight subcommittee earlier this year -- but only briefly. Other conservative members raised a ruckus, so Boehner reinstated him. That sop obviously didn't work to quiet Meadows down.

At the moment, Meadows is alone -- at least on paper -- in his quest to assassinate The Orange One. One thing you can bet on: Virginia Foxx will not join the revolt unless success is guaranteed. She's totally a "company woman."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How Much Does a Seat on the State Board of Elections Cost?

Paul Foley raised some substantial money for candidate Pat McCrory in 2012, hosting a fundraiser for the future governor and then pretty soon after that getting his appointment from McCrory to the state Board of Elections (SBOE).

McCrory has since been distancing himself from Foley, whom he forced to resign from the SBOE earlier this month, saying he didn't know Foley. Yet McCrory was present at the Foley fundraiser and posed for photographs with many of the donors in attendance. Foley presented the McCrory campaign with a bill for expenses and got reimbursed over $1,600 ($1,500 of that for the bar tab).

Under the circumstances, it would be so easy -- and so obviously human -- to forget your host and major benefactor.

This started out to be about the dirty gambling money sprayed around the North Carolina political world in 2012 by internet sweepstakes mogul Chase Burns. Now it's also about the cover-up.

Not Ready for Prime Time

Hasan Harnett, the newly installed Tea Party chair of the NCGOP, has sent out a couple of clumsy and laughable tweets trying to link Hillary Clinton to the Ku Klux Klan. Say whaaaa?

Call it the Huckabee Formula: say something so outrageous that it'll put you in the spotlight for a 24-hour news cycle, which is bound to raise your profile. Raising your profile at any cost is a good thing, right?

Former Virginia Foxx staffer and currently state Republican Party Executive Director Todd Poole attempted to defend Harnett and ended up sounding like he probably put his new chairman up to the original tweets: "The chairman isn't going to comment or give interviews on tweets, but as the first black chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, he believes we have to learn from history and move past it."

Yup. "Learning from history and moving past it" ... a new slogan for the NCGOP.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Arrogance of Their Power

L to R: Speaker of the NC House Tim Moore, Sen. Tom Apodaca,
Sen. Bob Rucho, Sen. Phil Berger
Thomas Mills on the arrogance of these boys

"They want taxpayers to pick up the tab for going to a conference of their choosing, even though ALEC is little more than a political organization that pushes right-wing policy ideas. They should pay a political price for such abuse, but with heavily gerrymandered districts, they don’t think they’ll be held accountable.

"Legislative Republicans have gotten very comfortable with power. Their veto proof majorities allow them to pass legislation at will and their gerrymandered district protect them from being held accountable for bad behavior–like wasting taxpayer money. With few restraints, they’ve quickly become arrogant. Corruption is surely not far behind."

Raleigh Lawmakers Want Taxpayers To Foot the Bill for Their San Diego Junket

So a bunch of our representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly put off their business finalizing a state budget and rushed off to the open bars in San Diego for the annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference, where billionaires spoon-feed pre-written legislation to idiot lawmakers who can't or won't think for themselves and wont or don't act for the benefit of their constituents instead of for the benefit of the billionaires.

In North Carolina, ALEC-inspired marching orders can be seen in the dismantling of environmental regs, in the narrowing of ballot access, and in such "tort reform" as the attempt to free pharmaceutical companies of liability if they should happen to kill or maim people.

Among several more Republican lawmakers who attended the ALEC conference this past weekend and haven't yet asked to have their travel expenses picked up by taxpayers, the following have put in requests for reimbursement:
Tim Moore, NC House Speaker
Rep. Hugh Blackwell of Burke County
Rep. John Fraley of Iredell County
Rep. Craig Horn of Union County
Sen. David Curtis of Gaston County
Pay for your own snake oil, gentlemen!