Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Don't Look to DENR To Save You from Asphalt Fumes

Under the Pat McCrory administration, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is an emasculated shadow of its former self, so if anyone thinks its permitting process for a new asphalt plant on the Doc & Merle Watson Scenic Byway will save you and the air you breathe, you should perhaps think again.

As revealed in an intercepted email from a DENR air quality official, either DENR is quite unaware of Maymead's intentions, or else it is willfully trying to mislead the public:

From: "Hartsfield, Taylor" <taylor.hartsfield@ncdenr.gov>
Date: Monday, April 27, 2015 9:33 AM

Subject: RE: Watauga County: Public Records Request.

 Attached is Application 9500134.15A that was received by our office on April 13, 2015. This is an application for an ownership change only. The facility conducts crushing and recycling of construction debris, including concrete and asphalt. No changes to that process were requested. The review process is still ongoing. If you have any other questions, please contact me. Thank you,Taylor
Wiley Roark, the president of Maymead Inc., cheerfully admitted his intentions to Anna Oakes with the Watauga Democrat. He said he considers the plant location a "low-density area outside of town limits" and is therefore, by a curious logic, an "enhancement" for Boone. As if the residents of Boone are the only people who might be affected.

"Low-density area"? We'll see, as the neighbors start to wake up to what's about to happen in their near vicinity.

Maymead still has to apply separately for a permit to operate an asphalt production facility. Roark said he expected that process would take 90 days. We suspect he knows what he's talking about. Without local land-use regs in place, DENR rarely turns down an asphalt plant application. That's going to be especially true under the current regime, which has made DENR a permit-delivery system rather than anything approaching an environmental protection agency.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Maymead Application to DENR

Maymead's application 9500134.15A requesting "ownership and name change" for the J.W. Hampton "421 Recycling Yard" was received by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on April 13. It purports to be a simple request to transfer Johnny Hampton's permit to crush and recycle construction debris, including concrete and asphalt, to Maymead Inc.

But on page 17 of the application, the "Zoning Consistency Determination" form, Maymead specifically states that the property will be used for asphalt production and that the access to the property will be from state-designated scenic Highway 421 (the Doc & Merle Watson Scenic Highway).

DEVELOPING STORY: Maymead Wants To Put an Asphalt Plant on the Doc & Merle Watson Scenic Hwy

Maymead Inc. has started the application process with the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to build an asphalt plant on land currently owned by Johnny Hampton (adjacent to his current rock-crushing operation) on the new Hwy 421 between Boone and Deep Gap.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wade in the Water?

Photo H. Scott Hoffmann, News&Record

Senator Trudy Wade (R-Guildford County) intends to reconfigure the Greensboro City Council so that Republicans can win and take control of the city. Her Senate bill 36 has passed the Senate and is right now sitting in the House's Committee on Elections.

Her power-grab has animated a wide range of otherwise fair-minded people. One Democrat has already declared that he will run for her seat, and several Republicans are talking about challenging her in the primary.

The Virginia-Foxx-level arrogance of the woman needs a comeuppance.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Foxx: Listening to the "Locals" a Giant Waste of Her Time

Apparently, even conservatives are beginning to understand that Congresswoman Virginia Foxx is the reigning Duchess of Disdain.

Brant Clifton on "The Daily Haymaker" spills the beans about a secret recording of Madam Foxx at a Civitas meeting in which she delivers several opinions about the little people who annoy her, and among the most annoying, apparently, are people who might ask her a question at a public town hall. "A waste of time," those town halls, she says.

Madam Foxx has certainly wasted no time herself with town halls, especially after the single one she ever held in Boone went in directions she didn't like.

Clifton's final word on Foxx: "It’s pretty clear this woman has become a creature of Washington. The folks back home are an annoyance. She’s forgotten where she came from."

Well, she's got the mansion on the mountain now, well separated from "the folks back home" who irritate her.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Would-Be Book Banner Named to State Board of Education

Todd Chasteen, one of Franklin Graham's employees at Samaritan's Purse, was very involved in the attempt to ban "The House of the Spirits" from Sophomore English Honors classes at Watauga High School last year. His wife runs a private, religious school, though Chasteen himself is a lawyer and has no experience in the education field, except his experience trying to ban a book from the classroom.

So naturally Gov. Squishy would appoint him to the State Board of Education. Of course.

Legislating Women's Choices, One Waiting Period at a Time

NC House member Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg) is against abortion in all cases, no exceptions, but in pushing an extension of the waiting period for North Carolina women seeking an abortion, from 24 hours to three days, Schaffer claimed she was only doing her fellow female citizens a huge favor.

"We see waiting periods all throughout areas of our society in the medical context as well as in the real estate context, in the, you know, issues relating to marriage," Schaffer said during the House debate.

Got it? Women's bodies are like real estate.

Until North Carolina women stand up and push back against this assault on their rights, the assaults will continue.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stokes County: Here Comes Fracking

What do we say about a General Assembly that wants fracking in North Carolina so badly that it set aside taxpayer money to help the gas companies find the effing gas?


The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is about to dig a test well in Walnut Cove, Stokes County, "in a predominately black neighborhood of brick ranch homes," to determine if there's enough shale gas there to warrant the complete destruction of that neighborhood, the pollution of the water table, and the despoliation of that section of Stokes County.
Looming over [that neighborhood] is the possibility that they may one day have as a neighbor an oil-and-gas company, its drilling crew, the trucks that roll with them and the potential for waste management headaches.
They feel powerless.
“Because the state government is so intent on bringing shale-gas development to the state, we do not feel we have any protections or recourse,” said Mary Kerley, who is part of the grassroots NoFrackingInStokes.org group. “Our backs are against the wall. The reality is our lives, safety and property rights have been sold to the highest bidder – the shale gas companies."
Sold to the highest bidder.

There is no hell hot enough for the prostitutes occupying the cushioned seats in the General Assembly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fair & Legal Maps for the 2016 Elections?

That fantasy just got a little more possible.

Bit of an earthquake yesterday in legal circles. The U.S. Supremes threw out (as so much rubbish) a ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court that had upheld the 2011 Republican-drawn voting districts for both members of the General Assembly and for members of the U.S. Congressional delegation.

The U.S. Supremes said that the state’s highest court "must reconsider whether legislators relied too heavily on race when drawing the 2011 maps" (according to the N&O) and must conduct that reconsideration "in light of the U.S. high court’s decision last month in an Alabama redistricting case."

Alabama's redistricting was ruled unconstitutional.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article19037169.html#storylink=c

Welcome to Hard Times

Watauga County's new elections director, Matt Snyder.

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Monday, April 20, 2015

Former Chair of Watauga GOP Appointed to Direct Watauga Elections

Luke Eggers
Chairman, Watauga County Board of Elections
RE: Appointment of a director of elections to the Watauga County Board of Elections (“County Board”) pursuant to G.S. § 165-35.

Dear Chairman Eggers:

page1image5952 page1image6112
April 20, 2015

I am in receipt of your letters describing the County
Board’s effort to secure a replacement for outgoingDirectorJaneAnnHodges,whohasservedyourcountyfornearlythreedecades. Iextend to Director Hodges my sincere appreciation for her years of service to Watauga County and my best wishes to her in retirement.

You have requested that my office review the nomination of Matthew Snyder consistent with my statutory duty under G.S. §§ 165-35(a) and (b), which require that my office approve any nominee submitted by a county board of elections, provided that my doing so is consistent with other state and federal requirements, and that the nominee is not otherwise ineligible pursuant to a G.S. §§ 165-35(a)(1)(7). As you know, the exercise of this statutory responsibility is not an opportunity for my office to pass judgment on the propriety or relative qualification of a given nominee. Instead, my office is directed to ensure basic statutory qualifications are met and then to facilitate required training and support for the incoming director.

Having reviewed your initial letter and enclosure (received April 9), your supplemental letter and enclosure (received April 18), and video footage of the County Board’s April 1 meeting, I am satisfied that the majority has sufficiently evidenced its intent to nominate Mr. Snyder, though I would stress the importance that minutes be “full and accurate”. See G.S §§ 143-318.10(e), 163-31. The nomination is, therefore, appropriately submitted to my office. I am informed your nomination process did not include a public solicitation of applications and certain members of the public have objections to Mr. Snyder’s nomination on that basis. Applicable statutes do not require an open application process and practices in this regard vary from county-to-county. Absent any finding that Mr. Snyder is ineligible, I hereby appoint Mr. Snyder to the position of Director of Elections, effective July 1, 2015.

It will be imperative that your Board stress the necessity that Mr. Snyder abstain from political activities, as required by G.S. § 165-39 and the enclosed Notice Regarding Social Media. Impartiality and sound judgment are necessary to the proper administration of elections and are qualities critical

Page 2
for every director of elections. Mr. Snyder will be required to meet training and certification requirements, as set out in G.S. § 163-35(g), and we will look forward to scheduling training for Mr. Snyder in the coming weeks. When your Board has adopted duties and responsibilities for Mr. Snyder, please provide my office with a copy.

My office is committed to working with your County Board and with Mr. Snyder to explore ways in which the State Board of Elections can support the ongoing success of elections administration in Watauga County.

Kim Strach
Executive Director, State Board of Elections

Encl.: Notice Regarding Social Media (August 5, 2014)
Cc: Bill Aceto, Secretary, Watauga CBE (via Bill.Aceto@watgov.org)
Kathleen Campbell, Watauga CBE (
via Kathleen.Campbell@watgov.org)
Jane Ann Hodges, Director of Elections, Watauga CBE (
via JaneAnn.Hodges@watgov.org)
page2image11232 page2image11392 page2image11552

The Dam Has a Big New Crack in It

Yesterday Marco Rubio, who's running for vice president on somebody's else ticket, said:
“I … don’t believe that your sexual preferences are a choice for the vast and enormous majority of people. And, in fact, the bottom line is that I believe that sexual preference is something people are born with.”
That's not conservative orthodoxy. That's conservative heresy.

Rubio will make an attractive running mate for Scott Walker, who admitted yesterday -- what was in Republican water bottles yesterday? -- that he'd attended a gay wedding reception.

That dam is breaking! (Marco Rubio is still an empty suit, IMO, which makes him perfect for a vice presidential run.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

Photo by Lonnie Webster
There are now three -- count 'em! -- three different sets of minutes about what actually happened at the April Fool's Day meeting of the Watauga Board of Elections (BOE). The Boys -- Bill Aceto and Luke Eggers -- were (perhaps) so embarrassed by their incompetence that neither of them showed up on Friday afternoon for a specially called meeting (another!) to try to fix what neither of them could ever admit were glaring mistakes of procedure.

Aceto and Eggers called in to the meeting via telephone. That's what we're now calling a public meeting of an important civic body.

Jesse Wood's coverage in the High Country Press is priceless, wherein we learn that Mr. Aceto loves the whole concept of "draft minutes," since they can be rewritten repeatedly until you get the outcome you need, or the outcome mandated by Kim Strach, the Executive Director of the NC Board of Elections, who has to put her rubber-stamp of approval on this cluster-frack.

In fact, according to Aceto in the Jesse Wood article referenced above, The Boys have been stumbling toward the light because Ms. Strach told them they had to get the appointment vote right before she could approve their pick of a political hack to run Watauga's elections.

The whole system is now corrupt, top to bottom, from the puppetry of the Watauga BOE (a wholly owned subsidiary of Stacy C. Eggers IV -- "Four" -- to the top dogs at the State Board, whose actions in regard to voting in Watauga County (their previous rubber-stamp of Eggers&Eggers' Early Voting plan) was ruled unconstitutional by the senior Superior Court judge in Wake County last fall.

Who among you can now trust the purported fairness and honesty of any vote in this county?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We Perceive That We've Been Screwed

Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer
The Republican overlords in the North Carolina General Assembly promised that everyone's taxes were going down when they passed their flat-tax revision. We were in a crowd of 25-30 people this week, and someone thought to poll everyone in the room: Did your taxes go down?

There was a resounding "NO!" from a majority of people in that room. Some said their state taxes had remained about even with last year, and a few weren't sure.

The overwhelming opinion was that the Republicans in the General Assembly had not delivered on their promise. Many tax deductions were gone, along with tax credits for child care, disability, property taxes on farm machinery, as well as deductions for college savings plans. If you own a yacht, however, or a private jet, you've still got your tax credit for those "necessaries," though no one in that room owned a yacht or a private jet.

The "Carolina Comeback" that Governor Squishy used to tout has been a mirage for most taxpayers. Unless you're making $900,000 a year, and up, you didn't see much in the way of economic benefit. In the meantime, the state's budget has fallen into an ever deepening black hole of deficit, and the decline in basic services threaten to turn North Carolina into a third-world society, or worse, Mississippi.

A recent PPP survey commissioned by the NC Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center found that 60 percent of North Carolinians, including half of Republicans, say their taxes went up in the last year. Only 8 percent believe they went down.

In a very sensible blog post, Thomas Mills suggests that Republicans -- particularly our woebegone governor, who isn't gerrymandered into a safe seat -- are going to pay the electoral price next year for promising the moon and delivering a swamp.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Blight on the Landscape Builds a Big New Blight on the Landscape

Virginia Foxx's new house mars the view of Grandfather Mountain.

Foxx's Biggest Pimp Gets Busted for Fraud

Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit "educational" special interest that has been busted for defrauding students (and the general public), has long had its tongue on Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's private parts. Open Secrets lists Corinthian Colleges among Foxx's biggest contributors. They've held fundraising receptions for her for several years.

Foxx has been a loyal promoter of the interests of for-profit colleges in the U.S. House of Representatives, and a constant, caustic critic of public higher education (well, after all, she made her living for many years in public higher education, so why the hell wouldn't she bite that hand? It's in her DNA to be spiteful). She was elevated to the chairwomanship of the subcommittee on higher education, the better to rake in the pelf.

Corinthian Colleges has now been cited for defrauding students. Heald College, "the jewel of a once-thriving chain of for-profit colleges owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc.," has been slapped with a $27.9 million fine for its misdeeds, which include misleading students and accreditation agencies about the employment rates of their graduates and showing a “blatant disregard” for the federal student loan program.

Corinthian Colleges was being probed for fraud last year, and Foxx was prominently pictured as Corinthian's favorite congressional prostitute.

But who cares, right? You can't make the voters of the Fifth District smell shit.

Asheville in the Crosshairs

Like Boone, only different.

The wealth redistribution scheme currently moving in the North Carolina General Assembly will punish the city of Asheville, jerking away big $$ in sales tax revenue and redistributing that money to poorer counties that generate far less in sales tax revenue. That scheme, combined with the already passed elimination of the business privilege license fees, will punish the city of Asheville to the tune of $2.5 - $3 million.

We now live in a state where, if you don't support the dominant Teapublicans, you will be punished, or, at worst, you will have your local elections monkeyed with until you DO support the dominant Teapublicans.

Ironically, the same sales tax redistribution proposal that will hurt Asheville will actually end up helping the city of Boone, which was punished last year by County Commission Chair Nathan Miller, who changed the way sales taxes were distributed to the county's municipalities, rewarding Blowing Rock, Seven Devils, and Beech Mountain with windfalls while depriving Boone of $2 million.

Under the law that Senator Dan Soucek and Rep. Jonathan Jordan will obediently vote for (probably),  because their Republican overlords demand it, Nathan Miller's ability to change sales tax distribution will end, and the resort towns of Blowing Rock, etc., along with the county of Watauga as a whole, along with the fire districts ... will all see less revenue.

So how's that "Carolina Comeback" working out for ya?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Worker Safety in NC Is Being Managed By Montgomery Burns

Investigation by the Raleigh News&Observer reveals that NC Department of Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry has been flagrantly violating North Carolina statutes about worker safety.

That should come as no surprise. Since she took office in 2001, she's coddled dangerous businesses and turned a deaf ear to worker complaints. Berry has actually bragged, publicly, that she sees her job as helping NC businesses avoid the "burdens" of protecting the health, safety, and general well-being of more than 4 million workers.

Her failures to enforce workplace safety regs on the poultry industry led to an investigative series in the Charlotte Observer in 2008 and a stinging editorial denouncing her Cruella Deville attitudes toward our sweating laborers.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lawsuit Over Gerrymandering of Wake County Commissioner Districts

The Republicans in the General Assembly jammed through their rewriting of Wake County commissioner elections last week -- a naked power grab, after losing the commissioner elections last fall -- but there's already a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning it.

Most interesting fact that emerged from the lawsuit: the new Wake commissioner districts are very unequal as to population, varying as much as 9.8 percent, which certainly flies in the face of "one person, one vote."

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Continuing Corruption of the Watauga Board of Elections

We can only assume that the falsifying of the minutes (see item, down-column) of the Watauga County Board of Elections was the final step in readying the submission of Matt Snyder's name for appointment as Watauga County elections director. State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach has the final say, and according to Jesse Campbell at the Watauga Democrat, word of that appointment had not yet reached Raleigh as of yesterday (or early this morning). Once Kim Strach has Snyder's name, she has 10 days to make a decision.

Watauga BOE Republicans Bill Aceto and Luke Eggers were in an awful hurry to get this appointment done, so rather than do the right thing -- call a special meeting and actually take the formal vote to appoint Snyder -- they chose the corrupt thing: rewrite the minutes and simply establish a fiction as the truth.

It's not the first time they've changed the minutes to suit their personal view of reality. Back at their very first meeting on the BOE, August 12, 2013, they "erased ... wide sections" of the minutes taken by the clerk and substituted their own sanitized version. That erasure made the Winston-Salem Journal.

This is a board that has been a partisan tool since it was appointed, making every effort to disadvantage Democratic and young voters. Their actions have been ruled "unconstitutional" by the senior judge on the Wake Superior Court, and that case is still moving through the higher courts.

Their appointment of a fully partisan elections director in Matt Snyder fits right into their pattern of corruption.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Virginia Foxx Draws a Primary Challenger for 2016

And she's something of a Foxx Fox News celeb.

Patti Curran, "housewife, mother, and Army veteran," thinks that Virginia Foxx has been too much the Party girl in Washington, kissing up to John Boehner and failing to end Obamacare.

Yep. Virginia Foxx is waaaaay too liberal for the 5th district of North Carolina!

Hattip: LE.

The Fictional Minutes of the April 1 Board of Elections Meeting

Watauga Board of Elections Secretary Bill Aceto has turned in his draft minutes for the April Fool's Day meeting of the board, the one during which there was a vote on calling the question to appoint Matt Snyder but no actual vote on appointing Snyder.

But take a look at what's recorded in Mr. Aceto's minutes, a falsified account that attempts to cover up the failure to properly appoint Mr. Snyder:

Under the section headed "Director Appointment" on the second page, these fictional minutes say, "Secretary Aceto called the question and Chairman Eggers ruled Aceto out of order and added additional remarks about his support for Matt Snyder. Chairman Eggers then called the vote for the director position...."

Well, that didn't happen, and there were dozens of citizens in the room who know it didn't happen. Eggers certainly didn't rule Aceto out of order. The vote was taken, 2-1, on Aceto's calling the question, and Chair Eggers was angrily stalking out the back door as people in the audience were calling out, "You never voted on the appointment."

Another thing: under the section of these minutes headed "Public Comment," Aceto writes that Pam Williamson spoke during public comment. She did not speak.

This lousy piece of public malfeasance -- and it's not as though there wasn't already a history of Aceto's simply making the minutes fit the reality he's peddling -- constitutes a transparent attempt to make an error committed in the April 1st meeting simply disappear. Like everything else this corrupt elections board has done since August 2013, the fiction is visible from outer space.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Eggers & Aceto: You're In a Heap of Trouble

Kim Strach
NC State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach just denied the appointment of a new elections director in Duplin County. Reading the news below should alert everyone that the Republicans on the Watauga Board of Elections are in for some heavy weather over their appointment of ex-Watauga GOP Chair Matt Snyder.
In an unusual move, the executive director of the State Board of Elections is refusing to confirm the appointment of a new director at the Duplin County Board of Elections, citing concerns over the way the candidate was chosen by the local board, which includes two Republicans and a Democrat.
Kim Strach, the state board’s executive director, informed Duplin County Board of Elections Chairman Derl Walker late last week that she would not appoint the board’s nominee, Edward Hudson Jr., as Duplin elections director. The former director recently resigned.
“This office takes seriously its obligation to comply fully with state and federal laws governing the hiring process,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, the process by which your Board selected its nominee raises grave concerns that I cannot ignore.”
Strach’s letter was sent Friday. On Sunday, according to a letter provided by the state board, Hudson requested that the Duplin board no longer consider him a candidate for the position.
“May the Lord bless you in finding an individual who both you and the state consider deserving of this vital duty,” he wrote to Walker.
Circumstances around the appointment and Strach’s reasons for denying it weren’t entirely clear Monday, but documents provided by the state board provided some background. Before denying the appointment, Strach had requested from the Duplin board all job applications submitted by candidates interviewed for the position in late June, a list of the questions asked of the candidates, all notes and scoring sheets prepared by Duplin board members and any “additional items that support your position that Mr. Hudson was the most qualified candidate from among the pool of applicants considered for the position…”
Strach requested all job applications "submitted by candidates interviewed for the position." In Watauga, there were nine or ten applications. Watauga BOE Chair Luke Eggers admitted proudly last night that he had interviewed none of them, including the man he pushed forward for the job. Fellow Republican BOE member Bill Aceto said he had interviewed two and played phone tag with a third.

This should get very interesting, once Strach asks Eggers and Aceto for their supporting documents.

(Plus, O my brethren, the team of Eggers and Aceto didn't even actually -- legally -- appoint Snyder to the position ... because they don't know nor understand Robert's Rules of Order.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Watauga Board of Elections: Give-a-Man-Enough-Rope Edition

Transparent men
Well, it is April Fool's Day after all.

Sure enough, this evening the Republican model citizens on the Watauga Board of Elections called the question on appointing former Watauga GOP Chair Matt Snyder as the elections director to replace the retiring Jane Ann Hodges. They voted 2-1 to call the question, but Chair Luke Eggers was so eager to get out of that room that he neglected to then conduct the vote on the actual appointment of Mr. Snyder. So there's that.

And this: it came out during the meeting that Chair Eggers had interviewed none -- zero -- of the almost dozen applicants for the job, including his own guy Matt Snyder. If that doesn't rise to the level of official incompetence, what would? Not to mention a blatant failure to perform even the most elementary tasks that go with being Chair of the Board of Elections. He interviewed no one. Because other men tell him what to do, what to think, where to be, and he obediently does it.

The reason is fairly obvious. He had been told by stronger and smarter men weeks ago who he would be putting into the job, so indeed ... why would he need to interview any applicant?

Minority BOE member Kathleen Campbell said it all very clearly in her remarks:
"...My fellow Board members have refused repeatedly to go forward with a search for the best-qualified person for this job. They refused in spite of the fact that this search would have cost nothing. They also never advertised the position on the County's website. Why would someone do this? There is only one reason. Because they already had chosen the person they wanted behind the scenes and were not interested in who might actually be non-partisan and qualified for the position. That's why Mr. Eggers put forward just one name, and Mr. Aceto never put forward any at all. Once another 9 people found out through the grapevine that there was a job opening, they applied for the position. Mr. Eggers has never interviewed any of these people at all -- even Mr. Snyder -- who told me last Friday that he had not heard from Mr. Eggers since he sent him a resume, right after he heard about Ms. Hodges retiring. Instead, Bill [Aceto] met with him about the job. But, in spite of never speaking to him, Luke [Eggers] had already made up his mind .... I cannot understand how this constitutes competence...."
It constitutes something, but it ain't competence.

The big laugh-out-loud moment came when Bill Aceto defended himself to Deborah Greene, who had applied for the job and who never got an interview. She said so during public comment. Mr. Aceto addressed himself to Greene, saying that her political activism had disqualified her from the job. At which point there were guffaws in the audience, some of whom apparently saw the glaring inconsistency of saying Deb Greene was too much the activist while the former Chair of the Watauga GOP, Mr. Snyder, gets off that hook scott free.

Kim Strach
What has never ceased to amaze this observer of this Board of Elections, since they took office in August of 2013, is the utter bland transparency of their every partisan move. Once again, they've plugged in their own personal neon sign for the world to see: "WE ARE PARTISAN HACKS WHO JUST APPOINTED ANOTHER PARTISAN HACK WHO'LL DO AS HE'S TOLD AND TILT FUTURE ELECTIONS OUR WAY."

If Kim Strach, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, who has the final say on the appointment of Mr. Snyder, doesn't blush down to her designer footwear over the sheer balls of this appointment, then she too in supremely incompetent in her job.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Wherein we declare North Carolina's Religious Freedom Restoration Act dead as a doornail.

Because Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger yesterday displayed no enthusiasm for it, and he's the dictator of the Republicans in the General Assembly.

In fact, Berger acted a little like an unvaccinated traveler encountering an obvious case of a communicable disease.

Perhaps the crashing and burning of Indiana had a salutary effect on our otherwise bullheaded and/or oblivious General Assembly.