Thursday, July 04, 2019

In Your Face, Duke Energy! Democrat Brian Caskey Bringing Heat in NC Senate District 48


You wanna see the new Democratic determination to change things in Raleigh? Look no further than Brian Caskey of Mills River in Henderson County. He's been an announced candidate for the NC Senate since February of this year, and he's built out an impressive Facebook feed and website that display a full-blown and serious campaign.

He's certainly gotten the attention of Duke Energy:
"You know you’re pushing the right buttons when you link Duke Energy to corruption and immediately get a letter from them. I added the part in the middle to show how much they gave [Republican incumbent Senator] Chuck Edwards last year."


Brian Caskey
There is no disputing that Duke Energy has powerful friends in the NC General Assembly who are always maneuvering to let Duke Energy off the hook for coal ash pollution, and there's no disputing that Duke Energy gives them lots of cash. You can call that "cake icing" if you want to, but I think you'd be justified in calling it "corruption" of the legislative process.

Caskey looks like a scrapper, and we like that in a Democrat. He's an elected member of the Mills River town council, and he introduced the resolution to support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in North Carolina. "I am determined that my daughters will have a level playing field, and that they will know that they are equal to men in the classroom as well as in the work environment."

Meanwhile, the incumbent Republican Chuck Edwards looks like a tool (and not just with reference to the Duke Energy campaign contributions). As co-chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee, Edwards helped kill (just yesterday!) a House bill that would have banned the use of handheld cellphones while driving.

Chuck Edwards
A few days ago while Edwards was chairing the Senate Commerce Committee, the bill to allow alcohol sales in shopping malls statewide came up for consideration, and interestingly (in light of the many Republican teetotalers in Edwards' district), he pushed the bill forward despite the committee's majority vote against it. According to Lauren Horsch, "A voice vote on the bill was divided, with seemingly more “no” votes than “aye” votes, but Chairman Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, ruled in favor of supporters and moved the bill forward. There are no recorded or roll call votes in state Senate committees."

That looks like corruption too, O my brethren!

Edwards was appointed to the Senate late in 2016 to replace the retiring Tom Apodaca, then won on his own in November 2016, and ran for reelection in 2018 and got 56% of the vote. That frankly looks like a soft percentage for a Republican in that district, but it's still an uphill haul for Caskey. We'll be watching how he pulls that load and wishing him the best.

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