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In case you missed it, this afternoon’s “Thankful Tuesday” event (at which supporters of the current state leadership will register their support for the impending regressive tax shift) will, according to the folks at Americans for Prosperity,  be co-sponsored by a group that calls itself the Moccasin Creek Minutemen.

As my colleague Chris Fitzsimon reported earlier this year, these are the same fun folks who, George Wallace-like, championed “nullification” of federal law at an event outside the General Assembly in January.  

The group’s website also serves as handy portal into the loony tunes underbelly of the modern far right, with easy-to-follow links leading visitors to the websites like The Blaze and NC Freedom — a site that, in turn, promotes a group that calls itself the North Carolina American RepublicThis group rejects the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and, indeed, the very legality of our state government.

Yikes! Should be a fun afternoon.  

 

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Grover NorquistHow low have things sunk in the Raleigh policy debate? This low: A front group for corporations and greedy billionaires is bringing a has-been Washington lobbyist to town to promote higher taxes on poor and middle class North Carolinians and some are calling it a “tax reform” event.

Grover Norquist is about “reforming” tax policy in the same way that Rush Limbaugh is  about “reforming” American political discourse. Norquist is a well-funded bully who has done much to ruin the well-being of the Republic. His most infamous quote — that he wants to shrink government down to the size at which it can be “drowned in the bathtub” bespeaks the hatred and violent underpinnings of his noxious, greed-is-good “philosophy.”  

Norquist will confirm the dishonesty and hypocrisy that lies at the heart of his work today when Read More

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The Center for American Progress released its list of million-dollar judges — those whose 2012 election campaigns raked in that amount or more, on their own or with the help of independent spending.  Sharing the spotlight on that list is our own Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby:

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby was re-elected with the help of more than $2.5 million in independent spending. The state’s public financing program—long a model for states seeking to keep money out of judicial races—was overwhelmed by money from interest groups such as the state Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, a group affiliated with the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. North Carolina tobacco companies also chipped in hundreds of thousands of dollars after they benefited from a 2009 ruling, authored by Newby, in a dispute with tobacco farmers.

The largest donation, by far, was the more than $1 million from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that helped the state’s Republican legislature draft its recent redistricting maps. Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit alleging that the map disenfranchises minority voters, and the case is currently before the state supreme court. This money was instrumental in keeping a 4-3 conservative majority on the bench. North Carolina’s ethics rules say a judge should not hear a case if his or her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” but Justice Newby will hear the redistricting case despite the fact that he was re-elected thanks to millions of dollars from Republican groups that have a stake in the outcome.

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Art popeWhen the rumor surfaced yesterday that arch-right-wing money bags and politcal attack ad king Art Pope would be Pat McCrory’s new budget director, there was a lot of denial amongst the folks we talk with over here at Policy Watch. Folks simply couldn’t believe that the new Guv would take such an outrageous and politically risky step.

This would be like a President Romney appointing the Koch brothers as his directors of the EPA and IRS.

But, here we are, 24 hours later, getting our arms around the idea that the man actually did it! Today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File will explore this momentous decision in more detail so be on the lookout, but here is a preliminary take:

In one fell swoop, before he’s even taken office, Pat McCrory has done at least three very ill-advised things: Read More

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Looks like North Carolina’s Governor-elect  Pat McCrory is not interested in playing the silly Bev Perdue and Raleigh-bashing game enbraced with such gusto by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and the conservative shock troops at Americans for Prosperity.

In the first question at today’s press briefing. Jon Camp of ABC 11 asked McCrory for his thoughts on Perdue’s busy last few weeks in office and the hubbub in some circles surrounding her decision to lease the Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh.

Here’s what he said:

“She’s the governor. That’s how I feel about it. She has the authority to make those moves. And I uh…I’d expressed my opinion earlier on the Dix — I wish we could’ve waited. I’m, I’m all for the park.” Read More