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Sometimes one just has to laugh at the bald-faced whoppers that some politicos will tell when they’ve been discovered with their hands in the cookie jar or in a place they ain’t supposed to be. Case in point: the school voucher group, Parents for Educational Freedom attempting to explain an all-expense paid trip to Miami for a gaggle of legislators (including the Speaker of the House), legislative staffers and at least three lobbyists for the group.

According to this article in the Fayetteville Observer:

“Stan Chambers, a spokesman for the Raleigh-based lobbying group, told me Monday that the trip was designed to educate the 11 state lawmakers who went about Florida’s education tax credit program.

Chambers said the overnight trip did not include any lobbying or formal presentations by Parents for Educational Freedom.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Say what??!!  Come on, Stan, give us a break. Read More

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In case you had any doubt that it helps a lot in modern American politics to be rich — I mean really rich — consider the case of two former candidates for President who have or will stand before banks of TV cameras in Greensboro, North Carolina this week.

One is a rich, dishonest and narcissistic adulterer with expensive hair. The other is…a rich, dishonest and narcissistic adulterer with expensive hair.

Here’s the big difference between the two (other than their politics — a place where one of the two has actually expressed concern for the less fortunate at times during his life): One guy is pretty rich and the other guy is REALLY rich.

Now, guess which one just missed going to jail by the skin of his teeth and which one will be treated like royality while serving as the keynote speaker of the North Carolina Republican Party convention.

See what I mean about the importance of being REALLY rich?

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Hey folks — please come to this very special event on June 12 if you get the chance (details after the break…)

How money corrupts our politics and how to stop it

The following is from the introduction to a 2011 interview in Rolling Stone magazine with Harvard Law School professor, Lawrence Lessig.

“‘There is a feeling today among too many Americans that we might not make it,’ Lawrence Lessig writes in the introduction to his new book Republic, Lost. ‘Not that the end is near or that doom is around the corner, but that a distinctly American feeling of inevitability, of greatness – culturally, economically, politically — is gone.’ He goes on to note that Americans’ trust in government is at an all-time low, related to the (largely accurate) belief that moneyed special interests wield outsize influence over our political system. In his book, Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor and big noise in the field of law and technology, details how money came to corrupt our government, how our broken system hurts both the Left and the Right, and what it will take to return American democracy to its rightful owners – the people.”

Please join NC Policy Watch and Common Cause of North Carolina for a very special Crucial Conversation BREAKFAST with this important national figure.  

When: Tuesday June 12  at 8:00 a.m. Read More

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NC Voters for Clean Elections is out with a new and, sadly, not terribly surprising report on the big campaign money flowing from the pro-fracking crowd. This is from the release that accompanied the report:

RALEIGH, N.C. – As North Carolina lawmakers take up a new bill on hydraulic fracturing, the much-debated energy drilling method commonly known as “fracking,” a new report finds that energy interests tied to fracking gave campaign contributions to more than 100 state legislators between 2009 and 2011.

The report by N.C. Voters for Clean Elections, a state coalition focused on the role of money in politics, also finds that legislators who supported a pro-fracking bill in 2011 received more than triple the amount of campaign money from energy interests than did opponents of the legislation. Read More

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In case you missed it, the Wlimington Star News posted an excellent editorial yesterday afternoon about the latest, warmed-over school voucher proposal at the General Assembly. After noting the excellent reporting by Sarah Ovaska here at NC Policy Watch about a lawmaker junket to Florida sponsored by a pro-voucher lobby group, the editorial has this to say:

“If Republican lawmakers are truly interested in improving the public schools, they should stop trying to dismantle them and work on reducing class sizes, improving teacher training, putting more resources into extra tutoring for students who are behind, and stop taking money away for supplies, technology, textbooks and teachers.”

To which, all a body can say is AMEN!

You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.