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Phil BergerWRAL has video of all 36 minutes of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s surprisingly far-ranging press conference today and today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File will have a thorough analysis shortly.

For those looking for some preliminary quick takeaways, however, here were a few of the highlights/low-lights:

Berger has decided to go all in with the far right agenda and appears to see it as his pathway to seeking the GOP nomination to take on Kay Hagan in 2014. Moreover, his legislative “agenda” was/is an utterly predictable recitation of Locke Foundation/Civitas/Art Pope priorities: Read More

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This is just plain ridiculous. Thom Tillis was for it and was prepared to find the money. Bev Perdue was too. And now it appears Pat McCrory is as well. And still North Carolina has not moved (and may not move) to compensate the surviving victims of the state’s disastrous forced sterilization program of the mid-20th Century.

And the reason: the state Senate and its leader Phil Berger. Here’s a Berger  spokesperson addressing the issue in this morning’s Wilmington Star-News:

“While his heart goes out to the victims, the current economic environment – coupled with the difficult budgetary realities inherited from past General Assemblies – prevented us from pursuing proposals to provide financial compensation during our last session,” Auth said.

This is just an embarrassing truckload of crapola. “Current economic environment”? “Difficult budgetary realities”? This from a man who helped ram through a series of absurd tax giveaways to fat cats and profitable corporations in the 2011-12 session? At least Tillis doesn’t have the gall to hide behind such a shameful smokescreen.

There was a time when the Senate President Pro Tem  was widely regarded in Raleigh as a pretty reasonable guy and certainly not an right-wing ideologue. Unfortunately, those times appear to have come and gone.

Governor Perdue is in the midst of a hectic conclusion to her term, but the Winston-Salem Journal has a good suggestion for her “to do” list over the next few weeks. The paper, which has tirelessly championed the victims of the state’s tragic forced sterilization program of the mid-20th Century, is calling on the Guv to do the right thing for the victims prior to leaving office:

“Tis the season to be jolly for many North Carolinians, especially those lucky enough to have a job. But many of the victims of the state’s forced sterilization program live on in their own private hell, one compounded this year when their heightened hopes of finally being compensated were dashed in the state Senate. Gov. Bev Perdue fought for them, but she needs to fight harder before she leaves office in a few weeks.

She should quickly take decisive action. She should urge the state’s hospitals and charitable foundations, especially those that played a role in the program that sterilized more than 7,600 men, women and children from 1929 through 1974, to challenge the legislature with matching grants to make compensation happen as soon as the legislature returns to Raleigh in January.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

No paper has more thoughtfully and consistently championed the cause of North Carolina’s long and shamefully ignored eugenics victims than the Winston Salem Journal. Much to the paper’s credit, it has consistently kept the story alive and called for justice for the thousands of people harmed by state government.

This morning, the paper has an excellent editorial in which it urges Governor Perdue to call a special session to pass compensation legislation (something that passed the House earlier this year, but that was killed by Senate Republican leaders).

In an ironic twist to the story, one of the most vocal Senate opponents of compensation, Senator Don East of Surry County, passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

 

 

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No media outlet in the state has more forcefully and consistently advanced the cause of eugenics victims than the Winston-Salem JournalThis morning’s editorial tells the truth once more about the state’s shameful failure and, in particular, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s pig-headed and mean-spirited stance as THE roadblock to justice.

Hope you’re feeling especially proud this morning, Phil.