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The good people at Democracy NC released the following this morning:

Duke Energy Gives $3 Million to Committee Tied to Gov. Pat McCrory as He Guides Coal Ash Response

A new analysis of government records reveals that Duke Energy – the world’s largest private electric utility – began writing unusually large checks to the national Republican Governors Association while Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers debated how to respond to the company’s giant spill of coal ash sludge into the Dan River.

In four payments from June to December 2014, Duke sent the Republican Governors Association a total of $3,050,000 – more than 10 times its previous record donation to the RGA. Duke’s contributions made it the top corporate donor to the RGA in 2014 and the second largest donor, behind the $3.5 million given by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands.

In 2012, the RGA spent $5 million to boost the election of Pat McCrory as governor, and it is expected to be a major financial backer of his 2016 bid for reelection. Records show McCrory has attended numerous RGA events and helped the association raise funds.

“Duke Energy’s large donations raise questions about the governor’s ability to serve the public interest more than his own political interest,” said Bob Hall, executive director of the nonpartisan watchdog group Democracy North Carolina. “Critics say the coal ash regulation law passed in 2014 was too soft on Duke. Is this money the reason why?” Read More

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The Mecklenburg County GOP chairperson dismissed a party volunteer Sunday who tweeted a racially-charged comment about the state NAACP director under the political party’s account.

The tweet at 8:48 p.m. Sunday under the political party’s @meckgop account included a picture of the Rev. William Barber II, and said, “The Grand Wizard of the #MoralMondaysMorons #NCGOP #TeamPushBack.”

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Screen grab of Sunday’s tweet from @meckgop account

The grand wizard reference is to a white supremacist leader in the Ku Klux Klan.

Mecklenburg is the state’s most populous county, and prominent Republican state leaders Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis call it home.

Barber, the head of the state NAACP, has been the key figure organizing the weekly Monday protests during last year’s legislative session as well as this Saturday’s Mass Moral March which brought an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 to downtown Raleigh.

Brad Overcash, the chairman of the Mecklenburg Republican Party, said he found out about the @meckgop tweet Sunday night. He said he called the IT volunteer who had put it up and demanded an immediate resignation, as well as deletion of the tweet.

“I denounce the tweet,” Overcash told N.C. Policy Watch. “It was disgusting, wholly inappropriate and I’ve taken as quick and as swift an action as possible.”

Overcash declined to identify the volunteer, and said only a few people would have access to the party’s social media accounts in the future.

“This was not the position of the GOP in Meck,” Overcash said.

Below is a video postcard of Saturday’s march in Raleigh:

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While it was obviously the right thing for state GOP leaders to sack party official Don Yelton in the wake of his off-the-rails performance on The Daily Show the other day,  a quick Internet search reveals that there was plenty of reason to expect his comically deranged and hate-tinged flameout for some time — enough, indeed, to make a body wonder why Claude Pope didn’t officially repudiate the man years ago.

As you can see in the video immediately below, Yelton actually testified before the General Assembly on the voter suppression bill earlier this year and displayed a coherence about on par with his Daily Show rant.

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But before that, Yelton had made numerous recorded speeches and even hosted a public access TV show in Asheville called “Citizens Speak.” Click here to peruse a veritable cavalcade of craziness.

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It looks like Governor McCrory’s role in the big tax cut debate between House and Senate leaders might be merely to market what the legislative leaders come up with.

Here’s what House Speaker Thom Tillis told the News & Observer about McCrory’s role in the discussion about a tax deal.

We need the governor fully on board so he can communicate it and get people to understand it.

That’s a bit of an odd take from Tillis. He didn’t say they need to work with the governor because he is running the state or because he is the top elected official of their own political party or heaven forbid, because he might have some policy ideas and strongly held views of his own about taxes.

No, they need the governor on board only to sell the package that Berger and Tillis decide on. It is pretty clear legislative leaders believe they are in charge in Raleigh these days. McCrory? He is their PR guy.

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About each other, that is.

In case you missed it the other day, John Nichols of The Nation had one of the most insightful takes on the latest developments in the GOP presidential primary battle. In it, he quotes thus far unsuccessful GOP candidate Buddy Roemer’s to-the-point tweet:

 “The two frontrunners: A lobbyist and corporate shill. Why are they on top? They have the most $$. We can do better”