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The folks at Progress NC have identified a simple way to end the General Assembly’s absurd attempt to re-legalize predatory, triple-digit interest payday loans in North Carolina: The State’s Governor can simply reiterate the opposition to the industry that he voiced in his 2007 campaign for re-election as Mayor of Charlotte.

This is from a Progress NC release sent out this morning:

RALEIGH – Progress NC today called on Gov. Pat McCrory to speak out against payday lending, a position he’s already taken. A new bill filed in the NC Senate would bring predatory payday lenders back to North Carolina for the first time since 2006. Senate Bill 89 would allow payday lenders to charge interest up to 391% annually. 

In a 2007 mayoral debate, Pat McCrory spoke out against payday lending: Read More

John Frank of Raleigh’s News & Observer had a fascinating and at times ironic post in Under the Dome this morning about Governor McCrory’s supposed desire to ”break out of the Raleigh bubble” and mix it up with the real people on “Main Street.”  According to Frank, the Guv traveled to the Johnston County community of Clayton yesterday so that he could get a hot dog at an historic diner and talk with local conservative politicians and some other supporters.

He also used the event to complain that “the media” is wrongfully reporting that he is not providing more specifics about his policies, though — you guessed it — he provided no specifics at the appearance about any policies.  

What didn’t make it into the story is that McCrory’s little mixer appear to have come a little late for the everyday lunch crowd. According to McCrory’s official schedule, Read More

Dianna Lightfoot is facing more questions, after a Winston-Salem news outlet discovered she’d registered to vote using an address of a UPS store.

Dianna Lightfoot

Dianna Lightfoot

Lightfoot, 61, of Winston-Salem, resigned yesterday morning after being appointed two days earlier by new N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos to heading the state’s pre-K and child development division. Lightfoot’s resignation (more about that here) came after comments and positions she’d taken  criticizing government-run early education programs and Tea Party-related causes surfaced. Those comments included a comment from her now-deactivated Twitter account in which she referred to women appointed in the Obama Administration as a “butch bunch.” Lightfoot Tweet

The news about the voter registration issues was first reported Thursday morning by the Camel City Dispatch, a relatively new independent, non-profit news website in Winston-Salem that found Lightfoot registered to vote in the spring of 2012 using the address of a UPS store at 353 Jonestown Road, a UPS store where Lightfoot has an address. State elections law requires that individuals use their residential, and not mailing address, when registering to vote.

Providing false or misleading information on a voter registration form can lead to a lower-level felony charge.

The news was later picked by the Winston-Salem Journal, which ran a story today that included an interview from Lightfoot’s mother who said Lightfoot had been devastated by the intense media attention this week.

DHHS has not chosen a successor to Lightfoot.

UPDATE (added since original publication): Robert Coffman, the director of elections in Forsyth County, said he will refer to matter to his three-member board, who can then ask for the state board of elections to look into the matter, or the local district attorney. Prosecution over voter registration address matters are rare, he added, and his office is waiting to see if the voter, Lightfoot, contacts them to change her voter registration to her residential address. That hasn’t happened yet.

One of Western North Carolina’s keenest and, frequently, most biting political obervers is Jerry Williamson of the blog Watauga Watch. This week,Williamson has been taking the measure of North Carolina’s new governor as he completes his first month in office. The verdict: He is not, to say the least, overly-impressed.

“It took just three days for Pat McCrory to go from promising, young, forward-thinking Republican governor of North Carolina … to a bumbling cypher, ignored by his own Republican super-majority in the General Assembly and led into public blunders by operatives smarter than he.”

Read both of Williamson’s posts on this matter by clicking here: Part I. Part II.

 

Adam Searing has an important op-ed today over on the main Policy Watch site about the bogus attacks leveled against the state Medicaid program last week by Governor McCrory, HHS Secretary Aldona Wos and State Auditor Beth Wood.

Critics of North Carolina’s Medicaid program – the publicly-funded health insurance program for adults and children of low income – made some headlines in recent days by touting a new state audit that supposedly showed a large and previously unreported budget deficit. The critics, who included Governor McCrory and his State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, claimed that Medicaid had gone $375 over budget with state dollars and more than $1 billion over budget when federal dollars are included.

At the Governor’s news conference announcing the audit, DHHS Secretary Wos, lectured the Medicaid section of her agency: “Cost overruns will not be tolerated and will not be acceptable …There’s a budget for a reason.”

Conservatives are also using this audit as a reason for the state not to expand the Medicaid program to cover a half-million uninsured people as made possible by Obamacare (even though the expansion would be financed almost completely by the federal government).

There’s just one problem with McCrory and Wos’ conclusion: It’s bogus.

Read the entire column by clicking here.