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Phil BergerThe over-the-top invective and mean-spirited attacks from the leader of the North Carolina’s state Senate, Sen. Phil Berger, continue to spew forth with disturbing regularity. Today, using language and uttering accusations that one would have thought unworthy of one of the state’s top elected officials, Berger described modest efforts by the North Carolina Association of Educators and other supporters of public schools to call attention to the state’s ongoing underfunding of its public schools and attacks on teachers as: ”bully tactics of an organized union that puts kids’ safety at risk to gin up its membership and inflate the salaries of its executives.”

Good lord — somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

The NCAE has, if anything, bent over backwards in recent years to try to work with GOP leaders in the General Assembly. Despite incessant, targeted attacks Read More

In case you missed it, this Fayetteville Observer editorial helps explain the remarkable blindness of the Pope/Tillis/Berger/McCrory decision to deny health insurance to a half-million North Carolinians by refusing to allow the expansion of Medicaid at a comparatively tiny cost to the state. After documenting the disastrous impact the decision is having on poorer, rural hospitals like Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, the editorial concludes this way:

“The rationale for the legislature’s decision was that Medicaid is “broken” because its cost rose as more people sought assistance while recovery from a record recession lagged.

The illogic of that position must be drawing some political heat. This week Senate and House leaders took to filming a protest and doing head counts of protesters and journalists – small-bore politics.

‘An expansion of Medicaid would cost North Carolina taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars through 2021,’ they said in a joint release.

Probably so. But not expanding Medicaid is going to cost us billions, much sooner. If it leaves a landscape strewn with closed, underfunded or understaffed hospitals, that will be the heaviest cost of all.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

In case you missed it over the weekend, Raleigh’s News & Observer told it like it is in an editorial about the state’s destructive new teacher “tenure” law:

“Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has an idea that North Carolina is rife with incompetent teachers who coast along in the system thanks to tenure. That’s why he pushed through legislation this year that will end tenure protection for the so-called low performers and will reward the high performers. Read More

In case you missed it, here is the official NAACP response to the revelations from earlier this week that Raleigh police spied on Moral Monday protester planning sessions:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 October 2013

NC NAACP Responds to Raleigh Police Surveillance of Moral Monday Mobilization Sessions

DURHAM – It is deeply concerning that the Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis and Senate Pro Temp, Phil Berger created a climate of hostility and suspicion around Moral Monday protesters.  It is our understanding that they or their staff ordered the arrests.  They chose to criminalize legitimate peaceful protest. Now they are suggesting that they had knowledge of so called anarchists.  This claim strikes us as strange since our staff and team were in constant talks with the capital police and we were never informed of so called anarchists. To say things of this nature could be construed as an attempt to mar the image of the protesters and to change the message of the movement.  The fact is North Carolina citizens followed their first amendment rights and their rights under the North Carolina State Constitution, Article 1, Section 12 by seeking redress of their grievances regarding the extreme and regressive policies passed by elected officials this year.  North Carolinians of all socio economic backgrounds, colors and creeds operated under the best of the moral – non violent tradition when they came together. Read More