U.S. attorney general says DOJ asked for public release of search warrant for Trump estate

Cunningham, Tillis to meet in UNC discussion on friendships across the political divide

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and former Demcoratic challenger Cal Cunningham will discuss building and maintaining friendships across the political divide.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and former N.C. State Senator Cal Cunningham, a Democrat, will meet in November as part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Abbey Speaker series.

The event, to be held November 10 at the Nelson Mandela Auditorium of the FedEx Global Education Center and livestreamed on Zoom, will focus on building and maintaining friendships across the political divide.

Cunningham challenged Tillis for his U.S. Senate seat in 2020 but failed in the wake of a sex scandal in which text messages revealed he carried on an extramarital affair while campaigning for office. The contest was the most expensive in U.S. history, with campaigns and outside groups spending more than $280 million as the outcome helped decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Cunningham kept a low profile as the scandal erupted around him in October, which political observers said contributed to his loss. He has since remained relatively low-profile.

The discussion, co-sponsored by the  UNC Institute of Politics. will be moderated by Sarah Treul Roberts, professor of Political Science and faculty director of UNC’s Program for Public Discourse.

Register for the Tillis/Cunningham discussion here.

More information on upcoming events as part of the Abbey Speaker Series and Program for Public Discourse here.

Former GOP congresswoman: Republicans vote against our children’s future with opposition to climate legislation

Image: AdobeStock

Congratulations to Democrats in the Senate for voting to restore American leadership on the defining threat of our time: climate change. Now, attention shifts to the upcoming House vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, whose provisions will help fight climate change and grow our economy by reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.

As a Republican former member of Congress, I am dismayed at today’s total lack of Republican support for protecting their constituents against this costly and current threat. How many more billion-dollar floods, forest fires, drought-stricken farms and disasters do we need before Republicans speak the truth about climate and take action?

When I introduced the revenue-neutral Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989 with 144 cosponsors of both parties, including Newt Gingrich, Republicans agreed that we needed to protect future generations from this danger. My bipartisan 1989 legislation contained clean-energy and tax provisions similar to today’s Inflation Reduction Act. It would have given America a three-decade head start on climate change leadership at a much lower cost.

But the political climate has changed as rapidly as the Earth’s climate, and Republicans have stuck their heads in the proverbial sand. Republicans must be held accountable today by their voters, their constituents, their children and grandchildren for this negligence.

Explain to them, as well as those ravaged by the flooding in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, that while you’ve held a position of leadership, you have instead obstructed well-being, jobs and a strong economy for decades. Likewise, Kevin McCarthy, your home state of California has been called “ground zero for climate disasters.” Yet you attempt to block all climate mitigation legislation even while your home state suffers from one costly and dangerous climate disaster after another.

It has taken Democrats in Congress to address this dangerous inaction, and not a moment too soon. Republicans, you have abandoned future generation, and that is your legacy — the legacy of a Republican Party that has cynically chosen to deny reality, truth and justice.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Republicans have lost the principle of “fiscal responsibility” as well.

Sadly, because of Republican obstruction for three decades, we’re now playing catch-up in a costly crisis management mode. I thank Democrats in Congress for their timely leadership. I congratulate President Joe Biden for his persistence in protecting the lives of future generations from the ravages of global warming.

Claudine Schneider is a Republican former United States congresswoman and was the first woman ever elected to a major political office in Rhode Island. She is now a Colorado resident and regular contributor to Colorado Newsline, which first published this essay.

Biden administration proposes changing how monkeypox vaccine is administered

State attorneys general, including NC’s Josh Stein, support new poultry rule but question oversight

Federal regulators say poultry producers are disadvantaged by the consolidation of meat processing. (Photo by Stephen Ausmus/Agricultural Research Service, USDA)

The attorneys general of 10 states, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, are backing a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is meant to get poultry growers fair agreements with meat processors, but they want stronger oversight.

“One of the many reasons it’s tough for small poultry farmers — and small farmers of all kinds — to afford their lives is because of imbalances of power, money and information between farmers and processors,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Monday when he joined his counterparts in nine states to publicly comment on the USDA proposal. “These imbalances lead to unfair competition and bad outcomes not only for these farmers, but for their communities and way of life.”

The USDA is soliciting comments on its proposed rule for Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments until Aug. 23. It is built on the provisions of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 that was adopted to ensure fair competition and trade for farmers and ranchers.

The proposal would require poultry dealers to provide information to producers about the minimum number of chicks they might be given to raise and what the dealers have paid other producers, among other information.

Further, those dealers that pay producers based on how they perform compared with other producers — what is referred to as a “tournament-style system” — would be required to divulge more specifics about the chicks that they provide to help the producers predict how much meat might result from them.

About 90% of broiler chickens — those that are raised for their meat — are brokered through contracts with meat processors, wrote the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

“Half of the chicken farmers in the United States work in regions that are dominated by one or two chicken processors,” they said. “The high buyer concentration in local markets allows poultry processors to respond punitively to any grower’s complaints about their contract. This leaves poultry growers no room to negotiate their contracts.”

As Policy Watch reported last year, Perdue suddenly canceled its contract with Robeson County chicken farmer Rudy Howell after he invited environmental and animal welfare advocates to his farm to document Perdue’s allegedly poor sanitation practices, as well as his public health concerns regarding the sick and dying hatchlings he received from the company. Read more