Christian Dem in NC's blog

SBI needs to be placed under court supervision

After reading the first two stories of the N&O's investigation of the SBI (which I summarized at dKos), I find myself thinking something I haven't thought since Jesse Helms' days--I'm ashamed to be a North Carolinian. Although there are two more parts of this story, I've seen enough to think that at some point, a federal or state judge needs to step up and place the SBI under court supervision.

NC pork industry lobby derails puppy mill bill

Cross-posted at dKos

The North Carolina General Assembly tried and failed for the second year in a row to rein in puppy mills. Yet the reason it failed this year is one of the most comical I've seen yet. It was well on its way to passage before it ran into opposition from--wait for it--the state pork industry lobby.

The N.C. Pork Council, which represents a $2.2 billion industry in the state, opposed Senate Bill 460, which sought to "eliminate abusive practices and provide for the humane care and treatment of dogs and puppies by establishing standards for their care at commercial breeding operations."

North Carolina needs more protection against filing false charges (a personal story)

Cross-posted at dKos

Last week, I mentioned how a Charlotte cop was caught trying to coach a victim's identifying a suspect in a robbery/carjacking case. He was only caught because the victim was a lawyer, and felt morally obligated as an officer of the court to report the officer's actions--even if it meant that the suspect would likely go free. It brought back bad memories of when I was the victim of false charges back in 2006, in the midst of leaving a bad marriage. If the DA handling the case had the same pangs as that lawyer had had, I wouldn't have had to endure the mental anguish of having to go to court for something I didn't do.

"Win at all costs" comes to Charlotte

We've all seen a number of cases where manifestly guilty defendants have ended up walking because either the police or the prosecutors wound up shredding the Constitution in order to get convictions. Well, it seems that mentality has trickled to the local level. Recently, a Charlotte cop was forced to resign after it emerged

Easley used private email for state business

Cross-posted at dKos

Mike Easley's former communications director dropped a bombshell on Tuesday--her boss conducted state business on a secret email account.

Easley's former communications director Sherri Johnson testified in a deposition that Easley kept the secret account and used it for state business. Johnson was being deposed as part of a public records lawsuit filed by The N&O, The Charlotte Observer, The John Locke Foundation and several other news media outlets over access to e-mail messages.

The news organizations sued after some public information officers in state government said Easley's administration routinely deleted e-mail communication and advised other state public information officers to do the same. The state's public records law says that e-mail messages are public records no different than other state documents.

According to Johnson, the email account was under the name "Nick Danger," written backwards because Easley had a habit of writing backwards. Nick Danger, for those who don't know, is a character from a 1960s comedy troupe.

Wingers threatening legal action to force Cecil Bothwell off Asheville City Council

Cross-posted at dKos

Back on Thursday, I mentioned the saga of Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell. Some fundies over there want to bounce him from office because he's an atheist--and cite a provision in the state constitution that requires you to profess belief in God in order to hold office. Never mind that this provision is unenforceable due to numerous provisions of the federal Constitution (Article VI, the Supremacy Clause and the 1st and 14th Amendments). The Asheville City Council didn't back down, and Bothwell was duly sworn in.

But yesterday, the fundies vowed to press on.

One foe, H.K. Edgerton, is threatening to file a lawsuit in state court against the city to challenge Bothwell's appointment.

My experience with dominionist Christianity

Most of you noticed my alarm at discovering that Tim D'Annunzio, one of the Repubs trying to unseat Larry Kissell, attends a church affiliated with a borderline fascist strain of charismatic Christianity. I take things like this very personally, since I was almost suckered into joining a similar outfit when I was a freshman at Carolina. I've mentioned it in passing on here since I first started posting back in 2006, but haven't really talked about it in full until now.

It's been almost 13 years since I broke free of that bunch. However, the scars still run pretty deep. These guys stole the first six months of my adult life--what should have been the happiest time of my life--from me. About the only good thing that came out of it is that their shabby attempt to turn me into a Christian conservative failed miserably--and I ended up even more of a Democrat than I was coming in.

Kissell being outraised by a Repub

cross-posted at dKos

While I was driving up to Chapel Hill yesterday for the Carolina-Florida State game (which we lost, unfortunately), I was shocked to see a sign along I-85 near Concord advertising a Republican candidate in NC-08 named Tim D'Annunzio. I saw another one near Kannapolis when I was driving home this morning. Now how the heck is this happening? I wondered. Then I found an article in last week's Charlotte Observer saying that this guy is outraising our guy, Larry Kissell.

Tim D'Annunzio of Raeford, a conservative who ran his own TV ads against Barack Obama last year, has more than $260,000 in his campaign account, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. Kissell has $245,000.

Considering that candidates in NC-08 have to run ads in Charlotte and the Triangle (Fayetteville, the second-biggest metro in the district, is part of the Triangle market), those numbers should make any Dem--especially in North Carolina--nervous.

Marshall tees up Burr for vote on rape legislation

cross-posted at dKos

As most of you know, Richard Burr was one of the 30 Republicans who voted against an amendment that would require corporations to allow sexual assault cases to go to court rather than arbitration. Well, today, his opponent, Elaine Marshall, slammed him for it.

"Senator Burr has obviously been in Washington too long," said Marshall, who is one of two Democrats who say they will challenge Burr's 2010 bid for a second term. She is also a founder of a rape crisis center. "This is a clear-cut case of right versus wrong, and Richard Burr got it wrong."

Burr also got slammed by Jon Stewart--haven't been able to find video of that yet.

Burr votes AGAINST Franken amendment

Yesterday, Al Franken proposed an amendment to the defense spending bill that would require KBR to allow its employees to pursue rape cases in court rather than arbitration. A whopping 30 senators, all Republicans, voted no. Among the noes--our own Richard Burr. Time to pester him ... contact info after the jump.

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