gregflynn's blog

Taking the 527 Home


 
The picture you see is of yard signs in a garden on my street. The garden is that of neighbor Scott Falmlen, former executive director of the state Democratic Party and one of the organizers of "FairJudges.net" the 527 committee which received and spent over $200,000 in "non-partisan" judicial races on behalf of the three Democratic judges shown and one Republican incumbent (running against late convert Democrat "persona non grata" Rachel Hunter). Scott is a nice guy who always waves when I pass him in the street.

Another 527 committee, the "NC Homeowners Alliance" spent over $70,000 mostly in opposition to State Representative Bonner Stiller, a Brunswick County two-term Republican. Stiller was re-elected. The "NC Homeowners Alliance" is actually an organ of the NC Association of Realtors whose lobbyist Tim Kent is a contact for the group. Tim is a nice guy, a former executive director of the NC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and, former newsman, who has always been helpful and thoughtful in his dealings with me.

          (read more below the fold........)

Home with John Edwards

Hot off a Daily Kos live blog from their own “Home” John and Elizabeth Edwards came home to Raleigh last night at Meredith College, barely a mile from my own home, for a reading by John Edwards from his new book "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives".

The Edwards were introduced by Nancy Olson owner of independent bookstore "Quail Ridge Books" which organized the event and which has a long history with the family she considers “the bookstore family”. She explained her excitement at seeing an “Edwards Obama” bumper sticker recently, an observation that received much applause.

Mercury Rising

I was about to do a different story on the John Locke Foundation when I stumbled over the latest toxic sludge that oozed out from under the curtain of the Puppetshow: "Fish Tales about Mercury, Why regulation of mercury is all cost and no benefit", or as claimed later in the article: "Methylmercury Generally Is Not a Public Health Concern". Go suck some thermometers boys and belly up to the barometers, mercury is rising! In elemental form mercury is not especially toxic until inhaled as vapor but in aquatic ecosystems it is converted to methylmercury, its most toxic form, which bioaccumulates in fish.
            (read more below the fold.......)

Morgan Releases Grand Jury Subpoena

Richard Morgan released a copy of his Federal Grand Jury subpoena today. There is an AP story out right now such as this one at the Durham Herald Sun. I'm not sure where they are going with this but the subpoena states that documents may be furnished to the IRS prior to the Grand Jury 11/15/06-11/16/06. It names 37 "Relevant Parties" and requests documents related to transactions with these "Relevant Parties" and copies of State and Federal tax returns 2002 through 2005. The subpoena also requests financial account information and photographs, videotapes and/or tape-recordings of any of the "Relevant Parties".

It looks like they are taking a money laundering angle. For anyone who wants a peek at the actual documents take a look below:        ( read more below the fold.....)

Upstream Media

Phone graphic from original Mother Jones articleI wouldn't ordinarily do a cut and paste job but an email I just received is worth sharing on BlueNC for a few reasons. It reinforces that what we do here scratching around in the dirt can have an impact and that we can bring to light issues that would otherwise be overlooked by mainstream media. In recent weeks BlueNC became aware of telemarketing push-polling and misleading robo-calling especially in NC-11. Some of that awareness came via Talkingpointsmemo.com and TPMmuckraker.com. I would like to tip the hat to TPM and to credit Mother Jones for originating the story especially as the original story highlighted the involvement of Texan Bob Perry who also flushed money down the toilet for Charles Taylor:

You might have seen the November 6, 2006 front page story in the New York Times by reporter Christopher Drew ("New Telemarketing Ploy Steers Voters on Republican Path"). It's worth a look, not just because it's an important story, and not just because Mother Jones helped break it about three weeks ago.        (More below the fold......)

State Ethics Reform Champions

North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections is a new coalition of advocacy organizations including: AARP, Center for Voter Education, Common Cause North Carolina, Democracy North Carolina, League of Women Voters, NC Conference of Branches of the NAACP, NC Association of Educators, NC PIRG, NC Council of Churches, and the NC Justice Center. NCVCE aims to advocate for "Voter Owned" elections and public financing of campaigns. Some, but not all of these groups, are also members of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying Reform.

In October NCVCE issued a legislative scorecard rating NC General Assembly members on their campaign finance and lobby reform votes in the 2005-2006 legislative session and summarized on a press release

Fourteen members in the N.C. House and eighteen members in the N.C. Senate received a perfect score of 100%. Thirty-nine House members and thirty-two Senate members received scores of 80% or above.

See high and low ratings below the fold............

Robin Hayes and God's Texas Sugar Daddy


Campaign reports show that Robin Hayes received $2,100 from Texan Dr James Leininger, known as "God's Sugar Daddy" and $2,100 from Cecelia Leininger his wife 11/03/2006. Leininger and Bob Perry are the top two Republican donors in Texas. What is it about these Texas right-wing zealots and North Carolina Congressional races?

Pew Poll Pews and Politics

No time for celebration yet but according to polling by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

Democrats Hold Double-Digit Lead in Competitive Districts
GOP Troubles Extend into Home Territory

According to the Denver Post

With polls showing likely Democratic gains, Republicans are pinning their hopes on getting out the vote. But studies show eroding GOP support among white evangelicals, a dependably Republican group.

Called2Deceive

If you went to church in Wake County this Sunday you might have encountered a voter guide produced by Called2Action, the evangelical Christian political group which misspells the names of two Democratic candidates for State House: Vernon Malone is listed as "Vernon Walker" and Ty Harrell is listed as "Tt Garrekk"
Update: see Called2Update below

While Called2Action claims to be non-partisan, the guide parallels the all-Republican endorsements of Called2Action’s political action committee, Called2Elect PAC. Called2Action lobbies for specific issues that narrowly define Republicans as good guys and Democrats as godless and the boundaries between Called2Action, Called2Elect PAC and churches are very blurry.

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