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State Legislative Session Begins

The 2009-2010 session of the North Carolina General Assembly has begun. Galleries are packed. An overflow crowd is gathered outside the chambers or watching a live feed in an adjacent auditorium. The picture shows the House chamber. Click on the image for a couple more photos.


Update: Leave it to the professionals to capture the true bitter sweet flavor of the opening session:

Matt Saldana at Triangulator blog at The Independent Weekly:
Day 1: Stam invokes Defense of Marriage, and other notes from the Ledge

Laura Leslie at Isaac Hunter's Tavern blog at WUNC:
Wed. late: They're BAA-aaack...

Ask a Journalist

I'm not a journalist but I've been surrounded by them for the past day and will be again today at Capitolbeat 2008 a national conference of statehouse reporters and editors being held in Raleigh. This afternoon, in the graveyard shift of conferences, just before happy hour, I'll be on a panel called "Ask a Blogger". The good news is that this session will be in a bar. The bad news is that I'll be a blogger surrounded by journalists in a bar. So to turn the tables and to allow for an exchange of information I want to give you an opportunity to "Ask a Journalist" all those burning questions about the mainstream media.

Pat McCrory's Crime Rate

Charlotte has a crime rate about double that of Raleigh. Pat McCrory wants to bring his kind of "success" to Raleigh. We don't need it. We don't need a crime rate that's higher than New York, Los Angeles, or Raleigh.

Pat McCrory the Earl of Duke

An examination of Pat McCrory's campaign finance reports shows that he has received $45,150 from Duke Energy sources since the beginning of July 2008. This brings the total in contributions from Duke Energy sources to his campaign for Governor to $134,765 or a grand total of $151,520 from Duke Energy and affiliated sources throughout his political career.

Patrick "Duke" McCrory's Conflicts of Interest with respect to Duke Energy have been outlined and documented previously. The fact that McCrory's campaign has received $134,765 (about the same as the Governor's salary) from Duke Energy sources in his run for Governor raises even more questions about his ability to put the interests of the people of North Carolina above the interests of his "former" employer.

NC Republican Smear: All Radical American Haters for Obama

First Michele Bachmann, Robin Hayes and, Randy Kuhl. Now a State Senator, NC Republican Neal Hunt wallows in the mud.

"I would like some, some, normal person that knew him growing up to come forward and say "I love America and, and eh, I really like Barack Obama" I just hadn't seen anybody like that. Everybody, all of his associations seem to be radical American haters."

Hat Tip: WhalerCane

McCrory Campaign Incorrectly Listed Columnist Christensen as Contributor

From McCrory's Third Quarter Report:

10/9/2008 $100
ROBERT CHRISTENSEN, COLUMNIST, THE NEWS AND OBSERVER
Individual Contribution, Check

UPDATE from Ryan at The Dome:

I just spoke with Rob. He said that he has not given a donation to any political campaign and does not sign his name as Robert on checks. We're not sure what this is about at this point, but we'll keep you posted.

LATE UPDATE: McCrory campaign messed up. They Googled "Rob Christensen" and found the columnist.

Don't think James will mind I changed the headline, think he stepped out. - RP
I changed it again - GF

Patrick "Duke" McCrory's Conflicts of Interest

Pat McCrory is still Mayor of Charlotte and only in January "quit" his simultaneous full time job with Duke Energy to run for Governor. Duke Energy PAC gave McCrory $4,000 the same month and $4,000 this July [7/23/08 according to FEC reports]. McCrory still will not disclose the full extent of his financial relationship with Duke Energy and related businesses.

McCrory once went to Washington, in 1997, to testify, as Mayor, against EPA clean air regulations for the Charlotte area that would have cost Duke Energy $600 million.

Again in 2007 McCrory spoke on Capitol Hill at a hearing of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. McCrory talked about climate change and advocated for "clean coal" and nuclear power, both beneficial to Duke Energy. He addressed the hearing as Mayor of Charlotte and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Environment Committee. He did not state that he was also an employee of Duke Energy even though his boss addressed the hearing the very next day.

Yesterday the NC Democratic Party issued a press release with more examples of Pat McCrory's conflicts of interest with respect to Duke Energy and his role as Mayor.

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