Tuesday News: Trust but verify

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NC BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS LEANING TOWARDS "READABLE PAPER BALLOTS": Anderson, Black and Carmon want to add new language to the state’s rules specifying that any voting machines used in North Carolina “shall produce human-readable marks on a paper ballot.” That’s in response to concerns raised by members of the public, including at a Sunday night meeting, that some of the machines in question would only produce a barcode printout — which most people wouldn’t be able to read to make sure that the touchscreen machine had correctly recorded their vote. Lynn Bernstein, a Wake County resident who has advocated for paper ballots, said after the meeting that she agrees with the vote to delay the decision. “It allows North Carolina to have the most secure elections in the United States,” she said. But Cordle, the board chairman, told the board he is worried about what the delay means for local officials scrambling to make arrangements for 2020. “I think the counties are going to be running into a real problem,” he said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article233278201.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This is what you do with bad legislation:

If they want to expand, they need to start by fixing their problems. But frankly, this "pilot" is about to crash that plane...

Stifling dissent: WUNC-TV set to cancel NC Spin

And once again, this behavior is usually associated with 3rd world dictatorships:

After almost 22 years on the air, the political debate show “NC Spin” will end on UNC-TV after its contract is up this year. Tom Campbell, the show’s founder and host, told The News & Observer this week that he learned of the decision in an email from UNC-TV’s interim director Kevin Fitzgerald last Friday.

Campbell thinks the show was essentially canceled because it had been critical of the UNC Board of Governors and its treatment of former UNC System presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol Folt and former East Carolina University chancellor Cecil Staton.

While there may have been an occasional controversial statement made by guests on the show, Tom Campbell has managed (well) to keep it balanced and informative. The truth is, the UNC BOG has made many questionable decisions, and has operated in a plainly partisan fashion on more than one occasion. Talking about that isn't "out of line," it's something everybody involved with UNC should be doing, from students to professors to alumni, and all points in-between. And to get rid of Tom's show while keeping this one:

Monday News: #StopRDUQuarry

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OPPOSITION MOUNTS TO RDU PLANS FOR UMSTEAD ROCK QUARRY: Opponents of a planned quarry on 105 acres of airport land next to Umstead State Park are hoping that a lawsuit filed in Wake County will stop the project. But they’ve also waged a public relations campaign against the quarry. And with local elections coming up this fall, that effort is becoming more political. On Saturday, quarry opponents held a rally at the park, urging people to elect candidates in Raleigh who will work to stop the project. Opponents say the four local governments should have more say about the lease, but so far none of them have moved to intervene. A proposal in the Raleigh City Council asking the authority to reconsider the lease failed when only four of the eight council members voted for it.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article233175711.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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RECKLESS PERSONAL ATTACKS HARM EFFORTS TO RESOLVE STATE HEALTH PLAN: At the same time Folwell announced what he termed his “final offer,” the State Employees Association of North Carolina, a key Folwell ally in his effort, launched a mean-spirited personal attack on Michael Waldrum – the CEO of Vidant Health – the system that serves 29 counties in eastern North Carolina and operates the teaching hospital for Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. The video mocks Waldrum as greedy and selfish. It complains that he seeks a “profit” for the non-profit health care system. Vidant’s operations are overseen by a board that has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain financial viability. This isn’t just about Waldrum. It is the board and Waldrum who must do the right things for the non-profit’s operations, for the employees and the patients. The reality is that without that “profit” many of those the system serves in the poorest region of the state will go without any care at all.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-reckless-personal-attacks-harm-efforts-to-resolve-state-health-plan/1...

Trump admin blocks Utah from expanding Medicaid

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And they would likely do the same to North Carolina:

According to the senior officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, White House advisers argued that it did not make sense to approve generous federal funding under the ACA while the administration is arguing that the entire law should be overturned.

White House advisers on the Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and National Economic Council, which are controlled by conservative Republicans, were the staunchest opponents of allowing Utah to receive enhanced federal funding for its expanded Medicaid program.

For every action there's a reaction. It may not be equal and opposite, but it trends that way. Utah voters passed a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, and Trump blocking that might just lose him that state in 2020:

Saturday News: King of Pork

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BERGER'S BUDGET SENDS $15 MILLION TO HIS OWN DISTRICT: Millions of dollars in the state budget are going to mostly Republican districts for water infrastructure and parks projects. While Republicans defend the allocations as needed help to rural areas, an environmental group questions the process and oversight. The North Carolina Conservation Network analyzed the budget and found that 91% of $25 million in parks and water infrastructure earmarks went to Republican districts. Most were in Senate leader Phil Berger’s district, which includes Eden, Yanceyville and King. As first reported by WBTV, the Conservation Network found that about $23.4 million in direct appropriations, known as earmarks, went to Republican-held Senate districts, and within that a $15 million loan to the city of King in Berger’s district.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article233124556.html

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