Friday News: Inexcusable

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ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST MARK JOHNSON OVER MASS TEXTS: Multiple ethics complaints filed on Thursday accuse State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson of misusing his position by accessing a state database to send what they say was a politically motivated mass text message to parents and teachers. Johnson sent 540,000 text messages and 800,000 email messages Tuesday to parents and educators telling them he opposes Common Core and asking them to take an online survey about the education standards. Opposition to Common Core is a major part of Johnson’s campaign to become North Carolina’s next lieutenant governor. The complaints say the messages were designed for Johnson’s personal gain as opposed to being for official purposes as superintendent. The complaints say the messages were meant to coincide with this week’s start of early voting before the March 3 primary.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article240226681.html

Early voting for 2020 Primary begins today

Say hello to Michael Bennet. But also, say goodbye to Michael Bennet. He's one of (currently) seven Democratic Presidential candidates on your ballot that is no longer in the race. Before you set out for your early voting site, look up your sample ballot on the Board of Elections website, because you've likely got other elections like County Commissioner of which you may not be aware. Take the time to get it right, democracy is counting on you.

Queen Aldona picked to be Canadian Ambassador

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We really should not insult our Northern neighbor like that:

In the 2018 election cycle, Wos gave more than $760,000 to Republican candidates and causes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wos led the state Department of Health and Human Services for about 30 months.

While her boss, former Gov. Pat McCrory, gave her high marks for controlling Medicaid spending, her term was marked by threats from the federal government to sanction the state for food-stamp failures, a temporary shutdown of food benefits to low-income women and infants, and questions about no-bid contracts and the hiring of an executive from her husband’s firm to a high-paying, contract position as her assistant, The News & Observer previously reported.

In her defense, she had her caterers box up what was leftover from her bi-weekly dinner parties and gave that food to her housekeepers and landscapers. Except for the Flan. She kept the Flan.

Thursday News: No standing

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JUDGE BADDOUR VACATES $2.5 MILLION SILENT SAM SETTLEMENT: A judge on Wednesday threw out a $2.5 million deal to give the controversial "Silent Sam" monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, saying the group had no legal right to negotiate the deal with the University of North Carolina system. It's unclear what happens now with Silent Sam, which stood on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus for more than a century before protesters pulled it down in August 2018. The statue had been in storage from the time of the protest until the UNC Board of Governors reached a deal with the SCV on the day before Thanksgiving. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour gave the Board of Governors until next Monday to figure out what they want to do with the statue. If they don't respond, he said he might hold another hearing on that issue.
https://www.wral.com/judge-throws-out-silent-sam-deal/18948287/

Silent Sham hearing in progress right now

Joe Killian with the Progressive Pulse is live-Tweeting:

They basically just admitted this thing was rushed to avoid the opposition they knew would surface after the deal was made public. I'll post a few more, but you should jump over to Twitter and follow it:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Erin Brockovich targets cancer clusters near Lake Norman

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And coal ash is emerging as the #1 suspect:

Brockovich says she's also concerned about records included in our Defenders investigation that for decades, Duke Energy sold coal ash to be used as construction fill for development projects. DEQ records show between 1995 and 2001, about 1 million cubic yards of coal ash was sold off and buried across the area – more than anywhere else in the state. And that total doesn’t even include smaller projects that state leaders admit were not documented at all.

“Really? You built a community on coal ash?" Brockovich said. "Why aren’t you doing testing? Is there some soil vapor plume, are we being exposed to it is it is blowing around in the wind and we’re inhaling it?”

Get that? Even if Duke Energy digs up all the ash at the Marshall Steam Station and secures it in lined pits, there's a million cubic yards of it in the ground, under neighborhoods, that nobody even knew existed. We're not just talking Hexavalent Chromium, you got Mercury, Arsenic, Selenium, and even radioactive elements in that mess. Testing needs to begin, like yesterday:

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