NCDP Clips 12/14/18




Today’s daily clips from the NCDP

View this email in your browser

 NC-09 INVESTIGATION  
Columbus County sheriff paid group under investigation for NC9 election fraud
WECT // Emily Featherston // December 10, 2018
Summary: While eyes are on Bladen County, the number of candidates who gave money to the business implicated in an election fraud investigation continues to grow. According to campaign finance documents, the election committee for Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene paid Red Dome Group $2,500 in August and $1,800 in late October for “consulting for the campaign.” Red Dome was subpoenaed Friday by the state board of elections, and is linked to McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County resident and convicted felon who has been accused of harvesting and tampering with absentee by mail ballots.

The Fight Over Election Fraud In North Carolina Could Drag On For Months
FiveThirtyEight // Nathaniel Rakich // December 13, 2018
Summary: It has been 13 days since we last wrote about potential election fraud in the North Carolina 9th District, and we are no closer to a resolution. The week of Nov. 26, the North Carolina State Board of Elections twice refused to certify the results of the congressional election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready as both reports from voters and irregular patterns in the data suggested that absentee votes in the district were being illegally cast or discarded. As it currently stands, the extent of the suspected election fraud could be enough to change the outcome of the election — Harris leads by just 905 votes. What follows is an update of what’s happened in the past two weeks, including who might be connected to the alleged fraud, what types of voters may have been targeted and how this election might be resolved

State BOE expands election investigation, asks for extension
WBTV // Staff // December 12, 2018
Summary: WBTV Investigates has uncovered the North Carolina State Board of Elections is widening its election fraud investigation in Bladen County. At the same time, board chair Joshua Malcolm is making his case to judges to extend the deadline before the board dissolves.

  GOV. COOPER NEWS  
 
Deadline to Register for Federal Hurricane Florence Assistance Extended to Dec. 19 Governor Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Apply with FEMA Right Away
Gov. Roy Cooper // Press Release // December 13, 2018

Summary: The deadline for North Carolinians who suffered damage during Hurricane Florence to apply for federal help has now been extended to December 19, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. Gov. Cooper requested the extension to give North Carolinians more time to take the critical step of applying for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Recovery efforts in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence continue to progress, with now more than $1 billion in state and federal resources approved for people in the state.  The first step in applying for assistance is to register with FEMA. The deadline to register has been extended to December 19, at 11:59 p.m.

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEWS 
Consultant at center of Bladen elections probe worked for Rep. Brenden Jones
News Reporter // NR Staff // December 13, 2018
Summary:  The man at the center of an elections fraud investigation in Bladen County was paid to work on Rep. Brenden Jones’ (R-Columbus) re-election campaign this year. Jones’ campaign paid Red Dome Group, a conservative political consulting firm based in Cornelius, $4,958.87 for “campaign materials/absentee program” on Oct. 7, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state board of elections. Red Dome hired Dowless to work for Jones’ campaign, the legislator confirmed Thursday morning.

Steinburg fires aide after tape surfaces
Daily Advance // Jon Hawley // December 12, 2018
Summary: After first saying he was standing by her, state Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, has fired his legislative assistant in the wake of her guilty plea to misdemeanor larceny. Diana London’s employment with Steinburg’s office ended Monday at 5 p.m., the lawmaker said in an email. In a followup phone call on Tuesday, Steinburg claimed he fired London because she had not been forthcoming with him about the existence of a recording incriminating her in the crime to which she pleaded guilty.

After years of warnings about K-12 infrastructure, Speaker Moore to file $1.9 billion school bond bill
Progressive Pulse // Billy Ball // December 13, 2018

Summary: North Carolina lawmakers were told nearly three years ago that the state’s school infrastructure needs had reached a staggering $8 billion or more. Yet efforts to put a statewide school bond referendum on the ballot were stymied by North Carolina lawmakers in recent years. Today’s news might mean, however, that the proposal may finally have some momentum in the legislature. State House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would file a bill to put a $1.9 billion public school bond on the ballot, addressing at least a portion of the state’s capital needs. According to Moore’s release, $1.3 billion would go to K-12 construction needs, $300 million to the UNC system, and $300 million to North Carolina’s community colleges.

Lawmakers again reject Cooper workers’ comp panel nominee
WRAL // Staff // December 13, 2018

Summary: Republican legislators have rejected another candidate from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The House voted 34-59 on Thursday against confirming Judge Robby Hassell of Greensboro. Cooper nominated Hassell for a commission seat designated for a representative of employers’ interests. Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary says Hassell’s background doesn’t conform to that requirement.

Sen. Phil Berger of Eden, Rep. Tim Moore of Kings Mountain are the GOP’s choices to run NC legislative chambers
Greensboro N&R // AP // December 13, 2018

Summary: Republican lawmakers want the current top North Carolina House and Senate leaders to run their respective chambers for another two years. Freshman GOP legislators and incumbents elected in November have agreed to support current House Speaker Tim Moore of Kings Mountain for a third term as speaker. Caucus members said they chose Moore as their nominee Wednesday by acclamation.

Humphrey elected to N.C. House leadership position
Neuse News // Staff // December 13, 2018

Summary: N.C. Rep-Elect Chris Humphrey (R-12) was elected by his peers Wednesday to serve as the whip of the freshman majority in the N.C. House. Humphrey is one of only two freshmen elected to serve in a leadership role.

 NCDP NEWS & MENTIONS  
Goodwin, McKissick have questions for Harris about alleged 9th District election fraud
Richmond Observer // William R. Toler // December 12, 2018

Summary: Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the state Democratic Party, and Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, held a press conference Tuesday wanting to know just how much Harris knew about what was going on. “Mark Harris must answer to the voters about what he knew, and when,” said Goodwin, a Hamlet native and former state representative. “North Carolina’s voters deserve to know the truth about the election fraud perpetrated by his campaign.”
 

 HURRICANE RECOVERY  
DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR FLORENCE AID IN NORTH CAROLINA
WWAY // AP // December 13, 2018
Summary: Home and business owners suffering damages from Hurricane Florence are running out of time to request federal government aid. The deadline was originally Thursday, but has been extended to Wednesday, Dec. 19, to apply for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. More than 99,000 applications for help after the September storm’s record rains and flooding have been filed.

   MISC. COVERAGE 
Columbus County Sheriff 

Evidence indicates Sheriff Jody Greene may not live in Columbus County
WECT // Ann McAdams // December 13, 2018

Summary: There’s no power hook up. There’s no trash service. And the owner of a property in Cerro Gordo is not paying any taxes for structures associated with this property, according to Columbus County tax records. Yet, newly-elected Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene claimed that property along Page Mill Road as his primary residence when signing up to run to be the chief law enforcement official in that community.

Hog Nuisance Lawsuits 
 

Hog farm’s neighbors not entitled to punitive damages, judge rules
N&O // Craig Jarvis // December 13, 2018

Summary: A federal judge on Thursday brought the fourth hog farm nuisance lawsuit to an abrupt halt by ruling that the plaintiffs presented insufficient evidence to impose punitive damages. The end to the month-long trial came after jurors on Wednesday returned verdicts in favor of all eight plaintiffs, who live near a Sampson County hog farm, and imposed compensatory damages of a little more than $100,000 in all. Jurors were expected to begin deliberating the punitive damages phase of the trial on Thursday or Friday, after hearing testimony. The jury in a previous lawsuit against hog producer Murphy-Brown in August imposed punitive damages of $473.5 million. A state cap on punitive damages lowered that amount to $94 million.
 

Apple 

NC officials surprised by Apple announcement
WRAL // Travis Fain // December 13, 2018

Summary: North Carolina officials were blindsided by Apple’s early morning announcement Thursday that it would open its much-sought new hub in Austin, Texas, and not the Raleigh area as had been hoped. Hours after the announcement was official, high-ranking legislative officials said they had not heard directly from the company and that they learned of its decision the same way the public did: Via press release or the media coverage that followed.

Silent Sam

N&O // Luke Decock // December 13, 2018
Summary: When Garrison Brooks and K.J. Smith became two of the more than 200 current and former North Carolina athletes to denounce the university’s plans to build a $5 million shrine to Silent Sam, they tapped into influence they may not have known they had. If at any point a majority of their men’s basketball teammates were to join them and threaten to take some kind of action, this whole debate might change very quickly. The basketball team has that kind of power. It just hasn’t been activated in Chapel Hill in a long, long time.

UNC Board of Governors member questions whether controversial Silent Sam “shrine” proposal meets state law
NC Policy Watch // Joe Killian // December 13, 2018

Summary: As the UNC Board of Governors prepares to take up the fate of the Silent Sam Confederate monument Friday, one board member says he’s skeptical of a controversial $5.3 million plan to build a history center that would house — and protect — the divisive statue. “I’m not sure the law permits this,” Marty Kotis, a commercial real estate investor and developer from Summerfield, told Policy Watch Tuesday. In 2015, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law protecting such monuments amid a growing movement to have them scrapped. UNC-Chapel Hill administrators argued the law prevented them from removing the statue from its traditional site at McCorkle Place, a center of campus life.

Off Shore Drilling

Did drilling off NC coast just move one step closer?

StarNews // Adam Wagner // December 11, 2018
Summary: A federal agency announced last month that companies exploring for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean could incidentally harass marine mammals using seismic airguns, a process that has been widely criticized by environmental groups and leaves the door open to further activity off the North Carolina coast. Catherine Wannamaker, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), said, “Really, this is the first step in eventually opening up the Atlantic to offshore drilling. Why would you do seismic surveys if you didn’t plan to open the Atlantic?”

Copyright © 2018 NCDP Press, All rights reserved.

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NCDP Clips 12/14/18




Today’s daily clips from the NCDP

View this email in your browser

 NC-09 INVESTIGATION  
Columbus County sheriff paid group under investigation for NC9 election fraud
WECT // Emily Featherston // December 10, 2018
Summary: While eyes are on Bladen County, the number of candidates who gave money to the business implicated in an election fraud investigation continues to grow. According to campaign finance documents, the election committee for Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene paid Red Dome Group $2,500 in August and $1,800 in late October for “consulting for the campaign.” Red Dome was subpoenaed Friday by the state board of elections, and is linked to McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County resident and convicted felon who has been accused of harvesting and tampering with absentee by mail ballots.

The Fight Over Election Fraud In North Carolina Could Drag On For Months
FiveThirtyEight // Nathaniel Rakich // December 13, 2018
Summary: It has been 13 days since we last wrote about potential election fraud in the North Carolina 9th District, and we are no closer to a resolution. The week of Nov. 26, the North Carolina State Board of Elections twice refused to certify the results of the congressional election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready as both reports from voters and irregular patterns in the data suggested that absentee votes in the district were being illegally cast or discarded. As it currently stands, the extent of the suspected election fraud could be enough to change the outcome of the election — Harris leads by just 905 votes. What follows is an update of what’s happened in the past two weeks, including who might be connected to the alleged fraud, what types of voters may have been targeted and how this election might be resolved

State BOE expands election investigation, asks for extension
WBTV // Staff // December 12, 2018
Summary: WBTV Investigates has uncovered the North Carolina State Board of Elections is widening its election fraud investigation in Bladen County. At the same time, board chair Joshua Malcolm is making his case to judges to extend the deadline before the board dissolves.

  GOV. COOPER NEWS  
 
Deadline to Register for Federal Hurricane Florence Assistance Extended to Dec. 19 Governor Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Apply with FEMA Right Away
Gov. Roy Cooper // Press Release // December 13, 2018

Summary: The deadline for North Carolinians who suffered damage during Hurricane Florence to apply for federal help has now been extended to December 19, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. Gov. Cooper requested the extension to give North Carolinians more time to take the critical step of applying for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Recovery efforts in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence continue to progress, with now more than $1 billion in state and federal resources approved for people in the state.  The first step in applying for assistance is to register with FEMA. The deadline to register has been extended to December 19, at 11:59 p.m.

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEWS 
Consultant at center of Bladen elections probe worked for Rep. Brenden Jones
News Reporter // NR Staff // December 13, 2018
Summary:  The man at the center of an elections fraud investigation in Bladen County was paid to work on Rep. Brenden Jones’ (R-Columbus) re-election campaign this year. Jones’ campaign paid Red Dome Group, a conservative political consulting firm based in Cornelius, $4,958.87 for “campaign materials/absentee program” on Oct. 7, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state board of elections. Red Dome hired Dowless to work for Jones’ campaign, the legislator confirmed Thursday morning.

Steinburg fires aide after tape surfaces
Daily Advance // Jon Hawley // December 12, 2018
Summary: After first saying he was standing by her, state Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, has fired his legislative assistant in the wake of her guilty plea to misdemeanor larceny. Diana London’s employment with Steinburg’s office ended Monday at 5 p.m., the lawmaker said in an email. In a followup phone call on Tuesday, Steinburg claimed he fired London because she had not been forthcoming with him about the existence of a recording incriminating her in the crime to which she pleaded guilty.

After years of warnings about K-12 infrastructure, Speaker Moore to file $1.9 billion school bond bill
Progressive Pulse // Billy Ball // December 13, 2018

Summary: North Carolina lawmakers were told nearly three years ago that the state’s school infrastructure needs had reached a staggering $8 billion or more. Yet efforts to put a statewide school bond referendum on the ballot were stymied by North Carolina lawmakers in recent years. Today’s news might mean, however, that the proposal may finally have some momentum in the legislature. State House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would file a bill to put a $1.9 billion public school bond on the ballot, addressing at least a portion of the state’s capital needs. According to Moore’s release, $1.3 billion would go to K-12 construction needs, $300 million to the UNC system, and $300 million to North Carolina’s community colleges.

Lawmakers again reject Cooper workers’ comp panel nominee
WRAL // Staff // December 13, 2018

Summary: Republican legislators have rejected another candidate from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The House voted 34-59 on Thursday against confirming Judge Robby Hassell of Greensboro. Cooper nominated Hassell for a commission seat designated for a representative of employers’ interests. Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary says Hassell’s background doesn’t conform to that requirement.

Sen. Phil Berger of Eden, Rep. Tim Moore of Kings Mountain are the GOP’s choices to run NC legislative chambers
Greensboro N&R // AP // December 13, 2018

Summary: Republican lawmakers want the current top North Carolina House and Senate leaders to run their respective chambers for another two years. Freshman GOP legislators and incumbents elected in November have agreed to support current House Speaker Tim Moore of Kings Mountain for a third term as speaker. Caucus members said they chose Moore as their nominee Wednesday by acclamation.

Humphrey elected to N.C. House leadership position
Neuse News // Staff // December 13, 2018

Summary: N.C. Rep-Elect Chris Humphrey (R-12) was elected by his peers Wednesday to serve as the whip of the freshman majority in the N.C. House. Humphrey is one of only two freshmen elected to serve in a leadership role.

 NCDP NEWS & MENTIONS  
Goodwin, McKissick have questions for Harris about alleged 9th District election fraud
Richmond Observer // William R. Toler // December 12, 2018

Summary: Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the state Democratic Party, and Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, held a press conference Tuesday wanting to know just how much Harris knew about what was going on. “Mark Harris must answer to the voters about what he knew, and when,” said Goodwin, a Hamlet native and former state representative. “North Carolina’s voters deserve to know the truth about the election fraud perpetrated by his campaign.”
 

 HURRICANE RECOVERY  
DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR FLORENCE AID IN NORTH CAROLINA
WWAY // AP // December 13, 2018
Summary: Home and business owners suffering damages from Hurricane Florence are running out of time to request federal government aid. The deadline was originally Thursday, but has been extended to Wednesday, Dec. 19, to apply for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. More than 99,000 applications for help after the September storm’s record rains and flooding have been filed.

   MISC. COVERAGE 
Columbus County Sheriff 

Evidence indicates Sheriff Jody Greene may not live in Columbus County
WECT // Ann McAdams // December 13, 2018

Summary: There’s no power hook up. There’s no trash service. And the owner of a property in Cerro Gordo is not paying any taxes for structures associated with this property, according to Columbus County tax records. Yet, newly-elected Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene claimed that property along Page Mill Road as his primary residence when signing up to run to be the chief law enforcement official in that community.

Hog Nuisance Lawsuits 
 

Hog farm’s neighbors not entitled to punitive damages, judge rules
N&O // Craig Jarvis // December 13, 2018

Summary: A federal judge on Thursday brought the fourth hog farm nuisance lawsuit to an abrupt halt by ruling that the plaintiffs presented insufficient evidence to impose punitive damages. The end to the month-long trial came after jurors on Wednesday returned verdicts in favor of all eight plaintiffs, who live near a Sampson County hog farm, and imposed compensatory damages of a little more than $100,000 in all. Jurors were expected to begin deliberating the punitive damages phase of the trial on Thursday or Friday, after hearing testimony. The jury in a previous lawsuit against hog producer Murphy-Brown in August imposed punitive damages of $473.5 million. A state cap on punitive damages lowered that amount to $94 million.
 

Apple 

NC officials surprised by Apple announcement
WRAL // Travis Fain // December 13, 2018

Summary: North Carolina officials were blindsided by Apple’s early morning announcement Thursday that it would open its much-sought new hub in Austin, Texas, and not the Raleigh area as had been hoped. Hours after the announcement was official, high-ranking legislative officials said they had not heard directly from the company and that they learned of its decision the same way the public did: Via press release or the media coverage that followed.

Silent Sam

N&O // Luke Decock // December 13, 2018
Summary: When Garrison Brooks and K.J. Smith became two of the more than 200 current and former North Carolina athletes to denounce the university’s plans to build a $5 million shrine to Silent Sam, they tapped into influence they may not have known they had. If at any point a majority of their men’s basketball teammates were to join them and threaten to take some kind of action, this whole debate might change very quickly. The basketball team has that kind of power. It just hasn’t been activated in Chapel Hill in a long, long time.

UNC Board of Governors member questions whether controversial Silent Sam “shrine” proposal meets state law
NC Policy Watch // Joe Killian // December 13, 2018

Summary: As the UNC Board of Governors prepares to take up the fate of the Silent Sam Confederate monument Friday, one board member says he’s skeptical of a controversial $5.3 million plan to build a history center that would house — and protect — the divisive statue. “I’m not sure the law permits this,” Marty Kotis, a commercial real estate investor and developer from Summerfield, told Policy Watch Tuesday. In 2015, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law protecting such monuments amid a growing movement to have them scrapped. UNC-Chapel Hill administrators argued the law prevented them from removing the statue from its traditional site at McCorkle Place, a center of campus life.

Off Shore Drilling

Did drilling off NC coast just move one step closer?

StarNews // Adam Wagner // December 11, 2018
Summary: A federal agency announced last month that companies exploring for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean could incidentally harass marine mammals using seismic airguns, a process that has been widely criticized by environmental groups and leaves the door open to further activity off the North Carolina coast. Catherine Wannamaker, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), said, “Really, this is the first step in eventually opening up the Atlantic to offshore drilling. Why would you do seismic surveys if you didn’t plan to open the Atlantic?”

Copyright © 2018 NCDP Press, All rights reserved.

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.