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Archive for October 27th, 2009

Summary of Day 2 in the Easley BOE Hearing

Carolina Journal’s David Bass has been live-blogging today’s testimony. You can read his posts here.

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Wed AM: BOE to Discuss Wake School Board Race

Carolina Journal’s David Bass provides an update on whether the District 2 school board race will be on the Tuesday ballot or not. Background is here.

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Are “shock waves” Coming to DC?

The Conservative Party candidate for New York’s District 23 congressional race is now leading the race, according to a new poll referenced in this Washington Post column.

Doug Hoffman leads Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Dede Scozzafava. Hoffman has been endorsed by Sarah Palin. Scozzafava has been endorsed by Newt Gingrich. The DNC has, of course, endorsed Owens and now sees Hoffman, not Scozzafava, as the key threat to victory. Here’s Chris Cillizza’s take from his Post column:

A Hoffman victory would send shock waves through establishment Washington.

Conservatives would tout it as evidence that the party wins when it embraces its core principles rather than runs from them. Republicans would tout Hoffman’s strength among political independents — his core of support at the moment — as a sign that GOP brand has bounced back with unaligned voters in advance of the midterms. And Democrats would almost certainly highlight the internal civil war that this race has spawned within Republican circles to argue that the party is (still) tearing itself apart.

What is key, in my view, is not the Republican vs. Democrat tug-of-war in this election cycle. It is the ascendancy of conservativism, as a new Gallup poll attests, and the rise of a new crop of conservatives.

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Is Anyone in Charge in Durham?

Any story that uses the word “kerfuffle” is a must-read. So, wade through the first half of this one to get to the amazing revelation that a 2008 internal report from a Durham staff inspector had identified bigtime problems with the administration of the Durham cops’ moonlighting program.

Yes, the same program that we now know resulted in officer Alesha Robinson-Taylor being paid $62,000 in overtime. She has been fired in the wake of the investigation. It took a Durham blogger to get to the meat of the report, which was given to reporters Friday. The Herald-Sun says the release of the report resulted in a “kerfuffle” Monday over redacted portions of the report.

City attorneys tried to redact parts of the report before allowing its release, but they only blacked out the text in the electronic file officials e-mailed reporters Friday.

The actual text could be uncovered by copying the blacked-out sections into another program. The blogger, Kevin Davis of Bull City Rising, did so over the weekend and found that Robinson-Taylor, before becoming the coordinator, had been among a group of five officers the staff inspector singled out as having been unusually well positioned to capitalize on moonlighting opportunities.

And, incredibly, top Durham officials, including the city attorney and the city manager, say they didn’t know of the report until very recently. Had they read the report, one presumes they would have questioned Robinson-Taylor’s role as coordinator.

Both Baker — the former city manager who hired Lopez — and Bonfield said they hadn’t known of Hampton’s report until about two weeks ago, when local media outlets started asking for it.

Before that, “no one in the Police Department shared it with me,” said Baker, who was still city manager when Hampton was probing the moonlighting operation at Lopez’s request.

What a bureaucratic mess.

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Trail of Ethical Lapses, Donation Irregularities Emerges at Easley Hearings

Carolina Journal’s David Bass reports here on Monday’s action at the state board of elections hearing, which is looking into allegations of campaign finance irregularities and the Mike Easley campaign. From Bass’ story on testimony from McQueen Campbell:

Campbell also said that Easley twice asked him to help with repairs to his Raleigh house. Campbell coordinated the repairs and paid the workers, but said Easley didn’t reimburse him promptly.

“I fully anticipated to get reimbursed for it,” Campbell said. “When he asked me to help him, it was conveyed to me that I would be paid back.”

After Campbell pressed for payment, though, Easley said the cash would come from his campaign stockpile.

“So the Easley campaign and its contributors actually paid for the repairs to Gov. Easley’s home,” Leake asked.

“That’s correct,” Campbell replied.

Bass will be live-blogging today’s hearing, so check in here throughout the day.

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7:10 AM Tuesday on WPTF: CJ’s Rick Henderson Analyzes Easley Hearing

What does it all mean? At 7:10 this morning, Carolina Journal managing editor Rick Henderson will give his view of Monday’s board of elections testimony and preview what might be on tap for today. You can tune in at 680 AM, or online at www.wptf.com. Click on “Listen Live.”

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