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North Carolina Tag

The Durham VA in North Carolina has come under fire after photos appeared on Facebook of patients left lying on the floor. Marine veteran Stephen McMenamin and his wife Hanna could not believe what they saw in the waiting room:
"It was very upsetting," Stephen McMenamin said. He and his wife said they saw a handful of older veterans mistreated and ignored during the seven hours they were at the hospital, including an aged-veteran in a wheelchair.

Having lost his bid for reelection, North Carolina's governor Republican Pat McCrory has signed into law a bill that will, among other things, limit his Democrat successor's power to appoint Democrats to the State Board of Elections and that will require the political party of judges to be printed on election ballots. Fox News reports:
On his way out the statehouse door, North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law the first of what could be several bills that would strip the executive powers of his Democratic successor, Roy Cooper. Critics say it’s an extraordinary move that flies in the face of voters.

Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has conceded the governor's race to opponent Democrat Roy Cooper after the closest governor race in the state's history:
“I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper,” McCrory says in the video. “The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition. “It’s time to celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history.”

No one has called the North Carolina governor's race between incumbent Governor Pat McCrory (R) and his challenger Roy Cooper (D) since only 5,000 votes separate the two. To make matters worse, there are now allegations of voter fraud on absentee ballots:
A protest has been filed in Bladen County alleging that a handful of people may have improperly submitted hundreds of absentee ballots, while also getting paid for get-out-the-vote efforts by a community group funded by the N.C. Democratic Party. According to the protest filed by McCrae Dowless, who won election as soil and water district supervisor, the handwriting on a number of ballots and the signatures of some mail-in absentee witnesses were similar. He said the questioned ballots seem to have been cast in favor of a straight ticket of candidates and also to vote for a man named Franklin Graham, who ran a write-in campaign for soil and water district supervisor.

A GOP office in North Carolina was firebombed. ABC News reports: A local Republican Party office in North Carolina was damaged by fire and someone spray-painted an anti-GOP slogan referring to "Nazi Republicans" on a nearby wall, authorities said Sunday. A news release from the town of Hillsborough said someone threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid through the window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters overnight. The substance ignited and damaged furniture and the interior before burning out.

Technology giants in Silicon Valley have donated money to Democrat Deborah Ross against Sen. Richard Burr (R), which has become one of the tightest races in the country. The Hill reported:
Laurene Powell-Jobs, the widow of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, tech venture capitalist Brook Byers and tech executive Amy Rao have all donated $2,700 to Ross, the maximum allowed. Paul Haahr, a top engineer at Google, has also donated $2,000 to Ross via the Bay Area based PAC, WomenCount.

We've been covering the Charlotte protests here at LI, and the lasted development is quite a doozy.  They've released a list of demands that boggles the mind and steps perilously close to the federal definition of terrorism. Mediaite reports:
Protestors in Charlotte have made quite a few demands over when they’ll end their rallies, not the least of which are the “demilitarization” and “defunding” of the city’s police department. The death of Keith Lamont Scott sparked major unrest over the past few days, which created enough pressure on Charlotte police that they released their body cam footage of the fatal encounter. Even so, protest participants of are circulating an online set of terms for when they’ll call it quits completely, and…it’s a pretty sizable assortment.

North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy and Security Bill have drawn another major boycott. The NCAA recently announced its decision to remove seven previously scheduled championship events from the state, including the first and second round games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. In July, the NBA decided to move its All Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans over the bill.

North Carolina wanted to reinstate its voter ID law in time for the elections, but a deadlocked Supreme Court denied them this opportunity. From The Wall Street Journal:
The high court, in a brief written order, declined to stay an appeals court ruling from July that struck down North Carolina’s Republican-backed voting rules. The appeals court found state lawmakers enacted the rules with the intent to discriminate against black voters.

The NBA has decided to move their February 19 All-Star Game out of North Carolina due to the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Bill. The league stated:
"Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change. We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.

At least 50 LGBT activists staged a protest outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut, Lebanon, to protest anti-homosexual law. The activists from the Helem Association demanded the government repeal article 534 of the penal code and release four transgender women. From The Jewish Press:
Helem leader Genwa Samhat told AFP that the sit-in, which took place two days before the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, “calls for the abolition of this section of law dating from the (1920-1943) French mandate in Lebanon.” She added: “Most people arrested under this law aren’t detained in the act but in the street because of their appearance.” Also, she said, people “continue to be fired if their boss finds out they’re gay. They’re made to say they quit voluntarily for fear of being outed.” According to Naharnet, Lebanese police are known to raid nightclubs serving homosexual patrons, and homosexuality is a frequent subject of ridicule on television.

Last month, the city council in Charlotte, North Carolina passed an ordinance that included allowing transgendered persons to use bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc. for the gender with which they identify. This did not sit well with North Carolinians, nor with their state legislature, and in a special session, the state passed a bill that would make it state law--thus over-turning the Charlotte ordinance--that people can use such facilities only for the gender with which they were born, not the one they identify with or claim to be.  North Carolina governor (and former mayor of Charlotte) Pat McCrory signed the bill into law late Wednesday. Watch the report:

Democrats have used a lot of gimmicks over the years to gain support and votes for their candidates, but their latest efforts to use sex to sell their decidedly unsexy candidates might just win the award for Most Ridiculous Millennial Outreach Gimmick of 2014. Students at North Carolina State University won a contest with Cosmopolitan magazine to have "party bus" filled with models transport students to and from the polls on Election Day. Yes, really. From the Washington Post:
“On Election Day, a bus decked out with snacks, swag, and models (hi, this is Cosmo) will roll up to North Carolina State University, the winner of’s first-ever party bus contest,” the magazine said. “The bus will shuttle students back and forth to a nearby polling location so students can vote.” The university was entered into the contest by sophomore Camden Willeford, Cosmo said. “This election is not a light matter here in NC,” he said. “The weight is on the students of North Carolina State University.”

First, some context about this post: I live in Upstate South Carolina, less than 20 miles from downtown Charlotte, NC. I'm also an avid Jeopardy watcher. Why is this important you ask? Well, ever since NC House Speaker Thom Tillis won the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race in June, there have been non-stop television ads... on behalf of his opponent, incumbent Kay Hagan. If you think Alex Trebek can be annoying, combine that with wall-to-wall negative ads paid for by Harry Reid's SuperPAC designed to "Romney" (verb) Thom Tillis. My conventional wisdom and experience by the end of June told me that Harry Reid didn't really need to win North Carolina anyway for him to stay Senate Majority Leader. I figured the post-June Hagan TV blitz in the relatively expensive Charlotte TV market was a test. I figured Hagan was doing well and Reid, along with other liberal groups, would have to move money out of NC to other places. I figured Kay Hagan was a "buffer" but when push came to shove the North Carolina seat was expendable for Reid and Democrats. And finally, I had convinced myself that the Romney-ing of Tillis had worked. Hagan's numbers were climbing and I thought that Tillis had lost the summer and perhaps the whole election. Boy, did I figure wrong.
In its biggest expenditure this election cycle, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Wednesday launched a $9.1 million TV blitz in North Carolina attacking Republican Thom Tillis. The ad buy, the largest so far in North Carolina, would be paid out through the end of the campaign. It reflects both the outside interest in a race that will help decide control of the Senate and, some say, concern about Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. “It tells me a couple things,” said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Washington-based Cook Political Report. “One, that she really is in trouble. They’re not going to spend that kind of money defending an incumbent who’s in reasonably good shape. “Two, they’re going to do the negative ads because I don’t think her approval ratings can take any more hits.”
Four polls on the Senate race have come out in the past month and it seems Tillis survived the summer after all. The Real Clear Politics average has Tillis up slightly, but more importantly, Hagan is under 45% re-elect in all but one of the surveys.
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