NC Governor Cooper owns land near proposed pipeline
Yes, THAT pipeline.
From the News & Observer's Dan Kane:
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would run along I-95 through North Carolina comes close to several properties owned or co-owned by Gov. Roy Cooper, but his staff says he will take steps to ensure he and his family would not directly benefit from a special $57.8 million fund for environmental mitigation, economic development and renewable energy promotion.
The Democratic governor and his brother own hundreds of acres along the pipeline route - most of which was inherited from their deceased parents.
As landowners near the pipeline, the Cooper brothers' properties could potentially benefit from the $57.8 million fund. The governor's staff says the fund was negotiated independently of the permitting process that led to the pipeline's approval. Half of the $57.8 million is supposed to go toward mitigating the environmental damage the pipeline will cause to wetlands, streams and wildlife habitats. The rest is designated for economic development and renewable energy projects.
The Governor's spokeswomen say that OF COURSE the Governor would never directly benefit from the slush fund--- I mean "voluntary contribution" to an escrow. They say the deal the Governor negotiated in secret with the pipeline developers calls for the money to be allocated by a panel of independent experts appointed by the Governor.
There are no details of this allocation process in the agreement, however. It only mentions that the Governor will write an executive order later, creating the process.
An ethics complaint is being filed against the Governor by the conservative Civitas Institute.
Civitas’s complaint questions the ethics of this action by Governor Cooper—while acting in his official capacity—to issue state permits for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in what appears to be an exchange for private funds to be used at the governor’s discretion.
There are questions surrounding whether or not these funds could be considered an illegal gift under the State Government Ethics Act’s gift ban. Of particular concern is the potential that these funds might trickle into projects or accounts that benefit Governor Cooper and/or his political campaigns.
Former Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican that Cooper beat in 2016, weighed in via Twitter:
@NC_Governor asked to address allegations of potential pay-to-play & explain why his office created a $58m slush fund within hours of awarding an environmental permit to companies that "voluntarily" contributed to his fund. It's time for a full ethics investigation! #NCGA #NCPOL pic.twitter.com/H3Fhnc59G6— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) February 13, 2018
To woo Amazon, Governor attacks Republicans
If Gov. Cooper was trying to convey the idea that North Carolina is a politically polarized basket case of state, and that Amazon should select us as the home for it's new headquarters... this would be a good way of doing it.
From the letter Cooper wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year (via WRAL):
"Like every family with an embarrassing uncle or two, we have a few politicians who want it to be 1957 instead 2017 [sic]," Cooper wrote. "But here in North Carolina, you'll find authentic people who respect others, who love our families, people who work hard and are loyal to the state in which we live."
Cooper's letter, dated Oct. 5, 2017, runs two pages and has just the one reference to nutty uncles. Much of the rest is spent praising North Carolina's commitment to education, its "reputation for cool," its business climate and its diversity. The governor talks beaches, music festivals, microbrews and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The letter was included in a 504-page document dump from Catawba County, one of several local governments from which WRAL News has requested records tied to state and local pitches for Amazon's second headquarters. The Triangle Business Journal was the first to report on it.
This is where I point out - yet again - that HB2 was passed with bipartisan support in the NC House. Democrats in the NC Senate walked out on the vote, rather than risk having some of their members cast votes for it.
No, that's not the North Korean dictator at the Olympics
But it DOES look him!
It's a guy (with an English accent) who resembles tyrant Kim Jong Un.
He was taken away by security who apparently accused him of making a political statement. According to the Twitter user who recorded this, the guy said, ""I just showed up with my flag and my face. If you don't like my face there's nothing you can do about it. I was born this way."
He said his name is Howard.
At the united Korea vs Japan womens' hockey game, an apparent Kim Jong-un impersonator starts dancing in front of North Korean cheerleaders. Apparent employees of the DPRK push him aside. He's now sitting nearby giving interviews (in English) pic.twitter.com/PeVJYtri5Y— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) February 14, 2018
Another sign that we are in the End Times
First, it was the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl. And now...
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And its rider’s name was Death. pic.twitter.com/wlFYyoF4fT— Paul Bronks (@BoringEnormous) February 13, 2018