And we’ll begin with Barry Bamz slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon. To be honest, I’m not sure when—or if—we’ll see another president so effortlessly adept at pop culture. Surely won’t be Hillary. Although this was pretty astute use of social media.
(Here, by the way, is the inevitable Vox explainer on what “Delete Your Account” means.)
Which brings us to the Roundup:
1. Democratic elites rally around Hillz.
Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren—probably the three biggest ostensibly uncommitted names in the Democratic Party—all came out yesterday to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, shortly after the president had his meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, for his part, is still campaigning, at least until next Tuesday’s DC primary.
Biden and Warren, in particular, went hard after Trump—a preview of the attack lines we’ll all be hearing throughout the summer.
Here, by the way, is the how the GOP’s human dumpster fire responded to Warren:
2. Trump puts NC Republicans in a bind.
Interesting piece in The News & Observer this morning:
North Carolina’s Republican members of Congress have tried to strike a balance between supporting their party’s presumptive nominee and distancing themselves from the contentious debate he has stirred up. Nearly all have backed Donald Trump, but with varying degrees of enthusiasm. So you have some, like Representative Mark Walker, who will support Trump even though he’s “morally reprehensible.”
“We’re not at a place here where we’re jumping for joy that Trump is saying all the right things or leading in a way that we’re the most proud of right now,” the freshman congressman from Greensboro said Thursday, fresh off a 56-percentage-point drubbing of his primary opponent. “Until he’s willing to do that, I’m not going to sell out just for sake of jumping on the bandwagon.”
Walker said that while he’s offended by some Trump remarks, he finds likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton still more offensive – and that he will support the Republican nominee.
Profile in courage, right there.
Meanwhile, Mark Meadows,
a leader of House conservatives, endorsed Ted Cruz during the Republican primary contest but told WLOS this week he would support the party’s nominee even after Trump suggested a judge’s Mexican heritage kept him from being impartial. Meadows said he’s “not supporting that, whether you call it racism or a poor choice of words. Standing by that is not something that I would do or condone.”
Which, once again, makes me wonder: What exactly is the line Trump has to cross that will enable these gentlemen to locate their principles?
As more stories like this emerge—Trump, it seems, has a habit of stiffing the folks who work for him—will Republicans see more defections? Already, a group of conservatives is scheming to change the RNC rules so that delegates can deny Trump the nomination, though such an effort seems extraordinarily unlikely.
3. Legislators look for compromise on vetoed coal-ash bill.
Duke Energy wanted the Senate to override Governor McCrory’s veto of a bill that would reconfigure the Coal Ash Management Commission. For once, lawmakers declined to do Duke’s bidding. And for once, McCrory, the former Duke executive, is on the right side of things, even if this is perhaps less about environmental justice than a power struggle between the legislature and executive branch.
Over McCrory’s warnings, the legislature overwhelmingly approved the bill with enough votes to sustain an override, the governor vetoed it and said he would take the conflict to court if overridden. McCrady had said the House expected to take an override vote on Wednesday.
Duke Energy is aligned with the legislature and against the governor in supporting Senate Bill 71. The bill would reconstitute the Coal Ash Management Commission, which McCrory disbanded after the state Supreme Court ruled the legislature overstepped its authority in creating it.
The utility prefers to have a commission review recommendations by the McCrory administration on the closure and cleanup of Duke’s coal ash ponds around the state. The administration wants to require all 33 sites be excavated, which Duke Energy contends is unnecessary and costly.
Instead of overriding the governor’s veto—and thus making the governor look feckless in an already-difficult election year—lawmakers are working toward a compromise.
The bill would guarantee connections to municipal water supplies or filtration systems for neighbors of coal ash ponds who use well water. The administration says it already has the tools to ensure clean water is provided, and says the bill would make those residents have to wait longer than they would under the current law.
4. Lawmakers want to give charters even more money.
We’ve written a bit lately about the legislature’s efforts to further starve traditional public schools in favor of religious school vouchers and (sometimes for-profit) charters. So this isn’t altogether surprising.
Charter schools want a bigger slice of the money that traditional public schools receive. Their fight to get it has played out for years in legislative committee rooms and courtrooms.
The battle is now back in the legislature, where the House is considering whether it should go along with a Senate proposal to have local school districts send more money to charters.
The state and counties give charter and traditional public schools money for each student. But several questions about funding sources remain, including whether charters should get a share of grants that schools win for specific purposes or of federal money that school districts receive to cover indirect costs of administering programs.
Traditional public schools say they need every dollar, and it isn’t fair to have to dole out money to charters that don’t have to cover program costs.
Charters say they need the money, too, and they aren’t treated fairly under current law.
North Carolina has 158 charter schools.
That’s it for this week. Have a good weekend, everyone—stay hydrated, it’s gonna be hot.