Good morning, everyone. Monday was kind of a big news day. Let’s review.
1) Trump shareD classified intelligence with Russia. To repeat: TRUMP SHARED CLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE WITH RUSSIA.
Sources told TheWashington Post and New York Times that the president was bragging about how good the intelligence he gets regarding ISIS is and gave this example to, you know, prove he’s great. From the Times:
President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.
The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A foreign ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.
The CIA declined to comment on the report, but Senator Mark Warner didn’t.
Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter, “If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians.”
This morning, Trump took to Twitter to defend himself.
2) The Supreme Court deals a death blow to North Carolina’s racist voter law.
In a victory for voting-rights advocates, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a ruling last year that struck down key parts of the state’s voting law. From the INDY‘s Erica Hellerstein and Tommy Goldsmith:
The law, enacted in 2013 by the General Assembly’s GOP majority, imposed a range of voting restrictions, including new voter ID requirements, shorter early-voting periods, and the elimination of same-day registration.
Monday’s decision essentially leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling, which concluded that Republicans targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
3) Reverend Barber celebrates SCOTUS news as he’s being honored for work with NAACP.
More than one hundred people converged on a church in downtown Raleigh Monday to honor outgoing N.C. NAACP president Rev. William Barber, who announced last week that he would be stepping down from the post to revive Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. From the INDY:
4) Wake County’s government and school system are at odds again.
Barber’s decision to step down was, he said, his answer to a call from God to organize a revived “Poor People’s Campaign”—the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was a creation of Martin Luther King Jr.—and “breathe new fire and energy into the torch of justice” lit nearly fifty years ago.
“This is not a commemoration. We’re not doing this for one year and quit. This is a launching. This is the beginning of a movement to shift the national moral narrative,” Barber said, adding that he would spend much of his time on “on the road,” fighting alongside those living in poverty across the nation. “This is bigger than Donald Trump because he and his election … are a symptom of a larger moral deficit. … This call is not some ego trip. This is about hearing the voices of so many.”
The county school system says it didn’t get all the money it requested. The county manager says WCPS doesn’t need the $45 million it didn’t get. From the INDY‘s Tommy Goldsmith:
5) Durham’s budget proposal includes a tax hike to fund affordable housing.
Jim Hartmann, the Wake County manager, said Monday that the Wake school system isn’t spending all the money it got from county coffers in the current budget year and doesn’t need the $45 million in new funding it requested for the coming year.
Instead, Hartmann proposed during a meeting of the Wake County Board of Commissioners that the system should be able to meet its needs with an additional $16 million from the county. Under North Carolina’s system, the schools have no taxing power, so that the board that oversees public education has to request funding from the county.
Hartmann proposed an overall county budget of $1.24 billion, an increase of $38.3 million over the current budget year, which ends June 31. The budget contains a property tax increase of $1.45 cents, roughly $39 annually for a house with the average Wake value of $270,000.
The idea that the school system should count some of the funding that it has left at the end of the budget year for the next year was advanced regularly by a Republican-controlled board of commissioners in the 2000s and early 2010s. But they were not successful in having it adopted.
From the INDY‘s Sarah Willets:
As part of a $429 million budget proposal, Durham’s city manager is recommending a 1.79-cent property tax increase for the 2017–18 fiscal year to help address affordable housing needs in the city.
The city’s current tax rate is 56.07 cents per $100 of property, including one cent dedicated to affordable housing. A budget proposal presented Monday night by Thomas Bonfield would raise the tax rate to 57.86 cents and double the dedicated housing portion to two cents. It would also dedicate 0.79 cents to public safety initiatives.
“Addressing priority gap areas in the city’s affordable housing strategy all start and end with adequate funding,” Bonfield said. “That is why I am recommending an increase in the dedicated housing fund by a penny, which, coupled with federal entitlements and the existing penny for housing, brings the city’s commitment to affordable housing to almost nine million dollars.”