Tarheel Founding Fathers: Joseph Hewes

Joseph Hewes was one of three NC Delegates featured in the first entry of this series eleven years ago, and I thought it fitting to give him his own diary to better explore the man. He was originally from New Jersey but moved to NC to start his own business:

Born in 1730 at Maybury Hill, an estate on the outskirts of Princeton, N.J., Hewes was the son of a pious and well-to-do Quaker farmer. He received a strict religious upbringing, and studied at a local school. After learning trade from a Philadelphia merchant, he entered business for himself. About 1760, anxious to expand his modest fortune, he moved to the thriving seaport town of Edenton, N.C. There, where he was to reside for the rest of his life, he founded a profitable mercantile and shipping firm and gained prominence.

By the time he had begun to prosper in Edenton, his rejection of many aspects of Quakerism was already in action. After that first diary in 2008, I had some conversations with a few people who remarked about a Quaker getting involved in the War effort, and we speculated that abuses of the Crown drove him to it. I'm now leaning towards another (less noble) reason: His overbearing father probably drove him away from the faith. Whatever the case, Hewes was not only a capable businessman, but also a cunning tactician. From a letter in January 1776 to Samuel Johnston:

Thursday News: Patently irresponsible

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TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BILL QUASHED BY CONSERVATIVES: Corbin said when he introduced the proposed ban this winter he expected it would be difficult to persuade conservatives like himself that it was worth impinging on people’s personal freedom. He said he understands the hesitation among legislators. “I’m very aware that this bill would affect 7 million drivers in North Carolina. It’s a big deal,” he said. “When you have a bill that affects the public so widely, it should be scrutinized.” Corbin and his allies in the Senate sought to have the blanket ban restored, and hoped to do it in the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee. Instead, Corbin said he learned secondhand that the committee’s leaders had decided not to bring it up for consideration. The committee’s three chairmen — John Alexander Jr., Chuck Edwards and Rick Gunn — did not respond to a request for comment.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232236132.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump's EPA bows to industry pressure

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Nixing rule requiring power plants to show financial capability to clean up spills:

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it won't require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous spills from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash releases contaminating rivers and aquifers. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.

On paper anyway, the difference between "taxpayers" and "ratepayers" is substantial. But in reality, there really isn't much difference. All taxpayers also pay power bills, and when the NCUC bows to Duke Energy demands to raise their rates to pay for spills and safe disposal of coal ash, taxpayers are footing the bill. And this is not an academic exercise:

Wednesday News: What are they trying to hide?

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NC GOP FIGHTING HARD TO SUPPRESS MAPMAKER'S FILES IN GERRYMANDERING SUIT: Republican lawmakers “had specifically promised the court that their mapmaker would not even possess racial data,” let alone use it, said Daniel Jacobson, one of the lawyers for the people and groups suing to overturn the maps. And Hofeller’s files, Jacobson said, will show that Hofeller broke the rules and did consider voters’ race when dividing them between districts. “It’s hard to imagine evidence that would be more directly responsive” to the key parts of the trial, Jacobson said. The maps in question were drawn in 2017, to replace a previous set of maps — also drawn by Hofeller, in 2011 — that were ruled unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. The state’s Republican legislative leaders strongly object to the files being used in court for this case.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232190617.html

Tuesday News: Gerrymandering on trial, again

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STATE-LEVEL PARTISAN REDISTRICTING LAWSUIT MOVES FORWARD: A lawsuit challenging North Carolina's legislative districts for having excessively political boundaries is going to trial, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it has no authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims. What's different about the case in Raleigh is that it's getting heard in state court, and the claims are based on alleged violations of the North Carolina Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court's majority opinion last week involving North Carolina's congressional map focused only on federal courts. The state lawsuit challenging state House and Senate districts is scheduled to go to trial July 15. A big issue during Tuesday's pretrial hearing will be whether a Republican consultant's private files will be allowed as evidence.
https://www.wral.com/gop-consultants-private-files-viewed-in-gerrymandering-case/18486375/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The big day is Friday:

I am running for local office again this year, and I challenge each and every one of you to take a look at the people who are running for your town/city council and boards of aldermen. Some of these folks would do a fantastic job, but some of the others have no business even running. Pay attention, and make sure to vote. Don't let 10% choose who will run your town, or you will probably regret it.

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