Exile on Jones Street: If past is prologue, then bleh

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kirk rossby Kirk Ross

Happy New Year. This week’s column is the exciting conclusion to the Exile on Jones Street 2014 Kvetch in Review. We take up part two in April, when the US Senate race started to heat up.

April

• Future US Sen. Thom Tillis lashes out at primary opponent Mark Harris for negative attacks. They exchange strongly-worded emails;

• A woman in Davidson calls the police on a statue depicting a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench;

• Study notes that Gov. McCory received more money from Duke Energy than all other governors combined;

• A group of clergy file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban;

• A business and industry-backed PAC dumps big money in a state Supreme Court primary;

May

• Tillis and Hagan briefly interrupting fundraising appeals to acknowledge their respective primary victories;

• The Senate Majority PAC sets the tone for the general election releasing an attack ad against Tillis secretly filmed at his victory party;

• New building rules at the legislature ban “singing, clapping, shouting” and any behavior that might disturb a “normal conversation”;

• Moral Mondays return silently as hundreds of protesters file through the legislative building with tape over their mouths;

• New proposed Senate budget requires teachers to give up tenure rights to get pay raises;

June

• House, Senate and governor rumble over Medicaid and budget numbers;

• Protests and arrests continue at the legislature;

• A state judge suspends many of the new rules passed by the legislature citing the “lack of a normal conversation there, ever”;

• House and Senate settle on competing budget plans, grumble, throw shade;

• Tweeting photos of Tillis at Washington area airports becomes a thing;

July

• The House and Senate take up coal-ash legislation;

• Hurricane Arthur roars up the coast causing flooding, road overwashes and extensive damage to plans to ignore the sea-level rise debate;

• A runoff election in the state’s Sixth Congressional District appears close until candidate Mark Walker gains the endorsement of General Pershing and President Polk;

• In a new major ad buy, Kay Hagan touts her strong waffling credentials;

• A Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling fixes a typo in the state constitution, legalizing the marriages of thousands of couples who were wed in other states;

August

• The governor and House and Senate leaders work out a budget deal; coal-ash legislation deal is on, off, then back on;

• More 2013 Moral Monday cases are dismissed;

• Art Pope resigns as budget director, slips quietly back behind curtain;

• The governor remembers that, oh yeah, he forgot to report that he sold his Duke stock after the coal-ash spill;

• Duke Energy rate increase upheld by state Supreme Court

September

• Koch-backed group releases ad showing Hagan’s secret Obama tattoo;

• Supreme Court denies challenge to right of Americans for Prosperity to plant tiny transmitters inside your house;

• Despite offering $107 million in incentives, state is outbid for a new Toyota plant after Texas gives company Galveston;

• Tillis accuses Hagan of “flying into an unladylike tizzy” after accusations of being condescending during their first debate;

• An NC Senate district candidate holds a “bullets and bourbon” fundraiser;

• State Board of elections investigates Americans for Prosperity for “being way too obvious” in its mailings;

October

• Tillis releases devastating “Ow, Kay Hagan, make it stop!” ad;

• Duke announces $100 million ad campaign touting new $10 million water-quality fund;

• Pizza-delivery driver becomes major factor in Senate race;

• Conservative PAC promises free bag of pot to young Libertarians;

• North Carolina’s intense Ebola epidemic takes center stage in Senate race;

• State judge notices that colleges have a lot of young voters;

• After a federal judge states the obvious, gay people start marrying like other people don’t have a say in whether can or not;

• Study shows North Carolinians have seen more negative ads than anyone anywhere ever;

November

• Millions head to the polls in last-ditch attempt to make it stop;

• Tillis announces he knew he had it all along, denies he said anything about flowers, candy or birth control;

• State-sponsored day-long closed-door meeting on offshore oil-exploration draws criticism over secrecy, hyphens;

• Asheville voters flip two GOP seats to the Democrats as town announces giant three-block slip and slide. Coincidence?;

• Gov. McCrory and former Govs. Hunt and Martin sue the legislature, citing the fact that everyone else has;

December

• Investigation by Democracy NC say new voting restrictions could have prevented as many as 50,000 people from voting;

• NC Commerce Secretary resigns. Her replacement vows to give both Siler City and Sanford to Toyota if they’ll reconsider;

• Fulfilling a legislative requirement, the UNC Board of Governors sends out raiding parties to purge each of the 17 campuses of communists and climate scientists;

• Gov. McCrory sharpens up his campaign web site and practices berating reporters;

• A new PPP poll shows a tight race for both the governorship and the US Senate in 2016. The same poll shows most North Carolinians already exhausted just thinking about it.