Dome: NC lawmakers want to make sure nipples stay covered

cjarvis@newsobserver.comJanuary 31, 2013 

Now here’s a problem you might not have realized needed exposing, but apparently it does out there in wild and woolly Asheville – and maybe in Lexington, too.

House Bill 34, filed Thursday, would make it illegal for women to bare their nipples in public.

It’s not about breastfeeding – which the bill would allow in public – but about clarifying that indecent exposure includes fully exposed breasts. Here’s what the authors write:

“For the purposes of this section, the term ‘private parts’ means external organs of sex and of excretion, including the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast.” The male breast is not mentioned.

The bill was filed by Rep. Rayne Brown, a Republican from Lexington who is a medical social worker, and Rep. Tim Moffitt, a Republican from Asheville who is a management consultant. Its definition of women’s nipples as “private parts” would clarify that their public display runs afoul of the law and is a misdemeanor. Apparently there have been topless rallies in Asheville in recent years that have come to legislators’ attention.

Bill: ID judges by party

There will be an attempt to make judicial elections partisan again. A pair of Republican senators filed such a bill Thursday.

SB39 would require state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Superior Court and District Court judges to run by party affiliation. That was the case until 2002, when the Democratic-controlled General Assembly made them nonpartisan, the rationale being that judges should be elected based solely on qualifications, not politics. Republicans contended that the motivation was that voters were electing Republican judges. Sen. Jerry Tillman of Archdale, a retired school administrator, and Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilmington, a lawyer, are the co-sponsors.

College sports are safe

A post on BlueNC, a liberal blog, sparked a confusing moment in Gov. Pat McCrory’s news conference Thursday morning.

James Protzman authored what he calls a “Blue Onion” post, a reference to the satirical, fake news site, The Onion, with a headline that read, “Breaking: McCrory to shut down all college athletics programs.”

It’s clearly a spoof, but one TV reporter from an unknown outlet didn’t get the joke. “Governor, could you please explain your position on doing away with athletics programs at UNC campuses?” the reporter asked McCrory.

“My position on doing away with ... what,” McCrory said, clearly confused as were the rest of the reporters and staff in the room.

The exchange continued:

Reporter: There are reports out there that by 2014 you plan to ...

Governor: I have no idea what you are referring to.

Reporter: That’s not true?

Governor: You’re going to have to tell me where you got theses reports from. I have no idea what you are talking about.

Reporter: Well there are articles on the Web, I saw ...

Governor: Geez, if you are getting your information from that ...

Protzman’s post spoofed McCrory’s recent comments that higher education should focus on getting graduates jobs and less on programs like gender studies.

From Protzman’s post: “State funded universities should be educating students to get good-paying jobs,” McCrory said to a standing-room-only crowd in the Dean Smith Center.

“Look at this wasteful building,” he said, pointing to the Carolina blue jerseys hanging from the rafters. “Two or three players at most will get jobs playing basketball after they graduate. That’s a crazy use of tax dollars.”

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and John Frank

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