Tuesdays with Tillis is marking its 100th consecutive Tuesday of rallying outside Senator Tillis's Raleigh office on Dec 18 at 11:30am. The theme for that day is protecting the freedom of the press, with Aylett Colston and Chuck Tryon speaking. Come if you can, and if you can't, post a comment of appreciation on the event page or their Facebook page. Deep gratitude to Karen Ziegler and the dedicated crew of regulars who keep this going!
The major drama around the NC Board of Elections (BoE) is simmering on Gov. Cooper's desk. With more-than-usual bipartisan support in the NCGA and the fact that it contains much (but not all) of what he wanted, he may sign it into law. Read about it in yesterday's post.
What appears to be the last major bill of this session passed both chambers today, euphemistically called Technical Corrections, S469. They can and have thrown nutty things in this bill in the past, but today's version seems relatively tame at first glance, with nothing unexpected thrown in at the last minute. Most discussed was a provision that would allow teachers at the hotly debated and newly-approved municipal schools in Charlotte/Mecklenburg to join the state health and retirement systems, and that school system is asking Gov Cooper to veto the bill on that basis.
Both chambers have sessions scheduled for Friday, but with nothing substantial on the calendars. Although there's no official adjournment yet, WRAL reports that the legislators are going home, though they're prepared to come back to deal with any vetoes from Gov. Cooper - the voter photo ID is still on his desk, as well as the Board of Elections and Technical Corrections bills. Please let this be true, it's past time for these lame ducks to go home!
Bladen County/ NC CD-9 Updates
- An excellent summary from FiveThirtyEight over where things stand - and how long this drag on. Slightly dated (from Dec 7, a lot has come to light in the last week), but good analysis and context from Brookings.
- The Guardian looks at the roll of race in this mess.
- There's a gap of a month between when the court says the current Board of Election (BoE) must dissolve on Dec 28 and when the new law says the new BoE takes effect on Jan 31. The chair of the current board has asked the court for another extension so there's no confusion about its authority to complete its investigation. The three-judge panel responded by saying that the extension request must be submitted by the attorneys representing the parties to the case. Hopefully this is a technicality and won't interfere with the ongoing investigation under the aegis of the existing BoE.
- It appears Colombus County absentee ballots also may be involved. Dowless also worked for Republican Rep. Brenden Jones of Columbus County.
- The affected counties are concerned about the cost of a new primary and election, should that be ordered. The state could help cover those costs if it chooses.
- It's likely a new election will be ordered and it will include a primary, so Republicans could replace the now-tainted Mark Harris with another candidate. Former Gov McCrory's name has been floated, but he says he has no plans to run for that office.
The other big news today was Apple announcing it's not coming to NC anytime soon. The governor and NCGA worked together on a major incentives package for Apple and were really hoping to land this. Apple's not announced a reason and state officials aren't saying anything other than that they're disappointed. Perhaps part of the reason Austin was picked over NC (in addition to its tax structure) is because since 2011 NC has been in the news a lot for things that are off-putting to companies like Apple: HB-2, attacks on women's health, teacher protests over lack of support for public education, Moral Mondays, a power-grabbing and far-right legislature, Silent Sam, roll-backs of environmental regulations. NC is no longer seen on the national stage as the moderate, welcoming purple state it once was. 2020 is coming, y'all - we need to turn this around.
Check back on Monday, have a good weekend!