Quite a bit happened over the holiday break; not all of it bad!
Candidates are already casting their eyes and hopes to 2020; Charlotte Democrat and former NC state Senator Malcolm Graham is considering a run for Lieutenant Governor. Another Democrat and former state Senator Cal Cunningham has already announced his campaign. Pat McCrory rears his head again, saying he's considering a bid for Governor– yes, the same office he held from 2013 to 2017 and conducted with only slightly more grace and spine than our national leader– in 2020, and then a campaign for US Senate in 2022, when Sen. Richard Burr is set to retire. My advice? Stick to radio, Mr. McCrory.
The developments around the NC-09 kerfuffle have come rapid-fire; there's simply too much to go through piece by piece. Fortunately, some splendid folks have done splendid work summarizing the chaos:
It's worth noting that the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement was officially dissolved on December 28th. Governor Cooper will appoint members to the North Carolina Board of Elections no later than January 31st. The NC-09 investigations remain ongoing. Democrats in the US House are planning their own investigation, and could possibly sue the state of North Carolina if Mark Harris is declared winner by a judge before the investigations are completed to their satisfaction.
The NC Democratic Party tracked the NC GOP's changing stories, lies, and half-truths related to NC-09 from the end of the election to the middle of December. Nothing in the article is pants-on-fire false, to borrow Politifact's phrasing. But they fact-checked the NCDP piece here and rated a subjective claim in it "Mostly False". I recommend you read both pieces all the way through, and remember as you sift through the looming mountains of news you encounter, that bias exists everywhere, and it is your duty as an active, savvy citizen not to accept what a source tells you without question, even if it's what you want to hear.
Mark Harris, apparently trying to avoid unwanted attention, unwittingly shoved himself even further into the spotlight. In his effort to escape journalists and their questions, he used an emergency exit, thus triggering an alarm. Joe Bruno was one of the journalists pursuing Harris. His Twitter thread on the incident is a laugh and a half.
Anita Earls was sworn in last week, and her words after the ceremony made my heart lift.
"My personal commitment is to serve justice with a strong heart."
Because of us, the voters, the court upon which Justice Earls (that feels good to say!) sits, as well as various county sheriff offices and District Attorneys, are now bluer. The 2019 justice system will be more liberal than in previous years, and that is worth celebrating. Heartily. Well done.
Speaking of courts, the journey of the gerrymandering court case Common Cause vs Rucho has taken another couple turns. The NC GOP tried to appeal the case to the Supreme Court– yes, the national one– but they got duly scolded when SCOTUS booted the case back to state court, where it belongs, since this is entirely a state issue. Vis-a-vis my previous paragraph, it's not hard to see why the GOP might have tried a hail-mary as foolish as that.
The government shutdown is affecting North Carolina's people and infrastructure. While some workers are told not to come to work– folks who test water samples for the toxic chemical GenX, for example– others, like corrections officers and TSA at RDU, are still working without pay. I haven't found any donation efforts or funds set up to help these people and their families, so if you run into something, please let us know!
On a more positive note, North Carolina has, counterintuitively, come out on top as the state with the highest number of board-certified teachers! 7 counties in North Carolina rank in the top 30 for board-certified teachers. If you know a teacher, board certified or not, please thank them for all they do. We all know being a teacher in North Carolina isn't easy.
We're charging into the new year fresh and ready to keep the blue wave rolling; we hope you'll join us. Take another look at Monday's post and let it inspire you to action, even if it's not with us. 2020 is on the horizon, but let's not forget all that we can– and will– accomplish this year!