Today is the day! The NC Association of Educators is hosting a Day of Action in Raleigh today! We'll see you at 700 S. Salisbury St. Raleigh. 9am - 5pm. Read Monday's post for details and to get pumped up to support our educators.

The primary for NC-03, the late Walter Jones' district, was yesterday. The election closed with a clear frontrunner for the Democrats: former Greenville mayor Allen Thomas, who garnered a hair over 50% of the Democratic vote. Urologist and state Rep. Greg Murphy led the Republicans with a little over 22.5% of the Republican vote. While that's still a few points ahead of the second place candidate, Joan Perry, also a doctor, it's not enough to prevent a runoff. The runoff will be held July 9 and the general election will be Sept. 10. Check the NCSBE website for the official results.

Early voting for the NC-09 election, with its May 14th primary, is well underway. Voters in Bladen County aren't shy about doing what they believe is right-- voting-- despite the “stigma” upon their district laid down by the Republicans' absentee ballot fraud fiasco. Bladen County has also learned its lesson: “[election] staff have conducted 'wellness checks' of both county offices to ensure compliance with state law, and staff are available to help county officials with whatever they need.”

Let's hope someone else learned his lesson too...

If you've been around North Carolina politics-- or any politics at all-- you've probably heard the adage “follow the money”. That's exactly what OpenSecrets does. They've investigated the NC-03 and NC-09 special elections and found some interesting nuggets of info. Read the report here.

The NC Senate has voted to override Governor Cooper's veto on the “Born Alive” abortion bill, SB359. It heads back to the House, where the Democratic bulwark siding with Gov. Cooper is a bit stronger. Call your Representative, even if they're a Democrat, and urge them to vote against override. This bill is unnecessary and creates even more stigma and stress for providers and their patients.

HB393, which aims to close several loopholes in the state’s sexual assault laws, has passed the House with unanimous support and now moves to the Senate. This bill would make it “illegal to have sex with incapacitated people even if they were responsible for causing their own condition through use of drugs or alcohol. Another change makes it a crime to tamper with someone’s drink, even if a later crime does not take place.” The bill also broadens the definition of a child's caretaker.

“North Carolina is the only state where it’s not a crime if a person continues having sex after their partner withdraws consent. Victim advocates have said the 40-year-old legal precedent can tie the hands of prosecutors.”

HB393 would make the path to justice for victims of sexual assault and drugging much more well-defined.

The gerrymandering lawsuit Rucho v Common Cause has taken an interesting turn.

“The daughter of late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller – the man responsible for some of North Carolina’s most infamous gerrymanders – turned over four of his external hard drives and 18 thumb drives after his death to the plaintiffs suing North Carolina lawmakers. ...Michael Li, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice... said that Hofeller’s documents are probably the best source of telling the real story of what happened in North Carolina.”

We wait with bated breath for these documents to be processed and revealed.

gif via giphy

Senator Burr's leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee has been called into question since it was revealed he passed information about the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election to Trump. This comes in the middle of the Intelligence Committee's own investigation of the findings of the Mueller report. Senator Mark Warner, the ranking member of the SIC and a Democrat from Virginia, is committed to uncovering the truth. “The Senate Intelligence Committee continues its own investigation, and I expect to receive a full briefing, an unredacted report, and all the materials underlying the Special Counsel’s findings,” he says.

Burr, however, did not comment about “whether he plans to ask Mueller to testify before his committee, or whether the report raises new issues that the committee intends to pursue.”

Call and email Senator Burr and urge him to do his job, put country over party, and make sure what happened in 2016 will never happen again.

If you're feeling froggy and would like a history lesson, a crash course in gerrymandering in North Carolina, and a pretty intense wake-up call about the state of our state's democracy, give this Mother Jones article a read.

Lately we've been hearing how the GOP has been clean energy's enemy in North Carolina. But Michael S. Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, has a better take on the issue. Disruption can be positive, he says, and he's right; inexorable change is coming to North Carolina and the rest of the world, and if we're to survive, we must not only endure it, but we must learn to thrive in it. If the GOP want to try to drag us back to the past, to policies that harm us and put our futures at risk, well, they'll have to choose between getting washed away by our Blue Tide or by climate-driven rising seas.

Tags: icymi, ncga, nc-09, nc-03, gerrymandering, voter issue: environment

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