Help Get Out the Progressive Vote - it's even more important after the recent Supreme Court ruling refusing to intervene in partisan gerrymandering! Stamp NC Blue (SNCB) is looking for dedicated volunteers to support our postcard campaign to get out the vote leading up to the  2020 election. You'll find details and answers to LOTS of your questions here - be  sure to read the FAQs and check out the links!! PLEASE SHARE THIS widely. Round up some friends, gather some colored pens, and get ready to STAMP NC BLUE IN 2020!

According to polls conducted by a Democratic firm, Dan McCready and his Republican opponent Dan Bishop are neck-and-neck in the race for who will represent NC-09. This is actually good news because

“The political makeup of the district still leans in Republicans’ favor. Republicans hold a 9-point lead over Democrats on a generic congressional ballot in the district — 48 percent to 39 percent, according to the internal poll. Still, the polling memo notes, McCready is outperforming a generic Democrat on that metric.”

He rolled out his platform for healthcare yesterday, which is both sensible and progressive (surprise surprise): keeping the Affordable Care Act intact, expanding Medicaid, and paying hospitals and doctors based on outcomes and quality of care rather than individual procedures they perform (or prescriptions they write).

gif via giphy

Rep. Holly Grange recently announced her intent to run for NC Governor, making her the second Republican candidate in the race. She styles herself a “law-and-order, Trump-supporting conservative”. Now there's an oxymoron for you.

Major Greg Gebhardt, a National Guard soldier, has announced his intent to run as a Republican for Lieutenant Governor. As Lt. Governor, he promises to “fight to make sure every North Carolinian is afforded the opportunity to live their American Dream." It remains to be seen how hard he'll fight for the dreams of many North Carolinians: affordable healthcare, secure elections, energy companies held accountable for their pollution, and a government that is truly representative of its people and not only in it to enrich themselves.

Despite a suit brought by multiple parties last month, the controversial voter ID legislation will go into effect for 2020. A panel of judges ruled that the legislation would not be subject to a hold while its architects and the legislators who passed it were being sued. “Represented by Allison Riggs of the Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice,” the plaintiffs asked judges to block the law while their suit moved forward. The judges, however, granted Republicans' request to keep it moving, based upon their arguments that this voter ID law was different enough from the one in 2013 that targeted "African-Americans with almost surgical precision”. While it may be true that this version is different than the 2013 law, it is certainly the same in that it will disproportionately affect voters of color and low-income voters.

Fortunately there is a wealth of resources out there to help you understand what's going to happen-- and what will be required for voting in North Carolina in 2020.

So far, Governor Cooper is holding the line in the fight over the NC budget. (Thank him and encourage him to continue standing up for what we all know is right). Berger and Moore continue to belittle the issues, saying that Gov. Cooper is obsessed with expanding Medicaid and will sacrifice all else to get his way. We all know much more than just Medicaid is at stake with this budget.

Sen. Berger's power could also be at stake.

“Berger’s power is based on a well-honed edge of grievance after years of being ignored in the minority, a deep knowledge of the legislative process and control of caucus campaign funds that Republican senators depend on. But now Berger faces great pressure to practice a political skill with which he is not familiar — compromise.”

To absolutely no Democrat's surprise, Gov. Cooper has both the moral high ground and facts on his side in the budget/Medicaid fight. Sen. Berger's opposition looks less and less like politics and more and more like a tantrum thrown by a toddler whose parent refuses to give him his way.

The conservative Civitas Institute goes so far as to attempt to enlighten Republicans in the General Assembly with three guiding principles upon which they might rely in this budget impasse. The second two are predictably Republican, but the first one is actually a responsible piece of thought, summed up in this line from the president of Civitas: “Conservatives at the General Assembly should stop looking to ‘buy’ their way out of a political impasse. It can’t be done, and if it can be done, it won’t be a political win for conservatives.”

Maybe if they hadn't gotten themselves into this mess to begin with, they wouldn't have to try to buy their way out.

North Carolina continues to stand as a microcosm of the national political scene. In the latest instance, the longest-serving North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, Paul Newby, severely damaged the legitimacy of the courts by verbally attacking both his Democratic fellow justices and saying that any opponents should “just leave” the country. His verbal attacks on Democrats, on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and his fascist “just-leave” statement have stoked a conflict that has already resulted in death threats to sitting members of Congress. The word justice is in this man's title. He has not only made a mockery of it and his job, but he has proven to all of us that he cares nothing for actual justice.

In more uplifting news, ocean wildlife and fisheries off the North Carolina coast are safe from sonic blasting to detect oil and gas for now. The decision (made by Governor Cooper) is in appeal to the US Department of Commerce.

There is a very large orange elephant in the room (with very small hands), and I'd be remiss if I didn't address the trumpeting (I'm so sorry) of his fans last week in Greenville. To those of you tempted to say “it wouldn't happen here”, it just did. To those of you tempted to say “that's not who we are”, we just heard our own fellows, friends, and neighbors prove you wrong. I love my state. There's a lot to love about it. But there's also a lot of hate within it, and to ignore that is to do a great deal of damage to everything worth loving and saving about this state. This is why we must do all we can from now, through to 2020, and beyond, to keep this state on a progressively forward path and not let it slide into bigotry-driven regression.

Tags: (NC-09, budget, medicaid expansion, NCGA, voter ID, courts, environmental justice)

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