Thurs, Jan 23, 6:30pm, Chapel Hill Public Library, Denied and Abridged: The Struggle for Voting Rights in NC. Anna Richards (CH-Carrboro NAACP) and Irving Joyner (law professor at NCCU) speaking. Sponsored by Neighbors on Call. Register here.
Perhaps it's unfair to direct our ire at the entire NCGA-- after all it's majorly the Republicans' fault for how the session has progressed (or not), since they are the majority party. They reconvened yesterday. The Republicans made it clear that not only would they be meeting for a uselessly short period of time-- just yesterday-- but that not much would happen. No bills would move, they predicted, including a restart of the transition of Medicaid over to the managed-care model. This transition was put on pause last year because the budget was stalled. An override vote for Gov. Cooper's budget veto was on the schedule for Tuesday, but Senate leaders cancelled it. Why?
North Carolina will go without a budget until 2021. Perhaps it's unfair to call the whole NCGA irresponsible, childish, petulant, slimy, hypocritical and cowardly. But calling the Republican side of it those things is, at this point, much less midslinging and more a simple statement of fact.
The NCGA will reconvene sometime this spring. When they do, the clock on the Republicans' grip on power will really start winding down. It's up to us to be ready to steer North Carolina onto a better course, and NC Policy Watch has several good ideas to help us do that.
2020 will be so pivotal for our state that 3 former Governors and 11 former state lawmakers are looking to reinsert themselves in the political narrative. Former Governors Jim Martin and Pat McCrory (both Republican) and Democrat Jim Hunt will launch the NC Priorities Project (paywall after 5 articles) on January 29thin Charlotte. This project is “designed to launch The Observer’s coverage, with McClatchy, of the state’s most consequential election and political year in memory.” This is a public forum so the event is free; sign up for it here if you want to go.
Only one of the 11 lawmakers wanting to return to the NCGA is a Democrat, but that one Democrat is coming back because “ more favorable lines from redistricting helped prompt his return”(paywall after 5 articles). “Former Sen. Allen Wellons, D-Johnston, served from 1996 to 2002, and he’s running for the redrawn Senate district covering Nash and parts of Johnston County where Sen. Rick Horner, R-Nash, isn’t seeking re-election.”
As we head into election season, remember that Republicans, dark money groups, and sometimes even legitimate news outlets and trusted sources propagate misinformation. Tuck these helpful links away in your bookmarks. They'll help you fact-check the news you read. Spread them widely too!!
Congratulations to one of the longest-serving members of the NCGA on his reappointment! Former State Rep. Mickey Michaux was appointed to serve out the remainder of State Sen. Floyd McKissick's term. McKissick resigned earlier this month to serve on the NC Utilities Commission.
If the chaos around the photo ID ruling are any indication, UNC and Duke hospitals and doctor offices should be seeing a spike in the number of whiplash cases admitted. Attorney General Josh Stein is appealing the judge's decision to not require photo ID for the primary. This upset quite a few people, but he's not doing it because he wants the requirement reinstated. He's doing it because it's his job. NC Policy Watchprovides a good analysis of why A.G. Stein is doing what he's doing.
The Republicans on the other hand...
“The votes of two million citizens to amend their own Constitution to require voter ID were thrown out by one unelected Democratic judge. The legislature will fight with every tool at our disposal to reverse this lawless decision that overturns the will of the people,”
Said Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke) last week. Berger and Moore filed for an emergency stay of Judge Loretta Biggs' order last week as well. We await Judge Biggs' decision on this emergency stay.
Judicial Watch, national conservative activist organization, is threatening to sue Mecklenburg and Guilford counties over alleged problems with voter registration, resulting in some “2.5 million ‘extra’ registrants.” Not only is this blatantly false, it means that in Guilford county's share of the numbers, 102% of voting-age residents were registered, which is impossible. Needless to say, this groundless charge is making the rounds on conservative websites, which are neglecting to point out the Republicans were in charge of county election boards for most of the past decade. Where are those fact-checking websites again?
Lest anyone think A.G. Josh Stein is a traitor to his party, let them read that he “is among a group of attorneys general who is opposing a federal appeals court’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is unconstitutional.” This blog is mainly state-focused, but this federal decision is a big deal. If the ACA is struck down, Medicaid in North Carolina stands no chance of being expanded. Thank you, A.G. Stein, for doing what's right.
In #silentsham news, the Daily Tar Heel has sued the UNC Board of Governors over the settlement that body made with the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the monument. The suit alleges that the settlement violates the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.
The SCV may have violated another set of laws on its end: “According to a report Friday in The Daily Tar Heel, UNC's student newspaper, documents and emails provided anonymously by members of the SCV seem to show a pattern of tax law and campaign finance violations by SCV leaders, as well as leaders of an affiliated group, the Mechanized Cavalry.”
Something's rotten in the state of North Carolina.
I leave you with one bit of good news and one bit of hilarity. The good news is that as of Christmas week, no one under 21 can legally buy tobacco products in North Carolina. I have little sympathy for the businesses complaining about the short notice; it's about time for tobacco to be gone for good.
Laugh with me on this one: “Peter D’Abrosca, a far-right blogger who had planned on running for Congress in North Carolina’s 7th District on a position of ceasing all immigration into the United States for 10 years,” was too busy being a racist &$#! to ensure he was able to actually file for the race. He did file a notice of candidacy, and the NCSBE canceled his notice because he did not meet the requirements. He appealed. "At the Jan. 7 state board meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, D’Abrosca appeared with a lawyer in tow, who attempted to argue that because D’Abrosca had worked as a right-wing blogger, the fact that he had not successfully registered to vote as a Republican in time to fulfill the candidate requirement should be overlooked.”
Let me rephrase: His argument, one he paid real money to a lawyer to make on his behalf, was that “I'm a racist right-wing authoritarian with a blog on which I'm very loud about my racism and right-wing authoritarianism! That's as good as registering as a Republican! I don't really need to register; y'all can just trust me on this. I'm a Republican.”
Well shoot, if all it takes is being a blogger to be able to do whatever you want, this author suddenly has lots of big plans... ;)
Tags: (ICYMI, NCGA, 2020 elections, voter ID, silent sam)
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