Tuesday News: The other side of Chatham...

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FEARRINGTON VILLAGE CANCELS GOP FUNDRAISER TO RAFFLE AR-15: The Chatham County GOP still plans to raffle off firearms this election season, just not at The Barn at Fearrington. The Republican Party had announced plans to sell 100 $50 tickets to win either a Ruger 5.56 rifle or a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun during a Sept. 10 meet-the-candidates event at Fearrington Village outside Pittsboro. Some people criticized the raffle for offering the Ruger, the same type of rifle used to kill 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, two years go. “Chatham County is a southern rural county and many of its citizens — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — have and use firearms for target shooting and for hunting,” it said. “The two kinds of firearms in our raffle, a modern sporting rifle and a shotgun, are widely owned. Many Chatham citizens would like to win one of these firearms.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/chatham-county/article234089967.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Another one bites the dust...

Monday Numbers: Voter purges reflect a Jim Crow shift

Stifling the voices that need to be heard the most:

17 million – the number of voters removed from rolls nationwide between 2016 and 2018

40 percent – how much higher the median purge rate was over the 2016 to 2018 period in jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance versus jurisdictions that were not covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

1.1 million – the number of voters who wouldn’t have been removed from voter rolls between 2016 and 2018 if purge rates in the counties that were covered by Section 5 were the same as the rates in non-Section 5 counties.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Rumors of a "post-racial" society, especially when it comes to voting access, are greatly exaggerated. Understand, the Voting Rights Act was not some sort of overreaction by the Federal government to a few isolated incidents; Southern Congressmen and Senators worked hand-in-hand with their state-level counterparts to actively deny Constitutional rights to tens of thousands of African-Americans, and that oppression thrived in the ambiguity of the times:

Monday News: Anti-abortion nut-job

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DAN FOREST OPENS CAMPAIGN WITH RANTS ON ABORTION, SOCIALISM: On the “born alive” bill, which would have brought new penalties for medical professionals who allow abortion survivors to die, Forest said the law should have been passed. “The governor said we just didn’t need it,” Forest said. “But my take is, if it is not needed, then go ahead and sign it and tell people you stand for life.” Forest’s campaign highlighted anti-abortion viewpoints, indicating he will try to make the topic one of the main points of contention in the 2020 election. While his speech did not directly mention Trump, he said his campaign was committed to supporting the president, who will likely visit the state often in 2020.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234086967.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TILLIS AND BURR, SHOW YOU STAND WITH NC, NOT THE NRA: Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis need to let the North Carolinians know who ranks at the top of their priority list. Is it the 10.3 million residents or 6.7 million registered voters in the state? Is it the $6.9 million the National Rifle Association donated to Burr’s campaigns? Is it the $4.4 million the NRA donated to Tillis’ campaigns? If their priority is the people of the state they represent, they must be in the forefront of demanding the U.S. Senate take up and pass two bills the House of Representatives passed last February – the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act. There has been NO Senate activity on the bills. Additionally, they should be leading voices for adoption of “red-flag" laws that allow public safety officials and family members, following due process and a court order, to temporarily prevent firearm possession by a person who is a threat to themselves or others.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-tillis-and-burr-show-you-stand-with-n-c-not-the-nra/18563629/

When local newspapers die, democracy dies with them

When you don't watch the pot, it often boils over:

It’s a crisis that threatens American democracy. Local newspapers, despite all their flaws and limitations, have been a trusted — and necessary — source of information for citizens across the country.

When local news withers, bad things happen, studies show. People vote less, and they vote in a more politically polarized way. Political corruption has more opportunity to flourish, unnoticed by the local watchdog. And municipal costs may rise.

After being involved in local government for several years now, I don't subscribe to the view that governments would go crazy with unnecessary spending in the absence of a journalistic watchdog. Voters don't (necessarily) need to read about their property tax going up to notice it, it's right there on their monthly mortgage bill when the escrow goes up. Elected officials are aware of that when they crunch their budgets every year (or two). But those voters won't know "why" their property tax went up, or anything else about their local government, and that's a huge problem. Which is why I also don't subscribe to the view that local governments should withhold information, make it harder for journalists to cover their activities. If the newspaper gets it wrong, it's usually because some official thought it was "wise" to be tight-lipped. It rarely is. But there may be a philanthropic light at the end of this tunnel:

Saturday News: Bold and visionary

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COOPER AND DEQ PRESENT PLAN TO CUT NC'S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS: Many more North Carolinians would get their electricity from renewable energy sources if a plan proposed by Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration moves ahead. The plan the state Department of Environmental Quality released Friday proposes reducing greenhouse gases from electricity production by 60% to 70% of 2005 levels by 2030, with a goal of getting to zero emissions by 2050. The plan offers suggestions for pushing emissions lower: requiring retirement of coal power plants and requiring utilities to increase use of renewable energy; setting carbon dioxide budgets or carbon caps; or a combination of those approaches. The proposal is a sweeping discussion of a possible energy future for the state that includes increasing energy efficiency and using clean energy development to create jobs.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234079272.html

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