Blogs

Tuesday News: The stink of desperation

harrismark.jpg

HARRIS IS ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN CONCERNED ABOUT VOTERS' RIGHTS: The campaign of Republican Mark Harris is moving forward with an effort to force the State Board of Elections to certify the result of the 2018 9th Congressional District race by court action, despite ongoing investigations into absentee ballot irregularities in several southeastern North Carolina counties. Harris filed a legal brief Monday in support of his request for a writ of mandamus, a court order that forces a public agency to exercise one of its responsibilities. He's asking a Wake County Superior Court judge to command state elections officials to immediately certify the election results and release any investigative materials into election irregularities. "By leaving the Ninth District race undecided, the Bipartisan Board has struck a blow to representative democracy," the brief filed on Harris' behalf reads. "It effectively has disfranchised the more than 778,000 people living in the Ninth District by bureaucratic fiat, denying them representation in the 116th Congress."
https://www.wral.com/in-court-documents-harris-argues-state-board-should-certify-9th-district-result...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Going out with a bang:

People will be saying nice things and some not-so-nice things about her in the days ahead, but her time leading UNC-CH has to have been a near-constant nightmare. Thank you.

Urban-Rural divide becomes more stark in 287(g) program

And it's increasingly a Republican-led effort:

The sheriffs who joined the program were overwhelmingly small-town or suburban and Republican, Stateline found, though not all counties have partisan races for sheriff. The only urban counties to join were those encompassing Fort Worth, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee. None of the new sheriffs to join the program ran as a Democrat in the general election. There were no new 287(g) agreements with city police agencies, which generally aren’t elected positions and usually are not in charge of jails as are county sheriffs.

The expansion came so fast that it caused administrative problems; U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t hire enough new managers to oversee the new programs and train sheriff’s deputies, according to an Inspector General report in September.

Bolding mine, because that lack of training and oversight is a recipe for an authoritarian nightmare. The 287(g) program is supposed to be "incidental" in nature; local law enforcement are only supposed to check someone's immigration status *after* a suspect has been arrested for other crimes. In the absence of a manager to review and sign off on "charging documents" that provide the legal basis for initiating the deportation, the likelihood of racial profiling increases. And it also makes our streets more dangerous because it discourages the reporting of crimes, even violent ones:

Monday News: Equality means protection, too

joshstein2.jpg

AG STEIN FILES BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF SAME-SEX RESTRAINING ORDERS: North Carolina is the only state in the U.S. that doesn't issue domestic violence restraining orders for victims in same-sex dating relationships. A lawsuit now before the state Court of Appeals could change that, and Attorney General Josh Stein filed a brief on behalf of the state this week, calling on the court to declare this portion of North Carolina's law unconstitutional. In North Carolina, a domestic violence protective order is known as "50B order," and for people who are not married or related, an order can be obtained only against a person "of the opposite sex." A lower court cited that section of the law in denying a protective order to a person who faced threats of physical violence following a breakup this year. The plaintiff in the case is a Wake County woman who was threatened by a woman she was dating. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing her in the case. The group and Stein are asking for that section of the law to be struck down.
https://www.wral.com/ag-stein-pushing-for-same-sex-domestic-violence-protections/18118215/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

editorialpages.jpg

LEGISLATORS, ABANDON PARTISAN BULLYING AND FOCUS ON STATE'S URGENT NEEDS: The dark and stormy hyper-partisan atmosphere, fueled by the only veto-proof majority since the governor was granted the power 22 years ago, has dissipated as a new legislature gathers for the first time. We hope now that a gubernatorial veto carries some clout, legislators will think and act more cooperatively and less ideologically as they craft legislation. To get important things accomplished, legislators will need to consider and address the interests and needs of ALL North Carolinians – not just narrow and favored special interests or powerful partisan patrons. It is an opportunity for REAL leadership to emerge. Skill in building consensus will hold greater currency than the muscle to intimidate and steamroll. How will GOP leaders Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore handle themselves?
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislators-abandon-partisan-bullying-and-focus-on-state-s-urgent-nee...

Evidence shows Burr coordinated with NRA in 2016 Election

burrgrin.jpg

The only time he actually does something always involves campaign money:

Back in 2016, when North Carolina Republican Richard Burr prevailed against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, Burr employed National Media outright, while the NRA used Red Eagle. As in the other races, Ferrell signed off on purchases for both sides. FCC paperwork filed by WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, shows Ferrell signing off on purchases for the Burr campaign on October 12, 24, and 27 and November 2 as an “agent for Richard Burr Committee.” At the same time, he authorized Red Eagle purchases on behalf of the NRA on September 19 and October 21.

The campaign coordination alone is a serious issue, and one of the few safeguards left in place after Citizens United. But even more concerning is the likelihood that Russian money was used to get Richard Burr re-elected:

Saturday News: Milking the taxpayers

DOLLAR LOSES ELECTION, GAINS SIX-FIGURE INCOME WORKING FOR MOORE: Former state Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, has joined House Speaker Tim Moore's staff as a senior policy adviser. The former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Dollar will make $117,495 a year, an upgrade from the roughly $14,000 a year state legislators make in addition to per diems and expense reimbursements. Dollar has been heavily involved in a number of complex issues at the statehouse, including budget negotiations and the state's ongoing Medicaid reform efforts. He is a political and media consultant by trade. Dollar lost his seat by 884 votes last November to Democrat Julie von Haefen, the former president of the Wake County PTA. Von Haefen took her seat, representing parts of Cary, Apex and southern Wake County this month, and the legislature began its new session Wednesday.
https://www.wral.com/former-rep-dollar-joins-speaker-s-staff/18117778/

North Carolinians Call on Republicans to Protect Their Care from Pending Lawsuit

State Sen. Wiley Nickel, Protect Our Care Exec. Dir. Brad Woodhouse, and Local Advocates Join Press Call After Republicans Vote Against Resolution to Intervene in Texas vs. United States Lawsuit and Protect the ACA

Boomer blunders: Majority of fake news shared by older Facebook users

And big surprise, most of them were Trumpsters:

They found that Republicans and those who identified as “very conservative” tended to share the most news from questionable sources. But that tendency may have less to do with ideology and more to do with what those articles said: Users tend to share stories they agree with and the fake news sites were disproportionately pro-Trump, the authors said.

The study also found that prolific Facebook users were less likely to post such stories, lending credence to the theory that less active and experienced users may have more trouble discerning between fake and real news.

I have at least "irritated" many Facebook friends for correcting them when they post dubious stories, and more and more these days, it also involves posting dated (sometimes 7-8 years old) stories as if they're happening now. I don't relish that role, and I definitely don't relish having to address this issue:

Friday News: Wrong time, wrong place

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

ROWAN COUNTY FORCED TO PAY ACLU LEGAL BILLS OVER GOVERNMENT PRAYER: A federal judge found the way the Rowan County Commission prayed before public meetings unconstitutional. An appeals court eventually agreed and the Supreme Court last summer declined to hear the case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, federal court records show. Now the county will have to pay the ACLU’s legal bills for the five-year legal fight: $285,000. On Monday, County Commission members voted to pay the bill, the Salisbury Post reports. The lawsuit dates back to 2013 when three Rowan County residents sued the county commission over the public prayer at the beginning of each meeting, according to court filings. The commission chair or members give a prayer at the beginning of each meeting, the lawsuit says, and over six years 97 percent of prayers were Christian. An appeals court sided with the residents, represented by the ACLU, in 2017.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article224219600.html

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs