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Saturday News: Lame duck dynasty


FEARING LOSS OF POWER, REPUBLICANS PLAN NOVEMBER SESSION FOR SHENANIGANS: "We want to have the option of coming back – assuming that these constitutional amendments pass – if we need to adopt legislation along those lines, to consider that, plus as well as things that may come up between now and then," said Moore, R-Cleveland. "So we have a date to reconvene. Who knows if we’ll do anything at that period of time?" Moore mused, "but the consensus was to go ahead and put that date on there and then we’ll come back at that point." Asked the same question, Rep. Robert Reives, D-Chatham, was more pointed. "I think what is clear is this: There seems to be a belief that there may be some change in the election in November, and they want to have an opportunity in November to push through legislation that there’ll be no way on earth they'll get pushed through in January 2019," Reives said.

Friday News: Partisan hackery


LEGISLATIVE REPUBLICANS BLOCK SEVERAL COOPER APPOINTMENTS: Legislative Republicans turned back a number of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's appointments Thursday, giving little reason for the opposition in a couple of cases. Cooper's three State Board of Education appointments had been pending more than a year, a running source of friction between the administration and the GOP-controlled legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said the Cooper administration didn't consult legislators before naming his appointees, a misstep that "bothered a number of people." Democrats said it sounded like partisan politics to them. The governor's office pointed out that the legislature confirmed people from Gov. Pat McCrory's administration to similar positions in the past, including his chief of staff's wife, who was appointed to the Industrial Commission two weeks before McCrory left office.

Thursday News: Tyranny of the majority


NC REPUBLICANS DANCE BACK AND FORTH WITH VETO OVERRIDES AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Three of the seven vetoes Gov. Roy Cooper issued late Monday have been overridden and are now law. They are the Farm Act, with its controversial provision insulating hog farms from lawsuits by neighbors, changes to the early voting schedule and rollbacks of various state regulations. The House quickly overrode two other vetoes but didn't even touch the final two. The Senate has yet to take up any of the four remaining. Both chambers also continue to pass proposed amendments back and forth. The Senate gave final approval to an amendment that would once again overhaul the structure of the state elections board. The measure, if approved by voters in November, also would asset legislative authority to appoint people to dozens of state boards and commissions.

Wednesday News: Families belong together


NC AG JOSH STEIN JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP ON SEPARATING IMMIGRANT FAMILIES: North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the Trump administration's policy that has forced the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents along the southwestern border. Stein also sent a letter to the Homeland Security secretary asking for a list of any parents or children being housed in North Carolina because of this policy and the facilities where they are placed if that is the case. "Like millions of North Carolinians, I watched in horror as the Trump Administration stripped thousands of children away from their parents,” Stein said in a statement announcing the legal action.

Tuesday News: Legacy of bigotry


JUDGE DECIDING IF LAWSUIT AGAINST HB2 REPLACEMENT CAN CONTINUE: A federal judge said Monday in Winston-Salem that he needs time to consider whether transgender plaintiffs can proceed with a lawsuit challenging the law that replaced the state’s “bathroom bill” known as HB2. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments over a request by Republican lawmakers to dismiss the lawsuit. He said at the end of the hearing that he would issue a ruling at a later date. Transgender plaintiffs say they’re still being harmed by the compromise bill passed in 2017. The new law did away with a requirement that transgender people use restrooms corresponding to their sex at birth in many public buildings. But the law says only state legislators, not local governments, can make rules on bathroom access.

Monday News: Shameless


GOP LEGISLATORS PUSH AMENDMENT GIVING THEM ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF ELECTIONS BOARD: Republicans want legislative leaders to appoint all members of the state elections board, a power now held by the governor. State House GOP leaders on Friday afternoon introduced a proposal to change the North Carolina Constitution to create an eight-member State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement with all members chosen by the House speaker and the Senate leader. Voters would have to agree in November to change the constitution if the proposal wins approval in the House and Senate. The GOP proposal released Friday would mean that the governor would have no say in elections board membership. Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, described the proposal as one attempting to blur the traditional separation of powers of representative government.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


TIME FOR NC'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO STAND AGAINST INHUMANITY AT THE BORDER: What is going on at the Mexican border today is ugly, un-American and WRONG. That is why Gov. Roy Cooper has joined with other governors – Republicans and Democrats, in calling members of the state National Guard now deployed to the border back home. It is why Attorney General Josh Stein joined with 20 other state attorneys general to sign a letter calling on Sessions to end the current policy as “inhumane” and an abuse of children’s rights. There are other North Carolina voices that need to be heard from, loud and clear about where they stand on the Trump administration’s policies and actions that take children from their parents – about 2,000 in less than two months. Speak up Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Where do you stand? Do you back the president or will you work with Democrats to end this policy?

Saturday News: Red Strawfish


REPUBLICANS RESURRECT DEM HEALTH CARE BILL FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES: In an unexpected move Thursday, a North Carolina House Democrat moved to kill her own bill that would have started the process to create a statewide universal health care system. Republicans had resurrected the bill Wednesday night in an effort to highlight the economic impact of such a system. The bill — which had been sitting dormant in the House Appropriations Committee since April 2017 — was put onto the House Rules Committee agenda late Wednesday, surprising many observers because liberal policy proposals typically don't get committee hearings. Hours before the House met Thursday morning, the conservative Civitas Institute released an analysis of the bill, which it characterized as a "monster that could swallow the North Carolina state budget."

Friday News: Welcome to the 1950's

NC GOP LEGISLATOR DROPS SEXIST BOMBSHELL ON VISITING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS: A North Carolina state legislator faced backlash on social media Wednesday after commenting about a group of visiting female high school students. After the introduction, Sanderson offered advice to the student group from the lectern. "I know for sure that if you continue to recruit young ladies like (those sitting in) the front row, you're not gonna have any trouble recruiting young men," Sanderson said. "We'll have more farmers then we know what to do with." The Twitter account of the Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted "Girls in the FFA can't just be there for an interest in farming? This is gross." Ginger Garner, Sanderson's Democratic opponent in November, responded with her own tweet saying: "Elected officials should serve as an example to our students through their actions & words. Senator Sanderson's comments today objectified female students & minimized their work & involvement in the FFA. His comments are appalling & entirely inappropriate."

Thursday News: Stacking the courts


10 JUDICIAL CANDIDATES WILL HAVE TO REFILE AFTER GOP OVERRIDES VETO: One new law altering judicial election districts in four counties could force about 10 judicial candidates who had already entered races affected by the law to either refile or withdraw. The other law could force a new political party to reconsider a few candidates it nominated last weekend or go to court to challenge the law. The judicial district measure redraws Superior Court election district boundaries in Mecklenburg County to address population imbalances in the previous election districts that GOP lawmakers called unconstitutional. But District Court judges also will no longer be elected countywide in both Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Voters in the state's two largest counties now will elect only a few District Court judges based on where they live.


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