A reporter inquired today about my KNOW YOUR AMENDMENTS flyer. Here's my response.
James Protzman here. I'm a founder of BlueNC. Thanks for reaching out with your comments and questions. I'll do my best to respond.
The flyer you're referring was first posted on my personal Facebook page a few days ago. I created it. I have been a vocal critic of all six amendments, and am giving away yard signs and bumper stickers encouraging people to VOTE AGAINST every amendment.
The amendments are political shenanigans that undermine the integrity of our Constitution. Each could have been handled with simple legislation; none of them are necessary. Worse still, they lack implementation language. Voters can't possibly know what the amendments will mean for the citizens of North Carolina because that won't be spelled out until after they're passed, in a lame-duck session.
The victims rights amendment, for example, leaves important questions unanswered. Just look at this language from the legislation:
"The victim or, if the victim is a minor, is legally incapacitated, or deceased, a family member, guardian, or legal custodian may assert the rights provided in this section."
So let's say you're the estranged husband of a woman who has an abortion. Under this amendment, you could assert all the rights of a family member on behalf of the fetus, and then impose the requirements of the amendment on your estranged wife. You could even assert, on behalf of the "victim," that felony murder took place.
Would this happen? Who knows? But it could. And given the willingness of Senator Berger and Speaker Moore to bend legislative rules to suit their agendas, I wouldn't bet against it.
Regarding hunting and fishing, let's say you're a gun-loving citizen of Chapel Hill. Let's also say you don't much like the town ordinance that restricts hunting inside the city limits. You sue and you win. Your rights as a hunter would protected by the NC Constitution, which must surely trump local regulations. And now that you can shoot deer in Chapel Hill, what about feral cats? Are they wildlife? Who knows? It's all up to the General Assembly to decide ... after the fact.
The reason these things could happen is because this amendment, like the others, was written without sufficient thought or debate. The legislature had one motivation: get issues on the ballot to turn out Republican voters.
As I said, I created the original content for my personal Facebook page. I subsequently shared it on BlueNC, as well as on a new Facebook page I created called "Protect the NC Constitution."
People are hungry for information about the amendments, but they've learned they can't trust the legislature for straight answers. As a private citizen, I'm doing what I can to point out the unintended (?) consequences of the whole charade.
Thank you for paying attention to this, and to the many other things you cover in North Carolina politics. If I can help you in any way, don't hesitate to contact me.