On the importance of your vote

Kirk Ross gets to the meat of the matter:

If you’re having trouble mustering that belief in self-governing and are still determined to withhold your vote, consider for a minute that you might not be voting for just you. Because you’re not. One person, one vote doesn’t translate to “my vote.” It means a lot more than that.

Of course you vote for yourself, but you also vote for everyone who can’t. In Orange County that includes the roughly 30,000 people under 18, six thousand of whom are age 5 or younger. It includes students from abroad studying at the university, people in prison, those too ill to vote, the undocumented and the dreamers and everyone you know who died this year who would have stepped up.

Over the years, I've always considered those who engage in the system and cast votes to be responsible. But in recent years, I've come to consider those who don't vote to be not just disengaged from the system and aloof, but patently irresponsible for their lack of concern. That may be an effect of immersing myself daily in political issues and exploring the long-term consequences of poor leadership, but I can't help it. Once you know, you can't un-know. So the challenge is (and always has been), getting those other people to know.

Monday News: Dynamic duo coming to Winston-Salem


HILLARY CLINTON, MICHELLE OBAMA PLAN WINSTON-SALEM RALLY (Winston-Salem Journal) -- With less than two weeks until Election Day, Hillary Clinton and ace supporter, First Lady Michelle Obama, will campaign together Thursday at Wake Forest University at a rally to encourage early voting. The appearance, their first joint campaign stop this election season, will be from 2 to 4 p.m., at Hearn Plaza, an outdoor space in the center of campus. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

Duelling Chairs: Keever and Hayes square off in the OpEd column

So many analogies to choose from, but Rocky and Bullwinkle keep coming to mind:

Even if we set aside the tremendous damage HB2 has done to our economy and our reputation, McCrory’s claims of a “Carolina Comeback” ring hollow. Most of the state’s economic gains have flowed to those at the very top, thanks to McCrory’s tax cuts for the wealthy and tax hikes on the rest of us. McCrory has raised taxes on the middle class in 67 different ways – you can see each of them at PatTaxedThat.com.

Our choices are clear: Will we continue to move forward? Will we work together to build a greater North Carolina and a stronger United States? Or will we let ourselves be divided by fear, bigotry and hatred?

While Patsy may have dedicated a little too much column space to hammering on HB2 when there are so many other Republican-backed policies that have plagued our state, her position is well-reasoned and factual. Can't say the same for Robin Hayes, who predictably throws reason and reality to the wind:

Sunday News: Yes Donald, they vote


EARLY VOTING SHOWS UPSURGE OF WOMEN (Politico) -- In three crucial battlegrounds — North Carolina, Florida and Georgia — women are casting early ballots in disproportionate numbers. And in North Carolina, a must-win state for Trump with detailed early voting data available, it’s clear that Democratic women have been particularly motivated to turn out or turn ballots in. In North Carolina, 87,000 Democratic women have already moved to cast early ballots compared with just 60,000 Republican women, according to data shared with POLITICO by J. Michael Bitzer, an expert on North Carolina’s early vote at Catawba College. Men in the state, meanwhile, are closely divided: 50,000 Republicans and 52,000 Democrats have voted.

Saturday News: Riding Matthew's coattails

MCCRORY TURNS MATTHEW SUFFERING INTO CAMPAIGN PHOTO OP (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory’s latest campaign ad burnishes his image as a leader during Hurricane Matthew and the disturbances in Charlotte following the police killing of a man there. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s campaign is crying foul, accusing the governor of politicizing the storm. “For Governor McCrory, partisan politics always comes first,” Ford Porter, campaign spokesman for Attorney General Roy Cooper, said in an emailed statement.

Friday News: The company you keep

ROSS LAUNCHES FIRST AD TYING BURR TO TRUMP (Roll Call) -- On the first day of early voting in North Carolina, the Senate race got a little more crowded. For the first time, Democrat Deborah Ross launched a TV ad that tied incumbent Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr to Donald Trump. Facing a barrage of attacks over her past criticism of a sex offender registry, Ross is trying to use the Republican presidential nominee to undercut the GOP’s main attack against her.

McCrory's office directly tied to "your water is just fine" message

Endangering the health and welfare of his constituents:

Gov. Pat McCrory's communication office directed state health officials to use the controversial language telling well owners near coal ash pits that their wells met federal standards despite objections from a state scientist, according to a deposition released Thursday.

In her sworn statement, Department of Health and Human Services Communication Director Kendra Gerlach says language on state Health Risk Evaluation forms came "from the Capitol building," a reference to the Governor's Office.

Pay-to-play corruption is bad enough, but when you actively deceive residents about the dangers of their industry-tainted drinking water, you've crossed a line that can't be walked back.


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