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Friday News: 306-232=74


JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY DECLARED WINNER OF GEORGIA: Joe Biden has won Georgia and its 16 electoral votes, an extraordinary victory for Democrats who pushed to expand their electoral map through the Sun Belt. The win by Biden pads his Electoral College margin of victory over President Donald Trump. Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to the Democrats’ column. Biden now has 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Georgia hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Thursday News: Let's be blunt

STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PANEL CALLS FOR DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA: A panel appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper called Wednesday for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying arrests for such crimes disproportionately affect Black residents. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, which is chaired by Attorney General Josh Stein and Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls, also called for studying the prospect of further legalizing the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana in the state. "You cannot talk about improving racial equity in our criminal justice system without talking about marijuana," Stein said in a statement. "White and Black North Carolinians use marijuana at similar rates, yet Black people are disproportionately arrested and sentenced."

Wednesday News: Silencing voices of dissent

THREE ARRESTED AFTER NC SENATOR-ELECT GALEY REFUSES TO ALLOW PUBLIC COMMENTS: Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement wanted to express their dismay at being pepper sprayed during a march to the polls two weeks ago. But the chair of the all-Republican board, Amy Scott Galey, brought the meeting to a close before they got a chance to approach the podium. Among the things they wanted to talk about was the sheriff’s (Terry Johnson) deputies use of force on them. They felt that public officials had become inaccessible after they, and some of their children, were pepper sprayed Oct. 31, in an incident that attracted national attention. Within minutes, three people attending the meeting were in handcuffs. The sheriff’s office did not respond to The News & Observer’s request for an interview about Monday’s arrests.

Tuesday News: Status Quagmire


LITTLE TIMMY MOORE RE-ELECTED AS SPEAKER OF THE NC HOUSE: Incoming North Carolina House Republicans in a meeting Monday formally backed Speaker Tim Moore to lead their chamber for another two years, a result of the GOP expanding their majority in the Nov. 3 election. The fact that “we actually expanded our numbers shows that we have a mandate to continue the legislative leadership that we’ve had,” Moore said at a news conference at state GOP headquarters, where returning House Republicans met and approved his nomination by acclamation. “We'll continue to do all we can to to allow the ‘Old North State' to be even greater." Moore, 50, joined the House in 2003 and became rules committee chairman under then-Speaker Thom Tillis. Moore succeeded Tillis in 2015 when Tillis moved to the U.S. Senate.

Monday News: Four thousand, eight hundred six


NC SEES RECORD DAILY POSITIVES, OVER 312,000 HAVE BEEN INFECTED: At least 312,235 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 4,806 have died, according to health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 3,117 new COVID-19 cases, down from 3,885 reported the day before and the third-highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. Saturday’s case count set a single-day record in North Carolina. Previously the record was 3,119 cases, reported on Wednesday. At least 1,395 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday. About 7.9% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data are available.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


VOTERS TO LEGISLATORS: STOP FIGHTING THE GOVERNOR, COOPERATE AND COMPROMISE: We hear a clear message from North Carolinians in their vote for governor. They want a government that meets the state’s needs with quality services and is striving for the best – whether that be schools, health services, economic opportunity or quality of life. They have had enough of the legislature’s wasteful, bargain-basement mediocracy. Being just OK, muddled and middling, isn’t good enough and doesn’t meet the expectations of the electorate. This means that there needs to be an end to legislative leaders take-it or leave-it modus operandi. It is time for legislators to work WITH the governor and not uncompromisingly against him. When the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 13, 2021, Berger and Moore should signal, in clear terms., they have abandoned their chintzy, cut-rate, run-of-the-mill expectations and they, too, want excellence for North Carolina.

Saturday News: Headed for a recount


BEASLEY AND NEWBY SWAP LEADS BACK AND FORTH, ONLY 100 VOTE MARGIN: The race for Supreme Court chief justice was going down to the wire Friday as county boards of election continued to count absentee ballots into the night. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, and Justice Paul Newby, a Republican, traded leads multiple times Friday. Newby led most of the afternoon and into the evening. Around 8 p.m., Beasley took back the lead over Newby with just 100 votes, after Guilford County’s canvass had been reported. State law allows a candidate to request a recount in statewide races if they are trailing their opponent by less than 0.5% or 10,000 votes, whichever is less. The Republican Party announced last week that leaders already had met to start fundraising for a recount in the Supreme Court race.

Friday News: Count all votes!


CHERI BEASLEY NOW LEADS PAUL NEWBY IN CHIEF JUSTICE RACE: The race for Supreme Court chief justice changed leaders Thursday as county boards of election continued to count absentee ballots. Since Election Day on Nov. 3, Justice Paul Newby, a Republican, led incumbent Chief Justice Cheri Beasley but Beasley took over that lead by 1,101 votes, according to unofficial returns at 9:38 p.m. on the State Board of Elections website. Newby and Beasley both hold seats on the Supreme Court bench but their terms expire at the end of the year. County Boards of Elections have been meeting to count votes in recent days and have updated results in increments. They’re expected to canvass votes Nov. 13. The race was one of six statewide races that was too close to call on Election Night, The News & Observer reported.

Thursday News: Take a chill pill


NC REPUBLICANS WHINE ABOUT VOTE COUNT PROCESS: The North Carolina Republican Party and Republican members of the legislature are calling on the State Board of Elections to release voter history data for a different reason. They want data released so that national news outlets will call the state’s presidential results for Donald Trump, according to a press release the party issued on Monday. As of Wednesday morning, North Carolina and Georgia were the only states The Associated Press hadn’t called in the race for the White House. Still, Sen. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, a Senate Elections committee co-chair, said he wants to change the election system so that major news organizations can call North Carolina’s race for president on election night. “We ought to, going forward, be able to declare a victor on election night in North Carolina,” Newton said. “We cannot tolerate what’s going on right now.”

Wednesday News: Failing upward


AFTER TRUMP FIRES ESPER, TONY TATA GETS PENTAGON PROMOTION: In a memo obtained Tuesday by Defense One, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller — who was put in that job on Monday after Trump fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper by tweet — announced that Tata would take the policy role. Tata could not get the Senate to confirm him for the position earlier this summer in part due to a string of false statements he has made in the past, including calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader,” a comment for which he ended up penning a letter of apology to Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, who was helping oversee his Senate confirmation. Tata is replacing Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson who resigned early Tuesday following the firing of Esper.


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