Daily dose

Wednesday News: Say hello to my little Veto

NC DEMOCRATS BREAK SUPERMAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY: North Carolina Democrats broke the Republican super-majority in both the state House and state Senate Tuesday night, though some of the races are tight enough to trigger recounts. Going into Tuesday, the GOP held the House 75-45. It looks like it will be 66-54 when a new legislature is seated in January, although a close race in Mecklenburg County could shift one seat. Republicans hold the Senate now 35-15. If unofficial results – with some very thin margins – hold, it will soon be 29-21. Democrats picked up just enough seats to break the Republican super-majority. Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, fell by more than 11,000 votes to Natasha Marcus. Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, also lost a close race, by 763 votes to Michael Garrett.
https://www.wral.com/democrats-break-veto-proof-majority-in-general-assembly/17974495/

Tuesday News: Vote like your life depends on it, because it does

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2018 MID-TERMS THE EPITOME OF GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM: Once pegged as a low-thrill election cycle without major statewide races, North Carolina's campaign season became a high-intensity fight over Republican governance in Raleigh and Washington, and whether Democrats deserve more power. Record numbers voted early before Tuesday's midterms, reflecting the energy and money injected into legislative, judicial and congressional races and ballot questions. State Democrats raised mammoth sums of cash, buoyed by Gov. Roy Cooper's call to "Break the Majority" of the GOP in both the House and Senate this decade. Appraisals of state Republican control stretched to a state Supreme Court race and six referendums that if approved would imprint GOP policies in the state constitution. Three GOP congressional seats were also threatened with close races. Cooper raised at least $7 million for the state Democratic Party, which passed money along to the party's legislative candidates.
https://www.wral.com/n-carolina-elections-got-amped-up-despite-lacking-major-race/17973565/

Monday News: Blaming the victim

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NC "INFLUENCERS" LUMP GOVERNOR COOPER IN WITH LEGISLATURE ON DIVISIVENESS: Overwhelmingly, the NC Influencers — Democrats, Republicans and those with no party affiliation — said the legislature, Gov. Roy Cooper, and Congress should strive for bipartisanship as they craft policies. State politics has been marked by heated partisan battles between the Republican-led legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper has gone to court multiple times to challenge the legislature’s attempts to limit his power. Some major laws pass with only Republican votes. “The governor has the most significant platform in the state to affect the public policy ecosystem,” Stith said. “Gov. Cooper should implement a policy-based initiative focused on the jobs/economy, education and health care. Litigation and railing against the NC legislature may meet political muster, however it does little to address the pressing issues facing the citizens of North Carolina.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/influencers/article221016990.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHAT IF EVERYONE VOTED? As a result, voters’ experiences in the same national election will vary significantly by state, to a greater degree than has been true in decades. Underlying that reality is an increasingly partisan split over whether it should be a goal at all in the United States to get more people to vote. Many political scientists say that policies that make voting easier would also make American democracy more representative and less likely to favor the interests of wealthier, older and white voters who typically turn out at higher rates. Broader participation, proponents say, could ease polarization, lift faith in government and dampen criticism that politicians representing the views of a minority of Americans wield the majority of power in Washington. “Equalizing turnout across the population would be the single best thing we could do for our democracy and probably for our country in the near term,” said Adam Bonica, a political scientist at Stanford.
https://www.wral.com/what-if-everyone-voted-/17953734/

Saturday News: The party of fearmongering

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NC REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES PLAY THE CARAVAN CARD AGAINST DEMOCRATS: The ads feature darkened, threatening images of immigrant caravans, dark-skinned people throwing rocks, crowds rioting. Some are federal ads, broadcast and tweeted by everyone from President Donald Trump to congressional candidates. But others are Republican ads in state races, from the North Carolina Supreme Court to the state Senate and House – offices that have no control over federal immigration policy. Steven Greene, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, said the candidates and outside groups airing the ads are betting voters don't know the difference. Other ads for state candidates label opponents as "dangerous" and "extremist." One by a national political action committee claims a vote for any Democrat is a vote for socialism and chaos.
https://www.wral.com/immigration-not-part-of-official-duties-that-s-not-stopping-candidates-from-run...

Friday News: The stench of desperation

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NC GOP'S "VOTER SHAMING" MAILERS GET UNDER THE SKIN OF SOME OF THEIR BASE: "In North Carolina, your personal voting history is a public record anyone can look up on the internet," the mailer says. "The chart below shows your voting record and the voting record of some of your neighbors." This did not sit well with Kelly Ducker, who got a mailer listing her husband and four neighbors, plus whether they voted in elections going back the last six years. Zachary Ducker wasn't even registered to vote in North Carolina during the years the card said he didn't vote. He was registered in Washington state. He voted there by absentee ballot because he was assigned to Fort Bragg and pulling three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Now, I don't even want to vote for my party," said Kelly Ducker who, like her husband, is a registered Republican living in Harnett County.
https://www.wral.com/nc-gop-sends-voter-shaming-cards/17962859/

Thursday News: Voter suppression, by any other name

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REPUBLICAN LAW LEADS TO 17% FEWER EARLY VOTING SITES: When a last-minute measure to standardize the hours for early voting wound its way through the legislature during the final days of session earlier this year, opponents worried aloud that the move would be a heavier burden for cash-strapped counties. They were right, according to a detailed analysis of early voting locations conducted by WRAL News. As a result of the new law, the number of hours available statewide to vote early at one-stop locations nearly doubled from 2014. Total early voting hours increased in all but six counties: Henderson, Bladen, Stanly, Polk, McDowell and Halifax. But the total number of early locations dropped by about 17 percent statewide. In all, 43 counties lost at least one voting location. Two counties – Henderson and Buncombe – lost four. That matters, because political scientists say distance from a voting location can have at least a small effect on turnout.
https://www.wral.com/early-voting-changes-hit-nc-rural-voters-hardest-but-will-it-matter-in-2018-/17...

Wednesday News: Toxic cash

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GOP FUNNELS ALMOST A QUARTER-MILLION TO MIKE CAUSEY, WHO IS NOT RUNNING THIS YEAR: Causey had previously returned campaign donations from Lindberg and his wife, saying he did so out of an abundance of caution. He said he couldn't comment Tuesday when asked if he'd return the party's donation. He said there's "no doubt" people can say it doesn't look good. This is the largest political donation Causey has ever received. The timeline goes like this: In April 2017, Lindberg and his wife donated $10,000 to Causey's campaign. Causey said earlier this month that the donations came the same week he was due to meet with Lindberg about some of his insurance businesses. Causey returned the donations in May 2017. From September 2017 through May 2018 Lindberg donated $1.49 million to the state Republican Party. In July, the state Republican Party donated $240,000 to Causey's campaign.
https://www.wral.com/lindberg-nc-gop-causey-complaint-alleges-campaign-finance-violations/17957873/

Tuesday News: Blue Moon Wave

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EARLY VOTING THIS YEAR HAS ALREADY ECLIPSED 2014 NUMBERS: With six days of early voting left to go, North Carolinians hit a milestone: Elections officials have accepted more ballots from people who voted early in person during this election than during the full early voting period for the 2014 midterms. Nearly 1.1 million people have cast their votes in person so far, the latest data from the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement show. More than 41,000 ballots have been mailed in. Surveys suggest that enthusiasm for voting is high. A Pew Research Center survey in September found the highest level of voter enthusiasm in two decades. A majority of the 1,439 registered voters who responded to the survey said they considered their votes an expression of support or opposition to President Donald Trump.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article220806575.html

Monday News: Racism has consequences

DRUNKEN RACIST RANT GETS WHITE CHARLOTTE WOMAN FIRED FROM HIGH-PAYING JOB: A white North Carolina woman filmed going on a racist rant at her black neighbor has been fired from her job. News outlets report the video shows Susan Westwood approaching sisters Leisa and Mary Garris this month and saying "I am white and hot. So what are you doing here?" Charter Communications spokesman Patrick Paterno said Sunday that Westwood has been fired from her $125,000-per-year job referenced in the video. An apparently drunk Westwood is heard asking where the sisters live, if they're visiting their "baby daddy" and if she needs to reveal her concealed weapon. The sisters ask Westwood to leave them alone as they're waiting for AAA. They eventually call 911. Westwood has been issued criminal summons of communicating threats and simple assault. She wasn't reached for comment.
https://www.wral.com/white-woman-fired-over-filmed-racist-rant-at-black-neighbor/17953502/

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