NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The very latest in Republican negligence:

This is Trumpcare by the numbers; people with pre-existing conditions are losers and don't deserve good coverage.

The NC GOP's continual war on early voting

Fewer voting locations = more difficulty casting a vote:

North Carolina voters are once again dealing with changes to how the state runs its elections. At a time when early voting is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, a new law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature will result in nearly 20 percent fewer places to cast votes before Election Day.

Democrats say the changes could disproportionately affect African-American voters but some local Republican officials also complain about the changes, arguing they impose too much top-down control on election administration and amount to an unfunded mandate from the state.

Make no mistake, their intent with this law was to place more burdens on county-level elections officials, forcing them to make hard choices. And true to form, the architects of this crisis had their talking points lined up so they could avoid taking responsibility for their deceitful tactics:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

One more thumb's-down before early voting begins:

As I've mentioned before, we have to teach them a lesson. Don't screw around with the Constitution for partisan political purposes.

Why Barbara Jackson is not fit to serve on NC's Supreme Court

Her complete obeisance to Republicans in the General Assembly is distressing:

The General Assembly can waive its common law rights in addition to its statutory rights, and whether it chooses to do so is not within the purview of this Court. Nevertheless, we will not lightly assume such a waiver by a coordinate branch of government. Therefore, without a clear and unambiguous statement by the General Assembly that it intends to waive its attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine, we are compelled to exercise judicial restraint and defer to the General Assembly‟s judgment regarding the scope of its legislative confidentiality.

In a nutshell, Justice Jackson blocked the plaintiff's discovery of e-mails associated with the GOP's gerrymandering plot after they took over the General Assembly in 2011. And she did this because she knew that during the back-and-forth between lawmakers and mapmakers and consultants, the true nature of their racial gerrymandering would be revealed. It was not about "complying" with the VRA, it was about abusing those Federal guidelines in order to pack African Americans into districts and greatly reduce the value and impact of their votes. In the absence of such damning proof, Republicans were free to keep their little charade afloat. Read the whole decision and you will see Jackson dug up the worst collection of Precedent I've seen in a while to back up her argument. Irrelevant and inappropriate don't even cover it. But at least read Robin Hudson's dissent, because it demonstrates why the GOP worked so hard to steal her seat:

NC's Death Row a legacy of past mistakes

And every single one of these cases needs a thorough review:

With 142 inmates waiting to die, North Carolina has the sixth largest death row in the country. But a report released Tuesday says most of the prisoners would not be awaiting execution if their cases were investigated and tried today.

In “Unequal Justice: How obsolete laws and unfair trial created North Carolina’s outsized Death Row,” the Center for Death Row Litigation in Durham says the state’s death row is stuck in time while the views of capital punishment continue to evolve. “They are prisoners of a state that has moved on, but refuses to reckon with its past,” the report says. “Today, the death penalty is seen as a tool to be used sparingly. Instead of a bludgeon to be wielded in virtually every first-degree murder case.”

With all the political issues confronting us these days, people might be prone to back-burner this one based on two flawed assumptions: 1) They are in no danger of being executed due to the de facto moratorium, or 2) They would still be incarcerated somewhere else anyway. As to that first thing, the term "de facto" should be enough to demonstrate that fallacy. New technology and/or a shift in opinion could get the execution machine rolling again. As far as the second assumption is concerned, these factors definitely come into play:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Why voting is so important:

The science of science is dying, and being replaced by the rhetoric of industry lobbyists. We can start the healing process by taking back the General Assembly in 2018, and finish it by purging the White House in 2020.

Tim Moore forces us to create new political corruption term: Nepo-Patronage

moorelies.jpg

That's when you get your girlfriend a cushy job in government:

The day after our story that asked about a newly created, high-paying job given to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s girlfriend, Jennifer Gray, was published, we received a call from an official at the Department of Insurance (DOI). “We can see how you were confused,” said Marla Sink, deputy commissioner for communications, who proposed a conference call to clear things up.

Information previously provided by DOI officials was conflicting as to whether the job given to Ms. Gray was a political patronage position. And they had refused to explain themselves.

There are a lot of questions that need answering on this issue, including why the NC GOP felt the need to give Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey $10,000 in the middle of his four-year term. You would think with all 170 seats in the Legislature being contested, that money would have been better spent elsewhere. But setting that pile of unnecessary money aside, this conference call did anything but "clear things up.":

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