NCGA

Millennial and GenZ voters will decide the future of NC

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And Republicans might as well pack their bags:

Participation by two generations of younger voters, millennials and Generation Z, grew strongly in the 2018 elections, both nationally and in North Carolina. Generation Z voters, those born around 2000, are the latest generational cohort to begin reaching voting age. Their numbers will only grow in future elections as more age into the voting pool. Millennials are the preceding generation, which came of age around 2000.

Combined, these two groups make now make up almost a third of North Carolina registered voters. By the time the polls open for the 2020 presidential election, these groups will make up an even greater percentage of the state’s electorate.

Here's a little story, which you may (or may not) find relevant: Early last year, when we were organizing the county party and meeting new candidates for the Primary, I witnessed some unsettling behavior by an older Democrat. Not going to drop any names, but he has commented here before, and it's quite possible he may read this. In one instance, he stood up in front of us and railed against both the Young Dems and the LGBT movement, and warned about alienating older voters. A month or two later, he pretty much interrogated a young (Congressional) candidate in front of everybody, to the point that I had to fold his ears back in a private message a few days later. Due to health reasons, he hasn't been around since late Spring. And as harsh as it sounds, that is the moral to this story. Catering to the often backwards desires of those whose voting days are numbered, at the expense of alienating voters who are just beginning their involvement, is an exercise in futility. Sermon over, here's more stats:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Also on the list of post-Thanksgiving shenanigans:

Thomas Farr is the worst possible choice, especially in a district with such a high level of African-American populations. But there may be some hope:

A culture of tyranny: GOP Legislatures attacking Dem governors

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You would almost think they had conspired together:

In Michigan, where the GOP has held the levers of power for nearly eight years, Republican legislators want to water down a minimum wage law they approved before the election so that it would not go to voters and would now be easier to amend.

Republicans in neighboring Wisconsin are discussing ways to dilute Democrat Tony Evers' power before he takes over for GOP Gov. Scott Walker. And in North Carolina, Republicans may try to hash out the requirements of a new voter ID constitutional amendment before they lose their legislative supermajorities and their ability to unilaterally override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

In addition to power-grabbing policy moves, these multi-state Republicans have another thing in common, which made those power-grabs possible: Gerrymandering. If the following sounds familiar, there's a reason for that:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

No respite for the weary:

I don't even want to speculate what kind of mischief BergerMoore will get up to this time. In the past, they've always floated rumors about some heinous act of repression, and then bait-and-switched it to something (slightly) less horrible. As if playing games with our democracy is a form of recreation, as opposed to an incredibly shameful act.

Rachel Hunt pulls ahead of Bill Brawley after mail-in votes counted

In case you're still jaded, every vote does count:

Absentee ballots put Democrat Rachel Hunt ahead of Republican Rep. Bill Brawley on Friday night in one of the state’s closest legislative races. Brawley, who lives in Matthews, led by 52 votes on Election Day. But Friday’s count of absentee ballots gave Hunt a 64-vote lead, according to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

The race was one of the highest-profile in North Carolina, matching a powerful committee chair and the daughter of a four-term governor. It was also one of the most expensive. Hunt raised over $1.2 million and got about $900,000 in support from the state Democratic Party. Brawley raised over $410,000.

To be honest, when I saw reports that mail-in absentee ballots were yet to be posted, I assumed the worst. That Brawley's lead would actually grow. I've always associated mail-ins with octogenarian Republicans determined to make their regressive voices heard at least one more time, and I am deliriously happy to have that prejudice shattered. It's still way too close for comfort, and I have little doubt that Brawley will stretch this thing out as long as he can by demanding a recount. And he won't be the only one doing so:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Judgment day has arrived:

If you've already voted, take some time to talk to folks at your precinct. If you haven't voted yet, do that first and then talk to people.

NC's carbon footprint is improving, but it's complicated

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Hat-tip to Lisa Sorg for digging into the details:

The NC Department of Environmental Quality’s draft Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows the state’s contributions to a warming and unpredictable global climate, but also portends possible good news: North Carolina is expected to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent to 28 percent by 2025, which would achieve or exceed the national goals. Already, the state has reduced its gross GHG emissions by 20 percent over the past 12 years, even while the population and economic productivity grew by 18 percent.

There are a lot of factors behind this reduction, and one of them is the conversion of coal-burning power plants to those that use nat gas. We would also be foolish to discount the fact that North Carolina is now generating close to 4 Gigawatts of Solar PV. That's 4,000 Megawatts, the equivalent of several coal plants. But doing a state-specific inventory of greenhouse gas emissions may be faulty right from the start. Our increased demand for natural gas, which is extracted in other states, is a prime example. Fugitive emissions of methane occur at both the drilling (fracking) sites and during transportation, so we own some of that, even if it happens in Pennsylvania. And then there's the scourge of the wood pellet industry:

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