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A reporter inquired today about my KNOW YOUR AMENDMENTS flyer. Here's my response.
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Hi Andy.

James Protzman here. I'm a founder of BlueNC. Thanks for reaching out with your comments and questions. I'll do my best to respond.

The flyer you're referring was first posted on my personal Facebook page a few days ago. I created it. I have been a vocal critic of all six amendments, and am giving away yard signs and bumper stickers encouraging people to VOTE AGAINST every amendment.

The amendments are political shenanigans that undermine the integrity of our Constitution. Each could have been handled with simple legislation; none of them are necessary. Worse still, they lack implementation language. Voters can't possibly know what the amendments will mean for the citizens of North Carolina because that won't be spelled out until after they're passed, in a lame-duck session.

The victims rights amendment, for example, leaves important questions unanswered. Just look at this language from the legislation:

"The victim or, if the victim is a minor, is legally incapacitated, or deceased, a family member, guardian, or legal custodian may assert the rights provided in this section."

So let's say you're the estranged husband of a woman who has an abortion. Under this amendment, you could assert all the rights of a family member on behalf of the fetus, and then impose the requirements of the amendment on your estranged wife. You could even assert, on behalf of the "victim," that felony murder took place.

Would this happen? Who knows? But it could. And given the willingness of Senator Berger and Speaker Moore to bend legislative rules to suit their agendas, I wouldn't bet against it.

Regarding hunting and fishing, let's say you're a gun-loving citizen of Chapel Hill. Let's also say you don't much like the town ordinance that restricts hunting inside the city limits. You sue and you win. Your rights as a hunter would protected by the NC Constitution, which must surely trump local regulations. And now that you can shoot deer in Chapel Hill, what about feral cats? Are they wildlife? Who knows? It's all up to the General Assembly to decide ... after the fact.

Why "performing an act" in North Carolina sounds icky

If evidence of the absurdity of Senate Bill 2 hasn't hit home by now, it never will. Also known as the "Bigots for Berger's Re-election Bill,” it allows county magistrates to opt-out of performing marriages that conflict with their closely held religious bigoted beliefs. And God knows North Carolina has some bigots. Fancy, salaried bigots for sure. Whether on a local, county or state level, these principled bigots enjoy their financial livelihoods at the expense of North Carolina’s taxpayers. While words like "opt-out" might sound purposefully important, “cop-out" seems more appropriate. As Taylor Batten writes in the Charlotte Observer; "I now want in on Senate Bill 2", a positive side to this absurdity might be floating to the top.

The Scotch Bonnet dilemma

When former Governor Mike Easley of North Carolina bought into Cannonsgate in Carteret County years ago, a developer and or real estate broker got giddy. The purchase put prestige and a big commission into someone’s pocket. Easley’s .36 acre waterfront lot according to Carteret County Assistant Tax Administrator Ralph Foster, was valued at $1,198,245.00 one year later. Easley paid $549,880.00 for a patch of sand. Assuming the standard 6% commission, $32,992.80 was a nice payday.

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