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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC SHOWS TRUMP GETS IT ALL WRONG ON VOTER FRAUD: Midterm election update from the Department of Irony: Republicans have been warning us about the danger of voter fraud for ages. And now it does appear that a major congressional race was impacted by that very type of evil-doing. Feel free to chortle/snort/howl at the moon when I tell you the accused fraudsters are Republicans. The fictional version of voter fraud involves sinister characters — possibly illegal immigrants! — showing up at the polls repeatedly, perhaps disguising their nefarious intent by wearing different hats or an occasional false mustache. “In many places, like California, the same person votes many times ... Millions and millions of people,” said Donald Trump. He’s been running on this theme since he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. We will not even bother to envision what Election Day would look like if millions and millions of extra voters were standing in line.
https://www.wral.com/trump-gets-it-all-wrong/18043132/

Saturday News: No Sam is also an option

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STUDENTS INTERRUPT MEETING ON DISPOSITION OF CONFEDERATE STATUE: During Friday's meeting, student protesters briefly interrupted and members of the faculty council stood in solidarity. Their message was straightforward - Silent Sam should not be resurrected on campus. "Our safety means this statue does not belong on campus. We don't want it anywhere on campus," said Angum Check, a senior at UNC. Check said the physical and mental health of students is at stake if the statue stays. "I'm tired of her (Folt) trying to please everyone," said Check. "She can't please everyone. She needs to pick a side and she needs to stand firm in that side that she picks." Students in opposition of Silent Sam have also encouraged teaching assistants to join a strike, in which TAs and instructors have threatened not to grade some assignments and withhold grades. The UNC Board of Governors is expected to review the Silent Sam proposal at its Dec. 14 meeting. It's unclear whether they would have the final word, or whether the North Carolina Historical Commission would have to sign off as well.
https://www.wral.com/-we-don-t-want-it-silent-sam-discussion-briefly-interrupted-by-student-proteste...

Friday News: Pocketful of excuses

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PITTENGER COMPLAINED OF "BALLOT STUFFING," WOODHOUSE IGNORED HIM: The executive director of North Carolina’s Republican Party on Thursday defended GOP candidate Mark Harris as an “innocent victim” and downplayed a report that incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger’s campaign alerted the party to voting irregularities in Harris’ primary upset in May. Pittenger recognized something right away as results came in on Election Night, mentioning a “ballot stuffer,” according to one person in the room that night. The Washington Post reported Thursday that several Pittenger aides contacted NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse and someone from the National Republican Congressional Committee. ‘It’s likely that they said something. What could we have done?” Woodhouse told The News & Observer. “It’s not an excuse, but the reality is we hear from a lot of people during primary election campaigns. But we can’t take a role in them.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222751275.html

Thursday News: Another non-solution

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REPUBLICAN ANSWER TO ABSENTEE BALLOT CRISIS: MORE VOTER IDS: Embarrassed by the election fraud investigation making national news, the state House added to its voter ID bill a goal for people who request absentee ballots to include some form of identification. “This situation we’re all reading about is an embarrassment and an impediment to the integrity of our entire election system,” said Rep. David Lewis, the Harnett County Republican shepherding the voter ID bill through the House. The State Board of Elections would be responsible for writing the rule for absentee ballot IDs under the provision added to the bill Wednesday. An investigation into election fraud in Bladen and Robeson counties that centered on absentee mail-in ballots has delayed the certification of Republican Mark Harris’ election in the 9th Congressional District. House Republicans, as recently as this summer, had rejected proposals to require IDs from people who vote by mail.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222656870.html

Wednesday News: Rebel without a clue

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UNC BOG MEMBER THOM GOOLSBY CALLS TRUSTEES "COWARDS" OVER SILENT SAM DECISION: The proposal to return the Silent Sam Confederate monument to a new $5.3 million building at UNC-Chapel Hill is “sheer cowardice,” a member of the UNC system’s governing board said. Thom Goolsby, a lawyer from Wilmington and former Republican legislator, released a video on YouTube on Tuesday, sharply critical of the Chapel Hill campus Board of Trustees’ proposal to construct a university history and education center to house the controversial statue. “Neither the right nor the left is happy,” Goolsby said in the video. “If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone.” The 2015 state law on the protection of historic monuments requires that the statue should have been put back in its original position, Goolsby said, within 90 days of “the outside radicals tearing it down.” He asked viewers of the video to call their state legislators to demand that they contact the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to insist that the law be followed.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article222628220.html

Tuesday News: Smoking fraudulent gun

WOMAN ADMITS TO WITNESSING AND COLLECTING BALLOTS FOR MCCRAE DOWLESS: What Channel 9 found appears to be a targeted effort to illegally pick up ballots, in which even the person picking them up had no idea whether those ballots were even delivered to the elections board. Many times, people on that list witnessed ballots together. Channel 9’s political reporter Joe Bruno went door-to-door in Bladen County trying to find out who these people are. No one answered at Woody Hester’s home. James Singletary wasn’t home either and Lisa Britt doesn’t live at the address she said she did on the ballots. Bruno then visited Ginger Eason. She told him why her name appeared so many times as a witness. “I was helping McCrae pick up ballots,” Eason said. Eason said Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr. paid her $75 to $100 a week to go around and pick up finished absentee ballots. Dowless is the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor who appears to be at the center of the state investigation. He was named twice in sworn affidavits as a worker for the Mark Harris campaign.
https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/channel-9-uncovers-similarities-between-absentee-ballots-in-us-hou...

Monday News: IOKIYAR

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NC ELECTIONS BOARD CHAIRMAN RESIGNS OVER PARTISAN TWEETS: Andy Penry resigned Saturday from the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The Democrat said he was leaving the board because he did not want to undermine an ongoing probe of potential wrongdoing in the state's 9th Congressional District. The board is investigating alleged fraudulent activity related to mail-in absentee ballots and could order a new election. Wake County GOP Chairman Charles Hellwig filed a complaint Wednesday and provided images of what appear to be tweets from Penry's account this year criticizing Trump and a proposed constitutional amendment. Hellwig cited state law prohibiting board members from publicly opposing candidates and referendums. Penry's resignation was first reported by The Washington Post.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-elections-chairman-resigns-amid-controversy/18033920/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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OPEN ACCESS TO NC POLLS NEEDS TO BE PART OF VOTER ID SCRIPT: When it comes to gerrymandering, state Rep. David Lewis has even figured out how to do it for a legislative committee meeting. Lewis, a Harnett County Republicans, after all is one of the architects of North Carolina’s illegally gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts. During a legislative meeting Monday about implementing the newly enacted constitutional amendment requiring voters show a photo ID at polling places, all but a few of the public comment speakers self-identified as Republicans and echoed legislative leaders’ talking points. Coincidence? Perhaps. Just as it was that it was state GOP chairman Dallas Woodhouse who announced in an e-mail late last Wednesday afternoon, as most folks were focused on Thanksgiving plans, that the legislature would hold a “public hearing” on the voter ID amendment on Monday at 10 a.m.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-open-access-to-n-c-polls-needs-to-be-a-part-of-voter-id-script/18022477/

Saturday News: Everybody's a farmer, apparently...

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST BRENT JACKSON OVER MISIDENTIFYING DONORS: Hall contends that Jackson’s records show he received improper contributions and that he reported contributors whose identities were obscured or had misleading identifying information. Some of the donors benefited from favorable treatment in the General Assembly, Hall says. “By misidentifying donors with major interests in state contracts and the state budget, Sen. Jackson and his campaign deceive the public, falsely inflate his financial support from farmers, and violate campaign disclosure laws,” Hall’s complaint reads. The complaint says more than 80 contributors list their occupations as “farmer,” when in fact their occupations have nothing to do with agriculture, including executives from a wide range of fields. Jackson, in a phone interview Friday, said the complaint has prompted him to look for any corrections that need to be made in his campaign finance records.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222458105.html

Friday News: Racist baggage check

THOMAS FARR'S NOMINATION BLOCKED BY TWO SENATE REPUBLICANS: In a brief statement explaining his decision, Scott cited a 1991 Department of Justice memo obtained by The Washington Post this week, just days before the Senate was set to vote on Farr’s confirmation. It detailed Farr’s involvement in “ballot security” activities by the 1984 and 1990 campaigns of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina. Farr worked for the campaign in 1984 and represented the 1990 campaign as a lawyer. Helms’ 1990 re-election campaign against former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, who is black, included charges of voter intimidation for postcards mailed to primarily black voters warning of possible arrest at the polls. The Department of Justice investigated the voter intimidation claims and settled with the Helms campaign in a consent decree.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222386255.html

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