BlueNC's blog

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


A TRUE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS DOESN'T LEAD TO A RESULT "INCOMPATIBLE WITH DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES": The judges were unwavering in their dislike of the voting districts enacted by the legislature. “This Court neither condones the enacted maps nor their anticipated potential results,” the judges bluntly stated in their 260-page opinion. “Despite our disdain for having to deal with issues that potentially lead to results incompatible with democratic principles and subject our state to ridicule, the Court must remind itself that these maps are the result of a democratic process.” So, the judges say, an undemocratic legislature or congress is fine as long as it was conceived as the result of a “democratic process.” With that concept in place, the political party in power now will be able to control the designation of election districts now and in the future – and draw those lines to perpetuate its majority forever. Republicans destroyed one smoking gun (concept maps), but the other is just as damning: the maps they adopted are so statistically improbable the word impossible fits, without using partisan data to guide them. Which they claim they didn't, adding perjury to their long list of crimes against the people.

Saturday News: Wayne to the rescue


GOODWIN CHOSEN TO LEAD NC DMV: Wayne Goodwin, who once led the state Department of Insurance and later the state Democratic Party, has been chosen the new commissioner of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Goodwin replaces former DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup, who stepped down in November to become chief operating officer of the state Department of Information Technology. Goodwin, a lawyer, served two four-year terms as insurance commissioner, an elected office, before losing to Mike Causey in 2016. He was elected chairman of the Democratic Party in early 2017 and served two two-year terms before declining to seek a third last year. Goodwin, 54, grew up in Hamlet and attended UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and later as a law student. Starting in 1997, he served eight years in the state House, representing rural counties east of Charlotte. The epitome of a dedicated public servant, and a longtime BlueNC member and friend. Great news.

Friday News: Another Big Lie


TIMMY MOORE SEZ MAPS COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE FOR DEMS: Republican lawmakers could have redrawn North Carolina’s legislative and congressional districts to be “much more advantageous” to GOP candidates if they’d relied on partisan data, House Speaker Tim Moore said Wednesday. The comments came after a three-judge panel upheld the state House, state Senate and U.S. House maps in challenges alleging they were unconstitutional extreme partisan gerrymanders. The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear an appeal. The judges, two Republicans and one Democrat, were critical, at times, in their lengthy order and found many of the districts were the “product of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting.” The maps were passed on party-line votes with Republican majorities in the General Assembly and could not be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Show us the secret maps, or STFU.

Thursday News: It needed to be said

CLAY AIKEN SPEAKS OUT ON GOP BIGOTRY: Clay Aiken on Monday announced a congressional bid for a seat in the Triangle, citing increased homophobia and racism from top North Carolina Republican lawmakers as a primary driver behind his decision to enter the race. Aiken, a 43-year-old Democrat looking to become the first openly gay congressional member to represent either of the Carolinas, is running in one of three safe Democratic seats, though the boundaries may shift if a court orders a redrawn U.S. House map ahead of the May primary. It’s his second attempt at a congressional seat after a failed 2014 run. He joins a field that includes at least six primary opponents looking to fill the seat of retiring Democratic U.S. Rep. David Price in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District, which includes Orange and Durham counties and a portion of Wake County. Aiken singled out two GOP leaders in his campaign announcement video, calling Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn a “white nationalist” and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson a “hateful homophobe.” This is not an endorsement, but I've seen several friends criticize Aiken for butting into the Primary. If he's going to say what needs to be said, let him do it.

Wednesday News: Nothing to see here, move along...

3-"JUDGE" PANEL GIVES REPUBLICANS THE THUMB'S-UP ON GERRYMANDERING: North Carolina’s new political districts are not unconstitutional, a panel of judges ruled Tuesday. “At the end of the day, after carefully and fully conducting our analysis, it is clear that Plaintiffs’ claims must fail,” the ruling says. “Judges, just like many of the citizens they serve, do not always like the results they reach. That fact notwithstanding, judges have a solemn duty to uphold the law.” The ruling upheld both the congressional map, which is expected to give Republicans a 10-4 or 11-3 advantage among North Carolina’s 14 U.S. House of Representatives seats, and the maps for state legislature, which were also expected to produce strong Republican majorities. So: they used secret maps, which were subsequently destroyed to remove evidence of their guilt, but everything's hunky-dory. WTAF. Take it to the top, and then take it apart, piece by piece.

Monday News: Nineteen thousand, six hundred nineteen


NC RECORDS OVER 28,000 NEW VIRUS CASES IN ONE DAY: At least 1,816,380 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 19,619 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, Jan. 7, reported 28,474 new COVID-19 cases, up from 24,292 the day before and another record high. The count has continued to rise since the state saw a record of more than 20,000 cases on Jan. 5. Another 33 coronavirus-related deaths were reported on Jan. 7. Health officials don’t specify the dates on which newly reported deaths occurred. At least 3,474 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 7, up from 3,298 the day before, health officials said. As of Jan. 5, the latest date with available information, 31.2% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. And yet, I'm seeing fewer people wearing masks indoors than I did during the entirety of 2021. Madness.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


IT WAS AN INSURRECTION. IT IS PAST TIME TO STOP SPREADING TRUMP'S LIES: Those who serve in Congress or North Carolina elective and legislative offices -- who deny, equivocate or condone the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol as anything other than a violent act to disrupt and overturn a fair election -- make a mockery of their sacred oath of office. What they need to do is refute the lies spouted by former President Donald Trump and condemn the actions of the January 6 insurrectionists. Across the nation, state after state, legitimate audit after audit, there are certain undeniable facts: No votes were counted that should not have been counted; Joe Biden received 7,060,347 more votes than Donald Trump; and Joe Biden received 306 electoral votes and Trump just 232. Yet, in North Carolina – where NO ONE has suggested that there were election irregularities that raised legitimate questions about the winners -- nearly every significant Republican officeholder or GOP official parrots Donald Trump’s big lie. Those who perpetuate and peddle the Trump election lies like 16 who signed the Nov. 23 letter aren’t patriots and shouldn’t claim any such thing. They are anti-American insurrectionists. And if their gerrymandered districts can't be fixed so sensible voters can replace them, the NC GOP should use the Primary to police its ranks. But they won't, because they are afraid of a con-man.

Saturday News: Taking it seriously


GOVERNOR COOPER SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ON GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS: In many ways, Friday’s Executive Order 246 builds on the targets set forward in 2018’s Executive Order 80. For instance, Friday’s order sets statewide greenhouse gas reductions targets of a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050, raising the target of a 40% reduction by 2025. The order also significantly raises North Carolina’s goals for electric and other zero-emission vehicle registrations. Titled “North Carolina’s Transition to a Clean, Equitable Economy,” Friday’s order highlights environmental justice. Cooper is directing North Carolina’s state agencies to consider equity in their spending decisions and to identify an environmental justice lead person. By the end of June, state agencies also will have to create public participation plans that guide how they seek input about projects and explain their impacts. We need a lot more EV charging stations than we have (or are in the works) to pull this off, and they need to be strategically placed to maximize usage. But we can do this.

Friday News: There ain't no justice (TANJ)


BISHOP BARBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID 19: “In my regular testing routine, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Barber said in a release Wednesday night. “My symptoms so far are very mild, and I am following CDC guidelines to notify close contacts and isolate for five days. I want to express my gratitude for the vaccines and booster shots that prepared my body to fight the virus, and I encourage anyone who has not received a vaccine or booster, if they are eligible, to do so as soon as possible." “Even as we take every possible precaution to prevent the spread of this virus, new and extremely contagious variants emerge,” Barber said. “Throughout this pandemic I have noted that poor and marginalized people are hurt first and worst by a public health crisis. And every day the Republican majority in the General Assembly refuses to expand Medicaid, unnecessary suffering and death occurs.


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