HARRIS IS ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN CONCERNED ABOUT VOTERS' RIGHTS: The campaign of Republican Mark Harris is moving forward with an effort to force the State Board of Elections to certify the result of the 2018 9th Congressional District race by court action, despite ongoing investigations into absentee ballot irregularities in several southeastern North Carolina counties. Harris filed a legal brief Monday in support of his request for a writ of mandamus, a court order that forces a public agency to exercise one of its responsibilities. He's asking a Wake County Superior Court judge to command state elections officials to immediately certify the election results and release any investigative materials into election irregularities. "By leaving the Ninth District race undecided, the Bipartisan Board has struck a blow to representative democracy," the brief filed on Harris' behalf reads. "It effectively has disfranchised the more than 778,000 people living in the Ninth District by bureaucratic fiat, denying them representation in the 116th Congress."
MOORE'S CHICKEN (PLANT) COMES HOME TO ROOST: A Washington, D.C.,-based government watchdog group asked the state ethics board Monday to look into the role a senior aide to House Speaker Tim Moore played in state environmental approvals for a closed chicken plant Moore co-owned. The Campaign for Accountability obtained emails in late November that showed Mitch Gillespie, who until recently worked as a senior policy adviser on environmental matters for Moore, had sought a status report from state environmental officials on how they were handling the removal of two underground tanks at the Siler City property. One of those tanks had leaked gasoline, requiring the removal of more than 400 tons of soil. Gillespie’s inquiry came as Moore and his partners in Southeast Land Holdings were two months away from striking a deal to sell the property to Mountaire Farms, a major chicken processor which is now redeveloping the site. Within hours of Gillespie’s request, state Department of Environmental Quality officials said in emails that Southeast would be eligible for a state fund that helps pay for underground tank cleanup costs.
BERGERMOORE ATTACKS COOPER AND STEIN OVER NAACP'S LAWSUIT?: Lawyers for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a motion in federal court Monday to intervene in a lawsuit challenging rules to implement North Carolina's new requirement that voters present photo identification at the polls. Voters approved adding the ID requirement to the state constitution in November, and lawmakers adopted rules last month outlining what IDs would be accepted. The NAACP quickly sued to block the legislation, naming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the State Board of Elections as defendants. "Gov. Cooper and Attorney General Stein have deliberately undermined the General Assembly’s efforts to enact voter ID on numerous occasions," Berger, R-Rockingham, and Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a joint statement. "It is very clear from both their words and actions that they cannot be trusted to defend voter ID, which is why the NAACP deliberately left legislators who enacted the voter ID law out of the lawsuit."
WHITE SUPREMACIST-LOVING CONGRESSMAN STEVE KING WILL BE PUNISHED WITH WORDS: As a member of leadership, Clyburn’s resolution may be the one that gets most traction. The measure would express the House’s disapproval of the Iowa Republican’s comments. It would also serve as a “condemnation of white nationalism and white supremacy in all forms,” Clyburn said. In an interview with the New York Times last week, King questioned why “white supremacist” had become a derogatory label. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked. King later clarified he was defending “western civilization’s values,” not advocating for “white nationalism and white supremacy.” House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California made it clear Monday night GOP colleagues wouldn’t tolerate King’s comments.
BRITISH PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN PREPARING TO DO SOMETHING THEY WILL IMMEDIATELY REGRET: After two and a half years of negotiation, argument, predictions and posturing, Parliament will finally decide on Tuesday on a bill that dictates the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union, one of the most closely watched votes the lawmakers are likely to cast in their careers. • Prime Minister Theresa May has spent all her energies trying to convince Parliament — and Britain — that the divorce deal she negotiated with Brussels is the best way forward. But she hasn’t made the sale. The House of Commons is expected to defeat the deal by a wide margin, and no one is completely certain what will come next. • Much is at stake: Britain’s place in Europe, its economic future and possibly the survival of Mrs. May’s Conservative government. Debate should end late this afternoon, with voting scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in London (2 p.m. Eastern).