Saturday News: No surprise, at all


REPUBLICAN ELECTION BOARD MEMBERS WERE PRESSURED INTO RESIGNING: Those resignations, of board members Ken Raymond and David Black, came in the wake of several highly critical press releases from the state’s top Republican politicians. A party spokesman confirmed to The News & Observer that they also came after a phone call with the top lawyer for the state Republican Party to convey that the NC GOP was “very unhappy.” “They called and spoke with our counsel,” said Tim Wigginton, the N.C. Republican Party’s spokesman, referring to Chief Counsel Philip Thomas. “And afterward they put out their resignation letters.” On Facebook, Black’s wife wrote that his resignation was “not voluntary.” Deb Black’s Facebook comment read: “The GOP chairman neglected to mention that these resignations were not voluntary. They were told to resign. Sad times when republicans are firing intelligent and trustworthy republicans.”

NC GOP NOMINATES USUAL SUSPECTS TO REPLACE BLACK AND RAYMOND: To fill Black's seat, the state GOP nominated Jeannette Doran, president and general counsel of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law in Raleigh; Stacy Clyde "Four" Eggers IV, a lawyer in Boone who served on the state elections board in 2018; and James Carlton "Carr" McLamb Jr., chief operating officer and general counsel for Bailey-based Envirolink, who previously served as assistant general counsel and deputy director of legislative affairs at what is now the state Department of Environmental Quality and as deputy secretary and general counsel at the state Department of Transportation. To fill Raymond's seat, the GOP nominated former state Sens. Tommy Tucker of Union County and Trudy Wade of Guilford County, along with Donald van der Vaart, former secretary of what's now the Department of Environmental Quality. Gov. Roy Cooper must pick from the nominations to fill the two seats.

PASTOR OF PITTSBORO CHURCH YELLED "WHITE POWER" AS CONVOY DROVE THROUGH ELON: Among the long list of national controversies touching Alamance County are at least two people shouting “white power” from the Trump convoy Saturday, Sept. 19, and there is evidence Jesse Hursey was one of them. Hursey, according to reports, is pastor of Bynum Baptist Church, 300 Hamlets Chapel Road, of U.S. 15-501 north of Pittsboro, and a member of the family owning the Hursey’s Bar-B-Cue restaurants, though apparently he has not worked in the family business for years. He was also one of the speakers at the Trump rally, organized by the Young Republicans of Alamance, before the convoy. “After the incident, as early as Saturday evening, multiple people reached out to me on social media who know Jesse and told me it was him,” Squire wrote to the Times-News. Another video shows the same truck swerving repeatedly toward the side of the road in the convoy as it comes toward Anthony Crider, also an Elon professor and photographer who is also a regular at Graham demonstrations. He was taking video on the side of the road near Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School. No Facebook page in Hursey’s name is reachable now, nor is there apparently a webpage for Bynum Baptist Church in Chatham County, where he is reportedly the pastor, and a phone number listed for the church does not ring.

AMY CONEY BARRETT EMERGES AS TRUMP'S LIKELY SUPREME COURT PICK: Barrett is a favorite of religious conservatives and is already ­battle-tested after going through a ferocious confirmation fight in 2017 for her seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. She was confirmed on a 55-to-43 vote. Republicans also hope that for moderates such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), her gender will make her a more palatable replacement for Ginsburg, a feminist icon who devoted her legal career to gender equality. Trump had said he would consider only women to fill the seat and quickly narrowed the list to Barrett and a handful of others. Trump considered Barrett in 2018 to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was retiring. This time, she was the favorite among several Trump advisers, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Vice President Pence. Barrett is a devout Catholic who faced questions about the role of her religion in her legal philosophy during her appeals court confirmation hearing. She said then that as an appellate judge she would “follow all Supreme Court precedent without fail” and would regard decisions such as Roe v. Wade as binding precedent. “I would never impose my own personal convictions upon the law,” she added. Democrats pointed to comments she had made years before about a legal career being a means to an end, “and that end is building the Kingdom of God.” She had also previously written that judges shouldn’t be held to upholding Supreme Court precedents.

TRUMP SET TO REMOVE PROTECTIONS FROM ALASKAN FOREST, ALLOWING ROADS AND LOGGING: The Trump administration on Friday finalized its plan to open about nine million acres of the pristine woodlands of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and road construction. In a 2019 draft of the study, the Forest Service said it would consider six possible changes to the rule. One option would have maintained restrictions in 80 percent of the area currently protected by the rule; another would have opened up about 2.3 million acres to logging and construction. In a statement released Thursday night, the Department of Agriculture said that its “preferred alternative” is to “fully exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule,” which would open the nine million acres to development. The move comes as President Trump wraps up a first term in which he aggressively targeted environmental protections, rolling back or weakening more than 100 regulations that had been designed to protect the nation’s air, water and public lands from pollution. Climate scientists also point out that the Tongass, which is also one of the world’s largest temperate rain forests, offers an important service to the billions of people across the planet who are unlikely to ever set foot there: It is one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, storing the equivalent of about 8 percent of the carbon stored in all the forests of the lower 48 states combined.



I'm shocked, SHOCKED...

that there is gambling going on here NC Republicans are playing rank partisan games with the right to vote. And yes, I was definitely making the comparison of them to Vichy French officers as collaborationists with Nazis (i.e., the national GOP.)