TILLIS PUSHES BILL TO DEFUND TEACHING THE 1619 PROJECT: “The 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded,” the legislation says. The legislation would prohibit federal funds from being used by any elementary or secondary school to teach the project. It calls for reducing federal funds to schools that do teach it by the costs associated with teaching the 1619 Project, including planning time and teaching time. “Americans do not want their tax dollars going towards promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us instead of being used to promote the principles that unite our nation,” Tillis said in a statement. The 1619 Project has been lumped together with Critical Race Theory as Republican lawmakers object to new ways of teaching American history.
NC SENATE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD DISCLOSE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINARY INFO: The North Carolina Senate passed much-discussed legislation Monday that would make more information public about why government employees are fired, demoted, suspended or transferred. House Bill 64 would make a general description of such decisions part of an employee's public record, reviewable by just about anyone who asks. The North Carolina Press Association and other advocates for open government are pushing for the change, saying similar policies are in place for 35 other states. The State Employees Association of North Carolina is against the bill, and lawmakers have gone back and forth on the measure this legislative session as the bill went through multiple rewrites. The bill cleared the Senate on a 28-19 vote. It goes now to the House for more discussion and at least one more vote.
NC VOLUNTEER FIREMAN PULLS GUN ON MOTORIST AT ACCIDENT ROADBLOCK: Video of a volunteer firefighter pointing a gun at a driver over the weekend has sparked outrage on Facebook, with some commenters calling for his arrest. A weekend crash in eastern Columbus County prompted firefighters from the Acme Delco Riegelwood Fire Department to block the two westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 74/76 with a firetruck to secure the scene for the State Highway Patrol. In a video recorded and posted by Tae DeLeon, a firefighter, identified as Jeff Sherwood, pointed a gun at the front of her car. "Go ahead and film all you want," Sherwood told her in the video. DeLeon responded by yelling obscenities, telling him to get away from her car. Ed Brinson, deputy director of the North Carolina State Firefighters Association, said state law doesn't prohibit firefighters from carrying guns and that each department must make its own policies. State law does prevent paramedics from carrying firearms.
CRAZY ARIZONA RECOUNT IS ALMOST OVER, BUT RESULTS WON'T BE KNOWN FOR WEEKS: A widely criticized hand recount of 2020 presidential ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest jurisdiction, is nearing completion, an official associated with the effort said Monday, but results from the process are not expected to be announced until sometime this summer. The GOP-commissioned review of ballots began in late April, after Arizona’s state Senate seized the ballots and voting machines from the county using a legislative subpoena. Senate President Karen Fann has said the goal of the review is not to overturn President Biden’s win in Arizona but to look for ways to improve future elections. But former president Donald Trump has embraced the process as a path to undoing Biden’s win and called for similar audits to be conducted in other states. In recent weeks, Republican elected officials and candidates from other states who want to capture the enthusiasm of Trump’s base have been trekking to Phoenix to review the process. In a text message, audit spokesman Ken Bennett said workers will largely complete the hand recount of the county’s nearly 2.1 million ballots on Monday. Workers will continue inspecting the paper on which ballots were printed for the rest of the month. The inspection is an ill-explained process that has at times included shining UV light at ballots. Bennett said no results or conclusions from the audit will be released until a final report comes out later this summer. Despite those official pledges, Trump allies have been aggressively trading rumors on social media and elsewhere that the recount has identified hundreds of thousands of fewer ballots than were originally reported by the county in November. Bennett called the notion that large numbers of ballots are missing “crazy.”
TRUMP PRESSURED ACTING AG TO SUPPORT HIS ELECTION FRAUD CLAIMS: An hour before President Donald J. Trump announced in December that William P. Barr would step down as attorney general, the president began pressuring Mr. Barr’s eventual replacement to have the Justice Department take up his false claims of election fraud. Mr. Trump sent an email via his assistant to Jeffrey A. Rosen, the incoming acting attorney general, that contained documents purporting to show evidence of election fraud in northern Michigan — the same claims that a federal judge had thrown out a week earlier in a lawsuit filed by one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers. Another email from Mr. Trump to Mr. Rosen followed two weeks later, again via the president’s assistant, that included a draft of a brief that Mr. Trump wanted the Justice Department to file to the Supreme Court. It argued, among other things, that state officials had used the pandemic to weaken election security and pave the way for widespread election fraud. The draft echoed claims in a lawsuit in Texas by the Trump-allied state attorney general that the justices had thrown out, and a lawyer who had helped on that effort later tried with increasing urgency to track down Mr. Rosen at the Justice Department, saying he had been dispatched by Mr. Trump to speak with him. The documents dovetail with emails around the same time from Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, asking Mr. Rosen to examine unfounded conspiracy theories about the election, including one that claimed people associated with an Italian defense contractor were able to use satellite technology to tamper with U.S. voting equipment from Europe. Much of the correspondence also occurred during a tense week within the Justice Department, when Mr. Rosen and his top deputies realized that one of their peers had plotted with Mr. Trump to first oust Mr. Rosen and then to try to use federal law enforcement to force Georgia to overturn its election results. Mr. Trump nearly replaced Mr. Rosen with that colleague, Jeffrey Clark, then the acting head of the civil division.