Carl Ford stakes claim to newly-created Senate District

Republicans are not waiting around to see what the courts decide:

If the new maps hold up in federal court, which found that existing maps include racial gerrymanders, Ford would not have to face an incumbent in the 2018 election or a special election, if the court orders one. There is no incumbent legislator in the newly drawn 33rd District. Sen. Cathy Dunn, a Republican from Davidson County, currently represents the 33rd District, but she was placed in a different district in the new maps, which were approved last week by the N.C. General Assembly.

“I am excited to see what the future will bring for Rowan and Stanly counties, and I look forward to being a part of that,” Ford said in his news release. “I take the opportunity to represent more people very serious and bathed this decision with lots of thought and prayer.”

Might not be politically astute for me to say it, but I don't care what the damn demographics are in this new District: Anybody who "bathes" a decision in prayer needs to be challenged for that seat. That's some serious Theocratical BS right there, more like something that would have come out of Cotton Mathers' mouth in 1692 than a lawmaker in the 21st Century. Sheesh.

Gerrymandering is the result of poor campaigning, not the cause

This may seem like a harsh assessment, but denying it won't help:

It comforts some Democrats to believe that gerrymandering and voter suppression are behind this debacle. That’s a rationalization, not an explanation: You can’t gerrymander Senate seats and governorships, and before Republicans could use such tactics, they had to win control of state legislatures in the first place. The GOP gains in these areas have come partly from a concerted effort, more than a dozen years old, to invest money and effort in winning these races. This is slow, unglamorous work, but it is paying off. By contrast, Democrats are more than eager to attend fundraisers for the next bright, shiny presidential contender or hot special-election candidate. Organizing to win back the North Carolina legislature? Not so much.

We've got roughly 13 months before the 2018 Election, in which *all* the General Assembly seats will be up for grabs, and all 13 US Congressional seats will be contested. The last time around, we set our sights on one narrow goal, to pick up a handful of seats in the NC House to undo the GOP's Veto-proof majority. That failed. Miserably. But now I'm hearing the same thing for 2018. And somehow, if we do that this time, this will give us the momentum to take back both houses in 2020. But the problem is, those 2020 district races will have the same partisan demographics that are in place for 2018. What's going to change in that two-year span to bring about this magical result? A couple of truisms: If it's impossible now, it will be impossible in 2020. By the same token, if it will be possible in 2020, then it is possible for 2018.

Wednesday News: A long time coming

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DEQ FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST CHEMOURS FOR CONTAMINATING CAPE FEAR RIVER: The plant in question is now owned by Chemours, a spin-off of DuPont, which previously owned the plant. State lawmakers and others have accused both companies of secretly dumping pollutants into the Cape Fear River from the plant, located south of Fayetteville, for nearly 40 years. The lawsuit filed Tuesday against Chemours by Cooper’s environmental department seeks “to address environmental contamination caused by Chemours’ release of certain chemical manufacturing byproducts” into the Cape Fear River from its Fayetteville Works plant, the state’s lawyers wrote.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Tuesday News: And a child shall lead them

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PATRICK MCHENRY TAKES TIME OFF FROM POLITICAL GRAFT TO WHIP FELLOW REPUBLICANS: It is Rep. Patrick McHenry’s job to corner, count and cajole his fractious Republican colleagues into a cohesive – or, at least, cohesive enough – voting bloc to pass legislation. The 41-year-old McHenry, in his seventh term in the House, is the acting majority whip, forced into the job when close friend Steve Scalise was seriously injured in a politically motivated shooting at a congressional baseball practice earlier this year. He serves as vice chairman of the Financial Services Committee, a role that nets him outsized donations for his safe district. Between his campaign and his political action committee, McHenry brought in nearly $5 million during the 2016 cycle. More than $1.6 million came from the securities and investment, insurance, commercial bank and real estate industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

A very important question:

No doubt the biggest systemic cause for this is "right to work" laws, which have blanketed over half the country. But an earlier action by Ronald Reagan when he broke the air traffic controllers' union may have set it all in motion:

New GOP campaign tactic: "Vote for me, I'm White!"

It doesn't get much more absurd than this:

A Charlotte mayoral candidate wants people to know that she’s Republican, smart – and white. “VOTE FOR ME!” Kimberley Paige Barnette posted on Facebook. “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.” Barnette, who turned 53 on Friday, is a former Mecklenburg County magistrate making her first run for office.

Asked how the city could help its lower-income residents, Barnette said, “I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to (come to) Charlotte.”

“We should attract higher-income people.”

Yeah, that's not really an answer, but I'll play along. How do we attract higher income people to come to Charlotte? I mean, aside from the obvious, "Hey look, we have White people here, too!" Pretty sure that's the sum-total of her plan. Or was the sum-total, since she has apparently scrubbed that idiotic stuff from her Facebook page. As we say out here in the hinterlands (I'm actually like five minutes from the Interstate, but work with me on this) "Bless her heart."

Monday News: Soft targets

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TRUMP SEEKS TO BOLSTER HIS POLL NUMBERS BY UNDOING DACA PROGRAM: President Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will end protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, but with a six-month delay, people familiar with the plans said. The delay in the formal dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, would be intended to give Congress time to decide whether it wants to address the status of the so-called Dreamers legislation, according to two people familiar with the president's thinking. But it was not immediately clear how the six-month delay would work in practice and what would happen to people who currently have work permits under the program, or whose permits expire during the six-month stretch.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article171167797.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CIVIL RIGHTS CENTER MISSION CENTRAL TO UNC'S BEST TRADITIONS: Frankly, while I’ve found our nation’s private sector has made great strides in civil rights, the same has not been true for the public sector, where many citizens – especially those with the fewest resources to advocate for their interests –suffer daily injustices at the hands of too many elected officials and government bureaucrats. This isn’t to suggest that most government workers aren’t dedicated to serving the public, but that all citizens have the right -- through fact-finding and the courts -- to determine if discriminatory practices exist within the very agencies we support with our tax dollars. It is certainly reasonable to review the work of the Center to assure it is in accord with N.C. State Bar requirements. However, it would be unwise to cease work that meets such a pressing need and provides important and positive contributions for all North Carolinians.
http://www.wral.com/ray-owens-civil-rights-center-mission-central-to-unc-s-best-traditions/16921820/

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