Daily dose

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LATEST REMAP EFFORT PROVES NONPARTISAN REDISTRICTING SYSTEM IS A MUST: It should not be a surprise to anyone that when the court takes up the latest submissions, they are rejected and the expert referee for the case Nathan Persily is directed to develop more appropriate maps. The lesson here is simple. It can be addressed right away. Legislators lack the ability – either because of their own incumbency or partisan bias – to draw election districts that put the interests of voters and representation of communities first. Only imposition of a non-partisan system will fix it. Legislators can act now to pass an amendment to the State Constitution, to require a non-partisan system drawing legislative, congressional and ALL other election district maps. It is past time to end unfair and unconstitutional representation of North Carolinians in Congress and the General Assembly.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-latest-remap-effort-proves-nonpartisan-redistricting-system-is-a-must...

Saturday News: Proud Boy Blues

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NC HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME CANCELLED OVER MAGA RALLY: Ahead of a planned rally to support a cheerleading team on probation over a pro-Trump photo, a North Carolina high school has canceled its Friday night football game due to security concerns. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association previously placed the cheerleaders on probation over a picture that was taken of them in uniform with a Trump 2020 banner during a football game. Some community members, who feared the teens’ First Amendment rights were being infringed, had planned to wave a large flag with supporters before the game Friday. The district said it canceled the North Stanly High School football game because “Stanly County Schools has been notified of additional information that could compromise safety measures our schools have in place for sporting events.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article235315902.html

Friday News: Hail Mary pass

LINDBERG WANTS BRIBERY CHARGES DROPPED ON TECHNICALITY: Businessman Greg Lindberg is asking a federal court to throw out his indictment on bribery charges in a case that also ensnared the then-chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party. Lindberg filed the motion Wednesday in the Charlotte-based court’s Western District. Lindberg and two associates, along with then-GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, were indicted last spring on charges of conspiracy and bribery for their alleged attempts to influence state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, a Republican. In their motion to dismiss, Lindberg’s lawyers rely in part on a 2016 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and established higher standards for proving corruption. The court said the definition of “official acts” was too broad.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235251527.html

Thursday News: Strike Three

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ANALYSTS SAY NEWLY REDRAWN MAPS STILL FAVOR REPUBLICANS: The new political maps approved by the North Carolina General Assembly this week would likely still favor Republicans in the 2020 elections, numerous experts say. The legislature was ordered to redraw a number of the districts used to elect its members earlier this month, after a panel of judges ruled the Republican-led legislature had violated voters’ constitutional rights with their 2017 maps. And those unconstitutional maps were themselves drawn to replace different maps, from 2011, that had also been ruled unconstitutional. “If you go back and analyze the maps, you can see the maps have a Republican bias,” said Sam Wang, a Princeton University neuroscience professor who is also a gerrymandering expert and leads the Princeton Election Consortium.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235176992.html

Wednesday News: It's up to the judges now

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REDRAWN DISTRICT MAPS HEAD TO 3-JUDGE PANEL FOR APPROVAL: The General Assembly on Tuesday finished redrawing dozens of North Carolina legislative districts that a court declared were designed with extreme partisan bias favoring Republicans. The House voted for the Senate remap and the Senate approved the House proposal. Tuesday's discussions were much shorter than when the chambers debated and voted on their respective replacement maps for their own seats in recent days. A timeline set by the trial court allows legal briefs objecting to the replacement districts by Sept. 27, with any response to those objections filed by Oct. 4. Candidate filing begins in early December for next year's elections, starting with early March primaries.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-legislative-remap-complete-court-review-next/18641150/

Tuesday News: It's the principle of the thing

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NC SENATE PASSES NEW MAP, WITH SOME DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION: Raleigh Sen. Dan Blue, the top Democrat, vouched for the maps as well as Hise. Blue, a former N.C. Speaker of the House, has been involved in numerous redistricting efforts in past decades in North Carolina and was in the thick of this one as well. “I think it was a remarkable experience, especially when you consider the current political climate,” he said. Of the state Senate’s 50 members, 21 are Democrats. Most followed Blue’s lead and joined their Republican colleagues to support the new maps. But eight voted against the maps. A common refrain from the opponents was that they simply don’t think politicians should be able to draw their own maps in the first place. “These are the fairest maps, and this was the fairest process, in North Carolina in my lifetime,” Charlotte Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson said. Still, Jackson said he was voting against the maps because “independent redistricting would look just like the process we just went through, except it wouldn’t be politicians doing it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235159817.html

Monday News: Maps!

NC SENATE AND HOUSE WILL HEAR PUBLIC COMMENTS TODAY ABOUT REDISTRICTING: New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline. The Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment. Each map must pass both chambers by Wednesday to meet a directive from a three-judge panel that declared dozens of districts unconstitutional because of excessive partisanship in current lines favoring Republicans. The changes originate from the work of an expert witness for plaintiffs who sued over the maps. Legislators adjusted them to prevent pairs of incumbents from having to run against each other in 2020.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-legislature-on-track-to-ok-new-maps-this-week/18637736/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC REPUBLICANS' SHAMELESS THEFT OF DEMOCRACY: The verdict is now plain. North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders — not actually leaders, but connivers — are beyond shame. In a stunning display of contempt for democracy, House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, called a surprise vote to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget just after a session opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers and the media had been told by Republican leaders that there would be no vote in the morning. Most Democrats were absent. Enough Republicans, aware of the secret plan, were there. When Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget, the handful of Democrats on hand objected strenuously. “This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” said Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article234966387.html

Saturday News: They just can't be trusted

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NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS ANOTHER GERRYMANDERED MAP: There were 14 in the N.C. House, and most of the solutions that legislators came up with throughout the past few days were uncontroversial. However there is one area of southeastern North Carolina, near the South Carolina border, where Democrats think Republicans drew with political purposes in mind, despite a court order telling them not to. “You don’t have to be very astute to know what we are doing in this bill is partisan gerrymandering in the benefit of a member,” said Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen on Friday before voting against the maps. A handful of other Democrats also objected to the new maps for Fayetteville, saying this process had taken a bad gerrymander and unintentionally made it worse. Democrat Rep. Billy Richardson said he hadn’t looked at any political data, but he knows the area well enough to believe the new maps are an even worse gerrymander than they were when the court struck them down.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235070982.html

Friday News: Conspiracy

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HARDISTER SENT TEXT MESSAGE ALERTING REPUBLICANS TO "BE IN YOUR SEATS AT 8:30": A GOP leader in the N.C. House of Representatives says he sent a text message to some party members before Wednesday morning’s veto override vote, telling them to be in their seats by 8:30 a.m. Rep. Jon Hardister, the GOP’s second-in-command, told The News & Observer Thursday the text message was routine and that he regularly reminds members to be present for sessions where votes will be held. In this case, he said, he sent the note to 10 members who have long commutes to Raleigh, reminding them to be on time. But House Minority Leader Darren Jackson said he thinks the text message is proof that Republicans planned in advance to hold the controversial vote Wednesday morning without telling Democrats. Jackson said Thursday that Rep. Larry Yarborough, a Republican from Person County, showed him a text message he received from someone in Republican leadership. Jackson said the text to Yarborough suggested that Democrats were planning some sort of action related to redistricting.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235034672.html

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