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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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OPEN ACCESS TO NC POLLS NEEDS TO BE PART OF VOTER ID SCRIPT: When it comes to gerrymandering, state Rep. David Lewis has even figured out how to do it for a legislative committee meeting. Lewis, a Harnett County Republicans, after all is one of the architects of North Carolina’s illegally gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts. During a legislative meeting Monday about implementing the newly enacted constitutional amendment requiring voters show a photo ID at polling places, all but a few of the public comment speakers self-identified as Republicans and echoed legislative leaders’ talking points. Coincidence? Perhaps. Just as it was that it was state GOP chairman Dallas Woodhouse who announced in an e-mail late last Wednesday afternoon, as most folks were focused on Thanksgiving plans, that the legislature would hold a “public hearing” on the voter ID amendment on Monday at 10 a.m.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-open-access-to-n-c-polls-needs-to-be-a-part-of-voter-id-script/18022477/

Saturday News: Everybody's a farmer, apparently...

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST BRENT JACKSON OVER MISIDENTIFYING DONORS: Hall contends that Jackson’s records show he received improper contributions and that he reported contributors whose identities were obscured or had misleading identifying information. Some of the donors benefited from favorable treatment in the General Assembly, Hall says. “By misidentifying donors with major interests in state contracts and the state budget, Sen. Jackson and his campaign deceive the public, falsely inflate his financial support from farmers, and violate campaign disclosure laws,” Hall’s complaint reads. The complaint says more than 80 contributors list their occupations as “farmer,” when in fact their occupations have nothing to do with agriculture, including executives from a wide range of fields. Jackson, in a phone interview Friday, said the complaint has prompted him to look for any corrections that need to be made in his campaign finance records.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222458105.html

Friday News: Racist baggage check

THOMAS FARR'S NOMINATION BLOCKED BY TWO SENATE REPUBLICANS: In a brief statement explaining his decision, Scott cited a 1991 Department of Justice memo obtained by The Washington Post this week, just days before the Senate was set to vote on Farr’s confirmation. It detailed Farr’s involvement in “ballot security” activities by the 1984 and 1990 campaigns of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina. Farr worked for the campaign in 1984 and represented the 1990 campaign as a lawyer. Helms’ 1990 re-election campaign against former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, who is black, included charges of voter intimidation for postcards mailed to primarily black voters warning of possible arrest at the polls. The Department of Justice investigated the voter intimidation claims and settled with the Helms campaign in a consent decree.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222386255.html

Thursday News: Voter ID would not have helped

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ELECTION BOARD INVESTIGATOR SEIZES ABSENTEE BALLOT MATERIALS IN BLADEN: A State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement investigator seized absentee ballot envelopes and request forms from the Nov. 6 election in Bladen County, the board confirmed Wednesday. Spokesman Patrick Gannon also confirmed that the board is investigating "potential irregularities involving absentee ballots in the 9th Congressional District." The board refused Tuesday to certify results in that race. Board members were tight-lipped after their unanimous decision, but problems were suggested in the district's southeastern corner, and the board's closed-session discussions pointed toward an open investigation. Gannon confirmed the investigation Wednesday after Bladen County Board of Elections Chairman Bobby Ludlum told reporters that the state board's chief investigator seized absentee ballot envelopes from the election.
https://www.wral.com/state-seizes-bladen-county-evidence-in-9th-district-investigation/18026385/

Wednesday News: Uncertified

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HARRIS WIN OVER MCCREADY IN NC09 CALLED INTO QUESTION BY STATE BOARD: The state board of elections Tuesday refused to certify the results of the 9th Congressional District election after one board member cited what he called “unfortunate activities” in the eastern part of the district. Election board member Joshua Malcolm raised the issue in what was expected to be a routine certification of the results of North Carolina’s 13 congressional races. He asked the board to remove the 9th District from the list of those to be certified. “I’m very familiar with unfortunate activities that have been happening down in my part of the state,” vice chair Malcolm, a Robeson County Democrat, told the board. “And I am not going to turn a blind eye to what took place to the best of my understanding which has been ongoing for a number of years that has repeatedly been referred to the United States attorney and the district attorneys for them to take action and clean it up. And in my opinion those things have not taken place.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article222263905.html

Tuesday News: You can run but you can't hide...

TIM MOORE LAWYERING UP OVER STATE AND FEDERAL INVESTIGATIONS: In an interview Monday night, Moore confirmed to WBTV that he had retained attorney Colon Willoughby, who spent nearly three decades as Wake County District Attorney. Moore said he retained Willoughby to review questions that have emerged about work he has handled in his private law practice that may have related to legislation with which he is involved. The Raleigh News & Observer reported in September about a contract Moore had with a Triangle-based pharmaceutical start-up that prompted current Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman to request the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to review. Separately, WBTV has also learned Moore has retained Willoughby to handle potential inquiries from federal investigators who continue to build a case stemming from political donor Greg Lindberg.
https://www.wbtv.com/2018/11/27/house-speaker-moore-has-hired-criminal-defense-attorney-state-federa...

Monday News: Conservative mating ritual

GEN'RAL TATER IS BACK, IN FULL-ON TRUMP MODE: Former North Carolina Transportation Secretary Tony Tata appeared on Fox and Friends with a message of support for sending U.S. troops to the border with Mexico, and his comments drew the tweeting approval of President Donald Trump. “President Trump is a man of his word, he said he was going to be tough on the border and he is tough on the border,” Tata said during the Sunday interview. Sunday afternoon, the President took to his Twitter account to thank Tata, who responded in a tweet of his own. In the five minute interview, Tata was asked about the effectiveness of mobilizing troops as an immigration tactic and the “consternation it has caused on the left.” “The left has an immediate visceral reaction in the opposite direction to anything that President Trump does for a lot of different reasons,” Tata said. Among those: “He’s fighting the globalists tooth and nail by espousing patriotism and nationalism, as he should, as we should all do within this great country.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222168500.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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GOVERNOR COOPER WANTS NC TO LEAD CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY: Cooper’s order directs the state Commerce Department to expand its efforts to support new and expanding clean energy businesses. According to the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, the clean energy economy provides more than 34,000 jobs in the state. That’s more than Duke Energy has working in all six it operates in. Legislative leaders have been tepid, at best, in their embrace of sustainable and renewable energy efforts. But among the rank-and-file it has broad and bipartisan support. The leadership would be wise to embrace Cooper’s plans. They are practical and achievable. Supporting them will both grow North Carolina’s economy and prepare it better to meet the challenges climate change is already forcing the state to confront.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-cooper-wants-n-c-to-lead-the-clean-energy-economy/18011013/

Saturday News: Gestapo tactics

ICE GRABS DURHAM IMMIGRANT AFTER TRICKING HIM INTO CITIZENSHIP INTERVIEW: Samuel Oliver-Bruno sought to defer his deportation to Mexico after living in the United States for more than 22 years. Oliver-Bruno arrived at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Morrisville on Friday morning for an appointment, joined by his 19-year-old son, Daniel Oliver-Perez; a pastor at CityWell United Methodist Church, Cleve May; and other members of the clergy. May said once Oliver-Bruno completed paperwork, he and Oliver-Perez went to a line to be processed while May and clergy members stayed in a waiting room. “The next thing we know, several men jumped him, and Daniel clung to his father, and they were choking Daniel and trying to pull him off,” May said. Oliver-Perez, who is a citizen born in the U.S., was arrested and charged with assaulting a government employee; law enforcement officials said he assaulted an ICE officer.
https://www.wral.com/dozens-arrested-after-undocumented-man-living-in-durham-church-for-11-months-de...

Friday News: Sinophobia

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NC STATE UNIVERSITY ABRUPTLY CLOSES CHINA-FUNDED CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE: NCSU Provost Warwick Arden said the primary reason for the closure was to better align the university’s China and Asia programs with the rest of the university’s global strategy. But he added, “we’re certainly aware of the concerns that are circulating around Confucius Institutes.” The shuttering comes at a time of more intense scrutiny of the more than 100 Confucius Institutes on U.S. college campuses, and pressure from U.S. political leaders who say the centers pose a danger. In February, FBI director Christopher Wray told the Senate intelligence committee that the FBI was “watching warily” Confucius Institutes, according to a report by McClatchy. He warned of Chinese operatives infiltrating college campuses and “a level of naiveté” by academics in the U.S., according to the report. “They’re exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have, which we all revere,” Wray said, according to the McClatchy story. “But they’re taking advantage of it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article221985800.html

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