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Saturday News: No surprise, at all

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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.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article246017110.html

Friday News: Daytime Emmy Awards

REPUBLICANS ARE APPARENTLY OUTRAGED OVER ELECTION SETTLEMENT: President Donald Trump's campaign and national Republican groups are trying to intervene in a North Carolina voting lawsuit after state GOP leaders denounced a proposed settlement. Republicans are accusing the Democratic-led State Board of Elections of colluding with national Democratic-affiliated groups to loosen the state's absentee voting rules, threatening election security. "They are suing to move Election Day even further out so they can harvest ballots after the polls close to steal the election for Joe Biden," Trump deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement. "The judge on this case has a choice to make: Side with collusion and rig this election, or uphold the rule of law and protect every North Carolinian’s right to vote." Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest fired off a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday, asking for a federal investigation into "the collusive attack on the integrity of North Carolina's elections."
https://www.wral.com/trump-campaign-national-gop-seek-to-block-settlement-of-nc-absentee-voting-laws...

Thursday News: Saving face?

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REPUBLICAN MEMBERS RESIGN FROM NC BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The two Republican members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections resigned Wednesday night, citing their concerns over a legal settlement that addresses several voting issues. David Black and Ken Raymond’s resignations come 41 days before the Nov. 3 general election. There are five members on the board. The remaining three members are Democrats. All members, including Black and Raymond, had agreed to the proposed settlement. The settlement, if approved by a judge, would create new rules to make it easier for people to fix mistakes on their mail-in ballots. It also would extend the amount of time after the election that absentee ballots could come in and still be counted.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article245964685.html

Wednesday News: Debate season

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CUNNINGHAM SAYS TILLIS IS WRITING "BLANK CHECK" FOR TRUMP ON COURT SEAT: President Donald Trump has said he plans to nominate a woman to fill the vacancy created by Friday’s death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Tillis, a Republican seeking re-election, said he would support Trump’s nominee and wants to fill the seat before the Nov. 3 election. “There is an important role for a United States senator as a check and balance on the president of the United States,” Cunningham said. “Rather than act as a check and balance, Senator Tillis has written a blank check to the president. He has forfeited his right to independence of judgment here on behalf of the people of our state. And that’s wrong. That’s something I would never do.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article245929000.html

Tuesday News: Outclassed

COOPER SPANKS FOREST OVER VOUCHERS IN ONLINE EDUCATION FORUM: “I think Lt. Gov. Forest really has one goal for our public schools: starve them for funding and then use those tax dollars to help rich people send their kids to private schools using vouchers,” Cooper said. He was referring to Forest’s support for the Republican-led legislature’s opportunity scholarships program, which provides families with vouchers for private school. “School vouchers are wrong. They hurt our public schools. I think he’s satisfied with teacher pay and per pupil funding and he’ll rubber stamp anything that the legislative leadership tells him to do or say,” Cooper said. Cooper also brought up one of the policies he is known for pushing — Medicaid expansion — which, along with the amount of teacher raises, was at the center of the 2019 state budget fight.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article245893730.html

Monday News: Plague Rat-in-Chief

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TRUMP ATTACKS GOVERNOR COOPER OVER SHUTDOWN: President Donald Trump visited North Carolina and spoke to a crowd at Fayetteville Regional Airport on Saturday evening. He talked about the state’s coronavirus restrictions and a vaccine. “I hate to say, your governor’s got you shut down,” Trump said. “It doesn’t look good here. I think your governor has to let this state open.” He also said he would “deliver a safe and effective vaccine” for COVID-19 this year. At least 1,000 people were in the tightly-packed crowd. Seats were “crammed together” and less than half of the people there were wearing masks, The News & Observer reports. Attendees reportedly had their temperatures checked and were encouraged to wear masks. Some of those behind Trump on the stage were seen wearing their masks incorrectly.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245881335.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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FROM TRUMP, NO RESPECT FOR RUTH BADER GINSBURG, OR THE RULES: Rules are for fools. To the cheaters go the spoils. That’s President Donald Trump’s credo. And he hasn’t been proven wrong yet. Technically, yes, it’s Trump’s right to nominate a new Supreme Court justice as soon as he wants and for as long as he’s in office — and he indeed signaled in a tweet Saturday morning that he wanted to move forward “without delay.” McConnell, for his part, can absolutely try to hustle that nominee through Senate confirmation. But McConnell would be violating his own code, the one he adopted after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. McConnell then decreed that with an election just nine months away, President Barack Obama should not be allowed to fill a court vacancy. The American people should first be allowed to speak through their presidential ballots in early November. Now an election is little more than one month away. And that code — poof! — is gone. McConnell’s quickness to abandon it arises principally from his own unscrupulousness but owes something as well to his confidence about Trump’s ethically inverted inclinations, which are that it matters only whether you win or lose, not how you play the game.
https://www.wral.com/from-trump-no-respect-for-ruth-bader-ginsburg-or-the-rules/19294753/

Saturday News: R.I.P. R.B.G.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG HAS PASSED AWAY: Ginsburg first made her mark in the 1970s, challenging laws and norms dictating that a woman’s place was in the home and a man’s place was in the workforce. As a lawyer, she litigated or contributed to more than 60 cases dealing with sex-based discrimination, including a dozen that reached the Supreme Court. Short in stature and known for her careful, halting manner of speaking, Ginsburg nonetheless became one of the most successful civil rights litigators of the last century. As historian Jane Sherron De Hart wrote in a 2018 biography of Ginsburg, “She showed Americans with intellectual rigor and precision that women’s rights are human rights.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article245848680.html

Friday News: Solidarity

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ASHEVILLE NURSES VOTE TO UNIONIZE AT MISSION HOSPITAL: Nurses at a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, have voted to unionize and gain the power to bargain over their benefits and working conditions. The Citizen-Times reported a ballot count on Thursday morning showed that there were roughly twice as many “yes” votes by Mission Hospital nurses than there were votes against forming a union. The vote concluded a year-long effort by nurses and union representatives to organize. It also comes less than two years after HCA Healthcare bought the hospital as part of a $1.5 billion sale. The 1,600 registered nurses who work at Mission Hospital and the St. Joseph campus will be represented by National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses’ union. The hospital had opposed the union effort. It said a union would ultimately hurt the hospital’s quality of care and could cause its labor costs to “increase materially.”
https://www.wral.com/nurses-vote-to-unionize-at-mission-hospital-in-asheville/19290926/

Thursday News: The Peter Principle?

UNC BOG WANTS TO GIVE PETER HANS AUTHORITY TO SELECT UNIVERSITY CHANCELLORS: The UNC System Board of Governors is proposing to allow the system president to add two finalists to each chancellor search process and then to select a final candidate from that list. The board says the policy change would improve the succession of leaders, but professors at multiple campuses say it would be dangerous and would give UNC System President Peter Hans too much power in selecting chancellors. The biggest concern is the president handpicking a chancellor without input from an individual campus, which “erodes our practice of institutional autonomy and shared governance,” said Karin Zipf, a history professor at East Carolina University. “No matter how they want to spin it … ultimately it gives [Hans] absolute power,” Zipf said. “Not only is he bringing forward the people, but he’s also choosing the person.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article245772935.html

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