Martha Brock's blog

Senator Blue to replace ailing Nesbitt

from today

RALEIGH, N.C. — Senate Democrats on Tuesday selected Wake County Sen. Dan Blue as their new caucus leader, replacing Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt.

Nesbitt stepped down after receiving an undisclosed medical diagnosis that will require him to seek treatment and cut into his time on the Senate floor.

“After a recent diagnosis, it has become clear that I will need to take some time in the coming weeks and months to focus on my health," Nesbitt said in a statement. "This year’s elections are too important to the future of our great state to not have all hands on deck. I am therefore pleased and proud that my friend, Sen. Dan Blue Jr., has agreed to lead the Democratic Caucus while I seek further medical treatment.”

Chasing the votes of white men

Ones Who Got Away: White Men

NY Times

“Realistically, winning votes from working-class white men has just been a very tough political challenge for Democrats,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster. With demographic trends favoring Democrats nationally and in many states, strategists say it makes sense to concentrate resources on mobilizing women, young people, Hispanics, blacks and other minority voters.

Democrats generally win the votes of fewer than four in 10 white men. But they win eight of 10 minority voters and a majority of women, who have been a majority of the national electorate since 1984, while white men have shrunk to a third, and are still shrinking.

NC Democratic Party organizational meetings

Anyone who has witnessed the bickering here on BlueNC has seen only the tip of the iceberg as far as how far the Chairman's supporters will go in his defense. Folks who would normally step up and lead action against Voller will not, because he does have widespread support among the State Executive Committee's 700 members.

The only way to have a more sensible leadership in the Party, therefore, is to have those who disagree with the current party's leadership attend their local and county party meetings and run for the SEC. I won't. I tried twice, and I could not even get listed on the ballot in my county.

Maybe there is more hope outside the Raleigh beltline. The precincts have already started meeting and will continue into March. You can find your county party's information at the state party's web site:

NC Democratic Party – Calendar of Events 2014

Sec. Sebelius blasts GOP governors in five Southern States

From the Hill:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lashed out Tuesday at the governors in five Southern states, and Rick Perry (R-Texas) in particular, for “playing politics with people’s lives” by refusing to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.

Speaking in an interview on HuffPostLive, Sebelius called their decisions “an outrage,” and urged the constituents of those states to pressure their legislatures and let their governors know this is “not acceptable.”

“The worst situation is in the states that so far have not decided to take up the offer of the fed government to expand Medicaid … in the five states with the highest level of uninsured African-Americans, four out of five of those — Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida — are not expanding Medicaid,” she said.

Bannock Street Project and the US Senate races

Interesting story from the New York Times on Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee strategy for off-year election in 2014.

WASHINGTON — The Democrats’ plan to hold on to their narrow Senate majority goes by the name “Bannock Street project.” It runs through 10 states, includes a $60 million investment and requires more than 4,000 paid staff members. And the effort will need all of that — and perhaps more — to achieve its goal, which is nothing short of changing the character of the electorate in a midterm cycle...

Coal ash spill could push NC to move more aggressively

Coal ash spill could push NC to move more aggressively

North Carolina’s massive coal ash spill into the Dan River this month was decades in the making. But for much of that period, the lagoons where ash is stored attracted little attention or regulatory oversight.

In the past five years, that attitude slowly started to change, as it became increasingly clear that Duke Energy’s coal ash pits across the state were leaching toxins into the environment.

The blowout at a Duke lagoon near Eden on Feb. 2 has refocused attention on the power company’s 14 ash storage sites and raised a host of questions about how Duke and state regulators have dealt with an issue that was known to pose serious risks to the environment.

Read more at the Raleigh News and Observer. This is a long, comprehensive report.

Lobbying Congress: the “Daschle Loophole”

Officially, Shrinking—Unofficially, Exploding

The Nation

On paper, the lobbying industry is quickly disappearing. In January, records indicated that for a third straight year, overall spending on lobbying decreased. Lobbyists themselves continue to deregister. In 2013, the number of registered lobbyists dipped to 12,281, the lowest number on file since 2002.

MSNBC: Gov. McCrory interview on coal ash

interview on Rachel Maddow show tonight--soon on MSNBC


The MSNBC interview consisted of McCrory's denying any ties to Duke Energy and questions about whether he received subpoena or not. The MSNBC host quoted from the newspaper editorial from the THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial:

The river's flow has carried the ash to within 10 miles of Virginia's Kerr Reservoir, the last stop on the way to Lake Gaston, which provides drinking water for more than a million people in South Hampton Roads.

Cleaning up so much of the river will be impossible, especially now that the toxins have settled into the riverbed from bank to bank for miles upon miles.

and it ends with this

Dr. Ben Chavis exposed: Village Voice 2000

The Shame of Mosque No. 7

'With a Sex-Harassment Suit Hanging Over His Head, Some Are Wondering Whether Nation of Islam Minister Benjamin Muhammad Is Fit to Lead the Million Family March'

By Peter Noel Tuesday, Sept 5 2000

Party Chairman Randy Voller is still in denial about the baggage Dr. Ben Chavis would bring as an employee of the NC Democratic Party. A simple Google search pulls up dozens of articles that document Chavis' simply awful track record.

This is one of the best from the time of his controversial tenure as leader of a Nation of Islam mosque in Harlem in NY City. I hope all the members of the State Party's Executive Council will read it.

Women are noticeably absent

'In NC politics, women are noticeably absent'

A recent N&O front page featured a photo of a beaming Gov. Pat McCrory surrounded by Rep. Thom Tillis, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Sen. Phil Berger, Rep. John Faircloth and Guilford Schools’ Superintendent Maurice Green. The photo accompanied an article about the proposed salary increase for teachers with fewer than 10 years’ experience.

Notice something? No women

Read more here:


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