Martha Brock's blog

Aug 24th Meeting, NC Board of Elections, Renaissance Hotel, Asheville


The State Board of Elections will meet in the Ballroom (first floor) of the Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin Street, Asheville, N.C. on August 24, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. For further information on this meeting please call Johnnie McLean at (919) 715-1790 or Don Wright at (919) 715-5333.


I was told today by Legal Director, John Rittelmeyer, of Disability Rights NC, that a member of his staff would also be present at the meeting to provide info on Accessibility of Polling Places for persons with disabilities. Correction: Not on the Agenda, just manning an information table and "mixing and mingling."
For info contact Steve Noblitt, an Asheville Advocate for DRNC,at the general DRNC number: 1-877-235-4210.

Call to Order Chairman Larry Leake 9:00 am

Michael Biesecker and the N & O's defense of his carelessly researched and written articles

May I suggest that after 3 to 4 posts on the same subject that the same etiquette that applies to emails applies to posts? in other words, start a new thread so people can stay on topic and not get lost in the thread.

Now for Michael Biesecker: I once thought he was a good addition to the now staid N & O reporting crew. He is like a bulldog with a bone on any subject he goes after. But like many bulldogs, he ain't so smart either.

I have read most of the news stories on the SBoE, and I encouraged Biesecker to look into the SBoE. I think there are indeed problems there. However, I think as usual, Michael prefers the sensational over digging out the difficult reasons for those problems. Hence, his most recent stories about Bartlett's "political cronies."

Policy Watch's Fitzsimon on democracy 2.0

From Chris Fitzsimon on Policy Watch today: on the 527 organizations that will fund "between now and November by Real Jobs and and whatever other right-wing groups that are created with conservative corporate money (and subsidized without any worry by Art Pope and friends).

"House Speaker Joe Hackney told AP that 'there will always be wealthy people who will try to buy elections with their money' and that he hoped that some Democrats would come forward to fight back."

Coming forward means wealthy Democrats funding groups and ads of their own and that's already happening and certain to happen more with big money from unions and trial lawyers and other wealthy interests."

Elaine Marshall takes on Burr in US Senate race

Election 2010 is now officially underway, as the US Senate and the US House of Representatives adjourned this week for the August recess. It is hardly surprising given the current economic and financial market news that the top national issue for the fall is how to deal with the US economy and the federal deficit.

President Obama's NCSU Wolfpack Connection

President Obama’s White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, has been in the news a lot lately.

On Wednesday MSNBC cable news anchors like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbmermann were on the counterattack after Gibbs blasted them in a news conference, calling them the “professional left” in the Democratic Party. See a video from the network's "Ed Show" by following the link.

P. R. Latta profile

I am doing research to write a profile for publication. The subject is P. R. Latta of Wake County. P. R. is being honored again this year by the Wake Young Democrat's Annual P. R. Latta Award Dinner, August 19th. The award was first presented in 2001.

I would like anyone with stories of P. R.'s work as a union leader and lobbyist, member of the county or state Executive Committees, or civic group volunteer to contact me with the information. You do not have to be quoted for attribution. Background material is appreciated, too.

I would like to publish the profile online the week of the Award Dinner, so I need any contributions by next Monday. My phone number in Raleigh is 919-781-7278.

Martha Brock
NC Statehouse and Election 2010 writer

Is Civitas poll accurate? If so Basnight could have a competetive race ahed

The Civitas poll released Aug. 4th shows Sen. Basnight just 1 point ahead of his Republican challenger among likely voters.
Also, see a blog from the winter by Asheville Citizen-Times legislative reporter on the reason Basnight and Rand lost control in 2009 leading to Rand's departure from the Senate and to Martin Nesbitt's election as Senate Majority Leader.
According to John Davis' reports, "The caucus majority, led by Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) and Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake), issued an ultimatum to the leadership: support the Racial Justice Act or else. As with all who rule with autocratic arrogance, the day came when their subjects refused to be pushed around anymore. Thus, the coup succeeded and the Basnight/Rand Empire fell. Rand, humiliated in defeat, quit."


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