Tuesday News: It's the One, not the Thousand, that is worrisome

DISTRUST OVERSHADOWS BEGINNING OF REDISTRICTING PROCESS: The plan centers on roughly 1,000 maps drawn by a computer algorithm from Jowei Chen, a University of Michigan professor whose testimony helped convince a panel of Superior Court judges that General Assembly maps drawn by the GOP majority two years ago were so tilted toward Republicans that they constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander. Both the House and Senate would winnow those numbers down by having staff rank each map on a trio of criteria the court in Common Cause v. Lewis identified as particularly important, then amend them here and there in public votes. Wary Democrats and others behind the lawsuit that got the current maps declared unconstitutional were anxious about the process Monday. Several times, they asked GOP leaders whether any analysis had already been done on the Chen maps, an insinuation that Republicans could have seen something they liked and reverse-engineered a process to get it.
https://www.wral.com/nc-legislative-district-map-redraw-underway-but-quickly-hits-snag/18622288/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Today's the big day:

Cue the late-night "refreshing" of election results pages...

NC Institute for Constitutional Law announces "relaunch"

It looks like Dallas has found a new job:

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (NCICL) will relaunch on September 12th, 2019 with laser-like focus on educating the public about the importance and limiting principals of the North Carolina Constitution and to ensure public accountability for elected officials who take an oath to uphold the text of the North Carolina Constitution as written.

NCICL’s first and primary mission is educational, however, the organization is poised to litigate to fight grievous violations of the North Carolina Constitution and the constitutional separation of powers.

Yanno, it's funny (not really) NCICL was not around to "fight" grievous violations of the separation of powers when the NC GOP was steadily stripping authority from the Governor-elect after he won his election. But now that the Veto-proof majority Republicans grabbed via gerrymandering has been broken, and the Governor is able to re-assert his Constitutional authority, we need a "laser-like focus." Or something. Speaking of the previous iteration of NCICL, it appears all of that has been scrubbed, and the new web page is being hosted on Nationbuilder. Which is of course the Republican Party's national platform for budding political campaigns. Film at eleven...

Monday News: Hold your nose...

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TRUMP HEADED TO FAYETTEVILLE TO BOOST DAN BISHOP: Trump’s visit comes less than a week after Hurricane Dorian meandered its way up the coast, devastating the Bahamas and flooding certain parts of North Carolina. It left Ocracoke flooded and generated tornadoes that trashed an Emerald Isle RV park. Trump will likely take verbal shots at McCready, as he did during his rally in Greenville earlier this summer. It remains to be seen whether he’ll talk about Fayetteville or Fort Bragg, the Army base just 13 miles down the road from the rally. Trump’s visit also comes less than a week after the Pentagon reported plans to divert about $80 million away from North Carolina’s military bases to pay for his proposed border wall. About $32.9 million of that is coming from a proposed elementary school at Fort Bragg.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234857657.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TAKE MAPMAKING TOOLS AWAY FROM SELF-SERVING POLS: A group of fair-minded people could surely produce more compact and more competitive legislative districts than the sprawling, squiggly gerrymanders we have today. And we fail to see why any voter — or, for that matter, any true public servant — would object. Drawing state House and Senate districts that heavily favor either party dilutes voters’ voice and leads to intense polarization. Republicans and Democrats needn’t pivot to the center when their partisan base holds an insurmountable advantage in voter registration. Primaries become the true contests and voters are deprived of choices on Election Day. In 2016, more than 40% of North Carolina legislative districts had only one candidate on the general election ballot. Twenty-seven representatives and 11 state senators ran unopposed. Heavily gerrymandered districts are the chief culprit.
http://www.wilsontimes.com/stories/our-opinion-take-mapmaking-tools-away-from-self-serving-pols,188863

Saturday News: Dead mapmaker testifies

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HOFELLER HAD EXTENSIVE FILES ON NC A&T STUDENTS: Some spreadsheets "have more than fifty different fields with precise racial, gender and geographic details," the magazine said, and one identified nearly 5,500 college students who appeared to lack the necessary ID to vote. The story suggests that some or all of this may have played into the GOP's decision to split N.C. A&T's campus between a pair of heavily Republican congressional districts, diluting the voting power of black students living in university residence halls. "Hofeller knew which A&T students lived in Aggie Village, on the north side of campus, and which resided in Morrow or Vanstory Halls, on the south side – along with a detailed racial breakdown and information about their voting status," Daley reported. "As Hofeller sought to create two reliably Republican congressional districts, his computer contained information on the precise voting tendencies of one of the largest concentrations of black voters in the area."
https://www.wral.com/the-new-yorker-says-it-has-files-late-gop-mapmaker-used-to-draw-gerrymandered-d...

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