Wednesday News: What are they trying to hide?

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NC GOP FIGHTING HARD TO SUPPRESS MAPMAKER'S FILES IN GERRYMANDERING SUIT: Republican lawmakers “had specifically promised the court that their mapmaker would not even possess racial data,” let alone use it, said Daniel Jacobson, one of the lawyers for the people and groups suing to overturn the maps. And Hofeller’s files, Jacobson said, will show that Hofeller broke the rules and did consider voters’ race when dividing them between districts. “It’s hard to imagine evidence that would be more directly responsive” to the key parts of the trial, Jacobson said. The maps in question were drawn in 2017, to replace a previous set of maps — also drawn by Hofeller, in 2011 — that were ruled unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. The state’s Republican legislative leaders strongly object to the files being used in court for this case.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232190617.html

Tuesday News: Gerrymandering on trial, again

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STATE-LEVEL PARTISAN REDISTRICTING LAWSUIT MOVES FORWARD: A lawsuit challenging North Carolina's legislative districts for having excessively political boundaries is going to trial, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it has no authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims. What's different about the case in Raleigh is that it's getting heard in state court, and the claims are based on alleged violations of the North Carolina Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court's majority opinion last week involving North Carolina's congressional map focused only on federal courts. The state lawsuit challenging state House and Senate districts is scheduled to go to trial July 15. A big issue during Tuesday's pretrial hearing will be whether a Republican consultant's private files will be allowed as evidence.
https://www.wral.com/gop-consultants-private-files-viewed-in-gerrymandering-case/18486375/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The big day is Friday:

I am running for local office again this year, and I challenge each and every one of you to take a look at the people who are running for your town/city council and boards of aldermen. Some of these folks would do a fantastic job, but some of the others have no business even running. Pay attention, and make sure to vote. Don't let 10% choose who will run your town, or you will probably regret it.

NC GOP has put DHHS in the crosshairs

And Secretary Mandy Cohen has had quite enough:

Cohen has spent a lot of time at the legislative building in Raleigh this week, working the halls and talking to budget writers about her qualms with the budget. She’s also been making media appearances to reiterate her priorities and concerns.

Cohen also sharply criticized the legislature for cutting out $42 million in recurring administrative funds over the coming two years. Additionally, she said that as the budget stands right now, the Medicaid budget is $63 million short. “It’s dramatic. It’s irresponsible,” she said. “It’s not like we’re trying to manage some really trying times. No one has given me an answer in this building about why are we doing this cut? We’re not in a recession. Why are they doing it this year… other than to play games?” Cohen said.

There are a couple of obvious reasons, and they both have to do with Medicaid Expansion. Cohen has been pushing them hard for it, and has the data to back up her arguments. That makes her the "enemy" in the eyes of irresponsible and capricious Republicans, so whatever levers they can pull to exert pressure on her are being pulled with a vengeance. But there's also something else: Using the excuse of a procedure change (switching to managed care), they're cutting her staff, which will make it much more difficult to handle Medicaid Expansion if it did get approved. And that will become one more reason for them to not approve it. Create a crisis, and then lament said crisis. Standard operating procedure. Dr. Cohen also has a completely unnecessary and disruptive move looming:

Monday News: Theocracy

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DAN FOREST WANTS TO PREACH HIS WAY INTO GOVERNOR'S MANSION: In his speech, Forest encouraged the congregation to get involved in politics. He suggested that the Bible predicted the current political polarization and that God would “heal” the country if Christians prayed for forgiveness. He compared current culture to 2 Timothy Chapter 3 of the Bible which, in the New International Version translation, says “There will be terrible times in the last days.” He offered his assessment of multiculturalism shortly after mentioning Satan’s intentions to divide the country. And then he outlined his hope for the nation. If “Christians will humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and get on our knees and ask a loving and forgiving God to forgive us, he promises to heal our land. And he promises that he’ll give us a better land,” Forest said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232077907.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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SPEAKER MOORE'S OPPOSITION TO MEDICAID EXPANSION IS PREJUDICED FANTASY: To take Moore’s word for it, people who can’t afford health care are dodging work and looking for a free ride. First, the poor who earn below the poverty level and cannot or do not work ALREADY qualify for Medicaid. Second, Nearly all of the North Carolinians who would qualify for Medicaid under expansion DO HAVE JOBS. Many work hard at more than one. It is just that the jobs are so low paying, these families barely earn above the poverty level. Still, they earn too much to qualify for the current program. These are people live day-to-day at the edge of a financial cliff. These families are just one missed paycheck, or serious health event, away from economic calamity. They are Moore’s neighbors – more than 6,000 in Cleveland County. They are Senate leader Phil Berger’s neighbors too. There are 16,300 in the four counties he represents.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-speaker-moore-s-opposition-to-medicaid-expansion-is-prejudiced-fantas...

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