Martha Brock's blog

Lies, damn lies and statistics, NC style

"Percentages by themselves, Holian warns, can be a bit misleading..."

Fact Check: Does Hagan vote with Obama 95 percent of time?

WHERE THEY COME FROM: The percentages in question come from rankings published by Congressional Quarterly, a magazine popular among political junkies. The raw data from the rankings are behind a paywall but have been referenced frequently by political journalists.

This isn't a measure of all votes cast in the Senate. Rather, CQ starts keeps track of any bill on which the president has taken a public position. According to CQ, Obama has taken a position on 37 percent of all Senate votes if you count nominations, about 17 percent if you include only legislation.

Politico: GOP poll of women: Party 'stuck in past'

A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources...

Renee Ellmers supports HR3717. I don't.

Rep. Renee Ellmers and Rep. Tim Murphy, who is chief sponsor for his proposed Mental Health Reform Bill, met with the Editorial Board of the News and Observer Tuesday in Raleigh. Here is the link to the article published by the N&O and written by Lynn Bonner. There is a brief video of Murphy speaking to the Board posted, too.

I am posting a link to a different viewpoint on this bill written by Bonnie Schell. Bonnie is a former peer support provider in California and a former employee of PBH in Concord (now "Cardinal Innovations"), a Managed Care Agency. Bonnie is also a published author and the Chair of the Board of a state-wide peer led mental health advocacy organization called NC CANSO.

Sen. Kay Hagan's Women's Summit

The ballroom at the Elliott University Center at UNC-Greensboro was filled Saturday with Democratic women, who were all there by invitation. The women from all over NC were there for the Kay Hagan for U. S. Senate's Women's Summit.

My overall impression of the event was this: Sen. Hagan and her campaign have a well-thought out game plan in term's of on the ground organizing and communicating (including TV) strategy. Her campaign staff is young (the only young people in the room Saturday), but they appear very knowledgeable and very engaged.

Oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Please call your member by using the central switchboard number:
(202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to the staff person responsible for health and mental health issues.

If you prefer to use email to contact Congress, you can go to and in the upper right corner of the home page, there is a place to enter your zip code and find out who is your member of the US House of Representatives.Click on that and you will be directed to your Member's web page.

The purpose of the calls is to ask that the members oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Rep. Murphy was on C-Span today giving his opinions on why the bill should be passed. I wrote a letter to the editor citing several of the reasons the bill would harm persons with psychiatric disabilities.--and there are many.
Here is rthe link:

RIP P. R. Latta

Just learned that my good friend and a great Democrat has passed. You can find the profile on this site that I wrote about him in 2010 as the Young Democrats of Wake County honored someone with the award in his name in August. He will be missed by so many of us that he mentored and shared his time and his history with.

WRAL's series for Sunshine Week

WRAL is posting new material daily this week to its website about Sunshine Week. Today they are doing a webcast (almost over now) with the following panelists:

  • Ryan Thornburg, founder, Open N.C. and professor at UNC School of Journalism
  • Jason Hare, founder, North Carolina Open Data Institute
  • Moderator: William Moner, Elon University

1:30 p.m. Shining Light on the Legislature: Panel discussion of efforts to bring transparency to Jones Street

  • Brent Laurenz, executive director, N.C. Voter Education Center
  • John Clark, director, Reese News Lab at UNC School of Journalism
  • Laura Leslie, capitol reporter, WRAL
  • Moderator: Connie Ledoux Book, Elon University

Eden Moral Monday Town Hall rescheduled


Due to the recent weather advisory predicting freezing rain and ice pellets tomorrow, the Moral Monday Town Hall in Eden, NC has been rescheduled for March 31st.

Please help spread the word.

Forward Together, Not One Step Back!

Yara Allen William Joseph Barber III Alan McSurelyRosalyn PellesAlbert Barron Sr.Curtis Everette GatewoodSarah Bufkin

posted on FaceBook just an hour ago

Does Raleigh's Mayor work for the citizens or for Dix Visionaries?

Here is my email and the attached letter sent to Mayor Nancy McFarlane, members of the Raleigh City Council, and members of the city staff and the state's DOA staff today.

To: Members of the Raleigh City Council and staff of the City of Raleigh, Gail Smith, City Clerk's office,
Ruffin Hall, City Manager

Please see my original request to speak at the meeting on Tuesday of the Raleigh City Council sent by email on Monday. I am attaching a letter which provides a detailed explanation of why I had planned to speak.

The City Council's Agenda as posted on the City of Raleigh web site does not accurately reflect my request. I had planned to focus on the lack of transparency in the planning process and to ask when or if the City would hold hearings on the question of the future of the Dix Hospital Campus property.


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