Mojo Mom's blog

300,000 extra hours. Could the end of Straight-Ticket voting be the Election Day problem no one sees coming?

The end of straight-ticket voting in North Carolina is ANOTHER COMPELLING REASON TO VOTE EARLY. Could the end of the custom of straight-ticket/straight-party voting be the Election Day problem that no one sees coming? In all the news about voter suppression laws, this change has not received a lot of coverage, possibly because it does not sound as nefarious and discriminatory the attempted new Voter ID laws and fewer Early Voting sites.

North Carolina's Monster Voting Bill: A tale of voter suppression

by Amy Tiemann

A white Republican challenging black students' right to vote has a 97% success rate at removing these young minority voters from the rolls. Is that what we want for North Carolina?

It is starting to sink in that North Carolina's new voting laws go way beyond voter I. D.--which is problematic in itself--and lead straight into voter suppression. Now the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state for alleged racial discrimination in the laws. We thought era of poll taxes and bogus literacy tests was over in North Carolina, but now it looks like Justice Department intervention is necessary to keep our moderate Southern state from tumbling into new era of voter suppression.

UNC leadership needs to step up and support rather than punish those who report sexual assault

I hope that members of the BlueNC community can help explain what is going on with the Honor Court at UNC as they bring up Landen Gambill for possible punishment for speaking up about her own experiences, after she took her sexual assault charges through Honor Court proceedings.

I wrote this up in full, "UNC Chapel Hill must support those who report sexual assault," on but I am flummoxed by the administration's insistence that the student-run Honor Court is capable of straightening this all out. "Undergraduate Attorney General"--give me a break! It is time for the professional adult leadership to take a stand here. They have already taken sexual assault out of the Honor Court's jurisdiction but now they need to do more.

Supporting Randy Voller for North Carolina Democratic Party Chair

I just heard that Eric Mansfield is stepping out of the race for NC State Democratic party chair. I strongly support Randy Voller for NCDP Chair and I urge you to support him as well. He will be a strong leader and we North Carolina Democrats need to come together, get organized, and win!

I know that Eric Mansfield's supporters must be disappointed, but I hope that they will give Randy Voller a chance. As a business owner in Chatham County, I have gotten to know Randy well and I admire what his organizing efforts accomplished in this past election. I can honestly say that in 2012 when I was feeling incredibly discouraged by the NC state Democratic party, Randy's work organizing Chatham County was a true bright spot. Chatham County had the highest voter turnout in the state--more than 76%! Voller had a plan and carried it out. He can do great things for our state party if we all decide to come together.

--Amy Tiemann, Chapel Hill & Pittsboro

Progressives: now is time to seize on political progress (as messy as it can be) and build a larger coalition

After President Obama's declaration of support for marriage equality for gay couples, we should pick up on this political progress and RUN with it. Don't let our disappointments hold us back, and don't let the election on Tuesday splinter our potentially larger coalitions--which would benefit all our causes including gay rights.

David Brooks describes Conservatism's paternalistic core

This week as David Brooks and Gail Collins discussed "Who Decided That This Election Should Be About Sex?" Brooks laid bare the core of the Conservative philosophy:

I do think it’s consistent to be economically libertarian and socially paternalistic. In fact I’d argue dynamic capitalism requires a stringent and coherent social order to help guard against its savageries — tight families to educate children, anti-materialist values to police rampant consumerism, a spiritual public square to mitigate the corrosive culture of greedy self-interest.

Free market beliefs and socially conservative beliefs require each other, so long as those socially conservative beliefs are traditional, not theological. I’m for traditional values, with government playing a small role to support them. I get worried when some politician begins trying to legislate his faith’s version of Natural Law.

This statement seems almost unintentionally revealing to me. Isn't it interesting to see what makes it into his statement of core values and what gets left out?

What you need to know about Fracking in 400 words or less...and NCDENR meeting Oct 10

Do you know about hydrofracking, the method of extracting methane gas from the ground by creating micro-earthquakes to fracture rock and release the gas?

Horizontal drilling and fracking are currently illegal in North Carolina but there is political pressure to change laws to allow it.

Monday night, October 10th, the NC Department of Natural Resources is convening a public input meeting on the shale gas study, Oct. 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Sanford at the McSwain Extension Education & Agriculture Center. If the issue of fracking is already on your radar, I encourage you to attend. I will be there and will report on it afterward.

Thanks to the statewide summit on fracking put on last month by Clean Water for North Carolina, I have started to learn a lot about what the impacts of fracking could mean to out state. It's not a pretty picture.

I wrote up my notes from that meeting, and additional research, in two blog posts:

What you need to know about Fracking in 400 words or less (and four photos)

Why you need to know about Fracking — it may be coming to a field or neighborhood near you. This much longer post includes more links to additional reporting.

"The Family" and Stupak, Pitts, Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre: Must-listen interview

The Family is one of the most frightening political organizations I have heard of. It grew out of 1930's roots of union-busting and a desire to foster "Totalitarianism for Christ" after the predicted fall of Democracy.

Today the group is on the forefront of the conservative side of "the culture wars"--anti-gay rights, anti-reproductive rights. It operates on a basis of leaders chosen by God doing whatever they think is best, on a national and global level. This includes support to dictators (as long as they are so-called "key men" chosen by God). The Family is currently connected "to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda that could sentence, quote, repeat offenders to the death penalty."

If you've heard about The Family, you've probably heard that recently scandalized Republicans like Mark Sanford and John Ensign are involved. Now the names like Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts have fresh recognition since they authored the strong anti-abortion amendment to the House's health care reform bill.

It was also distressing news to me Democrats including North Carolina's own Congressmen Heath Shuler and Mike McIntryre are involved with The Family. This week's new Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview with investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet is a must-listen refresher course shining light on this secretive organization.


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