Democracy North Carolina Crashing the Gate (Updated)

Democracy North Carolina is traveling to Raleigh today to lobby legislators to support same day voter registration, voter owned elections and public financing for local governments.

To support their efforts, I'm asking that each of us email our state rep and state senator asking them to support these measures. If you don't agree with all of these measures(see links) pick your favorite and support that single issue.

Follow me to the flip side for more...

Imagine how much more receptive a staffer or legislator might be to the person standing at the door if they had just received an email from a constituent concerning the same issues. Here's a link to the BlueNC Take Action center. You know what to do.

Talking Points....

If you don't have time to investigate each of these issues, but want to support Democracy North Carolina by emailing your legislator here are a few talking points for each issue:

Same Day Voter Registration

*Only six states have a lower voter turnout rate than North Carolina.

*More than half the adults in our state do not vote, even in presidential election years.

*Low cost and high impact

Voter-owned Elections

*We're getting less democracy for more money. Many qualified candidates are excluded by a lack of funds.

*Candidates spend too much time raising money and not enough time interacting with voters.

* Good disclosure laws help reveal how money changes hands, but they do not challenge the massive spending on campaigns by wealthy interests.

Public Financing for Local Governments

*Spending in local elections has soared in many localities across the state, discouraging candidates and voters and threatening to create a wealth barrier for who can run for office.

*SB-760 was introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators, 5 Republicans and 12 Democrats. It combined an interest in local control (give local governments authority to develop solutions) with an interest in making elections accessible to ordinary people.

*SB-760 did not involve money from the N.C. General Fund or have any impact on the state budget. Under the bill, local governments would have to figure out their own method to finance a program.

Let me know if you need any further help crafting your letter.


I'm sending mine too

Next action plan is one for Net neutrality.....I'm collecting the info I need now.

I really have connected with some amazing people here in Charlotte...via email...but it's a start.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I resemble that remark!

We've got lots of friends on the bus to Raleigh this morning....I'll update if I hear anything.


Talked to my "peeps" on the return trip from Raleigh.

Democracy NC took two vans from Charlotte carrying about 12 folks from Union, Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties to participate in the day of action that included lobbying our state legislature and a press event. Apparently Bob Hall, Exec Dir of Democracy NC, gave a great press conference. (I'll link to coverage once I find it.)

My source personally lobbied Senators Dan Clodfelter and Charlie Dannelly and Representatives Beverly Earle, Becky Carney and Malcolm Graham (all from our home county - Mecklenburg). Clodfelter, Carney and Graham are fully on board. Dannelly and Earle are wavering. This is especially bad news since Earle was a supporter of this legislation just 8 weeks ago when we met her at an Urban League sponsored kick-off for this cause. Apparently there are ethics provisions attached to the Bill that are the cause of Ms Earle's hesitation.

As you are contacting your representatives, please give a special shout out to Ms Beverly Earle and tell her not to give in to the dark side.

I will add more info when I get it....

Thanks for the update

I'll contact Earle.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Please Summarize "Net Neutrality"

Sincere question, can you summarize or provide a link to a quick explanation of “net neutrality”?

From what little I understand, one side argues that both content and service providers should be free of regulation to invest in and provide different level of services, and this will lead to better & faster service, broad band width, more internet options and innovations overall.

The other side says government should regulate to mandate that all net content providers, and users, have equal access to all service providers. One (yes conservative) made the argument that this was like mandating FedEx deliver packages for snail mail US Postal Service, at US Postal Service rates.


I am going to do that in my next action plan later this afternoon, so check back in.(I have to run an errand first) I will summarize and will provide plenty of links. This is actually a bipartisan issue with Rs and Ds on both sides.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Soc, if you're having a hard time

ID'ing the positions in this debate, it's probably because there are more than two, and because most of the people who write about it don't understand the first thing about data transfer and network architecture. I'm looking forward to discussing this here, as I haven't really reached any conclusions about who is correct. Here's what I am sure of:

1) absolute net neutrality (in the world where ISPs can't discriminate at all between one kind of data and another) would be a disaster; and

2) zero limitations would be bad for the internet. My hometown ISP (Madison River Communications, operating here under the name Mebtel) decided that it's phone operations shouldn't have to compete against voice over IP telephony, so they just blocked VOIP from traveling on their servers. Luckily, the FCC stepped in and slapped Mebtel's ass. But you can see how freedom from regulation would bring to a screaching halt the explosion of new technologies springing from an open internet.

Great! case you didn't know...Working for Change is one of those amazing people I've met here in Charlotte.

I also failed to tell you that there is a group of people going to Raleigh by bus from Charlotte to help with the lobby efforts.

Read those links I posted...big eye-openers.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I am horrible

at writing letters. However, I will share my email to Drew Saunders for those who have less time/desire/letter writing skill (heh, like this could happen) than I possess. Yes...I am cheesy enough to use a phrase like "the great state of North Carolina"

Dear Representative Saunders,

It is vitally important that we make a concerted effort to keep our democracy strong by making it more accessible to the citizens of North Carolina.

Same-day voter registration is a low cost way to help those who wish to vote, do so easily and at their convenience. Same-day voter registration will open up participation in our democracy to more North Carolinians. I urge you to support H.B. 851.

Voter-owned elections will open up our democracy to candidates who might otherwise not enter the race because they lack the money. Voter-owned elections will mean a government by the people, not by the rich people.

Public financing for local governments is a way to open up the democratic process for local candidates who might not enter a race for financial reasons. It allows candidates from financially depressed areas a fighting chance to participate in their local government.

For more information on any of these issues you can visit

Thank you for your consideration and thank you for your service to Mecklenburg County and the great state of North Carolina.

Sincere regards,

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I told you I was really bad at this

and I meant it.

But if it saves anyone else time and gets those emails out...I'll share my pitiful excuse for a letter.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Net neutrality Action plan

Coming tomorrow. Dear hubby wants to go to the movies with his womens....we'll leave the dog at home.:)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Verla Insko

is a good and responsive Representative in the House. She's already responded to my email saying she's onboard. This is good.

Am I wrong to assume that the Free-market Libertarian Anti-Tax Flat (FLAT) Crowd would be instinctively against all of these innovations? Is this a partisan split down the line?

I thought the FLATs liked innovation and entrepreneurial zeal. What gives? In areas that are unequivocally public sector (like voting) shouldn't innovation be encouraged? Or is it possible that some people like having turnout in the toilet?