Looking ahead to 2014

If it's been said once, it's been said a zillion times. Elections have consequences. And right now, North Carolina is suffering the dire consequences of having elected extremists to the lead state government. It doesn't matter that they cheated to win. Unless and until legislative redistricting is overturned by the courts, we are stuck with gerrymandered maps for the foreseeable future.

The first test of our response is happening now with Moral Mondays. Thanks to the tremendous work of Reverend Barber and the NAACP, the ground is being prepared for an uprising in 2014.

And make no mistake, an uprising is needed. Because of gerrymandering, a Democratic vote for the North Carolina General Assembly is worth only 3/5ths of a Republican vote. To be effective, we have to blow them out of the water when it comes to turn out.

The May primary will be our second test, a rehearsal for November.

Many people have told me they believe the best we can do next November is claw back the supermajorities in both houses. I don't buy it, and even if I did, we can't settle for that.

Republicans have given North Carolina a rare gift. In a few wild months, they have single-handedly destroyed our state's reputation as a leader in the south, made life more difficult for millions of people, and pushed our economy to the breaking point. If we can't capitalize on that extremism and stomp them at the polls, we can't do anything.

If there was ever a time to step up and be counted, this is it. You don't want to look back 20 years from now and say, "I had the chance to be an activist and didn't take it."


If you're not going to run

If you're not going to run for office yourself, get to work finding someone who will that you can support. And then support them like hell using your words and your actions.

No matter how hard we work, we won't match Art Pope dollar for dollar. We have to beat him another way.

That's what I mean by uprising.

Money vs. People

The guy who founded ACORN, Wade Rathke, used to say that there are two kinds of power: money and people. We have little money and a hell of a lot of people. They have a hell of a lot of money and not that many people. Game on.

I keep thinking I should run...

and then I take a cold hard look in the mirror and I know for certain I'd end up in jail - and I don't just mean for a few hours - before all was said and done. But at the same time, I'm convinced I could do a better job than the monkeys that supposedly represent my districts now.

I live in Rick Gunn's Senate district which includes all of Alamance County and Elon University. I want badly to make a difference in this fight, and I don't see anyone else stepping up.

What's a passionate hot-headed progressive to do?


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Howdy, neighbor. :)

I'm in Gibsonville City limits, Alamance County, and the Elon fire district. And yes, it's just as confusing as it sounds. ;)

NCDP supports Moral Mondays, too.

Lest we forget, 13th District Chair Jesse Goslen successfully introduced and passed at the NCDP State Executive Council 4/28/13 a Resolution supporting Moral Mondays, and the State Party has been a visible presence ever since. Democratic Legislators have been making supportive visits, some more than others, and the Party Chair, Randy Voller, has been there every time.

This last few weeks the Party had an organized presence, and has from the May Mondays on brought hundreds of Democrats by bus, from all over the state, every week. The NCDP is trying to spread the message, amplify awareness of the popular message of Rev. Barber's Movement, and translate it into unaffiliated votes for Democrats.

And Mr. Thurman? Your Party Chair is peteglidewell@triad.rr.com If you do not already know him, step up and introduce yourself. He is a fine man. He can tell you best just what "a passionate hot-headed progressive (is) to do", and good, willing candidates need to find their Chairs and say so. Supporting and finding good candidates is what county chairs do. Please, contact him. -E J Smith


I spend quite a bit of time sitting next to him while we were being processed in the Wake County Detention Center on June 3. Good guy.


I will put together an email to Mr. Glidewell sometime this week (looks like the rain will allow me to actually work tomorrow). I've been wanting to get to know the local party and keep missing the meetings.

And Steve, I've meant to introduce myself to you for too long and neglected doing so (another sign I'd make a horrible politician I guess). I'll send yo a friend request in the FB shortly.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Jesse and Stephanie, both.

Jesse is a great guy, and so is his wife, Stephanie. They are the sort of people you meet and immediately wish to know better. They are lifelong progressive activists, and this party needs more like them both. As Officers in the State Party, they serve with distinction. Too often the work of long time progressives who do the work in the trenches to recruit and elect progressive candidates is overlooked by the media, but Democrats active in their County Parties know them. Party Officers just do not attract the sexy media attention that some other people do.

They do the hard work of the Party, and they do the Party proud. Jesse and Stephanie have both been arrested at MM and in this way, and with their Party work as Officers, they spread the good word for progressive Democrats.

Getting that Resolution introduced and passed (it was the 6/2/13 Council Meeting, I had that wrong above) was a fight by Jesse against centrist Dems at the District and again at the State meetings, and Jesse Goslen deserves our thanks for successfully uniting our NCDP officially with the Moral Monday movement.

We can now campaign on that union with Moral Mondays.

Unaffiliated voters hold the key votes needed for Democrats statewide to turn out the ALEC controlled, unspeakable current GOP legislators, starting in Nov. 2014. The Blue Dog Dems as well need to be culled, in May of 2014, through Primary challenges. The districts only appear to be drawn against us; it is possible to elect Democrats to the GA if we win the awareness and votes of the unaffiliated voters to the progressive Democratic Party ballot in May of 2014, and again in Nov. We can re-take control of our state legislature in 2014, with the votes of an aroused public voting for Democrats.

I know, I know, the odds are long, but that should be our goal. Anything less is unacceptable. Put good progressive candidates into municipal office this year. Get them out there in the public, active on regional boards, and known for their good effects on their communities. Then encourage the best to run for the GA. We can do this.

Mr. Thurman, are you with me? -E J Smith

Wait a minute ... are you serious that Jesse had to fight

to get a resolution passed supporting Moral Mondays!?!? WTF!! Got any names of persons who were opposed??

That resolution should have passed by acclamation.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Indeed I am, very serious.

You are right, it should have, in my opinion, too, and it is going to be a great thing to use, going forward.

Now that we are united behind it, we can use this Resolution as a club against our real opponents in the next election, the Republicans.

Forward together, not one step back.

Yeah, I'm here

And you don't have to call me Mr. Thurman is my legal first name, those who know me call me Jay. I started using my legal name several ears ago as a hiding-in-plain-site pen name, back when I had an employer that thought it appropriate to control what employees thought and said outside work, but enough about....

I agree that the Blue Dogs have got to go. I'm working hard to overcome the personal issues that keep me away from the action (Just ask James, who played a bigger part than he knows in getting me to my first Moral Monday three weeks ago, and then I went back the next week all alone.)

I sent a short message to Pete Glidewell a few minutes ago, so yeah, I'm in. Both feet.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Fantastic, Jay

That first step is a bear ... and you took it ... just like that.

Thank you.

PS The July 4th party is on!

451 Lakeshore Lane
Chapel Hill 27514

Thomas Mills finally agrees with me on something!

A good post on the blowback that will come from Berger's Midnight Panty Raid.

In terms of the 2014 election, there are tons of implications. First, low turnout off-year elections are about motivating the base. Fear and anger are two of the strongest motivators and progressives are PISSED! They’ve been mad, but this time the senate crossed a line, abusing the legislative process and appearing to hide from constituents instead of debating in the light of day. While the election is a long way off, I’d bet that Democrats are coming out.

Pat McCrory must be fuming. If the bill happened to get through the House, the Governor is in a position of either breaking his campaign promise by allowing the bill to become law or vetoing it and pissing off his wing-nut base. On second thought, he’s probably not fuming because I doubt he even understands it.

For Tillis, it’s even worse. If the bill passes his chamber, he’ll have to run for Senate with this legislation hung around his neck. He will hemorrhage support from women who will already make up a majority of the electorate. My guess is that he would lose to Hagan by more than 5 points in a race that should be decided by one or two. If it doesn’t get out of the house, he’ll rile up the Tea Party and wing-nuts to go vote for that homophobic preacher out of Charlotte (by the way, I’m pulling for that guy).

Effects on McCrony & Tillis

Some of the provisions in the Senate bill already have passed the House, so Tillis has already made his bed. Now it's just a matter of the degree of evil (kind of like the budget).

McCrony is likely to get off largely unscathed. I believe that he can let this become law without his signature, which is almost surely what he will do (after blustering and rhetoric designed to placate various constituencies).

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

And Here's McCrony's First Bluster!

The words are actually spot-on. I doubt their sincerity, but this was (one of) the right thing(s) to say. Until DAG McCrony proves otherwise, I will assume that this is just posturing, but even a stopped clock (backward or not ;-) is right twice a day.

"When the Democrats were in power, this is the way they did business. It was not right then and it is not right now," the governor said in a statement. "Regardless of what party is in charge or what important issue is being discussed, the process must be appropriate and thorough."

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Voter ID and turnout

I posted along these lines on another thread a week or two ago. We need to organize and work to make sure every potential Democrat voter is registered, and every registered Democrat has whatever papers are required to vote. When they say "show me your papers," we respond "yes, Massa." When we take control of the General Assembly in January 2015, the first order of business is to repeal Voter ID.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

And the second order

should be undoing the criminal gerrymanders and make it illegal to do so going forward. Non-partisan redistricting is crucial to a functioning democratic system.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail