Thursday News: Deluge of disinformation


TILLIS ATTACKS CUNNINGHAM WITH SANDERS, BUT CAL VOTED FOR BUTTIGIEG: Tillis, 59, has embraced President Donald Trump fully, called out his Democratic challengers as socialists and radical and is seeking to make sanctuary cities and illegal immigration a top issue. “I want to keep working with President Trump to create jobs, boost wages, secure winning trade deals, rebuild our military, improve health care for veterans, combat sanctuary cities, and confirm well-qualified judges to the federal bench,” Tillis said in a statement Tuesday night. His first ad highlights Sen. Bernie Sanders more than former Vice President Joe Biden, who won North Carolina on Tuesday and is in a tight race with Sanders for the nomination. The ad also replays several times Cunningham’s commitment to support his party’s ticket. Cunningham voted for former candidate Pete Buttigieg for president.

VOTER ADVOCACY GROUP FILES LAWSUIT OVER NEW NC ABSENTEE LAW: "By imposing barriers to requesting an absentee ballot, and invalidating requests that do not adhere to the state’s new restrictions, the organizing ban reduces access to vote-by-mail opportunities on which Advance Carolina’s members and other voters have come to rely or would otherwise utilize, thereby burdening their fundamental right to vote," the lawsuit states. The suit was filed by the Patterson Harkavy law firm in Chapel Hill and the Perkins Coie firm in Washington, D.C. Perkins Coie has been involved in a number of election lawsuits in North Carolina and around the country. The firm's political law group chair, Marc Elias, was Hillary Clinton's attorney during the 2016 presidential elections, and Elias represented Democrat Dan McCready during last year's State Board of Elections hearings into the 9th District results. Those hearings led to a do-over election last fall.

COURT BLOCKS TRUMP'S "REMAIN IN MEXICO" POLICY FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday that it would only block the “Remain in Mexico” policy in Arizona and California, the two border states under its authority. President Donald Trump's administration says it is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and had asked that the policy remain in effect until next week to give the high court time to decide. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled in the administration's favor on questions of immigration and border enforcement. The latest turn in the case comes after the 9th Circuit halted the policy along the entire southern border on Friday but suspended its own order later that day after the government warned of dire consequences. “Remain in Mexico” is a crucial part of the Trump administration's response to large numbers of asylum-seekers appearing at the border. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the policy will no longer be in effect on Mexico's border with California and Arizona starting March 12 unless the Supreme Court wades in sooner. It declined to extend its order to federal courts in the two other southern border states — New Mexico and Texas.

BLOOMBERG DROPS OUT OF PRESIDENTIAL RACE, WARREN TENTATIVELY REMAINS: Mike Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who poured half a billion dollars into his presidential campaign, dropped out of the race on Wednesday and endorsed the surging candidacy of Joe Biden, whose string of victories on Super Tuesday has upended the nominating contest. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who lost 10 of 14 state primaries to Biden on Tuesday, adopted a more aggressive tone with the former vice president Wednesday as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) flew home to Boston to reassess her campaign, weighing whether to end her bid and allow liberals in the party to unite behind Sanders the way moderates quickly coalesced for Biden. After a head-spinning four days, a primary race that began with a historically large and diverse field — powered by a half-dozen women attempting to tap into an activated female electorate — has now boiled down to two white men in their late 70s who each have spent about a half-century running for political office.

CORONAVIRUS IS FUELING ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENTS ON THE RIGHT: The epidemic has supplied Europe’s right-wing parties a fresh opportunity to sound the alarm about open borders. It has confined millions of people to their communities and even inside their homes, giving them time to ponder whether globalization was really such a great idea. “It reinforces all the fears about open borders,” said Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at Oxford University and an author of a 2014 book that anticipated a backlash to liberalism via a pandemic, “The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It.” “In North America and Europe, there is a recalibration, a wanting to engage on a more selective basis,” he said. Trump administration officials have taken the coronavirus outbreak as the impetus to reinforce their pressure on companies to leave China. “It will help accelerate the return of jobs to North America,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in late January. Last week, Mr. Trump’s senior trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who wrote a book called “Death by China,” used the coronavirus as a stark reminder that the United States had allowed too much factory production to leave its shores. “A lot of it’s in China,” he told Fox News. “We’ve got to get that back.”