Wednesday News: Corrupted, absolutely

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NC REPUBLICANS CONTEMPLATE AMENDMENT TO GRAB MORE POWER FROM GOVERNOR: Legislative leaders are considering a constitutional amendment that would limit Gov. Roy Cooper's power over the state elections board. House Rules Chairman David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican, confirmed the possibility Monday but said details of the amendment are still being worked out. "The elections and ethics board is something that we are indeed looking at in terms of its structure," Lewis told reporters. "I believe that the people of the state are committed to having elections administered in a free and fair way, and that includes free from influence from the chief executive." Lewis wouldn't say who'd appoint elections board members under a constitutional amendment, but said the language would make clear that "it is not an executive agency, it is a quasi-judicial agency that is not subject to the whims of one person."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article213072239.html

Tuesday News: Fight for 15 continues

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34 ARRESTED AS POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN RETURNS TO LEGISLATURE: Thirty-four protesters were arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building on Monday while fighting for higher minimum wages and unions in North Carolina. This is the fifth week of protests by the Poor People's Campaign, a coordinated effort across the country to push the plight of the poor to the top of the agenda in statehouses and the U.S. Congress. The Rev. William J. Barber II, the former head of the state NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday protest movement, co-founded the campaign. The protesters and rally speakers used statistics from the Institute for Policy Studies, the N.C. Housing Coalition, census reports, the state Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. "Quality Counts" report to highlight their concerns. Workers from several fast-food chains and other low-wage earners shared their stories to show how any unexpected illness or time away from work can upend a family budget.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212941824.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Going down the same crooked road again:

Not to mention, putting something "vague" in the NC Constitution is a recipe for a legal nightmare. But of course Republicans don't care about things like that, they thrive in an environment of uncertainty.

US Supreme Court rules in favor of Ohio voter purge

When Fascism creeps in using specious and thin arguments:

Respondents point out that Ohio’s Supplemental Process uses a person’s failure to vote twice: once as the trigger for sending return cards and again as one of the requirements for removal. Respondents conclude that this use of nonvoting is illegal.

We reject this argument because the Failure-to-Vote Clause, both as originally enacted in the NVRA and as amended by HAVA, simply forbids the use of nonvoting as the sole criterion for removing a registrant, and Ohio does not use it that way. Instead, as permitted by subsection (d), Ohio removes registrants only if they have failed to vote and have failed to respond to a notice.

The very idea that not (continually) exercising a Constitutional right is grounds for an erosion of that right is such an affront to democracy I don't even know where to start. Aside from the fact we get so much junk mail we end up accidentally throwing away important correspondence on a regular basis, just the process of them "chasing down" non-voters ticks me off. And when it's based on a totally manufactured and proven fake crisis (voter fraud), it's even more infuriating. But I'll let Stephen Breyer do the rest of the talking:

Monday News: Matthew is still with us

NC TOWN FLOODED BY HURRICANE STILL REELING FROM DAMAGE: Before the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, the population of this Columbus County town along the banks of the Lumber River was estimated at 900 to 950 people. After the flood, the number plummeted dramatically, and the town now counts about 600 residents. The flooding, which devastated much of Fair Bluff on the heels of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, significantly altered the landscape. As of late May, the rebuilding efforts had barely begun. Leonard said 111 residences were flooded out. Though he notes that "a lot" of federal and state grant money has been awarded, most of the property owners have not received the financial assistance to date. The town's water and sewer system was substantially impacted by the extensive flooding, Leonard said. One of the town's two wells remains out of commission. "We believe we were ground zero. We believe no municipality was hit harder than us," he said from Town Hall. "We think we were the most impacted community in the state."
https://www.wral.com/20-months-after-matthew-fair-bluff-like-a-ghost-town-/17613827/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS STILL LACK ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY: One of the report’s authors describe the study as “quasi-experimental.” Caveats included in the report read more like the warnings for prescription medication than an evaluation of a government program. The goal of those who ordered up the report had little to do with an objective evaluation. What they wanted was a campaign sound-bite. Inflated statements about the report that say it shows “positive, large and statistically significant” impact of vouchers spread across the Twittersphere and other social media avenues. Citizens rightly demand that public schools meet standards and demonstrate that student are – or are not – achieving. Does it make ANY sense that millions of tax dollars should go to private schools that don’t have to demonstrate that kids are learning – or even attending class? The latest report from N.C. State University tells us little about the voucher program and doesn’t bring us any closer to the transparency and accountability the program needs.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-n-c-private-school-voucher-millions-still-lack-accountability-transpa...

Frustrated Brent Jackson plays the Bible card during hog nuisance debate

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When you have no legitimate argument, it's time for, "What about Adam?"

Near the end of an hour-long debate on the Senate floor, Sen. Brent Jackson sounded exasperated. “I shouldn’t have to defend this dang bill,” he said, his voice cracking as if he were leading a tent revival. “There’s not a dang one of you all that has not eaten today or this week … Read the book of Genesis. Adam was a farmer.”

As the story goes, Adam did have a garden, and later a few livestock. But nowhere does Genesis say Adam raised 7,000 hogs in confinement barns a quarter-mile from his neighbors, built smelly, open-air waste lagoons the size of a football field and sprayed manure on that field, allowing the fecal bacteria to drift to and land on adjacent houses.

Pretty sure Adam didn't have *any* neighbors, much less ones who lived close enough to be bothered by his farming techniques. And of course we can't forget Cain slew Abel with what was very likely a farm tool, so if Adam's farming techniques were anything like his parenting skills, you know. Might have been some problems there. But blasphemy aside, this piece of hog manure legislation is what Brent Jackson is so self-righteously defending:

Saturday News: A racist legacy

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ATTORNEYS ARGUE CENTURY-OLD VOTING LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL: About 68 percent of the suspected felony voters the state board identified were African-American, while about 31 percent were white. The state passed a law in 1901 to prevent people with criminal convictions from voting . It was aimed at keeping African-Americans from casting ballots and has gone largely unchanged, Carella's court motion says. "This law continues to have the intended disparate impact on African American voters, which constitute the majority of those who could be convicted under such a law, a majority of those referred by the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement for prosecution, and the vast majority of those facing criminal charges in Alamance County." The 1901 law followed a voter intimidation campaign in the state in 1898 when armed men rode through African-American communities to discourage voting.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212824524.html

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