The NC GOP's continual war on early voting

Fewer voting locations = more difficulty casting a vote:

North Carolina voters are once again dealing with changes to how the state runs its elections. At a time when early voting is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, a new law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature will result in nearly 20 percent fewer places to cast votes before Election Day.

Democrats say the changes could disproportionately affect African-American voters but some local Republican officials also complain about the changes, arguing they impose too much top-down control on election administration and amount to an unfunded mandate from the state.

Make no mistake, their intent with this law was to place more burdens on county-level elections officials, forcing them to make hard choices. And true to form, the architects of this crisis had their talking points lined up so they could avoid taking responsibility for their deceitful tactics:

Wednesday News: Unconstitutional x2

gavelbanging.jpg

3-JUDGE PANEL RULES AGAINST REPUBLICAN CHANGES TO BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The government board that oversees elections in North Carolina is unconstitutional, a panel of judges ruled on Tuesday — just weeks before Election Day in the 2018 midterms, and only a day before the start of early voting throughout the state. However, the judges recognized the timing and ruled that the N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement can continue operating as-is, until after the elections are over and the votes are counted. The laws struck down as unconstitutional were put in place by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2017 and 2018 and limited the authority of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The laws were passed to replace previous legislation passed in December 2016, a month after Cooper won the election, that was also struck down as unconstitutional.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article220125290.html

Tuesday News: Now that's more like it

cashwheelbarrow.jpg

FLORENCE RECOVERY BILL PASSES, BRINGING FUNDING UP TO $850 MILLION: $65 million to draw down federal disaster recovery dollars that will go to victims of the storm, plus another $23 million for a homeowner repair and rehabilitation fund. $10 million to help develop new affordable housing. $65 million to draw down federal transportation funding. $60 million to help repair K-12 schools. $30 million to repair university campuses, particularly in Wilmington, Pembroke and Fayetteville, and $5 million for community colleges. $8.5 million to stabilize community college budgets and offset enrollment declines in the wake of the flooding. Scholarships of up to $1,250 per student per semester for university and community college students affected by the storm. $2 million for mosquito spraying programs. $20 million to help local governments make repairs and replace vehicles or other equipment.
https://www.wral.com/legislature-approving-800-million-in-florence-relief/17918141/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

One more thumb's-down before early voting begins:

As I've mentioned before, we have to teach them a lesson. Don't screw around with the Constitution for partisan political purposes.

Tillis' NRA ties are coming back to haunt him

tillisderp.jpg

That's why they call it "illegal" coordination:

In a joint letter to FEC Chair Caroline Hunter and Vice Chair Ellen Weintraub, the lawmakers — led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — asked the FEC to “open an investigation into a potential campaign finance violation” alleged by the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, in two complaints that are currently before the commission. The complaints claim that the NRA uses a company called Starboard Strategic Inc. to circumvent laws prohibiting election-related coordination between campaigns and outside groups who support them.

Prior to the creation of Starboard in 2013, the NRA used OnMessage as a vendor to place political ads. Beginning in the 2014 election cycle, the group shifted to Starboard, spending millions of dollars for ads supporting the campaigns of three Republican Senate candidates: Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Tom Cotton in Arkansas. All three campaigns paid OnMessage as a consultant, and all three won.

Keep in mind, this was going on at the same time Tillis (and drunken Dallas) were using Russian-backed Cambridge Analytica to conduct a personally-targeted and invasive propaganda scam to trick voters into voting for one of North Carolina's emptiest of suits. Since Tillis is not running in this cycle, it might seem like an issue that could wait. But they're pulling the same shenanigans in a couple of 2018 Senate contests:

Monday News: Voters beware

hisehogg.jpg

CAMPAIGN FINANCE HEARING FOR RALPH HISE POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER ELECTION: Hise has been under investigation by the agency since March 2017, when Greg Flynn, a government watchdog in Raleigh, filed complaints with the NCSBE alleging the senator pocketed roughly $10,000 from his campaign account. Earlier this month, the board announced it would consider the complaint against Hise at its meeting on Wednesday, October 17. Days later, an attorney for Hise requested the hearing be postponed because Hise’s mother—Shirley Hise, who served as his campaign treasurer during the period of time under investigation by the board—is hospitalized and undergoing treatment for cancer. “This past Tuesday, Ms. Hise was admitted to Mission Hospital—St. Joseph Campus in Asheville due to complications from her cancer treatments,” the letter from Hise’s attorney, Steven Long, said. “She is not able to walk and currently has serious health issues that will not allow her to come to Raleigh on October 17 to appear at the hearing.”
https://www.wbtv.com/2018/10/14/elections-chairman-ordered-hearing-candidate-complaint-before-invest...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

editorialprinting.jpg

DEMAND LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES PLEDGE TO END PARTISAN GERRYMANDERING: This is not about Republicans or Democrats. It is about elections reflecting the will of the voters. The current system is unfair. It needs to change. Unfortunately, the leadership of the illegally-constituted majority of the legislature refuses to budge. They have bullied, fought, obstructed and procrastinated to maintain the illegal districts. Bipartisan calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears. Efforts to advance proposals for the development of a non-partisan system of drawing congressional and legislative district lines have been blocked from any consideration. This coming election offers the best opportunity yet for voters to take direct action and elect state and federal representatives who will press to reform the way we draw congressional and legislative district maps.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-demand-legislative-candidates-pledge-to-end-partisan-gerrymandering/1...

Thanks Steve

We're a few weeks out from election day, and I want to take a minute before the frenzy kicks in ... to thank Steve Harrison for all he does to make BlueNC work. A steady, creative hand is what the site needs, and a steady, creative hand is what Steve brings.

Saturday News: It's never too late

silentsamrednecks.jpg

UNC CHANCELLOR CAROL FOLT ISSUES APOLOGY FOR SLAVERY: “As chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I offer our university’s deepest apology for the profound injustices of slavery, our full acknowledgment of the strength of enslaved peoples in the face of their suffering, and our respect and indebtedness to them,” Folt said. “And I reaffirm our university’s commitment to facing squarely and working to right the wrongs of history so they are never again inflicted.” She said the university must continue to reconcile its past with its present. The university also announced earlier this month that it will change the name on a plaque at Kenan Memorial Stadium to distance the university from William Rand Kenan Sr., who was involved in the Wilmington racial violence of 1898. The plaque on the stadium will be altered to honor William Rand Kenan Jr., Kenan Sr.’s son.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article219913965.html

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed