Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


STAND WITH NC OR STAY IN BED WITH THE NRA? The National Rifle Association has spent $11.6 million in North Carolina congressional elections – almost all of it on Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. That’s around $682,000 for each of the dead in Parkland, Florida. It is $79,710 for each of the 138 school house dead nationwide since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The NRA’s investment has paid off — to the benefit of gun manufacturers. Sales of non-essential military-style assault weapons skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the lavish campaign spending effectively thwarted any reasonable, constitutional laws to keep these inappropriate and dangerous weapons away from the public. This is not about doing away with the 2nd Amendment or in any way limiting anyone’s right to hunt. It is about common sense. It is about representing the voters of the state – a majority of whom support a ban on assault weapons.

Saturday News: "Help! I'm being oppressed!"

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NC GOP SPURS DALLAS TO WAIL ABOUT "POLICE POWERS": The North Carolina Democratic Party asked Attorney General Josh Stein’s office to investigate a recorded call state Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse made to registered Republicans seeking candidates for office. The attorney general’s consumer division sent the state GOP a letter Wednesday asking for a response to the complaint and proposed resolution. Stein and the Democratic Party are trying to intimidate Republicans, Woodhouse said. They “attempted to use the full weight and police powers of the North Carolina Department of Justice to intimidate its rival political party, the Republicans, from making calls to voters and asking them to run for office,” Woodhouse said. Laura Brewer, Stein’s spokeswoman, said Woodhouse is overreacting. “There is no merit to any of these hysterical claims,” she said in an email.

Trial over Judicial Primary cancellation will begin in June

Which ironically is just 11 days before the postponed Judicial filing period begins:

A trial over the legality of a North Carolina law canceling primary elections this year for state appellate court judgeships is scheduled for late spring.

During a hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Peake set a June 7 trial date and other filing and evidence deadlines.

Nine days ago I penned an Op-Ed for submission to a regional newspaper, but recent (unfortunate) developments at that publication have made that submission moot. But these words need to be published, and I encourage you to take an extra few minutes to consider the following:

Friday News: Ineffective and incompetent


MOORE SAYS NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DEBATE GUNS, CAN'T WE LOCK THE SCHOOL DOORS? “Folks want to try to drag the gun debate into it,” Moore said in the television interview. “Look, that’s a discussion for another time.” The state Democratic Party condemned Moore for rejecting a debate about guns. “Speaker Moore’s tone-deaf comments are shocking and infuriating,” NC Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said in a statement. “We have a gun epidemic in this country that nearly every American wants to seriously address, yet one of the most powerful legislators in our state is shutting the door on common sense reforms just days after the Parkland shooting.” Moore told journalists Thursday he wanted to focus on solutions that can win support from both sides. "We can agree, for example, that we need to enhance the security of the schools. If somebody shouldn’t be in the school, by golly they ought to not be able to get in. Is there a way that doors can lock better?”

This lawsuit challenging 2016 "Special Session" may be the most important of all


Because if you can fix the process, the product should also improve:

The laws approved by the GOP-controlled General Assembly during that three-day session tilted the balance of power toward the legislative branch and away from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper just two weeks before he was sworn in. The approved legislation led to separate lawsuits by Cooper, who had just narrowly defeated GOP Gov. Pat McCrory. The lawsuit before the judges Wednesday takes a different approach by focusing on the legislative process that created the laws.

The session began the same day a separate "extra" session on Hurricane Matthew relief called by McCrory ended. The plaintiffs said GOP legislators deliberately hid their intentions by giving just two hours' notice before starting the session, even though requests seeking signatures necessary from House and Senate members to call the session were dated a day or two earlier.

In may not be applicable to use in the lawsuit, but an argument could be made the power-grab was the tail that wagged the hurricane relief dog. If you'll recall, that Hurricane Matthew Special Session was delayed for a few weeks, weeks where that relief was desperately needed. But those were also weeks the GOP may have needed to plan how to take advantage of that opportunity to reconvene. Whatever the case, making radical changes to the balance of powers in state government *should* require literally months of study and debate. Those who would circumvent that need to be labeled as what they are: Enemies of democracy. This guy may have said it better:

What will Tim Moore say next?

Gun fetishists like Moore can't wait to see every school turned into OK Corral. Arming teachers is just the first step. It won't be long before some genius in Raleigh says, "Let's arm kids, too." After all, if you're old enough to own a gun, why shouldn't you be able to carry it wherever you want?

Unless, of course, you want to carry your gun into the General Assembly. That's illegal. You see, the pro-gun cowards in Raleigh want everyone to have the freedom to be killed except for themselves. What a shame.

Thursday News: Because the Constitution


GOP FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER FOUR WAKE COUNTY DISTRICTS: Attorneys for the state NAACP, League of Women Voters, Democracy North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and four named voters want the courts to change four Wake County districts back to what they looked like in 2011. That was before the GOP majority was forced to redraw the state's House and Senate election maps in a federal case brought by much the same legal team and which found racial gerrymanders in a number of districts statewide. The plaintiffs' lawyers in that case argued repeatedly that Republican legislators violated the North Carolina Constitution in that redraw because they changed district lines they didn't have to. Absent a court order, the state constitution forbids redrawing districts more than once a decade, a process undertaken after the U.S. census produces new population numbers. Attorneys argued Republican leaders didn't have to redraw the four Wake County House districts targeted in this latest case to address the previous racial gerrymander. Those four districts are 36, 37, 40 and 41.


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