Archive for NC Governor

Screenshot 2013-08-22 at 11.01.11 PM

Under The Dome:

Moments after Gov. Pat McCrory left the stage, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina’s new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”
In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.

“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”

Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new sends the wrong message to minority voters. “What it really says to the minority voters is … ‘We really are sort-of punishing you,'” he said.

If Republicans in the state legislature were any more transparent, they’d be invisible. The arguments for all the radical changes to voting laws in North Carolina are that obvious nonsense. Maybe they are just skilled liars. Maybe they are just seriously deluded. Or maybe they have been consuming a steady diet of their own BS for so long — fed to them by think tanks, Fox News, talk radio and social media — that they actually believe their own BS.

The push to require identity cards before one can vote in North Carolina should reach a head today in the legislature. The bill itself (House Bill 589, aka VIVA) is a sight to behold. And it will likely soon end up on the desk of the man BlueNC refers to as Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory.

But they want to erect obstacles to voting, hands over their hearts, they do. Badly. So badly they’re prepared to sacrifice their own voters to hurt Democrats, as you can read here. The NCGOP is playing a calculating game of percentages that treats their own supporters as expendables, and any harm to their own foot soldiers’ ability to vote acceptable losses. Because they figure Democrats will get it worse.

The GOP will sacrifice their own to hold onto power. Figuratively, Republican leaders are willing to shoot their own troops to hit Democrats standing behind them. All good, if you’re the leader. But what if you’re not?


NCGA by the Numbers

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Public Policy Polling:

For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he’s doing to 49% who disapprove. That’s down a net 15 points from June when he was at a 45/39 spread.
Unhappiness over the abortion bill seems to be driving a lot of the increased unhappiness with the Republicans in state government this month. Only 34% of voters support the proposal to 47% who are opposed.
55% of voters are unhappy with the legislation that resulted in 70,000 North Carolinians losing their unemployment benefits earlier this month to only 29% who are supportive of it.
76% of voters think that companies engaged in fracking in North Carolina should have to disclose all the chemicals they inject into the ground with only 13% opposed.
Democrats now lead the generic legislative ballot 51/42, the largest lead we’ve ever found for them since we started tracking this statistic.
Voters are so unhappy with the legislature that the protesters are coming out more popular. 47% have a favorable opinion of the folks who have been getting arrested protesting the General Assembly’s actions to 40% with an unfavorable opinion and by a 47/41 margin voters say they have a higher opinion of the protestors than they do of the General Assembly. Those numbers may be a reflection of the sentiment North Carolinians hold by a 46/36 margin that the General Assembly is causing North Carolina ‘national embarrassment.’

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As Moral Monday protests continue, the unfavorable national media attention on North Carolina intensified with a prominent editorial in the New York Times slamming the “demolition derby” underway in the state legislature:

In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.

“Grotesque,” the Times calls the damage being wrought on years of state progress. Political analyst Michael Bitzer observed, “If they can’t end this issue, particularly on the abortion issue, fairly soon and fairly quick, it may have a lasting impact on companies and people looking at North Carolina.”

The Times concludes:

North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.

Gives new meaning to Shakespeare’s “a plague on both your houses.”

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Where’s NC’s Healthcare Marketplace, Pat?

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Not Born Yesterday

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The Washington Post takes North Carolina Republican legislators to the woodshed over last week’s amendments that created the state Senate’s Sharia/abortion bill:

In pretending to promote safety, the actual accomplishment of these amendments would be to place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Fewer clinics means less access to licensed, well-equipped providers. Where is the safety in that? These restrictions are disingenuous attempts to infringe on a woman’s ability to make constitutionally protected decisions in consultation with her doctor.

No kidding. We’ve spent days here in NC wondering how these people can sleep or look themselves in the mirror after telling the women of North Carolina that these measures are being enacted for their own protection, and do it with solemn faces and the Savior watching.

The Post notes objections about legislative process by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R). But it remains to be seen whether McCrory will stand by a campaign pledge not to sign legislation including new restrictions on abortion access such as those in Texas and Ohio. The Post continues:

In fact, disrespect for process is a disturbing commonality in many of these proposed restrictions and further evidence of their true intent. Any law that will limit women’s access to abortion and to much other health care deserves a public hearing. Honesty about the true motivation of these laws would be welcome, too.

As North Carolina tries to nail down a budget, it’s honesty more than money that is in short supply in Raleigh.

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It seems that NC state Sen. Thom Goolsby isn’t the only one lashing out against the NAACP-led Moral Mondays protests in Raleigh against the legislature’s far-right tilt. The Institute for Southern Studies reports:

The John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, N.C., has launched a database targeting people who’ve been arrested as part of the Moral Monday nonviolent protests at the state legislature.

When you hear them squeal, you know you’ve hit a soft spot. Civitas is inviting retaliation against protestors, practically inviting extra scrutiny of their voting histories from the Voter Integrity Project in NC. The database includes “each protester’s name, city and county of residence, sex, race, age, arrest date, occupation, employer (and whether it’s in the public, private or nonprofit sector), interest group affiliations, and mugshot.” Writing for Facing South, Sue Sturgis draws a parallel with events of half a century ago.
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“Pope-funded Elections” — Yes

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Public-funded Elections — No

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Friday Open Thread

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N&O has a surprise twist in a “Ya ain’t from around here ya?” letter:

Out with ‘outsiders’

Rarely do I agree with Gov. Pat McCrory, but his recent statement blaming “outsiders” for disrupting North Carolina progress is spot on.

Thom Tillis from Jacksonville, Fla., Phil Berger from New Rochelle, N.Y., and McCrory from Columbus, Ohio, have done all they can to eliminate the progress North Carolina made with the help of natives Sam Ervin (Morganton), Terry Sanford (Laurinburg) and Hugh Shelton (Tarboro).

Let’s do what we can to rid ourselves of these disruptive outsiders.

Lynnie Sullivan, Holly Springs


Paradise Lost and Unfounded

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Among the standard-issue slurs hurled by the right is that liberals engage in social engineering. That is, liberals want o use government to impose an impractical, unrealistic and costly utopian vision of society on down-to earth, sensible conservatives.

But in North Carolina, it’s conservatives pursuing a libertarian utopia doing the engineering. And since libertarians couldn’t get North Carolina to vote for a government that would do it, they had to buy one. Enter Art Pope, Gov. Pat McCrory’s new budget director.

Pope is, for all intents and purposes, North Carolina’s third, lesser known, Koch brother. In fact, he’s attended the Koch Brothers’ planning summits and considers himself their close ally.

In 2010, Pope’s organizations spent $2.2 million on 22 state legislature races, and won 18 of them. In fact, outside groups backed by Pope accounted for 75 percent of independent spending in those races. In 2012, Pope and his affiliated groups again spent more than $2 million on the election, leading to a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, and putting McCrory in the governor’s mansion.

If it feels as if you’re no longer in Kansas, maybe it’s because you’re in Art Pope’s North Carolina. Welcome to Oz. (Mind the flying monkeys.)

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