Archive for NC Senate race


Observer to Thom Tillis: Resign

Posted by: | Comments (2)

The Charlotte Observer late Thursday called for NC House Speaker Thom Tillis to resign. Tillis is too busy raising money to run for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Kay Hagan to attend to state business, the Observer believes. He’s been AWOL for several days when dozens of bills were being raced through the legislature.

Besides missing important House business, Tillis’ moonlighting has the look of the pay-to-play politics that Republicans decried among Democrats for so long. A superPAC for Tillis raised $70,000 from George A. Sywassink, R. Doyle Parrish and W.G. Champion Mitchell, newly released records show. Tillis’ House named all three to the UNC Board of Governors recently, including Sywassink after declaring there had been a vote-tallying error the first time around.

State law bars legislators from raising money from lobbyists during the legislative session, but the ban doesn’t apply to federal candidates like Tillis. So he can attend a fundraiser hosted by Royce Everette, a major consumer finance lender, days after the legislature approved a bill raising interest rates and fees for Everette’s industry.

Read More→

In an editorial this morning, the Greenville, NC “Reflector” came out strongly in support of Asheville’s fight to retain local control over its drinking water.

As you may recall, language was added to H94, an environmental bill sponsored by Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, language intended (apparently) to strengthen the state’s legal case in its lawsuit with Asheville. The change put Greenville’s water system directly in the crosshairs of Rep. Tim Moffitt’s water grab. As Barry Summers recounted last week, in the NC Senate, Greenville was not amused:

The entire leadership of the town of Greenville, NC was recognized in the gallery, by the Senator that represents them. They are clearly there to give the Senate the stinkeye over the possibility that their water system may get grabbed up in Rep. Moffitt/McGrady/Ramsey’s theft of Asheville’s water.

Greenville got at least a temporary reprieve when the language was stripped.

But the Reflector’s editors, at least, have not forgotten who put a target on their backs or why. In its stinging editorial, Greenville’s newspaper spoke out against the seizure of Asheville’s municipal assets, calling the state’s actions “reckless trampling on municipal authority” and a “worrisome precedent” that could come back to bite Greenville again. The paper urged citizens to not sit by idle and pretend the situation has returned to normal.

No, something is rotten in Raleigh when lawmakers overreach their authority and claim municipal resources for the state without recompense. Just as Greenville should be comfortable in its control over its water supplies so too should other communities. The overreach exhibited in this case cannot be allowed to stand, and this city should be a vocal proponent of Asheville as it continues this fight.


Not Born Yesterday

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

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.


War? What War? Oh! That One.

Posted by: | Comments (17)

The day after, Rachel Maddow reports:


Class Assignment

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

Vote suppression continues. Senate Bill 428, “An ACT to reform North Carolina’s voting process,” repeals one-stop voting during primary and general elections and cuts back early voting by a week.

I’m a little swamped, so your assignment, Hooligans:

By what percent did early voting participation change among registered Republican voters from 2008 to 2012 (general elections only)? Compare to change among registered Democrats during the same period.

By what percent did same-day registration change among voters registering Republican from 2008 to 2012 (general elections only)? Compare to change among registered Democrats during the same period.

Extra credit: Provide links and include raw numbers to support your answers.


The Day After

Posted by: | Comments (23)

What a night. Congratulations to all of the winners. I’m looking forward to working with you. It takes a lot to stand for election, so great respect to those who ran whether they won or not.

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his re-election. He won Buncombe County by over 25,000 votes though we weren’t enough to hold North Carolina for him. That huge Buncombe County Democratic advantage didn’t show up in our local races due, in no small part, to recent redistricting that boxed Buncombe’s Democrats.

Read More→


Today’s the Day

Posted by: | Comments (36)

I’ll be outside a voting precinct today advocating for the candidates I support. Over 40% of Buncombe County’s eligible voters already cast a ballot during early voting. The weather today is cool to cold and a threat of rain all day. Americans for Prosperity (a.k.a. Koch Bros.) are paying people to work the polls, even here in Buncombe. Democrats, meanwhile, have volunteers out helping.

If you have any time today, help out at your polling place. An hour or two can make an enormous difference. Here’s a handy list of Democratic candidates if you need it. It tends to be the case that a lot of Election Day voters come in not necessarily knowing about downticket races like Register of Deeds, County Commission, or the referendum. That’s where your presence makes a big, big difference.

Whether or not you work a poll, here are some other things you can do today to help:

1) Email all of your contacts urging them to vote.
2) Text all of your contacts urging them to vote.
3) Call the slackers in your life and urge them to vote.
4) Offer rides to the polls to people who need them.
5) If you’re using social media like Facebook and Twitter, be sure to link people to the above list of candidates.

It’s gonna be a nail biter, folks. No matter what happens, we’ll get through it together.


Off The Blog, On The Street

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

Hi, all. With early voting in high gear, it’s vital that folks get off their computers and down to their early voting sites. Our Buncombe County Democratic Party is doing a great job staffing the polls, but there are a few sites that still need some support. Email scrutiny hooligans AT yahoo . com if you can offer some noontime or afternoon hours to help do voter education!


2012 Democratic Candidates

Posted by: | Comments (1)

You probably know just who to vote for in the Presidential race and the Congressional race. Maybe you even have your legislators and County Commissioners figured out. How many of you have the County School Board or statewide judicial races sussed? To help you sort out who’s who, the Buncombe County Democratic Party has put together a handy list of Democratic candidates. Use it if you want it, leave it if you don’t!

Read More→


Let’s Just Say It

Posted by: | Comments (2)

I recommend reading this entire article, though you’ll run the risk of having some area Republicans and equivalency fetishists gnash their teeth when you share it with them.

Thomas E. Mann is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This essay is adapted from their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” which will be available Tuesday.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

Read More→