Sunday, June 04, 2017

Our Friends In North Carolina Need Our Prayers-- And Our Help

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Jenny Marshall is the progressive activist and public school teacher in North Carolina running for the seat occupied by GOP crackpot Virginia Foxx. In a discussion of state politics regarding gerrymandering and voter suppression, she told us that "'But they hit me first' is a phrase every parent has heard at some point in time. The go to phrase meant to absolve the aggressor from any repercussions echoes throughout the North Carolina General Assembly. They would be somewhat justified because the Democrats had played political games when they held the power too. What often gets lost in this struggle are the abuses levied against the voters of this state. In an attempt to pay political payback the Republicans have stripped voting rights, limited access to voting locations and gerrymandered the districts to an extreme. It is undemocratic and goes against everything America stands for. I believe it is time for partisan politics be put aside and fair maps drawn. It is time for the states to open their primaries, make registration processes easier and expand access to the ballot box. People are yearning for a candidate that will bring a message that they and their family’s safety and prosperity matter. That is why I believe Bernie Sanders did so well in the 5th district. In the 10 rural counties that make up the majority of the 5th, Bernie won 55% of the vote. The progressive people-centered message resonated not only with them, but also with the people in the urban city center of Forsyth County where we had focused targeted outreach efforts. It was the message of income inequality, single payer healthcare, tuition free colleges and universities, etc. that resonated with people. It continues to resonate as I travel across the district meeting people. They want better paying jobs, affordable healthcare, social security and Medicare strengthened. Most of all they want someone like me who is willing to fight to make their lives better."

Goal ThermometerThis week, Blue America wants to make a different kind of case for our two progressive congressional candidates in North Carolina, Jenny Marshall and Matt Coffay-- who's up against Freedom Caucus headman Mark Meadows. Normally we'd tell you about how extreme Foxx and Meadows are (and they sure are-- two of the very worst in the whole Congress) and how awesome Jenny and Matt are (also a very accurate assessment). But today we want to make a special plea for the great state of North Carolina in a more general way, in the hope that it will still inspire you to want to help Jenny's and Matt's campaigns (which you can do by tapping the thermometer on the right).

Our sisters and brothers in North Carolina are in deep trouble. As Michael Wines explained in the NY Times last week, the GOP has thrown away the rule book and is undermining democracy more overtly than any state in America ever has. The Supreme Court has ruled twice last month that the state's election laws are overtly racist and unconstitutional. The state's Republican leaders don't care what the Supreme Court says and "since November, when Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, reclaimed the governor’s office from the incumbent Republican, Pat McCrory, Republicans have redoubled their efforts to keep the levers of state government and state courts in their control."

The state Republican Party is not concerned with the rule of law-- other than their own perverted and unconstitutional laws. “What we’re seeing in North Carolina is an effort at political entrenchment that is unparalleled,” said Allison Riggs, a senior staff lawyer at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a Durham advocacy group that sued Republican leaders over the election law. “It requires a complete disregard for the will of the voters and political participation, and a disregard for the independence of the judiciary.”
A special session in December stripped the governor of most power to appoint state employees and university trustees, choose a cabinet without legislative approval and install majorities on state and local election boards. The latter move was stayed, pending a trial.

Now the legislators are taking aim at the state judicial system. In December, after voters elected a Democratic majority to the nominally nonpartisan State Supreme Court, the legislature expanded the jurisdiction of the Republican-led Court of Appeals and made the legal path toward other Supreme Court hearings more tortuous. Last month, Republicans voted to shrink the Court of Appeals by barring replacement of the next three retiring judges, denying Mr. Cooper a chance to nominate successors.
Foxx's and Meadows' districts are very gerrymandered and pretty red, respectively with PVIs of R+11 and R+13. Trump took 57.4% in Foxx's district and 63.2% in Meadows' district. But that had more to do with Hillary than with Republicanism. Bernie beat Hillary in Meadows' district and in every part of Foxx's district except Winston-Salem. These areas are looking for an authentic solution to the problems of working families.

Matt Coffay told us that "Last December, the Electoral Integrity Project-- which has monitored and scored elections in 153 countries-- ranked North Carolina's election integrity score at 58 out of 100. This places us alongside Cuba, Indonesia, and Sierra Leone. But when it comes to our voting districts, we received a 7/100 score. As the Charlotte News & Observer reported, 'North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.' The worst in the world. That's where North Carolina stands."
I have hope that the cases currently before the Supreme court-- from both Wisconsin and North Carolina-- alleging unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering will be decided in such a way as to force a fair redrawing of our state's districts. But we have to keep talking about this issue, and keep fighting. When I'm elected to Congress, I intend to be a vocal critic of gerrymandering. Just like our broken campaign finance system, it dramatically endangers our democracy."


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5 Comments:

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. A prayer:

Please save Wisconsin and North Carolina from the spawn of The John Birch Society, and restore the concept of evil crackpot to where it rightly should be applied. We, here on Earth, beseech you.

ekstase

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry ekstase, no gawd to hear you.

I have difficulty mustering any sympathy for fucking north (or south) Carolinians. If those idiotdumbfucktards had the sense of a piece of coal, they'd have never elected the shitbirds who are ass raping them all. But they don't. It's not like they are all born retarded. An awful lot of their stupidity is a result of their own tenacious desire to be morons and their pious rejection of all forms of enlightenment.

Fuck them. The good ones can move to CA where at least they might get health care. I doubt there are that many.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there some way to get rid of the moron who comments with total ignorance about dumbfucktards, etc., etc., etc.? Please spare us from your drivel!

 
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At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone prays to an imaginary fairy for magical deliverance.

someone else observes that stupid people electing bad reps is never a good idea.

who IS the moron here?

 

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