Who do you hate more: women, minorities, or homosexuals? #DebateQuestionsWeWantToHear— Liz Stewart (@LizStewartComed) August 6, 2015
How many black friends do you have that are not named Ben Carson or Herman Cain? #DebateQuestionsWeWantToHear— Dean Obeidallah (@Deanofcomedy) August 6, 2015
Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to take Eric Holder's place as U.S. Attorney General. The next stop for confirmation is a vote in front of the full Senate.
A few months ago, we sang Lynch's praises, as she comes from a long line of Baptist preachers (we won't hold that against her) committed to civil rights.
But guess who didn't have Lynch's back? One Thom Tillis.
In a statement, he explained his reasoning for not choosing to vote for Lynch.
I have immense respect for Loretta Lynch both personally and professionally. However, in light of the testimony at her confirmation hearing and her subsequent refusal to provide straightforward answers to written questions from myself and other Senators, it appears that she would represent little, if any, tangible policy or management difference from Attorney General Eric Holder. I cannot vote to confirm a nominee who will not make a firm and explicit commitment to reverse the partisan politicization that presently exists at the Department of Justice.
Don't you wish "partisan politicization" would cease to exist in general?
Tillis also pointed out that he didn't like the fact Lynch would probably continue with the "costly and frivolous lawsuit" the Justice Department has brought against North Carolina for that pesky, discriminatory voter ID law. The one he had a hand in.
I like N.C. Congressman G.K. Butterfield's response to Tillis' vote. To loosely paraphrase: Thom had a chance to get it right, for once, and vote for the country's first black female attorney general. But he was too worried about politics to do that.
It’s time for the latest edition in that highly entertaining and uber-competitive game show, “Which Charlotte-Mecklenburg Leadership Group Is The Most Dysfunctional?” And as we close out the week, with the School Board seemingly stuck in quicksand rather than making any real progress in naming a new superintendent, it’s clear the County Commission has surged — no, make that vaulted — into the lead. Here are a couple of this week’s developments that ought to underscore that assertion.
First, on Thursday, a graphic representative map of the county, created by local Democratic strategist Tom Chumley, began making the rounds, detailing, precinct-by-precinct, who led in the at-large voting. What’s most telling in this is that the current chairman of the Commission, Trevor Fuller, failed to lead in a single one of the nearly 200 polling places.
It's not a real fight until someone starts name-calling; the battle for who will chair the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners just got real.
On Monday, commissioner George Dunlap posted a statement on his Facebook page accusing fellow Democrat Pat Cotham of having a big mouth in an effort to discredit her as a potential chairperson. "She is a snitch on the board and can't be trusted. When she was chair, the media had more information about what was going on than the Commissioners, because she was there [sic] pipe line, and still is today."
Dunlap even went so far as to drop Bill James' name in his statement. Shock value? You know us liberals run screaming into the night at the mention of the conservative commissioner.
As Jerry Klein wrote for us earlier this month: "Mecklenburg County voters overwhelmingly chose Pat Cotham as their top choice as an At-Large member of the Board of County Commissioners. Ella Scarborough returned to public office and came in second, 18,000 votes behind, and Trevor Fuller came in third, trailing Cotham by 22,000 votes. Those are not small gaps — those are landslide results."
Traditionally, getting the most votes in the at-large election would have handed Cotham the gavel. Traditionally, anyway. Last year, Dunlap and others approved a policy for electing commission chair — majority rules, no matter what the voters want.
Our elected officials, ladies and gentlemen. I can see a lot getting accomplished next year.
Read Cotham's response and Dunlap's full statement at QcityMetro.com.
If there’s one unifying message to be gleaned from this week’s mid-term elections — something the voters were trying to say to politicians and other public officials across the board, coast to coast — it’s that we’re all really sick of what you’re doing “in our name.” We’re disgusted by “the process,” and if not the outright lies, then the half-truths, the spin and the way in which our “leaders” try to put “lipstick on a pig” to cover their own butts. And in that respect, there are three major developing stories relative to the residents of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area that we simply can’t ignore as the weekend approaches.
Let’s start by updating you on the situation concerning the “resignation” of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Heath Morrison. We were among the first to tell you, Monday morning, that something very strange was up concerning the guy once named National Superintendent of the Year. We had gotten word that he was about to be fired by the School Board last week over both what amounted to his insubordination in moving forward with programs that had not been approved by the Board, and in the abusive, disrespectful ways he had been treating staff members.
But the day passed with no one being willing to either confirm or deny those reports, let alone whether or not Morrison was leaving, until late in the day when we were told an absurd story about how he had resigned to care for his ailing mother. Really? On about 24 hours notice? Right before a critical vote involving a sales-tax referendum to increase teacher salaries was going before the voters? Did the School Board think we were all stupid?
Evidently so. It appears they think we’re all still dumb, because on Thursday, behind closed doors, the Board finalized a separation agreement with Morrison — without disclosing the terms of that agreement. And that’s where the lessons of this week’s elections have been ignored. Hiding behind bureaucratic gibberish about laws concerning an employee’s privacy rights, we’re now told they can’t tell us what really happened — even if it involved official misconduct on Morrison’s part.
Here’s the truth: Everyone’s covering their butts. And that’s not OK. But that’s just one story concerning the failures of our leaders this week.
As the dust began to settle in the early hours of Wednesday morning following what might kindly be called the most exhausting political season anyone can remember, a quick analysis of the vote totals for both the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County revealed at least three interesting sets of results that will keep the “pundit” class busy pontificating for some time to come. Let’s take a quick look at those items, and try to make some sense out of what kind of message area voters were trying to send.
Although not necessarily a new phenomenon, overall vote totals make it clear that Charlotte’s voters are now overwhelmingly Democrats. Moreover, they are now almost completely at odds, as far as their choices are concerned, with those who live in the county, not to mention the rest of the state. While most North Carolinians were busy pushing buttons choosing Republicans over Democrats where they were running against each other at virtually every level on the ballot, Charlotte’s continuing change in demographics has led to Democrats dominating virtually across the board. This is a continuation of what’s been happening here for decades — only more so. It’s a function of Charlotte continuing to attract people from around the country, possibly from more “liberal-leaning” states, but it’s also the case that Charlotte itself, inside the city limits, is becoming increasingly concentrated as far as the African-American population is concerned, and, as we all know, that particular demographic grouping tends to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates.
What’s important about this — what’s significant in terms of how our lives might be affected — is that Charlotte’s residents will need to take this factor into account more and more as issues involving the city’s needs have to go before the General Assembly in Raleigh. If Charlotte’s elected leaders and/or representatives are all Democrats, that could have, at times, an adverse effect on things like funding requests for new roads, especially if those who would make those decisions are of the opposing party. Like it or not, now more than ever, Charlotte is virtually an island unto itself in voting overwhelmingly Democratic.
If you're one of those registered to vote inside Charlotte’s city limits who hasn’t taken advantage of the early voting period, and so, to whom a last-minute appeal might make a difference, there are more than a few people who work with the City Council and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce who want to get your attention long enough to urge you to vote in favor of the three Bond proposals on the ballot.
And no — they’re not talking about the issue that stirred up a lot of controversy over the past few months: the proposal to raise the local sales-tax a quarter-cent to increase salaries for local teachers and fund some other budgetary needs, like area arts groups. In fact, that’s part of the problem they’re most worried about. That, if you’re aware at all that there are ballot measures to be considered, you’ll think it’s that one.
One of the most contentious elements in North Carolina’s mid-term elections this year has been a down-and-dirty fight concerning the rules by which the state’s voters register and cast their votes. It's a battle that has involved court fights up to and including the nation’s Attorney General and Justice Department, and the Supreme Court. Though the voter registration period ended earlier this month, and early voting began last week in anticipation of next Tuesday’s Election Day, it's a battle that has not yet fully resolved. (The Justice Department has sued the state, and that lawsuit is pending.) Depending on whose argument and/or allegation you most believe, either the state’s Republicans in charge of the General Assembly last year appropriately passed measures to ensure that no electoral fraud could occur, or they had systematically changed the rules to minimize the numbers of likely Democratic voters who would — or could — cast their votes.
In fact, though Republicans across the country have made it a major priority in their agendas as they took control of state legislatures over the past few years, there is virtually no documented evidence of any such widespread voter fraud. Studies have shown that there are only a few handfuls of cases nationally where criminal charges have been brought against people who attempted to cast illegal votes. In contrast, the rules that have been put in place supposedly to deal with this “fraud” have been shown to discourage voters who would most likely vote Democratic: African Americans and other minorities, younger voters and senior citizens.
But if the results of the first four days of early voting in North Carolina tell us anything about the direction the wind is blowing, those measures might have backfired, as far as the Republicans are concerned.
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