Tuesday News: It's the principle of the thing

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NC SENATE PASSES NEW MAP, WITH SOME DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION: Raleigh Sen. Dan Blue, the top Democrat, vouched for the maps as well as Hise. Blue, a former N.C. Speaker of the House, has been involved in numerous redistricting efforts in past decades in North Carolina and was in the thick of this one as well. “I think it was a remarkable experience, especially when you consider the current political climate,” he said. Of the state Senate’s 50 members, 21 are Democrats. Most followed Blue’s lead and joined their Republican colleagues to support the new maps. But eight voted against the maps. A common refrain from the opponents was that they simply don’t think politicians should be able to draw their own maps in the first place. “These are the fairest maps, and this was the fairest process, in North Carolina in my lifetime,” Charlotte Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson said. Still, Jackson said he was voting against the maps because “independent redistricting would look just like the process we just went through, except it wouldn’t be politicians doing it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235159817.html

David Lewis can't seem to get his story straight

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Lying is such a complicated business, isn't it?

Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, and Minority leader, said he had been informed by Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, that there would be no votes taken in Wednesday’s morning session. Following Tuesday’s House floor session, Lewis texted a WRAL reporter “no votes 8:30” when asked about Wednesday’s session agenda.

“I know that (Rep Jackson’s) trust in me has been shaken, but I did not have the authority to conduct no votes,” Lewis said during Wednesday afternoon’s floor session when all members at the legislature were present.

If you'll recall, Lewis started out claiming that he never told Jackson "no votes at 8:30," and then he changed it to "no mini-budget votes will be taken." But now it's "I did not have the authority." The truth is, he was a critical element in a plot to deceive Democratic lawmakers, whether he was a "knowing" element or not. And if you're wondering why Lewis would allow himself to take so much flak over this issue: He is not an attorney. But Tim Moore is, and subject to potential actions by the NC Bar Association. And the ethical implications of this stunt are wide-ranging:

Monday News: Maps!

NC SENATE AND HOUSE WILL HEAR PUBLIC COMMENTS TODAY ABOUT REDISTRICTING: New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline. The Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment. Each map must pass both chambers by Wednesday to meet a directive from a three-judge panel that declared dozens of districts unconstitutional because of excessive partisanship in current lines favoring Republicans. The changes originate from the work of an expert witness for plaintiffs who sued over the maps. Legislators adjusted them to prevent pairs of incumbents from having to run against each other in 2020.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-legislature-on-track-to-ok-new-maps-this-week/18637736/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC REPUBLICANS' SHAMELESS THEFT OF DEMOCRACY: The verdict is now plain. North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders — not actually leaders, but connivers — are beyond shame. In a stunning display of contempt for democracy, House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, called a surprise vote to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget just after a session opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers and the media had been told by Republican leaders that there would be no vote in the morning. Most Democrats were absent. Enough Republicans, aware of the secret plan, were there. When Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget, the handful of Democrats on hand objected strenuously. “This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” said Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article234966387.html

Saturday News: They just can't be trusted

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NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS ANOTHER GERRYMANDERED MAP: There were 14 in the N.C. House, and most of the solutions that legislators came up with throughout the past few days were uncontroversial. However there is one area of southeastern North Carolina, near the South Carolina border, where Democrats think Republicans drew with political purposes in mind, despite a court order telling them not to. “You don’t have to be very astute to know what we are doing in this bill is partisan gerrymandering in the benefit of a member,” said Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen on Friday before voting against the maps. A handful of other Democrats also objected to the new maps for Fayetteville, saying this process had taken a bad gerrymander and unintentionally made it worse. Democrat Rep. Billy Richardson said he hadn’t looked at any political data, but he knows the area well enough to believe the new maps are an even worse gerrymander than they were when the court struck them down.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235070982.html

Roy Zimmerman’s RiZe Up

Roy Zimmerman RiZe Up

Roy Zimmerman’s signature blend of heart and hilarity has never been more necessary. RiZe Up is ninety minutes of Roy Zimmerman’s original songs, a funny and forceful affirmation of Peace and Social Justice. It’s laughter and encouragement for progressive-minded people who need a lot of both.

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