Republican war on women

NC Senate needs to act quickly on sexual assault bill

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There is simply no excuse for this dereliction of duty:

House Bill 393 passed the state House of Representatives without dissent in April, receiving strong bipartisan support. The measure would change state law to override the decade-old legal precedent on sex with incapacitated victims. The bill would also change the definition of a child’s caregiver and make it illegal to tamper with someone’s drink even if another crime does not occur afterward.

So far, there’s simply been no action in the Senate on HB 393, not even a committee hearing.

They've had time to authorize gambling on horse races, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to expand the Board that oversees massage therapists, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to address the speed limit in an exclusive golfing community, but not sexual assault victims. You get the picture, and it's an ugly picture at that. Fix it.

GOP war on women: Cyberstalker Cody Henson gets 3rd continuance

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The Republican leadership's lust for power has no shame:

Henson had a first court appearance on the Class 2 misdemeanor charge on March 28, when his hearing was set for May 2. On May 2, Henson received his first continuance to June 26. On June 26, the case was continued a second time to Tuesday, when it was continued a third time to July 23.

Interviewed outside the Transylvania County courthouse Tuesday by Carolina Public Press, the lawmaker’s attorney, J. Michael Edney, attributed the delay to legislative necessity. “They needed him in Raleigh,” said Edney, who is also a county commissioner in Henderson County.

Compare and contrast: One lawmaker who is suffering from cancer sets aside her pain and weakness to do her duty, while another uses duty as an excuse to postpone punishment over his abusive treatment of his former spouse. That's a stark enough comparison on its own, but consider this: The GOP leadership should have already forced Henson's resignation, but instead, they are reinforcing his bad behavior by "needing him" to not only show up, but to do so on days when his victim was counting on justice to give her some peace of mind. Peace of mind that may not be forthcoming:

The State of Rape: Lack of funding and delay tactics plague victims

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A system that seems to favor the predators:

“Cases don’t get better with time; they often get worse,” Pearce said. “If they can delay it and let it go on for longer, it’s less likely the evidence will be fresh. You are hoping the victim will grow tired of it.” With every delay in their case, victims can get discouraged. People move. Memories fade.

“(These crimes) are done in the dark, they are done in secret and done in private,” Pearce said. “Oftentimes that victim is the only primary witness.”

Keep in mind, in most of these cases, the accused rapist is out on bond pending the trial. In other words, free to assault other women, and free to harass their accuser. And of course there are "friends" of the accused who are out there harassing the victim, in an effort to get her to drop the charges. She might as well be in prison (or house arrest) herself, which often leads to the "People move" observation above. It's a shameful and untenable situation, and lawmakers who set budgets need to be called to task:

Representative Sydney Batch deserves a medal

And Tim Moore deserves a swift kick in the pants:

Batch underwent a mastectomy in early May after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She had planned to take at least three weeks off to recover, but was forced to come back to work early after she and other Democrats realized their GOP colleagues were trying to capitalize on her absence in order to pass this bill. “Moore is well aware of what’s happening with me and that I’m dealing with ongoing treatment,” she added. “I have not asked for a lot.”

Clemmons and Jackson, who is minority leader of the state House, said Batch, a working mother of two, was in pain and visibly shaking when she showed up for the last few House sessions. Clemmons has driven Batch to and from sessions since she’s still too weak to drive herself.

I hesitate to discuss the details (which I don't know), but odds are it's not just the surgery she's dealing with. There's Chemo and radiation to consider, both of which can be hell to deal with. Make no mistake, the scheduling and then postponing of this override vote is an attempt to wear her down physically, and Tim Moore should be ashamed of himself:

Berger & Moore testify in racial and gender bias lawsuit

Whitewashing your staff can be a costly venture:

House Speaker Tim Moore answered questions on Tuesday in a Wake County courtroom from lawyers for ex-Fiscal Research Division director Marilyn Chism and for the state. Senate leader Phil Berger testified on Monday.

Chism is a black woman who alleges she was forced out of the job after two years in 2011. Chism, who worked for the General Assembly for 13 years, contends she was pushed out by white men who ran the House and Senate, even as white men in other legislative divisions kept their leadership positions. She wants the federal judge hearing the case to declare gender or racial bias occurred and to award her monetary damages.

Republicans really don't have a leg to stand on here. They fired her either because she was a black woman, or because her research developed estimates that laws they wanted to pass were too costly to justify. Think about it. Republicans whined for years (decades?) that Democrats were not fiscally cautious enough, and ended up overspending because they failed to properly project costs. But one of the first things they do after taking over the NCGA is fire somebody for doing just that:

Asshole of the Week: Tom Fetzer

When misogyny is so ingrained you don't even realize it:

“Let me just cut to the chase young ladies, there are only two things in this world you should borrow money for. Your continuing education and a house. Pay cash for everything else because it’s a depreciating asset and you will end up owing more than it is worth. And that is the road to ruin. Those are the parents clapping. Young men, I will add one thing to the list for which you may borrow money. A diamond ring. Because it will appreciate, and so will she.”

Young ladies? Wait, before I talk about that: Once those "young men" bestow a diamond ring on the finger of their prospective soul-mate, that rock is gone. Whether it "appreciates" or not (not, of course), it's hers, dude. Okay, back to the...Young ladies? They're not fricking debutantes being feted (not really sure what that means), they're Anthropologists, Marine Biologists, Chemists, Psychologists, and a whole slew of other professional occupations. This is one of the most important days of their lives, and the last thing they need is some navel-gazing sexist oxygen thief trying to hijack them back to the 1950's. Also, the next time someone from Raleigh picks on someone from Charlotte over Pat McCrory, just start calling them Fetzer. "Hey, Fetzer, is that a clip-on tie?" Or something along those lines. Okay, I'm going to let a woman talk now:

The State of Rape: Consent bill dies in NC Senate committee

There is absolutely no excuse for this:

A bill that would make it illegal to continue to have sex with someone who told the other person to stop has died in a state Senate committee.

North Carolina may remain the only state in the country where someone cannot be charged with rape for continuing to have sex with a partner who told them to stop. It stems from a 40-year-old legal precedent.

And of course included in that bill was a section dealing with rapists having their way with women too drunk or drugged to know what was happening. The bill should have sailed out of committee with a unanimous vote, out of both houses the same way, and on the Governor's desk before the ink had dried. But apparently this is 1519 instead of 2019.

NRA defends abusers and stalkers in fight against VAWA

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Talk about misplaced priorities:

House Republicans broadly object to at least four new policies added to the bill to reauthorize VAWA — which expired back in February when Democrats objected to GOP efforts to include a short-term extension of the law in a spending deal. But the most controversial are new provisions to lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking charges. Current law applies to felony convictions.

In order to understand why these changes need to be made, you need to understand how our legal system (usually) works. An extremely high percentage of those Domestic Violence "misdemeanors" started out as felonies, only to be plea bargained down. More than any other crime, Domestic Violence is a nightmare for prosecutors, and getting any conviction at all is considered a "win." So when you see that word (misdemeanor), don't assume it was just a casual push during an argument. The abuser most likely took a plea deal to avoid a jury hearing what really happened. I'm not just making that up, by the way:

No means No: Criminal summons issued for Cody Henson

NC Republicans need to clean their House:

Court records show a misdemeanor criminal summons has been issued for two-term Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania. The document names estranged wife Kelsey Henson as the victim. Last week, a judge issued a long-term protective order against the legislator after determining text messages his wife received amounted to "mental harassment."

State Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin and Democratic Women of North Carolina President Julia Buckner says Henson must resign. Buckner says "any form of domestic violence or abuse is categorically unacceptable."

Since neither GOP leadership or Henson himself seem ready to do the right thing, maybe a (NC) House resolution condemning domestic violence and cyber-stalking is in order? If Tim Moore refuses to bring that to the floor, both he and Henson should be plastered all over the front pages of NC's newspapers, so women in North Carolina would know just how (un)important they are. p.s. I didn't want to see his face today, so I put Gollum there instead. He has at least a few redeeming qualities...

Republican NC House member Cody Henson needs to resign

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He just got slapped with a 12 month domestic violence restraining order:

A North Carolina legislator committed domestic violence against his estranged wife, a judge found Tuesday during a civil proceeding, awarding her a yearlong domestic violence protection order. After a Tuesday court hearing lasting several hours at the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard, Judge Fritz Mercer ruled in favor of Kelsey Henson, wife of state Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania.

“After multiple, multiple, multiple times, I asked him to stop,” she told Carolina Public Press after the hearing. “He continued and refused to have any regard for my boundaries or well-being.”

A few things to contemplate: If Henson had misappropriated government funds, or bought a bunch of fancy ties with campaign donor money, he would probably have already been shamed out of office. Even by his own party. But domestic violence, cyber-stalking his ex-wife? Crickets. When abusing money is more unforgivable than abusing women, there is something desperately wrong with our system of values. And while I applaud this judge for having the guts to issue this order, stopping short of confiscating Henson's firearms could be a deadly mistake:

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