November 3, 2017/Press

NCDP FRIDAY TAKEAWAYS – November 3, 2017

COURT REJECTS GOP SPECIAL MASTER OBJECTION, GOP PREPARED TO ‘LOSE’  

A federal court rejected the absurd request that Republican lawmakers should get another chance to draw the maps. Republican legislators have had multiple opportunities to fix their unconstitutional racial gerrymander but instead manipulated more districts and kept their racist maps. How did the GOP respond? By saying nothing. Maybe because, as Majority Leader Bell said, they know they’re “probably going to lose their case on redistricting.”

News & Observer:

GET COVERED NORTH CAROLINA!
This week marked the beginning of open-enrollment – sign up for healthcare at healthcare.gov and tell a friend. Despite the GOP’s best sabotage efforts, spreading misinformation and cancelling subsidies, the ACA is strong and helping thousands of people across the state. GOP sabotage efforts are hurting consumers – both Blue Cross NC and Cigna raised their rates, and had GOP left the ACA alone, Blue Cross NC’s rate change “would have been near zero…”

 
FISHY AQUARIUM DEAL PROMPTS ETHICS COMPLAINT 
A local attorney in New Hanover filed a complaint this week against GOP Rep. Holly Grange and former Rep. Chris Millis for sneaking in a six-figure giveaway to pay for a project that “directly benefits a favored real estate developer…and raises numerous questions under North Carolina law.” This fishy deal raises numerous questions, including whether Rep. Millis resigned only after assuring a lucrative project for his own development firm. 
DOES MEADOWS STILL STAND BEHIND FOREST? 
Rep. Meadows tied himself to Lt. Gov. Dan Forest for Governor of North Carolina – BEFORE the News & Observer revealed that Forest courted members of a violent extremist group that viciously beat their members and refused to condemn the group. Does Rep. Meadows still believe that Dan Forest is fit to be our state’s Governor after failing to condemn the extremist Word of Faith?
 GOP TAX PLAN: GREAT IF YOU’RE A BILLIONARE, NOT SO GOOD IF YOU’RE NOT 
Donald Trump and DC Republicans revealed their destructive tax plan that offers massive corporate giveaways and benefits the wealthiest few at the expense of working families and the middle-class. The plan is full of hidden hits to the middle class, including eliminating the child tax exemption, SALT deductions, deductions for homebuyers and more. Meanwhile, businesses that move overseas will be rewarded with a 0% rate, incentivizing more companies to move their jobs out of the country. To make matters worse, last week House GOP members voted for a budget that slashes programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP in order to pay for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.

Associated Press:Reuters: 60% OF AMERICANS SAY TAX PLAN BENEFITS WEALTHY 
Americans oppose the GOP tax plan by a broad 17-point margin, with 60 percent saying it favors the wealthy -– including six in 10 of the wealthy themselves. The more people learn, the more they hate it – 50% oppose the plan, up 6 percentage points from September.

GOV. COOPER FIGHTS FOR NC AT OPIOID COMMISSION – BUT FOLLOW-THROUGH IS KEY 
Donald Trump’s bipartisan opioid commission, of which Gov. Cooper is a member, announced 56 recommendations for fighting the epidemic. Before the meeting was over Governor Cooper made it clear that the need for follow-through is paramount. The Governor called on the federal government to “allocate significant federal funding” toward the unacceptable epidemic.

 GOP REP. MALONE DRAWS STRONG CHALLENGER TERENCE EVERITT 
In one of the most competitive districts in the state, local attorney Terence Everitt announced his challenge in District 35. “Voters continue to be frustrated by our broken government,” said Everitt. “Longtime politicians like Chris Malone are more interested in petty partisan power grabs than working to create jobs and improve our schools. I’m running because it’s time to change those priorities.”
 
WILL NC LAWMAKERS FOLLOW THROUGH  ON WIDELY DISLIKED JUDICIAL SCHEME 

For the third week in a row, Republican legislators were hammered for their partisan scheme to rig our independent judiciary. It seems like most of North Carolina can agree that rigging our independent judiciary is a bad idea. Lawmakers in Raleigh could listen to North Carolinians and stop the partisan attack on our democratic institutions when they return in January – but considering their history, don’t hold your breath.

“A deliberate attack on the independence of the judiciary, an act that I suspect he would have seen as an affront to the rule of law, an attempt to compromise the integrity of the separation of powers contemplated by the North Carolina Constitution — and as an act which Judge Bailey would likely have viewed as a threat of punishment and retribution upon an independent judiciary inclined to strike down legislation that is unconstitutional on its face.Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens

“Electing judges for two-year terms would force judges to campaign and raise money constantly, and would disrupt the administration of justice.Chief Justice Mark Martin

Requiring judges and justices to run for office every two years is inconsistent with principles of judicial independence, would erode trust and confidence in our legal system and … impede the administration of justice in North Carolina” – N.C. Bar Association

“It would appear that on the face of it, that this two-year proposal is a punitive threat…I think candidly, there’s no serious interest in making judges run every two years but the threat of it — the sort of intimation that we can do that — is what concerns me most. That’s way over the top. So over the top.” Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr

“State Senate leader Phil Berger and his crew have determined, apparently, that — gerrymandering the judges’ districts; eliminating their primaries; restricting their powers of judicial review; ending public funding for their campaigns; manipulating the size of the Court of Appeals; stacking individual Supreme Court elections; and becoming the first state in a century to demand the partisan election of judges — isn’t enough to deliver the precise courts the Republicans require.” – Gene Nichol, Professor at the UNC School of Law

  WHAT EDITORIAL BOARDS ARE SAYING THIS WEEK: 

WRAL, on NC GOP budget cuts slashing education…“It is an unconscionable toll North Carolina’s legislative leadership and the state Chamber of Commerce have imposed on innocent citizens in return for unnecessary cuts to corporate income and other business-related taxes. There’s no hocus-pocus. No ideological spin can hide the looming crisis. It is simply addition and subtraction.”

Star News, on NCGA refusing to tackle GenX…

“That is why we continue to strongly criticize the legislature for not approving Gov. Roy Cooper’s very reasonable — and very needed — request for extra money to adequately fund this vital and overburdened part of our state government. Republican legislators have insisted that they won’t “throw money” at the problem — whatever that means. Sometimes a lack of money and resources is exactly what is causing the problem, or at least allowing it to worsen.”

Asheville Citizen-Times, on Asheville’s election-by-district plan…

“Like most of Raleigh’s recent efforts to ensure “fairer” elections around the state, this bill offers yet another solution in search of a problem, one that our most recent primary proves won’t be solved by this bill. The theory behind electing city officials from districts is that they will be more responsive to the needs of their districts. This supposedly will give residents of the district a stronger voice in City Hall. Actually, it gives them a weaker voice.

WRAL, on voter turnout…

“’Americans are sharply divided.’ It is the mantra these days from the nation’s political commentators and talking heads. The reality is just the opposite. The vast majority of North Carolinians and Americans are united in apathy. Last month 85 percent of Raleigh’s registered voters were united in avoiding the polls for the primary election for mayor”

Star News, on other implications of HB56…

“Meanwhile, there’s a provision in the law that could potentially harm New Hanover County. HB56 reverses requirements that trash haulers bring garbage to local government-owned landfills, if the landfills aren’t encumbered with debt.”

 TWEET OF THE WEEK  HIGHLIGHTING OUR LEGISLATORS