GOP HEALTH CARE SABOTAGE SENDS NC RATES UP. Washington Republicans ended cost-sharing reduction payments in an effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Blue Cross NC announced Wednesday that they will have to increase their rates thanks to their sabotage, affecting the over 500,000 people who are insured by Blue Cross through ACA plans. According to Blue Cross NC, “Had CSR payments not been eliminated, Blue Cross NC’s final rate request for ACA customers’ average would have been near zero.” Worse, the percent of people without health insurance rose for the first time since the ACA took effect.
FARR-RIGHT JUDGE MOVES FORWARD. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of Thomas Farr to the U.S. District Court for Eastern North Carolina, despite his history hostile to worker, civil, and minority rights. Farr has actively participated in the hostile takeover of North Carolina, happily defending Republicans’ most indefensible proposals including North Carolina’s suppressive voter laws and unconstitutionally, racially gerrymandered maps. According to the Congressional Black Caucus, the White House would have had a very difficult time finding an attorney “with a more hostile record on African-American voting rights and workers’ rights than Thomas Farr.” Our Senators, including Sen. Burr and Sen. Tillis, should vote against this nomination.
GOVERNOR COOPER ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ INDIVIDUALS. Governor Cooper’s order prohibits discrimination in his administration on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and his consent decree allows transgender people to use the public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. The executive order and the consent decree are important steps toward increasing protections across the state of North Carolina because all North Carolinians deserve to feel safe and loved in the state they call home.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
- I applaud @NC_Governor Cooper for taking action to protect workers and show companies all over the world that NC is open for business. – G.K. Butterfield
- Discrimination is wrong, period. I applaud @NC_Governor‘s protections for more NCians that’ll make our state a better place to live and work – Alma Adams
- Thank you @NC_Governor for making NC safer and more welcoming. Y’all truly does mean all in our state – Sen. Dan Blue
- “That we are a welcoming state. And that discrimination among our people will not be tolerated.” Well said Governor. – Rep. Darren Jackson
- Thank you @NC_Governor Cooper for proven once again to be a friend and ally of the LGBT community! – Rep. Cecil Brockman
- Thanks @NC_Governor for keeping our state moving forward. – Rep. Grier Martin
- Thank you, Governor Cooper. North Carolina will be a more loving & welcoming place for all. #ncpol – NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin
- Thank you, @NC_Governor Cooper! #yallmeansall #ncpol – NCDP 2nd Vice Chair Matt Hughes
UPDATES ON THE FIGHT FOR FAIR MAPS. Two courts cases with the potential to bring fairer maps back to North Carolina advanced this week, one discussing partisan gerrymandering in NC’s Congressional maps and the other racial gerrymandering at the legislative level.
- Covington v. North Carolina: Both parties couldn’t agree to a list of names for a special master – an independent expert tasked with redrawing the maps (or parts of them) – giving back to the court the decision with how to proceed. (Relatedly, how does one become a special master? Is there a specific degree for that?)
- Common Cause v. Rucho: After a four-day trial, a three judge panel is set to decide whether the hyper-partisan district drawing of North Carolina Republicans is illegal. Arguments focused on how the extreme, strategic maps use advanced data to ensure Republican wins and disenfranchise voters in the process. Post-trial briefs are due in early November.
EDITORIAL BOARD ROUNDUP: GOP-LEADERSHIP SELLS OUT NORTH CAROLINA’S CITIZENS FOR PETTY POLITICS AND PARTISAN GAIN
“The leadership of the General Assembly has decided that Job No. 1 is slapping the governor down at every opportunity, even when he wants to do something that will protect the health and safety of North Carolina’s residents — Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and independent alike.”WRAL
“In the many missteps this legislature has taken in politicizing the courts, this one goes into the deepest sinkhole yet. It is a dangerous plan that will give justice to the highest bidder. It is a notion that will lead to corruption at every level of the judicial system.” News & Observer
“The delays have dragged on for months, and the reason is simple: Cooper is a Democrat, and since before he took office, Republicans have tried to strip that office of power and money any way they could in trying to curb Cooper’s appointive power and budget.” Asheville Citizen Times
“F to General Assembly leaders who are refusing to consider 10 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s nominations to three boards, including full-time positions on the Utilities Commission … This is yet one more example of a GOP-dominated legislature’s attempts to cripple a Democratic governor by obstructionist tactics that rise to the level of malfeasance and possibly unconstitutionality.” WRAL
“It is past time for the secret, hyper-partisan machinations from Berger’s junta to end. With these delays, ambushes and subterfuge, Berger, Moore and those who follow their dictates have produced a perfect storm of incompetence, disrespect and petty spite.”
HIGHLIGHTING OUR LEGISLATORS
SEN. DAN BLUE: “Personal agendas cannot trump the people’s agenda”
REP. DEB BUTLER: ‘All-Out Assault’ on Our Judiciary During Her ‘Walk-and-Talk’ Series
SEN. JEFF JACKSON and Marisa Jackson celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month
**Some non-political reads for your weekend as you recover from the final days of the NC State Fair**
- The Atlantic: A Catfishing with a Happy Ending, Emma Perrier was deceived by an older man on the internet—a hoax that turned into an unbelievable love story
- Eater: As Goes the Middle Class, So Goes TGI Fridays, What one typical American town reveals about the fate of the great suburban chain restaurant