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INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Attorney General: Amendment 1 "unclear, unwise and unnecessary"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Not a moment too soon, Attorney General Roy Cooper offered his opinion of Amendment 1 on his campaign website. (Cooper is unopposed for re-election.) The Attorney General is the state's lawyer. Early voting in the May 8 primary election has been underway since last week. Cooper's statement: “I am writing you today to let you know I am voting against Amendment One in next month's primary elections on May 8th. I believe it is unclear, unwise and unnecessary. Amending our constitution demands careful deliberation along with precise language - both are missing here. Amendment One's lack of clarity will also...

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Love = Love: Find 3 minutes today to watch this gem.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

from Love = Love This little film by Mimi Schiffman is a gem. It's about Isak. 12, and his "big happy family." A sister, a dog and two moms. It's also, of course, about Amendment 1. "Love is just when you know you want to be with someone, and a world where everything's right," Isak says. *** One of the moms, Tanja Atkins, was our general manager at the Indy for years and is much-missed. I loved this piece a little more when I first saw it on Huffington Post for knowing Tanja and Connie and who they are. But...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wake Reps. Rosa Gill, Darren Jackson get conservation voters' nod in Democratic primaries

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Reps. Rosa Gill and Darren Jackson, both D-Wake, have Democratic primary challengers this year. Gill's opponent (again) is Bernard Allen II. Jackson is up against Don Mial and Michael Slawter. Today, Gill and Jackson were two of the 10 candidates statewide endorsed by the N.C. League of Conservation Voters PAC in primary races. Gill and Jackson received the group's Green Tie award in 2011 and were among the legislators with the best — according to the NCLVC scorecard — voting records in 2012. Gill is running for the second time in District 33 (Southeast Raleigh). She was appointed to this...

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PPP: Amendment 1 still favored, but passage is "less and less of a sure thing"

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The takeaway about Amendment 1 and the real Public Policy Polling results: "The amendment is still favored for passage," says PPP director Tom Jensen, "but it's looking like less and less of a sure thing." (PPP's analysis is here.) The PPP survey, taken before the anti-Amendment 1 TV ads hit the air yesterday, found that Amendment 1 favored by a 54-40 percent margin among likely voters, but the margin's been cut in half since October and cut from 20 points to 14 in the last four weeks. "There is some reason to think a huge upset in two weeks is...

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Dalton, Etheridge even in Democratic gubernatorial race; still lots of undecideds

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

There's a new survey out tonight from Public Policy Polling, and it shows Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and former Congressman Bob Etheridge in a statistical tie with two weeks to go in the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Etheridge had a double-digit lead, but it's gone, thanks to TV ads Dalton's been running. (I don't think the Indy's endorsement of Dalton was worth 10 points statewide, but hey ....) Still, about 40 percent of likely voters remain undecided, with 26 percent for Dalton, 25 percent for Etheridge, and 5 percent or less for Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, and...

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TV ads go up in campaign to defeat Amendment 1

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM

We're a big state, so mounting a statewide TV advertising campaign is expensive — and until today the campaign against Amendment 1 couldn't afford it. But with two weeks and a day until the May 8 primary (and with early voting already under way), it's now or never. The good news is, it's now. Two anti-Amendment 1 ads went up this morning in every TV market, and time's been purchased to keep them on the air statewide for the next two weeks. The other news is, the campaign needs a lot more money fast to buy enough time to make...

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Friday, April 20, 2012

NAACP's Barber on the RJA ruling: A strike against the fallacy of "inevitable" racial bias

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The ruling today in the Marcus Robinson case, the first appeal to be decided by a trial court under the Racial Justice Act, made national news. North Carolinians dealt a blow to racism. Still, not every North Carolinian acknowledges what the statistics tell us is obvious: That racism in NC death penalty cases, and in particular in the jury selection procession, is real, pervasive and undeniable. I was struck by this statement by Robinson's prosecutors, quoted in The New York Times — “They do not have evidence of purposeful discrimination,” Rob Thompson, an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County, said...

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First Racial Justice Act result: Death row inmate is resentenced to life without possibility of parole

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

from WRAL live stream Marcus Robinson in courtThis statement below from Gerda Stein at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham summarizes what happened this morning in a Cumberland County courtroom. The Racial Justice Act appeal on behalf of Marcus Robinson, convicted of murder in 1994 and sentenced to death, resulted in a finding of racial bias in his case, and Robinson was resentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. This was the first RJA appeal and as such is certain to be precedent-setting. [Update 2, 6:30 p.m.: The NAACP's William Barber issued an eloquent statement late...

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

David Parker will leave his post as Dems' party chair

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM

photo by Bob GearyDavid Parker is leaving as Democratic party chairman [Update: Parker is stepping down as party chairman. He's asked the party staff to call a meeting of the executive council — about 40 folks, he said — to choose a new chair. It will be a.s.a.p., probably on May 12. When they choose, he won't be a candidate, he said. This was at the end of long presentation by Parker about the facts in the case, which supported his view that he followed the law in dealing with an employee who alleged sexual harassment by former executive director...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bad show: Abeni El-Amin's campaign video on RTN

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The Indy's primary election endorsements are out today. You'll read that in the House District 38 Democratic race, we endorsed Lee Sartain. The endorsement includes a comment about one of Sartain's opponents, Abeni El-Amin, and a television program she hosted that appeared on one of Raleigh's public cable-access (RTN) channels before it was pulled by the city as a violation of the rule against using RTN to promote political candidates. Our endorsement says that El-Amin showed poor judgment. I wanted to put the program up here so viewers could see it first-hand. It pretty much spoke for itself. But...

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Elon Poll: 6 in 10 in NC favor same-sex marriage, unions or partnerships

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Once again, it's all about how you ask the question. The Elon Poll surveyed North Carolina adults — not likely voters, not registered voters, but potential voters nonetheless — about same-sex unions. About 6 in 10 favor some form of legal recognition, though of that group, not all are in favor of calling it marriage. Just 1 in 3 are against any form of legal recognition. This is, of course, what Amendment One would do if passed by the voters May 8. It would ban all forms of legal recognition ... no same-sex marriage, no civil unions, no recognition of...

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