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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

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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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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Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's the big deal about civil unions? Poll answers the question

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Public Policy Polling says Amendment One will pass easily — UNLESS voters get it that the amendment would ban not only same-sex marriage in North Carolina but also any other form of legal recognition, i.e., a civil unions statute, for same-sex couples. Right now, the voters don't get it. And they're not hearing it, or hearing it clearly, from the anti-Amendment One campaign. In my humble .... Here's what Tom Jensen of PPP says: When voters are informed that the amendment bans both gay marriage and civil unions their tune changes quite a bit. Only 41% of voters say they'll...

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(Update: Bill Faison too.) In Dems race for Governor, Walter Dalton & Bob Etheridge are calling for civil unions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

[Update, March 29: And ... it's unanimous. Rep. Bill Faison's spokesperson's been in touch. Faison, too, is on board for civil unions. "If the [General Assembly] sends Governor Bill Faison legislation on civil unions, he will sign it," Jeanne Bonds said. [So that's all three of the Democratic candidates for Governor in favor. Add the two Dem candidates for Lt. Governor, and it's 5 for 5 for civil unions among the party's serious candidates for the highest state offices. [Which is, of course, a good reason NOT to amend the state constitution so as to make such a change in...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Update x 3: All five also endorse civil unions.) Five top Dem candidates in N.C. are all anti-Amendment One

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

[Update No. 3, March 29: Bill Faison's campaign too — Faison would sign a civil unions law, his spokeswoman said. So we'll change our headline one last time.] [Update No. 2, later on March 28: Walter Dalton's campaign got back in touch. Dalton, too, supports civil unions, his spokesman said. So we'll change the headline accordingly.] *** [Update, March 28: When the Indy comes out this morning, you'll read that former Congressman Bob Etheridge is now on the side of changing the law in North Carolina to allow for civil unions. [He issued a short statement to us after we...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speaker Tillis: Pay no attention to that silly Amendment One ...

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

... because even if it passes, it will soon pass away. (Good reporting job, NCSU Technician.) Speaker Tillis says Amendment 1, if passed, would have short shelf life. technicianonline.com/news/nc-speake… #whyohwhy— Independent Weekly (@indyweek) March 27, 2012...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

John Hood @ John Locke says "NO" on racism, homophobia and Amendment One

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh and part of the imperial ruling council of the Art Pope Empire, is not someone given to political smears, racism or homophobia. Thus, the blogger who posted on a JLF site last week about President Obama's decision to oppose Amendment One — and illustrated it with an image dripping with racism and homophobia — is gone, fired by Hood as soon as he saw what she'd put up. Hood explained himself in an online column this morning (h/t Blue NC) and also stated his personal opposition to Amendment One: I...

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Friday, March 16, 2012

President Obama opposes Amendment 1, calls it "divisive and discriminatory"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

The Obama campaign put out a statement today, attributed to spokesman Cameron French: “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that’s why the president does not support it.” The President was hailed, of course, by the Anti-Amendment 1 campaign: Protect All NC Families, the coalition...

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

(Updated w/ pix) Ides of Love march in Raleigh against Amendment 1 ... falls on the Ides of March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

[Update, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Running around today, I missed the march but caught some of the preparations at the Bell Tower and the end of the rally at Halifax Mall. Not thousands, but several hundred marched and/or came to the Mall for the speeches. "We cheered extra loud as we went by the Civitas building," Lee Sartain told me. Sartain is running in the Democratic primary for a newly created seat — District 38, there's no incumbent — in the N.C. House of Representatives. [I've posted some pictures: *** *** *** *** What follows is the original post from...

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Monday, March 12, 2012

The Rev. Lynice Williams, 63, champion for health and human rights; services are Saturday in Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The Rev. Lynice Williams was, as her friend Pete McDowell says, "a great activist and a wonderful person." She was recognized as a Citizen Award winner by the Indy in 1993, before our stories were digitized (hence, there's no link for it), and she continued to work for civil and human rights until shortly before her death. Christian Faith Baptist ChurchThe Rev. Lynice WilliamsHer special passion, as head of N.C. Fair Share for its first 24 years, was health care as a human right. She took great satisfaction at the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, viewing it...

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Linda Coleman: She's pro-civil unions, against Amendment 1 in Dems Lt. Gov. primary

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Linda Coleman, one of the two candidates for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor, just did a conference call with reporters. She came out strongly against Amendment 1, the anti-gay state constitutional amendment. Her rationale, she said in answer to questions, is that it's a distraction from the real issues of jobs and education. But she added that she isn't just standing pat on the current law, which already bans gay marriages and civil unions. Coleman said the law should be changed to allow civil unions in North Carolina. "I support civil unions," Coleman said. "We need to change the...

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Elon poll buoys anti-Amendment One campaign: Shows majority opposed

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM

The Coalition to Protect N.C. Families is out with a statement about the new Elon University Poll, which shows a majority of voters in North Carolina opposed to Amendment One, the anti-LGBT amendment to the state constitution on the May 8 primary ballot. Amendment One would prohibit the state from recognizing gay marriages, civil unions or any other domestic partnership arrangements, whether between gay or straight couples. Only a one-man, one-woman marriage would count. Oddly, the Elon Poll results are roughly the opposite of the poll taken less than two weeks ago for the J.W. Pope Citivas Institute, the Art...

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nine remaining fast-track charter school applicants speeding toward approval

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

If anyone doubted that the State Board of Education intends to rubber-stamp the nine fast-track charter school applicants recommended for approval by the Public Charter School Advisory Council, I'd say their doubts were dispelled today. Board members, meeting as a committee, asked two or three pointed questions about charter schools in general. But when it came to the nine specific applications, most of them drew no questions at all — and the zero-questions category included the controversial Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. The full board will vote on the nine at its regular meeting tomorrow...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

What does the anti-gay amendment mean? There's a commission for that.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Opponents call it Amendment One (or 1). Proponents call it the Defense of Marriage Amendment. If approved by the voters May 8, it will add to the state constitution language barring the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, same-sex civil unions and any other "domestic legal union" that two people might devise that isn't a marriage between a man and a woman. So what would this phraseology really mean to people's lives? Enter the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, which exists to explain it. Its job — per the 1983 statute which created it — is to write a clear explanation for...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

No Moore: Former Treasurer won't go for Governor

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Moore won't run for governor: Former State Treasurer Richard Moore has decided not to seek the Democratic nomina... bit.ly/wEmUHL— underthedome (@underthedome) February 24, 2012...

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Lt. Gov. Dems: Dellinger out, Crisco mulling

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So far in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, it's former state Rep. Linda Coleman, favored candidate of the State Employees Association (SEANC), against Sen. Eric Mansfield, who's backed by a number of legislators and some prominent progressives. (E.g., Barbara Goodmon, Dan Besse, Nina Szlosberg-Landis.) MansfieldPR3V1_copy.pdf Coleman lives in Wake County, Mansfield in Cumberland County. Hampton Dellinger, a Durham resident and the Indy's endorsed candidate in 2008, was thinking about it. He issued a statement a brief time ago saying he won't run. But Keith Crisco, the state's Secretary of Commerce, may run. Various accounts quote him as giving it...

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Down with the DOMA: The campaign to defeat Amendment One

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

A brief update from Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for the Coalition to Protect All NC Families, on efforts to defeat Amendment One in the May 8 primary. Amendment One, called the Defense of Marriage Amendment by its supporters, would add a provision to the state constitution banning gay marriage or civil unions in North Carolina. The generous donor he mentions is Self-Help, which has pledged — click this link — to match donations up to $25,000. Watch:...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

[With a Dan Blue update] Politix: Who's running? Who's fracking?

Posted By on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM

photo by Jeremy M. LangeWake Sheriff Donnie Harrison salutes a flag and a video screen #whatacountry [Update, 2/18:: Sen. Dan Blue did come to the Wake Dems event last night, planted himself by the entry and worked to plant the idea that he is, in fact, giving serious thought to entering the gubernatorial primary. "Don't read too much in" to his not having been at the RWCA meeting Thursday, he said to me. So you're running? "I'm leaning," Blue said with a smile. I assume he meant leaning in the direction of being a candidate. He said he was having...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Brad Miller: Count me out

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Miller's statement: After much consideration, I have decided not to run for Governor. As a former state legislator and a citizen, I care deeply about the issues that North Carolina faces as a state. My mother struggled as a widowed bookkeeper to make sure I had the opportunity for an education that was denied her and my father. We need a Governor who will fight the efforts of Republicans in the legislature to close those doors of opportunity by their assault on public education. But the issues I have worked on in Congress for a decade are the injustice and...

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