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Monday, February 13, 2012

Clay Aiken joins campaign vs. anti-gay Amendment One

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Protect ALL NC Families, the leading organization in the campaign against Amendment One, is out with a brief video starring Clay Aiken, probably North Carolina's most famous openly gay citizen. (Am I overlooking somebody?) Aiken, who had my vote for "American Idol" when he was up against Ruben Studdard nine years ago (or he would've had my vote if AT&T had installed more phone lines around here), says he loves the state and harbored an ambition to be governor. He doesn't love discrimination, and says the anti-gay Amendment One, which seeks to ban not just gay marriages but civil unions...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Doesn't anybody wanna be Governor? (And is this the reason?)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Lewis-Dollar-Dockham 4: The Republicans' new House districts I see by this previous post that it's been eight days since Brad Miller told us he'd be making up his mind quite soon about running for governor. I have no need to speculate whether he will or he won't. I only note for the record that, although many were called to see if they'd be running, few have chosen to do so. Two weeks after Bev Perdue's abrupt announcement that she was terminating her re-election campaign, and one weekend away from the beginning of the filing period, we still have just three...

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Tremors in Lillington? And Etheridge jumps in the Gov race

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

We discussed yesterday the phenomenon known as the political groundswell — some are earth-shaking, some a mere jostle. Former Congressman Bob Etheridge reports a groundswell for him to run for governor in the Democratic primary. He was at home in Lillington at the time, I believe. Etheridge joins Walter Dalton and Bill Faison in the race so far — three moderate-to-conservative white male candidates. Former State Treasurer Richard Moore, if he gets in, would make four, and if Congressman Mike McIntyre runs, make it five. We know that Congressman Brad Miller's feeling the progressive tremors; so is state Sen. Dan...

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Hagan to Susan G. Komen: "Deeply disappointed" in your "Cure"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Hopefully, I don't need to tell you what the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation did to Planned Parenthood ... or about the storm of protest resulting from it. Around here, the annual Komen Race for the Cure 5K, scheduled for June 9, is the biggest road race & walk around. Or was. I know I won't be wearing my Cure T-shirts any more. [Update: Here's a good idea from Gray Newman: Mail your shirts back to them ... at this address: http://www.bluenc.com/join-me-mailing-our-komen-t-shirts-back-them] This morning, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC, called out the Komen folks in blunt terms. Hagan...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brad Miller: You'll know if I'm running very soon. (Update: MoveOn says go for it.)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM

With Erskine Bowles out of the running, the door is wide open for a Brad Miller candidacy for governor. That's my take. Miller's? He said he hasn't quite decided whether to run. "I've gotten a lot of encouragement that I haven't solicited," he says. "I'm thinking very hard about it. I know I need to make a decision very quickly." Don't forget, he just reminded me when we spoke on the phone, that a week ago he was announcing he wouldn't run for re-election to Congress ... and his assumption in making that announcement was that he would never again...

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

For Gov: Dalton, maybe Foxx & Bowles; Miller? Not Cowell.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

So, reading my mail and after a couple of conversations while I was moving around today: Lt. Walter Dalton is in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is looking it over. Erskine Bowles is making calls, testing the waters. A progressive group is pushing hard for Brad Miller, who didn't rule it out this morning. (And why would he — rule it out, I mean?) State Treasurer Janet Cowell issued a statement that she plans for run for re-election as treasurer and won't be in the gubernatorial field.Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton Heard that former...

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Her statement: Perdue won't seek re-election

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

[Update: Might as well throw in PPP's analysis of possible other Democratic candidates. Standing here listening to WRAL go through the list, they missed Erskine Bowles — he's rich and raising money is going to be a problem for anyone who has to start today from square one. And Bowles is only a two-time loser in NC, maybe the third time's the charm. I'll copy it below Perdue's statement.] Here is Perdue's statement: Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina has been facing difficult economic times — demanding many difficult decisions. I have had to make painful budget cuts...

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Brad Miller will leave Congress; won't seek re-election in 2012

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Congressman Brad Miller issued a statement this morning in the form of an explanation to supporters: He won't run against Rep. David Price in the new 4th Congressional District. The two Democrats are packed into the 4th as the result of the redistricting plan enacted by the Republican-led General Assembly. Here's Miller's statement; I spoke with him yesterday on background and will add a thought or two to this later this morning:Congressman Brad Miller, D-Raleigh Because your support has been so important to me, I wanted you to hear from me that I will not seek another term in Congress....

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gov. Perdue: 3/4ths of 1-cent sales tax hike needed for schools

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Governor Bev Perdue kicked off the 2012 budget debate today — and (unofficially) kicked off her 2012 re-electon campaign — with a call for increased school funding. Specifically, she wants 3/4ths of that temporary 1-cent sales tax for education back temporarily. (Which, by the way, would yield a tidy $863 million in extra revenues next year, according to the N.C. Budget & Tax Center's Alexandra Sirota.) The N.C. Council of Churches approves. Here's the council's "Raleigh Report" fresh off the tubes, suggesting that you let the governor and your legislators know where you stand — Raleigh Report Network— Governor Perdue...

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

New General Assembly rule: Do unto others, and if you're really f'ing them up, do it after midnight

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I was at the General Assembly yesterday afternoon. The good news is that the Racial Justice Act survived the Republican effort at repeal. Senate Bill 9, the repeal bill, was vetoed by Gov. Bev Perdue. The Senate yesterday voted to override her veto by a party line tally of 31-19 — every Republican for the override, every Democrat opposed (and in favor of retaining the RJA). Over in the House, though, the Republicans needed some Democratic votes to override a veto, and they couldn't find any, apparently. So the House never voted. Never voted on the RJA, anyway. Now, onto...

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perdue upholds Racial Justice Act, vetoes Senate Bill 9

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Gov. Perdue putting the veto stamp on a previous Republican bill Gov. Bev Perdue today vetoed Senate Bill 9, upholding the Racial Justice Act of 2008. The Republican-passed SB 9 would've repealed it. Reactions as collected by WRAL: Republicans are mad, Democrats glad. Opponents of capital punishment — and proponents, too, for that matter — will be justified in questioning whether any murder cases will lead to an execution if the standard for killing a convict is: 1) h/she must absolutely be guilty of the crime beyond any doubt whatsoever; 2) the crime must be especially heinous compared to other...

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Family members of murder victims urge Perdue: Keep Racial Justice Act, veto SB 9

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

photo by Bob GearyAndre Smith and Jean Parks (looking at him), each of whom lost a family member to a murder in Raleigh, were among those who met with Gov. Perdue Family members of a half-dozen victims of murder in North Carolina met this morning with Gov. Bev Perdue, urging her to veto Senate Bill 9 and preserve the landmark Racial Justice Act. The RJA allows death-row inmates to challenge their sentence on grounds it may have been racially motivated. If they prevail, their death sentences would be changed to life in prison without possibility of parole. Perdue signed the...

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Sister Helen Prejean on the death penalty: "The people know the thing doesn't work"

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty kicked off a new campaign to abolish capital punishment in North Carolina today with a press conference featuring Sister Helen Prejean, renowned death penalty opponent and author of the very influential Dead Man Walking. Our Triangulator blog carried a post yesterday about the PFADP effort. At the press conference, Sister Prejean was the first of numerous speakers and was brief but to the point: The death penalty is on its way out in the United States. She spoke for about 4:00. (The video is a little shaky to begin with, but then I...

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Gov. Perdue "thinking hard" about capital punishment and the Racial Justice Act?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

In the Indy this week, I wrote about the N.C. Senate's vote to repeal the Racial Justice Act, a law meant to prevent executions in murder cases where the death sentence was a product of racial bias. The bill to repeal it, Senate Bill 9, passed both houses on party-line votes, with nearly every Republican voting yes and every Democrat voting no. So now Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, is "thinking hard" about whether the RJA should be repealed or not? That's what she says. As quoted in the N&O: "I'm a real strong supporter of the death penalty,"...

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Note to Bill Faison: Run or get off the pot

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Rep. Bill FaisonTook some time off, so the old blog is bare and needs a quick transfusion. So thank you, Rep. Bill Faison, for supplying me with something simple and quick to say. Which is, if you want to run for governor in a Democratic primary against Bev Perdue, by all means, jump right in. Faison vs. Perdue? Seems like you'd get hammered — you're going to run against her from the right? — but you never know. But you sound a little silly telling the governor she should step aside so you can take her place. *** I'll add...

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Perdue opposes anti-gay amendment because it's bad for business

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Gov. Bev Perdue came out against the General Assembly's proposed constitutional amendment to discriminate against the LGBT community, calling it bad for business. The amendment would ban gay marriage — as state law does already — and go further by banning civil unions and recognition by the state of any other form of domestic partnership except one man, one woman in matrimony. Perdue says she does think marriage should be restricted to the one-man, one-woman variety. Here's Perdue's full statement: “My top priority is creating jobs. Too many people are out of work and I’ve heard from several business leaders...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pope exposed! Yes, the robes come off at ArtPopeExposed.com

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Unstinting as I am in giving Art Pope the credit he's due, I note with interest the new website, ArtPopeExposed, created by our Durham neighbors, the Institute for Southern Studies. ISS Executive Director Chris Kromm and Editorial Director Sue Sturgis have made it their business to get to know Pope as well as it's possible to know him if you're not (as he told me in no uncertain terms recently that I was not) his friend. Chris and Sue have shared some of their work with the Indy, for which we're grateful. Sue is an Indy alum. So what is...

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Art Pope makes the big time: The New Yorker says Pope's the buyer and NC the "State for Sale"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

"State for Sale" is the banner headline atop The Huffington Post this morning. It's Jane Mayer's profile in The New Yorker of our own Art Pope and his conservative empire in North Carolina. Subtitle: A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012’s top battlegrounds. No need to thank us, Art, for touting your accomplishments as Raleigh's right-wing potentate....

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Same-sex marriage? Elon Poll finds 62 percent of N.C. adults are fine with marriage or civil unions

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Elon Poll takers gave the folks three choices regarding same-sex marriage: I support gay marriage with full rights; I support civil unions but not full marriage rights; I oppose any legal recognition of same-sex unions. The result was one-sided in favor of LGBT rights: Fully 33% of those surveyed back same-sex marriages, and another 29% support civil unions. Add up those opposed to any recognition (34%) plus the "other" answers (2% and no responses (2%), and you have less than 4 in 10 who may want to add an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage and civil unions....

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

(UPDATED) Senate passes anti-LGBT constitutional amendment; voters to decide in 2012 primaries

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

The Senate vote was 30-16, with 30 needed for passage. A second and final vote was taken immediately. The Governor can't veto a constitutional amendment, but the voters can — SB 514 sets the referendum for the first primary election of 2012, which is scheduled for May. Click here for the vote: 30 Republicans out of 31 voted yes (Hartsell, an opponent, was absent). Zero Democrats voted yes. There's a chance the primary could be postponed because of redistricting. But whenever it's held, expect a no-holds-barred attack on gays by amendment supporters. This is not going to be a proud...

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Monday, September 12, 2011

(UPDATED) This is democracy? House passes anti-LGBT amendment with no hearings, ever

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 4:52 PM

photo by Bob GearyHouse Majority Leader Paul Stam moves the bill in committee [Update, 8:30 am, 9/13: I heard from several good sources late last night that the outcome in the Senate today is uncertain. Three or four Republicans, including Sens. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, and Richard Stevens, R-Wake, were said to be unwilling to vote for the new SB 514. Whether any Democrats would vote for it wasn't known. With a 31-19 majority, the Republicans can't afford to lose many and still get the three-fifths vote — 30 votes out of 50 — needed to put the issue on the...

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

About that anti-gay marriage amendment: Watch out for collateral damage

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 3:03 PM

The NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence came out against the anti-LGBT marriage amendment today, warning that a similar constitutional change in Ohio wrecked havoc with its laws protecting people — married or unmarried — in domestic violence cases. In Ohio, the DV law protected unmarried folks who lived together "as if married," but of course, once the state constitution said that the only "union" that state law could recognize as valid was a marriage between a man and a woman, that part of the DV law was ruled unconstitutional. The coalition's statement is copied below. Meanwhile, there was the...

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anti-gay marriage amendment? NC voters see it like this —

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Human Rights Campaign logo Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling in Raleigh spells out the voters' views in a short, very understandable piece that confirms everything else I've seen in other surveys: Ask NC voters if they're for gay marriage, and mostly they're not. Ask them if they support an amendment to the state constitution declaring gay marriage and civil unions "invalid" and for most, the answer is also no — because that would be discriminatory. A lot of people (obviously) view marriage as a religious sacrament. In that sense, they may be opposed to gay "marriage." On the other...

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood, in federal court, wins round one against the Republican General Assembly

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:02 PM

A federal judge has intervened to block the state of North Carolina — a.k.a. the Republican General Assembly — from declaring war on Planned Parenthood. This is a temporary injunction and will hold until the judge hears both sides in court and decides the case. That said, it's a big win for Planned Parenthood of Central NC and a setback for the Republicans, who wrote a prohibition into the 2011-12 budget against any Planned Parenthood chapter even applying for federal funds administered by the state's health agency. At least $200,000 a year, and valuable services for the public, are at...

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Friday, August 12, 2011

A distant trumpet sounds, and Vernon Robinson runs again

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I ran into Vernon Robinson last week at the charter schools conference downtown. Vernon's an old charter schools guy, one of the originals, actually. Anyway, he said he needed to get busy raising money for his congressional campaign. What campaign? I asked. Well, he didn't say. Vernon announced his candidacy for Brad Miller's 13th District seat awhile back, but that's when the weirdly gerrymandered 13th wandered over toward Winston-Salem, where Vernon lives. It has since been weirdly re-gerrymandered to go east from Raleigh, leaving Vernon out unless he chooses once again to run in a district he doesn't live...

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