Join 3,425 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Gone to Carolina and they're fined
May 23, 2013 9:16 AM   Subscribe

While national media coverage of state politics has focused on hot-button topics like gun control and gay rights, a storm has been quietly brewing in Raleigh, NC, where the NAACP has organized protests calling attention to the regressive agenda of the Republican governor and NC General Assembly. Known as "Moral Mondays," these protests have resulted in nearly 160 arrests -- and they're getting bigger each week. With the GA taking a break for Memorial Day, the next showdown is set for June 3.
posted by Shoggoth (75 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
> “People have the right to voice their opinions, but they don’t have the right to force them on others,” Blust said before walking away.
After Blust had gone down an office corridor that law enforcement officers said was off limits to the public...


... he resumed taking donations from the various wealthy individuals and corporations which expedites the legislation which will force changes in quality of life and health for the citizens of North Carolina.
posted by at by at 9:25 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


1:27 nails it. Republicans will rue the day they thought they could get away with nationwide, systematic voter suppression of poor people, in particular blacks and young people.
posted by bardic at 9:29 AM on May 23, 2013


How many times do we hear "__________ will rue the day they thought they could get away with systematic suppression of _________ [insert large reppressed group]." that goes on and on and on sometimes for centuries without change? I thought the bigots were already supposed to be ruing the day they suppressed blacks, but it looks like they are just still up to the same old shit!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:36 AM on May 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


This can only be a positive step in the struggle against fundamentalism, radicalism, and literalism.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:38 AM on May 23, 2013


Yeah, I don't think the powerful rue the day they exploited the less powerful very often. Maybe during a revolution for a while.
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Blacks voted in a higher percentage than whites in 2012. Higher than all demos, actually.

I'd call that something to be happy about, and a direct reaction to bald attempts to suppress their vote in NC, OH, FL, etc.
posted by bardic at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, the state government of NC has gone insane. Wave on wave of utterly batshit legislation just keeps on coming out of Raleigh. It's horrible.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Blacks voted in a higher percentage than whites in 2012.

Yes, but 40% of 60% of the population is still twice as much as 60% of 20%.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:43 AM on May 23, 2013


Yes, the state government of NC has gone insane

They haven't gone insane, North Carolina decided to elect Republicans, who have been pushing an increasingly radical and repressive social agenda in every single state where they have gained power since 2010. The state is getting exactly what it voted for.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:45 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Um, yeah, not saying it's like wonderful news the Republicans are trying to suppress the vote, but it led directly to a pretty significant backlash. Also, the white male demographic is the largest but also the one that's growing most slowly in the US compared to all others.

I guess the alternative is to say fuck it and stay home and not care but I'm happy to see people in NC aren't doing that.
posted by bardic at 9:47 AM on May 23, 2013


Ta-Nahesi Coates: "Voter Suppression Backfires": "People don't understand that the attempt to disenfranchise broad swaths of the American population is actually in this country's living memory. People have not forgotten. This is their life. It's not a storybook." (He's focusing on Ohio, but the point stands.)
posted by bardic at 9:50 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Regarding the "state getting what it voted for" point: 51% of North Carolinians voted for Democratic candidates, but the districts are so gerrymandered that the GOP now has a substantial majority in both chambers. A lawsuit about the legality of the new maps is pending.
posted by jeffmshaw at 9:52 AM on May 23, 2013 [32 favorites]


A lawsuit about the legality of the new maps is pending.

I hope the plaintiffs win. That kind of gerrymandering is farcical.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:58 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is the reason why state and local politics are so important and why the Republican donors have been pouring money into state and local races because you can still influence public policy by driving it from a bottom up approach especially with national races becoming less and less winnable with the current Republican coalition.

Plus this is where you develop your new talent aka your farm team. Most will just be crazy assholes that ruin one state but a few will be crazy + charismatic and can help ruin a nation.
posted by vuron at 10:00 AM on May 23, 2013 [22 favorites]


The state is getting exactly what it voted for.

A big chunk of us didn't vote for it and worked hard to educate other people on why they shouldn't vote for it, either.

The GA is ramming this stuff through on the back of heavy opposition which is, y'know, the point of the article in the OP.
posted by winna at 10:02 AM on May 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


[+] for the tagline.
posted by Danf at 10:09 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, for the halcyon days of 2008, when many of us thought NC was yet another state where the progressives had finally dragged the rest of the state into the 21st century; not the current conservative fiefdom that has reverted into a hateful and spittle-flecked cesspool where GLBT people actually managed to lose rights, minority and poor and urban voters are considered 3/5ths of a person, rising tides are literally written out of the books, electric cars are anti-American, everybody on welfare is a drug addict, and the Establishment Clause is meaningless.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:20 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


As has been mentioned, NC Republicans have realized that the pockets of Dems in the state are small enough and spread out enough that they can basically be gerrymandered out of existence. And when gerrymandering alone isn't enough, they propose bills like NC Senate 666 (no joke) which is basically a way of creating districts gerrymandered so hard they they are no longer contiguous.

"See this dorm where all the students vote Dem? What if we circle it, and call it part of this district back home where their parents all vote Republican?"

"We can do that?"

"Not really, but we can tell the parents it will cost them $2500 for their kid to vote at school instead of coming home to vote! Same end result."

It is very frustrating to be a Dem in NC right now, but as this article suggests, we are not going down without a fight (and I greatly respect everyone going to Raleigh, particularly those being arrested, because god knows they're putting more on the line than I have yet).
posted by jermsplan at 10:41 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


As a note to anybody in the neighborhood considering showing up on June 3, the legislature passed a law that says anybody arrested in these protests can't enter the assembly building. We could really use more people to show up and come into the building as some of the most motivated protestors have to stand outside on the sidewalk.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:21 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


What
posted by stoneweaver at 11:44 AM on May 23, 2013


the legislature passed a law that says anybody arrested in these protests can't enter the assembly building


I know that the judicial branch of government has its own processes and timetables, and that cases must make their way up to the Supreme Court, but there really should be some sort of body that can preemptively step in under certain circumstances with clear precedent, and say "Uh, yeah...that's, like, super unconstitutional."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:07 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


You think these squalid, shitty, homophobic, privileged, misoogynistic selfish, greedy "Christians" care about the Constitution?
posted by umberto at 12:16 PM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


You think these squalid, shitty, homophobic, privileged, misoogynistic selfish, greedy "Christians" care about the Constitution?

Sure, the parts that keep their church from paying taxes while forcing members to vote Republican and the ones that protect their right to own a military weapon for "home defense".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:24 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It also doesn't help when Pat "Colossal Asshole" McCrory gets free PR from local TV news.
posted by Token Meme at 12:41 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The state is getting exactly what it voted for.

This is not even true amongst North Carolina Republicans. The Speaker of the NC House, Thom Tillis, has said more than once that extremist policies are not a good long-term strategy for his party or the state. And he's correct - the recent budget proposed by House Tea Party-esque Republican members has less than 10% support amongst North Carolina voters and will almost certainly be tossed.

There is a lot of crap happening down there right now, for sure, but I think (hope?) the bluster is overblown and will die down once the most right-wing members see that they don't actually have support for their policies. And if they don't, well, they'll pretty quickly be voted out.

Also, I've talked to that Blust guy on the phone and he was disconcertingly nice. I didn't like it.
posted by something something at 1:32 PM on May 23, 2013


So what/who determines whether it's legal or not to protest inside the legislative building? It seems like they were in exactly the same sort of space that the Wisconsin protesters were in and thousands of them were allowed to be there protesting, but these people in NC are being arrested after brief speeches.
posted by gerstle at 1:56 PM on May 23, 2013


I've been attending the protests and was there in support Monday; it's a powerful, fantastic time and the arrests are handled very smoothly. They're skipping next week due to the holiday but are planning a Mega-Moral Monday on June 3rd. Everyone who can make it should come out; the growing show of support is essential (which makes it ridiculous that the News & Observer didn't bother to even estimate the crowd in its coverage Tuesday; you'd have no idea that the crowds have been growing tremendously week to week by reading the local daily).

There's so much to be fighting against - they're getting rid of the earned income tax credit that helps almost a million poor NC citizens, and simultaneously getting rid of the estate tax to benefit 23 of the richest families in the state, for just one example. My fave bit by far is the push to repeal a modest renewable energy law the Dems passed in 2007; it's been so useful in generating interest in new jobs (from poultry waste-to-energy plants in poor counties in the eastern part of the state, e.g.), that even many Republicans were against the repeal, voting against letting it out of committee.

Of course ALEC couldn't let that stand. When it came up for a committe vote again, the Republican in charge took a voice vote and pronounced the bill passed, even though an actual count showed the bill clearly failed. So NC's modest renewable energy requirement, which was already producing tangible economic benefits in areas of the state that need it most, will be repealed, because ALEC thinks that kind of law is AGAINST FREEDOMS or some stupid shit.

See you Monday, June 3rd at 5:30pm.
posted by mediareport at 2:23 PM on May 23, 2013 [16 favorites]




No surprise North Carolina is so nuts. The ultra right is only beginning to activate its nation wide plan.
posted by chance at 4:10 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


First, the Democrats have only themselves to blame. The people they have put in office (I am looking at you, Purdue) have had reputations of extreme crookedness. We have had other more moderate Democratic governors that were quite popular with most North Carolinians, and her administration managed to flush a lot of that goodwill.

OTOH McCrory believe it or not was the most liberal guy running on the GOP side back in 2008 (and I heard just about all of them speak directly, trust me on this.) People also seemed to like the fact he had been mayor of Charlotte, not exactly a bastion of backwardness around here.

Correct me if I am wrong, but are the protests surrounding the fact that the Republicans would like to institute voter i.d. measures here? Something that a lot of states already have? As a former poll judge I know that there are lots of ways for someone to steal YOUR personal vote here. All they have to do is go to the Board of Election, tell them they are you, state your address, and vote. Then you go to the poll on regular election day and lo and behold there is already a record that you already voted. Yes, this is illegal and will get the perp thrown in jail but as a practical matter, if no one has cleaned out the voter rolls lately, you could be sunning yourself in Hawaii and have no idea that someone in NC took advantage of the fact you forgot to switch your voter registration. That actually happened back in 2008.

One other thing. When someone is on one side of the political spectrum (doesn't matter which one) just about anything someone does on the other side looks radical. Most mefites would look extremely radical to the typical conservative NC voter. I will leave it to liberal NC Mefites to explain that outside of places like Ashville and Chapel Hill, there are lots and lots and lots of places that are conservative to the bone, and that would include someone's grandpappy who is still registered Democrat because back in his day that is what everyone was, and back in his day there were still conservatives in that party. Heck, on my own wedding day my husband took me to the Board of Elections after the wedding reception and had me register Democrat because that was the last day to register before the next election, and he was a registered Democrat as well. His politics were exactly the same as they are now, only the party label was different. And HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE PARTY.

I say all that to say this: pendulums swing, and yes, this one is swinging pretty hard. But at some point it will swing the other direction. And so on and so forth.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:06 PM on May 23, 2013


"Something that a lot of states already have? As a former poll judge I know that there are lots of ways for someone to steal YOUR personal vote here. All they have to do is go to the Board of Election, tell them they are you, state your address, and vote. Then you go to the poll on regular election day and lo and behold there is already a record that you already voted. Yes, this is illegal and will get the perp thrown in jail but as a practical matter, if no one has cleaned out the voter rolls lately, you could be sunning yourself in Hawaii and have no idea that someone in NC took advantage of the fact you forgot to switch your voter registration. That actually happened back in 2008. "

Citation please.

"One other thing. When someone is on one side of the political spectrum (doesn't matter which one) just about anything someone does on the other side looks radical. Most mefites would look extremely radical to the typical conservative NC voter."

So, tu quoque?

"His politics were exactly the same as they are now, only the party label was different. And HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE PARTY."

Bullshit. The Dixiecrats that we lost in the South have abandoned their populist and anti-business approach in order to fellate the plutocrats.
posted by klangklangston at 5:43 PM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


the legislature passed a law that says anybody arrested in these protests can't enter the assembly building


I know that the judicial branch of government has its own processes and timetables, and that cases must make their way up to the Supreme Court, but there really should be some sort of body that can preemptively step in under certain circumstances with clear precedent, and say "Uh, yeah...that's, like, super unconstitutional."


Yes, I got it! We could call it a...a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order! Seriously, I hope the NAACP will challenge this unconstitutional abuse of power. Going to donate to the NC NAACP right now.
posted by Atrahasis at 5:53 PM on May 23, 2013


The Mega Moral Monday Facebook page has some good discussion, including info about a June 1 meeting for lawyers who want to represent protesters pro bono and this comment from Carrboro mayor Mark Chilton, who passes along a story about what the orientation, arrest and booking process was like, from one of the protesters:

"We began together at 3:45 at church on Davie St in Raleigh. The first hour we introduced ourselves, were briefed by Rev Barber and the lawyers on what to expect, how to act, and how they'd be there to support us in whatever we needed (including a bondsman for those who might need bond posted). At 4:45 the media came in and selected people were filmed telling why they are choosing to be civilly disobedient. This went on for about an hour and then we piled in cars and headed to Jones St where our supporters greeted us and sang and chanted with us before we all filed into the building.

"We assembled in the hallway in front of the Senate chambers and engaged in song and prayer, while some hold signs. There are leaders in song, chant and prayer. We also had some historians and would have had a "teach-in" but they arrested us pretty quickly. We were ordered by the GA Police Chief to disperse. Some, the supporters, stepped away from the doors and moved down the hall, but we stood in place which resulted in being arrested, handcuffed and led away where we were "processed" for the first time (some possessions removed) and put on a stuffy bus that took us to the Hammond Detention Center.

"Once there we were searched and had more things taken away (shoelaces, ties, scarves, necklaces, etc) and seated in a new waiting area, on hard metal benches, segregated by sex. After waiting a while they began to call us back in groups of 2 or 3 for a second stage of processing. We arrived in this area at around 7:45. I was not called back until around 12:45, though some were called back at 8:45. 4-5 hours of waiting for me. It was tedious and we got tired and hungry (though I think we'll arrange to have food at the church next week, so people can snack before starting out).

"In the next stage of processing (much shorter) we were fingerprinted extensively, had mug shots taken, were given our arrest papers. We were charged with 3 misdemeanors (Trespass, Failure to Disperse, and Creating a Disturbance with Signs and Singing).

"In the last stage of processing (another room) we, individually, went before a magistrate who set our bond. For those with no prior convictions we were given an unsecured bond of $1000 (released on our own recognizance) and ordered to not return to 106 Jones St until after our case is resolved. This was another stage of processing, before a magistrate. Court date set for July 1. When we were released, our attorneys, Tim Tyson, and other supporters were waiting on the other side with hugs, cheers and lots of good food. These volunteer attorneys will represent us in court. They were on the outside of the magistrate's office the whole time and prepared with a bondsman if needed for bail.

"After we were released and ate some good food, there were volunteers prepared to take us back to our cars wherever they were parked (the church or the legislative building). We were also invited to be filmed by a documentarian who asks some questions about why you came. You've likely seen these on Facebook. We each have our own short You Tube
video.

"I was home by around 3:15am, almost 12 hours from when we started. It was a long tedious night, but we had each other, with good conversation, singing, laughing etc and an eye-opening experience with the process of law enforcement and arrest - an opportunity to meet and bond with some wonderful folks."


The NC NAACP has also been posting "Why I Got Arrested" videos on its page.
posted by mediareport at 6:04 PM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


First, the Democrats have only themselves to blame. The people they have put in office (I am looking at you, Purdue)

Well you managed to name one. And of course, it's the Democrats' fault that blatantly racist gerrymandering is going on. Them colored folk and queers certainly do deserve their basic civil rights being repealed just because of Bev Purdue and their GOP candidates get tons of that sweet sweet superPAC cash, amirite?

Correct me if I am wrong, but are the protests surrounding the fact that the Republicans would like to institute voter i.d. measures here?

You are wildly wrong, as a quick reading/viewing of the links would have made eminently clear.

Something that a lot of states already have?

That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good thing (see also: GLBT rights), especially since there are many, many ways that voter ID has been used to implicitly block minorities, the young, and the old and disabled. Except of course when the GOP (and AFAIK it's always been the GOP providing most or all of the support) essentially admits that they're trying to block minorities and/or young voters from going to the polls because it helps Democrats. Or when they blatantly lie about OBAMA TAKING AWAY OUR TROOPS' FREEDOMS when voting is actually being expanded to give everybody the same access. And that doesn't even get into the fact that voter fraud is essentially a GOP scare tactic, to the point where even some Republicans say that widespread voter fraud is a myth and hyperbole.

As a former poll judge I know that there are lots of ways for someone to steal YOUR personal vote here. All they have to do is go to the Board of Election, tell them they are you, state your address, and vote. Then you go to the poll on regular election day and lo and behold there is already a record that you already voted. Yes, this is illegal and will get the perp thrown in jail but as a practical matter, if no one has cleaned out the voter rolls lately, you could be sunning yourself in Hawaii and have no idea that someone in NC took advantage of the fact you forgot to switch your voter registration. That actually happened back in 2008.

I'm with klangklangston on this one: please provide proof.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:17 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am a member of the Democratic party in NC and I don't think that Bev Purdue has a "reputation for extreme crookedness" or is in fact crooked on any level. Was she a bad choice as governor? Probably, but I'd say that had a lot more to do with the fact that she was ineffective than any so called "crookedness."

As for the protests being about voter ID, no, while that's a big part of it, that's really not all that they're about. I'm seriously contemplating going to Raleigh myself next week to join in and while I fervently believe that the voter ID stuff is a crock of racist shit that was cooked up to disenfranchise poor and minority voters - Democrats - I wouldn't go that far for a voter ID protest. No, I'm going because the NC GOP has, among other insanities:

* Decided not to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion, thus leaving thousands upon thousands of low income families without any form of medical care - and mind you, this would have BROUGHT money into the state, not taken one penny from anyone's pocket.

And they are planning to:
* Close all the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in the state, which is to say completely closing off access to care for hundreds of desperate people.
* Privatize all mental health facilities and medicaid payouts for same, leaving thousands of people, including many, many parents of children with severe autism out in the cold with no access to programs or services for their disabled children.
* Kick a large number of poor pregnant women off Medicaid, leaving them with no medical care at all.
* Remove the tax incentive for alternative fuels
* Create a disincentive to buy electric or hybrid cars.
* Cut teacher salaries, slash education budgets to the bone AND
* Raise taxes on the poor and working class while eliminating the estate tax for the richest NC families.

I am embarrassed and ashamed of my state and I don't think that this embarrassment and shame is limited to us weirdos in Asheville or our friends in Chapel Hill, as mediareport has pointed out. And you know what else, Alia? You're about my age and by the time I could vote that Southern Democrats are actually conservative shit had LONG since gone with the wind and Reagan republicanism was in full bloom in the South.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:32 PM on May 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Also:

I will leave it to liberal NC Mefites to explain that outside of places like Ashville and Chapel Hill, there are lots and lots and lots of places that are conservative to the bone

Apart from the fact that this stinks of the same "Real America" and "Real Virginia" bullshit Palin flung around--and if electric cars, rehab, and not heavily taxing the poor just for being poor are "radical," that speaks more about how far down the rabbit hole conservatives are--it also doesn't take into account Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro, or really any of the other places with high concentrations of voters that the GOP wants to disallow equal representation.

Oh, and BTW Asheville proper may be liberal(ish), but you get too far past the city limits and in a lot of ways (including politics) it's West Virginia.

that would include someone's grandpappy who is still registered Democrat because back in his day that is what everyone was, and back in his day there were still conservatives in that party. Heck, on my own wedding day my husband took me to the Board of Elections after the wedding reception and had me register Democrat because that was the last day to register before the next election, and he was a registered Democrat as well. His politics were exactly the same as they are now, only the party label was different. And HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE PARTY.

Unless this all happened in, say, 1964, for the most part this is wildly inaccurate and misleading.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:38 PM on May 23, 2013


Correct me if I am wrong, but are the protests surrounding the fact that the Republicans would like to institute voter i.d. measures here?

They've gone way beyond voter i.d. or any "we're stopping fraud!" justification, St. Alia. Waaay beyond. For just two examples of things being attempted in NC right now:

1. Proposal would make ex-felons wait 5 years to vote

April 22, 2013 RALEIGH — People convicted of felonies who have paid their debts to society in North Carolina would no longer automatically get back the right to vote under the Senate’s version of the voter ID bill.

The bill would require people convicted of felony crimes to wait five years upon the completion of their sentence, probation or parole before they could attempt to re-register to vote. First, though, they would have to get affidavits from two registered voters attesting to their “upstanding moral character” and get the unanimous approval of their local board of elections.


A unanimous vote from a panel of local political appointees before you can get your voting rights back? Yeah, that'll work just fine. Keep in mind county election board members are appointed by the State Elections Board, which our GOP governor just replaced in its entirety last month. Putting politics into the decision to grant ex-felons voting rights is blatant vote suppression, and you should be with us in the street protesting such a disgusting assault on basic American democracy.

2. The second trick (and keep in mind this is just the first two off the top of my head), was mentioned above and has not been attempted in any other state. It's brand new: the GOP is proposing to take away the parental tax deduction for dependent children of college age if they *gasp* dare to vote where they go to college instead of where their parents vote:

The proposed “democracy tax” would forbid North Carolinians from claiming a child who is in college as a dependent for tax purposes if that child registers to vote in her college community. State deductions range between $2,000 and $2,500 per dependent child. The problems with these bills are numerous.

The proposal discriminates against North Carolina residents exclusively. No other state punishes its residents for having children who register to vote in their college communities. Parents who live outside the state whose children attend college in North Carolina will face no additional tax burden. The bills target only North Carolinians...


Again, this is an astonishingly blatant attempt to suppress the vote, in this case the college vote, and does nothing to address whatever very minor incidence of fraud you seem to think you're talking about. This is the kind of thing the current GOP legislature is reaching for, St. Alia. Any thoughtful citizen of North Carolina should be up in arms over the very thought that any legislator would dare to even propose such garbage. Where are you?

I encourage you to do some research about what's actually happening in the NC legislature. The GOP attack on voting rights in our state goes way beyond requiring an i.d. at the polls. And yeah, I know all about the horribly corrupt Democrats - if we ever meet I'll be happy to tell you the story of me holding the phone away from my ear as Jim Black yelled at me for being a journalist asking him sharp questions. Honestly, I don't know why you have it in for Bev Perdue so much, but she was nowhere near as bad as you routinely make her out to be, and if you really cared about corruption in North Carolina you'd be paying attention to the kind of thing I mentioned above, where GOP committee heads are rushing to pronounce bills passed when they know they don't have the votes to pass them, or the accusations in the letter from GOP Rep. Robert Brawley, who just resigned as co-chair of the House Finance Committee amid very public allegations of misconduct on the part of GOP House Speaker Thom Tillis.

It's Jim Black all over again, St. Alia, but with your favorite party in charge this time.
posted by mediareport at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh and let me add as well that another reason Asheville and all of Buncombe County - yes, all of it, right and left together - is upset at the moment is because Raleigh is stealing our water, thus putting the city in the hole for 5 million dollars.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:44 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say all that to say this: pendulums swing, and yes, this one is swinging pretty hard. But at some point it will swing the other direction. And so on and so forth.

Sadly we can't feed, shelter and keep healthy the underclass through swings of popular opinion on their fate.

Thankfully though, they'll survive one more night using the small amount of heat generated by burning this piece of paper with the words "promote the general welfare" written on it.
posted by Talez at 7:41 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: " When someone is on one side of the political spectrum (doesn't matter which one) just about anything someone does on the other side looks radical. Most mefites would look extremely radical to the typical conservative NC voter. I will leave it to liberal NC Mefites to explain that outside of places like Ashville and Chapel Hill, there are lots and lots and lots of places that are conservative to the bone"

I've lived in rural NC for about 20 years now, and it's true that most Mefites would be very liberal comparatively. That still has nothing to do with the fact that the current legislature is passing a whole lot of extreme legislation at an unprecedented rate. I can only hope that they're so drunk with power they're shooting themselves in the foot.
They really are giving Asheville the shaft, as well; it's disgraceful. Some even acknowledge that.
posted by Red Loop at 3:00 AM on May 24, 2013


Oh, and BTW Asheville proper may be liberal(ish), but you get too far past the city limits and in a lot of ways (including politics) it's West Virginia.

Please, West Virginia has a Democratic Governor, both Senators, and one of three reps!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:39 AM on May 24, 2013


For fuck's sake.

People need to put away their bias glasses and actually look at stuff before getting on their high horse and trying to decide what needs to happen in other people's voting districts.

Putting politics into the decision to grant ex-felons voting rights is blatant vote suppression, and you should be with us in the street protesting such a disgusting assault on basic American democracy.

No, no it's not. Because felons have demonstrated that they do not hold good principles of citizenship. I don't want them voting. I would march and volunteer and engage in lobbying to ensure that they don't start voting, because you don't want the inmates running the asylum. The criminals should not be voting or deciding on the laws.

It's brand new: the GOP is proposing to take away the parental tax deduction for dependent children of college age if they *gasp* dare to vote where they go to college instead of where their parents vote:

Why should students be able to vote in the area they go to school at? I mean, seriously, why should they? They are not a part of the community. They are there for a brief period and then gone back to where they came from. And if they are still dependents of their parents, their permanent residence is their parents home. People's permanent residence is where they pay taxes from, not wherever they happen to be living at the time.

When I was in the military, I paid taxes for New York, as a New York State resident with a permanent address in New York. Despite not setting foot more than 60 days total in the state for the several years I served, I paid taxes for New York, and I voted in New York - not wherever I happened to be at the time. If I had wanted to vote and pay taxes for where I was, I would have to change my legal permanent residence.

If students are emancipated from their parents, earning their own way and providing their own housing, then yes, they are a part of the community in which they live and have broken from the family home. But if students are still being counted as part of the family of residence in one area, then that's where they should fucking vote, because that's where the taxes are coming from.

Any attempt to do otherwise is just as blatant a political grab as anything the ohnotheRepublicans are doing. It's just your blatant political grab.
posted by corb at 5:22 AM on May 24, 2013


you don't want the inmates running the asylum.

They already do, that's called democracy. The peons get to decide the fate of the nobility even if they are unwashed and uncouth.

People's permanent residence is where they pay taxes from, not wherever they happen to be living at the time.

Now this part I totally agree with, all the way to the power grab part!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:02 AM on May 24, 2013


The criminals should not be voting or deciding on the laws.

Too late!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:13 AM on May 24, 2013


Incidentally, when large swaths of the population are convicted of a felony for something that is by-and-large socially acceptable and its very legality is a current major issue of public debate, it certainly smacks of a more sinister agenda to decide to change the rules on felony convicts voting. It smacks even worse when a large swath of a specific racial group who happen to also be a large portion of your political opposition have a disproportionate ammount of people convicted of these nonviolent felonies.

So who's really a better citizen, a working-class black guy that got busted with a bag of weed and did his time or some guy who wants to disenfranchise a large section of the population because they hold opposing views and happen to have not had the socio-economic advantages he had when he was toking it up in college without any repercussions?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:15 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


So who's really a better citizen, a working-class black guy that got busted with a bag of weed and did his time or some guy who wants to disenfranchise a large section of the population because they hold opposing views and happen to have not had the socio-economic advantages he had when he was toking it up in college without any repercussions?

This is a really common image, and one that people like to hold up as the example of people who should be able to vote again. And of course it seems reasonable! You, I, and probably the majority of the population would agree that someone who just happened to be smoking pot should not be prevented from voting for the rest of their life.

But the problem is, this image is not necessarily accurate - the casual pot smoker barred from voting forever - and it's certainly not accurate in North Carolina, where possession of up to 1 1/2 ounces of pot is merely a misdemeanor, and laws have been introduced to decriminalize marijuana. Because North Carolina, like most states, recognizes there are differences between casual and serious drug users, and also between drug users and drug dealers.

I would be very interested to see what percentage of the felony convictions in North Carolina are for personal possession for marijuana, as compared to other crimes. I would assert that it is probably staggeringly lower than most people using that image for the restoration of voting rights to felons would want you to believe.
posted by corb at 6:39 AM on May 24, 2013


Students and felons shouldn't vote. Military should. Hmmm...

Because felons have demonstrated that they do not hold good principles of citizenship.

In NC, You can become a felon for bringing a pencil home from work or making a mistake on your time sheet.

Why should students be able to vote in the area they go to school at?

Because they live there for 4-8 years. Some of them even find community and stay on.

When I was in the military, I paid taxes for New York

Yeah, I paid taxes in Virginia. And I had no clue what was going on back there because I didn't live there anymore and my new locale was rather compelling. So, in good conscience, I didn't vote at the state level. Left that to people that actually lived there.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:43 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why should students be able to vote in the area they go to school at?

The Supreme Court ruled on that one in 1979, corb. Students have a right to vote where they go to school. The NC GOP is trying to make an end run around that right by financially penalizing parents of children who choose to exercise that established right.

I get that you like to play devil's advocate a lot, but this case is pretty clear.
posted by mediareport at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would be very interested to see what percentage of the felony convictions in North Carolina are for personal possession for marijuana, as compared to other crimes.

According to the state courts, between 2009 and 2010, 37% of felony convictions were for non-trafficking drug offenses. Incidentally, in a state that is 22% black, according to the same report 53% of felony offenders were black.

So, not actually as far away from the common image after all.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:52 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


No, no it's not. Because felons have demonstrated that they do not hold good principles of citizenship. I don't want them voting. I would march and volunteer and engage in lobbying to ensure that they don't start voting, because you don't want the inmates running the asylum. The criminals should not be voting or deciding on the laws.

Ex-criminals. You can't consider someone guilty until proven innocent, and you can't strip them of their citizenship.

Why should students be able to vote in the area they go to school at? I mean, seriously, why should they? They are not a part of the community. They are there for a brief period and then gone back to where they came from.

So you want to strip away voting rights of anyone who doesn't stay in one place for an arbitrary amount of time or meet a nebulous definition of "community"? Wow.

And if they are still dependents of their parents, their permanent residence is their parents home. People's permanent residence is where they pay taxes from, not wherever they happen to be living at the time[...]If students are emancipated from their parents, earning their own way and providing their own housing, then yes, they are a part of the community in which they live and have broken from the family home. But if students are still being counted as part of the family of residence in one area, then that's where they should fucking vote, because that's where the taxes are coming from.

So people's votes are dependent on taxes? What an...interesting idea, especially for a Southern state.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


No surprise North Carolina is so nuts. The ultra right is only beginning to activate its nation wide plan.

It is a surprise to many. If you want to see a bunch of other pissed-off hillbillies try this: http://scrutinyhooligans.us/
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:13 AM on May 24, 2013


So people's votes are dependent on taxes?

I think what Corb was saying was not necessarily that they have to PAY taxes (or particularly a specific tax like a poll tax), but where they FILE taxes is the place where they have established legal residency that also determines where they should vote.

Incidentally, if you fail to pay taxes due in your place of residence you'd end up a felon!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:13 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


a bunch of other pissed-off hillbillies

Again, as with the West Virginia comments above, it's not the hillbillies, and never has been, that are the bigoted jerks here. As is the case in East vs. West Tennessee, the real assholes are flatlanders!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:18 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the state courts, between 2009 and 2010, 37% of felony convictions were for non-trafficking drug offenses

Non-trafficking drug offenses, not casual marijuana use offenses? Which page are you looking at, because I don't see that statistic.

Appendix D cites the number of felony crimes. I see 28,116. Of those, 5,148 are personal offenses - the most common being common law robbery, at 709, followed with Indecent Liberties with a child, at 503. (Stay classy, North Carolina) We have 10,472 Property crimes - of those, the most common being Breaking and Entering, with 4,150.

Now we get to "Non-Trafficking Drug Offenses", at 8,616. That number seems high, but it also includes "Sell/Deliver Drugs, Manufacture Drugs, Possession with Intent (to sell), Conspiracy to Sell/Deliver Drugs, and Other Drug Felonies". Those make up the bulk of the number, at 6,138, leaving only 2,955 to have Drug Possession as their crime. Now, note, this does not differentiate between the type of drug. Cocaine, heroin, and the harder drugs also make an appearance here. This is the number to break up and need more data for.

And Other Felony weighs in at 3,880, with the highest being some form of weapons offense, at 1380.

So of those, possession of drugs - all drugs - weighs in at just 2,955 people, or 9.5% of all felonies.

Which means that of the people who would be released to vote again, a whopping 90.5% of them would be people /not/ in for drug possession.
posted by corb at 7:18 AM on May 24, 2013


Non-trafficking drug offenses, not casual marijuana use offenses?

Yeah, sorry, that's as close as I could get with a quick google search and they don't seem to divide those out. Page 15 has felony convictions by type, page 48 has misdemenors (only 17% are drug charges).
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:23 AM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, sorry, that's as close as I could get with a quick google search and they don't seem to divide those out.

Oh no, I didn't think you meant to pull a fast one, but I know I've been looking for that kind of data for a while for other states and it's really, really hard to pull out neatly sorted. I just knew those numbers looked wrong and had to dive down.

I think what Corb was saying was not necessarily that they have to PAY taxes (or particularly a specific tax like a poll tax), but where they FILE taxes is the place where they have established legal residency that also determines where they should vote.

Yeah, that's essentially it. Your legal residency is where you are bound to - it's the place you generally have more long-standing ties to, and where you're more involved in the community and hear from people who would be impacted by said laws. Apparently the Supreme Court has said otherwise, but that doesn't mean I think it's a good idea. (Also, I don't know if this has been tried before, but it would mean that for close elections, people might be able to just swan in for the election period and swan out again.)
posted by corb at 7:28 AM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, that's essentially it. Your legal residency is where you are bound to - it's the place you generally have more long-standing ties to, and where you're more involved in the community and hear from people who would be impacted by said laws.

Do you have any proof that 4+ years of education doesn't bind people to locations or get them involved in the community? Because, again, you're imposing an arbitrary and subjective limit on the law. And let's not forget that you're affected by the law wherever you are. If I commit a felony in NC, I'm tried and convicted under their laws and I am required to submit to their justice.

Also, what if someone doesn't really involve themselves in their community, either through isolation or travel? Let's use an example of, oh I don't know, someone who lived in New York for several years but spent no more than 60 days in the state total. By your definition, that person would likely not have formed long-standing ties, be involved in the community, or hear from people who would be impacted by said laws. They're spending a small fraction of the time that any college student (let alone one that continued onto a graduate program), and yet they deserve more say?

Apparently the Supreme Court has said otherwise, but that doesn't mean I think it's a good idea.

You can't make a legal argument on one hand and then a moral judgement on the other, least of all when it involves nullifying codified law of the nation which the state is a member of.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:39 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Again, as with the West Virginia comments above, it's not the hillbillies,

None taken.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:57 AM on May 24, 2013


Do you have any proof that 4+ years of education doesn't bind people to locations or get them involved in the community?

Nope, but if you are bound to a community, shouldn't you see fit to become a "resident" of that community rather than just leeching from it?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope, but if you are bound to a community, shouldn't you see fit to become a "resident" of that community rather than just leeching from it?

Your money is going to the institution providing you residency, so there's no "leeching" at all, unless that institution is not providing any money to the state itself, which is unlikely if not impossible. If you want to make a "residency" argument, then you can't just come up with random timeframes and/or definitions of who is part of a community, and trying to pass asinine nullification laws is the worst and most retributive way of going around that, especially when the excuse is practically non-existent voter fraud.

If living in a dorm shouldn't count, then provide off-campus housing paid for by room and board, or make the dorms fall under state residency laws, or some other method that encourages community involvement rather than punishing someone for transparently unlawful and political reasons. Definitely don't go around telling people who live in the area for the better part of four or more years that they are less a part of the community than someone who doesn't ever come out of their apartment except to go to work, or who's on travel or service for most of the year.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:28 AM on May 24, 2013


unless that institution is not providing any money to the state itself, which is unlikely if not impossible

Private colleges (about 1/3 of American 4-year enrollment), particularly religious institutions, are usually non-profits.

Now, I'm not saying that students are parasites or anything (after all they do pay sales taxes and their landlords pay property taxes, etc...), but if you are so connected to a community wouldn't you try to become an actual member of that community? Voting is a benefit of community membership, but with that comes the responsibilities of membership as well, such as paying taxes and following the other residency requirements established by that community, no?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:50 AM on May 24, 2013


You seem to be ignoring the fact that "voting" day also includes state and national elections. Forcing a student to pay to travel back to their home town, or home state, in the middle of the semester to exercise the right to vote is absurd. And denying a parent who's paying for their child's education the tax benefit of that dependent child because that child votes where that child temporarily lives while they get the education the parent is paying for? That's just despicable.
posted by mediareport at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


My blood has been at boiling level for most of 2013 when this set of assholes took their unearned government seats in January. I knew the second McCrory got in he would diss Obamacare & wreak so much hypocritical self serving havoc that it will take decades to fix. I didn't dream they'd pull shit like the Tesla dealership crap & sinking their fangs into Asheville's water situation. Not to mention other assorted maneuvers of highway robbery.

Gosh, I can't wait until they follow Chicago's example of shuttering 50+ public schools to pave the way for privatized education. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!?

I'm an NC native and I'm so fucking mad and ashamed of this state's administration I can't see straight or even make any coherent points, like mediareport and mygothlaundry and klangklangston have so skillfully done. Thank you guys for your thought & articulation.

I wish I had it in me to stay & fight tiny, broad brush mindsets like St. Alia of the Bunnies, (who I notice has not returned with any rebuttals, intelligent or otherwise) but I'm damn tired & looking to move the fuck out of the 1700's, which is where we're going in NC in a fucking hurry.

They've already made it abundantly clear that I'm not welcome here: either as a gay woman OR a small business owner. That is just fucking sad, and I hope they come crawling back to ask for that medicare help they so "proudly" turned down.
posted by yoga at 10:29 AM on May 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know, someone near and dear to me got caught with a quarter ounce of weed. Because that weed was in three separate baggies - there were three people in the car - my friend is now a felon. He had some other misdemeanor offenses on his record, was 18, mouthed off to the cop and ended up, as you list, being charged with Possession with Intent (to sell), Conspiracy to Sell/Deliver Drugs, and Other Drug Felonies, which is to say, maintaining a vehicle in order to deliver drugs. He also later got a probation violation because of some decorative Samurai swords on his bedroom wall - I was there for that one and yes, that's exactly what they violated his probation for - and ended up in state youth prison for 9 months. God forbid he should ever vote, particularly since he's now 21, gainfully employed, hasn't been in trouble for years. Obviously he should never vote, nor should my friend who got addicted to crack and stole his grandmother's furniture, even though that was 15 years ago.

What part of done your time, paid for your crime, do you not get here? Why should people who make mistakes - and they are usually very, very young people, particularly in North Carolina, where anyone age 16 and over is charged as an adult even, in a particularly delightful Catch 22 twist, when the offense they are being charged for, such as possession of tobacco paraphernalia, wouldn't be a crime if they were an adult - continue paying for it for the rest of their lives? What possible good does it serve to strip people of their rights as a citizen forever? I am sorry but you know, we already lock up a higher percentage of our population than any other first world country and now you suggest that we disenfranchise them eternally as well. What's next in this progression? Limit the vote to white, landowning males?
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:54 PM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'd also like to say that I have voted in every place I have ever lived, and that includes where I went to college: Charleston SC, which happens to be my home town. In a fun twist - let's just do this for kicks - my parents moved to Atlanta and left me, the college student, behind in my apartment on Rutledge Avenue. I was already registered to vote. Should I have changed my voting location to Atlanta? Inquiring minds want to know! It's absurd to think that college students are not part of their communities.

Let's also be honest about this: the entire college voting kerfuffle is because of Warren Wilson College, gods bless their hippie hearts. They're right on a new, gerrymandered district line and they upset the Republican plans. This is more getting even - Tim Moffitt and his pals really, REALLY hate Asheville, you see. He never could get any respect around here, where, coincidentally. a surprising number of Warren Wilson alumni make their permanent homes.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:02 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Now, I'm not saying that students are parasites or anything (after all they do pay sales taxes and their landlords pay property taxes, etc...), but if you are so connected to a community wouldn't you try to become an actual member of that community?"

From growing up in a college town, where the GOP pushed a similar law through, this is bullshit and actually ends up with less young people political participation in general, having the effect of suppressing votes that go against the GOP.

The biggest reason why most college students — at least in Michigan — didn't change their permanent residence to their college was because for both health and auto insurance, that meant they couldn't be under their parents' policies. It has nothing to do with level of community involvement.
posted by klangklangston at 3:38 PM on May 24, 2013


The biggest reason why most college students — at least in Michigan — didn't change their permanent residence to their college was because for both health and auto insurance, that meant they couldn't be under their parents' policies. It has nothing to do with level of community involvement.

The thing is, that is a choice. These college students made the choice to elongate their parental dependency, giving up the right to declare a residence of their own, in order to have health and auto insurance under their parent's plan. That is a tangible benefit, and it caused them to make that choice. So yes, they should still need to vote in their location of residency. Otherwise, you're essentially arguing that they should be rewarded for gaming the system.

Forcing a student to pay to travel back to their home town, or home state, in the middle of the semester to exercise the right to vote is absurd.

It sure does! That's why the state of North Carolina provides a way people could vote without having to travel when they were someplace that required being away from the polling booth, giving every citizen the right to vote by mail using an absentee ballot.
posted by corb at 4:08 PM on May 24, 2013


Parts of this discussion are frightening and depressing for me. The whole students-voting-where-they-actually-reside thing (i.e. not where their parents reside) was pretty much hashed through and resolved when I was in college in the first half of the 70's. We voted locally. (Where we lived, where we had jobs and paid sales tax and rent, were definitely interested in local issues, and where many of us stayed after graduation, etc...) I realize some here may not have even been alive then, but it happened.. so yea, it seems clear to me that it's an obvious attempt at disenfranchisement and yet another instance of the cynical Republican recognition of and reliance on the fact that Americans have no memory... Also, I live in the definitely un-flat land of East Tennessee and I am frightened almost on a daily basis by the ignorant, unaware-of-history, ungenerous (not to mention breathtakingly and savagely fascist) opinions expressed by my coworkers... Tennessee is another state where the legislature has been taken over by power hungry fools and where the clearly-covering-his-ass governor has refused medicaid funds... The fact is, the nationwide victory of Republican gerrymandering has effectively insured that the popular, legitimate, majority votes of U.S. citizens are rendered null and void... and thus very possibly doomed the country.
posted by anguspodgorny at 5:48 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


"The thing is, that is a choice. These college students made the choice to elongate their parental dependency, giving up the right to declare a residence of their own, in order to have health and auto insurance under their parent's plan. That is a tangible benefit, and it caused them to make that choice. So yes, they should still need to vote in their location of residency. Otherwise, you're essentially arguing that they should be rewarded for gaming the system. "

Bullshit. It is a choice — though not a very good one — but there's simply no credible claim that they're "gaming the system" by voting where they are most engaged through, you know, actually living there for real, not in a legal fiction.

So, no, there's no justification there for having them vote where their parents live, and "gaming the system" is nonsense post hoc justification for some emotional reaction you're having, not any sort of good public policy.
posted by klangklangston at 6:34 PM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


My 72-year-old mother got arrested today.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:36 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


some emotional reaction you're having

Wait, you're the one who just put a value judgement on it! Sure it's a shit choice, so are a lot of legal choices. Under our current, terrible insurance system, you can either be a dependent and receive dependent benefits under your parents' address or you can become emancipated and become a citizen of the place where you live (and find your own coverage). Until we get off our asses and fix the shitty public policy of having insurance corporations make our healthcare decisions for us you get to make the shitty choice.

Also, I live in the definitely un-flat land of East Tennessee and I am frightened almost on a daily basis by the ignorant, unaware-of-history, ungenerous (not to mention breathtakingly and savagely fascist) opinions expressed by my coworkers...

I blame it on the influx of Georgians.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:15 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mom in the Raleigh newspaper.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:29 AM on June 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Wait, you're the one who just put a value judgement on it!"

Read her comment again. There's no way you can say that if this isn't the law, then students are rewarded for gaming the system without that being a value judgment.

"Sure it's a shit choice, so are a lot of legal choices."

That other legal choices are also shitty does not justify a shitty legal choice.

"Under our current, terrible insurance system, you can either be a dependent and receive dependent benefits under your parents' address or you can become emancipated and become a citizen of the place where you live (and find your own coverage). Until we get off our asses and fix the shitty public policy of having insurance corporations make our healthcare decisions for us you get to make the shitty choice."

That's dumb. Until something much larger and more complicated is fixed, this shitty choice has to remain because … that's just the way we're changing things to be now? I agree with you about health insurance, but you are totally making the perfect the enemy of the good.
posted by klangklangston at 8:43 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am on North Carolina State Senator Thom Goolsby's mailing list. Here is what I just got today:

Moron Monday: Radical Left just doesn’t get it

Senator Thom Goolsby

The circus came to the State Capitol this week, complete with clowns, a carnival barker and a sideshow. The “Reverend” Barber was decked out like a prelate of the Church of Rome (no insult is meant to Catholics), complete with stole and cassock. All he was missing was a miter and the ensemble would have been complete.

Several hundred people – mostly white, angry, aged former hippies – appeared and screeched into microphones, talked about solidarity and chanted diatribes. It was “liberal theater” at its best. Just like having a honey bun and double espresso for breakfast, the impact of it all left the participants jittery and empty in the end.

Never short on audacity, the Loony Left actually named their gathering “Moral Monday.” Between the screaming, foot stomping and disjointed speeches, it appeared more like “Moron Monday.” The gathering was supposed to influence legislators. However, no one thought to bring out any senate or house member from either party.

The gathering was a field day for the Raleigh press corps who came out in large numbers for the extravaganza. In a carefully orchestrated parade, photographers and videographers walked backwards as Barber and his minions strolled into an empty General Assembly Building to voice more complaints and engage in several rounds of sing-along. Even more press showed up to document the standard-bearers of liberalism who were politely arrested by General Assembly Police and escorted away well before session started. These “brave souls” can now claim hero status for all the courage they showed by standing up against the Radical Right.

Where were the protesters when the Democrats were bankrupting North Carolina? Just three years ago, North Carolina was in a deep crisis. The treasury was empty, with a multi-billion-dollar deficit. The state health care plan was bankrupt. The state retirement plan was underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars. A multi-billion-dollar debt was owed to the federal government for money loaned to the state during the Great Recession for unemployment benefits. On top of everything, before getting roundly kicked out by the voters, Democrat leaders managed to raise North Carolina’s taxes to the highest in the Southeast, borrowing every dollar possible.

For over 140 years, Democrats had an almost total lock on power in Raleigh. It was not until the 2010 elections that the GOP had ever controlled both chambers in the General Assembly. Even then, they had to contend with Democrat Gov. Beverly Perdue who fought every commonsense reform brought forward. The Republicans finally consolidated their power with overwhelming wins in the 2012 election season where they took the Governor’s office, as well as many more seats in the NC House and Senate.

Once ensconced in power, the pro-growth, commonsense Republicans went to work like the business people they were. Government waste was cut, a billion-dollar tax cut was enacted and the budget was balanced. The state’s retirement plan was fully funded and the state health plan was made solvent. A responsible repayment schedule was arranged with the federal government to pay off the unemployment debt in record time. In other words, the sinking ship of this state was righted.

You might be wondering, “What is the left complaining about?” A better question is “What are they not complaining about?” Apparently, even in the light of the overwhelming GOP election victories, they believe that Republicans had no mandate to fix what the Democrats broke. Somehow, the new leadership is supposed to print money on a magical press and spend our way into prosperity.

Even Democrat pollsters say these protests are hurting their party and its long-term plan to recover power. Regular people, i.e. voters, tend to shy away from the real radical fringe. Nonetheless, the old hippies have found a new hobby and have once again fallen in love with the sound of their own voices. Too bad they were not around to help when they were needed.

Thom Goolsby is a state senator, practicing attorney and law professor. He is a chairman of the Senate Judiciary 1 and Justice and Public Safety committees.

posted by flarbuse at 10:22 AM on June 7, 2013


One correction: While my mom is, indeed, white, angry, and aged, she was never a hippie. From all reports, though, her arrest and subsequent (brief) incarceration were polite. (yeah, that's my actual mother in the picture)
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:52 AM on June 7, 2013


Jesus Christ, flarbuse. That guy.
posted by something something at 12:19 PM on June 7, 2013


« Older The Boston Marathon bombings may be fading from th...  |  Magic Hat Brewery is facing a ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments