A federal court panel has ruled that two of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts were racially gerrymandered and must be redrawn within two weeks. Critics of the 2011 Republican-led redistricting contend the map lines were drawn to concentrate black voters in districts that reduced their overall political power. North Carolina is home to 3 of the nation's 10 most gerrymandered congressional districts.
The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
2003 American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. Aiken is a long-time political activist, and his campaign seems serious and sincere, as shown by the heartfelt five-minute video announcing his campaign. But the odds are against him in a district which voted for Romney by a twelve-point margin, and being a gay father is a possible liability in a state which recently voted to ban gay marriage. (But of course, electing entertainers to political office is an American tradition.)
Madison Kimrey is a rather exceptional 12-year-old girl whose speech protesting North Carolina's removal of a voting preregistration program for 16-and-17-year-olds has been making the rounds lately, thanks to Kimrey's intelligence and astonishing eloquence. Her blog, Functional Human Being, is similarly an engaging read, whether she's writing about Miley Cyrus, Daisy Coleman, or supporting the saner elements of the Republican party.
The New York Times' lead editorial on the Moral Monday arrests (Previously on Metafilter), ending federal unemployment benefits, failing education programs, racial discrimination, and new abortion laws.
Fashion blog Ivy-Style.com posted an article today hypothesizing that four-term Republican North Carolina State Representative Bryan R. Holloway is the anonymous blogger, known as Richard, responsible for the much criticized WASP 101 fashion blog, widely excoriated around the internet for its frequent racist, sexist, and classist overtones (and for having bad fashion sense, too). [more inside]
How Polling Firm PPP Won The Election With Its Hilarious And Infuriating Questions: "Public Policy Polling, the firm that correctly predicted all 50 states in the presidential election, is known for asking some weird, quirky and, sometimes, controversial questions in its polls... Here are some of the firm's best questions of the election cycle." [more inside]
Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original]
Abu Gharib? Feh. The newest Dark Side: telemarketing abuse. The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a $2.1 million campaign calling individuals, including those on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry, with automated telephone messages scripted to sound as if they are coming from the Democratic candidate up for election, in the hopes of driving away support come Tuesday's elections. "Hello. I'm calling with information about [Democratic candidate]," the recording begins, and then pauses for the traditional hang-up. If the recipient does indeed hang up, they then receive repeated phone calls back. This manner of scripting violates 47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1), which requires that "the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call" be "state[d] clearly" "at the beginning of the message." The New Hampshire Attorney General got them to stop calling those on the Do-Not-Call Registry, at least. (In their best interests, perhaps, due to the $5,000 fine per call potentially racking up hefty fines.) This is going on at the very least in the Pennsylvania 6th, the Connecticut 4th, the North Carolina 11th,, the New Hampshire 2nd, and nationwide.
North Carolina governer crashes into speedway wall in NASCAR stunt, also promises to name bridge after American Idol idiot. I never thought I'd be forced to vote Republican this soon. . .
Meet the "righteous babes" of the Libertarian Party In a welcome sign of new marketing savvy, North Carolina Libertarians have announced the "Ladies of Liberty" calendar. The fundraising, uh, tool features Lib candidates from across the country in patriotic and Vargas girl [probably nsfw] poses, and is the brainchild of the very glamorous state House candidate Rachel Mills. After her company's scandalous accounting caused Playboy to come knocking, Mills decided against using naked erotica as a campaign strategy, opting instead for a semi-clothed version. Don't get too excited, though; fellow state House candidate Jennifer Medlock says all of the women wear at least lingerie. She herself stops at a modest tank top, shorts and boxing gloves.