Monday, February 25, 2019


                                                               ATTY IRV JOYNER


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Twenty-seven months after he lost re-election, former NC Gov. Pat McCrory, who revealed Monday he will not re-enter the political arena for now -  is still insisting that his 2016 race in Bladen County was the victim of absentee ballot “voter fraud,” similar to what was proven in State Board of Elections hearings to have happened in Bladen County during the 2018 midterm elections.
            After witness testimony and documented evidence last week, the SBOE ruled that the Bladen County portion of the Ninth Congressional District race was legally “tainted” by the deliberate mishandling of absentee ballots, and a new election should take place.
            But McCrory is not placing the blame on Leslie McCrae Dowless, the white two-time convicted felon and political operative who allegedly ran the alleged election fraud scheme last year that helped Republican Mark Harris win that race.
Instead, the former governor and mayor of Charlotte is “falsely” pointing fingers at the black, Democratic Party funded Bladen Improvement Political Action Committee (BIPAC) as the culprit in his defeat, charging that the grassroots group ran a similar “voter fraud” operation to Dowless across the state, ultimately helping Democratic gubernatorial challenger Roy Cooper to oust him.
Published reports state that the Republican-controlled SBOE did look into McCrory’s complaint in 2016 – which was actually lodged by McCrae Dowless on behalf of McCrory -  and dismissed it. Nothing was found to have cost McCrory his reelection.
“I don’t think this [SBOE] investigation should have been dropped whatsoever, and just adjourned, without finding out exactly what is happening regarding voter fraud in the state of North Carolina, especially with absentee voting,” McCrory said on his WBT-AM radio show Monday morning.
“It is time for the media and the elections board to reopen this investigation, in public – don’t wait for the federal or state authorities – and ask the question, “Who did what, when…not just in 2018, but in 2016 when I raised, as a gubernatorial candidate the exact same issues.
Irving Joyner, attorney for the BIPAC, responded Monday by countercingharging that McCrory “is lying” about why he lost in 2016, and in fact, alleges that McCrory was supported by the very same Leslie McCrae Dowless who was the central “person of interest” in the 2018 Ninth District race scandal that made national headlines.
“McCrory is lying about what happened to him in 2016,” Joyner says. “He lost the governor’s race and is attempting to falsely cast blame on others for his inept campaign.”
“The Bladen County Improvement Association did not engage in any illegal conduct during either the 2016 or 2018 campaigns.”
In fact, the GOP-led SBOE in 2016 determined then that Leslie McCrae Dowless was allegedly involved in illegal absentee ballot “harvesting,” and referred it’s findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District. But nothing was done to stop Dowless, and he was hired by the Harris campaign in 2018 to generate votes.
After his son, an assistant federal prosecutor, testified at the SBOE hearings that he tried to warn his father about Dowless, Mark Harris took the stand, and asked the SBOE to grant a new election, which it eventually did.
On Tuesday, Mark Harris announced that he will not run, instead endorsing a Union County commissioner. His Democratic opponent Dan McCready, has already begun his campaign again for the Ninth District Congressional seat.

                                                           JUDGE COLLINS

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            It is the lower court ruling heard throughout the state, and the only thing louder will be the intense battle coming to overturn it!
            Wake Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins opened up a real political hornets’ nest with his Feb. 22nddecision to throw out two of the four North Carolina constitutional provisions passed by voters last November, effectively approving of a cap on state income taxes, and requiring a voter ID law.
            The NCNAACP, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that sought to overturn the voter ID law, was ecstatic with the ruling.
            “We are delighted that the acts of the previous majority, which came to power through the use of racially discriminatory maps, have been checked,” N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.
            “The prior General Assembly’s attempt to use its ill-gotten power to enshrine a racist photo voter ID requirement in the state constitution was particularly egregious, and we applaud the court for invalidating these attempts at unconstitutional overreach.”
            In his ruling, Judge Collins wrote, “…the constitutional amendments placed on the ballot on November 6, 2018 were approved by a General Assembly that did not represent the people of North Carolina….An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution.”
Republican Party and legislative leaders across the state were steamed, to say the least. NC Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes called the ruling “unprecedented and absurd.”
            Railing against “a liberal judge,” state Senate President Pro tem Phil Berger  remarked in a statement, “ We are duty-bound to appeal this absurd decision.”
            Legislative attorney Martin Warf said, “an appeal is absolutely coming.”
Judge Collins’ ruling - that the 2018 NC legislature was illegal because the federal courts had determined that its members were elected from voting districts that were racially gerrymandered -  effectively delays implementation of the voter ID law indefinitely, since it is certainly expected to be appealed to both the state Appellate Court, and ultimately the NC Supreme Court.
            Of note is that any appeal from either Republican legislative defendants  or the NCNAACP plaintiffs might be subject to a particular court’s partisan majority. 
            On the state Court of Appeals, Republicans hold a commanding majority, while on the NC Supreme Court, Democrats lead. But even with that, there is no true prediction whether the Collins ruling will be ultimately upheld.
            Newspaper editorials across the state were cautious.
            ‘It’s a reach of legal logic, a ruling that appears more like progressive fist-pounding than something that should come from the bench,” stated the News and Observer Feb. 25th.  “It also prompts a follow-up question: If, as Collins contends, gerrymandering strips the General Assembly of the authority to amend the N.C. constitution, wouldn’t it also render invalid any laws these same legislators pass?”
            At press time, an appeal from Republican lawmakers was expected.

By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

            The head of the Southern Coalition for Equal Protections Under the Law has sent a letter to Lisa Estep, chairwoman of the NHC School Board, requesting a “public apology” for alleged mistreatment at a recent school board meeting.
            “After careful research, consultation, and collaboration with friends, colleagues, and others, I have concluded that your actions at the February 5, 10019 New Hanover School Board Meeting, along with fellow board member actions--were an attempt to humiliate me and suppress my right to free speech,” wrote Rev. Dante Murphy, president of SCEP. “Your abridgement of my First Amendment Rights was demonstrated by your comments and a decision to halt my comments at the three-minute mark while you consistently allowed other speakers to go beyond that time limit without interruption.”
            “This correspondence is a request for a public apology for your attack on my First Amendment rights….,” Rev. Murphy continued in the letter dated Feb. 26th, a copy of which was emailed to The Journal. “Because two of your fellow board members verbally supported your actions during that meeting, I am also requesting an apology from Mr. Wortmam and Mr. Beaulieu. Case law demonstrates clearly that my comments were well within my rights.”
            Rev. Murphy later continued, “The Southern Coalition for Equal Protections Under the Law maintains that substantial evidence supports the conclusion that top administrators within the NHCSS inadequately responded to complaints of child sexual abuse and discrimination over the years, resulting in an abnormally high amount of lawsuits, federal investigations, and arrests of school personnel. An investigation, as requested by our group, could answer legitimate, logical, and pressing questions. You should investigate, in light of questions we have raised and evidence we have in hand. To fail to investigate, in light of what is known, will be clearly recorded in the history of this board's tenure. Top administrators cannot be trusted to adequately lead in their current capacities; and they cannot be trusted, of course, to investigate themselves. You have the authority and the moral duty to do the right thing.”
            Published reports have school officials saying that because of the nature of the allegations, they could not discuss any of the suspected cases publicly.
            But Rev. Murphy felt that the boar could do more to assure the community that the allegations were being taken seriously.
            “Public apologies will assure that the future rights of citizens to advocate for clean government, equal opportunities for students, and child safety are all protected, honored, and respected.,” he wrote. “Apologies will indicate that the NHCS Board is committed to acting in a professional manner while abiding by the Constitution of the United States of America.”


            [GREENSBORO] A federal judge in Atlanta, Ga. maintained Bennett College for Women’s accreditation Feb. 22ndafter the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Schools informed Bennett officials that they had lost it’s appeal to keep the school open. Bennett had appealed the association’s initial ruling to close the school for lack of operational resources, raising over $9 million in a national effort.  When its appeal was rejected, Bennett sued in federal court, getting a judge to issue a restraining order until an arrangement could be better reached.

            [RALEIGH] Now that the State Board of elections hearing into allegations of absentee Ballot fraud in last year’s Ninth Congre4ssional District race are over, and the SBOE has voted  for s new election, the criminal investigation into “person of interest”  Leslie McCrae Dowless and others allegedly involved is now the primary focus. Published reports say investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake District Attorney’s office have issued three sealed search warrants  for evidence. Financial papers have already been seized the State Employees Union, as lwell as cell phone records from Dowless’ account. No word at press time of pending arrests, if any.

            [RALEIGH] In his second State of the State address since taking office in 2917, Gov. Roy Cooper told the Republican-led NC Legislature  Monday that despite crushing natural disasters like  two major hurricanes in recent years, the spirit of North Carolina is strong. But rural communities still need assistance,  Medicaid health coverage for the poor needs to be expanded to more North Carolinians, and the state’s public schools need more funding. Cooper  struck a tone of bipartisanship in hopes of working better with GOP legislative leadership. But in the Republican response, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest charged that Cooper has yet to show that he wants to work with GOP leaders. 



Wednesday, February 20, 2019


            [BLADENSBORO] A new film details the 2014 fatal hanging of a 17-year-old black teenager in a case that’s never been solved. “Always in Season” by Jacqueline Olive explores the phenomenon of modern day lynchings in America, with the Lennon Lacy case among them. Authorities said they found no evidence that anyone killed Lacy, even though the belts used to hang him from a swing set did not belong to him. Olive hopes that her film will prompt someone with further information to come forward, and the case will be reopened. The film is scheduled to air on PBS in 2020.

            [RALEIGH] Thus far, 16 states, led by California, have filed suit against the Trump Administration, seeking to stop the president’s National Emergency declaration justification for taking federal funds to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump made the declaration last week after he failed to convince Congress to allocate the $5.7 billion. He demanded. NC Attorney General Josh Stein said, “I have serious concerns about the legality of President Trump’s emergency declaration. We are reviewing the order, and in particular any effects on North Carolina military installations. We will not hesitate to take action if we conclude it is necessary.”

            [CHARLOTTE] Authorities are warning shoppers, particularly at Wal-Mart stores across the state, to examine their shopping cart handles carefully, after a customer at a Wal-Mart store in Siler City was injured by a razor blade under the handle last Sunday. Siler City police are trying to locate the customer, and two “persons of interest.” Razor blades were discovered on “several buggy handles.” If you have any information about the two persons of interest in this case, please call Siler City police at 919-742-5626.

            [DURHAM, NC]  A group of former prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officials are asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to find the death penalty unconstitutional. In a friend-of-the-court brief, the group argues the death penalty is now used so rarely that it serves no purpose and should be considered “cruel or unusual” under the state constitution. The brief comes as other state supreme courts — including Washington and Delaware — have recently declared their states’ death penalty laws unconstitutional. The North Carolina brief was signed by 12 people, including former Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback, former District Attorney Rob Corbett, and former Wake County Chief Homicide Detective Steve Hale


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            When Associate NC Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley officially takes over as chief Justice on March 1st, she will remain in that role until 2020.
            But make no mistake – she’s already vowed to run for election to maintain that seat, and given Beasley’s record of winning judicial elections, it’s a vow that any possible and probable opponents would be wise to take seriously.
            “Let me be clear …I will indeed be seeking election in 2020, and I’m excited and I’m ready to go,” she declared during a telephone interview last week, two days after Gov. Cooper made history by appointing her the first African-American female chief justice of the state’s highest court, succeeding the outgoing Chief Justice Mark Martin, a Republican.
            The court’s remaining Republican, Associate Justice Paul Newby, was not pleased with the governor’s choice, saying that it should have been him because he has the longest tenure of service.
            “[Gov. Cooper]…decided to place raw partisan politics over a non-partisan judiciary…,” Newby, who is expected to challenge Beasley, a Democrat, for the seat in 2020, said in an angry statement.
“I am very comfortable with who I am as a person,” Justice Beasley said in an indirect response. “I am comfortable with the fact that the governor has placed his confidence in me and that I’m equipped to do this job.”
And exactly what does a chief justice of the NC Supreme Court do? The chief justice is the head of the third branch of state government. Besides leading the court, she will determine the schedule for the cases to be argued, and other administrative matters before the court. There is also an executive director who assists with those day-to-day responsibilities.
Becoming chief justice is not something Justice Beasley even considered when she began serving on District Court in Cumberland County twenty years ago. And there weren’t any black female chief justices in other states to emulate until Georgia Chief Justice Leah Sears in 2005.
“I thought it was just such an honor to have been selected, and then elected to serve,” she recalls, noting when then Gov. Jim Hunt appointed her in 1999, after five years in the Public Defenders Office. Once elected to the District Court, Beasley spent a total of ten years on that bench.
After a few years on the NC Court of Appeals, then Gov. Beverly Perdue tapped Judge Beasley to serve out the remaining term of NC Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson in December 2012, becoming only the second black female jurist ever on the NC High Court. Two years later, Justice Beasley won election to that seat.
“Justice can be served in so many ways, and the more you see it, the more you want to see it, because you know how talented we are, and those talented ought to be recognized,” Justice Beasley says.
On the 200thanniversary of the NC Supreme Court, this is an historic year. There are three African-Americans on North Carolina’s highest bench – more than ever in our history, more than other state in the nation.
That happened last November when civil rights attorney Anita Earls was elected during the mid-terms. Justice Beasley says her new colleague, who joins Justice Mike Morgan and she, has proven to be a welcomes edition.
“Even in a very short period of time, she is a valuable member of the court,” Beasley says. “Her insight and professional experiences have brought a really profound perspective to the court. Justice Earls had no prior judicial experience, but that does not limit her abilities or her keen sense of analysis of the issues before the court. So she is a joy to work with , a welcomed addition to the court…”
Justice Beasley continued, “The fact that this is Black History Month, it’s powerful, it’s really powerful that we have such a diverse bench , and that we’re in a place in North Carolina where literally all of us have been selected by the people to serve, and I think that says a whole lot about where we are, and where we want to be. “


Wednesday, February 13, 2019



Gov. Cooper Names Chief Justice of NC Supreme Court
RALEIGH: On Feb. 12th, Governor Roy Cooper named Associate Justice Cheri Beasley as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. 
“Chief Justice Mark Martin has admirably served our state for years, and I wish him well in his new role,” said Gov. Cooper. “Justice Beasley is a well-respected jurist, and I know her to be fair and deeply committed to viewing all North Carolinians equally through the eyes of the law. I appreciate Justice Beasley’s willingness to serve the people of our state in this critical role.”
Justice Beasley has served on the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2012. She was previously an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and before that served as a District Court Judge. Governor Jim Hunt first appointed Justice Beasley to the state bench in 1999. Beasley is a graduate of Rutgers University and received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Justice Beasley will serve as the state’s first  African American female Chief Justice of North Carolina.


            [RALEIGH] Now Gov. Cooper has appointed three Democrats and two Republicans to the new state Board of Elections, that body will hold a public hearing Monday, Feb. 18thon the Ninth District Congressional election between Republican Mark Harris, and Democrat Dan McCready. Harris won that contest buy 905 votes, but allegations of illegal handling of absentee ballots forced the previous SBOE to not certify Harris’ victory twice. Published reports have revealed that absentee ballots were indeed mishandled. SBOE staff will reveal the findings of their investigation Monday, and witnesses will be called to testify. Observers expect at least two days of testimony before the SBOE votes either to mandate a new election, or certify the 2018 results. It takes four SBOE members to call for a new election.


            [WASHINGTON, D.C.] Twelfth District Congresswoman Alma Adams [D-NC] and Sixth District Rep. Mark Walker [R-NC] have announced, per the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus (of which Adams is the co-chair} the HBCU PARTNERS Act. The Act builds on the President’s 2017 executive order on HBCUs by requiring federal agencies to strategically engage and invest in HBCUs. The bill mandates that agencies measure their progress and report their actions to Congress.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Like many other areas of the country, North Carolina saw a sharp rise in white supremacist hate activity in 2018, says a new annual report titled, “Murder and Extremism in the United States,” from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
   “In 2018, domestic extremists killed at least 50 people in the U.S., a sharp 
increase from the 37 extremist-related murders documented in 2017, though still lower than the totals for 2015 (70) and 2016 (72),” the report states.  The 50 deaths make 2018 the fourth-deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970.”
   The ADL report goes on to state that, “The extremist-related murders in 2018
were overwhelmingly linked to right-wing extremists,” later adding, “ White supremacists were responsible for the great majority of the killings, which is typically the case.”
            While the ADL report showed no instances of white extremist violence in North Carolina, it did show that, in 2018, white supremacist groups certainly made their presence known with propaganda in areas like Cherryville, Burgaw, Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Greensboro.
            And that was just between  October 5, 2018 to December 30, 2018.
            Right-wing extremist groups like the Patriot Front, Identity Evropa, and the Daily Stormer Book Club, propagated hate material like posted fliers and stickers which said, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of victory,” “Reclaim America,” “Keep America American,” “and “White man, are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy?”
            Earlier in the year, there were other instances of white supremacist hate propaganda showing up Wilmington, Salisbury, New Bern, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, Asheboro and Chapel Hill.
            Observers note that even though there were instances of white supremacist violence reported in North Carolina for 2018, the fact that various hate groups are actively attempting to recruit in cities, small towns, college campuses and rural areas across the state, means, particularly given the divisive atmosphere of the nation currently, that they intend to grow.
            Which means even nonviolent activity now must be monitored.
            The ADL report adds that in 2018, firearms were the white supremacist’s weapon of choice.
            “Guns were responsible for 42 of the 50 deaths in 2018, followed by blades or edged weapons,” according to the report.

                                                  REV. BARBER
                                                GOV. NORTHAM

by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

            Rev. Dr. William Barber, the former president of the NCNAACP says whether Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam steps down or not from office after allegations that he appeared either in racist blackface or in a Ku Klux Klan outfit in a medical school yearbook, “…restitution that addresses systematic harm must be the fruit of true repentance.”
            Dr. Barber, currently the president of Repairers of the Breach, and cochair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Revival, made his observation in an op-ed piece published Monday in The Washington Posttitled, “How Ralph Northam and others can repent of  America’s Original Sin.”
            The controversy exploded Feb. 1stwhen a conservative website published what purportedly was a picture from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook allegedly showing a younger Northham either in blackface, or wearing a KKK outfit. The governor at first said he was in the photo, and apologized, but later backtracked, saying after a closer look he was not in the photo, and would not be stepping down from office as he earlier indicated he would.
            There were sharp calls for the Democratic governor to, indeed, leave office, especially with the 2020 presidential elections close by. Even North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper joined with Democrats across the nation is calling for Northam to resign from office. But he refused, and last Monday, in an interview with CBS News, defiantly declared that he would remain on the job.
             “I will focus on race and equity,” Northham told CBS. T”hat’s something that, for the next three years, is gonna be my commitment to Virginia.”
            To Dr. Barber, however, that will not be enough.
            In his WP op-ed, Barber said if Gov. Northam, “…or any politician who has worn blackface, used the n-word or voted for the agenda of white supremacy, wants to repent, the first question they must ask is “How are the people who have been harmed by my actions asking to change the policies and practices of our society?”
            “In political life, this means committing to expand voting rights, stand with immigrant neighbors, and provide health care and living wages for all people,” Barber continued.
            “If white people in political leadership are truly repentant, they will listen to black and other marginalized people in our society,” Rev. Barber added, noting that changing racist policies would be the true measure.”They will confess that they have sinned and demonstrate their willingness to listen and learn by following and supporting the leadership of others. To confess past mistakes while continuing to insist that you are still best suited to lead because of your experience is itself a subtle form of white supremacy.
            Dr. Barber noted that Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia was originally a KKK leader, but he eventually repented, and denounced his membership. Byrd worked with Rep. John Lewis of Georgia in 2006 for extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and backed Barack Obama for president in 2008.
            “In our present moral crisis, we must remember that real repentance is possible,” Dr, Barber concluded, “ and it looks like working together to build the multiethnic democracy we’ve never yet been.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

            It remains to be seen, but a of now, thanks to the considerable earful that the community gave NHC School Board members last week during a community forum, Williston Middle School is not likely to become a performing arts high school in two years, board members are saying now.
            In fact, based on community consensus at that forum, a vocational high school – similar to the historic Williston Senior High School before it was abruptly closed in 1968 – seems more likely to be in Williston Middle School’s future, based on indications from the school board Tuesday.
            “We are shifting away from this misnomer of a fine arts school,” announced NHC School Board Vice Chair David Wortman, who originally thought up the proposed “misnomer” for a performing arts school. He went on to confirm that the community’s negative reaction to his idea weighed heavily in changing direction.
            In an online video after the board meeting, board member Nelson Beaulieu confirmed that thanks to the community “pushback” to the arts school idea, the school board was indeed “listening.”
            “We hear you,” Beaulieu said on the video, presumably to the community.
Hopefully that direction will be made even clearer during today’s Williston Exploratory Committee meeting at 3 p.m..
            What was made clear Tuesday night was that the community, and particularly  proud Williston Senior High alums, were committed to keeping the pressure on the School Board not to close Williston Middle, and to make sure that any future changes benefit students in the community.
            Residents like Kenneth Chestnut, Linda Pearce and Sonya Patrick all reminded the board of the proud history of Williston Senior High before it was closed, implored the school board to indeed listen to the community’s wishes, and concerns for its children and their future.
            “Let the board of today [not be the NHC School Board of the past]…, Ms. Patrick, the Southeast Regional director of the National Black Leadership Caucus, said, “….but the board of the future [in bringing Williston Senior High back].”
            “We need to keep up the intensity,” remarked Kenneth Chestnut on Facebook.
            “Imagine  students being so proud of their school that they still love it 51 years after it closes. I don’t have to imagine it. I went to that school- Williston Senior High School. I challenge you to follow your imagination and make it happen…AGAIN – Make it, once again, “the Greatest School Under The Sun,” Ms. Pearce told School Board members.
According to board member Wortman, if ever there was an opportunity for the community to tip the decision scale on Williston’s future, it is now.
            “We want to keep that as a community school, whether it’s an application school or not, because ultimately the reason behind it is to serve that community," Wortman said. “Our intention is to continue to make Williston the greatest school under the sun."


            [RALEIGH] Thousands of  demonstrators representing over 100 groups from across the state are going to Raleigh this Saturday to participate in the 13thAnnual Moral March/HK on J People’s Assembly. Sponsored by the NC NAACP, organizers say the event, held in front of the state Capitol, will address health care, immigrant rights, voting rights, minimum wages, environmental issues and more. A 9a.m. to 10 a.m. pre-rally will be held at Meymandi Concert hall, corner of Wilmington and South streets. From 10 a.m. to 1 noon, the march and rally at the State Capitol, 1 East Edenton  Street. Learn more at

            [GREENSBORO] Faced with the prospect of closing its doors because it was financially strapped, Bennett College for Women mounted a two-month campaign to raise $5 million by Feb. 1st. On Monday it announced that it had raised $8.2 million, far outdoing its initial goal. Nearby High Point University contributed $1 million, Papa John’s Pizza $500,000, and the rest came from celebrities like Jussie Smollett of TV’s “Empire,” and small donations from students at other institutions.

            [RALEIGH] Now that Gov. Cooper has appointed the new State Board o Elections, an evidentiary hearing on the Ninth District election fraud case has been called for Feb. 18th. Testimony will be given, based on allegations that absentee ballots were illegally collected, and may have been tampered with by workers for McCrae Dowless, who was consequently working for Republican canididate Mark Harris. The SBOE of three Democrats and two Republicans will either vote to establish a new election, or vote to certify Harris’ 2018 victory.



By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            North Carolina Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) is now a member of the Congressional U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, chaired by fiery California Rep. Maxine Waters, for the 116thCongress.
            “I came to Congress to raise the wage, push for equal opportunity and to ensure that North Carolina’s families have the resources they need to thrive.  That is why I made it my mission to serve on key committees ” said Rep. Adams in a statement last weekafter the assignment was announced.  “I worked hard to be appointed to the exclusive Committee on Financial Services, a major achievement for our District.  We are home to 71 financial institutions that employ over 70,000 people.  Financial Services will lead the push for affordable housing, an issue that plagues our region.  On committee I will fight for our priorities and ensure that we remain the banking capitol of the South.”
            The two-term North Carolina Democrat joins controversial New York City Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a new member. Rep. Adams is also a member of the committee’s Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion.
            “I am pleased to welcome Congresswoman Alma Adams to the Financial Services Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee,” said Chairwoman Maxine Waters of California. “This Congress, the Financial Services Committee will take on many important issues on behalf of consumers, investors and vulnerable populations, and I look forward to working with Congresswoman Adams to create opportunities, ensure fairness, and protect the economic well-being of hardworking Americans throughout this country.”
            Chairwoman Waters, the first woman and the first African-American to lead the panel, has served as a member of Congress and the HFSC since 1991. She served as the HFSC ranking member in the 115thCongress, so once the Democrats reclaimed the majority after the 2018 midterm elections, Waters naturally assumed the leadership role.
            Making clear that issues such as more affordable housing, fairer consumer banking practices and other consumer protections would be the committee’s priorities, Waters made clear that “bringing accountability to the Trump Administration” was also a primary goal.
            That “accountability” Waters plans to hold Pres. Trump to includes requiring that the Republican president turnover his tax returns from prior years for review, something that every preceding commander-in-chief has done for the purpose of transparency.
            But holding Trump’s feet to the fire doesn’t stop there.
            Waters has vowed that the HFSC will join with the House Committee on Investigations to probe Deutsche Bank, and its relationship with Donald Trump.
            “We know that Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest money laundering banks in the country, or in the world perhaps,” Waters told CNBC last week. “And we know that this is the only bank that will lend money to the president of the United States because of his past practices. He won't show his tax returns and we have a certain information that leads us to believe that there may have been some money laundering activity ….”
            Whatever HFSC Chair Maxine Waters ultimately finds, Rep. Alma Adams will be right there with her.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            It is a top priority of the Democratic majority in the U.S. House, and indeed, it could be introduced for a vote as soon as next week, and ratified without a problem.
            Renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), a measure the prior Republican-led U.S. House refused to even take up, let alone pass.
            U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) says renewal of the VRA is, indeed, a top agenda item of the newly strengthened Congressional Black Caucus and House Democrats.
            “It’s going to happen,” Butterfield said during a recent interview. “ Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) are leading an effort right now to introduce and pass [VRA legislation] very, very soon, which will correct the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Shelby County case decision, and create a new formula for Section Four of the VRA, and that will happen very soon.”
            In that 2013 US High Court Shelby ruling, Section Four of the five-section VRA – which required federal preclearance of all new state laws governing elections, was struck down, thus allowing North Carolina and several other Republican-led states at the time to adopt a variety of voter suppression laws designed to minimize black voter turnout through photo voter ID laws and other mechanisms.
            The only remedy to the U.S. Supreme Court decision was for Congress to rework Section Four and vote to reinstall it. But because republicans were in charge, they saw it in their best interests not to do so, allowing voter suppression laws to flourish across the country.
            Now that Democrats have regained control of the House, as Congressman Butterfield said, they’re ready to pass legislation to restore the VRA, as well a to combat gerrymandering, and institute automatic voter registration.
            Knowing that Republicans are going to fight the VRA restoration bills, Democrats are planning to travel and hold hearings in several states, including North Carolina, to gather evidence on how the voting rights of African-Americans, Hispanics and others have been encroached on by voter restrictions since the 2013 Supreme court Shelby decision. The hope, according to published reports, is to actually have the VRA legislation ratified by 2020 – the next presidential election.
            Why? Because eve though the democrat-controlled House is certain to pass it now, the Republican-led Senate is certain not to.
            Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has even vowed to stop a Democrat-sponsor bill that would make Election Day a national federal holiday for voters, saying that all it would be is a “power grab” by Democrats to get more of their voters to the polls. In effect, the harder it is for voters to cast their ballot, the better chance Republicans have to hold onto power.
            “Let’s hope that there will be some bipartisanship,’ Rep. Butterfield said. But right now, there aren’t that many signs that there will be.”