FORMER NC SUPREME COURT JUSTICE PATRICIA TIMMONS-GOODSON
FORMER STATE HIGH COURT JUSTICE
BLASTS NEWBY FOR “AOC” ATTACK
By Cash Michaels
An African American former member of the NC Supreme Court has now joined in the fray to blast Republican Associate Justice Paul Newby for his recent, unprovoked verbal assault on his six Democrat colleagues on the state High Court, saying that the conservative jurist’s attack was “…a threat to the rule of law.”
Patricia Timmons-Goodson, currently the vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was an associate justice on the NC Supreme Court from 2006 to 2012. Prior to that, she also served as an associate judge on the NC Court of Appeals from 1997 to 2005.
In 2012, Justice Timmons -Goodson stepped done from the state’s High Court, allowing then Gov. Beverly Perdue to appoint then District Court Judge Cheri Beasley to finish out her term.
Today, Beasley is Chief Justice, appointed to the post in February of this year by Gov. Roy Cooper. Justice Newby, the court’s most senior member and only Republican on seven-member body, angrily blasted Cooper for the appointment, and vowed to oppose Beasley for the seat in 2020.
It was at a July 13th Republican fundraiser that Newby was recorded excoriating his six Democrat colleagues as “AOCs,” the moniker given socialist Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, who is loathed by President Trump, conservatives and the Republican Party for her progressive socialist policies.
“Well, folks…,” Newby continued jokingly, according to the tape recording,”… we got six. It’s six to one…I’m the last man standing.”
Later in his remarks, Justice Newby warned, “Keep your eyes open and your ears open for the next eighteen months, and see what kind of judicial activism occurs on your North Carolina [Supreme] Court.”
Former Justice Timmons-Goodson, in an op-ed piece that ran in the Raleigh News and Observer last weekend, called Newby’s remarks “troubling,” and challenged her Republican former colleague for his indiscrete attacks on his colleagues.
“It is hard to watch a current justice who wishes to lead the judiciary and justice system of our state publicly ridicule those with whom he works each day,” she wrote. “It is hard to watch our state’s high court undermined from within.”
“Not long ago judges campaigned with civility,” Timmons-Goodson recalled, noting she is a 28-year veteran of the state judiciary, and a five-time candidate for judicial office. “They emphasized experience, integrity, fairness, and impartiality. Times have changed. But the need that judges campaign with dignity and reserve has not.”
“Newby’s statements about his fellow justices stepped over the line,” she continued. “A charitable reading is that the remarks highlighted philosophical differences between Newby and the other justices. A fair reading is that the remarks were not intended to be positive or a compliment in any way to his colleagues.
Noting the need for a return to the tradition of judicial collegiality, Timmons-Goodson concluded, “The Supreme Court of North Carolina is our state’s highest court, the court of last resort. To perform its constitutionally mandated function the court operates as a collegial body. Authority is vested equally in each member of the Court. Every justice is involved in every decision. Thus, cooperation, respect and trust are necessary to accomplish the work of the court.”
Has Newby violated any established code of conduct for North Carolina judges? According to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct, Justice Newby seems to be in clear violation of Canon Two - “A judge should…conduct him or herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”
Justice Newby has not responded to press inquiries about his July 13th remarks.
Neither Chief Justice Beasley, or any of the other Democrats on the state Supreme Court, her responded to their Republican colleague’s remarks about them.
However, Chief Justice Beasley has made it clear that she is running to retain her seat in 2020.
NEW STUDY MEASURES
BLACK VOTING POWER
FROM 1976 TO 2020
By Cash Michaels
NBC News has released a new study documenting how the black vote was pivotal in many key and historic Democratic presidential primaries and elections since the election of Jimmy Carter, and how it could remain so going into the 2020 election.
Especially in North Carolina.
“Journey to power: The history of black voters, 1976 to 2020” gives “…a record of the black vote for each competitive presidential campaign…” using exit polling from states that have significant African American voting populations.
“…[T]oday black voters [have] emerged as a muscular political force,” the report, written by author and MSNBC analyst Steve Kornaki, says, adding “…In 2020, they are likely to account for at least one out of every four ballots cast in the [Democratic] party’s presidential primaries, more than tripling - and perhaps even quadrupling - the share they accounted for just a few decades ago.
Beginning in 1976, just over a decade after the 1965 Voting Rights Act was signed by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson, exit polling tells the story.
Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter faced competition for the Democratic presidential nomination from civil rights leader Julian Bond (who dropped out early due to a lack of support), and other white Democrats. But because Gov. Carter was known as a moderate Democrat who appointed many blacks to his administration, he was very popular with black voters in the South during the primaries, garnering large percentages, including 71 percent in Florida, 76 percent in Indiana, and 90 percent of African American voters in North Carolina.
That support would factor into Carter’s win for the presidency.
Four years later when Pres. Carter was running for re-election, his relations with black leaders became strained because of a bad economy. He faced a strong challenge from Sen. Ted Kennedy, who courted black voters on the strength of his brothers - Pres. John F. Kennedy and Sen. Bobby Kennedy’s legacy.
Ultimately, black Democratic voters chose Carter, but he was ultimately defeated by California Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan. By this time, the white Southern and Northern blue collar vote had turned against Democrats.
In 1984, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson makes a run for the White House, depending on black voters to flex their power and catapult him to the Democratic Party nomination.
Against the advice, and support of established black leadership, Jackson runs, fueled by black animosity towards the conservative Republican Ronald Reagan.
In the early, whiter Democratic primary states, Jackson pulls measly single digit numbers, but in the multi-state Super Tuesday contests that swept through the South, Jackson racks up anywhere from 50 to 86% of the black vote (in North Carolina, Jackson gets 83%, and 25% of the total vote overall). Former Vice Pres. Walter Mondale ultimately wins the nomination, but badly loses to Reagan’s re-election effort.
Still, with the Jackson candidacy, the power of his black voter showing gives the civil rights leader new standing in the Democratic Party, and leverage he uses again in 1988 when he makes his second bid for the White House, announcing from Raleigh, NC.
This time, Jackson consolidates his black supporters, and makes a grab for white voters as well to create a ‘Rainbow Coalition.’ "My message is transcending ancient barriers," Jackson said then. "Whites all over the country have opened their hearts to me.”
In the South, and particularly in North Carolina, white Democratic moderates like Gov. Jim Hunt were lining up behind Tennessee Sen. Al Gore. However, black voter registration drives in states like Alabama and Georgia delivered Jackson over 95% percent of the black vote (In North Carolina, 95% of the black vote also went to Jackson).
But up North in New York City, controversy over Jackson’s ‘Hymietown” remark about New York City Jews exploded, denying Jackson the broad support he yearned, and ultimately propelling Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis to the nomination. Vice Pres.. George H.W. Bush would ultimately defeat Dukakis behind the racist “Willie Horton” freed black convict campaign.
1992 saw the governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, overcome personal sexual controversies, and friction with Jesse Jackson, to attract large shares of the black vote (including 77% in North Carolina, which was low compared to states like Texas (86%, ) Indiana (82%) and Alabama (86%)) in the Democratic primary, to go on and defeat Pres. George H. W. Bush in the fall.
In 2000, because of their strong loyalty to two-term President Clinton, black voters got behind his vice president, Al Gore, in impressive numbers ranging from 74 to 94% from New York to Texas. But ultimately, it was the U.S. Supreme Court that “selected” the next president, George W. Bush, after an election controversy in Florida.
2004 saw black voters dismiss two black candidates - the Rev. Al Sharpton and Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
Black voters instead went with the party’s nominee, Sen. John Kerry, who ultimately failed to unseat Republican incumbent Pres. Bush.
2008 saw perhaps the most aggressive play for the Democratic black vote in history during primary season between favored frontrunner, NY Sen. Hilary Clinton, and the fresh-face young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.
Obama had made a name for himself after delivering a stirring “One America” speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Entering 2008, there was no question that Sen. Clinton had the support of black leadership, and certainly a lion’s share of the black vote, in her back pocket.
24 points behind (and 40 points behind Clinton with black voters), few gave Obama a chance.
But coupled with a brilliant campaign strategy that was not only inspirational (“Yes we can”), but aspirational, Obama whittled down Clinton’s overall lead with impressive wins in the lily-white Iowa caucuses against Clinton and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. That sent a strong message to the black Democrat-rich South Carolina, who embraced Obama with 78% of their vote, reverberating throughout the primary season to the decisive May 6th, 2008 North Carolina contest that saw Obama garner an amazing 94% of the black vote over Sen. Clinton, effectively cinching the Democratic nomination, and making history becoming America’s first black president.
After two terms of Pres. Obama, the presidential race was wide open again in 2016, with now former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seen as a sho-in for the nomination in her bid to make history as the first woman president of the United States.
Clinton was up against a weak field, but eventually would be tested by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Seen as being supported by Pres. Obama after she left the administration, Sanders would prove to be no match for Sec. Clinton when it came to black voters. In North Carolina with African Americans, Clinton got 80% of the vote compared to Sanders’19%.
It was the same sad story Democratic primary after primary for Bernie Sanders when it came to the black vote.
But in November 2016, Clinton ultimately lost to Republican Donald J. Trump for the presidency. According to the New York Times, eleven percent of black voters who supported Obama in 2012, stayed home in 2016 instead of supporting Hillary Clinton.
As the Democratic candidates for 2020 continue their debates this week and in September, the black vote is already shaping up as being critical, with top candidates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren vying aggressively for it.
Former Vice Pres. Biden, thus far, has the lion’s share of the black vote, because of his many years of serving with Pres. Obama, but Sen. Harris is working hard to chip away at that with her overtures to black sororities and others.
Ultimately, the Democratic Party nominee will need every black vote available to unseat Republican Donald Trump next year.
To read the full NBC News report, go to https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/journey-power-history-black-voters-1976-2020-n1029581
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 08-01-19
*****SBOE CHAIRMAN RESIGNS AMID OFF-COLOR JOKE
[CARY] Robert Cordle, the chair of the State Board of Elections has resigned after telling an off-color joke about cows and women to open up the session Monday in Cary in front of over 700 election board officials from across the state. Cordle tendered his resignation to gov. Cooper after the incident, stepping down Tuesday. The governor's office says a replacement will be forthcoming, but meanwhile an important SBOE vote is pending today concerning certification of voting machines with paper ballots for the 2020 elections.
PASSAGE OF NEW BUDGET STALLS AS COOPER, GOP LAWMAKERS FAIL TO REACH AGREEMENT
[RALEIGH] It’s been about a month since the Republican-led NC General Assembly passed its $24 billion budget, but Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it because it does not expand Medicaid to almost 500,000 needy North Carolinians. Republicans are trying to convince enough Democrats to vote with them to override Cooper’s veto, but thus far, it’s not happening.
RALEIGH WOMAN’S RACIST ATTACK TAPED, AND GOES VIRAL
[RALEIGH] A 71-year-old white Raleigh woman, caught on tape calling a group of black women “stupid niggers” during a Happy Hour at a local restaurant because they were allegedly loud, then told a local TV station that she was not sorry, would not apologize and would do it again. Nancy Goodman, the white woman, has been banned from the restaurant for using the racist slur. She says the black women were “the rudest individuals I’ve ever seen.”