Wednesday, January 29, 2020


                                                       REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD

by Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

A North Carolina congressman who more than qualifies to serve as a U.S. House manager to present evidence at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate says even though it’s a foregone conclusion by many that the Republican majority will likely not convict Trump, or remove him from office, what they do decide, and how they decide it, will have lasting impact on the nation.

Congressman G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1) was more than just a civil rights attorney in his pre-congressional days. He served as a Resident Superior Court judge for over 13 years, and was subsequently appointed to the NC Supreme Court before deciding to run for Congress in 2004.

Based on his experience, and the House impeachment hearings that produced two articles of impeachment, there is little question about the evidence against Pres. Trump, Rep. Butterfield says.

“I know what the evidence is; I know it’s a very strong case of obstruction of Congress and misconduct in office,”  he said Saturday in Greenville, just minutes before the president’s defense lawyers began their two-hour presentation to the U.S. Senate.

“I was there when the evidence was presented in the House. It’s a compelling case that calls for the presentation of witnesses and documents in the Senate. I would be very disappointed if the American people were not given the benefit of documents and witnesses during this trial.”

At press time, lawyers for Pres. Trump were still presenting their defense that the Republican president did nothing wrong when he tried to cajole the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into former Vice Pres. Joe Biden’s son Hunter for sitting on a Ukrainian gas company’s board, and cut off military aid to the country until he did.

Democratic House managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), charged during their Senate presentation last week that Trump imperiled national security just to hurt a potential political rival for reelection with false corruption charges.

Democrats in the Senate need at least four Republicans  to vote with them for witnesses and documents to be allowed into the trial. Ironically, Trump’s defense attorneys have said the House Democrats’ case is weak because they don’t have certain documents and witnesses - documents and witnesses they can’t get unless the Senate is allow to take a vote.

A passage from former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming book about his brief term in the Trump White House seems to, according to press reports, confirm that the president tied Ukrainian assistance in investigating the Bidens, with release of their military aid.

Democrats are demanding that Bolton be sworn-in as a witness.
“Pres. Trump is not on trial right now,” Congressman Butterfield said Saturday. “The truth is on trial. The Constitution is on trial. These senators are beginning to appreciate the gravity of the moment.”

When asked how can he tell, given reports of senators ignoring the House managers presentation, playing with finger toys, reading books or walking away from their seats, Rep. Butterfield cited something that, thus far, has gone not noted.

“I think there’s a critical mass - ten or twelve senators - who have, as of yet, made any public pronouncements about their positions. And I believe they will decide this case fairly, and at least require the production of witnesses and documents.”

       At press time Wednesday, senators began asking sixteen hours of questions of both the democrats House managers and president. Trump's lawyers, as controversy over whether having John Bolton as a witness heats up.

       Meanwhile duke university announced that bolton will be speaking there on Feb. 18th.

       Of  special note to African-Americans, history was made last week when House managers Rep. Val Demings (D-FLA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries became the first balk lawmakers ever to prosecute a presidential impeachment case on the floor of the U.S. Senate.



[WASH.D.C.]  Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), has now joined her colleagues, Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) and state Sen. Paul Lowe (D - Forsyth), chair of the NC Legislative Black Caucus, in endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president. “He’s the best-equipped candidate to work with congress to pass a progressive agenda that includes historic investments in affordable housing, healthcare and higher education,” Rep. Adams said in a statement. “I’m encoring Joe not only because he will beat Donald Trump, but also because he is ready to face the challenges of the presidency at the drop of a hat.” North Carolina’s primaries are March 3rd.

[WASH, D.C.]  On Tuesday, Congresswoman Alma Adams delivered remarks in tribute and a resolution honoring the Greensboro Four, four North Carolina A&T University students who walked into the downtown Woolworth store, sat at the segregated lunch counter, and ordered food from the “whites only” section on Feb. 1, 1960, sixty years ago this Saturday. The courageous actions of David Richmond, Franklin McCain, 
Jibreel Khazan and Joseph McNeil, helped to relight the 1960s civil rights movement.


[WILMINGTON] A  school band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School, has been charged with six counts of indecent liberties with. Child, and six counts of indecent liberties with a student bye a teacher. The teacher, Peter Frank, allegedly has been committing the crimes since 2003, with most of the occurrences in 2019, published reports say. Frank turned himself in to the NHC Sheriff’s Office Monday. He is being held on $750,000 bond. Anyone with any further information is urged to call 910-798-4260.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

It’s 2020, a critical election year for statewide and national contests.
North Carolina will join the rest of the country in selecting governors,  legislators, congresspeople and, of course, the president on Nov. 6th.
But first, registered Democrats and Republicans will select their November candidates during the all-important March 3rd “Super Tuesday”  primaries, where fifteen states and American Samoa will be involved.
North Carolina will be one of them.
Lawmakers moved the state’s primaries to March 3rd several years ago so that it could have a greater impact on who the presidential nominee may be.
Primaries, unlike general elections, traditionally are decided by political party purists who vote in an effort to steer their party’s nominee more towards their vision. Thus, during primaries, Democrats select from several candidates vying to lead them in November, and Republicans likewise.
As a voter, your job is make sure that your registration to cast your ballot on March 3rd and November 6th is correct and up-to-date, especially if you have moved since the last election you voted in . You can do this by checking for your correct name, address and party affiliation at the site Board of elections website -
You can also request an absentee ballot there at well.
Also make sure you know where your proper polling place location is.
Recently, by order of a federal judge, voter photo identification will not be required when you cast you ballot in the March 3rd primary. Indeed, absentee ballots are already being sent out. No decision has been made about the Nov. 6th general, pending a trial to decide the matter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020



[FAYETTEVILLE] The Republican candidate for governor says that Planned Parenthood “was created to destroy the entire black race.” That’s what Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told a group of black ministers Monday during a prayer breakfast speech for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The organization was started by Margaret Sanger, who is known for being a pioneer in birth control. But research shows Sanger was also supported by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, W.E. B. DuBois and Mary McLeod Bethune.

[RALEIGH] The chairman of the 39-member NC Legislative Black Caucus has officially endorsed former Vice Pres. Joe Biden for president. State Sen. Paul Lowe (D - Forsyth) is the second North Carolina black elected official to come out in support of Biden. Congressman G. K. Butterfield  did do several months ago. In a statement, Sen. Lowe says the country is deeply divided, and he believes that Biden can bring it back together. The North Carolina primary is March 3rd.

[RALEIGH] A Superior Court judge signed a consent order Tuesday in the long-running Leandro school equity case, laying out an agreed to course of action to ensure that every North Carolina child gets a constitutionally mandated “sound, basic education. The consent order is based on the WestEd report, which called on the state legislature to spend upwards of $1 billion to improve public schools across North Carolina, especially in poorer counties.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

As the Democratic race for president heats up, billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg has proposed a $70 billion five-year investment strategy covering one hundred disadvantaged communities of color across the country, if elected. The former mayor of New York would also create a Neighborhood Equity and Opportunity Office in the White House to monitor progress.
“The crimes against black Americans still echo across the centuries, and no law can wipe that slate clean,” Bloomberg told those gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s former “Black Wall Street” Sunday, site of the 1921 race riots. “Not here in Tulsa, or anywhere else. But I believe that this is a country where anything is possible. And I believe that we have the power to build a future where color and capital are no longer related.”
How African-Americans are responding to Bloomberg’s proposal is too early to tell. As NY mayor, he was a strong proponent of racist “stop an frisk” police policies, which he has publicly apologized for recently.
But one thing is clear - here in North Carolina, African-Americans, like elsewhere across the nation, are struggling to maintain economic parity with their white counterparts
        To start, even though this information was first released in August 2018, there’s little reason to believe that much has changed since then, let alone the past two years.
According to the American community Survey, black households in North Carolina bring home almost $20,000 less than comparable white households annually ($34,000 to $53,000), even in urban areas where economic growth has been strong.
With 91 out of 100 North Carolina counties surveyed, only three counties (Watauga, Haywood an Yancey) had black households earning as much or more than whites; in 46 counties, black families earned 60 cents or less for every white dollar earned; and in the 12 counties where the black population exceeded 40 percent, none of them had median household incomes that reached 75% of whites.
In prosperous Wake County, the average white family earns $33,000 more annually than a comparable black household. In Mecklenburg County, black families bring home approximately $32,455, only 44.3 percent of comparable white median income there.
Nationally, according to a 2017 report by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, “In 2016, white families had the highest level of both median and mean family wealth at $171,000 and $933,700 respectively. Black families’ median  and mean net worth is less than 15% that of white families, at $17,600 and $138, 200 respectively.”
Ironically, other ethic groups of color, including Hispanics and Native Americans, have higher median incomes and mean family wealth that blacks.
“For hundreds of years, America systematically stole black lives, black freedom and black labor,” Bloomberg said in his prepared remarks. “And the impact of that theft over a period of centuries has meant an enormous loss of wealth for individuals and families, across generations — a kind of compound interest in reverse. Well, it’s past time to say, ‘Enough’ — and to damn well do something about it.”
The key to Mike Bloomberg’s $70 billion proposal is investing in black businesses and homeownership. Could the Bloomberg plan help black North Carolinians? In the months ahead, black Democratic primary voters will decide.

                                                                     JOHN HOOD
                                                 REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

During this week of commemorating the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of God many say is today’s embodiment of all Dr. King stood for maintains that poverty in America is the number one issue facing the nation.
“Bro. William Barber is the closest thing we have to Martin Luther King, Jr. in American culture,” Harvard University African-American scholar Dr. Cornel West, once said.
“There are 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country,” Rev. Dr. Barber, cochair of the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival,” says, based on a recent poverty audit done by the Institute of Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. progressive think tank,  titled, “The Souls of Black Folk.” “66 million [are] white, 26 million are black. One-third of all live in the South; four million in North Carolina [alone].”
The former head of the NC NAACP adds one more startling U.S. poverty statistic -  39 million are children. Rev. Barber faults U. S. government policy for massive poverty.
But John Hood, conservative syndicated columnist and chairman of the Raleigh-based conservative think tank, the John Locke Foundation, isn’t buying it.
In a recent column titled “Child poverty falls dramatically,” published in the online conservative publication Carolina Journal, Hood states, “ …our political conversation about poverty is based on a fact that most political actors think is true but really isn’t: that a persistently high share of the population lives in poverty.”
Hood goes on to allege that both progressives and conservatives maintain that poverty is high in the United States, albeit for different reasons, but both are “mistaken.”
While noting that “There are, of course, desperately poor people in North Carolina and the rest of America,” Hood maintains that “…no good policy ideas can come from believing there are massive numbers of people who….continue to live below the poverty line.”
Hood cites all of the “free health care, free housing, free food and other public assistance other than cash” that families in poverty can take advantage of, but “the official poverty measure leaves out.” Hood charges that the poor take advantage of “significant off the books income” not reported in their income tax returns. He also alleges that “for poverty rates over time, government statisticians significantly oversee the effects of inflation.”
Citing a recent study, Hood alleges that “a more realistic inflation adjustment” shows the poverty rate dropping dramatically from 19.5% in the early 1960s, to just 3.3% in 2018. A child poverty?
Hood cites another recent study showing it at just 3.7%, adding, “…America children are doing better than ever.”
But in his eagerness to disprove the pervasiveness of poverty nationally, Rev. Barber counters, he overlooks the consistent forces and conditions that not only cause economic inequality, but perpetuate it.
“My brother Hood is once again proving Dr. King’s point that too often people in this nation want to give,’ Rev. Barber says.
Barber notes that John Hood says nothing about how government policy allows corporate greed to go virtually unpunished, or spends trillions on warfare and militarization, while cities and rural areas crumble under the weight of neglect and lack of ample investment.
He points to how huge corporations like Amazon don’t pay a penny in taxes thanks to big tax breaks and cuts, thus depleting the social safety net for the needy through the scaling back of anti-poverty programs.
“Over 60 million people work every day for less than a living wage,”Rev. Barber adds. “This is a result of policy.”
For instance, the cost of housing has skyrocketed across the country beyond the ability of many families to afford, given how wage growth continues to stagnate. Black families are steadily falling victim to gentrification, where they can no longer afford to live in their own neighborhoods.
Rev. Barber has also lamented the fact that helping the poor has not been an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, especially during the Democratic debates. 
Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign are in the midst of a 25-state tour protesting poverty in the nation, that will culminate with a Washington, D.C. mass march and rally in June calling for an end to poverty and racism; and greater access to affordable health care, education and housing.
Rev. Barber concludes that John Hood is essentially using some of the same “falsehoods” against the poor that dr. King had to contend with over 50 years ago - that the poor are responsible for they own plight, and that mass poverty and low wealth are not real.
“All of these are not true,” Barber says.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020



[PRINCEVILLE] It’s taken many years, and a few freed African-Americans is now set to receive $39.6 million to construct a new levee system to prevent flooding. Hurricanes Floyd (1999) and Matthew (2016) caused the nearby Tar River to overflow, flooding the town, and forcing residents from their homes. The new levee funding - coming from $19.billion in disaster relief from Congress -  will pay for elevation of the highways, and installation more levees around the Tar River.

[DURHAM] When state Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. [D-Durham] left the Senate last week to take a new position on the State Utilities Commission, the question became, “Who could replace him temporarily to finish out McKissick’s term until a permanent replacement could be found. Enter former house Rep. H.M. “Mickey” Michaux, who retired  November 2018 as the longest serving member of the NC General Assembly. Gov. Cooper appointed Michaux to the seat just in time to be present when the legislature convened for a one day session Tuesday.

[RALEIGH] The NC Senate tried, but failed Tuesday with a one day session to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of their 2019 state budget, thus, leaving teachers pay increases, and tax cuts for businesses unresolved, according to state Senate Pro-tem Phil Berger, until the legislature convenes in April. The governor counters that Republican legislative leaders refuse to negotiate on issues like Medicaid expansion and bigger teachers pay. Thus, the state will not have a new budget in time for the next fiscal year.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

Republican legislative leaders are not giving up without fight.
On January 10th, attorneys for NC Senate Pro Tem Phillip Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a “proposed intervenors’ motion for a stay pending appeal” of federal Judge Loretta Biggs’ granting of a preliminary injunction effectively stopping implementation of the HB 824 voter photo identification law for the March 3rd primaries
NC Attorney General Josh Stein has indicated that he will appeal Judge Biggs ruling for trial, but would allow the injunction to stand for the primaries as to not cause confusion with early voting and absentee balloting slated to begin shortly.
But state Republican legislative leaders, originally not allowed to intervene once before because they were not the defendants in the NCNAACP lawsuit, want voter ID back in business for the primaries, and feel the because they created the voter ID law, they should have standing in deciding what happens to it.
Per their motion to appeal the denial of their original motion to intervene, Berger and Moore tell the court that their motion should be granted because they are likely to succeed on the merits of their argument; that they will be “irreparably injured absent a stay of the preliminary injunction  pending appeal;  That the issuance of a stay will not substantially injure the other parties (the NCNAACP) to this proceeding; and finally, grant of. Stay pending appeal will serve the public interest.
Berger and Moore also wants county boards of elections top continue to issue free ID cards to those who may need them if the preliminary injunction is lifted. The state Board of Elections had ordered the counties to cease issuing the free ID cards once Judge Biggs ruled that voter ID would not be used during the primaries.
In a statement, Senate President Pro Tem Berger defended their motion.
Republicans are throwing everything we can at defending the decision made by a majority of North Carolinians to amend their Constitution to require voter ID,” Berger said in a statement.
“We won't stop fighting. Remember this: President Trump has made it a top priority to appoint rational, rule-of-law judges to the courts, and this lawlessness is a prime reason why we need him to stay in office.”

                               SENATE PRESIDENT PRO-TEM PHIL BERGER 

                                                            CANDACE OWENS

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

Several blacks and whites on Facebook are blasting N.C. Republican  Senate Pro Tem President Phil Berger for promoting a black Republican group called BLEXIT -  which stands for “blacks exit the Democratic Party, led by the controversial conservative, Candace Owens.
But a majority of white conservatives there are showing their support for Owens, calling her “intelligent” and “straight-forward.”
Owens is best known for her frequent rhetorical attacks on Democrats; calling Pres. Trump the “savior” of Western civilization; concern about white nationalism “stupid”; and once wrote on her Facebook page “ I proudly self-identify as an Uncle Tom”
She is heading up an event this weekend in Charlotte that Sen. Berger is helping to promote.
It’s a grassroots movement led by Candace Owens to examine whether decades of loyalty to the Democratic Party has really produced results for the black community,” states Berger on his page.
As of Monday of this week, Sen. Berger’s post had 285 shares, and 281 comments, many of them negative from black Democrats who diligently reminded other readers that Sen. Berger has played a major role in every North Carolina voting redistricting legal controversy, and every voter ID legal battle that, according to the courts,  sought to suppress the African-Americans vote, since the Republicans took over the NC General Assembly in 2011.
Readers of Berger’s BLEXIT pitch on Facebook were not impressed.
“What’s even cracking me up more is the people in support of this event are…wait for it…white! LOL!, “ posted a woman named Veleria. “Really, I can’t stop laughing.!”
Another poster named Ryan wrote, “You lost credibility once this insight read “led by Candace Owens.” Did my homework and moving on. Folks, you should too.’
But the majority of posters were white conservatives who raved about Owens, and her controversial style.
“Go! Candace,” wrote Tony. “We believe in you, and hearing the Truth.”
“A woman named Audrey posted, “Welcome free thinkers! Candace owns id amazing!”
Finally a poster named Robert wrote, “I love Candace - she should run for President.”
On his post, Sen. Berger said that “…former Senator Joel Ford has been talking to me about [BLEXIT] for some time now, and I always value his input.”
Ford, a conservative black Democrat, formerly represented District 38 in Mecklenburg County in the state Senate from 2013 to 2018. He was known for working alongside the Republican supermajority, supported the controversial HB2 “bathroom bill,” and even cosponsored the 2018 voter ID law that a federal judge recently ruled against.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020



[CAMP LEJEUNE] In the aftermath of the U.S. drone killing of Iranian General Qasem Solemani, 2,500 U.S. troops from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are being sent to the Middle East to help quell tensions there. They will be joining 3,500 troops from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne that were deployed after President Trump warned Iran against any retaliation for the killing. On Tuesday night, 12 Iranian ballistic missiles rained down on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops stationed there to fight ISIS. At press time, no word of any casualties.

[DURHAM] Over 170 families have been evacuated from McDougald Terrace Public Housing Complex after inspectors determined dangerous levels of carbon monoxide poisoning that may have been responsible for the deaths of two infants and a third young child who lived nearby. Over a dozen residents have had to be taken to the hospital since November. Officials are checking gas-powered furnaces, ovens and water heaters.

[BRUNSWICK COUNTY] She was the longest serving female judge in North Carolina, in addition to being the first woman and African-American judge to serve in the 14th Judicial District. She was also the youngest judge ever elected in the state. That’s why hundreds of friends and colleagues joined the family of the late Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis to honor her memory January 3rd as her body laid in repose in the rotunda of the Brunswick County Courthouse. Judge Lewis died December 30th after she lost her battle with liver cancer. Funeral services were held for her Saturday, Jan. 4th at the Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

Jonathan Capehart is a respected African-American opinion writer at The Washington Post who is known for keep a sharp eye on President Donald Trump, and what his policies are doing to the black community.
This week, Capehart attracted a lot of attention with a piece titled, “Three things Trump is doing that should scare the hell out of Democrats.”
Three things…the last of which is extremely important to African-Americas Democrats, especially here in North Carolina.
The first, according to Capehart, is that despite impeachment, the Republican National Committee (which will be bringing it’s national convention to Charlotte this August 24 through the 27th) and the Trump reelection campaign, have raised a staggering $493 million just in 2019 alone.
Experts agree that that is a formidable haul that would make any incumbent president hard to beat.
The second reason Capehart says Democrats should be nervous about the 2020 elections is that beyond white evangelicals, whose support the Republican president cultivates religiously, there is evidence that Trump is also cultivating white Latinos, who reportedly see no connection between themselves and the struggling latinos and Mexicans who Trump is building a wall to keep out of the United States.
But the third, and most important reason, for the purposes of this story, that Capehart warns Democrats must be leery of Trump’s 2020 campaign moves are his overtures for black support.
Just as with the Latino vote, Trump’s outreach to African Americans isn’t about winning a majority of their votes,” Capehart writes.  “It’s about shaving off enough votes from the expected Democratic hold on the black vote to eke out a win. If the drop-off in black votes that happened between 2012 (President Barack Obama’s reelection) and 2016 happens again in 2020, Trump will win.”
Yes, even with repeated accusations of racism against Trump because of his statements, or policies against African-Americans, if he can pull at least 8% nationally of the black vote, that can hurt any Democratic opponent in key Electoral college states.
It is no secret that the African-American vote is the most loyal to the Democratic Party of all of its traditional constituencies. But with young African-Americans leaning away from the party in favor of more progressive  political figures who are Democrats in name only, not to mention blacks who feel that the party has always taken their votes for granted, and all of a sudden, African-American Democratic loyalty becomes a real factor.
African American voters have signaled they will not lie low, be quiet and take one for the team because of the greater goal of taking Trump out of office,” wrote columnist Mary C. Curtis for Roll Call Magazine last June.
But there is another reason Capehart is keeping a keen eye on the “Blacks for Trump” factor - black men.
Even though black women are the strongest Democratic Party voters, outpacing even white men an women, black men are the prime Trump target, Capehart says.
“According to the 2016 exit polls, [Hillary] Clinton won black women by 90 percentage points, but her advantage over Trump with black men was just 69 percentage points,” Capehart reports. “Thirteen percent od African-American men voted for Trump and five percent voted for third-party candidates. That’s 18 percent of black male vote that went to someone other than the Democrat.”
This …explains why the Democratic candidates have been turning their attention to African-American men on the campaign trail,” Capehart adds.
Another factor working for Trump is voter ID. While it’s status is still unknown here in North Carolina for the 2020 general election in November, there are 34 other states where voter photo identification is alive and well, and a useful tool to suppress the black vote.
And finally here in North Carolina, white turnout in 2020 may exceed the 71 percent white registered turnout that beat out the 64% registered black voter turnout in 2016, which was nine points behind 2008’s 73% black registered turnout the first time that Barack Obama ran for president, according to Political Science Prof. Michael Bitzer of  Catawba College in Salisbury. 
Of course, a lot depends on which presidential candidate Democrats ultimately decide on this summer.
But Trump has made it clear, especially after he launch his “Blacks for Trump” group in November, in addition to advertising in black media, that he will compete for the African-America vote.
The question is, what will the Democratic Party do, and will it be enough?
                                                                 IRV JOYNER
                                                             NC ATTY GEN. STEIN
                                        NC NAACP PRES. REV. T. ANTHONY SPEARMAN
By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

Beyond Republican pressure to do so, it’s still not clear why state Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, indicated last week that he will  appeal a federal judge’s preliminary injunction declaring the 2018 voter ID law unconstitutional.
That ruling, issued on the last day of 2019 by Judge Loretta Biggs, eliminated the voter photo ID requirement for the upcoming March 3rd, 2020 primaries, as the NCNAACP petitioned for as part of it’s lawsuit to stop the law. 
Parts of the 2018 voter ID law, better known as SB 824, “…were impermissibly motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent,” wrote Judge Biggs in her 60-page ruling, noting the the Republican-led General Assembly’s previous 2013 voter photo ID law was also racially tinged for the purpose of voter suppression.
“The preliminary evidence demonstrates a clear likelihood that Plaintiffs will establish that discrimination was behind the law: S.B. 824 was enacted against a backdrop of recurring state-sanctioned racial discrimination and voter suppression efforts — both in the far and more recent past — and the state’s polarized electorate presents the opportunity to exploit race for partisan gain.”
But the civil rights organization’s hopes that the law might also be stalled for the November 2020 general election were dashed when Stein made it clear in a Jan. 2nd press release that his office will appeal the injunction “pending a trial.”
“However….the [NC Dept, of Justice] will not seek a stay of this injunction before the primary,” the AG’s office continued. ”The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will review the district court’s decision, but we anticipate that photo identification will not be required to vote in the primary per the district court’s decision.”
Republican legislative leaders demanded that AG Stein petition fo n immediate stay of Judge Biggs’ preliminary injunction, thus allowing voter ID for the March primaries.
This last-ditch effort from an unelected judge to stymie the implementation of voter ID and prohibit the legislature from defending the law it wrote is inappropriate. Legislative leaders have worked in good faith to accept numerous forms of IDs and allow for certain exclusions. The result is one of the most lenient voter ID laws in the nation,” the GOP statement said.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican candidate for governor, also weighed in, with both barrels.
“The only reason to oppose photo voter ID is if you intend to commit fraud at the ballot box.”
But Stein didn’t listen. Still, even with the delay until after the March primaries, his decision was not welcomed by the plaintiffs either.
“This decision should not be appealed, “ Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP, said in a Jan. 3rd. statement.
“Racism is our voting system cannot be accepted and should not be defended. In this climate, at this time in our history, we cannot afford equivocation on the question of justice and any stench of racism in our laws.”
Atty. Irving Joyner, chair of the NCNAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, said.” We deeply regret the decision by the attorney general to appeal Judge Biggs’ thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion, Later adding, “We would urge the Attorney General to reconsider its decision to appeal and allow all of us to complete preparation for the trial in this matter.”