Sunday, September 17, 2023


                                              STATE ATTY GENERAL JOSH STEIN
                                      FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE MIKE MORGAN
                                                         LT. GOV. MARK ROBINSON



By Cash Michaels

An analysis

No candidate has officially filed to run for governor yet in the 2024 elections (the last day for that is December 15th). But already, attacks are flying from both sides as the gubernatorial campaigns heat up, and the candidates jockey for dominant positions.

Bombastic Republican culture warrior Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who finds himself in a primary race with at least four other candidates, has indeed presumed himself the GOP frontrunner, ignoring his Republican opposition, and begun attacking the Democratic frontrunner, state Atty. General Josh Stein.

Earlier in the year, shortly after Stein announced his candidacy, his campaign fell victim to a “sophisticated” $50,000 scam.

The Robinson campaign immediately pounced on the misstep.

         “Josh Stein is supposed to be protecting taxpayers from scams -- not getting duped by them himself. Yet within a week of announcing his run for governor, Stein's campaign willingly sent $50,000 to a scammer. How can the voters trust Stein with a state budget of tens of billions of dollars as governor if his campaign can't even sniff out a $50,000 scam? North Carolina voters deserve better than Josh Stein's incompetence, the campaign said. 

Shortly after news of  a new COVID-19 variant spreading broke, the Robinson campaign pointed the finger at Stein, even though he has nothing to do with COVID-19 health policy.

Democrat politicians and bureaucrats are bringing back mask mandates,” Robinson’s campaign wrote on his Facebook page. “ I call on Attorney General Josh Stein to tell the voters of North Carolina where he stands on reintroducing these kinds of destructive policies of government overreach.”

By most polls, Robinson is leading Stein in the polls, so naturally his campaign feels the state attorney general is not only the dominate Democrat in the race, but also vulnerable to attack.

On June 13th, the Stein campaign posted, “Donald Trump just backed my most extreme opponent. Why? Because he's a MAGA extremist who wants a total ban on abortion, believes women aren’t called to lead, and thinks LGBTQ+ folks are “filth.” North Carolina deserves better.”

Then under the same post, Stein’s campaign displayed an Associated Press story published by ABC News title, “Trump pledges to endorse Mark Robinson for North Carolina governor.”

Days later on June 27th, the Mark Robinson campaign  posted “Josh Stein, Do Your Job,” where the first line read, “Attorney General Stein’s refusal to do his job is perfectly in line with who he is - a liberal elitist who thinks he knows better than the people.”

As documented, the Stein and Robinson campaigns have been going at each other for months.

Then on Sept. 12th, retired NC Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan entered the race, giving Stein, who seemed to be the anointed choice of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the NCDP power structure, a primary opponent.

Upon entering, Morgan seemed to backhand Stein’s popular party appeal.

“As a devoted North Carolinian and a concerned Democrat, I am disappointed by the growing trend — even in my own political party — of a few folks in power trying to select the people’s leaders and determining our destinies,” Morgan said. “I am committed to challenging the status quo that allows a few at the top to choose the winners and losers among us. My vision is to provide all North Carolinians with fair opportunities in which they may thrive and succeed. I am running on a platform that calls for a change to the system that allows the working people, children, and families of North Carolina not to be ignored and taken for granted.”

Then, three days later, in the immediate aftermath of a second well-publicized gun incident on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill, the Robinson campaign announced that “In his quest to secure votes and raise money ahead of being on the ballot for North Carolina’s next governor, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is hosting an event that’s turning heads.

WNCN-17 further reported, “ On Sunday (Sept. 17), Robinson’s fundraiser will include a VIP cocktail hour, dinner, donor photo-ops with him, and even a raffle. That raffle will put three guns up for grabs, including an AR-15 rifle and two Glock handguns.”

Morgan’s nubile campaign wasted no time jumping on the Robinson campaign’s seeming insensitivity.

NC Gubernatorial Candidate Mike Morgan condemns opponent Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s irresponsible move to host a gun raffle at Robinson’s upcoming fundraising event,” his campaign said in a campaign statement.

“This tone-deaf, political stunt goes against our North Carolina values when it comes to gun violence. Unlike many diseases and other public health problems, every firearm injury and death is preventable,” said Morgan.”

He continued, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among NC children and youth, the 2018 firearm homicide rate was the highest among Black children ages 0-19 years, and was nearly 10 times the rate among White children.”

         “Robinson is not qualified to be the Governor of NC,” said Morgan.


                                       ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANITA EARLS





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

When it comes her well publicized federal lawsuit against the NC Judicial Standards Commission (JSC), Associate State Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls is not sitting off in the corner watching grass grow. The progressive jurist is objecting to the two-week time extension the commission has asked the federal court for to respond, and she has also asked that it cease investigating her.

Earls says she may seek a temporary restraining order “if appropriate” to block any further investigation into her First Amendment right activities while the case against her progresses.

The JSC has until tomorrow, Sept. 22nd, too respond to Earls’ request for a preliminary injunction.

An attorney for the JSC filed a motion last week for a two-week extension to respond, but Earls filed an objection.

Earls’ attorneys wrote that her First Amendment rights have been “chilled,” in that she’s had to turn down various opportunities to publicly speak, and contribute the Yale Law Review publication.

“She also described that the effects of the Commission’s investigations have interrupted her ability to perform her job as a Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and even to consider whether statements she makes in judicial opinions might subject her to discipline,” Earls’ court filing states.

“The chilling of Plaintiff’s speech is an ongoing harm,” according to Earls’ court filing. “Between the date of this filing and November 1, Plaintiff has committed to seven different public or quasi-public professional speaking engagements, including audiences such as the Greensboro Bar Association, and a women judges panel at Duke University Law School. Each time she speaks publicly, she risks further investigation by the Judicial Standards Commission. She must self-censor beyond what is reasonably expected of a judge in order to protect her right to serve in the office to which she was elected.”

            Justice Earls found herself in legal hot water after two complaints from an unknown source were filed against her with the JSC. The first complaint was dismissed, but on August 15th, Earls was informed about the second complaint emanating from an interview she did with the online magazine, Law360.

In that interview, Earls complained about the lack of diversity in the inner workings of the state Supreme Court, and how not much was being done about it.

“The Commission has indicated that it believes that Justice Earls’ comments on these issues of legitimate public concern potentially violate a provision of the Code which requires judges to conduct themselves ‘in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,’ Earls August 29th complaint says.

“The First Amendment allows Justice Earls to use her right to free speech to bring to light imperfections and unfairness in the judicial system. At the same time, the First Amendment prohibits the Commission from investigating and punishing her for doing so.”


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