Monday, October 16, 2023







By Cash Michaels

An analysis

Last week, in the race for governor 2024, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson made the biggest headlines, but for all of the wrong reasons. In what should have been a grand display of patriotic solidarity with America’s closest ally in the Middle East in the aftermath of the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks, instead turned into what many political observers called a cheap and insincere “stunt” by a politician who is on record as to not having nice things to say about Jewish people.

Meantime, state Attorney General Josh Stein held his first gubernatorial campaign event at the C.C. Spaulding gymnasium of Shaw University at 10 a.m.on Tuesday, Oct. 10th, not filling the space as maybe his campaign had hoped, especially with Gov. Roy Cooper on program. If Stein was hoping for a large African-American turnout for his event since it was being held in Southeast Raleigh, he did not get one, begging the question as to why he held the rally on the campus of an HBCU at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning while most Black voters are working, in the first place.

And close to where his Democratic primary rival, former state Associate Justice Mike Morgan, has lived for 39 years.

Calling it “…an orchestrated, manufactured gathering disguised as a “rally” on the Shaw U campus, Morgan mocked the Stein campaign, saying "...others join me in shaking our heads over this made-for-TV and social media exhibition." 

“The Stein camp has developed this pop-up mirage in an obvious response to my recently announced candidacy in order to try to create an impression that I don’t have sufficient support in my own community to win this race,” Justice Morgan, who joined the governor’s race in September, continued, adding that he and his family have lived, worshipped, shopped, volunteered and served in Southeast Raleigh for almost four decades.

“My community, and others like it all over this state, knows that there is a big difference between my opponent and me when it comes to credibility and authenticity among the people to whom this “rally” is aimed. North Carolina’s state motto is “To be rather than to seem.”

Morgan then continued to go for Stein’s political jugular by concluding, “My opponent will use his wealthy war chest to buy time to show images over and over again from his staged extravaganza in an effort to seem like he is the people’s choice for Governor, when in fact I continue to be the real candidate for Governor who continues to demonstrate every day a commitment to all North Carolinians.”

Justice Morgan ended his campaign missive simply with his name, “Mike.”

But even the few African-American state officials present at the Stein rally said they remained committed to supporting his candidacy because they believed he had the resources and party following to ultimately defeat Republican Mark Robinson should he become the GOP’s likely gubernatorial standard-bearer in 2024.

The low turnout for Stein’s rally, estimated by reporters who were there at around 100 was not missed by Robinson’s campaign, which showed contrasting pictures  of his announcement weeks early at Ace Speedway in Elon where an estimated 1,000 showed up to cheer him on.

The Black Republican, a self-proclaimed conservative “cultural warrior,”didn’t wait long after Stein’s event to invite the media to the legislative auditorium two days later to reportedly exercise authority he said the state Constitution gave him to be “acting governor” while Gov. Cooper was away on a trade mission to Japan.

Robinson proclaimed last week as “Solidarity with Israel Week,” and then last Friday at sunset through Saturday at sunset as “a day of prayer.”

“We honor and mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks by Hamas and their allies against Israel and her people,” Robinson said, declaring that North Carolina stands with Israel. “These terrorists have launched an unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Israel, they’ve taken hostages and murdered innocent civilians including American citizens.”

In reaction, a spokesperson for Gov. Cooper told WRAL-TV, “This stunt by the lieutenant governor and attempt to undermine our state’s democracy is harmful to North Carolina’s reputation and a reason he should never be trusted with real responsibility.”

Editorialists across the state couldn’t agree more.

"Seldom would the word “acting” be more appropriately applied than to the latest role of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson as “acting” governor of North Carolina," opined a Capital Broadcasting Company editorial. "And the reviews are in."

It didn’t take long for press outlets to dig up Robinson’s documented past of posting anti-Semitic social media posts that displayed a disregard, if not disrespect for the Jewish community, something he would not apologize for, and in fact, denies was anti-Semitic.

“The 1977 version of “Roots” is one of the most vile things ever filmed, “ Robinson once said about the history-making television mini-series that was produced by a Jewish company. “It is nothing but Hollywood trash that depicts the ignorance and brutality of the goyim, and the helplessness and weakness of the shvartze (blacks),” Robinson continued..

At another time, Robinson once stated, “I’m not being fooled into believing that the Nazis are a threat to anyone.”

Even the North Carolina Democratic Party couldn’t resist bashing Robinson’s “acting governor” routine, issuing a press release stating, “Capitalizing on a tragedy to aid your own political campaign in abhorrent. Cut the act, Mark.”

In a recent Civitas poll of likely GOP primary voters in North Carolina, Mark Robinson has 49%, followed by State Treasurer Dale Folwell at 5%, and former Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker at 4%. Two other lesser known challengers register less than 1% each.

41% of likely GOP voters polled are undecided.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Even though a state court has ruled that voter photo I.D. can be used for North Carolina elections starting with municipal elections already underway, the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP has filed a motion that its federal lawsuit against North Carolina’s voter I.D. law should be heard at trial in February 2024.

According to a motion filed in the United Sates District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on Oct. 12th by the NAACP NC against Alan Hirsh, chair of the NC State Board of Elections and defendants , the civil rights organization wants a trial commencing the week of February 5th.

According to the motion, the state board defendants and legislator-intervenor-defendants oppose the motion, with the state board defendants saying that they believe “…any decision on the trial date should be left to the sound discretion of the Court.”

The case revolves around the NAACPNC’s challenge to the NC General Assembly’s 2018 Voter ID law (S.B. 824), asserting that it was enacted “with racially discriminatory intent and impermissibly deprives Black and Latino voters their fundamental right to vote.” 

Implementation of SB 824 was delayed because of injunctions by both state and federal courts, but currently those injunctions have been vacated, allowing the voter photo ID law to be in effect for local municipal elections across North Carolina.

The NAACPNC is clear in its motion that setting an early February 2024 trial date “…will allow the Court to issue a decision on this matter well before the 2024 general election, clarifying the requirements for voting sufficiently in advance to allow for voter education, as well as the preparation of election materials and training of election workers.”

Ultimately, the NAACPNC hopes it wins its case against voter ID early enough to stop it well before the important 2024 presidential and gubernatorial elections.

Such a decision may or may not come in time to affect the March 5th primaries, however. NAACPNC believes a trial “…will be completed substantially in advance…” of the March 5 primaries.

The case was actually set for trial going back to January 2021 and January 2022, only to be delayed by appeals. Per the January 2022 trial date, defendants sought and got a stay of all proceedings. That stay was not lifted until last July. 

The trial motion was submitted by attorney Irving Joyner for the NAACPNC, along with attorneys Penda Hair, Caitlin Swain, Kathleen Roblez and Ashley Mitchell of Forward Justice, in addition to attorneys James Cooper and Jeremy C. Karpatkin of the Wash. D.C. firm of Arnold & porter Kaye Scholer LLP, and John C. Ulin of Troy Gould of Los Angeles, Ca. for the plaintiffs.


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