Commentary

Bitter Pat McCrory still struggling with the facts

Former Gov. Pat McCrory is apparently still struggling to accept his defeat last fall to Roy Cooper. And he is still struggling with the facts too, something that often plagued him during his term as governor.

McCrory addressed the NCGOP convention Saturday. The News & Observer has the rundown of his irresponsible accusations and absurd comments.

His remarks calling for a new photo ID voter law prompted national coverage as the battle in the courts over voter suppression continues.

This paragraph in the N&O story is quintessential and maddening McCrory.

I know for a fact that we had a lot of noncitizens that were voting,” McCrory said. “Ladies and gentlemen, voter ID would have stopped it. Keep it a clean bill, stay with a voter ID law and get that passed.”

A recent audit by the State Board of Elections found 41 noncitizens who cast ballots. They were legal residents who had successfully registered to vote. An ID requirement likely wouldn’t have stopped them.

No, a photo ID voter law would not have stopped the legal residents from voting. But McCrory can’t let the facts get in the way. And in case you forgot, he lost the election by more than 10,000 votes, not 41.

Commentary, News

Good news: Sen. Burr not optimistic about ACA replacement this year

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is making national news today with comments he made to WXII 12 News about the chances that the Senate will approve health care legislation this year to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Burr said he “doesn’t see a comprehensive health care plan this year”  and said the House bill that the CBO says will increase the number of people without insurance by 23 million is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.

The Wall Street Journal was the first national outlet to pick up on the comments, which were cited in the Talking Points Memo article.

Let’s hope Burr is right. He has plenty to work on anyway with the Russia investigation in his role as the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Commentary, Environment, public health, Trump Administration

Two paragraphs that sum up Trump’s attitude toward protecting the environment

The first two paragraphs of a New York Times story today sum up perfectly the approach the Trump Administration is taking towards protecting—or rather not protecting—the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research.

A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast.

No reason to have actual scientists on a scientific review board. Let the polluters make the rules to protect us from pollution. That’s certain to work well.

Commentary

Fate of popular same-day registration still up in the air

As Melissa Boughton reported yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court passed again this week on taking any action on the monster voter suppression law enacted by the General Assembly and thrown out by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

One of the many things at stake in the case is the fate of same day registration in North Carolina, a voting procedure used as often by Republicans as Democrats and invaluable for people who have moved and didn’t have time to change their registration or folks who are eligible to vote and simply missed the deadline to sign up.

It’s no coincidence that a report from Nonprofit Vote finds the six states with the highest turnout in the 2016 election all have same-day registration in place while the five states with the lowest turnout do not.

And in case you missed it, one of the folks that NC GOP Chair Robin Hayes says he will appoint to the new combined elections and ethics board created by the General Assembly if the courts reject Gov. Cooper’s latest efforts to stop it is Francis De Luca, head of the Pope Civitas Institute.

(Last week, a court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the new board from being created.)

De Luca and Civitas are committed to ending same-day registration and even filed a lawsuit after the November election challenging the practice that has prevented more than 400,000 eligible voters, Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated alike, from from being turned away from the polls since 2007.

A lot of people on the Right continue to work awfully hard to make sure it’s more difficult for their fellow citizens to vote.

Commentary

NC Policy Watch captures six awards from NC Press Association

NC Policy Watch won six awards this year from the N.C. Press Association for journalism and commentary published in 2016.

The awards included a 1st place award for Rob Schofield in the serious columns category and a 1st place for Billy Ball for his education reporting. Ball also won a 2nd place award for his coverage of school choice and a 3rd place award for news enterprise reporting for his story on new ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton.

NC Policy Watch was also awarded 2nd place for General Excellence for online publications.

In addition, two Policy Watchers won awards for their reporting in previous positions, Ball for his work at Indy Week and Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg for a story at the Coastal Review Online.

Thanks for reading NC Policy Watch and the Progressive Pulse and stay tuned. There’s plenty more top-notch journalism and commentary to come.