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GerrymanderingPolitical gerrymandering has almost always been a problem in North Carolina, but new evidence continues to emerge that when conservative politicians drew the current maps (with right-wing godfather Art Pope literally sitting at the table) they took the whole thing to new and historic depths.

If you think that’s an overstatement check out this morning’s “Monday Numbers” from Chris Fitzsimon over on the main Policy Watch page in which Chris highlights some the most amazing facts in a new WRAL.com story entitled “Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin”:

50—-number of seats in the North Carolina Senate (N.C. General Assembly)

21—number of seats in the Senate where the winner of the Republican or Democratic primary will face no opposition in the general election in November  (Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin,” WRAL-TV, March 1, 2014)

120—number of seats in the North Carolina House (N.C. General Assembly)

57—number of seats in the House where the winner of the Republican or Democratic primary will face no opposition from the other party in the general election in November (Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin,” WRAL-TV, March 1, 2014)

Read all of the remarkable Monday Numbers by clicking here.

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State of Conflict NCIn case you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet, the good people at Common Cause NC will be screening “the documentary every North Carolinian should see” three times next week. Here are the times and locations for Bill Moyers’ “State of Conflict: North Carolina”:

  • Sunday March 2 at 3:00 p.m. in Durham (Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Avenue)
  • Tuesday March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in Raleigh (Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street)
  • Thursday March 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Wilmington (Jengo’s Playhouse, 15 Princess Street)

Sunday’s event will also feature a panel discussion led by Jeremy Collins of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Beth Messersmith of Moms Rising and Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina.

Questions? Email the folks at Common Cause  at stateofconflictnc@gmail.com.
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There have been a lot of interesting — even amusing — reactions over on Right-Wing Avenue to last Friday’s judicial order halting the state’s unconstitutional school voucher program. House Majority Leader Paul Stam, for instance, wishfully and inaccurately dismissed the court’s action as a trifling matter that can easily be evaded with just a tiny tweak during the upcoming short session.  Meanwhile, the chief voice of the Koch Brothers in North Carolina, Americans for Prosperity, laughably termed the lawsuits brought by an array of concerned citizens and local Boards of Education as “demagoguery from a special interest group.”

But perhaps the most amazing response (and best example of unintended irony) thus far comes from the Pope-Civitas Institute, where a staffer wrote the following in response to the lawsuits and the Judge Hobgood’s preliminary injunction:

“When you can’t win at the ballot box,  enforce your will through the courts.  That’a (sic) well-known tactic of the left and that’s exactly the strategy on display in North Carolina.” Read More

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State of Conflict NCThe good people at Common Cause NC are taking the controversial documentary produced by veteran journalist Bill Moyers and his team, State of Conflict: North Carolina, on the road. This is from the announcement for the first showing this weekend in Chapel Hill:
Why is North Carolina dramatically changing directions?  Our schools are receiving less money, our laws protecting the environment are being rolled back,  our programs helping citizens in need are being eliminated.  What’s the causing this shift in priorities and how do we put our state back on track?  Come to a free showing of this Bill Moyers documentary, State of Conflict: North Carolinaon Sunday, February 16, 2014, 2pm at Extraordinary Ventures, located at 200 S. Elliot Street, Chapel Hill
Other dates an venues already set include: Read More
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Recently the staff at the Pope-Civitas Institute became concerned that some were confusing their group with an unrelated media company known as Civitas Media — which had supposedly been seeking public  records related to individuals with licenses to carry concealed weapons.

As it turns out, the story about Civitas Media was unfounded, but that didn’t stop the Pope-Civitas folks from sending out a fundraising letter last Friday featuring this photo of staff members demonstrating their support for guns and “concealed-carry.”   The photo is also posted on the Pope-Civitas website (which you can view by clicking  here).