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The Winston-Salem Journal pulls no punches in this editorial this morning that criticizes legislative plans to dramatically expand Governor McCrory’s ability to use Chicago-style patronage hiring:

A governor, when taking office, deserves the right to put his or her own people in jobs when those jobs are assigned policy-making duties. To deny the governor that power would deny the governor the ability to govern.

But only a small number of state workers make policy. Most state workers don’t; for sure, there aren’t 1,500 state employees who make policy decisions. With the exception of a few hundred policymakers, state employees carry out the policies designed by their superiors. So McCrory only needs 1,500 political patronage jobs if he’s planning to fill state employee ranks with his political cronies.

What makes all this the more offensive and ironic, of course, Read More

President Obama 4No, the above headline is not a typo or even a logical stretch. There is actually a close relationship between the two subjects. Here’s why:

Although all the facts have yet to come to light, the recent scandal in Washington related to the wrongful targeting of conservative groups by Internal Revenue Service officials appears to be just that: a scandal. Every American should be outraged anytime the people in power abuse the system to target any group or individual because of their beliefs. It is an offensive assault on core constitutional rights anytime such an event occurs. President Obama needs to get to the bottom of this ASAP and punish all who are responsible.

Unfortunately, such occurrences are not new in the United States. They occurred when the George W. Bush administration wrongfully targeted liberal groups (click here and here to read about some examples) AND they occur every time politicians in power draw absurdly gerrymandered political maps to punish their opponents and deny voters the opportunity to participate in real elections. Read More

In addition to gerrymandering, there appears to have been another built-in advantage for conservative candidates in Tuesday’s election: It’s easier to vote in conservative, Republican areas.

This from Talking Points Memo:

“Voters across the country complained about long waits in states around the country, as long as seven hours in quadrenially troubled Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott dramatically reduced early voting days despite similar issues in 2008.

If Democrats think measures like Scott’s in Republican-controlled states depress their vote specifically, they may be onto something. A Hart Research study sponsored by the AFL-CIO found wait times were disproportionately longer for Democrats and Democratic-leaning demographics by huge margins in 2012. For example, 16 percent of Obama voters reporter lines longer than 30 minutes, versus just 9 percent of Romney voters.”

And obviously, this was all a great big, unintentional coincidence.

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Yesterday we reported that despite casting 76,525 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates, North Carolinians will be represented by nine or ten Republicans and only three or four Democrats in the U.S. House. The reason for this, of course, is the absurd gerrymandering performed by the GOP legislature.

Not surprisingly, however, North Carolina is far from the only state to suffer such a fate. As the folks at Think Progress report, it looks like Americans as a whole voted for a slightly Democratic or evenly divided U.S. House of Representatives.

The current count: Repubs 233, Dems 192.

(Photo courtesy of Think Progress).