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On Sept. 3, U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield issued a statement on North Carolina State Superior Court’s ruling that found legislative districts to be political gerrymanders and therefore a violation of the state’s Constitution.
“On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a dangerous decision when they ruled that partisan gerrymandering claims are beyond the reach of the federal courts,” Butterfield said in his statement. “This decision put America’s democratic process at significant risk and placed the responsibility of protecting our elections in the hands of the state courts. I am encouraged by the North Carolina State Superior Court’s decision today to strike down the state’s legislative districts as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.
“The three-judge panel made its decision based on the undisputed fact that the Republican General Assembly deliberately manipulated legislative districts to provide a political advantage to Republican candidates,” Butterfield said. “The court concluded that no witness denied that the plans were intentional and effective partisan gerrymanders. The Chairman of the Redistricting Committee admitted that the boundaries were drawn for a partisan political advantage. I call on the General Assembly to convene and release new maps that will be fair and balanced.”
Tucker takes aim at Tillis
Sen. Thom Tillis’ primary challenger, Raleigh businessman Garland Tucker, who grew up in Wilson, pounced on Tillis last week.
“I wanted to share my latest op-ed about the ‘boneless wonders’ piling up debt in Congress,” Tucker wrote. “These politicians run on slogans like ‘cut, cap, and balance’ then, when they get to Washington, vote to spend more and more.”
“In the five years since Tillis was elected our debt has grown from $16 trillion to over $22 trillion, or 35%,” Tucker said. “We need to stop this insanity. And that’s why I’m challenging Thom Tillis.”
According to Tucker, a “new poll from PPP shows in a few short months I’ve cut Tillis’s lead to just 7 points; Republican primary voters are ready to vote for someone who will actually make the hard decisions to cut spending.”
Tucker called for voters to read his opposing editorial in the American Spectator “calling out the ‘boneless wonders’ in Congress. Then I hope you’ll join the conservative crusade that is happening right here in North Carolina. With your support, we can defeat a Washington politician and elect a conservative with the backbone to vote to cut spending.”
Dems criticize ‘raid’ of military construction funds
On Sept. 4, the North Carolina Democratic Party criticized President Donald Trump for using military construction funding for North Carolina military bases to build a border wall between Mexico and the United States.
“Yesterday, the Trump administration confirmed it ‘is carrying out plans to raid $3.6 billion in military construction projects to build the border wall’ as part of the emergency declaration Sen. Tillis infamously rubberstamped — a decision that has defined Sen. Tillis, earned him a primary challenger, and led to weeks of negative coverage,” said a release from the NCDP.
On Sept. 9, the NCDP reported that “The Washington Post noted ‘no state got hit harder than North Carolina,’ writing that Tillis’ flip flop is a political ‘softball’ and pointing out that Tillis’ empty promise last spring to advance legislation to prevent future emergency declarations ‘hasn’t gone anywhere.’”
Cooper signs bills into law
Gov. Roy Cooper’s legislative responsibilities didn’t end despite Hurricane Dorian on the horizon as he signed six bills into law Thursday.
Five were from the Senate, including bills 353, 574, 600, 621 and 682.
“North Carolina needs to be able to assess how our schools are performing and how well students are learning,” Cooper said in a release. “A reasonable assessment system that gives teachers and parents accurate information without sacrificing accountability should help children learn without over testing.”
He also approved House Bill 449. Visit www.ncleg.gov/Legislation for more information on each bill.
POLITICAL NOTEBOOK is a weekly roundup of local and state political news from The Wilson Times’ reporting staff. Send tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.