Here are two NC stories of groups setting out to exert power – one taking the hard road of community organizing and grassroots democracy, the other using their big-money connections to buy an election. The first story describes how and why Stokes County neighbors came together to wage an impressive campaign against the prospect of natural gas fracking in the backyards. Many of them had won an earlier Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) fight and they knew the importance of persistence, facts, emotion, strategy, and public support. They eventually forced their all-Republican county commission to oppose fracking and then won over their conservative state legislator, who bucked his GOP leaders by voting to uphold Gov. Perdue’s veto of the fracking legislation – truly remarkable. There are many lessons in this story, down to the last part about the group’s new interest in local electoral politics. Meanwhile, the other story is about a new Super PAC setting out to pick the winner of the NC Supreme Court election for you. The group is led by the curious team of former state Republican chair Tom Fetzer (who was burned by a Democrat-backed independent group in the 2006 judicial election) and Democratic former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell. There are lessons in this story, too, plus this lingering question: Will the candidate benefiting from this Super PAC (Justice Paul Newby) publicly scold these powerbrokers for undermining a fair election?
Judicial Elections Category
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Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
We are writing to alert you to a new attack against basic voting rights in North Carolina. A new bill in the NC Senate would eliminate Same-Day Registration and youth pre-registration, slice a week off Early Voting, end Sunday voting, and require other changes that will make it much harder for millions of NC citizens to vote. We will fight this bill (S-657) and keep you updated about what you can do to help.
Right now, we are asking you to:
- Sign up for our special action alerts on voting rights issues if you are interested in getting more involved. Visit http://bit.ly/l7GF8g to sign up.
- Learn more about this bill and similar bills at our on-line Take Action Center: http://bit.ly/ilytg1. You’ll find information on the bills, flyers, action ideas and resources for both individuals and groups.
Also, please be aware that NC’s nationally-acclaimed public campaign programs for statewide judicial and Council of State candidates are under attack. Last week, Republican legislators attempted to eliminate them during the budget debate. Fortunately, Reps. Rick Glazier, Joe Hackney, Grier Martin and Deborah Ross courageously defended the programs and the attempt was withdrawn — for now. View video coverage of the debate at http://bit.ly/lJ4tsU.
We urge you to forward this email to others and to encourage them to visit our on-line Voting Rights Action Center at http://bit.ly/ilytg1.
We remain committed to “of, by and for the people,”
Your Democracy NC Team
P.S.: As we’ve documented often in our Link-of-the-Day reports, these bills are being pushed by NC House and Senate members who were elected thanks to millions in campaign contributions from ultra-conservative groups funded by NC retail millionaire, Art Pope. Learn more about his influence over NC politics at http://bit.ly/hDG9mX.