Monday, October 17, 2016

The Race for Governor in North Carolina, guest blogging:

Pat McCrory (Republican): and Governor Pat on Facebook

Pat McCrory is the smarmiest car salesman on the lot.

A man who promoted himself in the election of 2012 as a reasonable moderate with a long history of more or less progressive management as mayor of Charlotte, Pat McCrory quickly turned into the weak, feckless doormat for an extremist Republican agenda promoted by more powerful men in the North Carolina General Assembly. Instead of trying to return to the mantle of "moderate Republican" in 2016, McCrory has obviously decided he can only win by grandstanding for the yahoos, aping Donald Trump, defending the indefensible (both HB2 and voter suppression, among other extremist measures), and going full Conservative Prick.

Only problem is he doesn't wear that hard-line mask at all naturally nor comfortably, so he perpetually looks like a man surprised by reality. Plus the real Republican Power in Raleigh -- chiefly Phil Berger, president of the NC Senate -- has consistently treated McCrory like a red-headed step-child, ignoring his meekest requests and full-out running over him when he's in the way. McCrory's vetoes have been overridden by the General Assembly about as often as the Republicans over-rode Democratic Governor Bev Perdue.

In short, McCrory has presided over the worst slide away from forward-thinking progressivism in North Carolina history. We can't retire this colossal failure soon enough.

Roy Cooper (Democrat): and Roy Cooper for NC on Facebook

Remember what I said in Pam's Picks back in 2012 about how important the Governor's race was?:

"Here's the thing: The Party of the Governor controls both the State Board of Elections and each and every North Carolina County Board of Elections. If Democrats do not win the Governorship, and the State House and Senate remain in Republicans hands, get ready for some serious voter suppression in North Carolina. And ASU students can bet their bottom dollar their voting precinct will be removed from the Student Union."

Well, it's certainly been a long three plus years fighting for equal voter protection here in Watauga, hasn't it?

My own greatest hope for the candidacy of Roy Cooper centers on the fact that his election will end organized voter suppression in North Carolina and especially in Watauga County … because his election will end automatically the reign of terror of majority Republicans on county Boards of Election. As we know so well in Watauga, Republicans running election machinery have been far more intent on limiting the vote than in encouraging it.

With Cooper in the governor's mansion, the voter suppression of Stacy C. Eggers IV ("Four") and Bill Aceto, current chair of the Watauga Board of Elections, will be over.

The fact that Cooper is an upstanding and effective Attorney General is just icing on the cake. I have known Roy Cooper since the early 90's, and he is one of the finest people I know. He is strong of character. He has stood up for basic fairness. He has spoken out against the extremist agenda of the General Assembly. He has defended the rights of consumers against predators of various stripes. He warned the Republican Overlords in the General Assembly when they were going too far and then refused to defend their bad laws when the federal courts unanimously ruled them unconstitutional.

This race is really, really important. Remember that on November 8th.

Lon Cecil (Libertarian):

Retired High Point engineer, Lon Cecil is making jobs the focus of his campaign. “We need to bring clean, modern industries to this state that can manufacture goods for energy, transportation and better environmental conditions. It will take more than short-term corporate tax bribes, however.”

Cecil is a newcomer to state-wide electoral politics, so it's unclear whether he might be a spoiler in the hot race for NC governor (though it's generally agreed that he will pull votes from McCrory more than from Cooper). Cecil did put himself into the US House 12th District race in 2010 and considered running again for that House District in 2014 but decided against it. He's a virtual unknown.

Cecil was born in Oklohama and got his degree there in electrical engineering. He's a veteran of the Vietnam War.

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