Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Republican Malpractice in the NC General Assembly

Rob Schofield decries the rush of new laws in this current session of the North Carolina General Assembly -- laws written in secret and sometimes quickly, with scant understanding of or respect for unintended consequences (let alone the nasty intended ones): "Time and again last week, in fealty to an artificial and never fully disclosed deadline, legislative leaders summoned new and hugely controversial proposed laws out of thin air, conducted rapid-fire kangaroo committee meetings to bless them, and then waved the detritus briefly in front of glassy-eyed rank and file members for quick, often dazed approval."

That's democracy malpractice, and the practitioners must be called to account. Here's two of them:

Republican Rep. Jonathan Jordan and Republican Sen. Deanna Ballard

A handful of the most powerful of the Republicans in Raleigh wrote their budget in secret and rushed it through by preventing any amendments. The new budget "starves schools, the environment and countless other essential state services in order to give tax cuts to millionaires" (Rob Schofield). Jonathan Jordan and Deanna Ballard voted yes to it and to everything else.

Out of Thin Air
Other pieces of shit coming out of the General Assembly in rapid order:
"A transparently partisan bit of legal scalpel wielding that would alter early voting laws in order to target and discourage participation by minority voters." Their monkeying with early voting now sits on Governor Roy Cooper's desk. It's clearly meant to discourage the whole infrastructure of early voting, as it mandates that all satellite sites must be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday, 12-hour shifts. That provision defies local knowledge of local populations and their druthers and will strap the budget of county boards of elections. Some -- probably many -- satellite sites will have to be closed in Watauga and other counties. Plus ending the last Saturday of early voting aims at black people, who have historically favored that day.
A brand-new "farm bill" -- "what ought to have been labeled The Polluting Corporate Industrial Hog Factory Relief Act.” It's a real piece of shit that we wrote about here recently.
An 18-page compilation of giveaways to favored special interests bearing the laugh-out-loud title “Regulatory Relief Act of 2018.” We'll slowly become aware of the political bribes this bill delivered on.
A bill to gerrymander the judicial districts of roughly a third of the state’s population, because General Assembly Republicans haven't liked the judges.
Speaking of the damned judicial system, a superior court judge recently ruled in favor of a tenant, and the General Assembly promptly passed a special giveaway to landlords. In Raleigh it pays to be upset by a court ruling, especially when you have expensive lobbyists and compliant Republican troops.
And the icing on the cake: Last Friday, a rushed new backroom deal to "put teeth" into penalties on crazy behavior by crazy prison inmates, because harshly punishing craziness always makes it stop.
It's a Raleigh power-trip on acid and with the pedal down. But be informed, you clowns of the apocalypse-- Judgment Day is coming, and the people remember.

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