NC NAACP, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, ACLU of NC, Democracy North Carolina & others to Stand Against Voter Suppression

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NC NAACP, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, ACLU of NC, Democracy North Carolina & others to Stand Against Voter Suppression

 

Groups Will Reject Voter Suppression Legislation; Outline Various Obstacles a Voter ID Law Would Create for Thousands of Voters and State Government; Will Also Announce New Strategy for Mobilization Including PSA and Website

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 January 2013

 

For More Information:        Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President, 919-394-8137

                                            Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

                                            Atty. Jamie Phillips, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700

For Media Assistance:        Rob Stephens, Field Secretary, 336-577-9335

                                   

RALEIGH -The North Carolina NAACP, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Democracy North Carolina, ACLU of North Carolina, and others will hold a press conference Wednesday on voting rights. The press conference will present the constitutional rationale and arguments against voter suppression legislation such an ID requirement. Advocates will lay out plans for mobilization, including a public service announcement and website, and outline the financial and practical obstacles such a law would create for potentially hundreds of thousands of eligible voters, particularly African-Americans, Latinos, seniors, women, veterans, disabled and low-income voters. 

 

WHERE: Legislative press room at the North Carolina General Assembly, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

 

WHEN: Wednesday, January 23, at 11 a.m.

 

WHO: Speakers will include:

  • Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP
  • Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina
  • Allison Riggs, Staff Attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice

 

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

 

 

 

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Twin County Democracy, the newest local chapter of Democracy North Carolina, serving the Edgecombe-Nash area, will be having our August meeting

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Dear Supporter,

Twin County Democracy, the newest local chapter of Democracy North Carolina, serving the Edgecombe-Nash area, will be having our August meeting at the Auditorium of the Rocky Mount Campus of the Edgecombe Community College at 225 Tarboro St, Rocky Mount, NC 27801. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 8th, 6 – 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.

Click Here to RSVP

Join us as we discuss non-partisan voter registration, education, and mobilization over the coming months! In particular, we will lay the groundwork for working with local high schools to register and pre-register youth who are 16 years of age or older during September Voter Registration Awareness Month. We need your local knowledge, ideas, and volunteer hours to make sure the next generation gets civically engaged and to set a positive example for young voters!

Sincerely,

Jake Gellar-Goad
Eastern Organizer
Democracy North Carolina

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Move To Amend Coalition Democracy NC

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Hello Democracy Advocates,

People and organizations from all 50 states and from all walks of life are standing up and building a movement to free our democracy from corporate rule.

In the aftermath of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling, the Move To Amend Coalition is calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.

Democracy North Carolina and the NC Voters for Clean Elections Coalition are happy to co-sponsor Move To Amend’s national “Barnstorming Tour” in cities across North Carolina July 7-11. (The AFL-CIO of NC is a member of the MTA Coalition along with other local NC organizations.)

Move to Amend executive committee members David Cobb, attorney and lifelong activist, and George Friday, anti-oppression trainer and community organizer, will be touring North Carolina in an effort to build connections, inspire activism, and reveal the origins of corporate power in America.

George and David’s presentations are part history lesson and part heart-felt call-to-action! "Challenging Corporate Rule & Creating Democracy" aims to help local folks understand how they can work to abolish corporate personhood and establish a government of, by, and for the people.

Please click on the links below for more information and to RSVP for a local event near you:

Asheville – Saturday July 7, 7:00pm
Fayetteville – Monday, July 9, 7:00pm
Greenville – Tuesday, July 10, 6:30pm
Raleigh – Wednesday, July 11, 6:30pm

Thank you for all you do! 
Your Democracy NC Team

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As Romney Evades on Tax Returns, New Report Reveals Loopholes, Offshore Havens Behind His Fortune | Democracy Now! Daily Digest for 07/11/12

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Democracy Now! Logo A daily TV/radio grassroots, global news hour, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan González, airing on over 1,000 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.

Democracy Now! Daily News Digest
July 11, 2012

As Romney Evades on Tax Returns, New Report Reveals Loopholes, Offshore Havens Behind His Fortune

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is on the hot seat over where he stashes his vast personal fortune, estimated at up to $250 million. We speak with reporter Nick Shaxson, whose new Vanity Fair article, "Where the Money Lives," delves into the murky world of offshore finance and reveals loopholes that allowed Romney to skirt tax laws and store millions in foreign tax havens. The article has sparked the latest round of questions about Romney’s taxes and offshore accounts, amplified by Romney’s refusal so far to release more than one year’s worth of tax returns. Watch/Listen/Read

Corporate Exodus Continues From ALEC as Secretive Right-Wing Group’s Policies Come to Light

Five more corporations have severed ties with the secretive, right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. The group has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as the public has become aware of its role in advancing the "Stand Your Ground" gun law initially cited to protect Trayvon Martin’s killer in Florida. The organization has pushed voter suppression bills, union-busting policies and other controversial legislation. The future of ALEC is now more precarious than ever before. A grand total of 25 corporations have dropped ALEC membership, as well as four major nonprofit organizations and 55 elected officials. We’re joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which created ALEC Exposed, a website showcasing more than 800 of the group’s model bills. Watch/Listen/Read

Are Israeli Settlements Legal? Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah vs. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin

An Israeli government committee has affirmed the country’s self-proclaimed right to build settlements throughout the occupied West Bank and recommended the legalization of dozens of settler outposts that have not received government authorization. The International Court of Justice has already ruled that all of Israel’s West Bank settlements are illegal, but Israel has said it would only consider dismantling scattered outposts that it has not officially approved. The settlers have used the outposts to seize even more Palestinian land than has already been taken. We host a debate between Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor of Commentary magazine, and Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada. Watch/Listen/Read

Today’s Headlines

  • Austerity Protests Erupt in Spain After Bailout Forces Cuts
  • Egyptian Court Blocks Order to Reconvene Parliament
  • Annan: Include Iran in Syria Talks
  • Syrian Opposition Continues Call for Assad’s Ouster
  • Obama Pushes Tax Plan on Campaign Trail
  • Romney: Tax Hike for Wealthy a "Kick in the Gut"
  • Study Affirms Tie Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather
  • Probe: Negligence by Enbridge Fueled Massive Oil Spill
  • Lawsuit Challenges Shell’s Safety Plans for Arctic Oil Drilling
  • Hunger-Striking Palestinian Soccer Player Released After 3 Years in Israeli Prison
  • Bolivia Revokes License of Canadian Mining Company After Mass Protests
  • Public Workers Battle City of Scranton After Pay Cut to Minimum Wage
  • Episcopal Church Votes to Back Same-Sex Unions

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We’re Hiring Eastern NC Faith GOTV Ambassadors!

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Democracy North Carolina is hiring faith-outreach Ambassadors to ensure a great Get-Out-The-Vote effort in eastern NC this election cycle!

RSVP Here to attend the Eastern NC
Ambassador Training Workshop!

Ambassadors can help in numerous ways. From distributing voter educational materials in your church, to recruiting like-minded folks as volunteers for support voting efforts, to encouraging communities of faith to use their church vans or buses for rides to the polls, to Get Out The Vote rallies, and much more!

  • Where:  UU Church on 131 Oakmont Drive, Greenville, NC
  • When:   6pm to 7:30pm on Tuesday March 27, 2012
  • Who:     Anyone from any eastern NC county may attend

You can make a difference and make $100 at the same time! Half is paid out after you attend the training, the other half at the end of the election cycle. Please attend this Ambassador Training Workshop whether you want to officially sign up as an Ambassador, or whether you just want to know more about church voter outreach. This workshop is for you!

Sincerely,

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Out of Control in Raleigh: Come to an Event Near You!

 

Dear Supporter,

North Carolina’s legislature is out of control — and it’s time to speak out and push back.

The legislature’s “midnight attack” on our state’s teachers in January revealed their willingness to ram through an extreme agenda, no matter what it takes. They continue to attack our voting rights, too, pushing for a discriminatory voter ID law, withholding funds for Early Voting, and more.

Please join us at a public forum about how these hard-line conservatives are turning back the clock, who’s bankrolling their agenda, and what it means for our lives.

Featured speakers (depending on location) include MaryBe McMillan of the N.C. AFL-CIO, Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies, Chris Fitzsimon or Rob Schofield of N.C. PolicyWatch, and Robert Dawkins, Nancy Shakir or Linda Sutton from Democracy North Carolina.

You’ll have a chance to ask questions and share your perspective, too.

 

Come to a forum near you:

Fayetteville
Tuesday, February 7th at 6pm
Bordeaux Branch Library
3711 Village Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304-1530
Speakers: Rob Schofield, Chris Kromm, MaryBe McMillan, Nancy Shakir

RSVP here

 

Asheville
Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm
West Asheville Library
942 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806
Speakers: Rob Schofield, Chris Kromm, MaryBe McMillan, Robert Dawkins

RSVP here

 

Winston-Salem
Thursday, February 9th at 7pm
First Baptist Church Chapel
700 Highland Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Speakers: Chris Fitzsimon, Chris Kromm, MaryBe McMillan, Linda Sutton

RSVP here


 

Sponsored by Democracy North Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies,
N.C. AFL-CIO, N.C. Policy Watch
and Progress North Carolina.

For more information contact Adam Sotak at adamsotak@democracy-nc.org or call 919-286-6000 ext 11.


Hope to see you there!
Your Democracy NC Team

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News Release: NC NAACP, Democracy NC, LWV and Randolph Institute to Sue Over Redistricting Maps

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2011

For More Information: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137

Mrs. Amina Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

Atty. Jennifer Marsh, Legal Redress Coordinator, 919-682-4700

Atty. Irv Joyner, Legal Redress Chair, 919-530-6293

Atty. Al McSurely, Communications Chair, lawyers@mcsurely.com

DURHAM – Yesterday, after it spent 60 days looking at a cleverly designed scheme to resegregate voters in North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Justice informed us that the U.S. Attorney General did not "interpose any objection" to the scheme. The next sentence in the letter said, "However, we note that Section 5 expressly provides that the failure of the Attorney General to object [to a redistricting scheme] does not bar subsequent litigation (our emphasis) to enjoin the enforcement of the changes."

That’s exactly what we shall do this Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. in Wake County Superior Court.  We are honored to be co-plaintiffs with the League of Women Voters, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and Democracy, NC — organizations that have had their hands on the Plow of Democracy for a long time — as we file a lawsuit asking our North Carolina courts to stop this cleverly disguised race-based scheme.

We shall sue the leaders of the NC House and Senate, Thom Tillis and Phil Berger.  They paid good taxpayer money to outside consultants to develop a scheme to resegregate minority voters and dilute our voting power.

These consultants know that blatant Jim Crow acts are illegal, so they came up with their James Crow schemes instead. Jim Crow used blunt tools. James Crow uses surgical tools to cut out the heart of black political power. James Crow uses high-tech, clever consultants to pick apart black communities block by block and increase the prosperity of a few Americans by trying to divide, segregate, and fool the rest of us.

We also name the State of North Carolina and the State Board of Elections as defendants in our lawsuit, since they are charged with carrying out this race-based plan.

We welcome the media to join us at the Wake County Courthouse at 10:00 a.m., Friday morning, November 4, 2011, where our attorneys from Southern Coalition for Social Justice will distribute copies of our filed complaint. A news conference will follow.

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Redistricting

Take a minute to thank G.K. Butterfield (Co-sponsor HR 2517)–Source: Democracy NC

 

Dear Curmilus,

I am happy to report that G.K. Butterfield is the first NC member of Congress to co-sponsor to the proposed Shareholder Protection Act (HR 2517), which would require corporations to receive shareholder approval for political spending.  Please take a minute to thank him for co-sponsoring HR 2517.

The Shareholder Protection Act is an important step toward rolling back the impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. That notorious ruling gave corporations and unions a green light to spend unlimited funds on election advocacy and led to record spending during the 2010 election cycle. As we move toward the 2012 Presidential Election, corporate interests are already gearing up to spend even larger amounts of cash.

It’s time to cut the strings of corporate influence over our elections process! Congressman Butterfield has taken an important step in the right direction. Please thank Rep. Butterfield today.

Alternatively or additionally, you can thank Rep. Butterfield and educate others by sending a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. If you are interested in doing this and need more information, please call me at 919-360-2430.

Thank you!

Molly Beacham, Democracy NC

Respect & Protect Our Vote Rally! Wednesday, July 13 at 11:00 AM in Raleigh

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From Our Partner Democracy North Carolina
Rally Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 13 at 11 AM in Raleigh)

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Dear Democracy Advocate,

On July 13th, the General Assembly is coming back to Raleigh – and so are we!

Republican leaders want to (1) pass new restrictions on voting in North Carolina, (2) adopt redistricting maps that misuse the Voting Rights Act to carve out more strongholds for conservatives, and (3) override Governor Perdue’s vetoes, including the one against the voter photo ID bill.

Please join us on July 13th to make it plain that we won’t tolerate partisan attacks on our right to vote or be represented. GOP leaders have reneged on their promise to bring more openness to government and more jobs to our state’s struggling communities. Instead, they’ve passed laws for their campaign donors and their own partisan gain. Learn more about the rally and RSVP here.

Respect & Protect The Vote Rally

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 ● 11:00 AM
NC General Assembly Building
16 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC
Join us! You can RSVP here.

Transportation help available from Charlotte, Greenville and the Triad.

Send your friends to http://bit.ly/iAGgZ9 to RSVP or for more information on the rally.

Thanks and we hope to see you in Raleigh on the 13th!

Adam Sotak,
Organizing Director

Democracy North Carolina

White Republican Men Lead Record Pace of Early Voting – Source: Democracy North Carolina

For Immediate Release, Oct. 18, 2010:

White Republican Men Lead Record Pace of Early Voting

After three days, one-stop early voting is off to a record-shattering pace for midterm elections and the largest group casting ballots are white Republican men, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan group Democracy North Carolina. (Summary totals at end.)

Two years ago, black Democratic women led all groups in the 17-day early voting period and propelled Barack Obama to a surprise victory in the Tar Heel state. The remarkable shift to GOP men echoes polling data about the Republican tide this year, although after three days of voting, the total number of one-stop ballots cast by all Democrats still exceeds those of Republicans.

“Early voting doesn’t favor one party or another, but reveals who’s most organized and enthusiastic about making their voices heard,” said Bob Hall, director of Democracy North Carolina, which has tracked the evolution of early voting. “Combined with the opportunity for same-day registration, our state’s early voting process is essentially a tool of empowerment and convenience.”

After three days, a total of 72,173 voters have cast one-stop ballots. That’s more than twice the 35,728 cast at the same point in the previous midterm election of 2006 and even more than the 70,645 in the 2004 presidential election. In 2008, a surprising 266,649 voters crowded one-stop centers in the first three days.

So far this year, registered Democrats are edging out Republicans by 31,910 to 27,623. By contrast, after three days in 2008, Democrats were swamping Republicans by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio – at that point, 163,321 votes to 58,748.

The county with the most early votes so far in 2010 is not Wake or Mecklenburg but coastal Brunswick County, where eight voting centers and hotly contested local, state and Congressional contests reinforce a tradition of early turnout. Setting the pattern for the state, white Republican men led the county followed by white Republican women.

Wilson County, where tea party supporters are backing a white independent candidate against the black Democratic candidate for sheriff, is another center of early robust turnout; it ranked 6th among the 100 counties after three day of early voting. African-American Democratic women lead among the demographic groups in Wilson.

Other counties among the top ten are New Hanover, Alamance, Wayne, Henderson, Chatham, Johnston, Gaston and Caldwell. For a county-by-county chart of turnout for October 14 through October 16, go to http://www.democracy-nc.org/downloads/EarlyVoting2010First3DaysCountySumm.xls

Early voting continues through Saturday, October 30 at 1 pm. Counties have different schedules, including multiple locations and evening hours in some cases. Seven counties offer the convenience of Sunday afternoon voting which turned out to be the most intensive hours of early voting in 2008.

 

                Total Votes at One-Stop Early Voting Centers

            Election Year        First Three Day           Total Period

            2010                             72,173

             2008                           266,649                       2.4 million

             2006                             35,728                          372,020

             2004                             70,645                          707,628

             2002                             13,110                          170,543

Data from files at the State Board of Elections. The counts for 2002-2008 are for ballots accepted, not just those cast.

 

 

See related:

Republican White Men Casting Early Votes In Droves

(IRV) New boxes on the ballot – instant runoffs – Source: Salisbury Post

Voters across the state will see something new on the ballot this fall, and they should applaud it as a pragmatic money-saving improvement in the elections process.

A small but determined platoon of opponents will try to depict this positive change as a conspiracy by a villainous fill-in-the-blank force — the Democrats, the Republicans, the establishment, the computer industry — to undermine democracy. Voters ought to listen instead to their own common sense. Instant runoff voting will save them a second trip to the polls and it will save the state up to $5 million. (Read more)

Note: I totally agree with gg and Joyce McCloy I had the opportunity to sit on am IRV presentation in Rocky Mount NC. I am not in favor of the IRV for all the reasons gg and McCloy to name a few. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

See related:

IRV – Instant Runoff Voting

Thoughts After the Easley Hearings by Bob Hall Director Democracy NC


Dear Democracy NC Advocates,

When a politician cheats or steals, the media loves to play "gotcha" and the public is outraged. But what if the rules of the campaign system invite a candidate to cheat and lie in order to win election?

Will the media and public demand that the system change? And will they praise the politician who acts ethically and still wins? Why don’t politicians like House Speaker Joe Hackney or state Treasurer Janet Cowell get more kudos for their leadership on ethics and efforts to reform the campaign finance system?  It’s easy to criticize, but so much harder to take responsibility for fixing the problem.

Earlier this year, The News & Observer identified a number of travel-related donations the Mike Easley Committee failed to report and the State Board of Elections began investigating the Committee.  In July, Democracy North Carolina provided additional information and urged the State Board of Elections to investigate if the NC Democratic Party was "being used by a candidate as a conduit to launder earmarked donations that would be illegal if they were given directly to that candidate."

We acted because cheating in politics hurts voters and the good candidates who abide by the law.

On Friday, the State Board of Elections found that earmarking had occurred. By a unanimous vote, the Board ordered the Democratic Party to forfeit the $9,000 involved in two earmarked donations and, more importantly, sent an important message that it is illegal for a candidate to use a political party to conduit a donor’s funds back to the candidate’s campaign, particularly when the donor, candidate and party conspire together to evade the normal contribution limits for a candidate. We commend the Board for taking this action. 

The Board took a cautious approach in reaching its decision. Memos, detailed strategy plans, emails, ledger sheets, and other documents revealed that a specific "Governor’s Fund" had been set up within the Democratic Party to receive and spend money raised for the Mike Easley campaign, but most witnesses could not recall or simply denied any earmarking occurred. The Board focused its penalty on two donors who admitted they knew their checks to the party were really for the Easley campaign.

The Board also voted to impose a $100,000 fine on the Mike Easley Committee and to refer former Governor Easley "and others" involved in the hearing to the district attorney.  It’s a sad day when evidence justifies referring a governor for criminal investigation, but it’s in the best interest of the public and of the thousands of candidates who are acting properly for the State Board to make it clear that no one is above the law. In another unanimous vote, the Board recommended that the General Assembly amend state law to require the candidate to personally bear the cost of fines imposed as a result of election law violations if the candidate’s campaign committee is too broke to pay. Again, the Board sends a strong message that candidates must be held accountable for the conduct of their campaign.

After sitting through the hearings, I’ve been wondering about what to do with good and bad politicians:

  • We need, and all candidates need, the protection of strong laws, fairly enforced, to weed out the cheaters and hold everyone accountable. But no set of regulations can prevent immoral candidates and their consultants from using loopholes to channel large amounts of private money into a campaign. More regulation alone won’t produce better public officials.
  • We need more candidates with the personal moral strength to withstand the temptations and pressures of raising large amounts of private money for their campaigns. As the costs climb and the campaign’s consultants devise new methods to skirt the law, fewer candidates can hold on to their core values. How can we help them?
  • We need to provide honorable candidates with an alternative campaign system that helps them stay focused on serving the public, rather than become preoccupied with soliciting the next $4,000 or $50,000 check from a donor with a selfish agenda.  The voluntary public financing program for some candidates in North Carolina and in other states provides that alternative, because it rewards candidates who raise small donations and reject large donations with a public grant to run their campaign under strict rules.
  • We need to tell good candidates and public officials that we appreciate their service. We hurt ourselves by not noticing who is doing a good job or by stereotyping all politicians as corrupt. Good government requires many solid leaders and participation by all of us.

What do you think? Please send me your comments and let me know your thoughts on how we can turn this sad situation for North Carolina into a step toward positive electoral reform.

Sincerely,

Bob Hall, Director

Democracy North Carolina

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