Yessirree, bob. The John Locke Foundation and their fearless – and tap-dancing, I may add — leader are joining forces with the likes of Planned Parenthood and the AFL-CIO to press their case with those mean ol’ Republicans in the General Assembly. (Personally, I can’t think of ANY circumstances where I would join forces with dead baby parts wholesalers.But THAT is just me.)
Yep. The folks who CLAIM to be the voice of North Carolina conservatism have taken a sharp left turn in recent years. They’ve come out against the marriage amendment to the state constitution, called for trackers to be put on private cars to aid and abet taxation, attacked the General Assembly for not spending MORE money, and worked to undermine HB2.
And now it’s getting, um. *better*:
A coalition of organizations called again on Wednesday for an independent redistricting process aimed at removing politics from the drawing of legislative and congressional maps in North Carolina.
While the effort has failed several times in the past, advocates say the uncertainty surrounding the latest legal complication might lead to more bipartisan support.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted a lower court’s order that the state redraw what it called racially gerrymandered maps and hold new elections in them. For now, that leaves unresolved the question of whether new maps and new elections will be required. A special election would mean some legislators would serve one-year instead of two-year terms.
Previous efforts at independent redistricting have failed because there is little incentive for the political party in power to risk giving up their seats, organizers said.
In 2015, a bill to end gerrymandered districts passed the House but was killed in the Senate.
At a news conference in the legislative building held by more than a dozen organizations, Jane Pinsky of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying & Government Reform said the multiple lawsuits that have stemmed from redistricting have cost the state millions and that districts drawn to favor a single party have limited the number of candidates voters can choose among.
Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation was among the members of the coalition. He said the current litigation has nothing to do with the long-term goal of independent redistricting, contending that the maps the legislature drew are legal.
“But the process was bad and should be replaced by something better,” Kokai said.
Where are the better ideas? I thought you guys were a “think tank”, Mitch. (Cough up some brilliance, man. We’re waiting.)
By the way, you can cite all the clarifications and exceptions you want. But laying down with dead baby parts wholesalers (AND Chris Fitzsimon) is — well — laying down with dead baby parts wholesalers.
Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County who was a key figure in drawing the disputed maps, said after the news conference that it’s naive or disingenuous to say the process can be nonpartisan.
“I maintain that partisanship is a part of what each and every one of us are,” Lewis said. “So we can claim that we do not intend to exercise partisanship, but I think it’s more honest to say that partisanship is a part of who we are and will always be a part — not the sole, not the defining — requirement of redistricting or most everything else we do.”
Advocates base their proposal on the process in place in Iowa. The idea is to create a nonpartisan legislative staff to draw the district maps in private without any contact with legislators, establish a citizens’ advisory commission to hold public hearings, and submit the results to the General Assembly, which could amend the plan only on technical grounds.
The proposal sets out a timeline that would give the legislature until mid-April to vote, with extended deadlines to approve a plan if it is rejected on technical grounds.
Additional groups represented at the news conference were Common Cause N.C., N.C. Women United, the Morrisville Town Council, the League of Women Voters, the N.C. Justice Center, the AFL-CIO, the Women’s Forum of N.C., the AARP, and Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic.
See what you get when you throw your time and money at The Johns (Hood & Locke), folks? You enable even more joint events with Planned Parenthood, the AFL-CIO AND Chris Fitzsimon.
Honest-to-God conservatism in this state — which sent Jesse Helms to Washington for THIRTY YEARS — is flatlining. Are you willing to keep settling for John Hood and his uncles Art and Francis co-hosting more events like this and throwing rocks at President Trump? Or do you believe we deserve better?