Under the Dome

Dome: NAACP’s Barber says Civitas ‘trying to play a trick’ with online database

From Staff ReportsJune 22, 2013 


Rev. William Barber (center) stands with other protesters May 5, 2013, at the North Carolina State Legislative Building.Twenty-seven members of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other activists were arrested Monday by Raleigh and General Assembly police.

TRAVIS LONG — tlong@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

The NAACP’s Rev. William Barber said the Civitas Institute was “trying to play a trick,” diverting media attention away from the issues that matter, by publishing personal information about arrested protesters in an online database.

Civitas listed arrested protesters’ names, occupations, sex, race and other demographics on its website, drawing an outcry from those promoting the demonstrations. But one protester said he’s not deterred.

“It’s no skin off my back,” said Ed King, a high school Spanish teacher in Chatham County who was arrested last week. “I expect that from them. I didn’t live 75 years to not develop convictions that are stronger than any attempt to try to prejudice people.”

The next demonstration Monday – the eighth this year – will focus on labor, economic and women’s issues. It’s unclear how many people are expected and how many will volunteer for arrest in an act of civil disobedience outside the legislative doors. Nearly 500 people have been arrested so far during protests at the legislature.

Democratic Congressman David Price of Chapel Hill announced Friday that he would join the demonstration Monday.

As this legislative session creeps toward its end, the Moral Monday fight is far from over, Barber said. “It will not be over for the people of North Carolina,” he said. “We will continue to mobilize, continue different ways to protest, continue to mount a legal challenge, continue to use social media to get the message out.”

Leaders to meld budgets

House Speaker Thom Tillis appointed 23 legislators, or nearly one-third of Republican House members, to the conference committee that will sign off on the budget compromise with the Senate. Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary is leading the House conference committee.

The Senate has six conferees, with Sen. Pete Brunstetter of Winston-Salem leading the team.

The House and Senate each passed $20.6 billion budgets, but negotiators must work out numerous policy differences.

The Senate budget committee will meet Tuesday morning to discuss passing a stop-gap budget that will allow the state to function past June 30 if there’s no big budget agreement by then.

A tax turnover

As the House and Senate hammer out a tax plan, Americans for Prosperity is taking to the radio airwaves to try to influence the negotiations.

The tea party group’s state chapter announced last week that it is putting about $100,000 behind a new statewide radio ad campaign to encourage residents to support the Senate version. The minute-long radio spot touts the flat 5.25 percent personal income tax in the Senate bill compared to the 5.9 percent in the House plan. It uses a sports metaphor to warn that “some leaders are about to fumble” the tax ball with “only a few seconds left in the game.”

Dallas Woodhouse, the state director, said it’s part of AFP’s pledge to spend $500,000 to push tax reform.

Staff writers Annalise Frank, Lynn Bonner and John Frank

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