Under the Dome

Dome: Advocacy group wants McCrory to intervene in Watauga County voting

From Staff ReportsAugust 18, 2013 

Gov. Pat McCrory announces in a YouTube video that he has signed a bill into law requiring voters to produce a photo ID when they go to the polls in this video frame captured Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. The measure signed by McCrory also reduces the early voting period by a week, ends early voting on Sunday, ends same-day voter registration, and does away with preregistration of 16 and 17-year olds.


Gov. Pat McCrory told WUNC radio that partisan politics should stay out of the process of locating polling sites. Now an elections advocacy group wants him to apply those same politics to Watauga County, which just removed polling locations from the campus of Appalachian State University.

From a news release: Common Cause Executive Director Bob Phillips called on McCrory to hold the Watauga County Board of Elections accountable.

“This is a decision that reeks of partisan politics and will only make it harder for college students to vote,” Phillips said. “If Gov. McCrory really means what he says, then he should immediately demand the Watauga County Board of Elections reverse its decision.”

‘Moral Mondays’

The “Moral Mondays” movement continues in different parts of the state Monday with rallies scheduled for the late afternoon and evening in Burnsville (Yancey County in the northwest part of the state), Manteo at the Outer Banks and Charlotte (somewhere south of Raleigh – just kidding, Queen City).

Now calling itself the Forward Together Movement, the rallies are organized by the state chapter of the NAACP.

“We are traveling across the state with a moral and constitutional vision, mobilizing and calling on North Carolinians from every background to action, from the coast to the mountains, because the McCrory, Tillis and Berger Agenda is trying to turn this state 180 degrees in the wrong direction,” the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the N.C. NAACP, said in a news release over the weekend.

The Rev. Sen. Harris?

The Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte is trying to build support for a U.S. Senate campaign through an effort to “draft” him into the race.

He’s currently conducting a 90-day “listening tour” to gauge interest and wants supporters to donate $20,000 for a comprehensive poll.

“We truly could use your help in covering the cost of this vital tool, which not only gives us a clear picture of where Mark stands, but also provides incredible insight for the most effective strategy to move us to victory,” Harris’ advisers write in an email to supporters. “And if (he) is to run, Mark would officially announce publicly and statewide in early October.”

GOP criticized from the right

“How Raleigh’s Republicans forgot the working class.”

That’s the headline on a recent piece in The American Conservative by Anthony Dent.

It’s a somber assessment from the right about why the Republican revolution in North Carolina seems unpopular in so many quarters.

“Elected with a super-majority, Republicans have decisively lost that advantage in public opinion after implementing their agenda,” Dent writes.

“This fall from grace was inevitable given policy choices that hurt working-class families combined with an inability to defend their reforms without relying on stale conservative rhetoric.”

While placing blame for past problems squarely on the state’s Democrats and favoring Republican goals, Dent criticizes North Carolina’s GOP over education, unemployment benefits and tax overhaul.

He closes with a slam over the late-in-the-session abortion-clinics-regulation bill.

N.C. by the numbers

It’s not all politics and serious stuff all the time with Public Policy Polling.

Here’s the group’s latest on some cultural issues:

• Only 32 percent of North Carolinians consider themselves NASCAR fans. Just 17 percent like tobacco.

Only 14 percent are fans of moonshine.

Yes, it’s a changing populace. Thirty-nine percent of natives are NASCAR fans, but only 19 percent of those who came here from somewhere else count themselves as fans.

• Perhaps the biggest unifier in the state is barbecue: 87 percent of voters in the state say they like it, while 12 percent don’t.

Republicans at 92 percent, Democrats at 86 percent, and independents at 82 percent all love the ’cue.

• Speaking of cuisine, 74 percent of North Carolinians like Krispy Kreme donuts, and 63 percent like sweet tea.

Newcomers, however, favor Krispy Kreme over Dunkin Donuts by a substantially smaller margin than do natives (49-point margin versus a seven-point margin).

Staff writers John Frank and Craig Jarvis

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