Daily dose

Tuesday News: I have constituents?

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RIP VAN HOLDING ONLY GOT ONE DONATION FROM HIS DISTRICT: Rep. George Holding, a Republican from Raleigh, represents more than 700,000 North Carolinians in Congress in District 2. But in the last three months, only one of those residents has contributed to his 2020 reelection campaign, according to new campaign finance reports. “After voting to strip away health care from North Carolina families and line the pockets of big drug companies, Congressman Holding’s lousy fundraising report proves that his biggest supporters are the wealthy D.C. special interests and not actual North Carolinians,” said Avery Jaffe, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in an email. The DCCC is a national group that supports Democrats in U.S. House races. Holding’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment about his fundraising or his critics. District 2 encompasses the Wake County suburbs, as well as more rural areas in Harnett, Johnston, Wilson, Nash and Franklin counties.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article236373293.html

Monday News: Southern discomfort

ARMED CONFEDERATE FLAG SUPPORTERS IN PITTSBORO OUTNUMBERED BY ANTI-RACISTS: Among the groups represented were Heirs to the Confederacy, ACTBAC, CSA II, the Virginia Flaggers and the Hiwaymen, an Arkansas-based group that flocks to far-right events such as Unite the Right in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one counterprotester dead. Under an array of flags, they grilled hot dogs and played country music. About 200 members of antiracist and progressive groups held signs and waved flags on the other side of the road. The group included liberals as well as people further left on the political spectrum, a coalition that was sometimes prickly. Pittsboro locals were joined by people from Hillsborough, Durham and Charlottesville, some of whom also protested Silent Sam, the Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill that activists brought down last year. Saturday’s event was the latest in a series of face-offs in Pittsboro that has left many locals feeling weary. The county commissioners plan to declare the statue public trespass by Nov. 1, making it eligible for removal, The News & Observer has reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article236438178.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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MEDICAID EXPANSION CAN AND DOES IMPROVE ACCESS TO CARE: Since Medicaid expansions began in 37 other states in the nation, there have been a great number of studies examining what happened. They invariably show that the insurance expansions improved access to care. More than half a million uninsured North Carolinians who could gain insurance if the state expanded Medicaid would be able to afford medical care. This occurred in both urban and rural areas. Part of the answer is that safety net providers, like community health centers, stepped up to the bat to expand capacity, knowing that Medicaid expansions would help make this possible both by increasing Medicaid revenue and reducing uncompensated care pressures. Moreover, many medical practices have learned how to become more efficient and effective, by increasing collaborations with other health professionals, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and care coordinators.
https://www.wral.com/leighton-ku-medicaid-expansion-can-and-does-improve-access-to-care/18700910/

Saturday News: The discrimination administration

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AG STEIN JOINS LAWSUIT CHALLENGING FAIR HOUSING RULE CHANGE: “Fighting discrimination and ensuring everyone is treated equally is central to building stable, successful communities in North Carolina,” Stein said in a statement Friday. “The existing rule helps ensure equal housing opportunities for everyone – I urge HUD to abandon its proposed weakening of these critical protections.” Disparate impact refers to policies that are formally neutral but in practice adversely affect a protected class, regardless of intent. The proposed HUD rule change drew sharp opposition from several civil rights groups, including the Americans Civil Liberties Union and National Fair Housing Alliance. Among the proposed changes, the burden to prove disparate impact moves from the defendant — such as a landlord or lender — to the plaintiff, often a renter or home-buyer. It also requires the plaintiff to prove the challenged policy is “arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236413243.html

Friday News: Obstructionists

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GOP LEADERS REFUSE TO ACT ON COOPER NOMINEES FOR NCUC: The North Carolina Utilities Commission, which sets electricity and other utility rates, barely has enough members to function. The commission has seven seats, but only four of them are filled. That's the minimum for the quorum the group needs to do anything official. In May, Gov. Roy Cooper nominated three people to fill the empty seats, but the General Assembly hasn't confirmed or rejected them. It's not clear why. The Governor's Office said all three are non-controversial, that they've met with legislators and answered questions and that no one has questioned their qualifications or ability to serve fairly. "There is no reason to delay highly qualified people from sitting on the Utilities Commission that regulates the safety and affordability of water and electricity for all North Carolinians," Cooper's office said in a news release.
https://www.wral.com/five-months-and-counting-for-appointments-to-key-state-commission/18704613/

Thursday News: Anti-immigrant extremism

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CHARLOTTE GAS STATION REFUSES TO SERVE GREEN CARD HOLDERS: Emilio Zepeda Cordova and Walter Montano Lopez — who are Salvadoran but living in the country legally — are suing Sam’s Mart LLC after they said a Charlotte-area clerk refused to serve them until they provided “proof of legal citizenship.” In response, Zepeda Cordova and Montano Lopez said they handed her a Central American passport, a North Carolina license, a green card and a Social Security card. “The Sam’s Mart employees working refused to serve plaintiffs and stated, ‘this is not legal,’” according to the complaint. “When plaintiffs persisted, the Sam’s Mart cashier repeatedly yelled, ‘I want to see United States ID’ and then instructed plaintiffs to leave.” A representative for Sam’s Mart did not immediately respond to McClatchy news group’s request for comment Wednesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article236322963.html

Wednesday News: Rape culture

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1 OUT OF 3 UNC FEMALE STUDENTS HAVE SUFFERED SEXUAL ASSAULT: A study released Tuesday says one in three undergraduate female students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report having been sexually assaulted. UNC-CH Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Becci Menghini, interim vice chancellor, Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement, said in a statement Tuesday "students participated in the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. UNC-Chapel Hill was one of 32 (out of 62) public and private institutions in the association that elected to participate in spring 2019." The report states of those who were assaulted, more than half of the females said they didn't report it because they didn't think the assault was serious enough.
https://www.wral.com/study-1-in-3-undergraduate-female-students-on-unc-campus-has-been-sexually-assa...

Tuesday News: Sleazy as usual

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NC GOP WANTS TO MOVE GERRYMANDERING SUIT TO FEDERAL COURT: Republican legislative leaders are trying to move from state court to federal court a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina congressional map drawn in 2016. The GOP lawmakers filed a notice Monday in the partisan redistricting litigation that voters filed last month in Wake County court. The lawmakers' attorneys said the venue change is necessary because complying with the plaintiffs' demands for a new map would conflict state redistricting rules with the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act. A federal court granting the move could scuttle the plaintiffs' case, since the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared federal courts lack authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims.
https://www.wral.com/nc-republicans-seek-moving-congress-case-to-federal-court/18698137/

Monday News: Xenophobia

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DURHAM CITY COUNCIL MEMBER HAS CITIZENSHIP CHALLENGED BY LOSER: Caballero told The Herald-Sun in 2017 that her family moved to the United States when her father was in graduate school and that she became a U.S. citizen at age 14. Sunday’s joint statement repeated that Caballero is a citizen and also a registered voter who has lawfully voted in Durham since 2010. “Javiera has faced these sorts of baseless claims about her citizenship throughout this election, and it’s time for our community to speak with one voice to say that enough is enough,” Reece said in the statement. “Durham must be a city that works for everyone, and that must include our immigrant neighbors.” Johnson, the city’s mayor pro tempore, said Caballero and many other immigrants have had to endure suspicion throughout their lives.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article236093808.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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THE WEAK REPUBLICAN CASE AGAINST EXPANDING MEDICAID IN NC: Perry’s argument follows a series of hollow Republican warnings about Medicaid expansion. First there was the rationale offered by then-Gov. Pat McCrory. He deemed North Carolina’s Medicaid program “broken” and said it would be irresponsible to add a half-million more people to the program. It turned out that the program is actually quite efficient compared to other states and has even come in under budget in recent years. Next came the claim that the state couldn’t afford its 10 percent share of the cost of expansion. But under Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget proposal the state’s share would be covered by the hospitals and health care plans that would benefit from the surge in insured patients. Finally, there’s the semi-conspiracy theory that the federal government might renege on its commitment to pay a minimum of 90 percent. Given that 36 states are now getting that level of payment, it’s unlikely that their representatives in Congress would approve cutting it back.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article236040708.html

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