Taliban Not Only Party That Doesn't Like Women
Taliban Isn't the Only Party That Doesn't Like Women
Democrats Target Women
Actions speak louder than words, and anyone who believes the Democrat Party supports women needs to look at the party's actions in the House redistricting. While the complaints of racial unfairness received press coverage, the targeting of women was of greater statistical significance.
Black representation in the House is not that far from reflecting their share of NC's population, but women are nowhere near gaining seats that reflect their share of our state's population. Women make up less than a fourth of the House; there are only 27 out of 120 members.
Even though I do numbers for a living, I might have missed what was happening were it not for female Democrat legislators complaining about the way they were being treated in redistricting. Some flatly said their leaders were sexist and showed it in their redistricting approach.
It is hard to prove their accusation without going into a lot of detail if we look at Democrat districts, because the Democrat map favored all Democrats. But a quick look at the way Republicans were targeted gives a lot of support to the lady Democrats' allegation.
Somehow the Democrats' evaluation of their redistricting plan achieved widespread distribution in the General Assembly. After designing districts to elect Democrats by grouping voters with a voting history that showed they would probably vote for Democrats, the Democrats then ranked the districts as to which were most Democrat and least likely to elect Republicans.
Three out of the first four Republicans targeted for elimination were women. When you consider that this doesn't include Connie Wilson, who was originally drawn into a district with another Republican representative, but was given her own district after major complaints from people who had some pull with Speaker Jim Black, it is clear that 4 out of the top 5 Democrat targets were women.
I was told at the beginning of the year that I would be targeted in redistricting. Maybe I should have asked why.
Does Character Count?
What Do You Think?
Is it acceptable to break your word, provided it helps you and your friends? Is an oath to uphold the Constitution irrelevant if it interferes with holding power? Would you vote for someone you knew was willing to ignore the law if it was to his or her advantage to do so?
We'll find out in the next election, because if anyone votes for Jim Black or a candidate who accepts support from Speaker Black, they are endorsing situational ethics and condoning all those things. They're saying that they believe anything goes if it gives Democrats a political advantage. They have no problem with Black's actions.
Think I'm exaggerating? In order to help his political friends, Jim Black broke all the promises of fairness he made to secure Republican support in his bid to be Speaker. The legislative redistricting maps drawn by Republicans which were to be merged with the Democrat-drawn maps were totally excluded from any consideration.
Black ignored the North Carolina Constitution, which calls for recognizing county lines in drawing districts. He broke the House rules when he refused to accept amendments and motions. And he thoroughly trashed the principals on which our government is based by denying representation to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians when he refused to permit their representatives to act on their behalf. Maybe the power just failed at an opportune moment, but it looked like he even switched off the microphones to stop people from pointing out how unfair and improper his actions were.
When I walked out rather than vote for Jim Black for Speaker, it was not based on personal animosity. (I still don't dislike him, just his behavior.) It was simply my opinion that based on his past behavior it was reasonable to expect him to break the rules and ignore the Constitution. Unfortunately, I was right.
Why are We Still in Raleigh?
When Will We Adjourn?
Just before Halloween a cartoon that showed a spooky looking picture of the General Assembly with the comment "Haunted House - They Went Into Session and Never Came Out!!" made the rounds in the General Assembly. To most of us stuck here in Raleigh, this isn't really funny.
What bothers me is the question "Why are we still here?" For a long time I just blamed gross mismanagement, but that is beginning to seem too simple an explanation.
Is the purpose to discourage anyone who isn't independently wealthy from running for office, since those who rely on earnings lose money by staying here so long? Is it to interfere with planning campaigns or raising funds for campaigns to make it easier to eliminate anyone that isn't funded by the party powers? Is it because some of the folks in power like being in Raleigh better than being at home? What on earth can explain why we're being kept in Raleigh when there is hardly anything going on, as you can see if you go to www.ncleg.net and look at the calendar for the last week.
If anyone has any really good inside information on the ulterior motive behind delaying redistricting until November, please let me know. Most of us would be real thankful if we could adjourn for the year by Thanksgiving, but that doesn't look likely.
Senate Bill 841
A Case Study in Bad Government
If you have time, I seriously encourage you to go to www.ncleg.net and pull up S841. You will note that it covers a broad range of subjects. If they were in separate bills, they could go to the committees that deal with the different issues and each issue could be dealt with on its merits. But then, many of the issues can't withstand individual scrutiny.
At the same web site, you can pull up the votes on the bill. If you're one of the many people I told I would vote against the bill, I hope you will check the votes. Although several news articles suggested there were no dissenting votes, I did vote against the bill. There were a number who voted against the bill and even more who did not vote at all.
The misleading reporting of the vote caused me a small problem but I understand how mistakes can happen. The vote reported was on a minor amendment, not the bill itself. My greater concern is that the press account focused on Medicaid reimbursements for circumcision, while ignoring far more significant issues that were discussed in committee.
Yes, it is true that the bill reversed the action to end reimbursements for an elective procedure with some religious significance, but that ties to the larger issue of ignoring the committees who supposedly take the time to become knowledgeable in an area.
Of greater significance is the provision saying the legislature plans to pay back the state employee retirement contributions withheld by the governor "subject to the availability of funds." When I offered an amendment to pay the funds back this year, it was rejected because passing the amendment would put the budget out of balance. Warning . . . We are spending money we don't have. If we can't pay back the money we agree we owe, then we are ignoring the Constitutional requirement to pass a balanced budget. Can we do that?
Democrat Targeting List Has
Received Wide Distribution
While I try to keep this newsletter to 2 pages, this issue has an added attraction: a copy of the Democrat analysis of the Sutton House redistricting plan. Unfortunately the Democrats didn't make it completely clear which version of the Sutton map this analyzes, but it matters little. The document makes it clear how the Democrats approached drawing districts. They don't want voters to choose their representatives; they want to make the decision for them and eliminate Republicans.