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Tag: pat mccrory

Harsh Primary Races Leave Republicans Bitterly Divided

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

"What I need to do is get assurances from the current leaders in my state party that I haven't been cancelled, because for the past 13 months, I've been told I'm a RINO," McCrory said, using the acronym for Republicans In Name Only.

The term, once pejoratively used to describe Republicans who weren't conservative enough, has effectively become a slur hurled at Republicans who aren't considered loyal enough to Donald Trump.

But McCrory wanted the state party to "correct that" categorization, objecting to the insinuation that he wasn't a tried-and-true conservative.

"Maybe they didn't mean that," McCrory posited, "or if they meant it, I've gotta do some reevaluation. Because they not only said I was a RINO, they said I wasn't conservative—and I consider myself a pretty conservative guy."

But McCrory wasn't simply speaking for himself. He was using himself as a stand-in for the some 25% of GOP primary voters who cast their ballots for him and who will also make or break Republicans' chances of claiming that seat in November.

"This is going to be a very close general election," McCrory noted. "So I think my party, in order to win the general election, has still got to appeal to the conservatives like me—the Ronald Reagan conservative—in order to win North Carolina.”

He challenged party leaders to come back to him and his supporters and embrace them as an "important" part of the Republican Party.

"But to do kind of a Mccarthyism within in our own party—saying some people belong and some people don't belong—man, we better correct that or we're not going to win the U.S. Senate or the White House in '24."

McCrory noted that GOP Sen. Thom Tillis won reelection last year by roughly 40,000 votes out of over 4 million cast.

"And that was with a flawed Democrat," he said of Cal Cunningham, who was dragged down in the final month of the race by a sexting scandal. "So the Republican Party is going to have to work hard here," McCrory said.

McCrory added that he wanted the Republican Majority in the Senate, but offered, "I think we're gong to have to have a little more courage in reaching out and not being so wrapped up in one individual."

And there's the rub. That one individual—otherwise known as "Individual 1" in criminal parlance—is Trump, who would much rather sacrifice the GOP Senate majority than welcome non-loyalists into a bigger tent party.

But McCrory isn't alone in his rejection of simply smoothing over intraparty ruptures in order to prevail in November. On the other end of the GOP spectrum is MAGA radical Kathy Barnette, who lost her bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania's Senate seat. While her rivals, Trump endorsee Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, are locked almost dead even at 31% each, Barnette still managed to commandeer some 25% of the GOP vote with her late rise to prominence in the race. It's nothing to sneeze at in a state that promises to host one of the most competitive general-election Senate contests in the country.

But Barnette is already on the record saying she doesn't intend to endorse either of her rivals, whom she has cast as MAGA posers even though Oz won Trump's endorsement.

Asked by right-wing Breitbart News Monday if she planned to back her GOP challengers, Barnette responded, “I have no intentions of supporting globalists. I believe we have ran out of room on this runway for this nation. I believe we have very little rope left to just roll the dice and we’ll see how it works on the other end."

Barnette's slash and burn continued on Wednesday as she seized on Dr. Oz's election-night shout out to Fox News' Sean Hannity for offering his advice and consultation "this entire campaign."

That admission clearly got under Barnette’s skin. "I do want to say, never forget what Sean Hannity did in this race," Barnette said in a video statement thanking her supporters. "Almost single-handedly, Sean Hannity sowed seeds of disinformation, flat-out lies, every night for the past five days. And that was just extremely hard to overcome."

By contrast, Rep. Connor Lamb of Pennsylvania, who lost the Democratic Senate primary Tuesday to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman by a roughly 33-point margin, issued an amicable statement conceding the race.

"I entered this believing PA Dems needed a real debate, and I’m proud of the campaign we gave you," Lamb tweeted Tuesday night. "Today, voters made it clear that John is their choice. I respect their decision and congratulate John on his victory."

But don't worry, folks, if you're enjoying the post-primary Republican infighting, more is surely coming after next week's GOP primary in Georgia, where Trump endorsee David Perdue appears poised to lose his effort to oust incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump still despises with a white hot hate.

Here’s McCrory’s interview—very much worth the watch since he is taking up the mantle of old-school Republicans as ideological outcasts in today’s MAGA-dominated GOP.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

In Key '22 Senate Races, Republicans Already Face Headwinds

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Last year, Senate Republicans were already feeling so desperate about their upcoming midterm prospects that they rushed to wish Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19 so that he could run for reelection in 2022. The power of incumbency is a huge advantage for any politician, and Republicans were clinging to the idea of sending Grassley—who will be 89 when the '22 general election rolls around—back to the upper chamber for another six-year term.

GOP fortunes have improved slightly since then, with historical trends improving their midterm prospects since Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress. But the Senate map is still a long ways away from a gimme for Republicans, and several recent developments have brought good news for Democrats.

The first of those is a new poll from the Des Moines Register showing that nearly two-thirds of Iowa voters (64 percent) believe "it's time for someone else" to hold Grassley's seat versus the 27 percent who want to see the octogenarian reelected to an eighth term. Women voters were especially brutal, with seven out of ten saying they were ready to give Grassley the heave-ho.

Grassley's numbers with GOP voters lagged too, with just 51 percent committing to supporting him again, while just seven percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents agreed. Grassley's overall job approval clocked in at a meager 45 percent; it's his lowest level since 1982.

The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., upends Republican thinking that another Grassley run could help safeguard the seat. In fact, Grassley may be a liability in the general election, or GOP primary voters may choose an alternative. In any case, Iowa's Senate race could prove more competitive than Republicans had hoped.

Meanwhile, the GOP primary race for North Carolina's open Senate seat has been scrambled by Donald Trump's surprise endorsement of hard-right Congressman Ted Budd, according to Politico. Following Trump's input at the state party convention earlier this month, former North Carolina governor-turned-Senate candidate Pat McCrory rushed to dismiss the endorsement as falling "flat" in the room.

Now, retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr is coming to McCrory's rescue, reportedly arguing both publicly and privately that he is "the only one in the race" who can win the seat statewide. "Pat McCrory has a commanding advantage," Burr told Politico.

Burr, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of impeachment charges, also took a swipe at Trump's rationale, or lack thereof.

"I can't tell you what motivates him," Burr said of Trump. "I've never seen individuals endorse a candidate a year before the primary. That's unusual."

Judging by Budd's own internal polling, Burr has a point. McCrory enjoys far higher statewide name recognition, and he's leading Budd by about two dozen points, 45 percent to 19 percent. Another Republican contender, former Rep. Mark Walker, garners just 12 percent of the vote, with 23 percent still undecided.

McCrory, who has been meeting with GOP senators to make his case, is running as an establishment Republican. Budd obviously occupies the Trump lane now. It's a scenario that could easily leave one side or the other feeling resentful depending on which Republican prevails, and any result on the GOP side could wind up depressing at least some general election turnout among Tar Heel Republicans.

But that's the least of the GOP's worries, according to McCrory's camp, which is intent on catastrophizing the ultimate result of a Budd primary win.

"If Republicans want a majority in the U.S. Senate, they will nominate Pat McCrory," said McCrory adviser Jordan Shaw. "Otherwise, Democrats are going to take this seat and keep the majority."

U.S. Civil Rights Commission Will Meet In North Carolina, Hotbed Of Voting Rights Struggle

Reprinted with permission from D.C. Report.

The much-derided commission  set up by Donald Trump to investigate bogus claims of voter fraud is now disbanded, but our nation’s independent commission on civil rights — founded more than 60 years ago — is meeting soon to talk about federal civil rights enforcement.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will  meet Feb. 2 in Raleigh, N.C., the state where the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a trial court’s order to redraw the state’s congressional map in a gerrymandering case.

“From Reconstruction to the present, North Carolina has played a central role in the evolving story of voting rights in America,” the commission said in a statement announcing the meeting. The commission will feature testimony from the meeting in its report this year on voting rights.

Civil rights attorney Anita Earls, who founded a North Carolina nonprofit to protect minority voting rights, said she plans to talk about the 2016 and 2017 elections in North Carolina.

In 2016, supporters of former Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, claimed after he lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Roy Cooper that convicted felons or people who had already voted cast ballots. At least 18 people were wrongfully accused of being felons ineligible to vote.

“Gov. McCrory has set a new standard for desperation in his attempts to undermine the results of an election he lost,” a Cooper spokesman said at the time.

Earls, who is seeking a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, said she hopes some of the people affected by challenges will attend the meeting and speak about their experiences.

Other people scheduled to speak include Vanita Gupta, the former acting head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department; Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

The commission is also expected to talk about federal voting rights enforcement efforts and the impact of a 2013 Supreme Court case, Shelby County v. Holder, on the Department of Justice’s enforcement strategies and priorities.

The case invalidated the formula that determined which states and local governments with a history of discrimination had to get approval from the Department of Justice or a federal court before changing voting laws and procedures.

Since that decision, states that were once supervised by the Department of Justice, such as South Carolina and Texas, have used stricter voting rules that disproportionately affect young people and low-income minorities.

North Carolina, which was partially covered under the old formula, passed one of the toughest voting laws in the nation. McCrory signed the bill, which included a voter identification requirement, eliminated same-day voter registration and imposed other restrictions. A federal appeals court struck down parts of that law, noting that it targeted “African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Former President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 that established the bipartisan commission, and its findings helped shape the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. The commission’s eight members serve six-year terms.

PHOTO: Republican Pat McCrory tells supporters that the results of his gubernatorial contest against Democratic challenger Roy Cooper will be contested, in Raleigh, North Carolina,  November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo

Broadcast News Ignores North Carolina GOP’s Unprecedented Power Grab

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Broadcast news completely ignored an unprecedented move by North Carolina Republicans to limit the power of the state’s incoming Democratic governor. A series of measures put forth by the Republican-controlled legislature have been criticized as a way to “subvert the will of the voters,” and an elections law expert noted that they could spur legal challenges.

Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly held a special session on December 14 in which they proposed a series of laws to strip away power from the state’s incoming Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, including a bill that “removes partisan control of the state and county election boards from the governor,” according to The New York Times. Instead, the Times noted, “a Republican will lead the state board during election years and a Democrat in non-election years.” A CNN.com report outlined other proposed legislation from the “unprecedented power grab,” including bills to slow the judicial process for the governor to bring legal battles to the state Supreme Court, to block Cooper from appointing members to the state Board of Education and the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina, and to reduce the number of appointments in the Cooper administration from 1,200 to 300.

The special session was a surprise, called suddenly and immediately after the conclusion of another special session to address disaster relief. As The Atlantic noted, “legislators used the same obscure maneuver they did when they passed HB2,” an anti-LGBTQ law that governs access to public bathrooms, “calling themselves back into session with the support of three-fifths of legislators.” Several media figures have pointed out that the backlash against HB 2 — which invalidated local governments’ ability to provide legal protections for LGBTQ people — was likely a deciding factor in Gov. Pat McCrory’s recent re-election loss. The Atlantic article also explained that Republican House Speaker Tim Moore claimed “the decision to open the second special session had been made only Wednesday,” December 14, which was “a lie that was quickly revealed by the list of signatures from legislators needed to call the session, dated December 12.”

None of these details, however, have been reported on any national broadcast news programs since Wednesday. A review of the December 14 and 15 editions of ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS’ Evening News, NBC’s Nightly News, and of the December 15 and 16 editions of ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ CBS This Morning, and NBC’s Today found no mentions of the attempted power grab. Local affiliates of all three networks did cover the story.

Other national and internet media outlets also covered the unprecedented moves. As Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote, “This last-minute power grab marks an alarming departure from basic democratic norms” and is “a blatant attempt to overturn the results of an election by curtailing judicial independence and restructuring the government to seize authority lawfully delegated to the incoming Democratic governor.” The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards criticized the North Carolina Republicans for “resorting to a novel strategy to subvert the will of the voters” and attempting a “graceless power grab.” CNN and MSNBC have also covered what MSNBC’s Chris Hayes described as a “legislative coup.” New York magazine reported that the bills will get a vote on December 20, but that the new measures may spur a larger battle. As elections law expert Rick Hasen explained, some of the measures would spur “potential Voting Rights Act and federal constitutional challenges.”

Methodology:

Media Matters searched Snapstream and iQ media for mentions of “North Carolina” on the December 14 and 15 editions of ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS’ Evening News, and NBC’s Nightly News and the December 15 and 16 editions of ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ CBS This Morning, and NBC’s Today.

IMAGE: Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory introduces candidate for U.S. Senate Thom Tillis (R-NC) at a campaign stop in Raleigh, North Carolina October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Keane 

North Carolina Republicans Try To Strip Powers From Democratic Governor-Elect

RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) – North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature is moving to strip powers from the state’s governor three weeks before Democrat Roy Cooper is set to succeed a member of their party in the executive mansion.

Lawmakers on Thursday began debating a bill to require Senate confirmation for cabinet appointments, reduce by 1,200 the number of state employees the governor could hire and fire at will, and eliminate the governor’s power to pick certain university trustees.

The legislation came as a surprise, filed late on Wednesday on the heels of a special “lame duck” session of the General Assembly called to consider relief for Hurricane Matthew victims.

Cooper, scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 7 after defeating incumbent Republican Pat McCrory by 10,000 votes last month, said the proposals were aimed at holding him back.

“Most people might think that this is a partisan power grab, but it is really more ominous,” Cooper said at a news conference in Raleigh on Thursday. “This is about thwarting the governor’s ability to move us forward on education and health care and clean air and water.”

Cooper, currently state attorney general, said his office was reviewing the proposals and would sue if lawmakers approved any measures he believed were unconstitutional.

Republicans called the changes justified by the state’s constitution. Senate confirmation hearings were held earlier in the state’s history, they said.

“Some of the stuff we’re doing, obviously if the election results were different, we might not be moving quite as fast on, but a lot of this stuff would have been done anyway,” Representative David Lewis, a Republican and a sponsor of the bill, told the News & Observer on Wednesday.

A House of Representatives committee voted on an unrecorded voice vote to advance the bill on Thursday, as about 100 people gathered at the legislature to demonstrate against the proposals.

North Carolina, the ninth most-populous U.S. state, has been roiled by sharp political divisions. The state voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and then turned to the right, electing McCrory in 2012 and Republican super-majorities in its state legislature.

The state became a target of boycotts by companies, musicians and sports leagues after it passed a law this year restricting bathroom access for transgender people in government buildings and public schools.

(Reporting by Marti Maguire; Writing by David Ingram; Editing by Dan Grebler)

IMAGE: North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper speaks to supporters at a victory rally the day after his Republican opponent and incumbent Pat McCrory conceded in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Reinstate North Carolina Voting Limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a bid by North Carolina to reinstate for November’s elections several voting restrictions, including a requirement that people show identification at the polls.

The court, divided in part 4-4, rejected a request made by Republican Governor Pat McCrory after an appeals court ruled last month that the 2013 law discriminates against minority voters. Five votes are needed for an emergency request to be granted.

The brief order noted that three of the court’s conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, would have allowed the voter identification provision and limits on early voting to be in effect for the election. Justice Clarence Thomas agreed on that point, but was the only justice to say he would have also allowed a requirement blocking pre-registration of 16-year-olds to stay in place.

McCrory’s lawyers said the status quo should be maintained so close to the election, citing court precedent in their favor.

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 29 that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters. The same court refused to put its decision on hold for the Nov. 8 election.

Critics say such laws, passed in Republican-governed states, make voting harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats. Backers say the laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The court is currently short one justice following the death of conservative Antonin Scalia in February.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

This Week In Crazy: ‘May God Have Mercy On Our Nation’

We are gathered here today not to mourn the death but to puzzle over the life of the Grand Old Party, laid to rest this week when a tangerine-toupeed interloper from the Big City stole the nomination from a host of social conservatives. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Tila Hubrecht

A conservative Missouri state lawmaker would like to remind women who have been raped to always look on the bright side of life.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, while arguing in favor of a bill that would grant personhood rights to unborn fetuses — in effect, making any abortion illegal — Tila Hubrecht, a Republican in the Missouri House of Representatives said: “It is not up to us to say, ‘No, just because there was a rape, they [unborn fetuses] cannot exist.”

She continued:  “Sometimes bad things happen. Horrible things. But sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”

The remarks echo those of Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock, who during his (failed) 2012 run for U.S. Senate, said that if pregnancy occurs following a rape, it should be viewed as a “gift from God.”

Ultimately, the House voted 112-36 to advance the measure. According to the Dispatch, its text states it would “protect pregnant women and unborn children by recognizing that an unborn child is a person with a right to life which cannot be deprived by state or private action without due process and equal protection of law.”

Hat tip LawNewz

Next: Bobby Knight

4. Bobby Knight

Retired basketball coach Bobby Knight bumbled back in the public eye with a series of appearances touting his support of Donald Trump in the days leading up to the decisive primary in his native Indiana.

For instance, the addled septuagenarian with a history of explosive and violent temper tantrums bragged that Trump was the “most prepared man in history” to be President of the United States. He also boasted that Trump was the only candidate who had “the guts” to drop an A-bomb on another country. (That’s what a man does, dammit.)

Speaking to CNN’s John Berman Wednesday morning, Knight was asked to address some of his candidate’s more controversial remarks — to wit, his insistence that we need to ban 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the country.

“I don’t even know what controversial means!” Knight protested. When Berman had to explain that pesky banning-all-practioners-of-a-religion thing to Knight, the coach responded, “Well that’s okay. That doesn’t really mean anything to me right now.”

He added, “We’re talking about a guy that I think can handle things far better than anything that we’ve had recently.”

And clearly Knight knows best — because he’s done his homework.

Next: Jehovah’s Witness 

3. Jehovah’s Witness

The Church of Jehovah’s Witness has upped the creep factor this week with the release of a nasty bit of propaganda: an animated short film that explains, with a silken, Disneyfied touch, just why it is all those nice gays and lesbians need to rot in hell, and what your children can do to save them.

The plot is fairly straightforward: When a little girl explains that her schoolmate Carrie drew a picture of her two happily married mothers, her mother decides to have a Teaching Moment.

“People have their own ideas about what is right and wrong,” the mom helpfully explains, “but what matters is how Jehovah feels. He wants us to be happy. And he knows what makes us happiest. That’s why he invented marriage the way he did.”

“You mean one man and one woman?” asks the credulous little cretin.

“Exactly!” says mom, who proceeds to explain that Jehovah “wants us to be his friend — and live in Paradise forever, but we have to follow his standards to get there,” explicitly likening the path to Paradise to a pre-flight security screening. You can’t bring contraband on an jetliner — and you can’t bring your dreaded, affliction of homosexuality into the Promised Land. Jehovah is nothing less than the Big Blue-Shirted TSA Man in the Sky, apparently.

This is when the little vid delivers its truly insidious punchline: Mommy leans in close to her daughter and explains that she had better go tell Carrie that “people can change,” and that she should tell her friend about “Paradise,” “the animals,” and the “Resurrection.”

And which point the #blessed heterosexual family unit proceeds to practice their talking points to save little Carrie’s soul.

Hat tip Daily Kos

Next: Pat McCrory

2. Pat McCrory

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is not having a good week.

The anti-LGBT bill he signed into law has cost his state considerable business opportunities and at least one Bruce Springsteen concert. Even one porn site got in on the fun by blocking Tar Heel viewers from their site. Challenged to justify the law (HB2) on Megyn Kelly’s show last week, the governor blustered and was treated to a lesson from the Fox News anchor in how ladies bathrooms actually work.

And then on Wednesday the Justice Department served the state with a letter informing them that their little piece of legislation is in violation of civil rights statutes. Oh, do the indignities never end?

In a radio interview Tuesday, McCrory blew his top, raging against the gay rights agenda that has wrought such a headache for him and brought such shame upon his state.

The Human Rights Campaign, he said, was “machiavellian, man.” The incredulous governor could not understand why his anti-LGBT law was offending LGBT people. “This had nothing to do with gay and lesbian,” he said. “This had to do with privacy.”

Nonetheless, he insists that a bigot is “the farthest thing” from what he is.

Check out the audio above courtesy of The Greensboro News & Record.

Next: The Tears of the Religious Right 

1. The Tears of the Religious Right

Glenn Beck repeatedly claimed to have seen the will of God manifest itself in the candidacy of Ted Cruz. He even said that Antonin Scalia died at God’s hand, simply to show America how important it was to elect Ted Cruz. Beck was just one of a cabal of social conservatives on the #NeverTrump train which derailed in spectacular fashion this week when the Texas Senator and that guy from Ohio suspended their campaigns, clearing the field for Donald Trump to clinch the GOP nomination.

What an ignominious end to God’s chosen campaign. Social conservatives and Religious Right luminaries took to Twitter in the hours following Cruz’s implosion and the ascendance of Trump to express their frustration and bafflement and to beg for God’s aid and forgiveness in this, their moment of darkness.

A tip of the hat to Right Wing Watch’s Brian Tashman for unearthing many of these.

From TWIC favorite and American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer:

From Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol:

From Steve Deace, the Cruz supporter who once vowed to eunuch himself if Cruz showed weakness on the campaign trail:

Deace also posted photo evidence of himself switching party affiliation.

Todd Starnes, writing on Facebook:

But for brevity nobody can match Robert P. George, a luminary of the “religious freedom” movement:

On that, at least, George and I are whistling the same tune.

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

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