Corruption, theocracy, racism, and budget deficits in red NC
Here’s a quick summary just of recent events in North Carolina, where Republicans won big majorities in the state legislature in 2010 and captured the Governor’s mansion last year.
* The NC Senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-to-1, recently voted to repeal the Racial Justice Act, a state law which automatically converts a death sentence into a life sentence if the convicted can prove that racism played a role in the outcome of their criminal trial.
* The Senate recently introduced tax cuts for personal income tax and corporate tax rates without offering any offsetting spending cuts or increases in revenue, which means these cuts will increase the state’s budget deficit.
* Also from that story: The state’s first Republican Governor in quite some time is handing out important political positions within the state government to his campaign’s largest donors. The GOP culture of corruption is alive and well in North Carolina.
* State Republicans passed a voter ID bill that while more sane than the last one, is still a total waste of money and a restriction on the voting rights of Americans for absolutely no good reason.
* Not content with a crackdown on their imaginations, state Republicans are moving to significantly shrink the window for early voting in North Carolina while eliminating same-day registration and voting. Democrats vote early in much larger numbers than Republicans and many of Barack Obama’s biggest supporters in 2008 were first-time voters who used register-and-vote laws across the country to take part in the political process for the very first time. These actions and guaranteed to suppress Democratic voter turnout. Florida did this for 2012 and it was a horrible disaster that even state Republicans admit was a mistake.
* Perhaps more symbolic than I first thought, but still very disturbing: state Republicans introduced a non-binding resolution that declares North Carolina completely exempt from the first amendment, in order to protect Rowan County’s explicitly Christian prayers before conducting county business from being iced by a federal judge. It also explicitly allows the state to declare an official and exclusive religion, which naturally would be Christianity.
This is on top of Republicans massively cutting unemployment benefits for struggling North Carolinians when unemployment is 9.4%, which is what it was over a year ago, and arguments in the state legislature over whether Republicans should pass a law that allows them to break a legally binding contract just because they don’t like it, basically undermining the foundation of free markets and business itself.
There’s your party of fiscal conservatism, free markets, and easy jobs. None of which are anywhere in sight.