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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #64)

Sun Jan 24, 2016, 11:21 AM

68. I believe it is worse than that.

The GOPs driving this mess are mostly old school guys, Art Pope (rich NC businessman and Koch brother disciple) and his crew. I think they understand EXACTLY where the demographics are going and that their time is limited no matter how many voters they disenfranchise. It is basically a smash and grab.

They are passing rules that benefit their cronies, privatize public services, etc. They are pumping as much money out of public coffers and into their own pockets as possible and vandalizing all the nice public things the state has on the way out. White supremacy is really ugly when it feels cornered....

An example, charter school oversight is basically nil now. They increased the number allowed and weakened the fiscal oversight rules. A guy in Raleigh who is also a Civitas board member (Art Pope's political action group) owns a for-profit charter school chain. He owns a separate company that rents the school building and all items in it to the charter school group. And then he is the chairman of the charter school board of directors. And the state is not overseeing the money that is changing hands AT ALL. But if the charter school is not able to pay its bills, guess who is on the hook? You guessed! The state and the taxpayers! And guess who gets to keep his real estate and other assets? Yep. The guy who is politically connected and set up the whole disgraceful boondoggle in the first place.

And they are set on destroying our excellent public university system too. They have particular political beefs with UNC-Chapel Hill, the flagship campus. Despite being listed as one of the best values in higher education in the country, they have cut budgets and installed their own political puppet as the president.

And then there are voting rights..... And this is my personal passion too.... The Moral Monday coalition came into being long before Moral Mondays were a thing. We were a loosely organized progressive coalition group. Our members included a huge spectrum of individual interests, but we all agreed that we had the same enemies and that by organizing our efforts, we would all see more progress in each area. And it was agreed that the most efficient path to victory was to first expand the electorate to include more poor, young, black and latino voters. So we started doing tons of grassroots voter education and mobilization drives on the ground, and lobbying the Democratically controlled legislature for better laws in the legislature.

We got same-day voter registration, longer early voting periods, publicly funded judicial campaigns and ran some tests with instant-runoff voting (so cool, google it) in primaries. OMG, the GOP here hated Sunday early voting because we facilitated a Souls to the Polls campaign where black churches would do a BBQ after services and run vans to and from early vote sites all afternoon. All completely legit because no one told anyone which candidate or party to support. And no one was stopping white churches from doing the same, right? But it seemed to enrage the GOP. We divided up underrepresented precincts and would canvass during early voting to increase turnout (remember, we had same day registration too!). Um, we turned out the homeless shelters and through that effort got some low income housing built for that population. Ex-felons re-enfranchisement education. Registering new citizens. ACORN (and another organizer after they got disbanded) did turnout in public housing. On and on.... And we were successful! Voter participation increased.

But we were still under the radar. The power people would laugh and point, but didn't really take us seriously. Until Obama won the NC Electoral College votes. Since then, 10s of millions of dollars have been spent in this state to role back all the great strides we made. Democrats lost the state house in 2010 and as a result, we were brutally gerrymandered by the GOP to the point where we don't really have democracy in this state any more. Because sorry, when 51% of the citizens vote for a Democratic statehouse rep, but the GOP comes out with a veto-proof majority, something STINKS. My vote was still STOLEN, but they did it "legally" with fucking math and lawyers. Since almost no one pays attention to white criminals in suits, most voters don't even see that it happened.

Anyhoo.... I am blathering on.... Moral Monday, what I refer to as the Fusion Party now, is one of my most favorite topics. But this is what I want to say about our country's racist history. YES, it is bad, but there are rich people out there who spend million and millions to MAKE SURE it stays bad. In NC at least, the people always come back around to some sort of people's coalition group that includes black and white. It has been happening here, off and on, since reconstruction. So it seems like The People bend history toward justice periodically, but they through a combination of our own inattention and power the very rich exert over the system, we get bent back

Anyone who is really interested in the Moral Monday movement and fusion politics should take a look at Rev. Dr. Barber's book on the topic. I am about 2/3rds through. Since it is my state and I was there for some of the grassroots work, of course I love it. But anyone with a serious interest in progressive activism should take a look.

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