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Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 09:00 AM PDT

SCOTUS Weakens Citizen United

by NCJim

In an opinion authored by  Chief Justice Roberts the Supreme Court has rejected a First Amendment challenge to Florida’s ban on the personal solicitation of campaign contributions by judicial candidates.

Election Law Blog

The big question will be whether spending limits and limits on super pacs in judicial elections can now pass constitutional muster.  It would be strange to have a judicial election where super pacs can raise unlimited anonymous funds to smear a judicial candidate, but the candidate her/himself cannot solicit campaign funds.

The opinions are all over the place with this decision muddying the waters of Citizen United and in my opinion weakening Citizen United significantly.


Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:33 PM PST

F the Poor

by NCJim

Our Republican North Carolina Governor, his Republican Senate and House Have just decided to F the poor.

A committee for the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors issued a much-anticipated draft report on centers and institutes Wednesday, recommending that three centers on university campuses be shut down in the near future.

Among the three recommended for closure was the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.

The Center receives no state funding so this is not a cost cutting move.

However, its director, tenured law professor Gene Nichol, has rankled some Republican state leaders and conservative groups in recent years by penning editorials decrying how state policies are failing impoverished North Carolina.  link

Thin skinned anyone?

Below is the video:


Should we Build More Mansions for the Rich or Everything Else?

60%9 votes
40%6 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results


Tue Nov 04, 2014 at 04:57 AM PST

All is Well in NC

by NCJim

It is going to be a beautiful fall day in North Carolina, a terrific day to go out and vote.

Kay Hagan is up by 4 % in the last two polls (Likely Voter) and is leading by 7 with registered voters.

Many of those "Unlikely Voters" are going to the polls today because we asked them, helped them visualize going to the polls and most of all, because when we called or knocked on their door they told us they would vote.

North Carolina has been a great experiment in putting a little money into an extensive GOTV organization instead of a few more ads and it is going to pay off big.

I hope putting money into workers on the ground continues in future elections because it is the path to a brighter future.  

Not only is Kay Hagan going to continue to be our senator from North Carolina, but we have developed a lot of young people with the skills necessary for the political races of the future.  

Thank you PBO for showing us the way.

These young people (who have worked their hearts out) have given the rest of us volunteers the focus and the motivation to do what was necessary for the success we are going to have today.

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Sun Nov 02, 2014 at 10:53 AM PST

This is Hilarious!

by NCJim

We are running a phone bank for Kay Hagan out of our house.

It is going great.  Almost all the Democrats we call support Kay Hagan.  Sometimes they need a little encouragement, but they say they will vote.  One woman said "Not only am I going to vote, I'm bring all fifteen of my family with me and they are all voting for Kay Hagain."

So yesterday in the middle of the day with lots of people in the house calling I get a call on the land line.  "Hello", the caller says, "I'm Jane from the Kay Hagan campaign is ##### home?  The Kay Hagan campaign was calling my house for my Kid who voted in NC in 2012, but since has moved away."  

I was kind of afraid of a setting off a feedback loop!

OK a funny coincidence.  

Today, one of the mobile phones from the campaign starts buzzing so I answer it.

"Hello", the caller says "I'm Sally from the Kay Hagan campaign is #### there?"

Obviously the previous owner of that particular cell phone number was a registered Democrat.

This is not coincidence, this is an excellent get out the vote effort!

Sorry for the short diary, but I found that hilarious and very encouraging.


The numbers for the weekend of early voting are in and, to quote Tony the Tiger, Threeeere Great!

Using the numbers from which is a project of the Civitas Institute:

48.4 % of the voters are Democratic and only 31.1 % of the voters are Republican.

That is even better than the 48.08% and 31.69% from the first day.

The Democrats lead in the combined absentee and one-stop voting by 56,357 votes.

72% of the voters where white.

In comparison at this time in 2010 it was 44.5% Democratic and 38.6% Republican.

If you are saying that the Democrats in NC vote often as Republicans a recent PPP poll points to the Democrats staying home.

Hagan is getting the same share of the Democratic vote (81%) that Tillis getting of the Republican vote and if you do that as a Democrat in North Carolina you're generally going to win given the party's voter registration advantage in the state.
 link  (My assumption is that the Hagan / Tillis numbers should reflect the NC legislature number roughly.)


In at this time in 2010 80% of the voters where white.

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Sat Oct 25, 2014 at 04:48 AM PDT

A Beautiful North Carolina Day

by NCJim

Right now it feels like the very early light in the dawn before a great battle.  But this, fortunately, is a battle of the ballot box.

In the few counties publicly reporting, the numbers of voters on the second day of early voting in NC matched or exceeded the surprisingly large number of early voters on the first day of early voting.  The overwhelming numbers of these early voters are Democrats and the number of African-American voters is heartening.  More and better information will be available in a couple of hours, but it looks like these are presidential level numbers, with one exception...the Republicans forgot to show up.

Both days of this weekend are going to be beautiful.  Perfect weather to get out and vote before the polls close at 2 pm.  Perfect weather to canvass.  The canvassing sheets are prepared and waiting in boxes, the volunteers all scheduled.

Organizers are just just now dragging their tired asses out of bed and into the shower.

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 at 03:49 PM PDT

Voting in Chapel Hill, NC Today

by NCJim

The wife and I voted today at 4pm, at the Seymour Senior Center in Chapel Hill and our son voted first thing in the day at the State Board Of Elections in Hillsborough, the county seat.  

This is the first day of early voting in North Carolina, and the polling places except for the Board of Election site opened at noon today.

Senator Hagan was at UNC leading a walk to the polls.  I'm sure the really enthusiastic Democrats joined her leaving my polling place in north Chapel Hill a little vacant...not!

Democrats were outside at a table handing out literature and unlike the 2010 and 2012 there was no Republican presence.  

There was a steady stream of voters going into the polling place, a line to check in, a line to get to one of the fifteen voting booths and a line to put your ballot into the tabulator.

My wife was voter 583, I was voter 593, and that is after just four hours of voting, before rush hour, at only one out of the five early voting sites in the county!

In 2012 the number of voters on the first day of early voting for the entire county was 3,864.  In 2008 there was only 2,925 voters on the first day of early voting in the county.  In 2010 after four days of early voting there were 1,783 (435 on the first day).

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Huffingtonpost Reports:

Fox News is discouraging young people from voting again, but this time the target is more specific: young women.

"The Five" co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said Tuesday that young women should excuse themselves from voting in the upcoming midterm elections because they don't share the same "life experience" as older women and should just go back to playing around on Tinder and

"It's the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea," Guilfoyle said. "They don't get it!"


What is the chance a young woman watching Fox News would vote Democratic?

60%54 votes
10%9 votes
10%9 votes
2%2 votes
4%4 votes
12%11 votes

| 89 votes | Vote | Results

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I am assuming the September momentum will carry on through election day in North Carolina (more later), Colorado, and Iowa.  I am not concerned with New Hampshire, Shaheen seems to have that sewed up against the (phony) carpetbagger. And in Michigan Land appears to be toast.

That combination gives the Democrats 49 Senators and the Republicans 47 as I am conceding Kentucky.  Grimes needs a better campaign manager, one that understands that the EPA has saved our sorry butts time and time again, and ask Lincoln…no the other one, if you need progressives to win an election.

That leaves Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Georgia and Louisiana up for grabs.  The Democrats need one, and the Republicans need all of them.

Georgia and Louisiana are not going to be decided on November 4th.  Both are too close, so a runoff will be needed in both cases, but for my headline conclusion that only has to happen in one of those two states.

And oh what fun November is going to be after the 4th if the Senate on the line.   The GDP of the runoff state(s) is going to skyrocket as the Koch brothers (and the like) try to buy that one.  

Will turnout be a problem?  I don’t think so as the whole world will be aware that there is an important race going on.  Every GOTV resource is going south people.

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If cutting taxes creates jobs then you would have to give a little time for the extremely wealthy to get off their asses (or more likely stay on them and make phone calls) and make all of those wonderful trickle down jobs.

The North Carolina Republicans, lead by US Senate candidate Tom Tillis, have tried this tax cut for jobs experiment in North Carolina.  The NC GOP cut a lot of money from the schools and the university system, raised sales taxes, cut  an earned income tax break for the working poor and military families, raised taxes on retired North Carolinians with pensions, cut off health insurance from poor people, etc -- you get the picture.  

They did this to cut taxes on the very wealthy.  If you make a low six figure salary you get a $100 / month tax break, but if you are really wealthy or if your really wealthy parents die, well woo hoo!

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Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT

Getting Out the Vote

by NCJim

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Now is the time for every Progressive and every Democrat to work to get out the vote.

There are only three and a half months left.

You can start by reading this article from yesterday's Washington Post:

How to Mobilize Reluctant Voters

Which is based on the book Mobilizing Inclusion by Lisa García Bedolla and Melissa R. Michelson

In a nut shell what really mobilizes these voters is repeated person to person contact.

Our analysis shows that citizens who haven’t voted much in the past can be inspired by either door-to-door visits or live phone calls. Tellingly, our research shows that such contacts, especially if repeated, can produce habitual voters. Phone banks from which callers contact the same potential voters twice are especially effective in creating committed voters. Door-to-door campaigns also showed strong results, with one such effort increasing voter turnout by more than 40 percentage points. (To be sure, most get-out-the-vote campaigns produce smaller gains.)
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Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 06:14 AM PDT

Winning the NC Senate

by NCJim

How do we in North Carolina take our state back?

The good news is that progressives are motivated in 2014, we are running good candidates and everyone hates the Republicans in the legislature.

I think we start with the NC Senate.  Democrats need to win 9 seats to take back control.

Follow me below to see which nine NC Senate seats we can win in November (and consider contributing to their effort).

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