by Danny Hooley
Good morning, everybody! Would you like to know who’s not having the greatest morning? Tami Fitzgerald and her North Carolina Values Coalition. But that’s OK, because their lives already sucked. How would you like to live constantly obsessed with what other folks do in the bedroom and the bathroom? Pour souls.
Anyway, the NCVC and those of like mind in Charlotte, along with Republican state lawmakers are unhappy because …
1. … seven members of the Charlotte City Council stood up to homophobes, and won. Despite dire warnings of hellfire and retribution from Gov. Pat McCrory, the 7-4 majority voted to expand a nondiscrimination ordinance for the LBGT community.
From The Charlotte Observer:
The decision elicited cheers from supporters, many carrying signs that read, “Facts Not Fear.” Opponents of the ordinance, many carrying signs that read, “Don’t Do It Charlotte,” were upset by the decision.
The changes mean business in Charlotte can’t discriminate against gay, lesbian or transgender people, in addition to long-standing protections based on race, age, religion and gender. The ordinance applies to places of public accommodation, such as bars, restaurants and stores. It also applies to taxis.
The most controversial part of the ordinance would allow transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender of which they identify.
Annnnd cue the fearmongers:
The bathroom provision sparked the most opposition, with opponents mostly worried about the safety of women and girls in a public bathroom with people who were born male. Supporters said those fears are overblown, and that transgender people are at risk of violence in the bathroom.
In an email Sunday, Gov. Pat McCrory said the bathroom provision would likely cause “immediate” action by legislators.
So, we have that to look forward to.
2. The NAACP has requested that foxes be relieved of hen house duty. In other words, as reported by WRAL:
The state chapter of the NAACP called on federal judges Monday to throw out the map of North Carolina's 13 U.S. House districts that lawmakers approved last week, along with the five-year-old map of state legislative districts.
The congressional map is back before a three-judge panel that ruled on Feb. 5 that lawmakers relied too heavily on the race of voters in 2011 when they set the boundaries for the 1st Congressional District and the 12th Congressional District.
NAACP leaders have proposed that the judges draw the map themselves, since the GOPers in charge haven’t exhibited the best of intentions.
NAACP officials said the new map still disproportionately packs minority voters across North Carolina into three congressional districts, even though lawmakers used only the results of recent elections – not the race of voters – to draw the map.
"You can, in fact, use partisanism as a cover for another racial agenda," said Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president. "They have abused the Voting Rights Act 50 years after its signing, and we believe it is a great travesty."
Next, the NAACP plans to petition the Supreme Court to combine all of the state’s legislative district cases.
3. The latest Elon Poll finds that NC voters like Trump and Clinton. It’s not in the poll, but we also like Duke’s mayonnaise and Cheerwine, so hey, we ain’t all bad:
From the Elon Poll:
The survey found Donald Trump in the lead with 28 percent.Trump gained 9 percentage points since the last Elon Poll conducted between October 29 and November 2, 2015. Ted Cruz, with 19%, moved from third to second place. Marco Rubio remained in third place with 16 percent. Dr. Ben Carson dropped from first place in November to 4th place with only 10 percent support (a 21 point drop). John Kasich came in 5th place with nearly 7 percent support (up from 1.3 percent in November).
There’s also a mention of Jeb in there, but… well, you know.
On the Dem side:
Likely voters who are registered Democrats or Independents or unaffiliated voters who lean Democratic were asked who they would vote for if the presidential primary were held today. In November Hillary Clinton was the clear favorite among Democratic voters in North Carolina. Clinton had a 33 points lead over Bernie Sanders. This has now dropped to a 10 point lead (47% to 37%). However, 14 percent of Democratic voters are still undecided. Clinton does better with respondents who identify as Democrats (58% to 28%), while Bernie does better with voters who identify as Independents but lean Democrat (66% to 25%).
OK, but let’s get back to that GOP race. Trumpface Von Clownstick had better not take his lead here for granted because…4. ...Thom Tillis just went all Team Rubio. That’s right Donald, consider that a game changer.
In a statement from Rubio’s campaign, Tillis mentioned each of their “humble beginnings.” During his 2014 campaign, Tillis talked about growing up in a poor family, and working in a warehouse and living in a trailer park at age 20. He ultimately graduated from college in his mid-30s and became a business consultant before entering politics. He and Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, are both first-term senators and former state House speakers.
“Marco lived the American Dream, and he will ensure that each and every one of us can do the same,” Tillis said in the statement, adding Rubio “has the unique capability of drawing new people into the party, which is critically important in a swing state like North Carolina."
The group wants to take already quiet roadways in the city and make them even calmer for cyclists by pushing drivers to busier thoroughfares. They have proposed Watts Street as a test site.
"Bikes are enhanced as a priority over cars," [Aaron] Lubeck said. "Cars have to divert off every four to eight blocks, so whatever through-traffic there was goes away."
People who live and park on bike boulevards would still have ample access to them, he said.
Bicycle boulevards should appeal to less-experienced cyclists who don't feel confident enough to use bike lanes on busy roads, he said.