Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy Radio Interviews

Senator Valerie Foushee

Senator Valerie Foushee discusses Medicaid expansion, redistricting reform, education funding and student activism at the University of North Carolina.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Judicial nominee Farr joins GOP defense team in redistricting litigation

It appears that Thomas Farr is back in the game – the North Carolina redistricting game, that is. The recent Trump nominee for a federal judgeship in North Carolina's Eastern District filed paperwork last week to appear in court on behalf of the GOP legislative defendants in Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to the 2017 legislative map on grounds that it violates the state constitution as an extreme partisan gerrymander.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

‘Reform is the answer:’ Voters gather at legislature to lobby for an end to gerrymandering

Redistricting reform is around the corner, and when it happens, it could move quickly – North Carolinians just have to think about what they want that reform to look like. “We do have a voice; we do have an opportunity,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina, a voting rights organization that has pushed for redistricting reform for over a decade.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Barber, other NC panelists at congressional hearing: Restore the Voting Rights Act

It would take eight years to undo what an unconstitutionally-elected GOP super-majority did to voting rights in North Carolina in the past several years, the Rev. William Barber II testified before a House congressional committee last week.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

In shocking reversal, Mark Harris calls for new election; Board agrees unanimously

When 9th congressional candidate Mark Harris took the stand Thursday and called for a new election in light of evidence his political operative orchestrated a fraudulent absentee ballot scheme, a collective gasp resonated through the room.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Richard Burr in the spotlight as Senate’s Trump-Russia investigation inches toward a conclusion

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Richard Burr is in the awkward position of investigating whether his ally in the White House colluded with Russia to meddle in a U.S. election. As the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the North Carolina Republican is overseeing an effort to assess Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election that elevated President Donald Trump to the White House.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

9th District hearing bombshell: Mark Harris’ son testifies that he warned about Bladen operative and was ignored

Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris had no idea Wednesday that his son would would take the stand at an evidentiary hearing and testify that he warned his father multiple times about a political operative’s illegal election tactics before he hired him.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

ICE tearing apart families in historic raids across state

Kay* was cooling her machine down Tuesday morning at Bear Creek Arsenal in Sanford when she and a mechanic nearby noticed a supervisor looking visibly worried talking to someone they had never seen before.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The state of gerrymandering reform: Weekend conference spells out where things stand

The first redistricting reform bill in North Carolina was introduced more than 50 years ago, and there have been countless proposals since. None, however, have made it past the House chamber.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Mark Harris loses court bid to certify 9th congressional race amid fraud investigation

Republican Mark Harris’ margin of victory in the 9th congressional district race is in question because of alleged election fraud, and a judge ruled Tuesday the results wouldn’t be certified until the State Board of Elections gets to the bottom of it all.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates: Census citizenship question could harm already undercounted NC communities

“Is this person a citizen of the United States?” To some that might seem like a simple question to put on the 2020 census, but to some already undercounted populations it perpetuates fear and creates a real possibility for their communities to lose resources.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Doubling down on secrecy: The legislature’s latest assaults on transparency

If there’s a single most maddening and telling hallmark of the hard Right leadership that’s dominated the North Carolina General Assembly over the past eight years, it has to be its failure to live up to its members’ past promises to champion open and transparent government. It’s difficult to remember now, but when Republicans took the reins of power back in 2011, they rode in on a platform that promised a new era of openness in government.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Holding Cooper vetoes in 2019: First, Democrats will need to show up

As you may have heard by now, there was a rather maddening side story to the veto override votes that took place during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day at the North Carolina General Assembly. As commentator Thomas Mills rightfully pointed out last week on the website Politics NC, had all Democratic members of the House showed up, it’s quite possible that Governor Cooper’s vetoes of two badly flawed bills (or at least one of them, anyway) could have been sustained.

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Defending Democracy Radio Interviews

Jane Pinsky, Director of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform


Jane Pinsky, Director of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform discusses election irregularities in NC’s 9th congressional district, the flawed ethics investigation process and the need for nonpartisan redistricting reform.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

House approves voter ID after long debate over voter fraud, student IDs

It was clear during two hours of debate Wednesday where the two political parties at the legislature diverged over photo ID: their belief in voter fraud. The GOP supermajority expectedly passed legislation that would implement a constitutional requirement that voters must show a photo ID to cast a ballot.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

After two years and a raft of allegations, investigation into Sen. Ralph Hise closes with a modest fine

For the better part of two years, allegations of myriad campaign finance violations have hung over state Sen. Ralph Hise, an influential western North Carolina Republican. But Tuesday morning, members of a key state elections and ethics panel unanimously agreed to a settlement that, as far as state election officials goes, closes the book with a relatively modest punishment.

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