Governor's denial in election chief firing doesn't add up

Remember when Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said he didn't have any conversations about firing the North Carolina director of elections?

Yeah.... well.... not really:

Gov. Roy Cooper said this week he didn't have any conversations about removing State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach, but his political operative worked with board Democrats as they lined up Strach's replacement.
Former Board Director Gary Bartlett, who Strach replaced in the job shortly after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took office in 2013, had input as well.
In fact Board Chairman Bob Cordle pitched him on returning to the job, but Bartlett turned it down.
Bartlett suggested another name instead: Karen Brinson Bell, who had worked under him at the board 10 years before and was Transylvania County's elections director from 2011 to 2015. She and Bartlett both work now with a group that promotes "ranked choice" voting.
Bartlett said the Cooper administration, through the governor's lead political strategist, Morgan Jackson, asked him for a name.

Credit Travis Fain at WRAL for checking the obviously ridiculous story that Cooper and his office were spinning.

You know it's undeniably bad optics because the News & Observer's capitol reporter, Colin Campbell, feels the need to urge Democrats against committing this sort of self-inflicted damage.

There was no political advantage to replacing Strach. After a hard-fought legal battle, Democrats now have a majority of seats on the elections board, allowing them to control early voting schedules and make key decisions on campaign finance probes and disputed election results.
Keeping Strach, who was appointed by Republicans, in charge of agency operations would have given the board’s actions more nonpartisan legitimacy. Firing her gives the GOP ammunition to attack any elections board decision that goes against Republicans.

This is political advising masquerading (poorly) as journalism.

Campbell is worried that the Democrats are now rejecting moderates - something they've never done before.

In the same piece, Campbell dismissed North Carolina's Abortion Survivor Protection Act as "inconsequential," while noting it's the reason that progressives are targeting the one Democrat who voted for it. If it's so inconsequential, why are pro-abortion groups launching an effort to primary the one Democrat who voted for it?

It's a real brain buster.

We may never know.

It's obvious where Campbell's sympathies lie:

It sounds a lot like the purity tests and personal allegiances that President Donald Trump requires of Republican politicians in Washington. You’d think the N.C. Democratic Party would be above such tactics, but the partisan operatives in Raleigh have vindictive tendencies that sometimes cloud their better judgment.
Replacing Davis with someone more liberal might seem appealing to people who have never visited Greene County. But his opponents don’t realize that ousting him in the primary would likely mean a Republican wins his seat in November.

This is hilarious analysis from the person employed to cover state politics and policy.

Why, exactly, would we think the NC Democratic Party would be "above such tactics" like purity tests on abortion? He doesn't say, of course.

Because it's false. And it's one of the reasons the party bled support until finally being removed from power in 2010. Moderates have been getting chased from the Democratic Party for the past twenty years.

By the way, NC Civitas has a poll showing "Half of North Carolinians consider themselves to be pro-life, while only 40 percent of respondents identify as pro-choice." However, there are nuances within these beliefs - among both pro-choicers and pro-lifers.

Pete's Prep: Monday, May 20, 2019

  • Happy Meck Dec Day, North Carolina! "The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is the name given to a document that was allegedly produced on 20 May 1775, when the residents of Mecklenburg County declared themselves 'free and independent people.'"
  • John Boyle at the Asheville Citizen-Times has the numbers on Buncombe Couty overdoses. The average is about more than one per day.
  • With the time, money, and political capital spent on keeping control of it's water system, you'd think the City of Asheville would manage the water system better. But this Mountain Xpress article by Daniel Walton suggests otherwise.
  • Also at Mountain Xpress is an article about how developers are working with local non-profits to preserve land as part of their housing projects. While not the focus of the piece, you can see how these efforts drive up the cost of housing.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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