NewsOne’s Politicker blog tackles some of the most important topics in politics: Election 2016, moves by the Obama administration, voting rights, lawmaking, and the way that elected officials represent our communities. Three times a week, we will go beyond the mainstream media’s “pack” coverage of politics to highlight the underreported aspects of how politics and policy affect you and the people you care about. In between, follow the conversation on Twitter at #Politicker.
A federal trial begins today in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in a voting rights case that could dramatically impact access to the voting booth for scores of African-Americans across the nation, reports The New York Times.
At issue is whether recent, sweeping changes in North Carolina’s election laws discriminate against Black voters, including reducing early voting days, ending same-day registration, and stopping a program to preregister high school students.
The state’s Republican-controlled legislature implemented the changes in 2013 immediately after the United States Supreme Court struck down a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The provision required nine states with histories of discrimination, including North Carolina, to receive federal approval before changing election laws.
The early voting days, same day registration, and preregistration all contributed to a rise in Black voter turnout.
“It is especially troubling that the law would significantly narrow the early voting window that enabled hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, including a disproportionately large number of minority voters, to cast ballots,” said then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who brought the case. It is now in the capable hands of his replacement, Loretta Lynch.
We will keep an eye on this case, because as goes North Carolina, so goes the nation.
Does Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Have An Image Problem?
Just days after announcing the firing of Baltimore Police Chief Anthony Batts amid rising homicide numbers, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was attacked this weekend by a Mondawmin festival-goer who threw water at her.
The motive for the attack is unknown and comes nearly three months after fiery protests erupted in the city over the unlawful arrest and death of Freddie Gray, 25, who passed away in police custody in April. Rawlings-Blake drew heavy criticism for saying that she wanted to give “those who wished to destroy space to do that.”
Some Twitter users had plenty to say about the Rawlings-Blake dousing:
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) July 13, 2015
— Nat Shupe (@NatShupe) July 9, 2015
Jeb Bush Outpacing Foes With Record $114 Million War Chest
While Donald Trump dominates the headlines with his reality show-like carryings-on, fellow Republican presidential contender, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has been quietly amassing an unprecedented war chest that could help propel him to the top of the heap when the real estate mogul eventually tumbles out of the race.
Bush, son of president George H. W. Bush and brother to George W. Bush, raised $11.4 million in the second quarter, and his allied super PAC brought in more than $103 million in the first six months of the year, reports The Washington Post.
The amount raised by the super PAC, Right to Rise USA, straightaway makes it one of the most potent forces in the White House race. The group has $98 million in cash on hand, the Post says.
The only candidate who comes close to Bush in raising money is Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who has raised close to $45 million during the second quarter, an average of $570,000 a day, notes The Washington Post.
Hillary Clinton Dares To Touch The Third Rail
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton touched on what was once the proverbial political third rail last week, when she talked about toughening gun control laws in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church massacre, according to The Washington Post. Democratic candidates have worried about offending the powerful firearms electorate after Barack Obama came under fire in 2008 for saying people “cling to guns or religion” while describing Americans who live in small towns. He didn’t mention gun control again that year, or in his 2012 reelection campaign. But Clinton is unbowed as she tries to beat back insurgent Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better,” Clinton said Tuesday in Iowa City.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty