Tuesday, May 8, 2012



            It will be Democratic Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton squaring off against Republican former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to become the next governor of North Carolina next November. Dalton garnered 46 percent of the vote in the six-candidate Democratic primary Tuesday, outpacing former Congressman Bob Etheridge. McCrory also overshadowed a six-man field with 83 percent of the vote.
            In the primary race for lieutenant governor on the Democratic side, former State Personnel Director Linda Coleman defeated a hard-charging Sen. Eric Mansfield, 56 to 44 percent, becoming the first African-American woman in North Carolina history to win on a statewide ballot.
          On the Republican side, it looks like a runoff since top vote getter Dan Forest did not get over 40 percent of the vote against Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley, who garnered 25 percent in a five-man field.
            For state Labor Commissioner, Ty Richardson came in last in a three-man field, leaving John Brooks and Marlowe Foster to run off on the Democratic side.
            For state Auditor, Wake School Board representative Debra Goldman displayed surprising strength leading a five-person field in the GOP primary. Goldman failed, however, to garner over 40 percent of the vote, and will runoff against Greg Dority for the right to face Democratic incumbent Beth Wood in the fall.
            For Superintendent of Public Instruction, another controversial Wake School Board member, John Tedesco, also led a five-man field with 29 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. He will runoff against Richard Alexander, who came in second with 24 percent, for the right to oppose incumbent Democrat June Atkinson in November.
            In the NC Senate 21 Democratic race to replace outgoing state Sen. Eric Mansfield, Billy King, who led with 24 percent, will runoff against second place candidate Robert Clark, who garnered 20 percent.
            For president, Barack Obama won over 80 percent unopposed in the Democratic primary against undecided, while Mitt Romney took the GOP primary, with challenger Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) coming in second.


            While incumbents like State Sen. Dan Blue won re-election without any opposition, there were several contests for the NC General Assembly where voters chose who their next leadership should be.
            In races for the NC House, incumbent Rosa Gill won once again over perennial challenger Bernard Allen II in District 33, 79 to 21 percent. Wake School Board member Chris Malone beat out Duane Cutlip for House 35, 57 to 43 percent.
            In the newly drawn House District 38 which takles in parts of Southeast Raleigh, Yvonne Holley outpaced opponents Abeni El-Amin and Lee Sartain, with 61 percent of the vote.
             "I am deeply humbled by our success during the Democratic Primary for the newly created House Seat in District 38," Lewis said in a statement. "Tuesday night at our Election Night celebration, I was joined by former Wake County Commission Chair and community leader Harold Webb, and I was reminded of the legacy of those who have paved the way for me and others in this community with their examples of hard work and dedication. At one point, many of the young people and other volunteers greeted Mr. Webb and I recognized their hopes and aspirations for growth and possibilities in this city, this state and this nation. I want to be a bridge for those who bear witness to the greatness of our past and the promise of our future. I look forward to serving the citizens of this district and this state with integrity, honesty, transparency and a full commitment."
             The House District 39 primary saw Darren Jackson defeat Don Mial and Michael Slawter with 61 percent of the vote.
            For Congress, US Rep. G. K. Butterfield easily took his First District Democratic re-election primary bid by 81 percent. Republican Second District Congresswoman Renee Elmers defeated three challengers with 56 percent of the vote. In the Fourth District, Republican Tim D’Annuzio outpaced two opponents to face Democratic incumbent David Price in the fall. And in the 13th Congressional District, Charles Malone won the Democratic primary with 67 percent. He will face former US Attorney George Holding, who defeated Wake County Commission Chair Paul Coble and black Tea Party hopeful Bill Randall in the GOP 13th District primary by 44 percent.


            In the Democratic primary race for NC House District 18, incumbent Rep. Suzi Hamilton blew away former Northwest Mayor James Knox 79.7 to 20.3 percent.
            For the NHC Board of Education with three seats open, Democrats Elizabeth Redenbaugh, Karen Clay Beatty and Emma Saunders were the top three votegetters.
            On the Republican side, Lisa B. Estep, Tammy Covil and Jeanette S. Nichols will face the Democratic winners.
            In the race for NHC Board of Commissioners, with three seats open, Democrats Jonathan Barfield, Jr., Robert Zapple and Robert C. Murray led the way.
            For the GOP, Woody White, Derrick C. Hickey and Beth Dawson were the top three Republican finalists to face the Democrats come November.
            For Congress, in the GOP primary for House District 7, state Sen. David Rouzer shocked Ilario Gregory Pantano, beating him 48 to 44 percent, winning the chance to unseat Democratic incumbent Congressman Mike McIntyre in November.

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            The final numbers were not pretty.
            The controversial Amendment One ballot referendum that establishes a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, in addition to outlawing domestic partnerships and civil unions in North Carolina, passed Tuesday night 61 to 39 percent, unofficial election results show.
            North Carolina already has a state law banning same-sex marriages.
            It becomes official once the primary election results are certified by the NC Board of Elections, making North Carolina the 31st state in the nation, and the last state in the South, to do so.
            Opponents promise to rigorously challenge it in court.
            Given that President Obama took the usual step of joining his fellow Democrats here in coming out against the measure, does the significant vote margin for Amendment One signal a problem for the Obama campaign winning North Carolina in his re-election bid this fall?
            Especially after the president finally admitted to ABC News Wednesday that he does, in fact, now support same-sex marriage?
            Indeed conservative pundits will be quick to muse that North Carolinians, by and large, supported the constitutional amendment that reaffirms marriage in this state is legally between one man and one woman, not only because of the traditional Bible Belt that runs through North Carolina, and the conservative politics that increasingly is controlling public policy, but also because the Democratic president of the United States - who ironically, until this week,  didn't fully embrace same-sex marriage - weighed in.
            There is no doubt that Obama strategists thought if the president could successfully “rally the troops” in the state to defeat Amendment One, that would be a telltale sign of his ability to win North Carolina once again in November, as he did in 2008.
            Tuesday’s dire results, despite a vigorous and expensive campaign to defeat the Republican-sponsored measure, may now be a cause for alarm for Democrats, and the Obama campaign in particular.
            Or is it?
            Given the record-breaking early voting totals, there is no question that Amendment One drove thousands of voters, pro and con, to the polls across the state.
            Interestingly, unlike most other public referendums, Amendment One crossed partisan lines, with over forty percent of Democrats supporting the gay marriage ban.
            Much of that Democratic vote in favor was from African-Americans, who traditionally hold a religious bias against homosexuality and the gay lifestyle. Even though leaders, such as NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, traveled the state warning blacks that the same-sex marriage amendment ban was really a right-wing ploy to divide the Democratic base, and codify discrimination, religious convictions won out.
            "The troubling nature of this vote-- is that it’s led by an ultra conservative tea party extreme, right-wing ideology, backed by known hate groups like the Family Research Council, and the intentionally divisive strategy of the National Organization for Marriage,” Rev. Barber said in a statement.
“The voters of North Carolina were led to vote on a trick amendment that now places hate discrimination and division in our constitution,” he continued. “An amendment that violates the fundamental protections of equal protection under the law, and sets up the precedent of majorities voting on the rights of minorities.”
“Furthermore, and even more troubling, is that this was done in a way that will hurt children and even heterosexual domestic unions,” Barber added.
            So what the Republican backers of Amendment One wanted to have happen, worked. The Democratic base - of which blacks and progressive whites constitute a large part - split, just as the GOP had planned.
            Their challenge now is to exploit that split going into the Democratic National Convention in September, and certainly the November presidential election.
            There is no question that the white progressive vote is extremely supportive of the gay community, especially since much of the gay community makes up a significant percent of that white progressive Democratic vote.
            And there’s no question that much of the black Democratic vote is extremely supportive of Pres. Obama, and will vote for his re-election.
            But if the final numbers hold true that a significant portion of the Democratic African-American vote Tuesday went for Amendment One, that could fracture that coalition with white progressives, and weaken Obama’s support.
            That plan follows the script found in papers uncovered in a Maine federal District Court several weeks ago, belonging to the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group that had been found plotting since 2009 how to cripple Obama’s black-gay community voting coalition.
             The same group poured in $425,000 to North Carolina's Vote for Marriage campaign, almost half its $1 million warchest, published reports note. The campaign effectively used churches, including black churches, along with a full-page ad in major newspapers featuring Evangelist Billy Graham urging support for the amendment.
             In the end, white Christian conservatives and black Christian moderates and liberals joined forces to pass the controversial amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
             For many in the black community, it was a difficult choice between their faith or their politics.
             Even ABC News pointed out this week that Pres. Obama  straddled the fence on his position on same-sex marriage until Wednesday because it is such a divisive issue for his base.
             "President Obama's coalition --  minority voters and young voters -- have very different views about gay marriage, evidenced in 2008 in California, when young voters came out to oppose an amendment that would ban gay marriage, while African Americans supported it," ABC reported Wednesday. "And then there's the money, according to the Washington Post, one in six bundlers -- the people who raise the big bucks for the Obama campaign -- is gay. They are still raising money for a man who continues to twist himself into a pretzel over gay marriage, and whose White House still can't figure out how to message it. Why? Because they believe wholeheartedly that he actually supports gay marriage, and if re-elected he will come out in full support of it and flip his position."
           That was Wednesday morning. By Wednesday afternoon, the president sat down with ABC News, and straddled no more.
           "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC News' Robin Roberts.
           If the Republicans exploit during the general election the fact that Obama supports gay marriage, could that turn off a number of religious African -American voters, who would support the president for re-election otherwise.
            Coupled with the plethora of voter ID laws passed by Republican-led state legislatures across the nation that are designed to minimize the black, Hispanic and youth vote, the ultimate goal is to deny Pres. Obama the numbers he needs to win again.
            When the GOP-led NC General Assembly reconvenes next week, it is fully expected that it will try again to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the voter ID law it passed several months ago.
            If it does override the governor’s veto, coupled with lessening the early voting period, eliminating “Souls to the Polls” Sunday early voting, and combined with the Amendment One victory this week, whether Pres. Obama can win North Carolina again in the fall will remain an open question. It’s already predicted to be a razor tight election.
            In 2008, out of 4.2 million votes cast, Obama won North Carolina by just 14,000 ballots.
            If the Republicans are successful this time in shaving off thousands of votes before the fall elections even get started, who knows?

By Cash Michaels

            ONE WEEK FROM TODAY - In seven days, on May 17th, after 40 years, the countdown towards justice begins. Make sure you get next Thursday’s edition of The Carolinian for more.
“THE AVENGERS” - Wow! I can honestly say that I haven’t enjoyed a slam-bang, lots-a-fun movie like this in a long, long time. For an action craver like myself, “The Avengers” had plenty, and then some. But the flick also had lots of laughs, too, and that helped to carry an otherwise pedestrian story.
I mean, come on, how many times are Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk going to save the Earth?
All were entertaining, each getting their special moments to shine and make mayhem. Each brought a different attitude and personality to the table, which helped to keep the story moving.
And each brought their special style of action, which, again, kept the film flowing.
Big time credit goes to writer/director Joss Whedon to pushing this jammed packed film to the limit. Bow-wow kudos also goes to Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner.
As for the villain, Tom Hiddleston as the evil god “Loki” more than held his own. We look forward to seeing him again.
I’m more than ready for “The Avengers 2” which might be three or four years down the road. I’m sure Marvel Studios doesn’t want to wait that long for another $200 million weekend. Meanwhile “Iron Man 3,” which is being made here in North Carolina, is up next for 2013. Also upcoming, “Thor 2” and “Ant-Man.”
And given how popular Mark Ruffalo’s “Hulk” was, I don’t think there’s any question we’ll be seeing him in his own movie again (don’t forget, there were two previous “Hulk” movies, one with Eric Bana, the other with Ed Norton).
So the Marvel Universe, thus far, looks like it’s here to stay.
As long as it makes continues to make money.
BUT WHAT ABOUT SAMUEL L.? - If you notice, I didn’t say one word about Samuel L. Jackson, alias “Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D.” That’s because I’m so very proud of this historic actor.
Sam is historic because he’s made more movies than any other living Hollywood actor. But more importantly, Jackson is historic because, as part of the Marvel Comics superhero movie franchise, he is a major black character who is in charge, not an afterthought.
And keep in mind that in Marvel Comics, the original Nick Fury from the 1960s is actually white, not black. And while  “The Avengers” is the first film where he clearly has a co-starring role (much more screen time that all four previous appearances in “Iron Man” and “Thor” movies combined), every time he’s appeared as Fury, Jackson was in command.
For me, watching this 63-year-old actor hold his own, and have his own territory in perhaps the biggest film of the year, was tremendous. If I had seen something like this as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I would have gone wild. All of my superheroes were cool, but white. Bill Cosby was a super spy in TV’s “I Spy,” but they allowed him to do but so much, and he rarely so much as held a girl’s hand.
So Samuel L being as dangerous as he wants to be, and still hold onto his identity, means a lot, not only for this generation of youth, but for previous generations as well.
And that’s what made “The Avengers,” for me at least, a truly American film.
It’s the way it always should have been.
Better late than never, I guess.
THE BIG THROWDOWN - This is being written before the polls close on Tuesday, primary night, but no matter what the results, I hope folks are paying attention.
All elections are half-lies, with neither side telling all of the truth to the voters. But with the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama this year, we’re about to see some flat out whoppers aimed towards him from the right-wing in an effort to defeat him at all costs.
It has long started. If you were to listen to the conservative Republican mantra, Barack Obama hasn’t done one thing good for America since he got into office in 2009.
Not one blessed good thing.
Even the capture and elimination of master terrorist Osama bin Laden is being denied the president, with some yahoo from the Midwest the other day saying that Obama had about as much to do with the mission to get bin Laden, as “Ronald McDonald has in the making of a Big Mac.”
Mind you, according to that logic, Obama isn’t even Commander-in-chief.
And, of course, we see Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declaring for all the world to hear that bailing out Detroit’s auto industry was actually “his” idea.
The poor man and apparent liar seems to forget that when Pres. Obama first proposed the government bailout, Romney took to the op-ed pages to blast it as a terrible idea, insisting that the government has no business helping private enterprise get back on its feet.
Well look what happened.
Obama’s policy worked. Not only did General Motors, Chevrolet and Ford rebound fantastically to where the auto industry can’t even keep up with the demand, but at least a million jobs were saved in associated industries in the process.
Like Vice Pres. Joe Biden has said, the auto industry is alive, and Osama bin Laden is dead, all because the nation’s first black president made bold moves, and took gallant risks with his presidency, with outstanding results.
Romney, as a former governor of Massachusetts, is doing his best to make voters believe that all Obama did was the same that any president in office would have done, especially him.
Problem with that, Mitt.
George W. Bush, you know, the guy who occupied the White House before Barack got there…he actually promised to get bin Laden “dead or alive.”
Didn’t do it.
And if I properly recall, yours wasn’t the only Republican/Tea Party voice screaming for the auto industry to go belly-up, and castigated Pres. Obama for getting in the way.
But you are the only one, now, with tremendous egg on his face, especially since the auto industry has paid back the federal government loans early.
There’s going to be more of this foolishness from the Republicans, no doubt. What is sad is that the GOP and right-wing can’t win honestly. They have to lie, and race-bait, and distort every chance they get.
And it is a damn shame. A damn shame indeed.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

                                     PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
President Obama Officially Begins Campaign
by Jennifer Bihm
Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel
President Obama is hitting the campaign trail, now that his presumed GOP opponent has virtually been named – all that is left is the convention in Florida, making Mitt Romney the official nominee.
Last Saturday, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off his campaign for a second term by holding two public rallies in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia.  Obama spoke about his accomplishments thus far and speled out in detail the very real stakes in this election.
According to the President, the choices are plain:  Are we going to continue to rebuild an economy that will last, with a growing middle class and more Americans getting a fair shot? Or are we going back to the failed policies of the past that caused a recession, and left too many folks still struggling to make ends meet?
These kinds of rallies have become vintage Obama from his last campaign when millions of people first came to know and support candidate Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008, where they met him at rallies, town hall meetings, church and school gatherings in their communities.  The campaign is nearing the end of the primary phase and is looking forward to begin the general election phase of the campaign for the President’s second term – and he is in campaign mode.
The economy and healthcare are two of the primary focuses that the President will deliver to the American people as he hit the campaign.
On the Economy
President Obama has said that he would continue his efforts to “put America back to work,” according to his campaign website.  He also said, he has “added more than 4.1 million private sector jobs,” and his plan to add more includes creating clean energy projects; investing in technologies that would create manufacturing jobs; and creating easier access to patents for inventors.
In addition, to maintain and secure the gains that the President has made, his Obama administration’s consumer-finance watchdog agency says that it is cracking down on lenders that discriminate against minorities and women.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said in a letter to lenders recently that it will strictly enforce laws against discriminatory lending practices and it will go after subtle forms of discrimination that result from lenders’ policies. It said some policies appear to be fair but have discriminatory effects.
The CFPB is also offering consumers information about their rights and possible warning signs of discrimination by lenders and furthermore, it will scrutinize mortgages, student loans, credit cards and auto loans. This agency was set up after the financial crisis to protect consumers from loans and other services that include high fees and other traps, and to create and maintain transparency and integrity in the financial markets.
On Healthcare
According to his website, “President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to restore health care as a basic cornerstone of middle-class security in America. The ACA will make health care more affordable for families and small businesses, and bring much-needed transparency to the insurance industry. When fully implemented, the ACA will keep insurance companies from taking advantage of consumers-including denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and canceling coverage when someone gets sick.
“Because of the new law, 34 million more Americans will gain coverage-many who will be able to afford insurance for the first time. Once the law is fully implemented, about 95 percent of Americans under age 65 will have insurance…”
The ACA gives financial incentives to small business employers who pay at least half of their employees’ health insurance, making more people eligible for Medicaid/ Medi-Cal, and an increase in Medicare tax for wage earners making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples).
His expected opponent in the November election (Romney) and other conservatives continue to criticize the reforms, mostly calling them too expensive.  However, most recent polls show President Obama ahead of Romney though in some cases, the race is a dead-heat.
These are some of what the President will continue to highlight as the campaign heads into the final stretch towards November.

FIGHTING FOR BLACK FARMERS - Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) speaks out for black farmers, flanked but Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) left, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) right, and several black farmers. The deadline for black farmer claims is May 11 [photo courtesy Sen. Hagan's Office)

Special to The Carolinian Newspaper

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) encouraged eligible North Carolina farmers to file claims in the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement with the US Department of Agriculture.  The deadline to file is May 11, 2012.

“This is the last week to file claims in the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement, and I encourage all eligible North Carolina farmers to take action,” said Hagan.  "Since coming to the Senate I have worked with my colleagues to shed light on the discrimination carried out by the federal government against African American farmers and bring about justice.  For years, the federal government failed to give equal consideration to loan and crop assistance applications from African American farmers, including more than 4,000 North Carolinians.  That is why I am urging all eligible North Carolina farmers to take action before May 11th.”

Since coming to the Senate, Hagan has been fighting for justice for black farmers in North Carolina and across the country.  She has worked closely with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to ensure 4,000 African-American farmers in North Carolina and 75,000 nationwide can receive settlements following decades of discrimination by the Department of Agriculture.  Hagan also introduced legislation to fund the settlement with then Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

In May 2008, as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress passed legislation appropriating $100 million for compensation for Pigford II claimants.  On December 8, 2010, Senator Hagan looked on as the President signed into law new legislation that authorized an additional $1.15 billion for these claims, bringing the total available compensation to $1.25 billion.  On October 27, 2011, the United District Court for the District of Columbia gave final approval to the Settlement.  The Court Order provided that the Claim Submission Period would begin on November 14, 2011 and end on May 11, 2012.

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