Tuesday, August 9, 2016


By Cash Michaels

            OUR TEAM IN THE RIO OLYMPICS – I haven’t been able to watch too much of the Rio Summer Olympics of late, but just watching the news clips of the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams, the men’s basketball team, and of course our great swimmers, you simply have to be in awe of the years of hard work and training each has undertaken in order to qualify and compete.
            Yes, there will be plenty of  American superstars who will come out of the Rio games when it’s all said and done. We’ll wait to hail themonce the gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded. But one thing we’re certain of, and that’s that First Lady Michelle Obama will have plenty of warm hug for all of them, and Pres. Obama certainly will beam with pride that the last American Olympic team of his presidency performed so well.
            All of them are our young people, working very hard to represent their country against the best in the world. Let’s fully support them, and cheer them on.
            WHAT IN THE WORLD? – It has been a long time coming that the operation at Fox News has been revealed for what it apparently really was beyond a vocal mouthpiece for the Republican Party and conservative movement – namely and allegedly a nefarious enterprise masterminded by now former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
            By now you know about the sexual harassment allegations that former “Fox and Friends” hostess Gretchen Carlson lodged Ailes in a much-publicized lawsuit that cost fearless leader his job over a month ago.
            Since then, upwards of 25 women have also reportedly come forward, alleging various indiscretions of the part of Ailes. Recent published reports allege that employee at Fox were afraid to even complain to each other over the company phone for fear that their phones were being tapped.
            And new reporting suggests that Ailes, like his former boss, Richard Nixon, had an “enemies list” that he ran out of Fox News headquarters from a secret room. The reports also allege that Ailes hired private detectives to spy on his enemies, and may have paid for the whole operation with Fox News money, not his own. That could make 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, directly culpable for some of Ailes’ alleged shenanigans if legally determined true.
            On CNN earlier this week, there was speculation that Fox may want to consolidate any and all claims for a mass settlement just to keep much of the ugly stuff out court. That could most likely happen, because Lord knows the weeks of juicy testimony would be something even the Home and Garden Channel would cover.
            But there is still one fact surrounding all of this that could till force a public trial – Roger Ailes maintains that he is innocent of all allegations, especially since 21st Century Fox want him to pay part of whatever settlement they reach with Gretchen Carlson.
            Boy, this could be fun. Fair and balanced too.
            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.


MOVING FORWARD - As Senior Pastor Kenneth Cooper (right) of Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh and various NAACP and coalition members listen, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber extols those gathered last Saturday to work harder to maximize voter participation in November. [Cash Michaels photo]

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            It’s looking less and less like Gov. McCrory’s attorneys will be able to cajole the US Supreme Court to stay the recent US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling dismantling the state’s 2013 voter ID law, especially after the federal appeals court turned the Republican governor down last week.
            That means the NCNAACP is “full speed ahead” with strategies to maximize voter registration, voter education and getting-out-the-vote in time for the November general elections. On Saturday, hundreds of activists from NAACP chapters and coalition groups across the state gathered at Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh not only to celebrate their recent federal court victory, and commemorate the 51st anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but also to plot the way forward now that 17-day early voting, same-day registration, out-of-precinct provisional balloting and pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-old prospective voters  has been legally reinstated.
            The NC NAACP and Democracy NC, a nonpartisan advocacy group, estimate that as a result of the federal appellate court ruling, at least 100,000 more North Carolinians will now be eligible to vote in November.
 “It takes all of us to win these battles,” declared a jubilant, but cautious  NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber.
            “We must be mindful that we must continue to mobilize…so we must activate mobilization plans to ensure that we continue to protect this franchise because this struggle is still real,” said Derick Smith, Political Action Chair of the NCNAACP.
            According to Rev. Barber, the NCNAACP is coordinating over 1300 churches, synagogues, temples and mosques to be a part of the Sunday “Souls to the Polls” early voting effort. Thousands of volunteers across the state have been recruited for both voter registration, and education of the issues;  and during the early voting period and on November 8th, there will be volunteers assigned to voter protection, making sure that the letter of the law is being carried out to ensure a fair election.
            The first priority for NAACP and coalition members was to pressure their  local county boards of election across the state to institute new plans that expand early voting sites and accessibility starting Oct. 20th. Rev. Barber vowed that the NAACP would “show up at every”  local BOE meeting, “Because we will not have a ruling by the courts that calls what you have done “unconstitutional”, and then allow you to play mischief with it and still suppress the right the vote.”
            In Guilford County on Monday, over 300 activists heeded the call, storming the BOE meeting there, demanding that the board to do away with plans to drastically cut a dozen of 25 designated early voting sites, including at NC A&T University and UNC – Greensboro. Under pressure, the GOP-led board capitulated, allowing sites to at stay at the two schools, and not cutting any other sites.
            But for the first seven-days, early voting will be only held at the Guilford County Board of Elections.
            Later that evening in Wake County, the local BOE met by teleconference, thus disallowing any public input, deciding to also extend the initial seven-days of the 17-day early voting period, starting Oct. 20th,  only at the downtown Raleigh BOE office. Prior to the decision, NAACP activists objected to that option, saying that in a county as large and populated as Wake, having only one early voting site for the first seven days was most inconvenient.
            One Republican Wake BOE member, Edwin Woodhouse, cousin to Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the NC Republican Party, proposed eliminating Sunday “Souls to the Polls” voting that African-American churchgoers favor, and also the voting site at N.C. State University. Both motions were rejected 2-1.
            New Hanover County’s BOE will meet August 18th at 3 p.m. to make its decision.
            On Saturday, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Barber told those gathered that “Now that we have won the case, we must use what we’ve won, and we must protect what we’ve won. We must have millions to march to the polls, and hundreds to march to these boards of elections.”
            “Our excitement…,” Rev. Barber  added, “…must now be turned into effort.”

            The federal judge tasked with replacing the 2013 Wake County school  board and 2015 Wake County commission district lines drawn by the Republican-led state Legislature, has decided to indeed replace them, with the 2011 district lines that were thrown out in the first place. US District Court Judge James Dever decide this week that the 2011 maps were constitutional, something the US Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled the 2013 and 2015 lines were not. Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association was one of the plaintiffs in the case. The 2011 maps will be used for the November 8th general election.

            Debra Saunders-White,  who has served as chancellor of North Carolina Central University in Durham since 2013, has taken an undetermined leave of absence from her post in order to seek prolonged treatment for cancer, a school spokesperson says. Johnson O. Akinleye, NCCU provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, will serve as acting chancellor in her absence.

            Wake County, where Democrats have successfully dominated school board and county commissioner elections in recent years, is considered one of 25 important so-called “battleground” counties across the nation during the 2016 presidential election season, according to Politico, the national political news website. Wake chose Barack Obama for president in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but Politico says Republicans are going to make an effort to be competitive there, since Mecklenburg County is seen as going strong Democratic. Forsyth County is seen as North Carolina’s other battleground county.



            [WILMINGTON] Despite a recent federal appellate court ruling that found racial bias was behind the Republican-led legislature’s 2013 voter ID law, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed his support for the law during a campaign stop in the port city Tuesday. Trump charged that North Carolina Democrats “will vote 15 times for Hillary Clinton,” alleging still unfounded GOP claims of voter fraud. Trump also caused a national stir when he suggested that Clinton, if elected, would abolish the Second Amendment right to own guns if she appointed justice to the US Supreme Court, but gun supporters might be able to do something about it.

            [RALEIGH] Every time the Republican-led NC legislature has gone to court to defend one of its many criticized laws since 2011, price was no object when it came to the numerous legal bills. According to published reports, private law firms have charged state lawmakers over $9.3 million for legal work – more than 20 times what the legislature spent for private legal work in the ten years prior  -  even though technically the state Attorney General’s Office is General Assembly’s legal representative in most matters. Half of the big bill comes from fighting to defend the 2013 voter ID law, which was recently overturned by the US Fourth Circuit of Appeals.


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