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Barber heading to DC for Supreme Court rally

The Rev. William J. Barber, the state NAACP president, will be in Washington Tuesday, to speak at a rally against big money in connection with the U.S. Supreme Court hearing the McCutcheon v FEC case.

Shaun McCutcheon, the lead plaintiff is challenging the $123,000 on contributions a single donor may make to federal candidates and political party committees during any two-year election cycle.

NAACP begins ad campaign against marriage amendment

The state NAACP is starting a media campaign against the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

The campaign includes ads in black newspapers, radio spots, robo-calls, and mailers and emphasizes the NAACP position that the amendment is discriminatory. The newspaper ad lists "10 Reasons to Vote Against Discrimination In Our Constitution."

The Rev. William Barber II, state NAACP president, is featured in the radio ads. In one, he says the amendment would "place hate, discrimination and division into the very heart of our constitution."

The state has a law against same-sex marriage.

NAACP starts drive to register all members in 1000 places of worship

The N.C. NAACP has announced state-wide voter registration drive to register 100 percent of the members of 1,000 churches, temples and mosques across the state.

The campaign was announced this week at a news conference at the New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Greensboro by the Rev. William J. Barber, president of the state NAACP.

“The 1000 Churches, Temples and Mosques – 100 percent Voter Registration Campaign is an aggressive endeavor, attached to other efforts by the NC NAACP, to match the extreme right's attack on the rights of African-Americans, the elderly, the poor, women and other minorities,” Barber said in a statement.

The goal is to complete the registration drive by August 28th, the anniversary of the March on Washington.  

Fetzer apologizes to Holliman

State Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer has called Democratic House Majority leader Hugh Holliman and apologized if a recent GOP mailer caused he or his family any personal pain.

Fetzer said the two had a good conversation.
The state GOP had mailed out flyer into Holliman's district saying his support for the Racial Justice Act could allow death row inmates to “leave prison early in next door.”

A version of the flyer went into a number of Democratic house districts, but it was particularly sensitive in the case of Holliman, because his 16 year old daughter Suzi kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1985. Holliman witnessed the murderer's execution in 1998.

Fetzer said he did not realize that Holliman's daughter had been murdered.

Meanwhile, the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP has sent a letter to Fetzer demanding he repudiate what he called a racist and untruthful mailer.

“This mailer matched the low-point in racist election tactics in North Carolina, set by Jesse Helms' infamous 'white hands' ad, aired just a few days before election day to prevent any intelligent rebuttal,” Barber wrote,

He was referring to an ad in Helms 1990 Senate campaign against Democrat Harvey Gantt that accused Gantt of supporting affirmative action programs that denied white people of jobs.

Barber also noted that the ad is inaccurate because under the law passed in 2009, a death-row inmate who makes an appeal, if successful can only have his sentence change to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Racial Justice Act is designed to make it less likely that someone will be executed because of racial bias in the state's justice system. It allows judges to consider statistics and anecdotal trends of racial disparities in death sentences, as well as testimony, to change a death sentence to life in prison without parole.

Hagan gets visit from NAACP

NAACP President William J. Barber led a delegation to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's Washington office today.

Barber was part of a lobbying effort by the NAACP, which says that 880,000 African-Americans have died over the last 10 years because of a lack of health insurance, Rob Christensen reports.

"This cause is one of the most important moral and civil rights issues of our day," Barber said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a coalition of groups supporting health care legislation is holding phone bank training sessions tonight in Asheville, Charlotte, the Triangle, and Wilimington to train people to call Hagan.

Planned Parenthood is planning to run phone banks every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from their offices.

On Wednesday, the Health Care Action Now Coalition will hold a news conference outside of Hagan's Greensboro office on Wednesday to highlight the need for a public option in the health care legislation.

With the Senate expected to take up a health care bill soon, Hagan has been the subject of a major lobbying effort. She supports in general Democratic proposals for health care, but has given herself wiggle room on some of the details.

Quick Hits

* WUNC reporter Laura Leslie defends N&O ombudsman taking job at state agency, arguing that he's an "excellent communicator" in a tough industry.

* Schools Superintendent June Atkinson tells Fayetteville Observer she has no plans to sue the state over her job description.

* Conservative activist Francis De Luca argues that Rev. William Barber of the state chapter of the NAACP should have to register as a lobbyist.

* The president of the state Bankers Association is pushing to rename Raleigh-Durham International Airport after the Wright Brothers.

100 years and still fighting

The NAACP is 100 years old and the North Carolina chapter celebrated the day by calling on lawmakers to spare the poor when they eviscerate next year's budget.

The civil rights organization was founded on Feb. 12, 1909. 

"While we celebrate our birthday today, we cannot take a break," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter. "Don't balance this budget on the backs of the poor."

Barber was, of course, referring to next year's budget deficit, which is expected to be at least $2 billion, nearly 10 percent of last year's $21.5 billion budget.

Lawmakers have demonstrated little appetite to raise taxes to fill the budget hole. The state is required to have a balanced budget and lawmakers are likely to adopt deep spending cuts to get there.

The state's largest expenditures are for education and health and human services. Barber and members of the Black Caucus advocated Thursday for leaving those categories out of the cuts.

"Simply talking about cutting across the board is a good sound byte, but it's bad public policy," Barber said.

Also Thursday, the House adopted a Senate resolution honoring the NAACP on it's 100th aniversary.

NAACP to rally tomorrow

The state NAACP will hold a rally on Christmas Eve.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the civil rights group, and advocates from the Adelante Education Coalition willrally to express their support for illegal immigrants to attend state community colleges.

In August, the board of directors for the N.C. Community College System voted to keep a ban on admission for undocumented students made earlier this year.

Barber will share the Christmas message from Luke 2:7 in the Bible, in which the baby Jesus is laid in a manger because there is no room at the inn.

A press release for the event says there will be "excellent visuals" for TV and photojournalists, but it does not explain exactly what.

NAACP condemns Obama casket

The state NAACP says a casket with an anti-Barack Obama sticker was found at an early voting place in Craven County.

In a statement, NAACP head Rev. William J. Barber said that casket was in place "for at least several hours, if not days" at a fire station.

"There is no telling how many voters it rightened away," he said. "It appeared to be an obvious threat to Sen. Obama — a warning to him to stay away from North Carolina."

A bumper sticker on the casket showed a picture of Obama next to the phrase "O' No!"

Barber called on state and national political leaders to condemn the threat as an "attempt at voter intimidation using images of death" and is asking state and federal law enforcement officials to investigate.

Update: "All decent, law-abiding citizens of North Carolina are outraged by this incident," said N.C. Republican Party spokesman Brent Woodcox.  

More in the crowd at Obama event

Tim Boyum spotted a few more state pols in the crowd.

On his Political Connections blog, the News 14 Carolina reporter notes that he spotted state Sen. Vern Malone, Reps. Verla Insko and Susan Fisher and NAACP president William Barber in the audience for a Barack Obama speech at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.

Update: James Romoser spied state Sen. Linda Garrou too. 

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