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New York Times editorial page blog on voting/elections bill

There's no love lost between the state's Republican leadership and the New York Times editorial board, especially after its "Decline of North Carolina" editorial of July 9. Gov. Pat McCrory wrote a letter to the paper objecting. Sen. Tom Apodaca declared that he didn't read the Times.

But that isn't stopping the paper's editorial board, which posted an item on its blog declaring "North Carolina: First in Voter Suppression."

The legislature last week passed a giant package of voting and elections changes which will require photo ID at the polls, won't allow college students to use their school ID cards, will ban pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, among other changes.

McCrory said Friday he will sign the bill even though he wasn't familiar with some of the details.

New York Times editorial board calls on Gov. Perdue to pardon Wilmington 10

Gov. Bev Perdue's looming decision about whether to pardon the Wilmington 10 is getting more national attention. A New York Times editorial called on the outgoing Democratic governor to "finally" pardon the group who became an international symbol in the civil rights movement after being wrongly convicted for a fire during a racial disturbance in Wilmington 40 years ago.

The Sunday editorial noted the newly discovered documents from the prosecutor that suggest he racially profiled potential jurors.

"Anger over this case has continued to fester in the black community. At a 40th anniversary commemoration last year in Wilmington, civil rights leaders rightly decided that the wrongly convicted warranted a pardon from Ms. Perdue. By providing it, she can finally bring a close to one of the more shameful episodes in North Carolina history," the editorial concludes.

New York Times editorial calls marriage amendment 'gratuitous bigotry'

The New York Times editorialized against the constitutional marriage amendment in North Carolina this morning calling it "gratuitous bigotry."

"North Carolina already has a law barring same-sex marriage, but the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature is not satisfied. It devised a measure to enshrine this obvious discrimination in the State Constitution and placed it on the ballot of the state’s May 8 primary election — a test of tolerance versus bigotry that ought to be watched closely nationwide." Read the editorial here.

Perdue, Tillis square off on tax hike proposal

In case you missed it, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis published competing editorials in Sunday's Charlotte Observer about the governor's plan to raise the sales tax for education funding. And they didn't hold the punches. Here are excerpts with links to the full pieces:

Perdue: "The Republican leaders of the General Assembly and I disagree about the value of education. Last year, they passed a budget over my veto that made deep and unnecessary cuts to our schools in order to eliminate a penny from the state's sales tax. That's bad for business. ... It may not be the popular thing to do politically, but it is the right thing to do for our children, and the future of our economy."

Tillis: "(Perdue) tries to sell the plan as a tool for education funding, but she fails to offer any meaningful strategy ensuring the money will be spent wisely. ... Now is not the time to raise taxes - especially on single moms, senior citizens and the unemployed. The governor will say "It's just a penny." It is not a penny. It is $800 million from the pocketbooks of people, many of whom are just making ends meet."

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