What did you do when they came for democracy?
It’s happening, you know. In many ways, it has already happened.
The presidential frontrunner for a major political party incited a failed insurrection. The House and Senate are full of reps who voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election. In North Carolina, our districts have been gerrymandered so severely as to deliver a pre-determined Republican majority in Raleigh no matter how the votes turn out. And they’ve exempted themselves from public records law. It kicked in Jan. 1.
Buried in this year’s budget, which was loaded with fascistic Easter eggs like this one, was a provision to exempt elected officials in the state House and Senate from public records law. It makes “confidential” all emails, notes and documents prepared by reps, which were previously considered ”public record.” And it gives full discretion to a rep as to whether they’ll reply to a records request at all.
In response, the Raleigh News & Observer made records requests of every elected official in the capital, asking for a single day of emails. They published the results last week.
Of 170 members of the House and Senate, just 38 provided at least some of the documents requested. In Guilford County, just two reps provided a response: Rep Ashton Clemmons and Rep. Pricey Harrison.
In Forsyth, just one, Rep. Kanika Brown, responded to the request.
No Triad reps in the Senate responded at all.
It might be worth mentioning that the only ones who responded were Democrats. But there are 16 members of the House and Senate serving the Triad, nine Democrats and seven Republicans. Fully 80 percent of our local elected officials couldn’t be bothered, six Democrats and all seven Republicans who showed their disdain for government transparency.
Remember this, too: The Democrat majority in our counties will be flipped next year under re-drawn districts. They’ve been crafted to return 10 Republicans and six Democrats. And that’s exactly how it will play out.
When legislators choose their voters instead of the other way around, that’s not democracy. It’s actually the opposite.
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