Charlotte, N.C. – Julius Chambers, trailblazing legal advocate and civil rights icon, today announced his support for Secretary of State Elaine Marshall in the U.S. Senate runoff. Through his Charlotte-based law firm and as Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Chambers litigated numerous landmark civil rights cases and was instrumental in dismantling many of the legal structures that upheld racial segregation and discrimination.
“I’m proud to have the support and endorsement of Julius Chambers,” said Marshall. “He’s dedicated his life and career to creating a more just and equitable society. I look forward to representing those same values in the U.S. Senate.”
Used to be this state was a little more predictable.
The tide is turning, but it is an unpredictable tide with an anti-incumbency undercurrent that can be exploited by either side. As we saw in the local elections in the odd year cycle, a little bit of organization and the fervor of anti-incumbency can lead to big changes. Wake’s example
The Wake County school board race is a prime example of how a little bit of money – OK, it was a lot by recent standards, but not that much to the parties involved – can go a long way in the current climate.
Wake is being seen as an example of a resurgent cultural conservative movement. That’s too simple. The movement in Wake County is certainly solid, but it is hardly a typical grassroots operation. It’s heavily organized and financially well supported. (The group that the elections ushered in is also having a hard time governing.)
The school board elections were all about getting a solid turnout among the cultural conservatives, anti-tax advocates and disaffected voters ready to vote out the incumbent. This is certainly a strategy that many will try to duplicate in the 2010 cycle, but not every incumbent is a target for every one of the groups.
Effect on Senate Race
The big question for Democrats in 2010 is whether the power of anti-incumbency will pay off in the race at the top of the ticket. One indication that there is a strong anti-incumbency current is recent polling by PPP that shows Burr at only about 55 percent in his own primary. No doubt like many in the GOP he’ll face some kind of energized challenge from the right.
It’s also worth noting that the seat that Burr holds traded hands often in the past few decades, so he’s battling not just the new wave of anti-incumbency, but one that is much older and manifests itself in North Carolina by rotating this particular senate seat.
Another indication that something is in the air is evidenced by the Democratic side. Elaine Marshall, the better knows of the candidates and probably the most progressive, is outpolling her closest opponent by a wide margin. That’s led to a interesting shift in the discussion on the Democratic side.
Until recently, Cal Cunningham has come across as a more centrist candidate. He has started to stake out progressive positions on financial reform.
We’re likely to see a far more populist race for the senate seat than one would have thought last year. Moving to the middle is increasingly seen as being a part of the inside game in Washington.
Judges Jim Wynn and Al Diaz were both approved by the Judiciary Committee today — with the overwhelming support of both Democrats and Republicans. North Carolina’s nominees for the 4th Circuit have for far too long been held up by petty, partisan politics. North Carolina, the largest state within the 4th Circuit, has been underrepresented for the court’s entire 118-year history. When I came to Washington, I made the case directly to the President that North Carolina deserved more than one seat on the 4th Circuit, and the White House listened. Today, fair representation for our state is one step closer to a reality. I will work with my colleagues to ensure Judges Diaz and Wynn receive a vote in the full Senate as soon as possible.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse nails it during this weekend’s health care debate.
When it turns out there are no death panels, when there is no bureaucrat between you and your doctor, when the ways your health care changes seem like a good deal to you, and a pretty smart idea, when the American public sees the discrepancy between what really is, and what they were told by the Republicans, there will be a reckoning. There will come a day of judgment about who was telling the truth.
Whitehouse began his monologue by quoting 1950s intellectual Richard Hofstadter, warning that a right-wing minority could create “a political environment in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible.”
Statement from Secretary of State Elaine Marshall:
“On Tuesday, I filed my papers to set up an Exploratory Committee for United States Senate. With unemployment at the highest level in decades, foreclosures continuing to increase and people still losing their healthcare, North Carolinians need experienced leaders who will get things done. I look forward to working with people across the state to build consensus and find solutions.
Our current Senator, Richard Burr, has spent 14 years in Washington. He supported the misguided policies that brought our economy to its knees and, now, he’s standing in the way of efforts to get us back on the right track. As a state, we deserve better.”