Opinion roundup Aug. 9, 2016: Ballot access, Trump comes to N.C., HB2 and more

Opinion, comment and analysis from around North Carolina and the nation.

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Voting in Raleigh
GOP leaders run $9 million tab defending laws of questionable legality (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Republican lawmakers came to power in the General Assembly after the 2010 elections vowing to eliminate waste in the state budget, hold the line on spending and put more money in the pockets of the people. Apparently, legal costs were not part of their promise, according to a WRAL report. The bills from private lawyers hired to defend bad laws, such as the amendment banning same-sex marriage and voter suppression legislation, amount to $9 million and counting. In the process, taxpayer pockets are getting picked by GOP ideologues who seem to care little that their actions have been found unconstitutional.
Judges right to throw out 2013 election law (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent examination and rejection of key provisions of the state legislature’s 2013 voter law leaves little doubt that those measures were intended to suppress voting by African Americans, who generally go heavily for Democrats.
Long voting lines may be coming, courtesy of the GOP (Charlotte Observer) -- Early voting hours may be on the chopping block in North Carolina despite a federal court ruling aimed at making voting easier.
REP. DAVID LEWIS: Judicial coup d’etat in N.C. (Washington Post column) -- The recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit should be worrisome for the entire nation. Decisions such as these represent a judicial coup d’état by federal judges in matters that our Constitution reserves to the people. It is no wonder that 82 percent of Americans think that their government does not care what they think.
A stand for voting (Greensboro News & Record) -- As spectators stood and sang “We Shall Not Be Moved,” Guilford County Board of Elections members conferred among themselves, then voted Monday to adopt an early voting schedule — unheard by the crowd.
Trump is bringing big-time politics to town today (Fayetteville Observer) -- Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally at the Crown Arena this evening. It's not the first time we've seen him here in Fayetteville and we doubt it will be the last.
Self-imposed ignorance of science washes ashore (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- After 14 years of watching his science flouted by the N.C. Legislature, East Carolina University geology professor emeritus Stan Riggs resigned from the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s science panel July 24. It was a dangerous loss to the state,
Don’t believe the hype: HB2 hasn’t hurt n.c. economy (Charlotte Observer column) -- From Andrew Heath, Gov. Pat McCrory’s state budget director, in response to “Tech leader: We’re ‘horrified’ by HB2”
Chris Boggiano, who served with Khan, asks if McCrory is with Trump or vets (Fayetteville Observer column) -- As a proud combat veteran, I have been disheartened by Donald Trump's recent bizarre rhetoric. And I've been disappointed by Gov. Pat McCrory putting party over patriotism as he stands by Trump despite the indefensible attacks he made against a Gold Star family.
MARK EASLEY: Passage of N.C.'s crowdfunding bill a 'team effort' (WRAL-TV-column) -- The creation and passage of the NC PACES Act investment crowdfunding exemption was a team effort by the General Assembly, the NC Secretary of State Securities Division, the NC Commerce Department, the Governor's office, and our North Carolina startup community and small business supporters, writes investor and crowdfunding backer Mark Easley.

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