2020 Elections and the US Constitution | Beaufort County Now | Ray Leary provides us a primer on the upcoming elections

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2020 Elections and the US Constitution

    The United States is entering into the 2020 election season. This election year also has a presidential election, all members of the US House, one third of the US Senate, state representatives and senators for the North Carolina legislature. The most important state contests are for NC Supreme Court justices. The Chief Justice seat along with two associate justices and five Court of Appeals judgeships are on the ballots across the state of North Carolina.

    During the last two election cycles, actions by the North Carolina Legislature have systematically gutted the NC Supreme Court of conservative jurists that rule on the laws and regulations as written and signed into law by the governor. The legislature and the NC State Board of Elections have tinkered with the method of placing judges names on the ballots. First, they made judges races non-partisan which removed the political party affiliation from the names on the ballots. Next, they determined that all candidates names would be placed on the ballot with Republicans listed first and Democrats second, except for the non-partisan judges, where the Democrat's name was listed first without the party affiliation. Voters were left to believe the first judge's name on the ballot was a Republican and many voted accordingly. The result is that over the last four years, the Supreme Court has gone from a 5-2 Republican majority to a 6-1 Democrat majority. With this court, Governor Cooper can and has usurped his authority granted by the NC Constitution without any concern the Supreme Court would rule against him. His refusal to seek the Council of State's support, as clearly required by law, for the state-wide lockdown of businesses and schools is but one example. For the upcoming 2020 election, the legislature has gone back to listing party affiliation on the ballot with the candidate's name.

    Justice Paul Newby (R) is seeking the Chief Justice seat on the NC Supreme Court.

    The Chief Justice controls the court docket, so this could be the most important race on the ballot in North Carolina in 2020. The two Republican Associate Justice candidates are also constitutional conservative candidates. Why is this important? The General Assembly passes a Bill and the Governor signs the Bill into law. The law takes effect upon the date established by the General Assembly. Should someone with standing take issue with the law and challenges it in court, it is heard by a judge. Should the judge agree with the plaintiff, the judge can issue an injunction preventing the law from taking effect. Should the plaintiff appeal to a higher court and the case makes it to the NC Supreme Court, then it is imperative that the laws be applied according to the US and State Constitutions. Should a liberal progressive court decide the Constitution is irrelevant and rules the Bill unconstitutional then is the will of the people ruled unconstitutional? An example of this is the Voter ID law that was voted on by the people of North Carolina on a ballot referendum that was overturned by one elected judge. Government of, by, and for the people is no longer a principle we can depend upon which has been enshrined in the US Constitution for over 240 years.

    Article I, Section 2, of the NC Constitution reads as follows: "All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole."

    The people of North Carolina voted overwhelmingly for Voter ID. Overriding the clear and unambiguous will of the people by any judge, while ignoring the will of the people, cannot be allowed to stand. It is up to the voters to address such absurd rulings as this at the ballot box. One cannot depend upon a liberal progressive Supreme Court to curb this type of judicial abuse of power. The people of North Carolina must elect judges that respect the US and NC Constitutions.

    On the national level there is the presidential race, with President Donald Trump (R) opposed by former Vice President Joe Biden (D). Biden has been in Washington, DC for over 44 years as a US senator for 36 years, and Vice President for eight years. He has little to show for his tenure. Trump is the obvious choice here. Thom Tillis (R) is running for reelection to the US Senate against Cal Cunningham (D). Tillis has disappointed conservatives at times. However, he has voted for President Trump's Supreme Court nominees. As unappealing as he is in his lack of support for limited government, seating constitutional conservative judges to the high court is paramount. We can be reasonably sure that Cunningham would oppose Trump's nominees to the Supreme Court. The next president will likely appoint two or three justices to the high court. Should Joe Biden become the president and if the senate were to be controlled by the democrats, that scenario would spell the end of the constitutional republic as we know it. Just imagine Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Jerrold Nadler, Adam Schiff, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley controlling the national agenda. They would completely upend the Bill of Rights and turn the US into a mob controlled democracy, not the constitutional republic our fore fathers gave us.

    Although North Carolina's US congressional districts were just realigned in 2018 by court decree, the congressional districts will be reset again in 2021 after the 2020 census is released. Since the last 2010 census the population is North Carolina has possibly increased sufficiently to warrant an additional seat in the US Congress.

    As you recall, the 2018 redistricting moved Beaufort County into a district that runs from Beaufort County to the Virginia state line. The district is currently comprised of Beaufort, Martin, Bertie, North Hampton, Vance, and Warren counties. The northern counties are predominately democrat strongholds. Chuck Early (R) ran for the NC senate seat in the 2018 election in Senate District 3. He lost that race by 4,000 votes. What is disturbing about this is that out of approximately 32,000 registered voters in Beaufort County, only 16,000 citizens voted. This loss to Erica Smith (D) resulted in Beaufort County having very little representation in the NC Senate for the past two years. Thomas R. Hester Jr. (R) is running for this seat against Earnestine (Byrd) Bazemore (D). Hester is a businessman and county commissioner from Vance County.

    Beaufort County also saw a change as the new NC Congressional District 79 was created in 2018. Beaufort County is now in this newly organized Congressional District 79. This district is composed of Beaufort County and the northern part of Craven County. Representative Keith Kidwell (R) has served this district for two years. He is opposed by Nick Blount from Beaufort County, a newcomer to the political process with an unknown political position on any issue. Kidwell has aligned with Representative Michael Speciale, Larry Pittman, and other conservatives in the state house to limit government and reduce taxes.

    The 2020 elections also have elections for county commissioners, school boards, and district judges and other local offices. Two NC District Court judges are on the ballot, both unopposed. They are Chris McLendon, District 2, Seat 3 and Keith B. Mason, District 2, Seat 4. Sitting judges seldom have opposition. The NC Legislature ensures this by requiring a judicial candidate who files to run for a seat on the court to live in the district where they file to run. The NC Constitution does not support this legislation, but a liberal interpretation can be drawn from the language.

    In local races in Beaufort County, there are four seats on the ballot for the county commission. Currently the commission is comprised of five republicans and two democrats. One would think that this would result in a fiscally responsible governing body that would restrain spending and maintain reasonable tax rates. In reality, three of the republicans are in name only (RINOS). Waters, Evens, and Rebholz vote with the two big spending democrats more often than not.

    The result of this betrayal of conservative principles resulted in the demolition of the Belhaven hospital in the middle of the night, takeover of the Beaufort County Hospital trust fund and then using it for maintenance projects in the county, assuming ownership of the federally owned VOA Site A for a few months only to release it to the NC Wildlife Commission after spending over $100,000 for aviation lights on the 300 foot tall towers and security, purchasing the Wrights Creek dredge spoils property, and failure to oppose Governor Cooper's unconstitutional lockdown of North Carolina's economy. The democrats and RINOS refused to recognize the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution as they opposed concealed carry for county employees and the general public on county property. Commissioner Evans was defeated in the republican primary earlier in 2020. Commissioner Rebholz was selected by the Republican executive committee after the untimely passing of Commissioner Gary Brinn (R) to serve the remainder of Brinn's term. Commissioners Rebholz, Richardson, and Langley are on the ballot for election this year. In addition, there are three new candidates on the ballot contending for these seats. They are Tandy Oliver Dunn, John Carbone, and Randy Walker.

    Beaufort County elects county commissioners by "limited voting." Limited voting allows a voter to vote for only one candidate even though there are four seats available. Richardson and Langley have a solid base of support and thus are unlikely to be defeated in the general election. Rebholz is relatively new and has supported the democrat agenda and party platform since his appointment to the board. He has on occasion voted with Stan Deatherage and Hood Richardson, but this still resulted in a four-three decision. This allowed Rebholz to feign voting conservative and allowing him to proclaim that he did not vote for that. Beaufort County voters can put an end to this never ending charade by voting for truly conservative candidates; Hood Richardson, Tandy Oliver Dunn, or Randy Walker.

    The odd numbered Beaufort County School districts have uncontested elections for school board members. There are five incumbents on the ballot for re-election.

    This is an important election. If you are considering sitting this one out, you are leaving the future of this country, state, and county in the hands of those that have the destruction of the US Constitution as their goal. The rioting, looting, property destruction, tearing down of historical statues, and burning of government owned and private property is being used as a cudgel to beat citizens into caving to the one world government eventually leading to socialism and complete abandonment of Judea-Christian principles upon which this nation was founded. Freedom loving Americans cannot allow this to occur.

    Two generations of educating young people that socialism is a superior form of government and that capitalism is evil has taken the US to where it is today. Please exercise the duty of voting for our leaders in this election. And please vote for the people and principles that will preserve the liberties we hold dear and the freedoms enshrined in the US Constitution.
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