This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal
. The author of this post is CJ Staff
The lieutenant governor and the N.C. Senate's powerful Rules Committee chairman are taking aim at the left-wing group leading the charge against voter ID in North Carolina.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, issued statements Wednesday, April 21, criticizing the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Robinson and Rabon specifically referenced the coalition's attacks on former state Sen. Joel Ford.
Ford is a black Democrat. He was a lead sponsor in 2018 of the law designed to implement a photo identification requirement for N.C. voters. Last month, the Senate elected Ford, 45-3, to serve on the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors.
The coalition attempted to "smear" Ford, according to a Senate Republican news release. "The group implied Sen. Ford earned his position on the UNC Board of Governors via a corrupt bargain, and the group's lawyers engaged in dog whistles to imply that Sen. Ford was incapable of speaking for himself and relied on white Republicans to speak for him,"
according to the Senate GOP release.
"In a tweet yesterday and in the courtroom, SCSJ and its lawyers intimated that former Sen. Ford, who is a qualified African American man with a distinguished resume, gained his appointment via some corrupt bargain,"
according to the release. "A white Democratic member of the N.C. House of Representatives piled on, openly alleging Sen. Ford engaged in a corrupt bargain and that he's 'the clearest example of how we're willingly compromising the UNC System in exchange for partisan, political gain.'"
The coalition "offered no evidence to support its attempted smear,"
the release added.
State government's highest-ranking black elected official responded to the coalition's efforts. "It's disgusting for a purported 'social justice' organization to imply a qualified black man earned his position through some corrupt bargain and that he's incapable of thinking for himself,"
said Robinson. "These 'social justice' groups will go to any length to impose a far-left agenda on North Carolina."
Rabon tied the coalition's campaign against Ford to other recent attacks on black Democrats willing to work with Republican legislators. "These shameful attacks on a good man are reminiscent of the Democratic Party-aligned website of shame, which contained a group of only black legislators who refused to tow the line set by the party's white leaders."
In 2019, groups tied to the Democratic Party launched a website — "Disloyal Dems" — to target Democrats who voted against Gov. Roy Cooper and Democratic legislative leaders. "At one time, every legislator listed on the Disloyal Dems website was black,"
according to the Senate release.
This is the second week of the trial in Holmes v. Moore, a lawsuit
challenging North Carolina's voter ID law. Legislators approved the 2018 law within weeks of 2 million North Carolinians (55% of the total) voting to add a photo ID requirement to the N.C. Constitution. State and federal lawsuits blocked use of voter ID in North Carolina throughout the 2020 election cycle.