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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I want my house gerrymandered and the Republicans won't do it.

From Rolling Stone, a glimpse of the Justin Trudeau of North Carolina:
On Monday morning, the Levine Jewish Community Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, received its third bomb threat in two months. This time, administrators were used to the drill. They didn't even evacuate – just had law enforcement sweep the premises and went along with their day. State Sen. Jeff Jackson, whose son Owen is enrolled in pre-K at Levine JCC, learned about the newest threat on Twitter while in line for lunch at Chipotle. 
That's how routine bomb threats have become at Jewish Community Centers and the preschools many of them house; more than 100 such threats have been received at JCCs around the country since President Trump took office. 
"We've had three bomb threats in the last five years, and they've all happened in the last 60 days," Jackson, a Democrat who represents North Carolina's 37th district, tells Rolling Stone. "Find me the person who thinks that's a coincidence." 
He places the blame squarely at Trump's feet. "Only one big thing has changed in American society in the last 60 days that would have any connection to this whatsoever," he says. 
On Tuesday, at a meeting with state attorneys general, Trump seemed to shrug off the previous day's spate of threats – 31 were received by 23 JCCs and eight Jewish day schools. "He just said, 'Sometimes it's the reverse, to make people – or to make others – look bad,'" Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told BuzzFeed. Shapiro added, "I really don't know what he means or why he said that." 
Jackson has an idea what Trump meant. "We know what he was saying. Of course he was suggesting that this is a false-flag operation and that Jewish people are faking bomb threats for political reasons,” he says.
"The man is a maniac," Jackson says. "He has been deeply reluctant to address the surge in anti-Semitism that has paralleled his rise. That's not a coincidence. … He understands that a large portion of his base is sympathetic [to anti-Semitism], so he is not going to say one word more about it than he absolutely has to."
Senator Jackson represents District 38; I am stuck in District 37 with a backbench placeholder gerrymandered-in for life who is ready to sell me out to pass Son of HB2 and run for mayor. Our district is one of those the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found is where the Raleigh Republicans stacked as many Mecklenburg County black voters as possible to ring this area with white GOP legislators.

I keep writing Speaker Tim Moore and Senate boss Phil Berger asking them to redraw even part of where I live into Senator Jackson's district, but they never answer. It'd be a no-gain, no-loss transfer of a vote. I'd have thought they'd intrigued by the technical challenge of the thing. It's only 4.3 miles.

But then a friend reminded me that's nothing for the gang in the General Assembly. Until another court order found my congressional district was also impermissibly gerrymandered by race and forced a redraw last year. The Guardian called it "the most gerrymandered district in America."

It was over 160 miles long and at many points only as wide as Interstate 85.

North Carolina US Congressional District 12 (since 2013).tif

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