I am still tired from election day. Working for the Board of Elections, I got up at 4:30 am and worked until 9:00 pm reconciling ballots and packing away all the polling gear. I was on my feet most of the day, and my legs felt like lead, my back was in spasms. When I got home last night, I did not want to look at anything to do with elections.
I am amazed and elated to wake up and find that Republicans now control both the North Carolina House and the Senate, something that has not happened in 112 years. This historic election provides several important opportunities for our State.
The most important, for the long term, is the opportunity to redraw Congressional district boundaries. Currently, districts are heavily gerrymandered to provide safe seats for the likes of David Price and until recently Bob Ethridge. Renee Ellmers seems to have taken out Ethridge, if she can survive the inevitable recount. But we can do even more. We can rationalize our district boundaries to ensure that the Congressional delegation we send to Congress truly represents the State. You would be amazed to discover how many conservative working people there are in this State, but they are represented by closet Progressives. If this were not so, do you think Jesse Helms would have survived all those years in the Senate?
We can finally get a Castle Doctrine bill, and a Restaurant Carry bill passed, as well as perhaps carry in public parks and theatres. The Democratic House bottled up both the Castle Doctrine and Restaurant carry in committee, and never let them get a vote. I suspect with when allowed to get voted on, both will pass handily.
We can whittle taxes back down to levels that encourage businesses to return to North Carolina. NC got the big head during the boom years, and is now suffering because, like the monkey that grabs a big wad of food from a small mouthed jar, and doesn't want to give any of it up, our legislatures don't want to give up any of the gains made then. But the State has to tighten it's belt like everyone else. With high unemployment rates, the State must recognize that the people simply don't have the money to support the programs the politicians seem to want.
I'll have other thoughts later, after I'm fully recovered. Interesting times...
Update: Paul Valone, head of the Grass Roots North Carolina group has his thoughts as well here. Paul doesn't mention redistricting, but does mention improving the situation for legal carriers in the State. By the way, this would be a good time to mention that GRNC can use all the help we can get. If not a member, become one. If a member, but behind on your dues, catch up now. Lobbying the legislature is a numbers game as much as having effective people to speak to the issues.