11Madison Kimrey, Age 12, Called A "Prop For The Liberal Media" By N.C. Gov Pat McCrory, Gets The Last Word In "Moral Monday" Speech
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made headlines a few weeks ago when he planned to use more than $200,000 in taxpayer money to remodel bathrooms in the governor’s mansion, all the while cutting teacher salaries throughout the state. McCrory also backs North Carolina’s new restrictive voter ID laws that make it more difficult for minority voters to cast ballots.
Part of the state’s new hard line against voters is the elimination of a provision that makes it easier for young people to vote by allowing them to register as early as age 16. That way, once they turn 18 and are eligible to vote, they can simply do so with the registration process behind them.
When 12-year-old Madison Kimrey of Burlington, N.C., asked to meet with McCrory to have a chat about the new rule that makes it harder for young people to vote, she collected nearly 12,000 signatures on a petition asking the governor to spend some time with her.
To make the proposal more attractive, the preteen activist set up a table outside the state capitol building, with cookies and a chocolate cake baked by her grandmother. She offered to meet McCrory to “enjoy a snack together.”
The governor never showed up. In fact, he went on the radio and called the whole idea “ridiculous” and deemed Madison “a prop for the liberal media.”
This was after McCrory himself admitted that he “hadn’t read” the part of the bill that gets rid of teenage pre-registration.
But Kimrey (pictured) got the last word, at least for now. North Carolinians have been holding “Moral Monday” protests against the state’s increasingly conservative policies under McCrory. At a rally in Kimrey’s hometown this Monday, the 12-year-old delivered a speech that immediately went viral, in which she took McCrory and the state’s Republicans to task over the new voting law.
She also called upon North Carolina’s young people to get more active in politics.
“I am not a prop,” Kimrey declared. “I am part of the new generation of suffragettes and I will not stand silent while laws are passed to reduce the amount of voter turnout by young people in my home state.”
Check out her remarkably articulate and poised speech in the video below.
On Thursday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) vetoed a bill that would require some welfare applicants to undergo drug testing. Under the bill, North Carolina residents seeking benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program would have had to pay for their own drug tests if the health department found “reasonable suspicion” that the applicant was a drug user.
“This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” said McCrory in a statement. “Similar efforts in other states have proved to be too expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina.”
Though McCrory vetoed the bill, he did announce an executive order to implement the section of the bill that requires the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to check welfare and food stamp applicants’ criminal histories.
“While I support the efforts to ensure that fugitive felons are not on public assistance rolls, and to share information about them with law enforcement, other parts of this bill are unfair, fiscally irresponsible and have potential operational problems,” he said.
A similar drug testing bill was passed in Florida in 2011, but was struck down as unconstitutional. The bill did not have a “reasonable suspicion” caveat, and ended up costing the state tens of thousands of dollars in a few months. The Florida bill showed a lower rate of drug use among welfare applicants than in the state’s general population, and, unlike the vetoed North Carolina bill, did not protect children in families with substance abuse issues.
McCrory’s veto of the bill, which had the support of about half of the state House’s Democrats and two thirds of the state Senate’s Democrats, represents a departure from North Carolina’s recent slew of conservative legislation packaged by its Republican-controlled legislature, including anti-abortion bills and strict new voting laws.
At a press conference on Friday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) revealed that he was not entirely familiar with certain details of the controversial voter ID bill that he plans to sign into law.
When questioned about the bill’s provision that would prohibit pre-registration of underage voters, McCrory replied, “I don’t know enough…I’m sorry, I haven’t seen that part of the bill.”
Along with restricting pre-registration, the bill also requires voters to display particular forms of government-issued photo identification, cancels same-day voter registration, and cuts the period available for early voting by one week. The bill was passed by the North Carolina legislature after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in late June to strike a key section of the Voting Rights Act.
Although McCrory and other supporters of the North Carolina bill claim that it will aid in the eradication of voter impersonation and voter fraud, recent research suggests that neither issue is a significant problem in North Carolina or anywhere else. New data collected by North Carolina’s Board of Elections discovered only 121 alleged cases of voter fraud out of the nearly seven million ballots cast in the state in the 2012 elections. In 2010, only 28 out of the 3.79 million votes cast were found to be cases of fraud.
Critics of the bill argue that the legislation is simply an attempt by the state’s Republicans to keep Democratic voters from the polls. Voting rights activists suggest that the bill will disenfranchise many individuals of their voting rights, particularly young voters, minorities, and the poor. Director of research and policy development for the North Carolina Policy Watch, Rob Schofield, called the bill an “omnibus elect-conservatives” measure. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has intimated that the Department of Justice may file suit should they find the law to be discriminatory in any way.