Progressive state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird resigned her seat in the North Carolina Senate Monday so that she can work on a project to register voters and help ensure that people get proper ID so they can vote despite the state’s idiotic new voter suppression laws. Can we nominate someone for Legislative Badass of the Year even though she came to our attention for leaving the state legislature? When it’s a body as thoroughly awful as this year’s North Carolina General Assembly — our first whole-legislature nominee for Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year — then leaving is probably the smartest move.
In an email, Kinnaird, 81, cited the “immoral agenda” of the Republican majority, which included rejecting expansion of Medicare under the ACA and passing a huge tax package that lowered taxes on the very rich and raised them on the poor. She also explained that since next year’s session will be shortened, she believes she can accomplish more out of office than in the state Senate.
So what is Kinnaird going to do now, after 17 years in the legislature? She’s going to be organizing and agitating:
“I feel that my energy and time is best spent to help get Democrats elected statewide and restore our standing as a progressive beacon of light in the southeast,” Kinnaird [wrote in her email]. “I am also working on a grassroots effort to assure that people have a voter ID and are registered to vote.”
The voter project she’s working on will focus on getting people registered, ensuring they get proper photo ID, and helping them remember their precinct — that last bit is just one more wretched detail of the new voting laws; if you vote in the wrong precinct, your vote won’t be counted. She’ll also be leading grassroots efforts to repeal the law:
“What I want to do is try to remedy this radical agenda and work aggressively against this voter suppression,” she said. “I feel that is a serious step over the line. I want to make sure we undo that.”
And so, a tip of the Wonkette leather kitten headgear to former state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, who’s going to continue being a badass and fighting the good fight.