NCDP Clips 7/10

General Assembly News

In North Carolina, areas that support GOP lawmakers are faring worse now
N&O // Editorial // July 8, 2017

Summary: "Republicans have an iron lock on North Carolina’s General Assembly largely because of their support in rural areas, but after six years of Republican rule those areas are faring far worse than the state’s urban areas."

  • "Why people leave dying towns and fading counties is no mystery. But it is a puzzle that lawmakers with a rural base have been so indifferent to the condition of their districts and so thoughtless about how to stem the rural-to-urban tide."
  • "Another failing is the state’s unwillingness to adequately fund public schools. The schools are major employers in rural counties, and they help create a skilled workforce that attracts businesses. "
  • "North Carolina is one state. Politicians may make short-term gains by casting it as two – the rural true North Carolinians vs. the socially-liberal, urban newcomers. But the state truly moves forward only when it is not divided against itself. "

RIP, Caldwell County bookmobile
WRAL // Travis Fain // July 7, 2017

Summary: "The Caldwell County bookmobile no longer gets $100,000. That money, included in the final budget that passed the legislature over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, was deleted two days later via the
General Assembly’s annual budget technical corrections bill."

  • "The bookmobile’s $100,000 was shifted to a Caldwell County EMS project. The county plans to buy new stretchers for its ambulances."

Who killed the dinosaurs? A state budget mystery
WRAL // Travis Fain // July 10, 2017

Summary: "Once, major funding to expand the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ popular dinosaur exhibit roamed the pages of North Carolina’s newest state budget. Now, that money is nearly extinct. The cause? The General Assembly’s annual technical corrections bill, which made dozens of changes to the two-year budget less than two weeks after the full budget emerged from House and Senate negotiations."

  • "Language that once laid out $1.5 million to improve the exhibit and the visible-to-the-public paleontology laboratory that goes with it, was massaged in the technical corrections bill, siphoning out about $1.23 million."
  • "House Appropriations Senior Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, referred questions to House Speaker Tim Moore‘s office, but Moore’s spokesman did not respond to messages."

Pork, the other budget meat
WRAL // Travis Fain // July 9, 2017

Summary: "However you slice, chop or pull it, legislators tied up millions with highly specific purse strings. They’ll bolster local projects, pay for a controversial new pollution treatment at Jordan Lake and fund a 3-D movie program for school children that, among other things, aims to prevent drug abuse."

  • "This would add 1,100 acres of game land to an existing 600-acre tract. The budget doesn’t say this land is in Rockingham County, home to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, but the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said this tract is the only one that fits the budget’s specific description."
  • "Kevin Redding, the Piedmont Land Conservancy’s executive director, said Berger and state Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, were both aware of the group’s interest in the project, but he’s unsure how it won funding."

Vodka distillery owner challenges NC Republican congressman
N&O // Brian Murphy // July 10, 2017

Summary: "The founder of a new vodka distillery is challenging U.S. Rep. George Holding of Raleigh. Sam Searcy, a 40-year-old Holly Springs resident and a Democrat, planned to announce his candidacy Monday."

NC lawmakers: More than 65% of districts could change to correct racial gerrymanders
N&O // Anne Blythe // July 7, 2017

Summary: "North Carolina lawmakers say they might have to change 116 of the state’s 170 state legislative districts to correct the illegal racially gerrymandered districts used to elect General Assembly members for the past six years."

Legislators await news from court before taking up redistricting
Carolina Journal // Will Rierson // July 8, 2017

Summary: "As state lawmakers returned home for a brief summer break, some members and their staffs were awaiting court orders outlining new General Assembly districts after federal judges declared the current map unconstitutional and racially gerrymandered."

From Surf City to Hendersonville, towns rush to allow 10 a.m. brunch booze
N&O // Colin Campbell // July 7, 2017

Summary: "Raleigh and Carrboro won’t be the only communities allowing 10 a.m. Sunday alcohol sales starting this week: Several towns from the mountains to the coast also passed new ordinances under the state’s “brunch bill.”"

Loophole lets lawmakers take campaign cash with legislation still pending
WRAL // Laura Leslie // July 7, 2017
Summary: "Although state lawmakers are officially in recess until August, some are still negotiating bills to vote on when they come back, and the interim could prove to be a very profitable break for them.North Carolina law prohibits legislators from accepting campaign donations while they are in session from the people and groups that employ lobbyists to influence them…But because the General Assembly is out of session for more than 10 days, that ban is not in effect right now, meaning they can take checks from groups and industries that might be affected by some of the legislation still pending."

Our Opinion: Legislature plans unhappy returns
Greensboro News & Record // July 9, 2017

Summary: "When North Carolina Republicans, who control the legislature, tout “limited government,” they don’t mean limits on their own power. They are constantly seeking to expand that."

  • "A top Republican, Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County, was almost right about the reason when he explained, “With a new governor, we will be returning to Raleigh to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations.” With a Democratic governor, Republican legislators want to spend as much time in Raleigh as possible to dominate the state’s political agenda."
  • "That’s not how our state government is supposed to function. The governor is elected by all the people, and accountable to all the people, to be the top executive. The legislature should meet as briefly as possible to pass necessary laws, not stay in Raleigh year-round and dictate to the governor, the courts and to cities, counties and other political subdivisions down to the school board level."

Our View: Why our middle class is disappearing
The Fayetteville Observer // Editorial // July 9, 2017

Summary: "Money is still in first place as the root of all evils. In North Carolina these days, it’s at the root of the disappearance of our middle class, and of the decline in social cooperation that has made us a more polarized population...Now that we all know former Gov. Pat McCrory’s “Carolina Comeback” was a lot of political malarkey, perhaps we can begin a serious, coordinated effort to train workers for 21st century jobs and to use that workforce to attract more middle-income employers to the state. We’re trying to lead the nation in the wrong kinds of economic categories. Let’s find our way to leadership in restoring a healthy middle class."

Our View: Give rural internet access a big boost
Fayetteville Observer // July 8, 2017

Summary: "It’s a story told too often in politics today: A good, commonsense idea falling victim to rigid ideology. You can see it in Washington every day that Congress is in session. And you can see it in Raleigh when the General Assembly is meeting. You definitely saw it in the apparent demise of the BRIGHT Futures Act, legislation authored by Rep. John Szoka and Sen. Wesley Meredith, both Republicans from Fayetteville."

  • "Here’s where opponents of government involvement in broadband are falling short in their thinking: They still appear to believe that internet service is an option, like deciding whether or not to pave your driveway, rather than a necessity."
  • "And yet, Szoka’s and Meredith’s BRIGHT Futures Act, which passed the House, sits in the Senate Rules Committee, the place where legislation is sent to die. Senate leadership — which bemoans the state’s lagging rural economy — was stunningly shortsighted.

NC athlete ‘fair-treatment’ bill nearing end zone? A look at its potential impacts
Herald Sun // Ray Gronberg // July 7, 2017

Summary: "Provided they can resolve their differences over a last-minute addition to the measure, a bill calling for a legislative study of what consultants call “fair treatment of college athletes” in the UNC system appears likely to clear the N.C. General Assembly this year."

  • "After making it through the N.C. Senate on a 49-0 vote in April, the proposal from Sens. Jeff Tarte, Warren Daniel and Dan Bishop got another unanimous, 111-0 endorsement in the state House just before legislators adjourned for the holiday."
  • "But Tarte, like Bishop a Republican from Mecklenburg County, thinks the issue of how college athletes should be treated has real traction, given the attention it’s getting in the national media."
  • "“There’s this gut feeling that says we’ve lost of the perspective of looking out for the student-athletes as a first priority,” Tarte said, explaining the bill’s appeal. “Like everything else, it tends to gravitate around money, and generating lots of revenue for the NCAA and the member institutions. We’re talking a multi-billion-dollar industry on the backs of these athletes.”"

Save the wind farms in eastern NC
N&O // Editorial // July 9, 2017

Summary: "Military bases would seem to be quite capable of protecting themselves. Nonetheless State Sen. Harry Brown, a Republican from Jacksonville, is standing up to rescue the bases from wind turbines."

  • "Brown says he wants to protect the bases as drivers of the eastern North Carolina economy, but the bases are not going anywhere. It’s a future industry that may be lost in a part of the state hungry for investment. Gov. Roy Cooper should veto this moratorium."

Budget cuts affect low-income peoples’ access to court
Greensboro news & Record // Taft Wireback // July 8, 2017

Summary: "The majority party pressed ahead with a $23 billion budget that contains language striking out a $1.50 surcharge on certain court fees that translated into about $1.7 million yearly in legal aid to low-income residents.Before the new budget took effect, three nonprofit law firms had been splitting that money to help provide free legal assistance to people living in poverty or slightly above."

  • "State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Greensboro) said before voting for the budget, he consulted leaders on the Appropriations, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee who believed indigent legal services could be run more efficiently and advocated for the cuts."

Gov. Cooper News

New law protects first responsders
Rocky Mount Telegram // Philip Sayblack // July 10, 2017

Summary: "A bill signed into law last week by Gov. Roy Cooper will help protect emergency services agencies and their employees. House Bill 98, also known as the Criminal Offense/Vandalize Fire & EMS Equipment Bill, was signed into law June 30. The bi-partisan measure makes it illegal to damage, vandalize or steal equipment or vehicles used by firefighters, emergency medical services and N.C. Forest Service personnel."

About 20 bills introduced by local legislators become law, need Gov. Cooper’s signature
Salisbury Post // Josh Bergeron // July 9, 2017

Summary: " After the N.C. General Assembly adjourned for a July recess, about 20 bills introduced by Rowan County’s legislators are awaiting the governor’s signature or have already become law."

A good start on stopping opioid abuse
N&O // Editorial // July 9, 2017

Summary: "North Carolina, like much of the nation, was slow to recognize the scale and danger of the rising abuse of opioids. But in recent weeks the state has made a strong and united push to fight the epidemic."

  • "In response, the legislature recently approved the STOP Act…Meanwhile, Cooper has presented an extensive plan to reduce opioid abuse statewide."
  • "Cooper, a member of President Donald Trump’s new Commission To Fight Opioid Abuse, said he told members of the commission that access to health care is a fundamental part of fighting the problem."

Dark money needs lights in NC
N&O // Editorial // July 7, 2017

Summary: "As a longtime politician, Gov. Roy Cooper is well-schooled in the power of symbolism. As a former attorney general, he also understands how generous contributors can unduly influence the legislative process. So why does the governor seem blithely ignorant of how it looks when he speaks to a dark-money group, which helps it raise funds?"

Lumbee recognition effort getting powerful allies
The Robesonian // Bob Shiles // July 8, 2017

Summary: "The stars are lining up in favor of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina’a long quest to gain federal recognition. Since May, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has “officially” requested in a letter to North Carolina’s 13-member congressional delegation that they stand together in support of recognition.

Key Targets News – House

Brenden Jones

(none)

Larry Yarborough

(none)

Mike Clampitt

(none)

John Bradford

(none)

Bill Brawley

(none)

Nelson Dollar

Who killed the dinosaurs? A state budget mystery
WRAL // Travis Fain // July 10, 2017

Summary: "Once, major funding to expand the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ popular dinosaur exhibit roamed the pages of North Carolina’s newest state budget. Now, that money is nearly extinct. The cause? The General Assembly’s annual technical corrections bill, which made dozens of changes to the two-year budget less than two weeks after the full budget emerged from House and Senate negotiations."

  • "Language that once laid out $1.5 million to improve the exhibit and the visible-to-the-public paleontology laboratory that goes with it, was massaged in the technical corrections bill, siphoning out about $1.23 million."
  • "House Appropriations Senior Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, referred questions to House Speaker Tim Moore‘s office, but Moore’s spokesman did not respond to messages."

Chris Malone

(none)

Susan Martin

(none)

Gregory Murphy

(none)

John Szoka

Our View: Give rural internet access a big boost
Fayetteville Observer // July 8, 2017

Summary: "It’s a story told too often in politics today: A good, commonsense idea falling victim to rigid ideology. You can see it in Washington every day that Congress is in session. And you can see it in Raleigh when the General Assembly is meeting. You definitely saw it in the apparent demise of the BRIGHT Futures Act, legislation authored by Rep. John Szoka and Sen. Wesley Meredith, both Republicans from Fayetteville."

  • "Here’s where opponents of government involvement in broadband are falling short in their thinking: They still appear to believe that internet service is an option, like deciding whether or not to pave your driveway, rather than a necessity."
  • "And yet, Szoka’s and Meredith’s BRIGHT Futures Act, which passed the House, sits in the Senate Rules Committee, the place where legislation is sent to die. Senate leadership — which bemoans the state’s lagging rural economy — was stunningly shortsighted.

Stephen Ross

(none)

Andy Dulin

(none)

John Blust

(none)

Jonathan Jordan

(none)

Michele Presnell

(none)

Beverly Boswell

(none)

John Sauls

(none)

Donny Lambeth

(none)

Linda Hunt Williams

(none)

Scott Stone

(none)

Larry Pittman

(none)

John Faircloth

(none)

Dennis Riddell

(none)

Ted Davis

(none)

John Hardister

(none)

Dana Bumgardner

(none)

Bob Steinburg

(none)

Linda Johnson

(none)

David Lewis

Our Opinion: Legislature plans unhappy returns
Greensboro News & Record // July 9, 2017

Summary: "When North Carolina Republicans, who control the legislature, tout “limited government,” they don’t mean limits on their own power. They are constantly seeking to expand that."

  • "A top Republican, Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County, was almost right about the reason when he explained, “With a new governor, we will be returning to Raleigh to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations.” With a Democratic governor, Republican legislators want to spend as much time in Raleigh as possible to dominate the state’s political agenda."
  • "That’s not how our state government is supposed to function. The governor is elected by all the people, and accountable to all the people, to be the top executive. The legislature should meet as briefly as possible to pass necessary laws, not stay in Raleigh year-round and dictate to the governor, the courts and to cities, counties and other political subdivisions down to the school board level."

George Cleveland

(none)

Debra Conrad

(none)

Mark Brody

(none)

Michael Speciale

(none)

Donna White

(none)

Holly Grange

(none)

Bert Jones

Pork, the other budget meat
WRAL // Travis Fain // July 9, 2017

Summary: "However you slice, chop or pull it, legislators tied up millions with highly specific purse strings. They’ll bolster local projects, pay for a controversial new pollution treatment at Jordan Lake and fund a 3-D movie program for school children that, among other things, aims to prevent drug abuse."

  • "This would add 1,100 acres of game land to an existing 600-acre tract. The budget doesn’t say this land is in Rockingham County, home to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, but the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said this tract is the only one that fits the budget’s specific description."
  • "Kevin Redding, the Piedmont Land Conservancy’s executive director, said Berger and state Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, were both aware of the group’s interest in the project, but he’s unsure how it won funding."

Key Target News – Senate

Tamara Barringer

(none)

John Alexander

(none)

Chad Barefoot

(none)

Wesley Meredith

Our View: Give rural internet access a big boost
Fayetteville Observer // July 8, 2017

Summary: "It’s a story told too often in politics today: A good, commonsense idea falling victim to rigid ideology. You can see it in Washington every day that Congress is in session. And you can see it in Raleigh when the General Assembly is meeting. You definitely saw it in the apparent demise of the BRIGHT Futures Act, legislation authored by Rep. John Szoka and Sen. Wesley Meredith, both Republicans from Fayetteville."

  • "Here’s where opponents of government involvement in broadband are falling short in their thinking: They still appear to believe that internet service is an option, like deciding whether or not to pave your driveway, rather than a necessity."
  • "And yet, Szoka’s and Meredith’s BRIGHT Futures Act, which passed the House, sits in the Senate Rules Committee, the place where legislation is sent to die. Senate leadership — which bemoans the state’s lagging rural economy — was stunningly shortsighted.

Trudy Wade

Law will test moving legal adds from newspapers to government sites
The News & Herald // Ryan Wilusz // July 7, 2017

Summary: "State lawmakers looking to eliminate local governments’ requirement to post public notices in newspapers passed a bill June 28 that would allow Guilford County to test posting notices on its own website for free, instead."

  • "Sen. Trudy Wade (R-27), who sponsored a shot-down bill that would have allowed all local governments to post notices online, said removing the print requirement would save taxpayer money."
  • ""“Instead of subsidizing for-profit news corporations, this bill helps save local tax dollars and generates new revenue to pay our public school teachers more,” she said.

Michael Lee

(none)

Jeff Tarte

NC athlete ‘fair-treatment’ bill nearing end zone? A look at its potential impacts
Herald Sun // Ray Gronberg // July 7, 2017

Summary: "Provided they can resolve their differences over a last-minute addition to the measure, a bill calling for a legislative study of what consultants call “fair treatment of college athletes” in the UNC system appears likely to clear the N.C. General Assembly this year."

  • "After making it through the N.C. Senate on a 49-0 vote in April, the proposal from Sens. Jeff Tarte, Warren Daniel and Dan Bishop got another unanimous, 111-0 endorsement in the state House just before legislators adjourned for the holiday."
  • "But Tarte, like Bishop a Republican from Mecklenburg County, thinks the issue of how college athletes should be treated has real traction, given the attention it’s getting in the national media."
  • "“There’s this gut feeling that says we’ve lost of the perspective of looking out for the student-athletes as a first priority,” Tarte said, explaining the bill’s appeal. “Like everything else, it tends to gravitate around money, and generating lots of revenue for the NCAA and the member institutions. We’re talking a multi-billion-dollar industry on the backs of these athletes.”"

Congress eyeing new tax that would sock consumers
Charlotte Observer // Jeff Tarte // July 8, 2017

Summary: "America needs comprehensive tax reform to unleash innovation and help small businesses and families, and Congress is assessing proposals to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, congressional leadership insists that any tax reform bill include a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), which will add a 20 percent tax on all imports coming into the U.S., while excluding exports."

Danny Britt

(none)

Bill Cook

(none)

Dan Bishop

NC athlete ‘fair-treatment’ bill nearing end zone? A look at its potential impacts
Herald Sun // Ray Gronberg // July 7, 2017

Summary: "Provided they can resolve their differences over a last-minute addition to the measure, a bill calling for a legislative study of what consultants call “fair treatment of college athletes” in the UNC system appears likely to clear the N.C. General Assembly this year."

  • "After making it through the N.C. Senate on a 49-0 vote in April, the proposal from Sens. Jeff Tarte, Warren Daniel and Dan Bishop got another unanimous, 111-0 endorsement in the state House just before legislators adjourned for the holiday."
  • "ButTarte, like Bishop a Republican from Mecklenburg County, thinks the issue of how college athletes should be treated has real traction, given the attention it’s getting in the national media."
  • "“There’s this gut feeling that says we’ve lost of the perspective of looking out for the student-athletes as a first priority,” Tarte said, explaining the bill’s appeal. “Like everything else, it tends to gravitate around money, and generating lots of revenue for the NCAA and the member institutions. We’re talking a multi-billion-dollar industry on the backs of these athletes.”"

Jim Davis

(none)

NCDP News / Mentions

Democrats look to 2020 Census to grain ground
N&O // Craig Jarvis // July 8, 2017

Summary: "North Carolina Democrats will take stock of state and national party successes and failures in their annual pep rally dinner program next weekend. Their keynote speaker will be former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is leading a new nationwide effort to reclaim a Democratic Party advantage in congressional and legislative redistricting after the 2020 U.S. Census."

  • "Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party, issued a statement saying the dinner will set the stage to fight for more favorable redistricting.“North Carolina is ground zero in the fight against gerrymandering and has suffered for five years under an unconstitutionally elected Republican legislature that has blocked progress at every turn and undermined our executive and judiciary branches,” Goodwin said."

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