Get the Latest Updates from
Real Facts NC

Legislator Profile: Scott Stone and Andy Dulin (R-Mecklenburg)

In the next two installments of Real Facts NC's series of legislator profiles we focus on Charlotte-area representatives Scott Stone and Andy Dulin. 

Stone was appointed to the District 105 seat by former Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term after winning the election in November. Before serving in the NC House, Stone had tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics: he ran for the Arlington County Board in 1996 and ran for Charlotte mayor in 2011 and 2015. Rep. Scott Stone did not think the NCGA should change HB2 until Charlotte changed its own ordinance, even though HB2 cost Charlotte at least $100 million and he opposed all parts of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance, including protection for LGBT community. Stone claims he is concerned about education, but supported a Republican budget that shortchanges NC teachers and students. Read more on Stone here

Similarly, Dulin was elected to the District 104 seat in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term. Before serving in the NC House, Dulin tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics outside the Charlotte City Council. He ran for the Mecklenburg County Commission in 2004, ran for NC Senate in the 2008 primary, and Congress in 2012. Dulin is an out-of-touch member of Charlotte’s elite, putting his own advancement above the will of constituents and pushing the needs of corporations over students and teachers. Additionally, Dulin supported a measure that would make nondiscrimination ordinances subject to referendum less than a year after HB2 cost Charlotte millions. Read more on Dulin here

Read More

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Stephen Ross (R-Alamance)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at Representative Stephen Ross, who has represented Alamance County in the North Carolina House since 2013. Ross is currently the Deputy Majority Leader of the Republican House Caucus. Ross previously served as Mayor of Burlington and on the Burlington City Council. As a Vice President and an Investment Officer for Wells Fargo, Ross has used his three terms in the House to put the interests of banks, predatory lenders, and developers above North Carolina families. Ross has voted for measures that enhance the profits of predatory consumer finance companies and trap low-income people in a cycle of debt. In his 2012 campaign, Ross called for major regulatory reform to make the state competitive; however, he has instead made North Carolina competitive for his special interest donors and those who seek to prey on the most vulnerable. Read the full profile here.

We need comprehensive tax reform along with major regulatory reform to become competitive again.” – Stephen Ross

Summary

  • Stephen Ross is a Vice President and Investment Officer with Wells Fargo and has received at least $25,500 in PAC money from the financial services industry since 2012.
  • Amid an uncertain economic recovery in 2013, Stephen Ross voted to enhance the profits of predatory consumer finance companies as they further trapped low-income people in debt.
  • Stephen Ross voted for a bill that helps companies sell high-interest rate consumer loans, even after multiple warnings about these lenders to consumers from the Attorney General’s office.
  • Stephen Ross voted for a bill that eliminated a formal track for homeowners to protest development in their communities.
  • In 2013, 14,955 tax filers in Alamance county claimed the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which lawmakers allowed to expire that year. The tax credit went to people that worked but earned low wages, and the benefits totaled $1,668,976 in the county.
Read More

Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford) says complaints about unconstitutional racial gerrymandering ‘tedious’

Rep. John Blust is starting to find complying with the Constitution to be “tedious.”

During last week’s judicial redistricting meeting, he seemed confused as to why there were race complaints in the redistricting process:

“I just believe that if we were sitting here and there were no districts that it looked like an African-American would be very very likely to win, you’d have some of the same people objecting to the bill on that ground. It seems a little bit disconcerting to sit here and hear what sound like complaints that there’s districts, my gosh there’s districts where African-Americans are very likely to win and knowing that if you didn’t have those districts, the same people would be complaining that you didn’t have them. And just going through this in redistricting, hearing these complaints over and over, it gets a little bit tedious.”

Read More

Republicans tired of losing in courts still seek to stack superior courts

RALEIGH—Real Facts North Carolina today released an updated analysis of new judicial maps proposed this week. Using the gubernatorial election results from 2016 as a benchmark, the Real Facts report finds that under proposed maps the number of republican held seats could nearly double going from 31 to 58 judgeships.

Statewide results in the gubernatorial race were nearly even between Democrats and Republicans, 48% to 48%. But in their judicial gerrymander, the GOP picks their voters to turn an even slate into a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.  

Fourteen times, laws enacted by this unconstitutional General Assembly have been found unconstitutional. Laws that have rigged the system and earned North Carolina headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Whether it’s restricting women’s access to health care, the worst voter suppression law in the country, or gerrymandering legislative districts by race these unconstitutional actions by the Republican led General Assembly have hurt citizens across the state. 

“North Carolina is a 50-50 state that gave their electors to Republican Donald Trump while electing Democrat Roy Cooper governor. Republicans, upset by their losing streak in courts where 14 of their laws have been overturned on a constitutional basis, now seek to use a partisan gerrymander to rig the courts.”

Download the report here (PDF).

###

Read More

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Linda Hunt Williams (R-Wake)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. This time we look at freshman Representative Linda Hunt Williams, going back to her days as a school choice advocate in Charlotte and as Deputy Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. Williams was an early advocate for private school vouchers, spending state money to send kids to private schools. She was also an original “tea partier” advocating for less government and fewer taxes while working for the Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy. Read the full profile here.

Summary:

Williams has always been a proponent of charter schools and vouchers, but voted to weaken N.C. public schools

  • She promised to improve schools if elected, but instead sponsored a bill that even NACSA, a national charter school advocacy group, advised against. 
  • H779 would allow charter schools to grow by 30 percent before changing their charter, would allow students enrolled in any NC charter school to receive priority enrollment at another charter school, would disaggregate performance data, and would allow charter schools to operate Pre-K programs with state funds.
  • Williams voted for the 2017 Republican budget that shortchanged teachers and allocated $45 million to the controversial school voucher program, despite promises to improve education as a member of the General Assembly.

 Williams got her political start with U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth, and later moved to Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy

  • Williams has a history of advocating for conservative causes and was an original “tea partier” who organized Koch-funded protests at the NC General Assembly demanding fewer taxes and less government
  • Williams was the Deputy Director of N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy between 2001 and 2002. During that time, the group unsuccessfully sued Gov. Mike Easley, faced criticism for lobbying for dropping antitrust action against Microsoft after accepting contributions from Microsoft, and protested at the General Assembly.
  • Williams’ support of the 2017 Republican budget highlights the hypocrisy of these groups. The budget cut taxes for corporations, but failed to re-establish the childcare income tax credit that would have helped over 200,000 families.
Read More

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Ken Goodman (D-Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond, Robeson & Scotland)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. Despite high unemployment and poverty in his district, Goodman supported policies that favored corporations over teachers, students and families. The 2017 budget lowered the corporate income tax rate, but failed to help low-income North Carolinians with things like a child care tax credit. Instead, tax cuts were prioritized over funding public schools and pre-K. Goodman has a history of votes that hurt education, helping Republicans erode teacher pay and per pupil spending in the state. While people in his district struggle to make ends meet, Goodman votes in favor of big corporations, not “main street.” Read the full profile here

"I voted conservative, and I'm pretty happy about that." -Rep. Ken Goodman

Read More

North Carolina Legislator Profile: William Brisson (D-Bladen, Johnston, Sampson)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at William Brisson, who has represented House District 22 since 2006. Rep. Brisson is the current vice-chairman of four House standing committees, including Agriculture and Appropriations. Brisson claims that he wants to protect and help those who cannot do so themselves, but his record tells a different story. Brisson has consistently voted to makes things worse for folks in his district, from cuts to education to ending tax credits for working families making less than $40,000 per year. Read the full report here.

In 2013, Brisson said, “It has been about the people and will always be about the people with me.” Despite Brisson’s assertion that it is about the people, his time in Raleigh has proven otherwise.

Read More

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Michael Wray (D-Halifax and Northampton)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at Representative Michael Wray, who has represented Northeastern North Carolina since 2005. Wray has held several leadership positions within the House Democratic Caucus including Deputy Democratic Leader. As a legislator, Wray has touted his experience as a small business owner and as someone who fights for working families. In 2014, Wray said, “I have a record of leadership, accountability and responsibility to the people I serve and the people who elect me.” However, despite Wray’s assertions about his record, he has used his time in office to get ahead, while the people he represents have fallen further behind in a changing economy. Read the full profile here

Between July 2011 and June 2013, Michael Wray bought fuel 427 times, spending $28,000, enough to travel over 100,000 miles. Wray could have traveled the length of North Carolina 178 times. 
Read More
View All