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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. 
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House Judicial Redistricting Committee Meeting - September 19, 2017

The House Judicial Redistricting Committee met to hear from District Court Judge Athena Brooks, Superior Court Judge Joe Crosswhite and representatives from the North Carolina State Bar and North Carolina Bar Association.

With the exception of the NC State Bar which is not allowed to lobby, all entities oppose the current judicial redistricting plan presented in H717 and encourage the committee to proceed with a better researched, more transparent process.

The committee will meet again soon to discuss, and likely vote on, proposed changes to the judicial and prosecutorial districts currently proposed in H717. Real Facts NC will continue to provide updates on this process. 

Watch the entire committee meeting from September 19, 2017: 

 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: John Szoka (R-Cumberland)

This week Real Facts examines Representative John Szoka, an Ohio-born member of the Cumberland delegation to the NC House. Rep. Szoka is currently in his third term representing House District 45. Szoka is the Senior Chairman of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the Elections and Ethics Law Committee, the House Select Committee on Redistricting, and the House Rules Committee. Throughout his time at the General Assembly, Szoka has proven that he does not care about protecting working families. While working for a company that was sued for its predatory loan lending practices, Szoka has voted for multiple bills that directly target working and struggling North Carolinians. Read the full profile here.

 “There’s a larger percentage of people who work for government than work in healthcare, work in sales, work in manufacturing, or work in agriculture and that alone should tell you that there’s something wrong.” – John Szoka, currently serving his third term working for the government 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Representative John Blust (R-Guilford)

In this installment of the legislator profile series, Real Facts NC examines Representative John Blust, a member of the Guilford delegation serving nearly 20 years in the NC House and Senate. Often, Blust tries to portray himself as a political maverick but has found it difficult to stand up when it really counts. View the full profile here.

22.6 percent of Guilford County residents have been represented by John Blust for their entire lives. 

Rep. John Blust, rebel without a clue:

  • Blust voted against the best interests of his district by voting for disastrous HB2
    • HB2 cost Greensboro $23.5 million in losses of championships and conventions alone and nearly lost Greensboro NCAA and ACC tournaments until 2022, which would have cost another $118 million.
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Late release of data and maps led to “missed opportunity” during public hearings

Rep. David Lewis thought Tuesday’s lengthy public hearing process was a “missed opportunity.” He hoped to have “garnered a little more specifics for how we can improve the maps.”

A Nash county woman called the late release of information “an act of disrespect to all people of the state.” She called the lack of openness “a disgraceful act for public officials paid for with public dollars.”

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Video: House Redistricting Committee Meeting

The House Redistricting Committee met to adopt House redistricting plans. Democrats attempted to amend the plans to use maps provided by plaintiffs in the Covington case, but the amendment failed along party lines.

The House will discuss and vote on this redistricting plan on Monday. 

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VIDEO: Redistricting Public Hearings

Hear what North Carolinians had to say on new maps proposed by House and Senate Republicans.

In Halifax County the public hearing took place in one of the districts ruled an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. 

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North Carolina legislator profile: Representative Tim Moore (R – Cleveland)

In the second in a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at the Speaker of the House, Tim Moore.

Moore has represented Cleveland County since 2003 and became Speaker of the House in 2015.

After being named Speaker, Moore said, "I am committed to improving North Carolina through greater economic opportunity, less burdensome regulations and a new vision for educating and equipping our students.”

Below, read a summary of how Tim Moore has only succeeded in creating greater economic opportunity for himself, his friends, and donors, while his constituents in Cleveland County fall further behind. Read the full report here.

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