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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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Legislators set date for redistricting public hearings

The joint legislative redistricting committee has set a date and locations for a public hearing on the redistricting process. The public hearing will be on Tuesday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m. Following, is a list of all locations, including remote sites, that will participate in the public hearing:

 

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UPDATED: Could Duke Energy be planning to spray coal ash waste?

August 14, 2017: A coal ash dump in Chatham County run by Duke Energy contractor Charah now has a 90-day permit to collect the liquid it leaks and spray it into the air, but Courtney Wood at UNC-Chapel Hill's school of public health says the process "negates any basic chemistry from high school."

So yes, a Duke Energy contractor plans to use this process for coal ash.

Charah CEO Charles Price contributed at least $22,000 in 2016 and 2017 to NC Republicans, including Berger and Moore. Additionally, Charah has a history of violating permits. The company was previously cited at least twice by NC for starting construction at sites without required permits, but received no fine under Gov. McCrory’s DEQ.

June 1, 2017: The fluid that collects beneath landfills, referred to as leachate, could soon be sprayed into the air, thanks to House Bill 576 sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon.

The aerosolization of leachate, or “garbage juice in a snow blower”, is an unproven and untested technology.

Via NC Policy Watch
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Senator Thom Tillis will have a town hall in-person if people use their “inside voices.”

US Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has hosted at least six Facebook Live town halls or Q&A sessions in 2017. He has not hosted an in-person town hall at all this year despite promising in April he’d have one in May or June.

Tillis has drawn criticism for not holding any town hall meetings during the recent recess from Congress.”

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