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.
Rep. John Blust, rebel without a clue:
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.Read More
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.
Former Republican House member Robert Bryan III lost to Democrat Mary Belk in the November 2016 election, but his loss couldn’t have stung much. In April 2017 Bryan was appointed by the House to the UNC Board of Governors and was sworn in for his four-year term at the end of June. …Read More
Proud garbage juice proponent Rep. Jimmy Dixon recently said about House Bill 576, “The genesis of this idea goes back to chemical warfare.”
North Carolina Republican legislators, who have lined their pockets with at least $34,200 from the waste industry, want to unleash a process on North Carolinians that has its origins as a weapon of mass destruction.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Clearly, the health and safety of our citizens is not part of the agenda for North Carolina Republicans.
Rightfully so this bill was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper.
Real Facts NC today released a report that ranks the 20 Republican state lawmakers most likely to face more competitive districts when maps are redrawn. Last week, the US Supreme Court affirmed that North Carolina’s current maps are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, but GOP leaders are dragging their feet. Meanwhile, rank and file legislators are predictably anxious about their new districts.
“I’m sure GOP leaders have new maps drawn already, but they’re not letting anyone see them,” said Daniel Gilligan, Executive Director of Real Facts NC. “So we’re going to try and pull back the curtain a bit to give everyone a peek at what the political landscape might look like in the next election.”
“Without unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, GOP leaders will be hamstrung in their ability to draw maps that will preserve their legislative super-majorities. Some safely-held GOP districts will have to be more competitive and some rank-and-file members will be facing their first competitive election in years,” said Gilligan.
Here are the Top 20:
1. Bob Steinburg
2. Larry Yarborough
3. John Bell
4. Susan Martin
5. (Tie) Reps. Jon Hardister, John Faircloth and John Blust
8. Trudy Wade
9. John Szoka
10. Jeff Collins
11. Greg Murphy
12. Jimmy Dixon
13. Chad Barefoot
14. Wesley Meredith
15. (Tie) Reps. Andy Dulin and Scott Stone
17. (Tie) Sens. Dan Bishop and Jeff Tarte
19. Brenden Jones
20. Rick Horner
Though there are several key sticking points between House and Senate versions of the budget that need to be negotiated, neither version holds a candle to the Cooper plan. As the Raleigh News & Observer said, Cooper’s budget offers a “better vision” for North Carolina.
The Senate budget provides no cost-of-living adjustment for retired state employees, and the House version includes only a one-time bonus of 1.6 percent. When House Democrats tried to increase the cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees with an annual adjustment of 2 percent, Speaker Moore successfully tabled the amendment. With the House “adamant” to include the retiree bonus in the final budget, cost of living adjustments might become a sticking point between chambers.
The wind farm moratorium could be a deal breaker as the House might not have enough votes to override a Cooper veto if the final budget contains a moratorium. The Senate’s version of the budget includes a three-year moratorium on wind farms. Several key members of the House, including Rep. Bob Steinburg, said they could not support a budget with a wind energy moratorium.
The chambers do not agree on the greatest needs in education funding. The Senate’s budget included a $75 million fund that would help pay for school repair and construction in poor counties. The House directs more money toward financial aid for college students and K-12 buses instead.Read More
North Carolina would join just 11 other states in doing away with concealed weapons permits under House Bill 746. Under current law, concealed carry weapons permits are issued by law enforcement after individuals pass a minimal background check. North Carolina would become one of 12 states that do not require any type of permit for concealed handguns and would treat concealed handguns the same way as visible handguns.
Rep. Chris Millis (R-Onslow, Pender) argued in committee that people could violate concealed carry laws when they wear jackets in the wintertime. Apparently this bill is more about fashion than doing the bidding of the NRA.