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Video: Retired Appeals Court Judge Doug McCullough (R): vote against power grabbing constitutional amendments to stop GOP’s court packing scheme

Judge Doug McCullough, a retired Republican judge who served on the NC Court of Appeals from 2001-2008 and 2010-2017, spoke out against constitutional amendments that would assist in the GOP’s court-packing scheme. He called the Republican legislature’s constitutional amendments a “blatant power grab” that would only further their scheme to court pack.

Above, Judge McCullough explains his story, describing his resume and his time on the NC Court of Appeals. While describing his time on the Court of Appeals, McCullough confirms that the NC GOP is trying to pack the courts.

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New Nelson Dollar ad falsely claims he is “a leading advocate for women’s health”

Desperate to hold on to his decades-long career as a political insider and facing an incredibly strong challenger, Wake County Republican Nelson Dollar is misleading voters on his record on women’s health.

In an ad, Dollar claims he is “a leading advocate for women’s health.” However, as a key leader and main budget writer in the House, Dollar led Republicans in passing some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country.

As a House leader Dollar placed unnecessary and even creepy burdens on people seeking medical care and cut funding for basic programs:

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Rep. Ted Davis tried to block protections for survivors of rape using technicality.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) asked legislators to vote no on an amendment to one of his bills meant to clarify ambiguities in NC’s laws covering survivors of sexual assault or rape. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), offered protections for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.”

I don't believe I have the authority to change the language," Davis said, claiming the amendment was not relevant to the rest of his bill.

After Davis’s request, the majority of Republicans voted against offering legal protections for “date rape” survivors. The amendment passed by two votes, 56-54.

Beasley’s amendment “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.”

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Mark Johnson uses NC public schools email list as his personal blog

On Thursday morning North Carolina parents and caretakers with a child in NC public schools opened their inboxes to find an email about school safety from Superintendent Mark Johnson with the subject line “School Safety: A Message from NC Superintendent Mark Johnson.”

This message would alarm most parents, perhaps expecting an update about threats to school safety or specific action steps the school plans to take. Instead, Johnson offered tepid commitments in a form email that one expects to receive in campaign correspondence, not an educational necessity. Johnson, with likely 2020 aspirations, may be testing the waters of the DPI listserv as a way to get his name out.

It is not as if Mark Johnson has been free from scandal. In September 2018, Johnson appointed Joe Maimone as his chief of staff, the same man who once claimed that public schools were “milking” federal free and reduced lunch dollars. Moreover, Johnson and Maimone are not so far separated from the Charter School Industrial Complex™, or TeamCFA and Achievement for All Children, a network of charter schools funded by the religious right.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile update: Larry Yarborough (R-Person, Granville)

Yarborough simply follows his Republican colleagues lead and votes in line with his party, which has resulted in a lack of public education funding in North Carolina. Yarborough voted for multiple Republican budgets, all of which failed to meaningfully increase teacher pay and left NC nearly…

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North Carolina Candidate Profile: Andrew Heath (NC Court of Appeals)

Former Governor Pat McCrory’s budget director Andrew Heath landed a job as a judge during the final days of McCrory’s administration after the legislature used the December 2016 special session to add several Superior and District Court judge seats, so McCrory could appoint a few judges on his way out of office.

Heath is challenging incumbent judge John Arrowood for his seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals, the state’s second highest court. Arrowood was appointed to his seat in 2017 after Judge Doug McCullough resigned to foil Republicans’ court packing plan. Arrowood also served on the court from 2007 to 2008. Meanwhile, Heath’s primary credentials include three jobs given to him by Former Governor McCrory, creating major questions about his ability to be an independent and fair judge. 

Heath has a record of siding with business over people. He was chair of the Industrial Commission, his first (of three) McCrory appointments, and served on the board of a Koch-funded “workers’ education” nonprofit. Heath’s record on the Commission fundamentally altered its ability to protect North Carolina workers and decide workers’ compensation disputes; he stacked the deck against workers every time. 

Heath’s three most recent jobs were appointments by McCrory, calling into question his independence as a judge. His inexperience showed in his role as McCrory’s budget director. Heath’s budget left teachers behind, saying it showed restraint for not “showering money” on teachers to “gain political points.” He also downplayed the significant economic impacts of discriminatory HB2. 

Heath will be a close ally for Republicans on the court, placing partisanship ahead of the needs of some of the most vulnerable North Carolinians. He turned to Twitter just days after the election he took to Twitter, using questionable math to imply voter fraud should invalidate Roy Cooper’s defeat of McCrory. His willingness to use questionable data to defend his boss and political patron shows who he’ll stand up for on the state’s second highest court. 

Continue reading for more about Judge Andrew Heath, candidate for the NC Court of Appeals.

Source: News & Observer

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover)

Rep. Holly Grange is a rising star in the Republican Party and was quickly made Deputy Conference Leader by her Republican cohorts. Grange’s stardom is not surprising, she has been a reliable vote for leadership’s agenda since being appointed by McCrory.

Grange is also a reliable vote for laws that benefit out of state corporations. She prioritized tax breaks for corporations over raising teacher pay to the national average. Meanwhile, classroom spending remains below pre-recession levels with teachers spending thousands out of pocket on necessary supplies not covered by state budgets. More than half of those same teachers are forced to work a second job to make ends meet as teacher pay remains nearly $10,000 below the national average.

Grange’s votes aren’t just harmful in our classrooms. She voted to dismantle health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions while North Carolinians face some of the most expensive health care in the nation.

While dismantling health care and cutting funding for public schools, Grange gave Chemours lobbyists pet provisions in the 2018 budget even after chairing the committee tasked with handling the GenX crisis and protecting rivers from future problems. Instead of helping the people of New Hanover county clean up GenX, Grange sided with corporations while people’s water bills increased.

Click here for more about Grange's record.

Photo: NC Channel

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Top 10 issues at stake when you head to the ballot box

The wait is over- early voting began today.

For the past eight years a Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly has delivered crushing blows to the health, economic security, and safety of the people in the state. Beginning with then-House Speaker and now North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ “Divide and Conquer” approach to the most vulnerable populations in the state, Republican leadership has entrenched an institutional disdain for anyone who is not at the top of the economic ladder.

Here are ten issues at stake in this year’s election to think about when you approach the ballot box! Happy voting!

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Top 10 social media fails by Republicans in #ncpol

Some #ncpol officials have made some questionable social media choices and we’ve picked our ten favorite fails. They include tweets, questionable Twitter likes, spelling errors, and all-around bad social media etiquette…especially for someone serving in public office. While many of these are lighthearted in nature, several display concerning, often sexist, tendencies of some of the men seeking office this year.

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