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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's newest baseless claim: “We’re like, the most transparent people ever.”


Today on a Wilmington-based talk radio show Lt. Governor Dan Forest bragged about his commitment to transparency.

“We have the most aboveboard campaign that's ever existed in the history of NC. We're like, the most transparent people ever. Everything we do shows up on Facebook. So you don't have to search very far to figure out what we're doing on any given day.” - Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, 2/12/2020

His comment comes after Forest refused to return a request for public records for 10 months. These records could provide crucial insight into the Lt. Governor’s ties to Greg Lindberg, the man at the center of the bribery scandal involving the state Republican Party. Lindberg’s federal corruption trial is scheduled to begin early next week in Charlotte.

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2020 Legislative Races to Watch: February Update

This report highlights the 27 House and 14 Senate districts most likely to be competitive this cycle. This assessment incorporates candidate fundraising information where available, detailed analysis of new legislative districts (including past Democratic performance and demographic information), and other qualitative data about each candidate. Expect the list to shift as the election approaches and new information becomes available. 

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Real Facts NC sues Lt. Governor’s Office for Lindberg records

North Carolinians deserve to know what financier sought from Dan Forest


RALEIGH – Real Facts NC filed suit in Wake County Superior Court Monday seeking public records that could provide crucial insight into Lt. Governor Dan Forest’s ties to Greg Lindberg, the man at the center of the bribery scandal  involving the state Republican Party.

Lindberg’s federal corruption trial is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, February 18, in Charlotte.

Last week WRAL reported on an email that revealed Forest aide Hal Weatherman requested a meeting between Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey, Greg Lindberg and John Gray. Both Lindberg and Gray were indicted along with former NCGOP Chair Robin Hayes for attempting to bribe Causey. The indictments go to trial next week in federal court in Charlotte. 

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Abysmal fundraising period for Phil Berger, Jr., leads to questions about his powerful father’s influence, ethics scandals

2019 end of year campaign finance reports trickled in last week following the January 31 deadline and included a few surprises, not least of which was Judge Phil Berger, Jr.’s, extreme cash disadvantage compared to the rest of the field of Supreme Court candidates.

Berger, Jr., ended 2019 with only slightly more than $93K on hand while fellow Republican candidates Paul Newby and Tamara Barringer have more than $400K and $200K, respectively. The Democratic field is similarly situated to Barringer and Newby, putting Berger, Jr., at a financial disadvantage. 


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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Davie, Forsyth)

Joyce Krawiec is a 74-year-old Republican senator, real estate broker, and longtime conservative political operative. Krawiec first became politically involved in Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) in the mid 1990s and early 2000s. CSE was a Koch-funded group with a conservative agenda that was run by a tobacco heir and two Koch family members. Krawiec previously said she had “no desire to run for office” or turn her activism into paid work because it would “limit her independence.”Krawiec later held multiple leadership roles at FreedomWorks, a split off group from CSE. In 2012 Krawiec was one of the Freedom Platform’s “commissioners” for a platform that included repealing Obamacare, “Reining in the EPA,” and “Eliminating the Department of Education.”  Krawiec later joined the ranks of the NCGOP establishment and was appointed to the SD31 seat. She then won reelection in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Krawiec has not had a close general election race yet. New districts in 2020 may change that.

Krawiec, a high-ranking conservative senator who chairs the Committee on Health Care, opposes the Affordable Care Act and refuses to close the coverage gap for uninsured North Carolinians. A 2019 budget chair, Krawiec called the Republican budget, which failed to expand Medicaid and cut millions of dollars from the program, “good,” “solid,” and “bipartisan.” Not only does Krawiec not support Medicaid expansion, which would close the coverage gap for more than half a million North Carolinians and is 90 percent funded by the federal government, but she also supported a Republican budget that underfunded Medicaid by more than $60 million and included a $15 million cut.

As a 2019 budget chair, Krawiec did not give teachers adequate raises and failed to restore Masters’ pay. The 2019 Republican budget would give teachers an average raise of 3.9 percent over the next two years while Gov. Cooper’s budget included an 8.5 percent raise for teachers. Additionally,the 2019 Republican budget would include raises of less than 1 percent for education support staff like custodians and cafeteria workers. 

Krawiec supported multiple bills based on junk science that place extreme restrictions on reproductive health care in the state and criminalize doctors. She sponsored a bill based on a problem that does not exist, which would mandate care for “infants born alive” after an abortion attempt and would make doctors liable to be charged with a felony. Krawiec sponsored bills that required people to wait three days before accessing abortion care, would have required doctors to give medically inaccurate information to patients about “abortion reversal” despite opposition from the medical community, and make most second-trimester abortion procedures illegal.  

Despite saying “we can’t afford to line Duke’s pockets,” Krawiec voted to allow Duke Energy to shift costs of cleaning up coal ash onto consumers. Though previously opposed Duke’s systems of carbon credits, saying, “we can’t afford to line Duke’s pockets,” Krawiec has received thousands in campaign cash from Duke Energy PAC. Krawiec also voted for an early version of S559, which Duke lobbied “heavily” for, and would have made it easier for Duke to shift costs onto consumers. Read more here.

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Surging farm bankruptcies point to Trump’s tariffs crushing NC family farms

This week the American Farm Bureau Federation released its 2019 report which, despite its bleak outlook, should give Rep. David Lewis some comfort.

The federation found that farm bankruptcies increased nearly 20 percent from 2018 and 2019 only trails 2010, the year following the Great Recession, in farm bankruptcy increases.

The Southeast experienced a 48 percent increase in farm bankruptcy filings from 2018. The second most of all US regions.

(American Farm Bureau Federation, 1/29/20)
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Races to Watch: 2019 End of Year Campaign Finance Reports

2019 end of year campaign finance reports were due January 31, 2020. Here we've aggregated totals for candidates on our 2020 Races to Watch list as well as key statewide races. Check back frequently for updates!

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Video: UPDATE: Rep. Mickey Michaux's Farewell Speech

Rep. Mickey Michaux's farewell speech on the House floor given June 29, 2018. 

Michaux was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Floyd McKissick. He was sworn in on Jan 14, 2020 and served for one day. He gave this followup farewell speech on the Senate floor on January 14, 2020.

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