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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash)

Sen. Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash) is currently serving his second term in the North Carolina Senate. Prior to his election to Senate, Horner served as a board member of the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Board for over fourteen years.

Since his election in 2016, Horner has made inconsistent claims about his support for health care access and education. Horner said the state should “take a serious look” at Medicaid expansion, but provided no further information on his position. Horner supported the 2019 budget, which failed to expand Medicaid. The 2019 Republican budget would have cut DHHS’s budget by $42 million.

Horner said he wants to bring urgency, accountability, and quality to education in North Carolina but as a lawmaker his votes did not support these claims. Horner, whose wife is a teacher, campaigned on teacher pay and said, “we need to listen to teachers,” but criticized the teacher rally and failed to follow through with his votes. Horner was the primary sponsor of a bill requiring school districts to repeal discipline policies that warned about racial disparities. Read more here.

"Not everyone up here was screaming bloody murder," Horner said when asked about the tensions between lawmakers and educators.” (Rocky Mount Telegram, 5/17/18)


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Elusive Sen. Burr joins Republican establishment support of Tillis as primary heats up

Even NC’s other Senator, Richard Burr, who usually avoids speaking publicly, found strong words in opposition to Tillis’s primary challenger Garland Tucker. Politico reported that Burr said Tucker’s election campaign was nothing more than Conservative strategist and the late Sen. Jesse Helms aide Carter Wrenn’s “retirement fund.”

“This is Carter Wrenn’s retirement fund. That’s the only reason he’s got Garland running,” Burr said of the race. (Politico, 11/18/19)

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Tom [insert financial problem here] Fetzer’s pitch on ECU financial management

The fallout from the firing of ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach has unveiled the depths of mismanagement and blatant ego on the UNC Board of Governors (BOG). In the most recent twist, an email released by the UNC System shows that lobbyist and BOG member Tom Fetzer’s private investigation into allegations against Gerlach, possibly stem from Fetzer seeking the position for himself. Specifically, prior to Gerlach’s appointment, Fetzer concocted a hackneyed plan that included a transition speech and action plan for the first few weeks of his appointment as interim chancellor.

According to the News & Observer, the email contains bullet points for a speech that included a note to insert an “inspirational quote,” and the outlines of a plan “for restoring ECU’s fiscal health.” The plan consisted of Fetzer committing a total of two hours a day of work in his first week on the job on financial management and student recruitment. Fetzer apparently pitched a half-baked plan to “Rescue ECU” by promising to work two hours a day.

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Was Peter Romary trying to expedite the release of the Gerlach tapes by offering the Assistant City Attorney a Judicial Appointment?

This week WBTV broke a story based on published emails that Tom Shanahan, the top lawyer for the UNC System, sent two cease and desist letters to Peter Romary, an attorney who had allegedly represented himself as a lawyer for the UNC System. Romary was in fact retained by individuals on the Board of Governors (BOG) to obtain damning video footage of ECU’s interim chancellor Dan Gerlach. The story implicates at least two BOG members, one of whom, Harry Smith, resigned from the board hours after emails became public.

BOG member Tom Fetzer hired Romary, who also invoked House Majority Leader John Bell to acquire video of since-resigned interim chancellor of ECU. Smith also hired Romary in the past. Notably, Fetzer previously asked Romary to investigate a chancellor candidate for WCU  and ultimately derailed the search by breaking confidentiality.

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Moore’s bill for college boosters could be more about helping his career than student athletes.

A bill that could lighten the responsibilities for college booster clubs is up for discussion again, and Republican House Speaker Tim Moore could become its greatest benefactor.  Following the late September announcement that Interim UNC System President Bill Roper would be stepping do…

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Republicans don’t deserve credit for their sudden interest in fair maps

In what appears to be a sudden change of heart, House lawmakers met Thursday to discuss three bills that would establish different versions of a “nonpartisan” redistricting process, H140, H69, and H648. All three bills enjoyed large coalitions of bipartisan sponsors when they were filed in February and April 2019. However, for six to eight months Republican leaders refused to grant hearings and the bills were stalled until Thursday’s discussion. Legislative staff shared a chart dissecting the differences between each bill pictured below from journalist Jeff Tiberii

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: UPDATED Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford)

Jon Hardister, the House Majority Whip and close ally of Speaker Tim Moore, was elected to represent Guilford County in 2012. Hardister played a key role in the recent ambush vote to override the Governor’s veto of the 2019 Republican budget. Hardister texted rank-and-file Republicans to “be in your seats” during the floor session in which Rep. David Lewis told Democrats there would be no votes. Hardister’s participation in the deception on September 11, 2019, is just the latest on a long list of times he said one thing but did another.

“As Hardister knows well, North Carolina’s motto is “Esse quam videri”— “To be, rather than to seem.” I’m starting to suspect that he has it the other way around.” -Greensboro News & Record, Opinion, 10/13/19

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Justice Newby’s derogatory comments on other justices run against judicial standards, North Carolinians may never know if they were even investigated.

Photo Credit: News & Observer

In July, several NC news outlets reported on comments NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Paul Newby made at a Republican Party event. At the time, several legal experts weighed in, explaining that these comments were uncharacteristic and unbecoming of a sitting judge. Newby’s comments violate NC’s Code of Judicial Conduct by undermining the integrity and independence of the court and weakening the public’s confidence in the judicial system. Newby’s comments, including his attempts to raise money for other Republicans, demonstrated he is easily swayed by partisan interests, and he violated the Code’s prohibition against soliciting funds for other candidates.

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