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Real Facts NC seeking records from Senator Bishop on his meetings with lobbyists and connections to NCGOP Corruption Scandal

Real Facts NC seeking records from Senator Bishop on his meetings with lobbyists and connections to NCGOP Corruption Scandal

Bishop concealed meetings with lobbyists and distanced himself from the Robin Hayes indictment and Mark Harris election fraud. What isn’t he telling voters?

Real Facts NC filed requests with the office of NC Senator Bishop for correspondence with key lobbyists and special interests, as well as actors related to corruption within his party.

The group is specifically seeking Senator Bishop’s calendar, to understand who he meets with in his public office, information Senator Bishop previously refused to share. Senator Bishop’s refusal to share who he met with underlines the inexplicable fact he was the only Senator, of either party, to vote against legislation that would make prescription drugs more affordable.  

Real Facts also seeks Senator Bishop’s correspondence with Rev. Mark Harris, who he endorsed, as well as Kelly Tain, Bishop’s long-time campaign manager and a political consultant. Tain also worked for Harris on his now-invalidated campaign for the 9th District seat that was “tainted” by election fraud. 

Records concerning Bishop’s ties to recently indicted NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes are also sought to find out if he is using his public office for political work.  Bishop tried distance himself from Hayes and  outgoing Executive Director of the NCGOP Dallas Woodhouse in recent weeks. 

 

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“Black women die way too often when giving birth”

The S359 floor debate consisted of a series of blatantly false and sensationalist claims about health care, absent one voice in the chamber who chose to speak truth to power. After listening to her Republican colleagues escalate a political debate over a non-existent phenomenon of “infants born alive” after an abortion, Sen Erica Smith chose to combat hollow rhetoric with a personal story with widespread implications for health care in this state.

Smith, a Democrat who represents northeastern North Carolina, chose to speak about her experience receiving care after giving birth to a premature, severely underweight child. In 2007, she gave birth early to a 1lb 1oz baby boy. Having experienced health complications during that pregnancy Smith explained how grappling with the fact that she had other children who needed her ultimately colored her decision when the doctors, after trying everything they could, asked her to choose between saving the baby or herself. Her experience, she said, was her driving motivation to oppose S359 and advocate for better maternal health care instead.

Smith’s story underscored that when it comes to reproductive care, Black people who give birth are not only suffering complications, but dying at a disproportionately high rate. Black women are three to four times more likely to die during or after childbirth than white women.In the face of a sea “pro-life” activists in the gallery, Smith highlighted the hypocrisy of politicians who make it their mission to foreclose access to abortion yet take no political action to address racial disparities in birth care.

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2019 NEA Report shows drop in per student spending in North Carolina

NEA released its 2019 Rankings and Estimates report last Monday. Updates show some positive changes, though the state still falls near the bottom in per student spending and average teacher salary.

Per student spending in NC remains near the bottom as Republican budgets consistently fail to meet classroom needs, spending nearly $3,000 below the national average per student.

  • The state dropped in rank from 39thto 42nd in per student spending between the 2016-17 school year and final 2017-18 numbers.
  • NEA’s 2018 report estimated the state would rank 39th in per student spending for 2017-18. Revised numbers drop NC to 42nd.
  • NC spends $2,957 below the national average per student.

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The State of Public Education in NC: 2019

Since Republicans have taken power, we’ve witnessed a shrinking commitment to public education at all levels. While funding remains mired at pre-recession levels, Republicans prioritize tax cuts for corporations and those at the top. We need to invest in our teachers and students.

Thousands of N.C. teachers are gathered in Raleigh to ask lawmakers to prioritize education while the House Appropriations Committee meets to discuss the state’s 2019-20 budget. How did we get here?

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt)

Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt) is currently serving his fifth term in the North Carolina Senate. Before his election, Davis taught sociology at Lenoir Community College, Pitt Community College, and East Carolina University. He also served eight years of active duty in the Air Force. Davis got his start in politics as the mayor of Snow Hill, serving from 2001 to 2008.

Davis supported Republican leadership instead of standing up for the people in his district. Davis voted for a Republican budgets that shortchanged teachers and cut taxes for corporations instead of raising per pupil spending. He again stood with Republicans and voted to dismantle health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Read more here.

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Teacher donation requests display the legislature’s failure to fund classroom needs

The 2019 budget included a provision to grant a site called DonorsChoose, which connects teachers with crowdfunding for classroom supplies and other needs. The budget provision faced criticism because it specifically funded requests only in then-Sen. Jeff Tarte’s district. DonorsChoose decided to turn down the funding rather than single out specific teachers for help.

Real Facts examined a sample of the requests made on the DonorsChoose website by North Carolina teachers throughout the month of March 2019 and found that basic needs (supplies available at an office supply store) made up 24 percent of requests, following technology needs as the second most common request category. Teachers across the state turned to an independent crowdfunding website to ask for paper, markers, pencils for EOG testing, and whiteboards because state funding remains consistently inadequate on this front.

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REPORT PREVIEW: 2020 Legislative Races to Watch

With the Republican supermajority broken in both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature following the 2018 election, 2020 will be a crucial election for both Democrats and Republicans. Republicans will be looking to hold onto their majorities, while Democrats will need to work hard to hold onto the gains they’ve made while expanding into new areas. In addition, despite their crucial role in post-census redistricting, legislative races will have to compete with Presidential, Gubernatorial, and US Senate races for attention.

Following is our initial look at the 28 House and 17 Senate districts we think will be crucial to the 2020 legislative elections. These districts were chosen based on analysis of 2018 election results and campaign finance reports, as well as long-term district data.

In the coming weeks, look for a full report with details on incumbents and their district with reports on Council of State and State Supreme Court races to follow.

These Races to Watch are an an initial look at the 2020 landscape. Redistricting litigation is ongoing at the state and federal levels and the Wake County House districts will need to be redrawn before the next election. Due to this and a number of other factors this list is likely to change as the election approaches.

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What did Greg Lindberg want from Dan Forest?

Real Facts NC seeking records from Department of Insurance, Lt. Governor Dan Forest that could provide crucial insight into ties to Greg Lindberg, bribery scandal

Real Facts NC filed requests with the NC Department of Insurance and the Lieutenant Governor’s office Thursday seeking records of contact with Greg Lindberg and other indicted individuals, and public figures with known relationships to Lindberg and his network in the bribery scandal rocking the NCGOP.

The group is specifically seeking all correspondence between both departments and Robin Hayes, Greg Lindberg, John Gray, and John Palermo, the four men indicted on bribery charges, as well as correspondence between both departments and Rep. Mark Walker, mentioned in the indictment as “Public Official A.” Real Facts is also seeking correspondence between the departments and former Sen. Wes Meredith (R-Cumberland) who took nearly $40,000 from Lindberg and immediately filed a bill backed by Lindberg’s Eli Global.

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