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UPDATED REPORT: NC Legislature Races to Watch 2018

With Democrats in 170 legislative seats, Republicans in 169, and even Libertarians filing in 35 legislative districts, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal legislative elections in North Carolina history. And with no race on the ballot above Supreme Court, these elections will get more attention than ever before.

This report combines an analysis of district voting data, national and state polling plus qualitative factors like local issues and relative candidate strength. In total, we think that 35 House races and 13 Senate races are shaping up to have competitive campaigns run by both of the major parties in districts that could conceivably go to either. We have also identified a handful of other races worth keeping an eye on for other reasons.

We’ll look at the 35 House races and 13 Senate races we think will be the most competitive in the fall and a handfull of other races we think will be interesting to watch for other reasons. Read the House report here and the Senate report here

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SB607 “TABOR” Is a Terrible Idea

S817 is a Millionaires Protection Act Making the Middle Class Tax Shift Permanent  S817 – The “Millionaires Protection Act” is meant to make Republican Politicians radical tax shift from those at the top to working families permanent  The “Millionaires P…

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Video: “The horror:” N.C. Republicans again show they’re out of touch with the reality of teaching in N.C.

During discussion of the 2018 Republican budget, Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gaston) used the example of his father, a teacher and principal in the 1950s, to explain how easy teachers have it in 2018.

“When my dad taught back in the 1950s he got paid for nine months a year” Rep. Bumgardner said, “and in the summer he would go get a job and work, the horror.”

“The horror” 

N.C. has the third highest number of teachers working second jobs outside of the school system.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by EdNCover half of all North Carolina teachers have a second job. Though the data doesn’t clarify whether those jobs are specifically held over the summer, it is pretty apparent that teachers in 2018 are working just as hard as Rep. Bumgardner’s father did to make ends meet.

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Opinion: When your governing philosophy becomes a political liability

Republican leaders in Raleigh have taken unprecedented steps to pass this year’s budget behind closed doors. They will likely finish that up Friday, and they don’t plan to do much else this session so they can get back to fundraising from lobbyists and glad-handing in their districts. It is clear they have been forced to limit the amount of time they spend doing the jobs they were elected to do because Republican priorities have proven so deeply unpopular that even members once in safely gerrymandered districts face real challengers.

Seven years ago, shortly after historic wins brought Republicans into control of both chambers of the legislature for the first time in a decade, Thom Tillis, then the newly elected House Speaker laid out their agenda in a candid moment caught on camera. Tillis said that their philosophy was one to “divide and conquer” North Carolinians. Nearly a decade into Republican control we can see Tillis’s philosophy has been implemented with almost surgical precision.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Larry Yarborough (R-Person/Granville)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Larry Yarborough, the Republican from House District 2. Before joining the General Assembly in 2014, Yarborough was a County Commissioner in Person County.

Yarborough has a degree in chemical engineering and was the primary sponsor of H56, a bill that provided GenX funding and was tied to the repeal of the plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks.

Yarborough has consistently voted for more tax cuts over public education. He voted for the 2017 Republican budget that continue the trend of cutting taxes rather than raising per pupil spending and the 2016 and 2015 budgets that let education spending in NC fall even further behind.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Debra Conrad (R-Forsyth)

In the next installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series, we examine Representative Debra Conrad of Forsyth County. Conrad joined the NC House in 2012 after serving 18 years as a Forsyth County Commissioner. Conrad used her Tea Party mentality to defend cuts to schools in Forsyth County long before Republicans in the General Assembly were doing the same. When she joined the NC House in 2012, she was just in time to support education overhaul that continues to hurt teachers and students across the state. Read more here.

“I was a Tea Party person before there was a Tea Party” –Rep. Debra Conrad (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/13/10)

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Where in the world is Dan Forest?

North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has been noticeably absent from several key events in the state so far in 2017.

  • Most recently, Forest was in Salt Lake City, Utah and missed the NC Senate’s budget debate on May 11-12. (A budget that would add three people to his security detail btw, see below)

The NC Senate debated the budget on May 11 from about 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. They came back into session for the third reading at 12:05 a.m. on May 12. Forest, who’s role as Lt. Gov. makes him President of the Senate, did not preside over either session. Instead Forest was presiding over an empty chamber in the Utah Senate.

  

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North Carolina legislator profile: Senator Phil Berger (R – Rockingham)

Over the next several months Real Facts NC will release a series of reports on key North Carolina legislators and how their work impacts the people in their districts. In the first of the series we’ll take a look at the man claimed by many to be the most powerful individual in state government, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.

Berger has represented Rockingham County since 2001 and became minority leader in 2004 and Senate President Pro Tem, the leader of the Senate, in 2011. While Berger has succeeded in Raleigh enacting his conservative agenda, Rockingham county has seen more than its fair share of setbacks in recent years. 

Read below a summary of how while Phil Berger has gotten ahead in Raleigh, Rockingham has fallen behind. Find the full report: here.

(Dwane Powell, The News & Observer)

 

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14 S P O O K Y things the Republican-led NCGA has done

It was (probably) midnight, and hiding under the cover of a racial gerrymander, the Republican-led General Assembly passed laws that hurt the people of North Carolina…

Thankfully, the good witches (and wizards) of the court struck down 14 of those such laws that as unconstitutional, restoring some order to the spooky state.

Not to be foiled again, Republicans began an attack on the courts, at the same time opposing a court-appointed special master who would remedy the racial gerrymander after refusing to submit names for consideration. 

At Real Facts we hope this scary tale will come to an end soon, but before it does, see if you can read all the way through these 14 frights: 

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