North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance)

This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Representative Dennis Riddell, a Republican from Snow Camp, N.C., in Alamance County. Riddell was first elected to the NC House in 2012, and is now in his third term having run unopposed in 2014 and 2016. Riddell’s bid for the House was hardly his first foray into the #ncpol scene. Riddell served as the Alamance County GOP Chair and was active with the Koch-funded NC Citizens for a Sound Economy in the early 2000s.

Riddell spends his time in the General Assembly continuing to advance the Koch's national conservative agenda. He supported corporate tax cuts at the expense of students and teachers, even afterpromising ABSS Board of Education members he would stop the NCGA from cutting TA positions. Riddell supports deregulation in favor of big businesses over protecting clean soil, air, and water for North Carolinians. Read more on him here

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New report highlights that North Carolina public education is falling further behind the rest of the country

The National Education Association released its annual report Monday. It highlights that, despite political talking points, North Carolina continues to rank near the bottom of teacher pay and per pupil spending when compared to the rest of the country.

  • Revised 2017 teacher pay ranking dropped NC to 39th in the nation. 
  • Average NC teacher salary for 2017-18 is $9,600 less than the national average
  • Per student spending for 2018 saw no change in ranking from 2017, still over $2,400 below national average


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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Rep. Donny Lambeth from District 75. Lambeth is a chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the Health Committee, and the Health Care Reform Committee. He is also a member of the Education – K-12 Committee and the Education – Universities Committee. Before being elected to the General Assembly in 2012, Lambeth worked for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for 40 years. During his career, Lambeth held 17 different job titles, including president, and saw his compensation package reach $1.2 million. Lambeth also served as chairman on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education for 18 years. Lambeth was a “controversial” chairman, characterized as “belligerent” by some parents and teachers. Read the full profile here

“Get in touch with state lawmakers and county commissioners and urge them to support education.” – Column written by Donny Lambeth (Winston-Salem Journal, 2/10/11)

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TBT: Just some of the times Dallas Woodhouse has been caught in a lie

Cambridge Analytica has stirred up a lot of trouble for quite a few politicians, including NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse. Dallas was recently caught lying about the hiring of foreign nationals by the North Carolina Republican Party and in honor of this most recent deception, we thought we’d break down the top four times Dallas has been caught in a lie.


-Probably Dallas Woodhouse

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Updated: Cambridge Analytica data leak expands to 87 million known users, is NC Republican Party still using data at center of #deletefacebook scandal?

Last night, Wired reported that the scope of the Cambridge Analytica data leak is nearly twice as large as previously described:

“Facebook now says the data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to up to 87 million users' data, mainly in the United States. This figure is far higher than the 50 million users that were previously reported.” (Wired, 4/4/18)

The firm is at the center of the nation-wide #deletefacebook scandal that is the subject of official government probes for privacy breaches in three different countries, including the US.

Facebook stock prices had just stabilized after the largest drop in the company’s history and could dip down again as the company mishandles the response to the expanding crisis

Recent reports from North Carolina have revealed that local races here, including the 2014 US Senate campaign of Thom Tillis, may have been the beta test by the firm for using compromised data to target voters – all while employing foreign nationals embedded in Raleigh...

Tillis Cambridge Analytica

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Tillis and Woodhouse can’t keep their stories straight on firm linked to data leak and foreign nationals

According to the Washington Post, an attorney advised CA executives to limit foreign involvement in U.S. elections. Despite this, Wiley told NBC news that there were “three or four full-time CA staffers on the ground in Raleigh.” He added that all of these employees were foreign nationals.

NBC News said Tillis’ campaign paid Cambridge Analytica over $130,000 in 2014. The campaign has called this report “embarrassingly sloppy” and “factually false,” saying that because the Tillis campaign headquarters were in Cornelius, not Raleigh, NBC news does not “understand that a candidate’s campaign and a state party are not the same thing.” The Tillis campaign implied that the foreign nationals were not employed by his campaign, but rather, the North Carolina Republican Party.  

The NCGOP has also put out several statements about Cambridge Analytica, recently and otherwise. In an interview with WRAL on March 24 NCGOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said he could neither confirm nor deny that any Cambridge Analytica staffers worked for the party in 2014. Woodhouse added that if CA staffers did work for the party, they would have “no way of knowing” if the staffers had foreign nationality.

However, in a March 25 Washington Post article, Woodhouse said, “No foreign workers worked for us.” 

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New statewide poll shows NC Supreme Court seat is a tossup at 38-37

A recent statewide survey conducted by national pollster Garin-Hart-Yang found North Carolinian’s feelings about the direction of the state have improved, probably due to their positive assessment of Governor Cooper’s performance. Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court race remains a total tossup.

Asked about the upcoming N.C. Supreme Court race, 38 percent of respondents said they’d vote for incumbent Republican Barbara Jackson and 37 percent said they’d vote for her Democratic Challenger Anita Earls.

Despite being in statewide office since 2010, Barbara Jackson has clearly failed to make an impression on North Carolinians with only 44 percent of respondents even recognizing her and only 14 percent saying they had a favorable impression of her.

“After having the closest Governor’s race in 2016 and second closest U.S. Senate race in 2014 North Carolina looks to continue its trend of nail biting top-of-ticket races this fall,” said Daniel Gilligan, Executive Director of Real Facts NC. “It’s clear that both sides still have a lot of room to define themselves in this race and it will continue to be one to watch.”

Read the full memo here

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Legislator Profile: Senator Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg)

This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Senator Joel Ford, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County. Ford, a self-proclaimed “recovering entrepreneur” who has bought and sold several businesses, was elected to the NC Senate in 2012 after a brief stint as a political consultant. Ford, formerly a VP of the embattled Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, came in a distant third in Charlotte’s 2017 mayoral election.

Ford took an anti-LGBTQ stance during the HB2 controversy and aftermath, even sponsoring a failed repeal bill based on an indefinite moratorium for nondiscrimination ordinances. During the Charlotte mayoral race, Ford responded to a constituent who expressed concerns about his record on LGBTQ issues with a gif of a dog pooping. Ford’s record of looking out for himself first has been proven time and time again. Read more here.

"We need to be sensitive to religious freedom and respecting individual rights, and that has proven to be difficult because of people who look for tolerance while they themselves are intolerant” – Joel Ford, 3/25/15

(Source: Greensboro News & Record)
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Video: Dallas Woodhouse says Cambridge Analytica did not break the law with data leak, “that’s the kind of thing we routinely do”

The recent data breach that harvested data from 50 million Facebook users without their consent has garnered international attention and implicated the NCGOP. Yet state party leader Dallas Woodhouse, after a brief window of distancing himself from the scandal, has doubled down in defiance.

Woodhouse explained in a radio interview Tuesday morning “that’s the kind of thing we routinely do.” 

Both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are in the business of selling information, Woodhouse said, “I’m not convinced this company did anything wrong.” Cambridge Analytica has since been suspended by Facebook.

Woodhouse claimed that what Cambridge Analytica did was “not against the law,” despite the apparent use of foreign nationals in campaign work

Finally, when asked if the NCGOP plans to hold a press conference, Woodhouse responded, “I’m not having no press.” 

Not only did Woodhouse fail to acknowledge the violation of the privacy rights of thousands of North Carolinians, but he clearly plans to use similar tactics in the future.

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Video: NCGOP hired firm to utilize personal data from "one of the largest leaks" in Facebook history - and NC's 2014 election was their "case study."

London-based research firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook users without their consent in a targeted campaign to manipulate voters. In a new unnerving development of democracy in the age of big data, Facebook has acknowledged that Cambridge Analytica, a London-b…

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