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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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Tim Moore’s self-dealing with Duke is just the latest example of his wheelin’ and dealin’

Moore has a history of padding his wallet by blurring the lines between his professional and public work.

Yesterday WRAL reported that NC House Speaker Tim Moore is currently serving as the lead attorney in a negligence case against Duke Energy. Meanwhile Duke’s lobbyists are working hard to pass S559, a bill that could make major changes to the way North Carolina sets electricity rates to benefit the company. Despite Moore’s claims that no improper dealing has occurred over the settlement or the legislation the case certainly gives the appearance of an ethics violation. This is not the first time Moore’s work as an attorney and work as a lawmaker have blurred ethics lines.

  • Moore used his legislative prowess to rescue a controversial Durham development and later received $30,000 in campaign cash and a lucrative legal contact investigated by the SBI.
  • Moore used his position in the legislature to turn significant personal profit on a land deal.
  • Moore did legal work on behalf the NC Bail Agents Association and then pushed a law to benefit the group. The law was later thrown out in court.

     

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UPDATED: 2020 NC Senate Races to Watch

Following is an updated look at the 14 Senate districts we think will be crucial to 2020 legislative elections. These districts were chosen based on analysis of 2016 election results and the newly released legislative maps, as well as campaign finance and other district data. 

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“How to get away with Gerrymandering:” the NCGOP method

NC Republicans attended an ALEC conference in August where attendees learned “how to gerrymander” from influential Republican lawyers including segregationist enabler Thomas Farr?

Yesterday Slate broke a story about leaked audio revealing, according to Slate, “how state lawmakers are taught to trash evidence, avoid the word gerrymander, and create an appearance of bipartisanship.” The audio originated from an August 2019 conference hosted by the notorious American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as ALEC. ALEC is funded by conservative megadonors like Charles Koch and the late David Koch and supports Republican state lawmakers by pushing boilerplate conservative legislation.

The North Carolina lawmakers and their staff who attended this meeting went on to draw legislative maps just one month after hearing a presentation where an influential Republican lawyer advised “if you don’t want it turned over in discovery, you probably ought to get rid of it before you go home.” These lawmakers went on to draw legislative maps as ordered by the court including Rep. Destin Hall who chaired the House’s redistricting process and a staffer for Rep. David Lewis who served as the committee’s Senior Chair. 

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NCGA Republicans target immigrants with yet another bill rooted in false claims

  • S250 puts alleged noncitizens at risk by making their personal information, including name and address, public, potentially exposing them to harassment and violence.
  • S250 addresses a problem that does not exist and will incorrectly remove registered voters from the voting rolls.
    • The rationale for S250 is rooted in disproven claims that NC’s voting rolls are full of undetected noncitizens.
  • Texas lawmakers who approved a similar bill are facing a lawsuit from a group of voters who were incorrectly removed from voter rolls for being “foreign born.”
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House Republicans pander on transparency: they have the power to livestream business but refuse.

During the 2019 legislative redistricting process there was a continuous livestream available on YouTube without any legislative maneuvering. Republicans used this court-mandated livestream to tout their commitment to transparency. Sadly, this supposed commitment disappeared as soon as the maps passed both chambers.

Republicans clearly don’t want North Carolinians to have unfiltered access to their government, because then they couldn’t continue their unchecked attacks on democracy.

North Carolinians deserve to know what lawmakers are doing. Currently the public can only access audio streams for the House and Senate floors, six committee rooms, and the press room. They shouldn’t have to rely on a private company, WRAL, to livestream important meetings. All House and Senate sessions and committee meetings can and should be livestreamed.

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Connection to Greg Lindberg is just the tip of the iceberg of former Sen. Wes Meredith’s long history of self-dealing

While we don’t know what Lindberg wanted from Dan Forest, we do know what he wanted from former Sen. Wesley Meredith, who has a long history of self-dealing.

Meredith received a large donation, nearly $40,000, from Lindberg and his associates after he filed a bill that tinkered with NC insurance regulations. The bill was backed by Lindberg’s company and would have changed regulation around the type of investments insurers are prohibited from making.

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21 unconstitutional laws passed under the cloud of a racial gerrymander

Running list of laws passed by the Republican-led NC legislature that have been found unconstitutional. 

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We still don’t know what Greg Lindberg wanted from Dan Forest

In April 2019 Real Facts NC filed requests for records from Lt. Governor Dan Forest that could provide crucial insight into ties to the Greg Lindberg bribery scandal. Forest’s office has stonewalled the request.

Last week Greg Lindberg asked a federal court to dismiss his indictment on bribery charges. Lindberg claimed that his bribes, funneled through the NCGOP and its former chairman Robin Hayes, did not constitute “official acts.”  The request for dismissal could mean the NCGOP and Forest have even more at stake in connection to the Lindberg scandal.

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