Blog

Real Facts NC Daily Feed Preview

Headline: “Democrats say special session is unconstitutional and meant to deceive voters” "North Carolina Democrats probably won’t be able to stop anything their Republican rivals have planned for Tuesday’s session of the state Legislature, so they’re turning to other measures to object. The Legislature previously approved six amendments to the state constitution that will appear on this November’s ballot, all backed by the Legislature’s veto-proof Republican majority. During the special session, they planned to decide what would appear on the ballot to describe those amendments — bypassing a group of state officials controlled by Democrats. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper took to social media to accuse Republicans of lying to voters, and his campaign also used its email lists to send out a mass plea for campaign donations, to help Democrats in this fall’s elections. “Republicans in the legislature voted to put a bunch of harmful and unnecessary constitutional amendments on the November ballot,” the Cooper campaign’s fundraising email said. “They know that many of their amendments are unpopular, so they just called themselves back for a special session to write misleading ballot language to deceive voters.” (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
Greensboro News and Record Editorial: "N.C. General Assembly's special session is about nothing but power" "Your North Carolina General Assembly steamed into special session on Tuesday allegedly to adjust the words that would appear on ballots this fall to help you understand proposed constitutional amendments. But not even the legislators’ word proved genuine. Rewording wasn’t their full intent in spending your dollars to change a law they wrote in 2016 and didn’t think about when they adjourned on June 29. To be sure, some saw a need to adjust who writes what for those ballot “captions” that help you understand what you are voting to add (or not) to your Constitution. But once senators convened just after noon, they decided to spike the party punch by also passing a bill that would eliminate the partisan designations for judicial candidates unless those candidates had been a member of the party for at least 90 days. (More on the irony and hypocrisy of that later.)... Legislators should recognize when someone has played a dirty trick, because all of this is a dirty trick. There doesn’t need to be a tweaking of process and language for constitutional amendments, because they shouldn’t be on the ballot in the first place. Republicans are using them to generate turnout and empower themselves. And the way to address Anglin’s candidacy and party switch is just as simple: Return to nonpartisan elections for judges." (Greensboro News and Record, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: “North Carolina lawmakers returning to work on ballot wording” "The North Carolina legislature has called itself into an unscheduled session starting Tuesday because some Republican leaders fear a Democratic-controlled panel could add ballot wording for proposed constitutional amendments that dim their chance of passage in November. House Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest — the Senate's presiding officer — issued a proclamation Monday calling lawmakers back to work starting at midday Tuesday. Republican lawmakers used a procedural tool that requires signatures of three-fifths of House and Senate members to convene their own special session, rather than needing Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to call it. At issue are titles to be placed atop each of the six amendments the legislature agreed last month to put before voters this fall. Some of the amendments would shift powers from Cooper to the General Assembly and revive a voter ID law. State law directs a three-member panel to come up with those "captions." The panel is comprised of Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Attorney General Josh Stein — both Democrats — and the Legislative Building's administrator, Republican Paul Coble." (AP, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “NC Republicans change what voters will see on ballots about their amendments” "Six proposed constitutional amendments likely will be on the fall ballot without titles after Republican state lawmakers decided that the questions would be accompanied only by the words “Constitutional Amendment.” A 2016 law gave responsibility for writing the titles to the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission. Republicans said they were taking over the job because they were worried that the commission was under pressure to politicize them. The House passed the bill 67-36. The Senate passed it 27-14. If Gov. Roy Cooper vetoes it, the legislature is prepared to override the veto quickly." (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Proposed amendments to be labeled simply 'Constitutional Amendment' on ballot” "State lawmakers opted for simplicity Tuesday in deciding how to label six proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Each amendment will appear under the heading "Constitutional Amendment" per legislation that cleared the House 67-36 and the Senate 27-14 with little debate. Gov. Roy Cooper will have 10 days to either sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without taking action. The Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, a three-member panel that consists of two Democrats and one Republican, is tasked by law to write the short captions to appear on the ballot and a longer paragraph or two to explain each amendment "in simple and commonly used language" that would be available at local boards of elections to anyone who requests them. But Republican legislative leaders feared the commission would write the captions in a way that would put them in a negative light. So, they called a special session to handle the captions. "For this, we've been called back from all over North Carolina and beyond in special session and at considerable cost to the taxpayers of North Carolina? What on earth is the concern? What is the fear?" asked Rep. Joe John, D-Wake. "There's no valid reason for us to be here at this late date changing the rules midstream." Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, called the proposal a "power grab" to take away a duty lawmakers assigned to the commission only a couple of years ago." (WRAL, 7/24/18)
 
Capitol Broadcasting Company Editorial: "Special session reveals phony motives behind constitutional amendments" "Want proof of the true partisan motivation for the bundle of vague and unnecessary state constitutional amendments carelessly rushed out of the North Carolina legislature last month? Look no further than Saturday’s letter from House Rules Committee chair Rep. David Lewis to House Speaker Tim Moore. Lewis fears a commission, set up by the legislature to provide unbiased summaries of the proposed amendments, won’t spin and obfuscate as the Republican leaders of the legislature want. Without a shred of proof, Lewis wrote that the commission would overreach and therefore legislative leaders should quickly call a special session to write the explanations themselves. Bringing the legislature back is a terrible idea and shouldn’t be done. It will lead, as we’ve seen in the past, to nothing but trouble." (CBC Editorial, 7/25/18)
 
 
Headline: "Bill stripping GOP designation from Supreme Court candidate heads to Cooper" "Republicans and Democrats lit into each other Tuesday night over legislation that will strip the Republican ballot designation from a longtime Democrat who switched parties shortly before running this year for the state Supreme Court. Senate Rules Chairman Harry Brown called Democrats hypocrites for going against the bill. Democrats accused Republicans of abandoning the rule of law for political gain. They said to expect a lawsuit once the bill, moving quickly Tuesday in a legislative session called less than 24 hours before, becomes law. Chris Anglin, the Raleigh attorney and Supreme Court candidate at the center of the issue, issued a statement Tuesday night calling the bill "a stunning act of cowardice." Asked whether Anglin will file a legal challenge to Senate Bill 3, campaign manager Perry Woods said, "We will explore our options," adding that he has "little doubt a legal challenge would be successful." The Republican majority has tinkered repeatedly with North Carolina's judicial elections in recent years, returning them to partisan affairs and, last year, canceling this year's primaries. That had an apparently unintended consequence, doing away with the longstanding rule that no one could be on the ballot as a Republican, Democrat or member of any other political party unless they'd been registered with the party at least 90 days." (WRAL, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Why don’t Republicans want voters to know this Supreme Court candidate is a Republican?” "Two Republicans are running for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court this November, but Republican state legislators don’t want voters to know that. A bill filed by state Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown would not allow Chris Anglin to be listed as a Republican on the ballot. But the incumbent in the election, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson, would still be listed as a Republican. The Democrat in the race, Durham civil rights attorney Anita Earls, would also continue to be listed as a Democrat. Republican officials have said they fear Anglin is a secret Democrat who’s only pretending to be a Republican to split the GOP vote and turn the court’s 4-3 liberal tilt into a 5-2 advantage. That would happen if Earls defeats Jackson. Anglin, who was a registered Democrat until June and whose campaign consultant is Democratic operative Perry Woods, has denied those allegations." (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: "Bill stripping GOP designation from Supreme Court candidate heads to Cooper" "Republicans and Democrats lit into each other Tuesday night over legislation that will strip the Republican ballot designation from a longtime Democrat who switched parties shortly before running this year for the state Supreme Court. Senate Rules Chairman Harry Brown called Democrats hypocrites for going against the bill. Democrats accused Republicans of abandoning the rule of law for political gain. They said to expect a lawsuit once the bill, moving quickly Tuesday in a legislative session called less than 24 hours before, becomes law. Chris Anglin, the Raleigh attorney and Supreme Court candidate at the center of the issue, issued a statement Tuesday night calling the bill "a stunning act of cowardice." Asked whether Anglin will file a legal challenge to Senate Bill 3, campaign manager Perry Woods said, "We will explore our options," adding that he has "little doubt a legal challenge would be successful." The Republican majority has tinkered repeatedly with North Carolina's judicial elections in recent years, returning them to partisan affairs and, last year, canceling this year's primaries. That had an apparently unintended consequence, doing away with the longstanding rule that no one could be on the ballot as a Republican, Democrat or member of any other political party unless they'd been registered with the party at least 90 days." (WRAL, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Why don’t Republicans want voters to know this Supreme Court candidate is a Republican?” "Two Republicans are running for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court this November, but Republican state legislators don’t want voters to know that. A bill filed by state Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown would not allow Chris Anglin to be listed as a Republican on the ballot. But the incumbent in the election, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson, would still be listed as a Republican. The Democrat in the race, Durham civil rights attorney Anita Earls, would also continue to be listed as a Democrat. Republican officials have said they fear Anglin is a secret Democrat who’s only pretending to be a Republican to split the GOP vote and turn the court’s 4-3 liberal tilt into a 5-2 advantage. That would happen if Earls defeats Jackson. Anglin, who was a registered Democrat until June and whose campaign consultant is Democratic operative Perry Woods, has denied those allegations." (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: “Republican Feud Could Affect Senate Race” "Bad blood simmering among some Moore County Republicans since a brutal state Senate primary this spring could come to a head Sunday when party leaders formally vote to endorse its slate of candidates in the November election. State Sen. Tom McInnis of Rockingham defeated current Whispering Pines Mayor Michelle Lexo by a margin of nearly 61 percent to 39 percent in the May 8 primary in the newly drawn district that includes Moore, Richmond, Scotland and Anson counties (paywall)…" (The Pilot, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Calls for Dem to leave state race grow over anti-Mexican blog” "Hispanic leaders have called for a Democratic candidate for a North Carolina House seat to drop out over a 2006 blog post that contains incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants. Cathy von Hassel-Davies tells the Times-News of Burlington she's mulling her political future following Saturday's meeting with the Hispanic American Democrat Caucus of Alamance County. She's challenging the incumbent Republican, Dennis Riddell, for the 64th District seat. Caucus president Yvette Gaboury says the candidate's remarks were full of "arrogance." An expletive-laden post on her blog, "Cat's Craft Corner: Rantings and Ravings of Perhaps a Lunatic," suggested Mexican immigrants were "illegal" and castigated the U.S. for accommodating Spanish speakers. Von Hassel-Davies has apologized, saying her words were "indefensible" but inspired by her German father's precarious employment." (Daily-Courier, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: "Gov. Roy Cooper thanks sheriffs at convention in New Bern" "Gov. Roy Cooper made a stop at the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Training Conference to thank the state’s top county enforcement officers for their work and to offer a few thoughts on how to make things better for the county lawmen. Roughly 75 sheriffs were in attendance with other law enforcement representatives and family members at the three-day conference at the Riverfront Convention Center on South Front Street. “Nothing is outside the scope of being sheriff of a county,” Cooper told the audience. “You are there to protect people from crime, to help young people, to respond to emergencies and disasters. You are looked upon as the rock that people depend upon. I’m grateful for the work that you do.” He said that law enforcement has improved greatly through collaboration in the nation and the state since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Previously to 9/11 among local, state and federal law enforcement there were a lot of turf battles and a lot of disputes over who had control of what,” he said. But after the attacks, “Law enforcement got together and said, ‘There’s not enough of us. We’ve got to get together and cover all the parameters.’ Since that time I believe we have seen law enforcement take this collaboration … and expand it to other areas, fighting the opioid crisis, making sure our schools are safe, working together to fight gangs.” Cooper called for higher pay and benefits for law enforcement." (New Bern Sun Journal, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: “One month after layoffs, superintendent reorganizes top staff at state education agency” "State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has reorganized his top staff at the state education department, he announced Tuesday. The changes come one month after he announced the elimination of 61 positions at the agency – 40 employees and 21 vacant positions – due to $5.1 million in budget cuts lawmakers made. In an email to colleagues, Johnson said he was "taking major steps" toward his goals of "bold innovation and true urgency" at the agency by creating a new deputy superintendent structure that reports only to him. Among the biggest changes is the promotion of Eric Hall, who previously served as superintendent of the Innovative School District. Now as the new deputy superintendent of innovation, he will be in charge of the ISD, the Office of Charter Schools, career and technical education, curriculum and instruction, accountability, and federal programs. Maria Pitre-Martin, who the superintendent says "has been invaluable to me and to the department," will remain in her position as deputy superintendent for district support. Her group will include the new regional district support, the new educator recruitment and support, and other divisions that assist school districts and educators." (WRAL, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Superintendent’s reorganization shakes up the agency that oversees NC public schools” "State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson is using his newly granted powers to reorganize the state education agency that works with North Carolina’s 1.5 million public school students. Johnson announced Tuesday that he’s creating new deputy superintendent positions to oversee the reorganized divisions of the state Department of Public Instruction. The restructuring comes after the state Supreme Court upheld in June a 2016 state law transferring some of the powers of the State Board of Education to Johnson. “As most of you know, since becoming state superintendent, I have advocated a strategy of bold innovation and true urgency at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to support our state’s educators and students,” Johnson, elected superintendent in 2016, said in an email Tuesday to DPI employees. “Today, we are taking major steps toward those goals by changing the way DPI is organized. To provide better support to the field, we need more efficiency and fewer silos in our organizational structure..” Previously, some positions at DPI had reported directly to the state board or to both the board and the state superintendent. But the Republican-led state legislature moved to put Johnson, the first GOP schools superintendent elected in 100 years, in charge of DPI." (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: "NC attorney general, Sierra Club object to Duke Energy coal-ash ruling" "N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein wants the state Supreme Court to strike down a regulatory order allowing Duke Energy Carolinas to charge customers for what will eventually be billions of dollars in coal-ash cost. Stein contends in his formal notice of appeal that the N.C. Utilities Commission ignored “the greater weight of evidence which demonstrated that Duke knew of the risks of storing coal ash in unlined surface impoundments and failed to take timely and appropriate action to address those risks.” Stein’s office filed its notice with the commission Friday. It takes exception to 13 of the commission’s findings that justified the coal-ash ruling. The filing argues that the commission lacked sufficient evidence to support its conclusions, exceeded its authority or abused its discretion in the order." (Charlotte Business Journal, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Activist groups fighting new Duke Energy rates” "Six nonprofit groups served notice on the N.C. Utilities Commission this week that they will appeal the panel’s recent ruling on Duke Energy Carolina’s rate-increase request. Five of the groups said they object to part of the decision that would allow Duke Energy to raise its residential facility charge — the base fee every household pays regardless of its power usage — by nearly 19 percent, to $14 a month from the current rate of $11.80. The sixth group, the Sierra Club, said its appeal will be based on the utilities commission’s decision to let Duke Energy charge customers roughly $546 million for what it spent from 2015 through 2017 cleaning up stored coal ash. All six groups filed formal notices Monday alerting the utilities commission they would be appealing to the N.C. Supreme Court, the forum for challenging the oversight board’s decisions. The nonprofits’ notifications followed on the heels of a similar notice of appeal that N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein served on utilities commissioners late last week. Stein and the protesting nonprofits were reacting to the commission’s June 22 decision that largely squelched Duke Energy’s initial application for a rate increase that would have netted about $647 million a year in additional revenue." (Greensboro News and Record, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: “Hurricane Matthew recovery grant: $236M. Projects finished so far: Zero.” "Months after lawmakers blasted Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration for failing to spend any of a $236.5 million federal grant to help Hurricane Matthew victims rebuild, no projects using the funds have been finished yet, North Carolina Emergency Management said last week. The continued delays prompted House Speaker Tim Moore to announce Monday that he’s reinstating a legislative oversight committee. “As serious questions remain unanswered regarding the slow pace of the Cooper Administration’s recovery effort, it’s critical that we continue our committee’s oversight to ensure folks get the help they need,” said Rep. John Bell, a Wayne County Republican and chairman of the committee. But Greg Thomas, a spokesman for NC Emergency Management, stressed that progress is being made with the $236.5 million in federal Housing and Urban Development grant money. “The federally-required environmental reviews are now complete for projects in Robeson County, and in August the three remaining most impacted counties’ reviews (Edgecombe, Cumberland and Wayne) will be complete,” he said in an email. “When these reviews are complete the county will be able to move forward with housing recovery projects.” (News and Observer, 7/24/18)
 
 
Headline: “State details plans for $13M in election security upgrades” "State officials will spend more than $7 million over the next two years to upgrade and secure the decade-old system that forms the backbone of the state's elections. They'll use several million more in mostly federal dollars to fund additional auditing and cybersecurity measures as the state works to harden election systems in the wake of nationwide Russian interference in 2016. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement spokesman Patrick Gannon said the agency has no indication of any "successful infiltration" into North Carolina election systems during the last election. But state officials are taking seriously mounting evidence from the U.S. intelligence community and federal investigators of widespread disinformation campaigns and repeated attacks on critical election infrastructure across the country. That increased scrutiny, says elections board general counsel Josh Lawson, means preparations for the 2018 midterms look a lot different than they did two years ago." (WRAL, 7/24/18)
 
Headline: "Commissioners hear opioid litigation firm presentations" "Two national law firms made their pitches Monday to the Lee County Board of Commissioners, advocating for the county's participation in federal-level litigation regarding the opioid crisis. More than 400 federal lawsuits against makers, distributors and pharmacies that sell opioids have been brought by six U.S. states, according to the Associated Press. In April, the commissioners began exploring the possibility of joining such a suit. N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein announced in May that the state would participate in litigation against those entities in a bid to get a handle on the opioid crisis." (Sanford Herald, 7/24/18)
 
 
Politics NC: "The Shame of David Lewis" "The special session called by the legislature today is little more than another power grab by the Republicans in the legislature. It was set in motion by a letter written by Rep. David Lewis that is based on lies, half-truths and rumors and will end with the legislature removing one more check on their power. It’s another shameful day in North Carolina political history. Lewis wrote a letter to Speaker Tim Moore saying the commission charged with writing the language for proposed constitutional amendments was under pressure from outside groups. He said they were “facing pressure to write politicized captions.” Unless Lewis thinks twitter is pressure, he created that statement from whole cloth. Lewis also claimed that the commission was delaying their duties by meeting just a day before the deadline. Again, he either made that up or is listening to rumors from his conspiracy-minded base...Lewis is a sad political story. He has become little more than partisan hack with a dubious relationship to the truth. He’s used lies, innuendo and social media rantings as an excuse to grab more power for the legislature. He’s no longer an honest broker. Instead, he’s an example of what’s wrong with our politics. He’s been in Raleigh too long and amassed too much power with too little accountability. He may have arrived in the legislature with good intentions and a desire to help the state but he’s been corrupted by the system. He’s allowed himself to sink to such a level that he would write a letter with so little basis in truth purely for the political gain of his party. And like the President of the United States, he’s lost the ability to be shamed. Now, that’s a shame." (Politics NC, 7/24/18)
 
Civitas: “Special Session Reminds Us of Popularity of Voter ID and Lowering the Tax Cap” "State legislators are returning today to Raleigh to write short descriptors for the six constitutional amendments slated to be on the ballot this fall. Three of the amendments in particular should have no problem passing, regardless of who writes the captions, if public polling results are to believed. Moreover, the amendment protecting the “right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” enjoyed strong support, with 72% in favor." (Civitas Institute, 7/24/18)
 
Firs in Freedom Daily: “Nip it in the bud: Lawmakers Set to Relieve Commission of Caption Writing Duties” "State lawmakers returned to Jones Street Tuesday afternoon for a special session focused on half a dozen constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot in November. In question is the descriptive captions for each amendment – who will craft that language, or will they be written at all? Current statute currently dictates that the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission has the responsibility of writing the captions. However, that commission of three – two Democrats, and one Republican – caused Republican leadership some concern. The two Democrats, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein, are two of the more partisan statewide elected officials of the lot. Stein has actively campaigned against one of the amendments (voter ID) and Marshall has a history of implementing policies that aren’t exactly in keeping with the law." (First in Freedom Daily, 7/24/18)
 
Politics NC: "Fear and Loathing in Raleigh" "What ought to be appalling has now become routine in Raleigh. Republican leadership has beckoned their lackeys back into the state’s capital to go about their usual business: the methodical and disgraceful dissolution of our state. The stated reason for their emergency session – which Governor Cooper has labeled the Deception Session – is to clarify the captions that will appear alongside their slew of constitutional amendments this November. Here’s the issue: that is not their job. In 2016, the same Republican-led body passed SB 667, which, among other issues, required that “Proposed amendments shall be designated by only the short caption provided by the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission.” That commission consists of the Attorney General, the Secretary of State and the Legislative Services Officer — two Democrats and a Republican. And there’s the rub — it’s a group that the General Assembly cannot bend to their will. The amendments they have thrown together for this fall are intentionally vague and deceptive, and that is by design so that voters simply will not know what some of them do. One talking point floating around is that the commission — the one the Republicans charged with this task — will politicize the captions. That claim is patently false, and is apparently the consequence of one person: Gerry Cohen." (Politics NC, 7/24/18)
 
 
Pitt County “Meet and Greet” Fundraising Event
July 26th, 6:00-7:30pm
Bum’s Resteraunt, 566 East 3rd Street, Ayden, NC
 
July 26th 7pm
Beaufort County Courthouse
 
July 27th 7pm
Pamlico County Courthouse
 
July 28th 7pm
Craven County Courthouse
 
July 31st 6pm-8pm
Malone Campaign HQ
 
Friday August 3, 7-10 pm
 
August 9, 5:30 p.m.
Milton’s Pizza and Pasta
 
Dan Forest Fundraiser
August 21st 6pm-8pm