Did House Republican Leader Rep. John Bell let slip long-time House member’s retirement plans?

Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne), who’s been a bellwether before on changes to House Republican’s electoral plans, may have let more secrets slip from the witness stand on Wednesday. 

Bell was questioned during the eighth day of testimony in the Common Cause v Lewisgerrymandering trial and said Rep. David Lewis’s (R-Harnett) traditionally strong Republican district might get more competitive in 2020. When pressed, Bell refused to confirm or deny Lewis’s electoral plans.

Lauren Horsch of the NC Insider tweeted that Lewis had no plans to retire at the moment, but Lewis has been known to "obfuscate." 

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Republicans refusal to compromise on Medicaid expansion leaves out vulnerable, often forgotten, North Carolinians

The refusal of Republican lawmakers to come to the table on Medicaid expansion not only attacks health care access of many residents planning to enroll or re-enroll in Medicaid in November but also puts vulnerable North Carolinians at serious health risk. North Carolina received a D in wome…

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Paul Newby complained about partisanship on the state’s highest court while launching into a Trump-like tirade against his fellow justices

At a recent Republican BBQ fundraiser, NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby warned event attendees about the danger of injecting partisanship into the courts. He did so through a fearmongering tirade in which he said his fellow NC Supreme Court justices did not stand up for the country or state.

After calling the judicial branch “the most dangerous branch of government,” Newby said his colleagues had little respect for the rule of law. In reference to a passage in the NC Constitution about the right to worship God, Newby drew a contrast between himself and his colleagues, saying the words of the US and NC Constitutions “sound strong to us, but they don’t to them.” 

Newby’s self-righteous disgust over partisanship on the state’s highest court sounded hypocritical after he compared his colleagues to Republican’s favorite villain, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez is often referred to by her initials, ‘AOC.’ 

“Imagine seven ‘AOCs’ on the state Supreme Court,” Newby said, “Well, folks, we got six.” 

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23 advocacy groups call on lawmakers to vote to sustain the Governor's veto and oppose anything short of closing the Medicaid coverage gap

23 advocacy groups signed on to a letter Wednesday asking lawmakers to vote to sustain Governor Cooper's veto of the Republican budget. The groups are calling on lawmakers to stand strong in favor of Medicaid expansion, which they call the "the single most powerful policy tool for improving community health, reducing poverty, and enhancing economic opportunity in our state"
The groups also opposed work requirements and premiums which would fall short of closing the Medicaid coverage gap.
"We oppose the addition of unnecessary and costly barriers to care. Work requirements tie up beneficiaries in red tape threatening enrollees with the loss of coverage. [...] The proposed two percent premium of HB655 would force enrollees to choose between health care and putting food on the table for their families. These road blocks are in opposition to the intention of Medicaid Expansion as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act and undermines the objective to provide coverage to the most vulnerable families in our state."
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When Republican leaders were running away from HB2, Sen. Dan Bishop turned to one of the world’s worst anti-gay hate groups

In response to a public records request Real Facts NC submitted in May, Sen. Bishop provided records of his communication with lobbyists from Alliance for Defending Freedom. Huffington Post first wrote on Bishop’s contacts with ADF.

ADF is a C3 nonproft that funds legal and legislative work promoting LGBTQ discrimination. The group provided legal defense for a law in Belize that criminalized homosexuality with up to ten years in prison. Not surprisingly, ADF defended NC’s HB2 “bathroom bill” with a video and praised Pat McCrory for supporting the bill. The group also tried to convince NC Registers of Deeds they were allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2014 ADF helped write legislation in Arizona that permitted businesses to discriminate against gay customers that sounds similar to a bill they were drafting with Bishop here in 2017.

In March of 2017, Bishop along with former Rep. Skip Stam, NC Values Coalition’s Tami Fitzgerald, and Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) exchanged emails while working on what appears to be an attempt to add “religious exemptions” language to HB142, the HB2 repeal bill. The language would have allowed NC business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ people. In one email, Bishop referenced an Oskar Schindler quote to clarify he wants to allow as many people as possible to discriminate against LGBTQ North Carolinians.

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REPORT: "Carolina Cares" puts politicians between patients and their doctors

The Republican health care plan puts politicians between patients and their doctors and fails thousands of North Carolina families by making health care more costly and complex. Read more here.
  • The 2019 Republican health care plan fails to cover thousands of North Carolina families by putting needless bureaucracy between patients and their doctors.
    • Most people who lose coverage under work requirement plans are complying with requirements and are dropped due to reporting issues.
    • 91,000 lost coverage after Indiana implemented a plan cited as the model by Republican legislators in North Carolina.
    • 17,000 lost coverage in Arkansas after the state passed work requirements later struck down by a federal judge.
  • The Republican plan puts politicians between patients and their doctors and creates a more costly and complex health care system.
    • Work requirements and premiums increase uncompensated care costs for hospitals that treat people regardless of whether or not they are insured. A system that forces more people to use the hospital to get care costs more.
    • Work requirements and premiums are a waste of taxpayer money.
    • Work requirements in other states have cost between $70 million and $170 million to implement; the federal government will not pay for much of the cost of implementation.
  • Most people eligible for Medicaid are already working and more red tape will make it harder for people in low-wage jobs to access care.
    • In Arkansas, similar legislation increased the number of uninsured people.


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MEDICAID REPORT PART III: Everyone benefits from Medicaid expansion

Everyone benefits from Medicaid expansion, especially residents of rural areas, veterans, people with mental illness, and people in the coverage gap.

Read the full report here.

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

Update: View the records we received from Sen. Bishop's office in respose to this request here.

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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Part 1: These Democrats voted against Medicaid expansion - here's what their vote cost their districts

Rep. Cecil Brockman’s district received more than $2.7M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 budget but could have benefitted from $683M in increased economic activity and $7.7M in increased tax revenue by 2022 with Medicaid expansion. 35,194 more people in Guilford county could have health care by 2022 if Medicaid were expanded.

Rep. Howard Hunter voted for a Republican budget that contained $100K in one-time grant money for his district. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion would bring in $30M in increased economic activity and $304K in tax revenue by 2022. 

Rep. Elmer Floyd’s district received nearly $1.4M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 Republican budget, but Medicaid expansion would bring $141M more in economic activity to his district. 18,451 people in Cumberland county could have health care by 2022 under Medicaid expansion. 

Read part one of the full report here.

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H474 “Death by Distribution” could increase overdose deaths and wastes resources by targeting friends and family members of overdose victims

According to evidence from other states, H474 could discourage people from calling 911 for medical help, leading to more overdose deaths. People who have lost family members to drug overdoses criticized the bill over the fear people won’t call 911 for help. Evidence from other states shows the majority of people prosecuted under this type of law were friends or family also suffering from addiction.

Harsher penalties don’t reduce harms; similar laws put in place during the “war on drugs” did little to combat rates of drug addiction and overdoses.

Existing law is sufficient to prosecute people for deaths resulting from knowing distribution of a dangerous substance. North Carolina courts have found sufficient evidence of malice in several cases where the defendant distributed drugs knowing that they were very dangerous.

Read more here.

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