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Chris Humphrey calls out “Raleigh politicians” but his record proves he would be just another Raleigh politician if elected to the legislature

Chris Humphrey is the Republican candidate running for House District 12. In an ad, Humphrey claims “Raleigh politicians have just one district: big cities. They push big cities to the front of the economic development line while small towns are left behind. Rural communities need a v…

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2018 Election Resource: North Carolina Candidate Profiles

We’ve written profile updates on several candidates running in 2018. They’re listed below with their challengers. With early voting happening until Saturday and Election Day only eight days away, Real Facts NC wanted to share an important resource. If you’re not sure what d…

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Rep. Ross misrepresented his record on education, clean water and taxes in an ad where he tried to run away from his three-time incumbency

Rep. Steve Ross (R-Alamance) is running for a fourth term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

In a new ad, Ross claims he’s made several legislative decisions that help Alamance County: boosting teacher pay, safeguarding schools, protecting clean water and cutting income tax for 99 percent of families. His record proves otherwise.

Claim 1: “He fought to boost teacher pay.”
Claim 2: “He fought to safeguard our schools.”
Claim 3: “He fought to protect our water.”
Claim 4: “He fought to cut income taxes for 99 percent of North Carolina’s families.”  
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: 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.

Since his election to the General Assembly, Hardister supported Republican budgets that shortchange public education by failing to meaningfully raise teacher salaries or fund classrooms.In 2017, the Republican budget gave no raises to beginning teachers and a 0.6 percent raise to experienced teachers— the equivalent of “just a tank of gas.” He has also supported moves to end tenure while asserting that having an advanced degree “does not necessarily make a teacher more effective.” Hardister called the 2017 budget “a commitment to public education.” This “commitment to public education” did not include a stipend to aid teachers with out-of-pocket expenses. After voting to pass the 2013 budget—which similarly failed to adequately fund schools— Hardister said he came to regret his vote after “experiencing firsthand how hard the teachers work.”

Hardister voted to deny affordable insurance to thousands.In 2013, he and the Republicans voted to block a fully-funded Medicaid expansion that covered half a million North Carolinians. Studies said this failure to expand affordable healthcare would cost the state $15 billion in new economic activity and 455 to 1,145 lives per year. Hardister later said it would be “unwise” to expand Medicaid and that we need to be “cautious about expanding the role of government in healthcare.” In 2018, Hardister and House Republicans used a loophole on a non-controversial bill to attempt to dismantle coverage for pre-existing conditions. By adding an amendment to an unrelated school psychologist licensure bill, Republicans tried to pass a statute that would discriminate against those with pre-existing health conditions, offer skimpy benefits, and come with few or no consumer protections.   

Hardister likes to harp on redistricting reform as a talking point but chose to repeatedly support unconstitutional districts that suppress voters’ electoral power. He has sponsored three independent redistricting bills, but they all stalled in committee. To avoid “double-bunking” with incumbent Guilford representative John Faircloth, Hardister moved, even though he says he believes the “seats don’t belong to us, they belong to the people.” After both the 2011 and 2017 legislative maps were struck down by the courts, Hardister said he believed the maps were “in compliance with the law.” He also helped draw the 2016 congressional maps that were later thrown out in court. When Sen. Trudy Wade tried to pass a Greensboro City Council redistricting bill, Hardister said he would oppose the bill. He “caved when it counted,” changing his vote at the last minute.

Read more here.

Photo: Greensboro News & Record
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Brenden Jones (R-Bladen, Columbus, Robeson)

Brenden Jones is a used car salesman whose business has faced multiple lawsuits for selling “lemons” to women. However, House Speaker Tim Moore bought his son’s first car, a Mustang, from Jones. Jones makes it clear which customers he values.  Jones claimed to priorit…

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North Carolina Candidate Profile: Chuck Kitchen (NC Court of Appeals)

Sidney “Chuck” Kitchen is a GOP-affiliated attorney who has worked as both the Alamance County Attorney and the Durham County Attorney and currently works at a private law practice in Chapel Hill, Stark Law Group. He is currently the town attorney for Holly Ridge. The Stark Law Group is the law group often used by the NCGOP. Thomas Stark alleged, on behalf of Pat McCrory, that voter malfeasance occurred in Durham during the 2016 election. The allegations were disproved, but delayed election results.

Kitchen has been pictured getting cozy with Republican leaders; he attended Dan Forest’s birthday party and has been photographed with Thom Tillis and Tim Moore.

Kitchen represented Alamance sheriff Terry Johnson when Johnson was accused of targeting the Hispanic community through discriminatory checkpoints and ethnic slurs. Kitchen defended Johnson by citing his supposed Cherokee ancestry and said individuals in the case had their own “ax to grind” with the sheriff. He noted that Johnson was “very sensitive” and doesn’t tolerate discrimination, yet the judge in the case noted that jail officers under Johnson’s supervision targeted minorities with ethnic slurs. Kitchen was paid at least $357,360 by Alamance County for representing Johnson.

Kitchen was removed from his position as Durham County Attorney because of a conflict that was triggered by a developer’s lawsuit.The lawsuit alleged that Kitchen “interceded in a matter outside his authority” and got involved in a Jordan Lake dispute at a planning director’s request. 

As the attorney for Durham County, Kitchen was embroiled in multiple issues involving animal control, Durham County Schools, same-sex marriage, and guns.Kitchen was accused of “usurping the animal control board’s power” by increasing the pet licensing fee without board input.” He said Durham County didn’t need anyone’s permission to start charging schools for essential services like water and sewer and dismissed a lawsuit two men filed after their marriage license was rejected. As the Durham County Attorney, Kitchen said the “guns, especially pistols, are designed to shoot and kill people.”

Read more about Kichen here.

 

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UNC BOG Series Part II: Financial contributions to lawmakers play a role in UNC System policy

One of the largest concerns for current students, prospective students, faculty, and staff in the UNC system is how the state legislature, which controls nearly all of the system’s overall budget, selects and interacts with the System’s leadership. Looking at political contributions made by the Board of Governors, the governing body of the UNC system, and to NC lawmakers who make the appointments brings to light how budgetary and other crucial decisions about the UNC System are made.

Sen. Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland) was the only original NC Promise Plan sponsor to receive contributions from current members of the BOG. His biggest contributor is Michael Williford, who contributed a total of $24,700 to Meredith between 2012 and 2018. Williford was appointed to the Board in 2015, and received his JD from NCCU, another HBCU within the system that is not slated to be deeply impacted by the Promise Plan, but is currently facing criticism for erasing the culture of the university.

Source: NCSBE
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North Carolina Candidate Profile: Jefferson Griffin (NC Court of Appeals)

Jefferson Griffin is currently a Wake County District Court Judge seeking election to the NC Court of Appeals for the seat being vacated by Ann Marie Calabria. While he insists he is not campaigning as a Republican judge, his record speaks differently. He was a Pat McCrory pick for a Distric…

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Holly Grange ad falsely claims she "fought to protect our drinking water"

Holly Grange, a rising star for the Republican Party, who was appointed by McCrory faces a tough reelection campaign in New Hanover County. In an ad, Grange claims she “fought to protect our drinking water and the illegal discharges and empowered Governor Cooper to stop GenX pollutio…

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Video: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest knows a lot about how to commit voter fraud

In a video presumably produced in the Lt. Governors office donor-funded TV studio, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest explains a "theoretical" method for committing voter fraud, "just for fun." 

The video, posted to Facebook by the Republican Council of State Caucus, goes into explicit detail about a plan that Forest claims liberal groups might use to steal votes. Under the guise of advocating in favor of a voter ID constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall, Forest lays out a specific plan to rig the election.
 
The Republican Council of State Caucus was founded by Forest as a fundraising arm for Republican members of the Council of State, but has only one other member, Superintendent Mark Johnson, despite there being four other Republicans on the Council of State. 
 
It is no surprise that other Republicans are distancing themselves from the polarizing Forest and Johnson. In addition to endorsing this method of rigging elections, the pair have ties to the abusive Word of Faith church and a controversial network of charter schools . Johnson's new chief of staff, a Forest donor, once criticized public schools for "milking the federal government" for free and reduced lunch which is concerning for the person running the state's public school system.
 
Forest will likely earn the Republican nomination to challenge Governor Roy Cooper in 2020 and Mark Johnson has hinted he wants the Lt. Governorship, no doubt to follow in Forest's footsteps. Now they have laid out a plan to get ahead in 2020.
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