budget

Days before the election Rep. Ted Davis equivocates on GenX and blames his opponent for…not being an incumbent(?)

In a WHQR interview on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) tried to shift blame for his failure to fund DEQ to handle the GenX crisis to the Senate, DEQ, and his Democratic opponent, a first time candidate for office and political newcomer.

Davis began the interview by admitting his failure to stand up to the Senate. He claims he wanted to fund DEQ, but that the Senate wanted to fund the NC Policy Collaboratory. This resulted in funding for a body that can only research chemicals, not enforce laws or regulations to protect clean water.

Davis quickly shifted blame for this failure to DEQ, saying the agency could have shut down Chemours, the company responsible for putting GenX in the Cape Fear River for years. However, he voted for the 2017 budget that continued funding cuts to DEQ just days after news of the GenX spill broke and the 2018 budget that gave Chemours lobbyists everything they wanted.

He also doubled down on his questionable TV ad that implies his opponent, Marcia Morgan, a retired Army Colonel, possessed the legislative powers to solve the GenX crisis. When asked about how to bring more civility into politics, Davis again criticized Morgan for not doing enough.He cited his online petition to stop GenX pollution as a solution.

Morgan is outspoken on protecting drinking water.

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UNC BOG Series Part III: Lack of communication on million-dollar ad campaign raises questions about its motive

At the beginning of October, coinciding with the opening of FASFA applications for 2019, the NC Promise program launched an ad campaign to promote the new plan. “We Promise” aims to raise awareness amongst North Carolinians about the opportunity to utilize NC Promise, which UNC claims will make higher education more affordable for students, yet has many low-income students paying more out-of-pocket costs. The marketing campaign comes with a $1 million price tag.

The News & Observer reported that the legislature funded the marketing push but did not specify who requested the funding. A public records request for any correspondence between Margaret Spellings, President of the UNC System, Drew Moretz, Vice President for State Government Relations for the UNC System, Timothy Minor, Vice President for University Advancement for the UNC System, Andrew P. Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy for the UNC System, Camille Barkley, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Josh Ellis, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Clayton Somers, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Secretary to UNC-Chapel Hill, Amy Auth, Director of State Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina General Assembly turned up no communication. According to this, there was absolutely no communication about a $1 million ad campaign between any members of the UNC System’s senior staff.

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New Nelson Dollar ad falsely claims he is “a leading advocate for women’s health”

Desperate to hold on to his decades-long career as a political insider and facing an incredibly strong challenger, Wake County Republican Nelson Dollar is misleading voters on his record on women’s health.

In an ad, Dollar claims he is “a leading advocate for women’s health.” However, as a key leader and main budget writer in the House, Dollar led Republicans in passing some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country.

As a House leader Dollar placed unnecessary and even creepy burdens on people seeking medical care and cut funding for basic programs:

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Rep. Ted Davis tried to block protections for survivors of rape using technicality.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) asked legislators to vote no on an amendment to one of his bills meant to clarify ambiguities in NC’s laws covering survivors of sexual assault or rape. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), offered protections for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.”

I don't believe I have the authority to change the language," Davis said, claiming the amendment was not relevant to the rest of his bill.

After Davis’s request, the majority of Republicans voted against offering legal protections for “date rape” survivors. The amendment passed by two votes, 56-54.

Beasley’s amendment “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.”

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

Donny Lambeth is a Republican legislator currently serving his third term representing HD75 in the North Carolina House. Before being elected to the General Assembly in 2012, Lambeth worked for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he held 17 different job titles but most notably earned more than $1 million in a single year as the president.

Remarkably, only two years after Lambeth earned $1.2 million as a hospital executive, he voted against expanding basic health care access for low-income North Carolinians. Despite being considered “the legislature’s leading healthcare expert” he voted against expanding Medicaid coverage for some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations. This vote resulted in hundreds and possibly thousands of lives lost across the state due to a lack of affordable health care.

Along with working for a medical center, Lambeth served as the chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board for over a decade and was a deeply controversial chairman. Parents and teachers complained that he “slept through meetings” and was “belligerent.” During his tenure, he criticized the state lawmakers for failing to fund public education.

However, since being elected to the House, he has fallen in line with the Republican trend of prioritizing tax cuts for corporations over paying teachers at the national average. Lambeth voted for multiple Republican budgets that fail to compensate hardworking teachers fairly and shortchange students by cutting education spending year after year.

Furthermore, Lambeth supported voter ID legislation, dubbed the “Monster” voter ID law, that was struck down in court for discriminating against African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.”

Read on for more about Rep. Lambeth.

Source: Morganton News Herald

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North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Rep. John Sauls (R-Harnett & Lee)

Rep. John Sauls is a Republican preacher representing House District 51. He served two terms from 2003-2006 and then retired, claiming to expand his congregation. However Sauls then retired from leading his congregation, handing over the pulpit to his higher-energy son, only to run for the NC House again in 2016. Since 2016 Sauls has served without distinction, sponsoring very few bills and missing many votes due to absences. He recently published Facebook ads listing the wrong district number and is known for being absent from floor votes and committee meetings. However, the votes he has been present for continue the Republican trend of prioritizing corporations and millionaires over the people in their districts.

Read on for more about Sauls’ record.

Photo: The Sanford Herald
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Video: “The horror:” N.C. Republicans again show they’re out of touch with the reality of teaching in N.C.

During discussion of the 2018 Republican budget, Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gaston) used the example of his father, a teacher and principal in the 1950s, to explain how easy teachers have it in 2018.

“When my dad taught back in the 1950s he got paid for nine months a year” Rep. Bumgardner said, “and in the summer he would go get a job and work, the horror.”

“The horror” 

N.C. has the third highest number of teachers working second jobs outside of the school system.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by EdNCover half of all North Carolina teachers have a second job. Though the data doesn’t clarify whether those jobs are specifically held over the summer, it is pretty apparent that teachers in 2018 are working just as hard as Rep. Bumgardner’s father did to make ends meet.

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Opinion: When your governing philosophy becomes a political liability

Republican leaders in Raleigh have taken unprecedented steps to pass this year’s budget behind closed doors. They will likely finish that up Friday, and they don’t plan to do much else this session so they can get back to fundraising from lobbyists and glad-handing in their districts. It is clear they have been forced to limit the amount of time they spend doing the jobs they were elected to do because Republican priorities have proven so deeply unpopular that even members once in safely gerrymandered districts face real challengers.

Seven years ago, shortly after historic wins brought Republicans into control of both chambers of the legislature for the first time in a decade, Thom Tillis, then the newly elected House Speaker laid out their agenda in a candid moment caught on camera. Tillis said that their philosophy was one to “divide and conquer” North Carolinians. Nearly a decade into Republican control we can see Tillis’s philosophy has been implemented with almost surgical precision.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Larry Yarborough (R-Person/Granville)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Larry Yarborough, the Republican from House District 2. Before joining the General Assembly in 2014, Yarborough was a County Commissioner in Person County.

Yarborough has a degree in chemical engineering and was the primary sponsor of H56, a bill that provided GenX funding and was tied to the repeal of the plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks.

Yarborough has consistently voted for more tax cuts over public education. He voted for the 2017 Republican budget that continue the trend of cutting taxes rather than raising per pupil spending and the 2016 and 2015 budgets that let education spending in NC fall even further behind.

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14 S P O O K Y things the Republican-led NCGA has done

It was (probably) midnight, and hiding under the cover of a racial gerrymander, the Republican-led General Assembly passed laws that hurt the people of North Carolina…

Thankfully, the good witches (and wizards) of the court struck down 14 of those such laws that as unconstitutional, restoring some order to the spooky state.

Not to be foiled again, Republicans began an attack on the courts, at the same time opposing a court-appointed special master who would remedy the racial gerrymander after refusing to submit names for consideration. 

At Real Facts we hope this scary tale will come to an end soon, but before it does, see if you can read all the way through these 14 frights: 

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