Legislator Profile

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 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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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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North Carolina Legislator Profile update: Larry Yarborough (R-Person, Granville)

Yarborough simply follows his Republican colleagues lead and votes in line with his party, which has resulted in a lack of public education funding in North Carolina. Yarborough voted for multiple Republican budgets, all of which failed to meaningfully increase teacher pay and left NC nearly…

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North Carolina Candidate Profile: Andrew Heath (NC Court of Appeals)

Former Governor Pat McCrory’s budget director Andrew Heath landed a job as a judge during the final days of McCrory’s administration after the legislature used the December 2016 special session to add several Superior and District Court judge seats, so McCrory could appoint a few judges on his way out of office.

Heath is challenging incumbent judge John Arrowood for his seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals, the state’s second highest court. Arrowood was appointed to his seat in 2017 after Judge Doug McCullough resigned to foil Republicans’ court packing plan. Arrowood also served on the court from 2007 to 2008. Meanwhile, Heath’s primary credentials include three jobs given to him by Former Governor McCrory, creating major questions about his ability to be an independent and fair judge. 

Heath has a record of siding with business over people. He was chair of the Industrial Commission, his first (of three) McCrory appointments, and served on the board of a Koch-funded “workers’ education” nonprofit. Heath’s record on the Commission fundamentally altered its ability to protect North Carolina workers and decide workers’ compensation disputes; he stacked the deck against workers every time. 

Heath’s three most recent jobs were appointments by McCrory, calling into question his independence as a judge. His inexperience showed in his role as McCrory’s budget director. Heath’s budget left teachers behind, saying it showed restraint for not “showering money” on teachers to “gain political points.” He also downplayed the significant economic impacts of discriminatory HB2. 

Heath will be a close ally for Republicans on the court, placing partisanship ahead of the needs of some of the most vulnerable North Carolinians. He turned to Twitter just days after the election he took to Twitter, using questionable math to imply voter fraud should invalidate Roy Cooper’s defeat of McCrory. His willingness to use questionable data to defend his boss and political patron shows who he’ll stand up for on the state’s second highest court. 

Continue reading for more about Judge Andrew Heath, candidate for the NC Court of Appeals.

Source: News & Observer

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover)

Rep. Holly Grange is a rising star in the Republican Party and was quickly made Deputy Conference Leader by her Republican cohorts. Grange’s stardom is not surprising, she has been a reliable vote for leadership’s agenda since being appointed by McCrory.

Grange is also a reliable vote for laws that benefit out of state corporations. She prioritized tax breaks for corporations over raising teacher pay to the national average. Meanwhile, classroom spending remains below pre-recession levels with teachers spending thousands out of pocket on necessary supplies not covered by state budgets. More than half of those same teachers are forced to work a second job to make ends meet as teacher pay remains nearly $10,000 below the national average.

Grange’s votes aren’t just harmful in our classrooms. She voted to dismantle health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions while North Carolinians face some of the most expensive health care in the nation.

While dismantling health care and cutting funding for public schools, Grange gave Chemours lobbyists pet provisions in the 2018 budget even after chairing the committee tasked with handling the GenX crisis and protecting rivers from future problems. Instead of helping the people of New Hanover county clean up GenX, Grange sided with corporations while people’s water bills increased.

Click here for more about Grange's record.

Photo: NC Channel

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North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Andy Dulin (R-Mecklenburg)

Dulin places his own advancement above the wants and needs of his constituents. Dulin has called himself a “constituent services guru;” however, he has voted against the desires of those he represents, preferring to ignore constituents in favor of campaign contributions from corporations. He won a seat in the NC House in 2016 following unsuccessful runs for the Republican nomination in the 9th congressional district, NC Senate District 39 against Bob Rucho, and the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. He has been noted for his confidence and calls his political skills “The Dulin Factor.”

Instead of standing up for the needs of his constituents, Dulin consistently played follow-the-leader with his Republican colleagues in Raleigh.

Republicans in the General Assembly have repeatedly denied North Carolinians affordable healthcare. Dulin and his party used a procedural vote to block Medicaid expansion to rural North Carolina. Dulin also voted to pass an amended bill originally touted as school safety legislation after Senate Republicans added provisions that would drive up insurance premiums and allow providers to price out preexisting conditions. 

Dulin voted for the 2017 Republican budget that prioritized tax cuts over funding public education and has always advocated for cutting funding from public schools. In 2004 he said CMS can do with what they are given, and “what they're given [,,,] is enough. Meanwhile, per pupil spending remains below pre-recession levels in North Carolina. The 2017 budget also allocated $45 million to private school voucher programs, siphoning money from public education.

Following the school shooting in Parkland, FL, Dulin sponsored a “school safety” bill that included no provisions on gun safety or mental health. Republican leadership blocked gun debate, pushing the narrative that guns are irrelevant to school safety. Dulin does not own a gun, but has said, “By golly, that second amendment is there for a reason.”

Continue reading to learn more about Dulin.

Source: Charlotte Observer

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North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe, Watauga)

Jonathan Jordan was elected in 2010 and has served four terms. Previously working for the right-wing John Locke Foundation, Jordan has maintained his strong relationship with the group’s founder, Art Pope. Since being in office, he has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from associated groups and consistently voted for legislation in line with Pope’s radical right-wing vision for North Carolina. North Carolina deserves a legislator that will put the needs of North Carolina first, not wealthy benefactors.

Jordan has spent his eight years in the legislature undermining education in NC. Because of Jordan’s votes, education remains insufficiently funded. North Carolina teacher pay has not meaningfully increased during Jordan’s time in office. Jordan has supported legislation that takes money away from public education and diverts it to private schools, prioritizing his private interests over the wellbeing of students across the state. To make it even worse, Jordan has accepted campaign contributions from groups who do not care about North Carolina’s future for education. Jordan cares more about his own pocket than our teachers and students.

Jordan voted against expanding Medicaid to North Carolinians, causing costs to skyrocket for all North Carolinians and especially those who need it the most – it’s a big part of why we have the 3rd most expensive health care in the country. Clearly in line with Art Pope’s agenda, Jordan’s vote against Medicaid expansion actively hurts North Carolinians and limits access to healthcare.

Jordan, having received donations from Duke Energy, chose to not hold them accountable after their coal ash spill in 2016 and to pass the cost onto the ratepayers. After the spill, legislation was introduced that would free Duke Energy from the responsibility of cleaning up the disaster they caused. This ultimately saved Duke Energy billions of dollars, at the expense of North Carolinians and the environment.

Read on for more about Jordan’s record of placing his relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: WataugaWatch

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North Carolina Candidate Profile Update: Bobby Hanig (R-Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Washington)

Hanig ran unopposed for the Currituck Country Board of Commissioners in 2016 and was elected Chairman of the Board shortly after. During his time on the County Commission, Hanig proved he will follow in other Republicans’ footsteps and be yet another rubber stamp for the Republican age…

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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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