This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Senator Joel Ford, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County. Ford, a self-proclaimed “recovering entrepreneur” who has bought and sold several businesses, was elected to the NC Senate in 2012 after a brief stint as a political consultant. Ford, formerly a VP of the embattled Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, came in a distant third in Charlotte’s 2017 mayoral election.
Ford took an anti-LGBTQ stance during the HB2 controversy and aftermath, even sponsoring a failed repeal bill based on an indefinite moratorium for nondiscrimination ordinances. During the Charlotte mayoral race, Ford responded to a constituent who expressed concerns about his record on LGBTQ issues with a gif of a dog pooping. Ford’s record of looking out for himself first has been proven time and time again. Read more here.
"We need to be sensitive to religious freedom and respecting individual rights, and that has proven to be difficult because of people who look for tolerance while they themselves are intolerant” – Joel Ford, 3/25/15
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Holly Grange, the first-term Republican from District 20. She was elected in 2016 after a contentious Republican primary decided the seat as there was no Democratic challenger. Grange currently chairs the House Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality, a committee created in the aftermath of the GenX crisis in her district. She also sits on the Appropriations on Education Committee.
"The idea of shutting down Chemours might make some folks feel better, but we hope the DuPont spinoff stays open as long as it's no longer taining the water." - Rep. Holly Grange (Wilmington Star News, 7/29/17)
Grange’s priority as a lawmaker are clear, instead of looking out for middle class families in her district she’s protecting the wealthy and well connected. Grange’s district is suffering from the aftermath of the GenX spill, and her solution is to get rid of environmental protections for big business. She altered the language of the budget to fund a state aquarium to be built on a prominent Wilmington developer’s “mega-development.” She ran on teacher pay, but voted for a budget that failed to raise their salaries to the national average while per pupil spending has actually gone down over the last school year.Read More
August 14, 2017: A coal ash dump in Chatham County run by Duke Energy contractor Charah now has a 90-day permit to collect the liquid it leaks and spray it into the air, but Courtney Wood at UNC-Chapel Hill's school of public health says the process "negates any basic chemistry from high school."
So yes, a Duke Energy contractor plans to use this process for coal ash.
Charah CEO Charles Price contributed at least $22,000 in 2016 and 2017 to NC Republicans, including Berger and Moore. Additionally, Charah has a history of violating permits. The company was previously cited at least twice by NC for starting construction at sites without required permits, but received no fine under Gov. McCrory’s DEQ.
June 1, 2017: The fluid that collects beneath landfills, referred to as leachate, could soon be sprayed into the air, thanks to House Bill 576 sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon.
Proud garbage juice proponent Rep. Jimmy Dixon recently said about House Bill 576, “The genesis of this idea goes back to chemical warfare.”
North Carolina Republican legislators, who have lined their pockets with at least $34,200 from the waste industry, want to unleash a process on North Carolinians that has its origins as a weapon of mass destruction.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Clearly, the health and safety of our citizens is not part of the agenda for North Carolina Republicans.
Rightfully so this bill was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper.
While North Carolina residents are facing the possibility of being sprayed with garbage juice, the NC GOP is lining their pockets with money from the waste industry, which has donated at least $34,200 to GOP legislators overseeing debate on the bill.
House Bill 576 would allow for the aerosolization of leachate, an untested and unsafe method for landfills to dispose of their waste. Picture it as “garbage juice in a snow blower.”
And who would be most impacted by this legislation? Communities of color and poor, who are more likely to live near landfills.
The waste industry is in favor of the aerosolization of leachate because it is cheaper than other methods of removing waste and they have been donating big money to legislators who could advance the bill.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, has received $6,100 from the waste industry, the majority of which came from Ven Poole, the CEO of Waste Industries. Dixon is also the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which received House Bill 576 on referral.
Speaker Tim Moore has received $8,600 from the waste industry, including contributions from Ven Poole and the Waste Management Pac. Moore voted in favor of House Bill 576.
Sen. Trudy Wade has received $19,100 from the waste industry, including donations from Ven Poole and the inventor of aerosolization, Kelly Houston. The contribution from Houston came when Wade was the chairwoman of a Senate conference committee charged with compromising on a bill containing language about leachate. Wade is also a member of the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, which reported favorably on the bill.
Everyday, many rural North Carolina families wake up to the stench and residue of hog waste. It clings on their clothes, sticks to the walls of their houses, covers their yards, and for years it has prevented neighboring kids from experiencing the fun of an outside birthday party.
Chinese-owned pork producers like Smithfield Foods are responsible for ruining the property values of nearby homeowners and small farmers. But their pay-to-play contributions to state politicians paved the way for House Bill 467, which gives special protections to the giant pork producers, effectively weakening nuisance laws and protecting them from a variety of legal claims.
Recognizing their blatant attempt to stop pending litigation related to 26 lawsuits filed against Smithfield Foods subsidiary Murphy-Brown, lawmakers narrowly voted to amend the bill so that it would only apply to future litigation. Yet 56 House members still voted to protect Smithfield Foods from current litigation by opposing the amendment.
In the span of 3 days in March of 2016 McCrory has taken two unilateral actions to assert greater control over coal ash cleanup and then declare coal ash a non-issue. On March 8, 2016 his administration rescinded “do not drink” orders that were in place for hundreds of residents…Read More