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Civitas June 2011 • Vol. 3, no. 5

CAPITOL CONNECTION www.nccivitas.org

Five House Dems Key to Avoiding Tax Hike First Budget Veto and Override in North Carolina History

BY BRIAN BALFOUR

F

ive House Democrats broke political ranks and voted with House Republicans to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the legislature’s budget proposal. That override was quickly followed by the state Senate overriding Perdue’s veto and enacting the budget into law immediately. The Democratic House votes were needed to ensure the three-fifths majority vote required in both chambers to override a gubernatorial veto. On the Senate side, Republicans enjoy a large enough majority not to need any Democratic votes for a veto override. Shortly after the successful override vote,

From Left to Right: Democratic House Representatives Bill Owens, Tim Spear, Dewey Hill, Bill Brisson, and Jim Crawford voted with Republicans to override Gov. Perdue’s budget veto Photos: North Carolina General Assembly House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) commended the “courageousness” of the five House Democrats. “They’re all men of honor and men of their word, and I’m proud to serve with them.” The five Democrats Tillis was praising are: Jim Crawford (D - Granville), Bill Owens (D - Pasquotank), Dewey Hill (D

- Columbus), Bill Brisson (D - Bladen), and Tim Spear (D Washington). The largest issue Perdue had with the legislature’s budget plan came down to taxes. On one side, Perdue favored imposing a net tax increase of $710 million. And on the other, the legislature’s plan includes a tax cut package totaling $131

Tea Party Leader & Concerned Citizen

BY KATHLEEN TROUT

NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID Permit #144 Reidsville, NC

Frustrated with the 2009 bailouts and the direction in which the country was headed, Charlotte native Matthew Ridenhour decided it was time to get involved. Despite frequently writing letters and making calls to representatives, he felt there was much more to be done. “It seemed I was just one small voice,” Ridenhour said. It was CNBC host Rick Santelli’s explosive on-air speech assailing massive government bailouts and lack of personal responsibility that prompted Ridenhour to organize an April 15, 2009 Tea Party rally in Charlotte, North Carolina. In what he calls “one of the most exciting days of my life,” over 2,500 people converged on City Hall in downtown Charlotte to protest the bailouts, high taxes, and big government policies. The group remains active and has held rallies to draw attention to the importance of free market principles and fiscally conservative economic policies. Having served the last 10 years in the US Marine Corps Reserve and completed two tours in Iraq, Ridenhour is no stranger to public service Citizen Continued on Pg. 3

100 South Harrington Street Raleigh, N.C. 27603-1814

In This Issue 2

Budget Fight Avoidable Perdue’s Scare Tactics

Budget Continued on Pg. 8

Legislative Compromise Still Not Enough for Perdue

Citizen of the Month: Matthew Ridenhour

Charlotte Tea Party leader Matthew Ridenhour speaks to a crowd on the importance of returning to fiscally conservative economic policies. Photo: anonymous

million the first year, growing to $336 million the second. Specifically, Perdue desired an increase in the statewide sales tax by three-fourths of a penny. As of July 1, 2011, the statelevel sales tax is scheduled to fall back to 4.75 percent as the 2009 “temporary” sales tax increase will expire (counties and some municipalities also levy a sales

tax, typically 2 cents per dollar spent). In short, under Perdue’s plan, the statewide sales tax rate would have climbed to 5.5 percent on July 1 as opposed to 4.75 percent as it would be under current legislation. Estimates project the threefourths penny extra sales tax rate would have cost taxpayers $826 million annually. Moreover, Perdue’s proposal includes a reduction in the state’s corporate tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent. But because the corporate tax rate applies to a relatively small number of businesses, total savings from Perdue’s tax reduction would only amount to a projected $115 million. Thus the combined impact of Perdue’s

BY ANDREW HENSON

After months of back and forth discussion, the final $19.7 billion budget emerging from Jones St. in June represents a curiously one-sided relationship between the legislature and the governor. While the original budget proposal featured wide ranging spending reform efforts, including early childcare reform of the state’s Smart Start program, elimination of Teaching Assistants for grades 1 – 3, and taking funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the lion’s share of such initiatives were shelved by Republican legislators in the interests of compromise. Although the House and Senate both sought to reconcile a $2.4 billion budget hole differently, their efforts have been met with strong criticism by Gov. Beverly Perdue on the total amount spent on education. Perhaps in response to Perdue’s criticism, the N.C. Senate modified total spending amounts by around $200 million throughout the budget writing process, increasing total K-12 education spending to $7.4 billion, including a provision that would reduce class sizes in K-12 classrooms

to one teacher per 17 students. Perdue denounced the compromise as a “charade” and maintained a consistent mantra of disapproval throughout the final passage of the budget. Senator Richard Stevens hinted at the governor’s possible overreaction toward total education expenditures which he claims differs from her budget in terms of total dollars reaching local school districts by one half of one percent. The final vote on the biennium budget revealed cracks within the Democratic party, as five House Democrats rejected Perdue’s blistering criticisms of proposed education cuts by voting with Republican legislators to pass the House budget with a vetoproof majority. This band of Democrats has a history of voting with Republicans -four out of these five representatives voted to elect Rep. Thom Tillis (R – Mecklenburg) to become Speaker of the House. The list of Democrats includes: Jim Crawford (D – Granville), Bill Owens (D – Pasquotank), William Brisson (D – Bladen), Dewey Hill (D – Columbus), and Tim Spear (D Compromise Continued on Pg. 3

3

Malpractice Reform Still On the Table Election Reform & The New Majority

4

Compromise Reached on State Health Plan

6

NCGA’s Mixed Messages on Obamacare

12

Scandal: Poole Heads to Jail


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June 2011

nccivitas.org

CAPITOL CONNECTION State Budget Fight Could Perdue’s Overblown Budget Scare Tactics Have Been Avoided Civitas

BY BRIAN BALFOUR

BY BRIAN BALFOUR

The current wrangling over the state budget has been focused almost exclusively on trying to reconcile a budget gap of more than $2 billion – and how much of that should be filled with tax increases or spending reductions. North Carolinians should be reminded, however, that this situation was completely predictable and largely avoidable. State budget writers had more than two years to prepare for this, but they refused to take responsible measures to minimize the current budget mess. To understand how this situation has unfolded, we need to go back to early 2009 when the economic recession first began to substantially impact the level of state revenue. Because state revenue was much lower than anticipated when the budget was approved the previous summer, the governor’s office had to take extensive measures to hold back money from state agencies in order to make revenue last until the end of the fiscal year on June 30. During the summer of 2009, when it was readily apparent that the nation and state were mired in the deepest recession since the Great Depression, state lawmakers went to work crafting a state budget. They had a decision to make: enact sensible spending reductions to reflect the lowered rate of recession-era revenue, or rely on shortterm revenue streams and pin their hopes on an economic recovery to bail them out in future years. Unfortunately, lawmakers opted for the shortsighted, irresponCivitas

CAPITOL CONNECTION PUBLISHER

Francis X. De Luca Francis.Deluca@nccivitas.org MANAGING EDITOR

Kathleen Trout Katie.Trout@nccivitas.org Editorial & Advertising 100 S. Harrington Street Raleigh, NC 27603 919-834-2099 (phone) 919-834-2350 (fax) www.nccivitas.org All non-advertising content published in Civitas Capitol Connection may be republished as long as appropriate credit is given and it is published in its entirety. Copyright 2011

sible option. Included in the 2009-10 fiscal year budget was the enactment of more than $1 billion in new “temporary” taxes. The largest revenue grab came from a 1-cent increase in the statewide sales tax. Other tax hikes included an additional surcharge on corporate and income taxes. While North Carolina raised all three of the major state taxes, no other state in the southeast resorted to raising even one of those taxes in 2009. State budget writers also relied heavily upon federal “stimulus” dollars to backfill funding for state

Please tell me who you trust more – the state legislature or Governor Perdue – to handle cutting state spending. Legislature Perdue Both Neither Don’t Know

60% 26% 2% 6% 5%

Civitas Poll May 2011

programs – primarily public education and Medicaid. The federal stimulus bill provided North Carolina with a $1.4 billion infusion in fiscal year 2009-10 and another $1.6 billion in the current budget year. Budget writers, however, knew that both of these substantial revenue sources were temporary and would no longer be available for the 2011-12 state budget. Specifically, nearly $3 billion in revenue from the federal stimulus plan and temporary taxes used to help balance this year’s budget must now somehow be made up for in the coming year because budget writers chose to avoid sensible reductions and maintained unsustainable spending levels. This drop-off in temporary revenue helps to explain the deep budget hole facing the General Assembly and Gov. Beverly Perdue. Many critics have been warning state leaders that their shortsighted reliance on temporary revenue sources, while avoiding any meaningful spending reform, will create a severe day of reckoning when the temporary revenue sources dry up. That day of reckoning is now, and the critics have been proven right. The heated budget debate and blame game continues in Raleigh. But remember: if lawmakers had taken responsible measures to address the troubling budget problem two years ago, the current situation could have been avoided. They have no one to blame but themselves. w

The North Carolina Senate’s attempt to appease Gov. Beverly Perdue with additional budget spending still was not enough to keep her office from engaging in an over-the-top public relations campaign to smear the Senate’s proposal. The original Senate budget proposal totaled $19.43 billion in state spending. Based upon Perdue’s signals that she would veto such a plan, the Senate re-worked their budget to add $250 million in spending, bringing the total to $19.68 billion. The Senate’s changes focused on Perdue’s primary objection: public education spending. Specifically, the Senate increased funding for K-12 education by $240 million over its original plan. The most significant change included dropping their initial proposal to save $390 million by reducing teaching assistants in grades K-3. Despite the Senate catering to Perdue’s wishes, the governor was less than satisfied and continued to lash out at the plan. Indeed, on the eve of the Senate releasing its compromise budget plan, a spokesperson for Perdue declared “a lot of bad things will happen if this (the Senate’s) budget passes.” Moreover, a day before voting was scheduled to begin, Perdue declared that the Senate’s plan “raises enormous concerns” and will “unnecessarily defund education and other crucial programs.” To understand the absurdity of Perdue’s statements, a little perspective is in order. The Senate compromise budget would spend $19.68 billion. Meanwhile, Perdue’s budget plan would spend $19.9 billion – for

a difference of 1.1 percent. This minor difference “raises enormous concerns” to Perdue? Moreover, when federal funds are added in, North Carolina’s General Fund operating budget will total roughly $35 billion. The difference between Perdue’s plan and the Senate’s is $220 million. Thus, when you consider a total operating budget of $35 billion, the difference comes to a paltry six-tenths of one percent. Does the governor’s office expect us to believe this small difference is protecting us from “bad things” happening? Lastly, it is imperative that one understands how the state budget has found itself in such a significant hole. When examining the time frame leading up to the current recession, we see that state budget writers have gone on an extended, unchecked spending spree. For the 30 year time span from 1979 to 2009 – even after adjusting expenditures for inflation – the state budget grew at a rate more than three times the rate of population growth. Considering the three decades of growing state budgets and everexpanding government, the current minor correction in the radical expansion of state spending hardly warrants such extreme rhetoric from the governor’s office. In light of the actual numbers, Gov. Perdue should be ashamed to stoop to such lowly fear-mongering. Her irresponsible comments are a distraction from the legitimate debate about the proper role of state government that should be taking place in Raleigh. The governor at least owes taxpayers an honest budgetary discussion. After all, it is their money she is spending. w

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Medical Malpractice Reform Still on the Table BY KAREN DUQUETTE

Medical malpractice has gotten out of control with doctors facing frivolous lawsuits which lack sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, wasting time and resources that could have been used to see patients. Many parties have realized that reforming the tort system, the legal system created to correct civil wrongdoing, is vital to keeping insurance costs down and ensuring good doctors remain in the medical field. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that 37 percent of medical malpractice claims are meritless. Litigating cases without merit wastes valuable resources and increases insurance and physician rates. As a result, several legislators have offered bills to address the growing problem. So far, both chambers of the General Assembly have passed SB 33, the Medical Liability Reforms Act, sponsored by Senator Apodaca (RHenderson). The appointed joint conference committee is currently negoti-

ating an agreement between the Senate and House versions of this legislation. While SB 33 lies in the hands of the Governor, HB 542, the Tort Reform for Citizens and Businesses Act, sponsored by Representative Rhyne (R-Lincoln), has passed both chambers and will go on to the Governor for her decision. This bill includes an actual damages provision, allowing the actual medical costs to be admitted into evi-

Do you support or oppose legislation to place caps on the amount of money that can be awarded in medical malpractice suits? Strongly Support Somewhat Support Somewhat Oppose Strongly Oppose Not Sure

45% 24% 10% 14% 7%

Civitas Poll February 2011

dence at trial in a medical malpractice case. Actual medical costs are the true medical dollars paid to settle a medical bill, not the billed charges, which is the current evidence standard in malpractice trials. Such a provision would provide the jury with a more accurate and honest reflection of the costs incurred by the injured plaintiff. It would also help lower litigation costs while decreasing health insurance rates and malpractice coverage. Most of the debate in malpractice legislation centers around the cap on non-economic damages. Noneconomic damages are generally damages awarded for pain, suffering, emotional distress and other less-tangible injuries. Legislators are debating whether to cap the damages at $250,000 or $500,000, while others feel there should be no cap at all.

In their current form, neither proposed bill would limit compensatory damages, which are damages recovered for the actual injury or economic loss incurred. Another point of contention involves emergency room doctors. Legislators have debated whether to offer them a higher threshold of liability and hold them to a standard of care of a reasonable emergency room doctor, not to a routine family practice physician. Including this provision seems fair considering emergency doctors must make split second decisions on a daily basis. Any tort reform legislation should balance the need to allow truly injured plaintiffs to have their day in court while filtering out frivolous claims and weak cases. Either bill would begin to address the current abuse in tort reform while also freeing up the courts to hear legitimate malpractice suits. w

Election Reform and the New Republican Majority BY SUSAN MYRICK

At print, the 2011-2012 biennium of the North Carolina General Assembly is 75 days into the “100 days that will change North Carolina.” In the days before the General Election of 2010, both the North Carolina House and Senate Republican candidates promised that, if elected, they would focus on a top 10 list of priorities. With a week left in the 2011 legislative session and the budget bill taking center stage, it is best to reserve judgment on the overall accomplishments of the new Republican majority, but we will certainly use their campaign promises to measure their success. Both the state House and the Senate’s top 10 lists included passing an “Honest Election Act” requiring a valid photo ID to vote. The House is on the verge of passing their version of a voter photo ID bill. In the 2010 campaign, candidates knew that the voter photo ID issue resonated with constituents – actually it was one of the primary issues. Since 2006, Civitas polling has consistently shown support of a voter photo ID requirement running be-

Citizen

CONTINUED FROM PG 1

and hard work. He has appeared on numerous local talk radio and television stations to share the Tea Party’s perspective on various topics. And though not visible on the political scene until two years ago, he grew up in a politically aware family which he credits for his passion and enthusiasm in the Tea Party movement today. “We would watch the Nightly News with Dan Rather, 60 Minutes and Crossfire, so politics was always a topic of discussion. My mother often listened to Rush Limbaugh, so

tween 83 and 88 percent. Voters in every demographic believe that having to provide an ID card with a photograph is just common-sense. In light of these facts, passage of this legislation should be a “no-brainer,” and it makes one wonder why the state House has had such difficulty in defending and passing a good voter photo ID bill. It is always difficult to change what so many think of as “the norm.” Democrats have been targeting groups of voters legislatively for generations. Their tactics and the results of such are so ingrained in North Carolina's legislative process and daily lives that it seems normal, even righteous. This is why, now that Republicans are in charge, any change to the status quo is frightening -- in some cases even to Republicans themselves. Republican state House members found it difficult to drive the voter photo ID legislation during this legislative session. Twice they compromised their bill to appease House Democrats

during the summers I would catch a good number of his shows,” said Ridenhour. “I think the Tea Party movement was a wake-up call for me saying, ‘If I don’t get involved now, there may not be much left for me to fight for later.’” It is this concern that motivates him to keep people engaged and informed. Moving into 2012, Ridenhour says educating citizens will become a primary goal for the Tea Party in Charlotte. Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, Ridenhour hopes to foster open dialogue and information sharing with Tea Party members, particularly to impact the upcoming local elections.

and twice they “discovered” that the Democrats in the House would not cooperate. At this time, the original bill is being discussed on the House floor and passed second reading on June 8, 2011. The Senate can be commended for presenting the strongest voter photo ID bill in SB 595, sponsored by Debbie Clary (R-Cleveland). Senator Clary’s bill

Currently North Carolina does not require voters to show a government issued photo ID to vote. The legislature is considering legislation to require all voters to show a photo ID when voting. Would requiring voters to show a photo ID improve the integrity and security of voting in North Carolina or have no effect on voting in North Carolina? Improve Security No Effect Not Sure

69% 27% 3%

Civitas Poll March 2011

The group will focus on finding candidates to run for local offices, mobilize members to help with campaigns, and share the Tea Party platform in the Charlotte community. “If we don’t educate people on economics, monetary policy, and fiscally conservative values, then we’re really not making a lasting impression,” he explained. “This year is going to set the stage for what we can accomplish next year.” w Follow the Charlotte Tea Party and upcoming events by visiting CharlotteTeaParty.org.

most closely follows the Georgia voter photo ID bill that has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court and the Justice Department. Unfortunately this bill was referred to Senate Committee Judiciary I on April 4, 2011 and has only been discussed in one meeting since then. Election reform bills made it to the House and Senate floor in the last week of the session. There are at least 19 sponsored bills (see chart) that attempt to achieve positive reform in many areas of North Carolina elections. Most of these bills have been referred to a committee and may never be heard. And while many of these bills attempt to do different things, they all try to restore some integrity to North Carolina’s elections. The new Republican majority has not lost the opportunity to start reversing years of liberal election laws – yet. They need to pass these well thoughtout election reform bills now before this session ends. w

See the Chart Continued on Pg. 5

Compromise CONTINUED FROM PG 1

Washington). Perdue—despite the lack of backing from her party—vetoed the General Assembly’s budget, prompting a veto override by the House and Senate in mid-June. This is the first time in North Carolina’s history that a governor’s budget veto has been overridden. Now Republicans expect the budget process to be wrapped up shortly and for the legislative session to adjourn until redistricting meetings next month. w


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Civitas

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CAPITOL CONNECTION

Differing Views on Public Education at Heart of Budget Battle BY BOB LUEBKE

Public education is ground zero for an expected budget battle between conservative majorities in the North Carolina House and Senate and a liberal governor facing a $2 billion budget deficit who is anxious to improve her approval ratings. Facing the loss of $670 million in federal stimulus funding and an ongoing recession, any plan to address the state’s budget deficit would significantly impact public education which accounts for over 50 percent of state spending. Those realities and differing political visions have helped to propel Gov. Beverly Perdue and the legislature in different directions. Gov. Perdue’s $11.2 billion budget plan called for extending a “temporary” sales tax to add another $825 million to budget coffers. By adding another tax, the governor minimized the size

of the cuts needed to address the state’s budget deficit and also reduced the cuts to public education by protecting teachers and teacher assistants from job losses. Overall, the governor recommends reductions of $351 million for the public schools, $86 million for community colleges and $230 million for the UNC System. Eager to keep their promise of no new taxes, newly-elected Republican legislators have sought to address the $2 billion budget deficit by reducing the size of government. The House budget calls for $1.2 billion in cuts to public education – about $586 million more than the governor’s budget. This includes reductions of $694 million to the public schools, $111 million in reductions for community colleges and $447 million in UNC budget reductions. In percentage terms this equates to reductions of 8.8 percent for the public schools, 10 percent for com-

munity colleges and 15.5 percent for the UNC System. The House agreed to fully fund all teacher positions for the next biennium, yet eliminated all Teacher Assistants for third grade and while seeking to give local districts more flexibility in making budget reductions. Not surprisingly, the Senate also put its own stamp on the education budget. The Senate’s public education budget (K-12, community colleges and UNC) is about $258 million less than Gov. Perdue’s recommended budget. For all the talk about draconian cuts by the Republicans, the Senate’s final budget numbers are not significantly different than Perdue’s. Her budget provides $11.2 billion; the Senate -- $10.98 billion. The Senate however provides less the Governor’s recommended budget to the UNC System ($117 million difference) and community colleges ($32 million dif-

ference). In overall percentage terms, the Senate reduces the K-12 education budget by 5.7 percent while Gov. Perdue’s budget reduces K-12 spending by 4.4 percent. The Senate budget figures include about $300 million added back to the budget to fund Teacher Assistants in grades K through 3 and the hiring of 1,100 new teachers to reduce the teacher-student ratio in lower grades to 1 to 17. Both provisions were included in hopes of gaining enough votes from House Democrats to override a veto from the governor. Five House Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the House bill in May. Last week the House voted to agree with the Senate budget. After the House’s approval, the bill was sent to Gov. Perdue who vetoed the bill on June 12, 2011. w

Compromise Reached over State Health Plan BY MATT WILLOUGHBY

Lawmakers and Gov. Beverly Perdue were able to reach a compromise over the State Health Plan. Senate leaders substituted language in an old House bill (HB578) with another version of changes to the State Health Plan. The House approved them and the bill was sent by special messenger to Gov. Perdue. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) says he and other leaders met with Perdue and she agreed to the new version. It is similar to the bill she previously vetoed with one distinct exception: the new bill allows the State Health Plan to use cash reserves of about $40 million to offer free health insurance coverage under a 70/30 plan for one year. While an individual employee wouldn’t pay a premium, they would pay a higher co-pay. The option could be continued to 2013 if the board of trustees can find the funds to support it. Oversight of the State Health Plan would be moved to the State Treasurer’s office which now oversees the pension plan.

There is one problem, state employees had 22 days to finish reenrolling in the State Health Plan under the old rules; many had already signed up. Those old rules included admitting to smoking which put an employee into a 70/30 plan; the same would apply to overweight workers. Artis Watkins with the State Employees Association of North Carolina says that means the state will have to open a new enrollment period for those who have already signed up, which could cost up to $20 million in administrative expense and money lost in the delay. Representative Dale Folwell (RForsyth) calls that just a band-aid. He introduced a bill (HB928) that he says would provide a long term fix for the State Health Plan. “Our actuary told us our unfunded liability for the State Health Plan is $33 billion,” explained Folwell. “The appropriation that should be associated with that is almost $3 billion a year, for 17 years,” he said. The same actuary recently reported that liability would climb to $59.8 billion in six years if something isn’t

done to fix the plan. Folwell says young state employees are leaving the State Health Plan in droves because they can more cheaply go online and buy coverage for their family. The state plan doesn’t charge for individual coverage but charges a hefty premium for a family. In addition, Folwell’s bill would have the plan administrators set up an incentive program for employees to look for errors in medical bills. They would receive a reward of 10

IN

FAVOR

OF

STATE

percent of the savings they find. Meanwhile, Folwell also introduced a bill (HB927) that he claims would put the state employees’ retirement fund back on track. For one thing, state employees would have to wait 10 years instead of five to be vested in the fund. Folwell’s bill would require a state employee to work 30 years and reach age 60 to qualify for full benefits. That would only apply to those who are hired on or after August 1, 2011. w

HEALTH

PLAN

Blust Burr Dockham Guice Horn Jones McCormick Moore, T Samuelson Steen

Bradley Cleveland Dollar Hager Howard Jordan McElraft Murry Sanderson Stevens

Brawley Collins Faircloth Hastings Hurley Justice McGee Pridgen Setzer Stone

Brisson

Bryant

Carney

Fisher

Gill

Glazier

Keever Parmon

McGuirt Rapp

Michaux Spear

House Republicans (63) Avila Brown, L Cook Folwell Hilton Iler Langdon McGrady Randleman Shepard Torbett

Barnhart Brown, R Daughtry Frye Hollo Ingle LaRoque Mills Rhyne Stam Warren, H

Blackwell Brubaker Dixon Gillespie Holloway Johnson Lewis Moffitt Sager Starnes West

REFORM HB 578

House Democrats (27) Alexander, K Bell Crawford

Earle

Goodman Hill Moore, R Owens Wainwright Wilkins

Brandon FarmerButterfield Jeffus Parfitt Wray

AGAINST STATE HEALTH PLAN REFORM House Republicans (0) House Democrats (24) Adams Graham Jackson Pierce

Alexander, M Hackney Lucas Ross

Bordsen Hall Luebke Tolson

Cotham Hamilton Martin Warren, E

NOT VOTING (1)

House

Tillis (R)

Faison Harrison McLawhorn Weiss

Floyd Insko Mobley Womble

ABSENT (5) Boles (R) Killian (R)

Current (R) Haire (D) McComas (R)

Sponsors Roll Call Murry (R)

Dockham (R)

Barnhart (R)

House #528


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Civitas

June 2011

CAPITOL CONNECTION

5

Election Reform Bills Filed in the NCGA House Bill #

Description

Intent

Status

Primary Sponsor(s)

House

658

Change Early Voting Period

Shortens early voting (in-person) by one week

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on May 23, 2011

Jones, Stam, Collins, Sager

Senate

419

Campaign Finance and Regulatory Reforms

An act to repeal the authority to provide for public funding of campaigns in North Carolina and to make other campaign finance reforms

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on Mar 28, 2011

Davis

Senate

503

No Second Primaries

Eliminates Second Primaries

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on Apr 5, 2011

Davis

Passed Third Reading on Jun 7, 2011; Ref To Com On Judiciary I (Senate) on Jun 8, 2011

LaRoque, Bradley, Luebke, Farmer-Butterfield

Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate on Mar 7, 2011

Brock, Kinnaird

House

32

Electoral Freedom Act of 2011

Amends the statutory requirement for a political party to maintain ballot eligibility; to provide that the results of primaries of political parties with less than ten percent of the registered voters are determined by a plurality unless the party chooses to nominate by convention; to change the definition of a “political party” by reducing the number of signatures required for the formation of a new political party; to reduce the number of signatures required for unaffiliated candidates to obtain ballot access eligibility; and to eliminate the need for petitions for write-in candidacy

Senate

225

Electoral Freedom Act of 2011

See HB 32

House

114

Any registered voter qualified to vote in the election who, on account Assistance to Voters in Fam- of living in a family care home as a person with disabilities as defined Ref To Com On Elections on ily Care Homes in G.S. 168-21, is entitled to assistance only from the voter’s legal Feb 17, 2011 guardian

Setzer

Senate

399

Minority Appeal from County Board of Election

An act to provide a process for an appeal of a decision of the county board of elections to the state board of elections by a member of the county board of elections

Clary

Starnes

Ref To Com On Elections on Apr 4, 2011

House

452

Eliminate Instant Runoff/ Public Finacing

An act to eliminate “instant runoff” voting for judicial offices when Passed 3rd reading on Jun late vacancies occur and instead determine the results of the vacancy 7, 2011; Ref to Com On Judielection by plurality, and to repeal public campaign financing for ciary on Jun 8, 2011 judicial and council of state races.

Senate

657

Voting Integrity

Shortens early voting (in-person) by one week, eliminates Same-Day Registration

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on Apr 20, 2011

Davis, Daniel, Hise

House

300

Election Fairness Act of 2011

An act to rotate the order of candidates and political parties as they appear on ballots, to eliminate straight-party ticket voting, and to provide partisan balance on the state board of elections.

Passed Second Reading on Jun 8, 2011

Jones, Hager

Senate

47

Restore Partisan Judicial Elections

An act to restore judicial elections to a partisan basis

Passed Second and Third Readings on Jun 8, 2011

Tillman

House

64

Restore Partisan Judicial Elections

An act to restore judicial elections to a partisan basis

Ref To Com On Elections on Jun 8, 2011

Sager, Dixon, Cleveland, Jones

Senate

595

Voter Identification at the Polls

Require voters to provide photo identification prior to voting

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on Apr 14, 2011

Clary

Senate

352

Restore Confidence in Government

Requires voters to provide photo identification before voting and other election and campaign reforms

Ref To Com On Judiciary I on Mar 16, 2011

Meredith, Hise

House

351

Restore Confidence in Government

Requires voters to provide photo identification before voting and allows more flexibility in requesting absentee ballots

Passed Second Reading on Jun 8, 2011

Lewis, T., Moore, Killian

Senate

725

Campaign Finance Reform

Various campaign finance reforms including changing NCGS 163-277 so that an individual compelled to testify before “any court or magistrate upon any investigation” would not be excused from prosecution.

Ref to Com on Judiciary I on Apr 20, 2011

Hise, Goolsby

House

710

Board of Ethics, Lobbying and Campaign Finance

An act to combine the functions of the state ethics commission, the lobbying section of the secretary of state, and the campaign finance Passed Second Reading on division of the state board of elections into an agency to be known as Jun 8, 2011 the state board of ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance

Senate

456

Candidate List Party or Unaffiliated Status

Will allow for party designations in partisan ballot items and nonpartisan ballot items as requested by the candidate.

Passed third Reading Jun 8, 2011; Ref To Com On Elections (House) on Jun 8, 2011

Lewis

Goolsby

See accompanying article, page 3

IN FAVOR OF SHORTENING EARLY VOTE PERIOD HB 658

AGAINST SHORTENING EARLY VOTE PERIOD

Avila Brawley Collins Dollar Hilton Iler LaRoque Moffitt Sager Starnes

Faircloth

House Republicans (60) Barnhart Brown, L Cook Folwell Hollo Ingle McComas Moore, T Samuelson Steen

Blackwell Brown, R Current Frye Holloway Johnson McCormick Murry Sanderson Stevens

Blust Brubaker Daughtry Gillespie Horn Jones McElraft Pridgen Setzer Stone

Boles Burr Dixon Hager Howard Justice McGee Randleman Shepard Warren, H

House Democrats (0)

House

NOT VOTING (1) Tillis (R)

ABSENT (1) Killian (R)

Bradley Cleveland Dockham Hastings Hurley Langdon Mills Rhyne Stam West

House Republicans (6) Guice

McGrady

Torbett

Alexander, M Bell Carney Cotham

Bordsen Crawford

Brandon Earle

Fisher

Floyd

Gill

Glazier

Hackney Insko Martin Owens Spear Womble

Haire Jackson McGuirt Parfitt Tolson Wray

Hall Jeffus McLawhorn Parmon Wainwright

Hamilton Keever Michaux Pierce Warren, E

Jordan

Lewis

House Democrats (52) Adams Brisson Faison Goodman Harrison Lucas Mobley Rapp Weiss

Alexander, K Bryant FarmerButterfield Graham Hill Luebke Moore, R Ross Wilkins

Sponsors Roll Call Jones (U) Collins (R)

Stam (R) Sager (R)

House #519


6

June 2011

Civitas

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CAPITOL CONNECTION

Deciphering Mixed Messages on Obamacare from NC Legislature individual or an entity that is not a party to the litigation, but has an interest in its outcome, usually siding with one of the parties to the case. These briefs are important because they provide unique perspectives and legal arguments that may differ from the involved parties’ views. The legislature’s brief argues Obamacare is unconstitutional because its “individual mandate is not a valid regulation of economic activity” and that it dramatically expands Medicaid, forcing the states to eventually absorb these costs. GOP leadership has contested that the federal government is encroaching on states rights and individual liberties by forcing individuals to purchase health insurance and making states absorb additional healthcare costs. With the recent filing of the Amicus brief, it is somewhat puzzling that the same GOP-led legislature is also quickly pushing through an unnecessary health insurance exchange bill in response to Obamacare. Under Obamacare, the states “shall” establish a health insurance exchange. If a state chooses not to

BY KAREN DUQUETTE

On May 11, 2011, GOP legislative leadership filed an Amicus brief challenging the constitutionality – especially the individual mandate – of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare.) Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow), House Speaker Thom Tillis (RMecklenburg), and House Majority Leader Skip Stam (R-Wake) all signed the “friend of the court” brief. Earlier in the session, the legislature passed HB 2, the “Protect Healthcare Freedom Act,” which would have allowed North Carolina to join 26 other states in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal law. However, Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed the bill and the legislature was unsuccessful in overriding the veto. North Carolina has now joined Minnesota in filing an Amicus brief to the lawsuit currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. An Amicus brief is filed by an

provide its own exchange by January 1, 2014, the federal government, under the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, will set up an exchange for it. However, so far, there has been little guidance from the federal government on key questions about what the exchanges should include and how they should be run. The state health insurance exchange bill, HB 115, would set up an exchange with a mix of federal money and funds from the state’s high-risk pool, as well as fees on those who buy insurance policies through the exchange. It would be governed by a 12 member board of directors comprised of businesses, health insurance, medical provider and public representatives. Based on other states’ exchange experiences, these programs bear little resemblance to a market-based healthcare system. Instead of individuals purchasing among a wide variety of private insurance plans and taking personal ownership of their coverage, an exchange expands enrollment in public programs like Medicaid and constricts consumer

health choice. The constitutionality of Obamacare has yet to be determined as the U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to hear the case until 2012. Because its constitutionality is undetermined and because we have until 2014 and probably beyond based on the HHS’ postponed deadlines, there is no rush to set up an exchange process this year. In a time of a major budget crisis, why waste money and resources setting this up when our own state leadership thinks Obamacare should be held unconstitutional? If the federal law and its required exchanges are found unconstitutional, the exchange program becomes completely moot. Only when and if Obamacare is upheld should our legislature worry about researching and setting up a health benefits exchange. And if it is required, North Carolina and its legislators should implement an exchange that is as competitive and market-driven as possible to ensure patients receive the best options available. w

State Responses to Obamacare WA

ND

MT

MN

MI ME

SD

ID

OR

WI

MI

WY

UT

IL

CO

KS

PA

OH

IN

KY CA

NC

AR

NM

AZ

NJ

VA

TN

OK

NH

MD DE

WV

MO

VT

MA CT RIRI

IA

NE

NV

NY

SC MS TX

AL

GA

LA

No Action Filed Virginia Lawsuit

FL

Joined Florida Lawsuit Filed Amicus Brief for Florida Lawsuit Filed Oklahoma Lawsuit

AK

HI


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Civitas

June 2011

CAPITOL CONNECTION

7

Unemployment Declining while Unemployment Insurance Debt Continues to Increase to 9 percent. Unemployment rates fell in 73 out of the state’s 100 counties, increased in 10, and remained the same in 17. Additionally, unemployment decreased in 10 of the state’s metropolitan areas and remained the same in four. No metropolitan area incurred an increase in unemployment. Currituck County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate of 5.6 percent, whereas Scotland County represented the high-

BY ANDREW BLACKBURN

The latest report from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission once again shows a steadily declining trend in unemployment rates across the state. The statewide unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent (seasonally unweighted), down from 9.7 percent in March. Conversely, the national rate increased from 8.8 percent

est rate at 15.8 percent. Only 36 counties were at or below the state’s average, yet unemployment trends continue to decline optimistically, as nearly half of North Carolina’s counties fell under the 10 percent line. The number of employed North Carolinians increased by 6,751, while the number of uninsured fell by 10,036. Unemployment insurance claims totaled 30,307 in April, down

2,896 from the previous month. While North Carolina residents can look forward to increasing job opportunities, the state is reeling from paying over $4.9 billion in unemployment benefits since April 2010 and losing $109.8 million in unemployment insurance payments in April alone. These rates must decline further to ease pressure on the state’s strained budget. w

State Unemployment Rates, June 2011 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alleghany Surry 11.3 10.1

Gates CamdenCurrituck Northampton Warren Granville 7.9 Stokes Rockingham 11.3 Hertford 6.8 12.5 9.5 11.4 5.6 Caswell Person Vance 9.0 Halifax Pasquotank 9.6 10.3 9.9 12.7 Watauga 12.1 Chowan 8.9 Wilkes Mitchell Yadkin Forsyth 7.6 Orange 10.6 Perquimans 11.7 10.7 Avery Franklin Guilford Bertie 9.2 5.9 9.1 9.7 11.2 Caldwell 9.6 9.7 11.4 Durham Nash Alamance Davie Tyrrell Edgecombe Madison Yancey 12.4 Alexander 7.3 Washington 11.5 9.8 10.7 Martin 10.6 10.4 Iredell 9.4 14.4 8.9 11.1 10.6 Burke Davidson 10.4 Wilson Dare Chatham Wake Haywood Catawba Rowan 10.6 Randolph Buncombe McDowell 12.1 12.4 10.6 6.4 7.5 9.4 Pitt 11.4 12.2 9.7 10.8 7.3 Swain Johnston Lincoln Greene 9.5 Beaufort Hyde Lee Graham 13.4 8.7 Cabarrus 10.9 Henderson Rutherford 10.3 10.3 8.5 Wayne 11.6 Harnett 14.6 Jackson Montgomery 9.4 7.5 Polk 13.7 ClevelandGaston Macon Moore Stanly 10.4 8.3 Lenoir 8.3 11.8 Transylvania Craven Cherokee 11.2 7.4 10.6 Mecklenburg 10.4 10.5 8.5 8.6 9.7 10.2 12.7 Clay 9.8 Pamlico Cumberland 9.6 Jones Richmond 9.6 Hoke Union 9.1 9.1 Sampson Duplin 12.3 Anson 9.0 8.6 8.0 8.4 11.9 Scotland Carteret 15.8 Onslow 8.1 Bladen Robeson 8.2 Pender 11.4 12.0 10.3 Ashe 10.6

Unemployment Counties

%

Columbus 12.0

New Hanover 9.0 Brunswick 10.3

5.6 - 7.5 7.6 - 9.5 9.6 - 11.5 11.6 - 13.5 13.6 - 15.8

14.0%  

11.7%

12.0%  

9.1% 9.1% 9.5% 9.6% 9.8% 9.9% 10.3%

9.5%

10.0%  

12.5%

7.7% 7.7% 8.2% 8.3%

8.0%  

7.0%

6.0%   4.0%   2.0%  

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8

June 2011

Civitas

nccivitas.org

CAPITOL CONNECTION

Bill Requires Full Disclosure of Options before Abortion BY MATT WILLOUGHBY

Doctors would have to make women wait at least 24 hours before getting an abortion under a bill (HB854) in the state House of Representatives. It would require a doctor or qualified personnel to fully explain the medical risk of an abortion. The legislation would mandate that 24 hours before an abortion the woman would be told the doctor's name and where the procedure would be performed. Within that time frame, she would be given the chance to see an ultrasound of the fetus and hear the heartbeat, although she could refuse. The patient would have to be given information on alternatives to abortion such as medical assistance after birth, public assistance programs, and assurance that the father would be responsible for child support. Doctor Amy Bryant, a Chapel Hill gynecologist, told a House committee she was opposed to the bill because it was an intrusion. “The legislature should not be inserting itself into a woman’s private healthcare decision,”

Sylinthia Stewart of Fayetteville, who has had five abortions, testifies before the North Carolina House of Representatives that she never got information on the risks of abortion. said Bryant. “House bill 854 is misleadingly named a ‘Woman’s Right to Know Act.’” She continued, “This provision if enacted would actually punish women for deciding to have an abortion.” She claimed women already receive

IN FAVOR OF BUDGET VETO OVERRIDE

HB 200

Avila Brown, L.

Barnhart Brown, R.

Blackwell Brubaker

Blust Burr

Boles Cleveland

Bradley Collins

Brawley Cook

Current Frye Holloway Jones McComas Moore, T. Sanderson Stone

Daughtry Gillespie Horn Jordan McCormick Murry Setzer Tillis

Dixon Guice Howard Justice McElraft Pridgen Shepard Torbett

Dockham Hager Hurley Killian McGee Randleman Stam Warren, H.

Dollar Hastings Iler Langdon McGrady Rhyne Starnes West

Faircloth Hilton Ingle LaRoque Mills Sager Steen

Folwell Hollo Johnson Lewis Moffitt Samuelson Stevens

Owens

Spear

Bingham Davis Hise Rabon

Blake East Hunt Rouzer

House Democrats (5) Crawford

Hill

Senate Republicans (31) Allran Brunstetter Gunn Newton Stevens

Apodaca Clary Harrington Pate Tillman

Berger, P. Daniel Hartsell Preston Tucker

Budget CONTINUED FROM PG 1

House Republicans (68)

Brisson

a lot of information before any procedure is done. “A woman does not arrive at the decision to have an abortion lightly; she receives accurate information about the risks, benefits and possible complica-

tions of abortion.” But Sylinthia Stewart of Fayetteville, who had five abortions, said she didn’t get any information before her abortions and is still having trouble getting information on them now. “Every time I went for an abortion I was never told the information,” she said. “You know what my education was when I went for my abortion at Planned Parenthood, a doctor’s office: do you want it?” A doctor specializing in psychiatry told the committee women like Stewart can struggle with psychiatric illnesses long after having an abortion. “The women who come to me say they wish they had received better information about the risks before they made their abortion decision,” said Dr. Martha Shuping. “One North Carolina woman told me that she received better informed consent counseling before her dog had surgery compared to what she received when she had her abortion.” The bill has passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s verdict. w

Brock Forrester Jackson Rucho

Brown Goolsby Meredith Soucek

Senate Democrats (0)

AGAINST BUDGET VETO OVERRIDE House Republicans (0)

desired tax changes yields a tax increase of roughly $710 million. Conversely, the General Assembly’s budget that survived Perdue’s veto does not include a sales tax increase or a corporate tax rate reduction. Instead, their plan includes a tax cut package focused primarily on small businesses. It features a tax exemption of the first $50,000 in business income for start-up and small businesses having gross receipts less than $825,000. This tax exemption is projected to produce a tax savings of $131 million for the coming fiscal year, and savings of $336 million the following year. The exemption, however, is targeted to sunset at the end of the 2013 calendar year. Clearly the premise behind these conflicting tax plans offers a stark contrast.

In order to avoid making sensible reductions to the growth of state government, and to maintain a higher level of state government workers, Perdue appeared willing to reach deeper into consumer’s pockets – even during this ongoing recession. The General Assembly plan, however, offers some sensible budgetary reductions coupled with a tax cut plan intended to bolster North Carolina’s private sector economy. And thanks to the “party of five” Democrats who stood by their word and voted to override Perdue’s veto, North Carolina citizens will be spared another bout of massive tax increases. As Rep. Dewey Hill, one of the party of five, said: “It’s a good budget. I can go to sleep tonight on it.” w

House Democrats (46) Adams Carney Floyd Haire Jeffus McLawhorn Pierce Weiss

Alexander, K. Cotham Gill Hall Keever Michaux Rapp Wilkins

Alexander, M. Earle Glazier Hamilton Lucas Mobley Ross Womble

Bell Faison Goodman Harrison Luebke Moore, R. Tolson Wray

Bordsen Farmer-Butterfield Graham Insko Martin Parfitt Wainwright

Brandon Fisher Hackney Jackson McGuirt Parmon Warren, E.

Senate Republicans (0) Senate Democrats (19) Atwater Garrou Mansfield Stein

Berger, D. Graham McKissick Vaughan

EXCUSED ABSENT (1)

House

Blue Jenkins Nesbitt Walters

Clodfelter Jones Purcell White

Dannelly Kinnaird Robinson

Bryant (D)

Sponsors Roll Call Brubaker (R)

House #999 Senate #678

The John W. Pope Civitas Institute

Free Market Academy Want to fight back against the erosion of our economic liberty? The most important tool in winning intellectual battles is education and knowledge. Have your activist group host a Free Market Academy educational workshop and learn what left-wing professors, politicians and the media don’t want you to know about free markets!

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June 2011

CAPITOL CONNECTION

9

Incumbent Wins Washington County Sheriff’s Election Redo BY SUSAN MYRICK

This article follows up the article “Washington County Votes in New Election for Sheriff ” in the May 2011 edition of the Civitas Capitol Connection. The “redo” election for Washington County Sheriff was held on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Democratic incumbent sheriff James (Smiley) Ross won the new election with 2,190 votes to the challenger’s, Republican Gregory (Greg) Hassell, 2,065 votes. There was a four vote difference between the candidates in the Nov. 2, 2010 General Election. In a teleconference on Feb. 25, 2011, the State Board of Elections acknowledged that there were sufficient irregularities to taint the results of the election and ordered a new election. The 2010 Washington County sheriff ’s election is a good example of how the State Board of Elections avoids investigations into apparent voter fraud, thus perpetuating the myth that there is no voter fraud in North Carolina. As soon as the Board of Elec-

Democratic incumbent James (Smiley) Ross wins Washington County Sheriff Election re-do over Republican Gregory Hassell. tions called for a new election, all hope for “getting to the bottom” of the accusations and evidence of voter fraud in Washington County was lost. After the new election was ordered, the State Board of Elections began to explain away the evidence

of fraud as simply administrative error. While there were serious administrative problems in the election for Washington County sheriff, such as the denial of assistance to voters with disabilities, absentee ballots mailed to wrong addresses and duly registered voters having been removed from the official voter registration list, there were many more egregious violations discovered by Greg Hassell in his investigation into the November 2010 election. Mr. Hassell’s evidence contained testimony from voters, poll workers and staff from the Roanoke Development Center. Also included in the evidence Mr. Hassell was prepared to present in a scheduled hearing (which was cancelled by the State Board of Elections), were examples of intimidation and fraud such as: • A missing ballot that was found 27 days after Election Day (voted for Hassell) • Voters told to vote a straight Democratic ticket • Voters told that their provisional ballots would not count • Absentee / One-Stop votes were cast and counted in the names

of the four individuals who were deceased at the time of the vote • Residents of the Roanoke Development Center were given unsolicited and unwanted assistance to vote and according to Hassell, “the votes cast on behalf of the 11 handicapped voters by unauthorized person or persons did not reflect the expressed choice or the will of the voters.” • Hassell’s evidence went on to reveal that the Roanoke Development Center was operated by Dr. Zebedee Taylor, the Chairman of the Washington County Democratic Party Sheriff Ross may have won reelection in Washington County, but the voters have lost again because without a proper hearing and investigation, the citizens of North Carolina will never know what really happened there during the November 2010 General Election. And after another “close call,” the State Board of Elections can now resume their claim that all is well with elections in North Carolina because we have so few “substantiated” cases of voter fraud. w

Racial Justice Act Revisited BY MATT WILLOUGHBY

House Republicans took a bill (SB9) that had already passed the Senate and substituted new language that would radically alter the Racial Justice Act. The act was passed in 2009 and allowed death row inmates to plead to be taken off death row based on claims of racial discrimination. The inmates could use statistical and other types of evidence to show the justice system was biased against minorities. Minority groups say it is because more blacks are sentenced to death than whites. The new Senate bill would no longer allow evidence that only paints a picture of discrimination in the justice system. Inmates would have to actually prove the prosecutors considered race as a basis for a death sentence using hard, factual evidence of intent. Suspects would also no longer have pre-trial or post-hearings to make the same complaints. Representative Larry Womble (D-Forsyth) was the sponsor of the Racial Justice Act. He told a House committee considering the Senate bill it was an attempt to repeal the act. “The people in North Carolina cannot ignore the fact that racial bias still plays a role in many of life and death trials,” said Womble. “This is why we must uphold, we must extend and we must the keep Racial Justice Act as it is now.” Since the Racial Justice Act went

into effect there have been 152 appeals by death row inmates. Motions for hearings have also been made in 46 cases pending trial. District Attorney Seth Edwards, President of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, told the same panel prosecutors do not see race when they get a case -- they see a crime. He said two of his cases illustrate there is no basis for appeals based on race. Supporters of the Racial Justice Act laughed when told that in a committee meeting. Edwards used the cases which have been appealed under the act to show race didn’t play a role in the death sentences. One was a white man from Beaufort County who killed another white man and his wife. “I’ve yet to figure out how he can claim racial discrimination” said Edwards. “But I think the answer is because he can, because he can use statistics from some other part of North Carolina to try to show racial discrimination in this case.” Edwards said in another case under appeal a black man killed a black man by wrapping tape around his head so the victim suffocated. The District Attorney said the sentence wasn’t based on race, but based on the fact it was a violent crime. The committee approved the bill. The House passed the bill by a 63-53 vote on June 16, 2011. It was sent back to the Senate for concurrence who said they will return to the bill in the short session. w

Rep. Larry Womble (D-Forsyth) told a House committee that the Racial Justice Act must be upheld because racial bias plays a major role in court trials today.

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Made A Difference?

The Civitas Citizen of the Month is an award given to recognize a person who has had an impact on state or local policy debate, provided information to the public, or otherwise had a noteworthy accomplishment. The Citizen of the Month will be recognized at our monthly poll luncheons and honored with a gift. If you know someone who fits the definition and has given of their time for a constitutional, free-market society based on liberty, please email citizen@nccivitas.org.


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nccivitas.org

How do I Contact My Legislator? House 1 Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank, Tyrrell Bill Owens (D) Rm. 611, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-0010 Bill.Owens@ncleg.net 2 Chowan, Dare, Hyde, Washington Timothy L. Spear (D) Rm. 402, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3029 Tim.Spear@ncleg.net 3 Craven, Pamlico Norman W. Sanderson (R) Rm. 306A2, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5853 Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net

16 New Hanover, Pender Carolyn H. Justice (R) Rm. 420, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-9664 Carolyn.Justice@ncleg.net

This legislative directory provides legislative phone number and legislative address. Jones St. zip code is 27601. The Salisbury St. zip code is 27603.

4 Duplin, Onslow Jimmy Dixon (R) Rm. 1002, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3021 Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net

17 Brunswick Frank Iler (R) Rm. 632, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-301-1450 Frank.Iler@ncleg.net

5 Bertie, Gates, Hertford, Perquimans Annie W. Mobley (D) Rm. 501, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5780 Annie.Mobley@ncleg.net

18 New Hanover, Pender Susi H. Hamilton (D) Rm. 1319, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5754 Susi.Hamilton@ncleg.net

6 Beaufort, Pitt Bill Cook (R) Rm. 1303, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5906 Bill.Cook@ncleg.net 7 Halifax, Nash Angela R. Bryant (D) Rm. 542, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5878 Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net 8 Martin, Pitt Edith D. Warren (D) Rm. 1323, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3023 Edith.Warren@ncleg.net 9 Pitt Marian N. McLawhorn (D) Rm. 1217, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5757 Marian.McLawhorn@ncleg.net 10 Greene, Lenoir, Wayne Stephen A. LaRoque (R) Rm. 635, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3017 Stephen.LaRoque@ncleg.net

19 New Hanover Daniel F. McComas (R) Rm. 506, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5786 Danny.McComas@ncleg.net 20 Brunswick, Columbus Dewey L. Hill (D) Rm. 1309, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5830 Dewey.Hill@ncleg.net 21 Sampson, Wayne Larry M. Bell (D) Rm. 606, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5863 Larry.Bell@ncleg.net 22 Bladen, Cumberland William D. Brisson (D) Rm. 1325, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5772 William.Brisson@ncleg.net 23 Edgecombe, Wilson Joe P. Tolson (D) Rm. 608, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3024 Joe.Tolson@ncleg.net

11 Wayne Efton M. Sager (R) Rm. 416B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5755 Efton.Sager@ncleg.net

24 Edgecombe, Wilson Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D) Rm. 631D, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5898 Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg. net

12 Craven, Lenoir William L. Wainwright (D) Rm. 613, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5995 William.Wainwright@ncleg.net

25 Nash Jeff Collins (R) Rm. 1006, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5802 Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net

13 Carteret, Jones Pat McElraft (R) Rm. 637, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-6275 Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net

26 Johnston N. Leo Daughtry (R) Rm. 2207, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5605 Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net

14 Onslow George G. Cleveland (R) Rm. 417A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-6707 George.Cleveland@ncleg.net

27 Northhampton, Vance, Warren Michael H. Wray (D) Rm. 502, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5662 Michael.Wray@ncleg.net

15 Onslow Phil R. Shepard (R) Rm. 301N, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-9644 Phil. Shepard@ncleg.net

28 Johnston, Sampson James H. Langdon, Jr. (R) Rm. 417B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5849 James.Langdon@ncleg.net

29 Durham Larry D. Hall (D) Rm. 1015, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5872 Larry.Hall@ncleg.net

45 Cumberland Rick Glazier (D) Rm. 1021, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5601 Rick.Glazier@ncleg.net

30 Durham Paul Luebke (D) Rm. 513, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7663 Paul.Luebke@ncleg.net

46 Hoke, Robeson, Scotland G.L. Pridgen (R) Rm. 2223, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5821 Gaston.Pridgen@ncleg.net

31 Durham Henry M. Michaux, Jr. (D) Rm. 1220, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2528 Mickey.Michaux@ncleg.net

47 Robeson Charles Graham (D) Rm. 1315, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0875 Charles.Graham@ncleg.net

32 Granville, Vance James W. Crawford, Jr. (D) Rm. 1321, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5824 Jim.Crawford@ncleg.net

48 Hoke, Robeson, Scotland Garland E. Pierce (D) Rm. 1204, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5803 Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net

33 Wake Rosa U. Gill (D) Rm. 1305, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5880 Rosa.Gill@ncleg.net

49 Franklin, Halifax, Nash Glen Bradley (R) Rm. 536, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5860 Glen.Bradley@ncleg.net

34 Wake Grier Martin (D) Rm. 1219, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5758 Grier.Martin@ncleg.net

50 Caswell, Orange Bill Faison (D) Rm. 405, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3019 Bill.Faison@ncleg.net

35 Wake Jennifer Weiss (D) Rm. 1109, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3010 Jennifer.Weiss@ncleg.net

51 Harnett, Lee Mike C. Stone (R) Rm. 1008, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3026 Michael.Stone@ncleg.net

36 Wake Nelson Dollar (R) Rm. 307B1, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-0795 Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net

52 Moore James L. Boles, Jr. (R) Rm. 503, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5903 Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net

37 Wake Paul Stam (R) Rm. 2301, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-2962 Paul.Stam@ncleg.net

53 Harnett David R. Lewis (R) Rm. 534, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3015 David.Lewis@ncleg.net

38 Wake Deborah K. Ross (D) Rm. 1023, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5773 Deborah.Ross@ncleg.net

54 Chatham, Moore, Orange Joe Hackney (D) Rm. 612, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-3451 Joe.Hackney@ncleg.net

39 Wake Darren G. Jackson (D) Rm. 1019, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5974 Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net

55 Durham, Person W. A. (Winkie) Wilkins (D) Rm. 1301, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0850 Winkie.Wilkins@ncleg.net

40 Wake Marilyn Avila (R) Rm. 2217, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5530 Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net

56 Orange Verla Insko (D) Rm. 603, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7208 Verla.Insko@ncleg.net

41 Wake Tom Murry (R) Rm. 2121, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-0010 Tom.Murry@ncleg.net

57 Guilford Pricey Harrison (D) Rm. 1218, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5771 Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net

42 Cumberland Marvin W. Lucas (D) Rm. 607, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5775 Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.net

58 Guilford Alma Adams (D) Rm. 604, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5902 Alma.Adams@ncleg.net

43 Cumberland Elmer Floyd (D) Rm. 1311, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5959 Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net

59 Guilford Maggie Jeffus (D) Rm. 1307, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5191 Maggie.Jeffus@ncleg.net

44 Cumberland Diane Parfitt (D) Rm. 1017, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-9892 Diane.Parfitt@ncleg.net

60 Guilford Marcus Brandon (D) Rm. 1209, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5825 Marcus.Brandon@ncleg.net

70 Randolph Pat B. Hurley (R) Rm. 532, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5865 Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net

61 Guilford John Faircloth (R) Rm. 306A3, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5877 John.Faircloth@ncleg.net

71 Forsyth Larry Womble (D) Rm. 510, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5777 Larry.Womble@ncleg.net

62 Guilford John M. Blust (R) Rm. 1229, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5781 John.Blust@ncleg.net

72 Forsyth Earline W. Parmon (D) Rm. 509, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5829 Earline.Parmon@ncleg.net

For additional information on finding your legislator by county or to see how they vote, please visit

civitasaction.org 63 Alamance Alice L. Bordsen (D) Rm. 602, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5820 Alice.Bordsen@ncleg.net 64 Alamance Dan W. Ingle (R) Rm. 530, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5905 Dan.Ingle@ncleg.net 65 Rockingham Bert Jones (U) Rm. 306A1, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5779 Bert.Jones@ncleg.net 66 Montgomery, Richmond Ken Goodman (D) Rm. 1111, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5823 Ken.Goodman@ncleg.net 67 Montgomery, Stanly, Union Justin P. Burr (R) Rm. 538, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5908 Justin.Burr@ncleg.net 68 Union D. Craig Horn (R) Rm. 1010, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-2406 Craig.Horn@ncleg.net 69 Anson, Union Frank McGuirt (D) Rm. 1015, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3007 Frank.McGuirt@ncleg.net

73 Davidson, Forsyth Larry R. Brown (R) Rm. 303, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5607 Larry.Brown@ncleg.net 74 Forsyth Dale R. Folwell (R) Rm. 301F, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5787 Dale.Folwell@ncleg.net 75 Forsyth Wm. C. “Bill” McGee (R) Rm. 634, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5747 William.McGee@ncleg.net 76 Rowan Fred F. Steen, II (R) Rm. 305, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5881 Fred.Steen@ncleg.net 77 Rowan Harry Warren (R) Rm. 533, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5784 Harry.Warren@ncleg.net

WHY WE GIVE PARTY AFFILIATIONS: The Legislature is managed as a partisan institution. Lawmakers segregate themselves by party in matters from daily meetings to electing leaders. They have separate and taxpayer-financed staffs. As such, gaining a full understanding of the vote of an individual lawmaker requires knowing his or her partisan affiliation.


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CAPITOL CONNECTION

78 Randolph Harold J. Brubaker (R) Rm. 302, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-4946 Harold.Brubaker@ncleg.net

92 Iredell, Surry, Yadkin Darrell G. McCormick (R) Rm. 2119, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5654 Darrell.McCormick@ncleg.net

109 Gaston William A. Current, Sr. (R) Rm. 418B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5809 Bill.Current@ncleg.net

79 Davie, Iredell Julia C. Howard (R) Rm. 1106, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5904 Julia.Howard@ncleg.net

93 Ashe, Watauga Jonathan C. Jordan (R) Rm. 418C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7727 Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net

110 Cleveland, Gaston Kelly E. Hastings (R) Rm. 2123, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2002 Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net

80 Davidson Jerry C. Dockham (R) Rm. 2204, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2526 Jerry.Dockham@ncleg.net

94 Wilkes Shirley B. Randleman (R) Rm. 531, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5935 Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net

111 Cleveland Tim Moore (R) Rm. 1326, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-4838 Tim.Moore@ncleg.net

81 Davidson Rayne Brown (R) Rm. 638, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-0873 Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net

95 Iredell Grey Mills (R) Rm. 2221, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5741 Grey.Mills@ncleg.net

112 Cleveland, Rutherford Mike Hager (R) Rm. 306C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5749 Mike.Hager@ncleg.net

82 Cabarrus Jeff Barnhart (R) Rm. 304, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2009 Jeff.Barnhart@ncleg.net

96 Catawba Mark K. Hilton (R) Rm. 1227, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5988 Mark.Hilton@ncleg.net

This legislative directory provides legislative phone number and legislative address. Jones St. zip code is 27601. The Salisbury St. zip code is 27603. 83 Cabarrus Linda P. Johnson (R) Rm. 301D, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5861 Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net 84 Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, Yancey Phillip Frye (R) Rm. 639, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5661 Phillip.Frye@ncleg.net 85 Burke, McDowell Mitch Gillespie (R) Rm. 307B2, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5862 Mitch.Gillespie@ncleg.net 86 Burke Hugh Blackwell (R) Rm. 541, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5805 Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net 87 Caldwell Edgar V. Starnes (R) Rm. 419A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5931 Edgar.Starnes@ncleg.net 88 Alexander, Catawba Mark W. Hollo (R) Rm. 633, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8361 Mark.Hollo@ncleg.net 89 Catawba, Iredell Mitchell S. Setzer (R) Rm. 1206, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-4948 Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net 90 Alleghany, Surry Sarah Stevens (R) Rm. 416A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-1883 Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net 91 Rockingham, Stokes Bryan R. Holloway (R) Rm. 529, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5609 Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net

11

19 Bladen, Cumberland Wesley Meredith (R) Rm. 2106, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5776 Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net

35 Mecklenburg, Union Tommy Tucker (R) Rm. 311, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7659 Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net

20 Durham Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. (D) Rm. 520, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-4599 Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net

36 Cabarrus, Iredell Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. (R) Rm. 300C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7223 Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net

21 Cumberland Eric Mansfield (R) Rm. 1119, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-9349 Eric.Mansfield@ncleg.net

37 Mecklenburg Daniel G. Clodfelter (D) Rm. 526, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8331 Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net

5 Greene, Pitt, Wayne Louis Pate (R) Rm. 406, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5621 Louis.Pate@ncleg.net

22 Harnett, Moore Harris Blake (R) Rm. 408, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-4809 Harris.Blake@ncleg.net

38 Mecklenburg Charlie Smith Dannelly (D) Rm. 1127, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5955 Charlie.Dannelly@ncleg.net

113 Henderson, Polk, Transylvania W. David Guice (R) Rm. 528, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-4466 David.Guice@ncleg.net

6 Jones, Onslow Harry Brown (R) Rm. 300B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3034 Harry.Brown@ncleg.net

23 Orange, Person Eleanor Kinnaird (D) Rm. 628, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5804 Ellie.Kinnaird@ncleg.net

39 Mecklenburg Bob Rucho (R) Rm. 300A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5655 Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net

97 Lincoln Johnathan Rhyne, Jr. (R) Rm. 2208, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5782 Johnathan.Rhyne@ncleg.net

114 Buncombe Susan C. Fisher (D) Rm. 504, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2013 Susan.Fisher@ncleg.net

24 Alamance, Caswell Rick Gunn (R) Rm. 312, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-301-1446 Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net

40 Mecklenburg Malcolm Graham (D) Rm. 622, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5650 Malcolm.Graham@ncleg.net

98 Mecklenburg Thom Tillis (R) Rm. 2304, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5828 Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net

115 Buncombe Patsy Keever (D) Rm. 1317, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5746 Patsy.Keever@ncleg.net

7 Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren Doug Berger (D) Rm. 516, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8363 Doug.Berger@ncleg.net

116 Buncombe Tim D. Moffitt (R) Rm. 1025, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3012 Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net

25 Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly William R. Purcell (D) Rm. 517, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5953 William.Purcell@ncleg.net

41 Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln James Forrester (R) Rm. 2108, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3050 James.Forrester@ncleg.net

99 Mecklenburg Rodney W. Moore (D) Rm. 1211, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5606 Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net

8 Brunswick, Columbus, Pender Bill Rabon (R) Rm. 2108, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5963 Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net

100 Mecklenburg Tricia Ann Cotham (D) Rm. 403, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-0706 Tricia.Cotham@ncleg.net

117 Henderson Chuck McGrady (R) Rm. 418A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5956 Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net

9 New Hanover Thom Goolsby (R) Rm. 2115, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2525 Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net

26 Guilford, Rockingham Philip Edward Berger (R) Rm. 2008, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5708 Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

101 Mecklenburg Beverly M. Earle (D) Rm. 610, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2530 Beverly.Earle@ncleg.net

118 Haywood, Madison, Yancey Ray Rapp (D) Rm. 1013, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5732 Ray.Rapp@ncleg.net

10 Duplin, Lenoir, Sampson Brent Jackson (R) Rm. 525, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5705 Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net

27 Guilford Don Vaughan (D) Rm. 515, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5856 Don.Vaughan@ncleg.net

102 Mecklenburg Becky Carney (D) Rm. 1221, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5827 Becky.Carney@ncleg.net

119 Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain R. Phillip Haire (D) Rm. 609, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3005 Phillip.Haire@ncleg.net

11 Nash, Wilson E.S. Newton (R) Rm. 410, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3030 Buck.Newton@ncleg.net

28 Guilford Gladys A. Robinson (D) Rm. 1120, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3042 Gladys.Robinson@ncleg.net

12 Johnston, Wayne David Rouzer (R) Rm. 523, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5748 David.Rouzer@ncleg.net

29 Montgomery, Randolph Jerry W. Tillman (R) Rm. 627, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5870 Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

45 Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes Dan Soucek (R) Rm. 310, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5742 Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net

13 Robeson, Hoke Michael Walters (D) Rm. 1118, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5551 Michael.Walters@ncleg.net

30 Alleghany, Stokes, Surry, Yadkin Don W. East (R) Rm. 522, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5743 Don.East@ncleg.net

46 Cleveland, Rutherford Debbie A. Clary (R) Rm. 314, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3038 Debbie.Clary@ncleg.net

14 Wake Daniel T. Blue, Jr. (D) Rm. 1117, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5752 Dan.Blue@ncleg.net

31 Forsyth Peter S. Brunstetter (R) Rm. 2022, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-7850 Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net

15 Wake Neal Hunt (R) Rm. 308, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5850 Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net

32 Forsyth Linda Garrou (D) Rm. 620, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5620 Linda.Garrou@ncleg.net

47 Avery, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Yancey Ralph Hise (R) Rm. 1026, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-3460 Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net

16 Wake Joshua H. Stein (D) Rm. 1113, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-6400 Josh.Stein@ncleg.net

33 Davidson, Guilford Stan Bingham (R) Rm. 2117, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5665 Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net

17 Wake Richard Y. Stevens (R) Rm. 309, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5653 Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net

34 Davie, Rowan Andrew C. Brock (R) Rm. 623, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-0690 Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net

103 Mecklenburg William Brawley (R) Rm. 1313, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5800 Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net 104 Mecklenburg Ruth Samuelson (R) Rm. 419B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3009 Ruth.Samuelson@ncleg.net

120 Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon Roger West (R) Rm. 1004, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5859 Roger.West@ncleg.net

Senate

105 Mecklenburg Ric Killian (R) Rm. 2219, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5886 Ric.Killian@ncleg.net

1 Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, Washington Stan White (D) Rm. 1121, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-8293 Stan.White@ncleg.net

106 Mecklenburg Martha B. Alexander (D) Rm. 1213, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5807 Martha.Alexander@ncleg.net

2 Carteret, Craven, Pamlico Jean R. Preston (R) Rm. 629, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5706 Jean.Preston@ncleg.net

107 Mecklenburg Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. (D) Rm. 404, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5778 Kelly.Alexander@ncleg.net

3 Edgecombe, Martin, Pitt S. Clark Jenkins (D) Rm. 621, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3040 Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net

108 Gaston John A. Torbett (R) Rm. 537, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5868 John.Torbett@ncleg.net

4 Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Perquimans W. Edward Jones (D) Rm. 518, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3032 Edward.Jones@ncleg.net

June 2011

For additional information on finding your legislator by county or to see how they vote, please visit

civitasaction.org

18 Chatham, Durham, Lee Robert Atwater (D) Rm. 519, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3036 Bob.Atwater@ncleg.net

42 Catawba, Iredell Austin M. Allran (R) Rm. 625, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5876 Austin.Allran@ncleg.net 43 Gaston Kathy Harrington (R) Rm. 2113, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5734 Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net 44 Burke, Caldwell Warren Daniel (R) Rm. 411, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-7823 Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net

48 Buncombe, Henderson, Polk Tom M. Apodaca (R) Rm. 2010, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5745 Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net 49 Buncombe Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. (D) Rm. 1129, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3001 Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net 50 Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania Jim Davis (R) Rm. 2111, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5875 Jim.Davis@ncleg.net


12

June 2011

nccivitas.org

CAPITOL CONNECTION

Civitas

SCANDAL

Poole Heads to Prison

BY BOB LUEBKE

On Tuesday, May 17, one of the strangest chapters in recent North Carolina political history came to a close as U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle sentenced Ruffin Poole Jr., a former top aide to Gov. Mike Easley, to a year and a day in federal prison. Poole was also fined $30,000 for hiding illegal profits he had made from developers seeking his influence over the permit process. In January 2010, federal prosecutors indicted Poole on 51 corruption counts including monetary transactions concerning property involved in a criminal enterprise, bribery and money laundering. In March, six more charges including income tax evasion and racketeering were added. In a dramatic turn of events in April 2010, Poole entered a guilty plea to a single charge of income tax evasion in exchange for a promise to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the ongoing federal investigation of Easley. As a result, all charges but the one count of income tax evasion were dropped by prosecutors. Last November, Easley pled guilty in state court to a felony campaign finance charge that ended the investigation against him. He paid a $1,000 fine but did not serve jail time. As part of the ongoing Easley probe looking into discounted lots at the exclusive Carteret County waterfront community of Cannonsgate, investigators found

Former Easley aide Ruffin Poole Jr. was recently sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison, plus a $30,000 fine, for hiding illegal profits he made from developers seeking his influence and access to the former governor. Photo: Don Carrington

that Poole had used his position as staff counsel in the governor’s office to influence the speed of the permit process. A review of regulatory documents reveals Poole appeared to expedite the regulatory process for a variety of properties developed and financed by Gary Allen and Larry Allen, two prominent Democratic fundraisers and donors. One of the major backers of the Cannonsgate development, Lanny Wilson, was a former state Board of Transportation member and major fundraiser for Gov. Easley. Wilson allowed Poole to

Pass The Torch

purchase property there to help win Poole’s favor. Poole pocketed a $55,000 profit -- $30,000 from Cannonsgate and another $25,000 at Summerhouse, another coastal development. Poole never reported the income on his taxes. While many were hoping the proceedings would bring closure to a black chapter in North Carolina’s political history, they did not. More than a few court observers were surprised at Poole’s relatively light sentence. The maximum punishment for tax evasion is up to five years in jail

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and a $250,000 fine. Nevertheless, prosecutors determined Poole’s situation warranted a sentence of 12-18 months and a significantly reduced fine ($30,000). Also Judge Boyle’s curious questions and comments to prosecutors reopened nagging doubts that the case was handled properly. The judge appeared incredulous at how a case involving multiple charges of political corruption and a 57 count indictment could be reduced to a single charge of income tax evasion. To date, no one else named in the investigation has been charged. Judge Boyle’s pointed throwaway question, “How did everyone else get so lucky?” seems to mirror overall public sentiment that while the legal process may be complete, few believe justice was served. w The Civitas Institute offers training in investigative journalism and exposing government corruption. For those interested in learning more, contact Bob Luebke at 919-8342099, Ext. 135. Scandal is a regular column in Capitol Connection that will explore public corruption in NC Government. Have a local corruption story? Email us at : corruption@nccivitas. org. or call 919-834-2099.

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Civitas Capitol Connection June 2011 Special Edition