CLC 2013 Highlights Edition • Vol. 5, no. 3
CLC INSPIRES Conference Rocks Conservatives “We have been saying North Carolina now has a golden opportunity to be a beacon of freedom and prosperity for the nation,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca. “At CLC, we all felt energized and enthusiastic about how we can help North Carolina move ahead.” No matter what is happening in Washington, in North Carolina and in many other states conservatism is gaining strength, said former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint,
BY jim tynen
Leaders of the freedom movement told the Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference March 1-2 in Raleigh that conservatives must adhere to their ideals and take action to sustain the nation’s wellbeing and principles. CLC was sold out in advance, and hundreds of concerned citizens came to the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley hotel for a full slate of speakers, breakout sessions and other events designed to educate and empower attendees.
Friday keynote speaker Michelle Malkin quoted Latin in telling conservatives “nil desperandum” – never despair, never give up.
Continued on Pg. 6
General Assembly Hits the Ground Running BY clark riemer
NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID Permit #231 Winston-Salem, NC
The 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly is off to another quick start this year. While traditionally the General Assembly passes very little substantial legislation during their first month in Raleigh, since the 2010 Republican takeover, the General Assembly has made a habit of hitting the ground running. Already this year several major controversial bills have been passed and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
Perhaps the most controversial of the early bills was a major overhaul of the state’s unemployment system. For years North Carolina has funded a very generous unemployment insurance system in large part by borrowing funds from the federal government. By 2013 this borrowing had left the state unemployment insurance system $2.5 billion in debt, and had triggered a mandatory federal tax increase on North Carolina businesses. The bill reformed the unemployment system by bringing benefits more in line with our regional neighbors and accelerating the schedule under which the debt to the federal government would be paid. Governor McCrory signed the bill into law on Feb. 19.
The General Assembly also took up a bill that would prevent the implementation of State Healthcare Exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina. The bill —making permanent North Carolina’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare
— was signed into law on March 6. According to figures from the Heritage Foundation, preventing Medicaid expansion in North Carolina will save North Carolina taxpayers $1.7 billion dollars through 2022. The General Assembly has also started work on the long-
promised voter ID bill. Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Chairman of the House Elections Committee, held a press conference that outlined a several-month timetable for the bill that would allow for significant input from the public and stakeholders on all sides of the issue. As part of the early deliberations on the issue, Civitas President Francis X. DeLuca gave testimony to the Elections committee on the need for Voter ID in NC. A public hearing was held on March 12, and a draft of the proposed bill is expected in April. The General Assembly is also expected to take up a major reform on North Carolina’s tax code in 2013. So far no bill has been proposed, but several conceptual proposals have been GA
Continued on Pg. 10
100 South Harrington Street Raleigh, N.C. 27603-1814 Vol. 5, No. 3
In This Issue
Power and Principles page 2
Tax Reform Petition page 3
Voting Scheme page 4
CLC Highlights pages 5-9
Scandal page 12
CLC 2013 Highlights
Civitas •F R O M THE
STAY UP TO DATE!
CLC Looks at Challenges of Power and Principles BY jim tynen
Jim Tynen, Civitas Capitol Connection Editor
The Civitas Institute’s 2013 Conservative Leadership Conference highlighted the opportunities and challenges the freedom movement will face. They include: Principles. It seemed as if every CLC speaker called on conservatives to stick to their principles once they gain office. For instance, talk-show host Jason Lewis said “the tragedy of the GOP” is that all too often it abandoned its stand for limited government. “Instead of asking which GOP candidate can win, we should debate what GOP candidates stand for.” Politics. To govern by those principles, conservatives must win elections against free-spending liberals. As U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said at CLC, comparing liberals to conservatives: “Well, they’re giving away candy. We’re the ones saying, ‘I’m sorry America, candy causes cavities. Oh, it’s worse than that,
it’s caused an abscess. Oh, it’s worse than that, the abscess is infected and we’re going to die if we don’t operate.’” Yet, as he noted, conservatives have the truth on their side. For example, the former businessman displayed a chart of how college costs have skyrocketed in tandem with the growth of federal aid to students. Liberal candy really does cause cavities. If conservatives make that clear, they can win. The Paradox of Power. Winning an election, however, gives conservatives power over a government they want to reduce in size and scope. How they handle that paradox is key. For the flip side of this paradox is that Democrats pose as the party of government, but making it too big and powerful ultimately sabotages government itself. CLC speaker Jim DeMint, formerly the U.S. Senator from South Carolina, said that conservatives must show Americans where big government policies lead. “We can go to Detroit and show [people], ‘This is 50 years of those policies.’” Or, he said, take conservative Utah and Texas, both growing and prospering, and compare them to the virtually bankrupt, big-government states of California and Illinois. In short, big government is bad government. In North Carolina, a century of Democratic dominance has left government a shambles, with historic buildings decrepit and on the verge of
PUBLISHER Francis X. De Luca Francis.Deluca@nccivitas.org MANAGING EDITOR Jim Tynen Jim.Tynen@nccivitas.org GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tiffany Taylor Editorial & Advertising 100 S. Harrington Street Raleigh, NC 27603 phone: 919-834-2099 fax: 919-834-2350
collapsing, and agencies in disarray, new Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told CLC. As an example he noted that the incoming McCrory administration found that “the IT infrastructure of the state is a wreck.” The most telling sign was when the new technology chief found there was no way to actually communicate to with his entire staff – no functioning email or phone system — except over the building intercom. In short, if NC Republicans stick to conservative principles, they can demonstrate yet again that limited, focused government is better government. And if the current administration and General Assembly can restore what’s useful in the state operations while pruning away what’s wasteful and even destructive, they can build a lasting legacy in the Old North State.
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CLC 2013 Highlights
‘Bad Bill’ Would Hobble Free Speech BY brian balfour
A recent Bad Bill of the Week is actually a House Joint Resolution. HJR 171, crafted by Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange), urges the NC General Assembly to draft a resolution opposing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to reverse the free speech rights protected by the United decision.
For those who may not recall, the United decision reversed previous laws that banned independent political expenditures by corporations (including non-profits and unions). The expansion of free speech rights was met by liberal groups as some sort of “threat against democracy” – and Rep. Insko wants the U.S. Constitution amended to enshrine a permanent ban on free speech exercised by groups of individuals classified as “corporations.”
Opposition to the United decision, however, has nothing to do with preserving democracy or the voice of average citizens. Like most liberal/progressive issues, it has to do with control. In this case, liberal politicians want to control political speech by determining who gets to speak. Taken to its logical conclusion, those who want to ban political speech from corporations would prohibit book publishers from publishing books praising or critical of certain candidates.
The answer to political speech you don’t approve of is not to silence those speaking, but rather to counter with your own speech. A free society doesn’t use government force to silence people. One final note, for those concerned about big money in politics: Take a look at the size of government. The larger the size and scope of government intrusion into our lives, the more is at stake for individuals and businesses alike. Govern-
ment meddling creates the need for businesses and other groups to spend money to influence politicians in order to either gain political privileges or fend off harmful restrictions. Reducing the reach of government would drastically reduce the felt need for organizations to spend money on the political process. Because it would undermine one of the core principles of a free society – free speech – HJR 171 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.
END Income Taxes in NC I support eliminating the income tax in North Carolina. Eliminating the Income Tax in North Carolina will mean more jobs for our citizens, make our state more economically competitive and increase personal freedom by reducing the government’s role in our lives. Only by eliminating the Income Tax can we start to stop state government from picking winners and losers and redistributing income.
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CLC 2013 Highlights
State Elections Bureaucrats Ran Amok BY susan myrick
A Civitas Institute investigation has revealed that the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) successfully subverted state law to facilitate online voter registration in North Carolina by the 2012 Barack Obama campaign. In doing so they coordinated with partisans behind closed doors, lied about the NC Attorney General’s Office concurring with the SBE staff on the issue, and dodged oversight by their own board and the legislature. The end result was to add thousands of people to the North Carolina voter rolls illegally. North Carolina law does not authorize any kind of online voter registration. State law clearly says of voter registration that “[t]he form shall be valid only if signed by the applicant.” But Civitas learned through records requests that SBE staff approved voter registration in which people scrawl their names with a finger or stylus on a tablet computer or
smartphone. The image was then recorded and transmitted to auto pens that marked a paper registration form. Don Wright, SBE General Counsel, played word games when answering inquires about the Obama campaign’s own re-election site, Gottaregister.com, which utilized the technology that SBE staff approved. Wright repeatedly denied that the SBE allowed online voter registration, insisting that it was “web-based voter registration” instead, as if there could be a “web-based” process that wasn’t online. He also defended the result as a “wet signature” – one in ink. But a “wet signature” is about a person signing with ink on a piece of paper. To have an auto pen inserted at one point in a long computerized process is a far different thing. Even the Obama campaign called it online voter registration. Wright produced a legal opinion approving this process, which was provided by Allpoint Voter Services voter registration technology in North Carolina. His opinion
dated September 16, 2011 claimed it was reviewed by the North Carolina Attorney’s General Office, which concurred in it. That statement, however, is untrue. In what appeared to be a move to head off any problems right before the presidential election, on September 18, 2012 — after a year in which the SBE had been silent about this whole process — the state elections staff finally notified
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the 100 NC counties about the registrations. The email went out a day after SBE Director Gary Bartlett received an email from George Gilbert, Guilford County BOE Director, reporting that they had received “a good number of registration forms from Allpoint Voter Services.” Gilbert went on to say they contained signatures that were “immediately suspect.”
The timing of the responses to the counties and individuals raises the question of when, if ever, the state SBE would have brought the online registrations to the notice of the counties. Subsequently other counties questioned these forms and offered some observations about problems with them. For example, the Duplin County BOE Director said, “The part we find the most questionable is the similarity of all the signatures ….” There are other problems and questions including that these registrations were coded as a “voter registrations drive” which would exempt new voters from showing an “ID” as is required of new voters who register by mail. Moreover, the SBE staff apparently tried to keep this all from the view of the public and even county elections boards until mere weeks before the election, which raises the disturbing question of whether those involved were aiding a last-minute registration surge planned by the Obama campaign.
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CLC 2013 Highlights
CLC 2013 CONSERVATIVE CLARION
Former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (top) told his CLC audience that conservatives must speak to the concerns of ordinary Americans. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) (bottom left) said the conservative movement needs a clear strategy. Michelle Malkin (bottom center) commented on pop culture and its importance in politics.
Except where noted, CLC photos are courtesy of Aesthetic Images Photography of Greensboro, NC
Jason Lewis (bottom right) said that the freedom movement must â€œstand up for what this nation was founded on.â€?
CLC 2013 Highlights
CLC INSPIRES HUNDR IN RALEI
continued from pg. 1
who is president-elect of the Heritage Foundation. Speaking to the crowd at lunch Friday, he noted the changes, and said, “What’s making a difference is you — and people like you across the country.” He said that where conservatives have gained, it was due to local activists, not the establishment. “Republicans didn’t take back the House in 2010 — it was America that took it back.” The freedom movement must also take back the culture, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin said in her Friday keynote address. “We have to reclaim the coolness factor of self-determination,” she said. For example, viewers of “Shark Tank” admire the fledgling entrepreneurs on the ABC TV reality show who make their pitches to investors for new products and businesses. “The next day, everyone wants to talk about the show” she said. “They don’t equate entrepreneurs with ‘evil, rapacious millionaires and billionaires,’” she added, saying that conservatives must learn how to tap into that admiration for independence and enterprise.
The same goes for education. “Academic excellence is so fundamental to fixing our problems,” she said. ”How can we win a debate on the sequestration or the budget if these kids can’t add or subtract or multiply?” The challenges facing conservatives are many, conceded U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, (R.-Wis.), but ultimately, “The truth is on our side.” “The only way we get this country back is information,” Johnson said. “It’s a war of ideas.” Business leaders should be in the vanguard of this effort, he said. “We have got to tap into the network of those who understand the free-market system.” Former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, a Democrat who nominated Barack Obama at
the 2008 Democratic Convention, and has joined the Republican Party, said that in the 2012 election a key voting bloc was “people who thought they had a home in the Democratic Party [who] decided that home no longer exists.” “Many of these people were going to be ours,” he said. But by Election Day “they slipped away” because too few conservatives conveyed that they had answers for those voters’ concerns about everyday struggles. When conservatism speaks to everyone – to those in gated communities and those down in the hollows — Davis said, “We will take this country back.” CLC
Continued on Pg. 8
HouseCathy Speaker Thom Audentia Award Winner Heath (at Tillis left)
Economist John Lott
CLC 2013 Highlights
Justice Paul Newby
U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers Photo by NewHope
Former Sen. Jim DeMint
U.S. Rep. George Holding Photo by NewHope
Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner (center)
CLC 2013 Highlights
CLC Examines Crucial US, NC Issues continued from pg. 6
Davis also noted that CLC took place as the federal budget sequester went into effect, yet somehow “the world continued.” “Cutting back, when you are spending too much, is not a radical idea — except in Washington, D.C.,” he said. It’s no wonder Washington’s fiscal perspective is so skewed, U.S. Rep. George Holding said. Because Congress hasn’t passed a budget in nearly four years, more than half of all sitting members haven’t gone through the normal budget process. Conservatives can succeed in reaching out to different groups, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers said, if we stress one of our core beliefs: “We believe everyone should be lifted up.” Speakers and breakout session presenters also focused on a range of specific issues facing North Carolina. Tax reform, in some form or another, is coming
to North Carolina in 2013. CLC attendees interested in why tax reform is needed and what it could mean to our state attended a breakout session examining these questions. Civitas policy director Brian Balfour discussed why North Carolina’s struggling economy demands action on the state’s anti-growth, outdated tax structure. He also shared the results of the study “More Jobs, Bigger Paychecks,” which evaluated the benefits to North Carolina from a plan that would eliminate state personal and corporate income taxes and shift to a primarily consumptionbased tax system more reflective of the modern economy. The impact of the Racial Justice Act was brought home in a breakout session led by Civitas policy analyst Angela Hight. What would it feel like to lose a loved one? What would it feel like to have a loved one murdered? What would it be like to have the person who was found guilty
of the crime against your loved one apply for the Racial Justice Act? Those questions raised powerful emotion in everyone who attended the “Real Victims of the Racial Justice Act” breakout session in which victims’ families told their stories of seeing killers escape the death penalty because of the RJA. With voter photo ID one of the top issues before the NC General Assembly, Heritage Foundation elections expert Hans von Spakovsky exploded some of the myths about voting and voter fraud. For instance, he tore apart the contention that NC has hordes of voters without ID. One controversial comparison used only exact matches between lists of drivers licenses and voters to claim such voters don’t have ID. But with exact matches “Hans A. von Spakovsky” the voter doesn’t match the “Hans von Spakovsky” with a drivers license. According to that study, therefore “Hans A. von Spa-
kovsky” doesn’t have an ID to show at the polls! The actual experiences of other states show that fears about voter photo ID are greatly overblown, he said. The power of citizens to effect change was highlighted by the Civitas Audentia Award given to Cathy Heath. She was honored for her successful, decade-long effort to reform the state’s municipal annexation law. With gun control a big issue nationally, CLC welcomed John Lott, an economist and author of More Guns: Less Crime. He has just published a book on the administration: At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us over the Edge? At CLC he exposed myths surrounding gun control. Consider the factoid that 40 percent of gun purchases occur without background checks. “The problem is, it’s simply not true,” Lott said. That myth is based on an outdated survey of all transfers, not just sales. The
vast majority are family inheritances and gifts, not purchases. And as a survey it has other flaws, he added. Many transactions were “kitchen table” sales, and buyers may not have realized the dealers were in fact licensed. Nationally and internationally, gun control has failed, he said. “Can you name one place where guns have been banned that has seen its murder rate fall?” Lott asked rhetorically. “I can’t find it.” He said he has studied gun laws all over the world, and found that when guns are rigidly controlled or banned, the murder rate often goes up, “sometimes dramatically.” In a panel discussion, radio talk show hosts Matt Mittan, Lockwood Phillips, K.C. O’Dea and Bill LuMaye gave participants a look into the changing media scene. One possible conclusion from listening to their comments: In the media, success involves staying in touch with the people while sticking to core principles.
CLC 2013 Highlights
(Clockwise from upper left): Project Veritas President James O’Keefe described his group’s latest activities highlighting gun control hypocrisy; in a session on the Racial Justice Act, Al Lowry recalled his brother, Highway Patrol Sgt. Ed Lowry, slain in 1997; Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger vowed that the legislature would cut excessive regulation this year and in years to come; Francis X. De Luca, president of the Civitas Institute, served as master of ceremonies for the two-day event; and House Speaker Thom Tillis said that with Medicaid expansion the federal government was “promising us money they haven’t taken from us – yet.”
CLC 2013 Highlights
General Assembly Hits the Ground Running continued from pg. 1
buzzing around Raleigh. Among those proposals is a plan to eliminate the state personal and corporate income taxes in exchange for broadening and slightly increasing the sales tax. The Civitas Institute contracted with the consulting firm Arduin Laffer & Moore Econometrics to evaluate the impact such a plan would have on North Carolina’s economy. To learn more about the study and the need to reform North Carolina’s tax code, visit: www.noincometaxNC.org. The proposal has picked up traction among state Senators, and is expected to form the basis of the Senate’s tax reform proposals. The first of many planned education reforms was signed into law by the Governor on February 18, when he signed a bill to Increase Access to Career/Technical Education. The bill will establish dual tracks in North Carolina high schools, allowing students to graduate with a high school diploma that certifies they are career-ready. The initiative was one of McCrory’s main education promises during the 2012 campaign. The Legislature is also expected to push for further education reform and especially for new legislation expanding school choice in North Carolina. School choice is likely to be the last major issue considered this year as most observers do not expect a bill on school choice to make progress until after the shape of any tax reform is settled. While the details of implementation are still unclear, it is almost certain that the Legislature will push for some sort of opportunity scholarship program that would allow low-income students to escape failing public schools.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND SOLVENCY AND PROGRAM CHANGES HB 4 SUPPORT House Republicans (74) Arp Brody Collins Elmore Horn Lambeth Moffitt Saine Steinburg West
Avila Brown, B. Conrad Faircloth Howard Langdon Moore, T. Samuelson Stevens Whitmire
Bell, J. Brown, R. Daughtry Ford Hurley Lewis Murry Schaffer Stone
Blackwell Bryan Davis Fulghum Iler Malone Pittman Setzer Szoka
Blust Bumgardner Dixon Hager Jeter Martin Presnell Shepard Tillis
Boles Burr Dobson Hardister Johnson McGrady Ramsey Speciale Torbett
Brawley, R. Catlin Dockham Hollo Jones McNeill Riddell Stam Turner
Brawley, W. Cleveland Dollar Holloway Jordan Millis Ross, S. Starnes Warren, H.
Barefoot Daniel Jackson Sanderson
Barringer Davis, J. Meredith Soucek
Berger Goolsby Newton Tarte
Bingham Gunn Pate Tillman
Brock Harrington Rabin Tucker
Brunstetter Hartsell Rabon Wade
House Democrats (3) Brisson
Senate Republicans (32) Allran Cook Hise Randleman
Apodaca Curtis Hunt Rucho
Senate Democrats (4) Clark
OPPOSE House Republicans (2) Hastings
House Democrats (40) Adams Earle Graham, G. Jackson
Alexander Farmer-Butterfield Hall, D. Lucas
Baskerville Fisher Hall, L. Luebke
Bell, L. Floyd Hamilton McManus
Brandon Foushee Hanes Michaux
Carney Gill Harrison Mobley
Cotham Glazier Holley Moore, R.
Cunningham Graham, C. Insko Pierce
Davis, D. Woodard
Senate Republicans (0) Senate Democrats (12) Blue Parmon
NOT VOTING House (0)
ABSENT Senate (0)
S - 25 H - 17
Bill Would Put Teeth in NC Records Law by bob luebke
Let’s give three cheers for state Sens. Thom Goolsby (RNew Hanover) and Tom Apodaca (R-Buncombe) for sponsoring legislation (SB 125) that would at last give public records and open meetings laws some teeth. North Carolina’s Public Records law (State Statutes Ch. 132) reads: “The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina
government or its subdivisions are the property of the people.” Aside from expensive and time-consuming law suits, however, the general public has few ways of ensuring they can rightfully obtain public records. Furthermore, the law provides no penalties for those who fail to comply with the law. SB 125 levels the playing field. It puts a penalty on those who fail to comply with public records and open meeting laws.
There are, however, two practical considerations SB 125 must clarify to become effective law. First, the law will have to define which official in each state agency is responsible for ensuring compliance with public records and who would ultimately be held responsible in the event the law was violated. Right now, responsibility over public records request is diffused throughout state government, and that’s part of the problem.
Second, the law will have to determine the definition of compliance. That is, how long does an agency have to respond to a request? Plus, does “respond” mean to provide copies of records or merely allow an individual to inspect documents? Clarity on some of these issues will go a long way in remedying many of the current problems. SB 125 provides that those who violate public records or public meeting laws
be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. If Sen. Goolsby gets his way, however, those charged would get up to 20 days in jail. It’s a credible deterrent to ensure government officials pay a price if they put themselves above the law. If North Carolina state government is sincere about public records being the “property of the people,” SB 125 will go a long way to ensuring that lofty goal is realized.
INCREASE ACCESS TO CAREER/TECHNICAL ED
NO NC EXCHANGE/NO MEDICAID EXPANSION
House Republicans (72)
House Republicans (73)
Arp Boles Brown, R. Cleveland Dollar Hager Horn Johnson Lewis McNeill Pittman Saine Starnes Tillis West
Avila Brawley, R. Bryan Collins Elmore Hardister Howard Jones Malone Millis Presnell Samuelson Steinburg Torbett Whitmire
Bell, J. Brawley, W. Bumgardner Conrad Faircloth Hastings Hurley Jordan Martin Moffitt Ramsey Schaffer Stevens Turner
Blackwell Brody Burr Dixon Ford Hollo Iler Lambeth McElraft Moore, T. Riddell Setzer Stone Warren, H.
Blust Brown, B. Catlin Dobson Fulghum Holloway Jeter Langdon McGrady Murry Ross, S. Speciale Szoka Wells
House Democrats (38) Adams Brisson Gill Hall, D. Holley Michaux Richardson Waddell
Arp Brawley, R. Bryan Collins Dockham Fulghum Holloway Jeter Langdon McNeill Pittman Saine Speciale Stone Warren, H.
Avila Brawley, W. Bumgardner Conrad Dollar Hager Horn Johnson Malone Millis Presnell Samuelson Stam Szoka Wells
Bell, J. Brody Burr Daughtry Elmore Hardister Howard Jones Martin Moffitt Ramsey Schaffer Starnes Tillis West
Blackwell Brown, B. Catlin Davis Faircloth Hastings Hurley Jordan McElraft Moore, T. Riddell Setzer Steinburg Torbett
Blust Brown, R. Cleveland Dixon Ford Hollo Iler Lambeth McGrady Murry Ross, S. Shepard Stevens Turner
Barefoot Brown Davis, J. Hunt Rabin Tarte
Barringer Brunstetter Goolsby Jackson Rabon Tillman
Berger Cook Gunn Meredith Randleman Tucker
House Democrats (1)
Alexander Carney Glazier Hall, L. Insko Mobley Ross, D. Wilkins
Baskerville Earle Goodman Hamilton Lucas Moore, R. Terry Wray
Bell, L. Farmer-Butterfield Graham, C. Hanes Luebke Pierce Tine
Brandon Floyd Graham, G. Harrison McManus Queen Tolson
Barefoot Brown Davis, J. Hise Pate Sanderson Wade
Barringer Brunstetter Goolsby Hunt Rabin Soucek
Berger Cook Gunn Jackson Rabon Tarte
Clark Jenkins Parmon
Clodfelter Kinnaird Robinson
Davis, D. McKissick Walters
Senate Republicans (33) Allran Bingham Curtis Harrington Meredith Randleman Tillman
CLC 2013 Highlights
Apodaca Brock Daniel Hartsell Newton Rucho Tucker
Senate Democrats (16)
Senate Republicans (31) Allran Bingham Curtis Harrington Newton Sanderson Wade
Apodaca Brock Daniel Hise Pate Soucek
Senate Democrats (0)
OPPOSE House Republicans (0) House Democrats (40) Adams Carney Fisher Goodman
Alexander Cotham Floyd Graham, C.
Baskerville Cunningham Foushee Graham, G.
Bell, L. Earle Gill Hall, D.
Brandon Farmer-Butterfield Glazier Hall, L.
Hamilton Jackson Mobley Terry
Hanes Lucas Pierce Tine
Harrison Luebke Queen Tolson
Holley McManus Richardson Waddell
Insko Michaux Ross, D. Wilkins
House Republicans (0) House Democrats (1)
Senate Republicans (0) Senate Democrats (16)
Blue Graham Nesbitt Woodard
Clodfelter Kinnaird Robinson
Davis, D. McKissick Stein
Ford McLaurin Walters
Blue Ford McLaurin Woodard
Bryant Graham Nesbitt
Senate Republicans (0) Senate Democrats (0)
NOT VOTING House (4) Daughtry (R)
Senate (0) Davis (R)
House (5) Fisher (D)
Senate (1) Rucho (R)
Senate (1) Dockham (R)
ABSENT Cotham (D) Stam (R)
Clark Jenkins Parmon
ABSENT House (6) Boles (R) Whitmire (R)
Senate (2) Dobson (R) Wray (D)
S - 15 H - 47
S - 44 H - 69
PAYCHECKS A Pro-Growth Tax Reform for North Carolina
Bryant (D) Hartsell (R)
Arduin, Laffer, & Moore Econometrics explains the benefits of tax reform in “More Jobs, Bigger Paychecks: A Pro-Growth Tax Reform for North Carolina.”
Moore, R. (D)
The full report and summaries are available at www.noincometaxnc.org
CLC 2013 Highlights
Moss Pit: Lee School Boss Offered McCrory Post alent of state superintendent, but he cannot match my salary.” When asked about the statement, McCrory’s office said what we expected them to say: “We do not comment on personnel matters.” Yet the purported job offer remains curious for several reasons. To begin with, Moss is a registered Democrat. As Superintendent of Lee County Schools, Moss has been vocal in his opposition to budget cuts and Republican budget policies. In addition, Moss found himself in the middle of several situations which raised legitimate questions about his behavior and judgment. Let me elaborate: • Late last fall two people attending a political form in Sanford said Moss cursed them during a heated discussion of school performance. Moss acknowledges that his conduct during the meeting was “not professional,” but he denies using any profanity in the encounter. The exchange was reported by media and captured on a cell phone video. (Capitol Connection readers can search for the clip on YouTube to reach their own judgments on what happened.) • In spring 2011, Moss was criticized by freshman
by BOB LUEBKE
Jeff Moss — the controversial and soon-to-be former superintendent of the Lee County, North Carolina public schools – continues to raise the eyebrows and temperatures of many conservatives. Several weeks ago Moss claimed he was offered the position of Education Policy Adviser in the McCrory administration. Moss’ statements imply the offer fell through because the governor could not match the school administrator’s current annual pay, $212,000. (Gov. Pat McCrory makes $141,000.) According to the Bluffton, S.C. Island Packet, Moss has been offered the superintendent’s job for the Beaufort County (S.C.) School District and, at the time of this writing, was negotiating his contract. It’s hard to tell what the disclosure says more about: Moss or the Governor’s office, which three months into its tenure has yet to name a top education adviser. In documentation he submitted for the South Carolina job, Moss wrote: “The Governor of North Carolina has tentatively offered me the position of Education Policy Adviser, which is the equiv-
Dr. Jeff Moss
Republican lawmaker Mike Stone, who said his daughter was “used against” him when a public school teacher instructed her and her classmates to contact elected officials in opposition to budget cuts. Stone’s daughter sent him a handwritten note asking him to “put the budget higher dad.” According to Moss, the assignment was “appropriate” and an exercise where children could say they support public education • In a follow-up to the school writing assignment, Moss wrote a terse and threat-
ening reply to a food vendor who also questioned teachers having students write lawmakers. The individual was later fired from his job and some wonder if Moss’s comments had a role in the firing. • From 2004 to 2009 and before coming to Lee County, Moss served as Superintendent of Beaufort County School District in North Carolina. He was accused by county officials as well as newspapers with saddling the district with debt and overcapacity and almost bankrupting the school system.
What also raises a lot of questions is that the incidents seemed to have been entirely ignored by the McCrory administration. It is true McCrory’s office declined to comment. Yet one would think if the offer was not made, the administration would have good reason to deny it. Many continue to wait for the Governor to make top education appointments. Jeff Moss’ troubled past and political views send up red flags with conservatives; his behavior should trouble anyone who expects poised and professional behavior by well-paid professionals. That the McCrory administration wasn’t reading the same signals means either they didn’t know about it — and anyone with Internet access and a search button on their computer would know – or it wasn’t a big deal, a conclusion that signals far bigger problems ahead for the administration. —–————— Scandal is a regular column in Capitol Connection that will explore public corruption in NC Government. ——— Have a local corruption story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-834-2099
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