Archive for the ‘Corporate Welfare’ Category

AFP-NC Releases Legislative Priorities for ’13 Long Session

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Support AFP, especially in North Carolina!

This week, the North Carolina Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-North Carolina) announced its Legislative Goals for the 2013-14 legislative biennium. The Regular Session convened briefly on January 9th to adopt rules and organize the session but will reconvene on Wednesday, January 30th.

When it comes to advancing the free market agenda, no state has a better opportunity this year than North Carolina. We believe that we have a genuine opportunity to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in North Carolina with lower taxes and regulations to make government less entangling and burdensome to North Carolinians. We will aggressively promote the opportunities of cheaper energy, quality educational choices, leaner and less burdensome government, and lower taxes.

Please remember that AFP deals only with issues of economic freedom, school choice, and property rights. There are other important issues that face North Carolinians which fall outside of our mission.

We hope you will stand with us once again to promote the following goals:

  • Passage of the state budget without tax increases;
  • Lower overall tax burden in North Carolina;
  • Support for Constitutional Spending Limits that could include: Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) that would limit government spending to the increase in population and inflation and/or legislative supermajority requirement to raise taxes;
  • Keeping North Carolina as a “Right-to-work State,” by implementing it into the state constitution along with the state’s ban on public employee collective bargaining;
  • Dedicating all North Carolina Education Lottery revenue to school construction; or support ending all state-run gambling;
  • Elimination of North Carolina’s Estate Tax – also called the “Death Tax”;
  • Promotion of legislation that allows for the exploration and production of North Carolina’s energy resources;
  • Advocating a “rollback” of North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard;
  • Blocking the creation of a North Carolina Healthcare Exchange;
  • Allowing the purchase of health insurance from any state;
  • Passage of legislation to get the state of North Carolina out of the liquor business;
  • Ending all “welfare for politicians,” known as taxpayer-funded elections;
  • Protecting free and political speech rights by deregulating campaign speech;
  • Ending the Golden Leaf Foundation;
  • Converting the Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities into a refundable tax credit;
  • Increasing the number of non-public school choice options available to parents;
  • Repeal of the corporate income tax and elimination of all corporate welfare;
  • Simplifying and lowering individual income taxes;
  • Promoting the elimination of redundant committees and commissions in order to shrink the size of government in North Carolina;
  • Expanding recently passed tort reforms, including “loser pays”; and
  • In general, greatly reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens.

Wake County Republican Commissioners Fail Taxpayers

Red Hat is sucking money out of Wake County taxpayers, with approval of Republican leaders on the Wake County Commission

Once again, the Republican members of the Wake County Commission have failed the taxpayers of North Carolina’s capital county.   Red Hat, one of the Triangle region’s most successful companies, came hat-in-hand, to the public trough, asking for $650,000 and the GOP lead group, came through.  This is a group that the Wake County Republican party worked tirelessly to elect and we feel certain that they won’t be happy.

Republican Commissioners Paul Coble (running for Congress), Tony Gurley (running as “the conservative candidate” for Lt. Governor), Phil Matthews, and Joe Bryan all voted FOR this measure.  Liberals Betty Lou Ward and James West also joined in.

According to Board Clerk, Susan Banks, only Erv Portman  cast a vote against.  All conservatives should drop Commissioner Portman a note of thanks for standing alone to protect the taxpayers of Wake County.

Red Hat wants to leave its longtime home on North Carolina State University’s Centennial campus, and move to downtown Raleigh into the recently vacated Progress Energy building.  Progress Energy was recently acquired/merged with Duke Power and those employees have either lost their jobs or have been relocated.

In the name of “jobs”, Red Hat deemed that the “needed” this money to bring more jobs, not only to Wake County, but to lawmakers’ precious downtown, that has already received more than its fair share of public financing.

KCC understands that Red Hat, a successful manufacturer of the Linux computer operating system, would have been fine without the money.  We like to call this effort, the Red Hat Poverty Fund.

Former NC Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, quoted by the News and Observer in a North Carolina Lawyers Weekly article, said

politicians have become afraid to oppose the practice of luring companies with the promise of tax breaks.

It’s time to get companies off the public dole in the ole’ North State. However, it won’t be happening anytime soon. Both the State of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh are expected to vote to chip in to the Red Hat poverty fund. After all, no self-respecting politician wants to appear to oppose jobs, even in the face of principle!

Editor’s Note:  According to the News and Observer, Commissioner Paul Coble said it’s written into the policy of the county commission.  With a Republican Leadership, this policy MUST be changed!

FCC Back in the News, Dem Donors Getting a Free Pass on LightSquared?

Phillip Falcone

Phillip Falcone, CEO of  embattled LightSquared, told Fox News on Monday that his firm did not donate money to the Barack Obama campaign to buy access and favors from the FCC.  ”Why would anyone do that”, he asked rhetorically to Megyn Kelly, the interviewer.  ”I’m just trying to build a network.”

CNet News’ Roger Cheng reported:

LightSquared is attempting to build a nationwide 4G LTE network that it will sell on a wholesale basis to other carriers that want to resell its services. But the company has run into a major hurdle with a coalition of companies reliant on GPS equipment. They claim LightSquared’s spectrum interferes with the operations of everything from farming equipment to airplane systems.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee met on the impact of LightSquared’s effect on national security.  According to Wireless Week,

the Defense Department and military make extensive use of GPS that could suffer interference from LightSquared’s transmitters – but the nonappearance of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, scrutiny of lobbying in the executive branch and questions about FCC decision-making overshadowed  the event.

Immediately after opening the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, chairman Michael Turner called out the FCC chairman for not appearing, indicating that Genachowski had been seen in the building, but

LightSquared Logo

“That said, I have the unfortunate responsibility to inform the subcommittee that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Genachowski refused to appear today.  I must also make clear that I consider the Chairman’s failure to show up today to be an affront to the House Armed Services Committee.  Further, it appears to be symptomatic of a disregard by the Chairman to the consequences of the FCC’s January 26 waiver to LightSquared.  I trust Chairman Genachowski is doing something very important this morning if he couldn’t be here to discuss the significant harm to national security that may result from the FCC’s action on January 26th of this year.

On January 26, 2011, LightSquared was granted a fast-tracked waiver from the FCC (with White House approval).

One brave Air Force General, risked his career by appearing at the hearing. General William Shelton, who told the subcommittee, the week before, in a classified briefing,  that he has been  pressured to change his testimony to favor Falcone, the large Democratic Donor.

The notion that LightSquared’s version of the 4G LTE services is a national security risk, has been known since at least February 2011.  LightSquared has both debated the issue, and later issued statements that it intends to repair the problems.

General Shelton is the Chairman of the Air Force Space Command.

The difference between LightSquared’s 4G LTE network and those of carriers like Verizon and AT&T is that LightSquared’s is based on satellite.  Traditional carriers use land-based towers.

We leave you with this question:

Why should Falcone and his network get a free pass, when carriers like Verizon and AT&T followed the rules and built out their own 4G LTE networks with their own capital.  Which rule book is Obama and the FCC playing by, and is this fair to the American consumer?  Only you can decide, in November of 2012.

For More Information:

LightSquared: The Next Obama Pay for Play Morass – Michelle Malkin

LightSquared Says It’s Near Breakthrough in Mobile Wireless Network: Washington Times

LightSquared: The Next Big Obama Scandal: Human Events

 

 

NC Democrats’ “Tax Me More” Tour Kicks-Off Monday, Gov Refuses to Stand Against Big Labor

Democrats anxiously hit the road in the kickoff of their Tax Me More Bus Tour” Monday. The NC-Democrats, inspired by and

KCC Graphic

emulative of President Barack H. Obama’s recent “Debt-End Bus Tour,” have decided to embark on a “fact finding” mission for job solutions.

Before last week’s legislative session, Rep Bill Faison (D-Orange County) held a press conference to announce his proposal for a $1.1 billion tax-increase on the people of North Carolina.

NCGOP Communications Director Rob Lockwood told KCC: “The Democrats plan for jobs, as evidenced by Rep. Faison’s proposal, clearly indicates their desire to raise taxes on North Carolinians.

Their motto for job-creation is clear, ‘READ OUR LIPS: MORE NEW TAXES for everyone.’ The Democrats fail to understand a simple concept: new taxes do not create new private-sector jobs.

People of all political affiliations have serious questions for Governor Beverly Perdue and her Democratic colleagues.

They want to know why the Governor has been silent on the issue of “right-to-work” in the Tar Heel State.

Perdue has metaphorically put up a sign that states, ‘North Carolina doesn’t want non-unionized jobs, take your business to South Carolina!’

What is clear is that if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) can interfere in South Carolina, they can interfere anywhere with right-to-work laws, especially North Carolina.

Former NC Democratic Chairman David Young declared Friday, “YES, NLRB v. Boeing Fight Hurts NC. David Young’s feeling that it was important to speak out publicly on the issue highlights the bi-partisan call for action by non-elected citizens.

Governor Perdue, where are you and North Carolina Democrats on the NLRB v. Boeing issue?

Last Thursday, the entire NC Republican US House Delegation voted to overturn the President Obama’s NLRB’s authority to squash job

Rep. Bill Faison, Courtesy NC General Assembly

growth in right-to-work states. Their public stance boldly tells any company “We’ll fight for your right to employ in North Carolina.”

The actions of the House members only go so far when the Governor chooses silence over fighting for jobs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In related news, Rep. Bill Faison announced on Friday that he will not challenge Governor Perdue in the Democratic Gubernatorial race. He told WRAL’s Laura Leslie that he WILL run if Perdue were to not run for re-election.  Earlier in the day, he would neither confirm, nor deny whether or not he would challenge the Governor, Leslie reported.

President Obama Returns to North Carolina, Visits Cree (liveblog)

Obama Visited Cree on Monday

On Monday, President  Barack Obama landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at about 11:00 a.m. EDT and headed to Research Triangle Park, on the Durham side.  Joining him on Air Force One were, according to Jonathan Kappler of the NC Free Enterprise Foundation, were Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (D-NC, 1st) and Brad Miller (D-NC, 13th).

Kappler also reported that Rep. David Price (D-NC, 4th) and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D) were on the ground to meet the president on the ground.  Later reports mentioned Governor Beverly Perdue (D-Craven) being on hand, as well.  Additionally, there were a number of public officials including Chancellor Randy Woodson from North Carolina State University.  During the short trip out to “the park”, Interstate 40 was temporarily closed, backing up traffic for miles.

Upon arrival at Cree, an industry leader in low power lighting, he toured the plant and promised an “announcement” on jobs.  Oddly, Cree, and already successful company, accepted stimulus money for “job creation”.  Additionally, within the past two years, they threatened to leave. The North Carolina State Legislature, then lead by Democrats, immediately voted to give that company “incentives” or  corporate welfare to “keep” them in the Ole’ North State.

Further, Katy’s Conservative Corner has learned that, for Cree employees interested in the speech, they have the option by management to either take the day off or to work four, ten hour days.   Many employees are upset.  They didn’t ask the president to come and neither did corporate executives.  But, with money comes obligation.

See more here.

Update 1:14 Sometime this hour, Obama is scheduled to make a talk about his “jobs” report.  This should be interesting. Labor Union Report posted on Sunday evening that many of those jobs would be “created” in China.  This blogger is currently searching for that link.  North Carolina is expected to be a battle ground state in 2012.

Charlotte was selected by the Democratic National Committee as the location for their national convention over the objections of unions, nationally.  North Carolina is a right-to-work state, but it isn’t for lack of trying.  The SEIU and other large unions have been fighting for card check legislation for the last several years.

Update 1:48 p.m EDT

The good people over at NC Americans for Prosperity are joking  on Twitter that they have an office pool on how many times potus says investments when he means wealth redistribution.

Update 1:53 p.m. EDT Obama has taken stage telling unfunny jokes about how he has aged since visiting Cree when he was running for office.

Obama is standing in front of backdrop “Jobs Council – President’s Council on Jobs…”  He says Cree has “doubled in efficiency just since my visit 3 years ago.”  Says he’s helping to lead a comeback in clean energy revolution.

News 14 Carolina, a Time-Warner only channel reports Obama was last in the state when he visited Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC in December 2010.

Update: 2:01 p.m. EDT This “speech” is being carried on national television such as Fox News and CNN.  No need to blog the details of the speech.  However, we will continue to bring you behind the scenes reports.

Update: 2:05 p.m. EDT Fox News has cut their coverage but you can find all of it on their website, streaming live.

While Obama discusses “Smart Grid” technology, my poor mother-in-law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina feels certain that her power company is going to cut her power in the middle of the day or night.  She recently received a letter from her power company saying they now have the power to cut her power if she used too much during peak time periods.  This woman will not use a dish washer, uses barely any air conditioner due to poor circulation, and only washes clothes at night.  She’s the type of customer any power company would love.  They should, in fact, use her as their poster child.  Yet, they send her threatening letters.

The poor woman calls KCC’s family terrified, thanks to this smart grid technology.  It’s along the lines of Democrats scaring old people, making them think that Republicans are going to take away their social security.

Update: 2:11 p.m. EDT Obama says he’s optimistic about our future.   He cites the positive example (ha ha) of the automotive companies coming back from virtual death just two years ago.

Update: 2:12 EDT Obama ends his speech with no questions.  ”Hail to the Chief” plays and the president leaves the stage.  Looks like time for clogged Interstate 40 East, from the Research Triangle Park exists to the Raleigh-Durham airport.

Your blogger finds it amazing that zero mention was made by any of the Television channels or commentators about the stimulus money that Cree took or the Incentives that Cree took from our state.  What a shame.  Of course they can add a third line and work 24 hours a day now.  All of our money made it possible.  For you who don’t even live in North Carolina, Cree thanks you from the bottom of their heart!

This blogger is glad she doesn’t have to fly out until Thursday.  KCC is headed to Right Online, but that’s another story!  This ends the live blogging portion of the visit.

See also:

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/republicans_blast_obamas_triangle_trip

Welcome to North Carolina, Mr. President (video)

On Monday, President Barack H. Obama is scheduled to visit  Cree in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  He plans to discuss jobs and the economy and we can be sure he’ll take credit for any successes and blame the Republicans for all failures.  The man does not understand how to accept responsibility, nor does he know that by keeping his greedy administration’s hands off, businesses of all sizes can flourish and attract more jobs.

In the latest sign Obama’s economic policies have failed, unemployment ticked up for the second month in a row to 9.1% while job growth plummeted to an 8 month low.

As the Grand Old Party often says, “Hope still isn’t hiring in America”

The President calls the current status of our economy a temporary “bump in the road” but it looks as if we are heading towards a dead end.

-          Debt is at $14.3 Trillion

-          Unemployment is at 9.1%

-          43 cents borrowed for every dollar we spend.

-          2.5 million jobs lost under Obama

-          Unemployment ticked up for the 2nd month in a row

Even Democrats have noticed Obama’s lack of business acumen.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said ”I do think that President Obama has had a bit of a tin ear as far as the business community goes.”

He’ll cite Cree as a model of success but he won’t mention that the company took corporate welfare (a.k.a. government incentives), just to stay in North Carolina.  He won’t mention the fact that Cree was ready to abandon the Old North State just as soon as the government’s (i.e. taxpayer’s) money stopped flowing.

Yes, Cree has done some amazing things with the solid state lighting technologies they pioneered.  They invented virtually the first commercially viable blue LED.  But paying them money to stay in North Carolina should NEVER have happened.  This blogger doesn’t care that every other company is at the taxpayer trough.  Cree is successful enough to stand on its own.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Republican Party has released an ad “welcoming” Mr. Obama to North Carolina.   The Democratic National Committee sees NC as a key state in 2012 and this blogger expects to see more of him.   Each time he comes, we will be sure to roll out the welcome mat.  KCC  cannot wait until the Democratic National Convention.  We’ll be there and will be bringing it all to you.

Enjoy the video and please donate to place this ad on the air.

 

Weekly NC Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo

The following is the latest North Carolina Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo.  She writes on behalf of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women.  Your blogger is a member of that organization and has exclusive permission  to reproduce these legislative reports.

Congress 


House of Representatives


On May 13, 2011 the House passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2011 (HR 754) which authorizes current fiscal year funding for intelligence and intelligence related programs.  The vote was 392 to 15 with 24 not voting.

 

NC  Representatives voting for the bill:  G.  K. Butterfield (D-1st), Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), David E. Price (D-4th), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), Heath Shuler (D-11th), Melvin Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

NC Representative voting against the bill:  Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-3rd).

Senate


1.  On May 17th the Senate rejected a motion to proceed on the consideration of S. 940 which is titled by the Democrats, “A bill to reduce the Federal budget deficit by closing big oil tax loopholes, and for other purposes.” This is the “test vote” promised by Senate Democrats.  This bill will do nothing to decrease the price of gasoline at the pump, and the fault with the high prices lies with President Obama’s policies on energy, according to Investors Business Daily.

The vote failed 52 to 48 with Senator Hagan voting for the bill and Senator Burr voting against it. Three Democrats voted with the Republicans against the bill:  Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska).  Republican Senators Collins and Snowe of Maine were the only Republicans to vote with the Democrats for the punishment of big oil.

2.  On May 18th the Senate rejected a motion sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a measure titled, “A bill to authorize the conduct of certain lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf, to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to modify the requirements for exploration, and for other purposes.” The main purpose was to force the Obama Administration to act on oil and gas leases and to increase offshore oil production.  It is similar to bills that previously passed in the House.

The vote failed 42 to 57 with 1 not voting.  Senator Hagan voted against the motion and Senator Burr voted for it.

3.  On May 19th the Senate rejected a cloture motion for the nomination of Goodwin Liu of California for the U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.  The vote was 52 to 43 with one voting present (Senator Hatch (R-UT), and 4 not voting.  Sixty votes were required under cloture rules to end the debate and move to a final vote.  Senator Hagan voted for cloture and Senator Burr voted against it.

The issue surrounding Liu is that he is “President Obama’s most radical judicial nominee and the man who Obama would dearly like to make the first Asian-American Supreme Court Justice,” according to Red State.  He is a Berkely law professor “whose vocal and unabashed championing of judicial activism has made him a star on the legal left.”  Liu said, he “envisions the judiciary . . . as a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning,” also reported by Red State.

The nomination was effectively defeated, but Senator Hagan perhaps voted her ideology.  Contact her at (202) 224-6342 if you think Americans do not want other activist judges appointed by the Obama administration.

Note on Senator Hagan
Senator Hagan is an “honorary co-leader of Third Way, a Democratic-leaning business-friendly think tank in Washington,” according to the News & Observer.  While at a breakfast meeting last week CNN asked her some questions.  Senator Hagan said she is for raising the debt ceiling; she is for tax reform and fairness; she favors raising taxes on people making more than $1 million a year; and she supports ending tax breaks for oil companies.  She indicated that she wants cuts in defense spending including in the acquisition process; and believes that more competition in the “industrial defense complex” system would be advantageous.  Finally she sees that rising gas prices have had an effect on military budgets, because filling up a F-15 fighter jet is “huge.”  (Senator Hagan’s voting record does not indicate that she is serious about domestic energy production of gas and oil.)

N.C. General Assembly 


1.  State Health Plan – Republicans and Governor Perdue have worked on a plan for state workers’ health care to replace the bill that Perdue vetoed in April that would have required state employees to pay for the very first time a small amount for their own health insurance premiums.

 

Because $55 million was available in the budget and unspent, the state can still afford to continue requiring no premiums to be paid by employees who have the most basic health programs of 70/30 policies.  If state employees have more expensive coverage (80/20) they will pay modest premiums.  Governor Perdue reportedly agrees with the two companion bills that passed the Senate in a vote of 33 to 16 and passed in the House 90 to 24, which help to close the $515 million deficit in the budget for the state health plan through the middle of 2013.  The legislation also changes the oversight for the state employees health plan from the Legislature to the State Treasurer.

2.  Major Bills: Two notable bills remain in conference to be negotiated between the Senate and the House, because different versions were passed in each chamber.  They are the “No Cap on Number of Charter Schools” (Senate Bill 8) that passed the Senate 33 to 17 on February 24th, and the House 68 to 51 on April 11.  Also the “Medical Liability Reforms” (Senate Bill 33) passed the Senate on March 2, 36 to 13; and the House on April 20, 91 to 27.

Other bills have either passed in the Senate or in the House and have been assigned to various committees including:

  • Eminent Domain (House Bill 8) passed by the House 98 to 18 on April 28, now in the Senate Judiciary I Committee;
  • Castle Doctrine (House Bill 34) passed by the Senate on Feb 28 in a vote of 35 to 13, now in the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Involuntary Annexation Moratorium (Senate Bill 27) passed the Senate on March 7 in a vote of 36 to 12, now in the House Rules Committee.
  • The Energy Jobs Act (Senate Bill 709) passed the Senate on May 10 in a vote of 38 to 12, and is now in the Senate Committee on Public Utilities.

3.   Photo Voter ID – Last week, Senator Debbie Clary (R-Cleveland) presented to a Senate committee another version of the photo ID bill that is similar to the House bill that is still in committee.  Senate bill 595 requires a driver’s license or other evidence of a photo ID to vote so that fraud can be avoided.  Without a photo ID, the voter could cast a provisional ballot that is counted when the voter presents to elections board officials a valid photo ID within 10 days of the election date.  Democrats are urging Governor Perdue to veto the legislation which is expected to pass, and that 84% of North Carolinians polled think is necessary in NC.

South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law on May 18th that would require voters in South Carolina to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.  Haley remarked, “If you can show a picture to buy Sudafed , if you can show a picture to get on an airplane, you should be able to show a picture ID to (vote).”

What will Governor Perdue do?  According to Civitas, Perdue’s job approval rating is 46% in recent polling, and represents an increase of 3% since March 2011.    

4. Last week the House voted on a bill that reduces the “early-voting” timeframe.   The vote was 60 to 58, mostly along party lines.  The measure reduces early-voting time by a week from the 2 1/2 week period.  Money is the issue and researchers in the legislature have estimated that $2000 per voting site will be saved if the bill is approved.  Democrat legislators fear that fewer Democrats will vote if the measure passes.  The bill is now in the Senate.

5.  Restoring Unemployment Benefits – A compromise bill is expected by next week, but the 37,000 long-term unemployed seeking benefits has increased to 42,000.  Both Republican Senate and House and leaders are working to reach an agreement on a bill that Governor Perdue will sign.

6.    Redistricting – Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), Chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee, said last week that a public hearing will be held in Raleigh, with satellite access at four other sites, for the public to see the redistricting maps which are expected to be completed next month.

7.  Legislative Day and the Marriage Rally in Raleigh, May 17th.

Thanks to the NCFRW members who attended the Marriage Rally and Legislative Day activities last week.  NCFRW Parliamentarian Mary Frances Forrester addressed the estimated 3500 people attending the rally with sincere and compelling oratory on the merits of the Marriage Amendment for North Carolina.  She was outstanding in her comments and demeanor.

Among the speakers for our separate Legislative session was House Speaker Thom Tillis who accepted our Marriage Amendment petitions and inspired us to have confidence that the Republicans will do as they pledged during the election.  Specifically to pass important bills that matter to North Carolina, such as cutting spending, creating jobs, and passing legislation including the Voter Photo ID bill, the Marriage Amendment, Eminent Domain, and other measures that are favored by North Carolinians.

Other Republican Representatives who took time from their busy schedules to speak to the NCFRW members included:  Marilyn Avila (Wake), John Blust (Guilford), John Faircloth (Guilford), Speaker Pro Tempore Dale R. Folwell (Forsyth), Craig Horn (Union), Pat B. Hurley (Randolph), Linda P. Johnson (Cabarrus), Tim  Moore (Cleveland), Tom Murry (Wake), G. L. Pridgen (Hoke, Robeson, Scotland), Phil R. Shepard (Onslow), and John A. Torbett (Gaston).   We enjoyed hearing their updates of important legislation.

We especially thank Speaker Pro Tempore Dale R. Folwell for working with Joyce Krawiec, NCFRW Grassroots Activism Chairman, to schedule the event; along with Paige Fitzgerald Barefoot, Senior Staff Associate, who finalized the arrangements including a conference room to meet with the legislators.


Sources:  house.govsenate.govInvestors Business Daily, “Editorial:  Dems Blame Business For Own Bad Policies,” May 12, 2011; Red State, “Tomorrow:  Biggest Nomination Fight of 2011,” by Curt Levy, May 18, 2011; Carolina Journal Online, “NCGA Scorecard:  The Good, the Bad, and the Incomplete,” by David N. Bass, May 19, 2011;Charlotte Observer, “Senate panel takes up voter ID bill,” by Jim Morrill, May 18, 2011 and “Haley signs voter ID bill into law,” by Gina Smith, May 19, 2011; Civitas, “Civitas Poll:  Perdue Job Approval Remains Under 50 Percent,” by Katie Trout, May 19, 2011; News & Observer, “House votes to shorten early voting,” by Jim Morrill of Charlotte Observer, May 19, 2011 and “Wings clipped,” editorial, May 20, 2011 and “State Health Plan deal advances,” by Lynn Bonner, May 19, 2011 and “Rucho:  Voters will get say on district maps,” by Mary Cornatzer, May 18, 2011 and “Hagan says U.S. must raise debt ceiling,” by Barbara Barrett, May 18, 2011; m2mpolitics, “Early voting bill concerns state elections chief,” May 19, 2011;  Winston Salem Journal, “GOP plans compromise bill next week to restore unemployment benefits,” by Journal Now Staff & AP, May 21, 2011; Star News, “Perdue ready to sign NC employee health plan deal,” by Gary D. Robertson AP, May 19, 2011and “Thousands rally to back NC gay marriage ban idea” by Gary D. Robertson AP, May 17, 2011; News-Record, “More state residents losing jobless benefits,” by AP, May 18, 2011 and “Triad legislator opposes a ban of gay marriage,” by Mark Binker, May 18, 2011; and News & Observer,“Same-sex marriage foes rally for amendment,” by Eden Stiffman and Lynn Bonner, May 18, 2011; ncga.state.nc.us; and Personal Observations during Marriage Rally and Legislative Day activities, May 17, 2011.

Editor’s Note:  Bolding (other editing) done by the blogger and not by the writer. As requested by the writer, all original content included.  Please note sources cited. KCC appreciates the writer’s extensive research and reporting.

NCFRW – Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo

Here is the current edition of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women (NCFRW) Legislative Report, written and edited by Brenda T. Formo.  This is posted with permission, as is.  It’s an excellent roundup and your blogger looks forward to receiving it each week.

If you are interested in joining your local club, please check this page for more information.  (You must have a PDF reader installed on your machine.)

US House of Representatives

Continuing Resolution

On Friday, Feb 11 the House Appropriations Committee released a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the 2011 fiscal year budget which is expected to be voted on this week.  Republicans have cut $100 billion from the CR.

Patriot Act

On Feb 14, 2011 the final vote was taken on HR 514, “To extend expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.”  The bill passed with a vote of 275 to 144 with 14 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the bill:  G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr.(R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), Heath Shuler (D-11th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

NC Representatives voting against the bill: David E. Price (D-4th) and Melvin L. Watt (D-12th).

United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act

On Feb 9, 2011 the House voted on HR 519, a motion to suspend the rules and pass the “United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act.”  The bill was to “establish as United States policy that the United Nations should return $179 million overpaid into the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund as of Dec. 31, 2009, and that the U.S. should press the U.N. to change its fund assessment procedures to reduce discrepancies.” (MegaVote)  The vote failed, which required a two-thirds majority, in a vote of 259 to 169 with 6 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the refund bill: Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).

NC Representatives voting against the refund bill: G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), David E. Price (D-4th), Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

House Rules Committee

On Feb 14, 2011, the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee voted to “shut down Rep Steve King’s ability to offer an amendment to completely defund Obamacare on the continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year,” according to Erick Erickson at RedState, a conservative internet (sic) site.  Erickson says that the Republicans lost a “prime opportunity” to “shut down Obamacare with its historic ‘power of the purse’” because the continuing resolution is a “must-pass bill.”  Erickson stresses that Republicans should “force the Democrats to use political capital to get the provision out of the bill in the Senate.”

NC “State of the State” & Legislation
Governor Beverly Perdue presented her “State of the State” address on February 14, 2011 in which she commented on the $2.4 billion deficit and her proposed budget. Sounding more like a Republican or perhaps having a change in attitude, Governor Perdue wants tax relief for corporations in NC decreased to 4.9% from 6.9%, saying it would be the lowest in the Southeast and one of the lowest rates in the country.
The governor also made proposals for her “Career and College Promise” initiative and maintaining education funding for teachers and teaching assistants, indicating that education is sacrosanct and saying that she will not budge on it.
Republican leaders, Phil Berger and Thom Tillis both questioned the funding of the governor’s favored College Promise program, but indicated agreement with the lower tax rate for corporations.
NCGOP Chairman, Robin Hayes provided an articulate response emphasizing that Republicans want less tax, less spending, and less regulation.  Predictably, the Democrat party Chairman David Parker blamed the NC fiscal problems on President Bush as opposed to Democrat spending decisions.
Balanced Budget Act of 2011
On Feb 10, 2011 the NC Legislature ratified the Balanced Budget Act of 2011.  The House votes were 66 to 51 with 1 not voting.  The Senate passed the measure earlier in the week.  The bill takes advantage of $540 million in savings from the current budget and is now ready for Governor Perdue’s signature.  Speculation from Democrats is that she will veto the legislation.  According to Bloomberg News, “Three-fifths of the members voting on an override in the House and Senate would have to agree” to overturn the veto and make the legislation law.

Sources:

Investors.com, “Editorial:  Obama’s Gutless Budget Proposal, Feb 14, 2011;

Heritage Foundation, “Morning Bell:  Obama Budget Doubles Down on Deficit Spending Failure,” by Conn Carroll, Feb 15, 2011; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “House Budget Cuts,” by Jamie Dupree, Feb 15, 2011; The Daily Caller, “White House budget gives House GOP a chance to regroup,” by Chris Moody, Feb 14, 2011 and “Ryan:  Obama punted budget, it’s ‘Debt on Arrival,’” by Mary Katherine Hamm(sic), Feb 14, 2011, and “House Republicans’ CR a step in right direction, though not complete solution, says conservative groups,” by Matthew Boyle, Feb 15, 2011; CNN.com, “Obama defends budget priorities,” Feb 15, 2011; Real Clear Politics, “To Close Fiscal Deficit, We Must First Close Our Leadership Deficit,” by Senator Tom Coburn, Feb 15, 2011; The Hill, “McConnell:  Obama budget ‘unserious’ and ‘irresponsible,” by Josiah Ryan, Feb 14, 2011; The Wall Street Journal, “Obama’s ‘Keynesian Misadventure,’” by Stephen Moore, Feb 14, 2011; Chicagotribune.com, “Passing on most painful choices, Obama sends Congress $3.7 trillion budget with some cuts,” by Andrew Taylor, Feb 14, 2011; hotair.com, “Budget reveals the Boldness Deficit,” by Ed Morrissey, Feb 15, 2011; house.gov; MegaVote: NC 6th, 2/14/2011; RedState.com, “RedState Action Alert:  Take Down the Rule,” by Erick Erickson, Feb 15, 2011; newsobserver.com, “Perdue urges cut in business taxes,”  by Rob Christensen and contributor Andy Curliss, Feb 15, 2011; News 14 Carolina, “State of the State” address from Governor Perdue, Feb 14, 2011; nbc17.com, “Perdue:  NC Budget will Eliminate ‘Thousands of State Positions,’” by NBC17 Staff, Feb 14, 2011; ncga.state.nc.us; “Senate Bill 13,” Feb 15, 2011; Bloomberg.com, “NC Legislature gives final OK to savings bill,” by AP, Feb 10, 2011.

CPAC 2011: Rep. Allen West

CPAC 2011 offered so many great speeches by so many great Conservatives, both new and familiar, that I could not write about them all.

Rep. Allen West speaks to CPAC 2011

On Saturday afternoon, freshman Congressman Allen West (FL-22), a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, gave the closing address.

He thanked the audience’s hard work for the electoral successes of 2010. West said the “liberal-progressive agenda offers no solutions” for America’s problems. He reminded the audience that leftist policies have been tried and have failed, worldwide.

He noted that Democrats are targeting his congressional seat as one of the most vulnerable to retake on 2012. He replied that he doesn’t feel vulnerable standing before this friendly audience.

He says the 2010 elections were about putting a “restraining order” on the Federal Government. He says “hard decisions” are needed now in cutting government and the budget deficit. West opposes Federal bailouts. He condemned Obama’s expensive subsidies to encourage people to buy hybrid and electric vehicles. Instead, West wants to cut corporate taxes and favors a Balanced Budget Amendment.

West condemned political correctness and how it contributed to the Fort Hood shootings. He says we shouldn’t grant constitutional rights to terrorists. He says we must never get rid of our nuclear deterrence capability. He accused China of using capitalism as a weapon against us. He’s a big supporter of Israel and promises never to let this US ally down.

West is pro-life and strongly opposes late term abortions. He believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

West asked the audience to “stand firm, for this is the dawn of a new America”.

I greatly liked West, but he went a bit overboard with quotes from famous people: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Burke, Sun Tzu, etc. At least they were all good quotes. However, my wife Katy says that West’s speech is among the top three speeches she heard at this CPAC.

Bob Rucho to NC Senate Democrats: “join us or cry about it” (video)

NC state Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) laid into Senate Democrats for their unwillingness to cut $75 million — when the state is facing a $3.7 billion budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.

He dressed down  his Democratic colleagues down for wasting so much money on corporate welfare when it only helped a very few businesses and created only 300 jobs out of $1.7 B spent. That’s over $5 million per job, which are mostly low-paying call-center jobs.

As a dentist and small business owner, Rucho is someone who was punished by the economic incentives that Gov. Beverly Perdue so loves. Rucho added that Republicans are going to fix 100 years of Democratic disaster. The Democrats are welcome to join the Republicans or they can sit by and cry about it. Mostly, they’ve been crying to the mainstream media.

His floor speech got their attention:


Courtesy North Carolina Republican Senate Caucus and WRAL.