Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category
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.
With the beginning of the new year, more of the provisions of Democrats’ massive, unpopular health care law are going into effect and news reports are, again, popping up illustrating all the negative impacts on health care this ill-conceived law will have.
The New York Times reported last week, “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own. In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013.”
Politico adds today, “If you work for a small business, your next health insurance premium may give you sticker shock. Many of the small-business and individual insurance policies are working the health reform law’s 2014 fees into their 2013 bills, contributing to double-digit premium increases for some people. All those new consumer benefits packed into the health reform law — birth control without a co-pay, free preventive care and limits on when insurers can turn down a customer — had to be paid for somehow.”
“Insurers say they have no choice but to increase premiums to cover those costs,” Politico writes. “But it’s hitting pocketbooks sooner than some people expected, and that’s causing controversy. Everyone, even many of the law’s supporters, admit premiums are going to go up under the health law — although many people will get subsidies to help pay for coverage. Many of the costs — and the priciest benefits — were pushed beyond the 2012 election to 2014. But if the public revolts when they see 10 percent,15 percent or 20 percent rate hikes, already shaky support for the health law could suffer. . . . Now, insurers are being proactive, arguing the health law is driving the increase in prices. ‘There’s a massive new health insurance tax that starts in 2014,’ said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans. ‘For policies that are sold in 2013 and extend into next year, there’s going to be taxes imposed. … As a result, like all taxes, they will be reflected in premiums charged.’”
Meanwhile, the health care law is already resulting in cutbacks at health providers and is likely to hurt job creation in the years to come. In a story titled, “Delaware Hospice lays off 52 workers amid federal changes,” the Delaware News Journalwrites, “Delaware Hospice’s Chief Executive Officer Susan Lloyd said Wednesday the nonprofit healthcare provider has laid off 52 workers in a restructuring necessitated by shrinking federal reimbursements. The job cuts, which carve significantly into the organizations 400-member staff, impact jobs in all departments in Delaware, and in Delaware and Chester counties in Pennsylvania, Lloyd said. . . . . Lloyd said the cuts were unavoidable and represent a national trend of providers adapting to changes in health care reimbursement. . . . ‘The decision was not made lightly and it is a direct result of a consequential decline in census and the need to position the organization to meet additional changes and challenges that the hospice industry anticipates with health care reform.’”
And USA Today reported recently, “Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say. Their actions could further dampen job growth, which already is threatened by possible federal budget cutbacks resulting from the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. ‘It will have a negative impact on job creation’ in 2013, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses that employ at least 50 full-time workers — or the equivalent, including part-time workers — must offer health insurance to staffers who work at least 30 hours a week. Employers that don’t provide coverage must pay a $2,000-per-worker penalty, excluding the first 30 employees.”
Republicans warned about all these consequences as Obamacare was being debated, but Democrats and President Obama ignored them and the disapproval of the American people. In December 2009, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s abundantly clear that the more Americans learn about this bill, the more they oppose it. And now we know the same goes for businesses. Businesses that can’t insure workers face stiff fines, resulting in lost wages and jobs, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office. What’s more, studies suggest that this so-called employer mandate would have a disproportionate impact on low-income, entry-level workers. At a time of [high] unemployment, we should be doing everything we can to create jobs. This bill would only lead to more lost jobs.”
And the night Democrats jammed the bill through the Senate, Leader McConnell said “[H]ere’s the reality: the Democrat bill we’re voting on tonight raises health care costs. That’s not me talking — that’s the administration’s own budget scorekeeper. It raises premiums — that’s the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office talking. It raises taxes on tens of millions of middle class Americans. . . . It forces people off the plans they have — including millions of seniors.”
This terrible legislation still needs to be repealed and replaced, but until then it will unfortunately continue to raise premiums, raise health care costs, hurt care, and hurt jobs.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nation’s largest advocate for economic freedom, announced today the roll-out of a significant new effort in response to the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health care law.
AFP President Tim Phillips said, “While we are deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling, this is far from over. AFP will continue to work to defeat President (Barack) Obama’s unaffordable, irresponsible, unaccountable law that burdens the American people with a crushing new tax.”
The ad begins airing today in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin.
“Not A Tax” is just one part of a multi-tiered effort that includes online activism and significant grassroots action in over a dozen states. The total budget for this effort is $9 million.
According to North Carolina’s statewide director, Dallas Woodhouse, the North Carolina portion of the ad buy is $1 million. ”This is a vital state in the upcoming national election” he told a group the Craven County taxpayers, meeting in New Bern on Thursday evening.
Ironically, on the final run day of “The Private Sector is Fine“, your blogger noticed that the Obama team had finally gotten on the air to dispute it.
Watch the ad below:
By Alissa Bonk, Smart Girl Political Action
Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle from New York’s 25th District has been ranked the most conservative woman in the House. She is wildly popular among pro-life groups, and her strong stance against government spending has earned her a Club for Growth rating of 92, a full 24 points higher than the next best rating in NY. Rep. Buerkle is a strong, independent, female conservative — the kind that the Republican Party sorely needs in Washington.
So naturally, the New York State Party is intentionally redistricting her out of her seat. Their own, self-drawn map places Rep. Buerkle in a nearly impossible electoral situation.
Anyone who is familiar with the New York Republican establishment shouldn’t be too surprised by this.
In 2009, the state GOP forced the liberal, pro-union, pro-choice Dede Scozzafava onto the Republican ticket in the NY-09 special election, causing a third-party rebellion within the conservative movement that led to Scozzafava’s withdrawal from the race and endorsement of the Democrat over the conservative candidate.
In 2010, the establishment tried to hoist candidate, Rick Lazio, onto the GOP gubernatorial ticket – only to result in yet another voter revolt that put Carl Paladino on the ballot, a candidate who went down in flames in November.
This time, instead of forcing a flawed candidate onto the ticket, the state GOP is trying to redistrict a good one – a great one, actually – out of contention, simply because she won’t play ball with the Albany old boys club.
Luckily, the conservative movement is identifying this for what it is – an attempt to get an independent-minded, strong female conservative out of the establishment’s way – straight out of the gate.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), head of the Republican Study Committee, has already said he will fully support Buerkle in her primary fight against any challenger, even if it means defeating a Republican incumbent in a different district. The Chairman of the Onandaga County GOP, located within Buerkle’s district, has announced his support as well.
In fact, the conservative outcry has reached the ears of real conservative voices like Erick Erickson, who recently criticized the “tone deaf” state party and urged other conservatives to start paying attention to the unfolding fiasco.
The Republican Party should be applauding and encouraging strong conservative women to run for office and fight for fiscal sanity in Washington. Instead, the New York State GOP wants to redistrict them out of existence. Hopefully, conservatives – especially us (sic) conservative women – will recognize this shameful move for what it is, and put pressure on Albany to keep Rep. Buerkle in Congress. The GOP, and the country, needs her there.
Please check out my Op-Ed posted on The Daily Caller and leave a comment of support for the Congresswoman. We need strong conservative women representing us in Congress.
SGPA Communication Team
Editor’s Notes: Not too many years ago, something similar happened in the North Carolina State House. The Citizens of the old North State elected a Republican majority, in spite of the Democrat party’s gerrymandering. The GOP Seniority system was set and the people destined to take their places in leadership positions prepared to do so.
Along came a state representative and longtime party activist, Richard Morgan of Moore County. He scared up eight of his best pals and brokered a “power-sharing” agreement with the Democrats, and setting up a “co-speakership” in the State House of Representatives. Co-Speakership? What happened to the GOP majority that had just been elected? Morgan”s pals shared key committee chairmanships and the Republicans who had worked so hard were left with little.
How did it work? Like a broken clock.
Two years later, the Democrats were voted back into the majority and didn’t give it up until 2010, when the anti-Obama wave hit the country and people wanted to go in a different direction.
Two years after his scheme, Richard Morgan was voted out of office, with the support of many from Wake and surrounding counties, including Art Pope, a benefactor of conservative and libertarian causes. The others were “hunted down” voted out, too by recruiting good candidates. Such a long story cannot be completely covered here, but thankfully we in North Carolina do not have a short-sighted NCGOP.
Lately it seems, when conservatives come to town, the cockroaches venture out of the dark and come after the candy. Our liberal friends at Occupy DC and their union thug counterparts are planning activities to disrupt the largest conservative political gathering.
According to multiple sources, the Occupiers are scheduled to pitch tents on the lawn of the CPAC Hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park. Your blogger even saw ads requesting donations of tents.
Members of the AFL-CIO have registered for the conference and have booked at least 30 rooms in the hotel.
At the November 2011 Defending the American Dream Conference, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Occupiers stormed the hotel and convention center, injuring this blogger.
These people aren’t simply our opposition, they take hatred to an entirely new level. They don’t know what they stand for and they resent anyone with a job who works hard to take care of themselves and their family.
Many of these Occupiers live at home with their parents, sort of a “slacker” generation. They hate capitalism, the very system that brought them the prosperity they grew up enjoying. Yet they’d rather live in a disease infested tent, and drop out of society.
They are planning “creative activities” to disrupt the conference on Friday and Saturday, Smart Girl Politics Action, a conservative women’s organization, has warned its members to stay safe:
The SGPA leadership team, members, and many of our bloggers will be attending the event. We would urge those of you attending to be alert, and to take every precaution in keeping yourself safe.The SGPA leadership team, members, and many of our bloggers will be attending the event. We would urge those of you attending to be alert, and to take every precaution in keeping yourself safe.
Wednesday evening, your blogger spotted an Occupier using one of the public computers in the lobby of the Wardman Park Hotel. She was easy to pick out. She wasn’t dressed neatly, wore a “Che” hat, and had black and white colors on, while the rest of us cheerily sport our red, white, and blue. In short, we are the happy ones and they are the ones with an ax to grind.
More information is available here. KCC promises to bring you news on this situation as it develops. Let the Occupiers try to come after us. We’ll meet them head on with video cameras in hand, ready for uploading! Bring it on! I may not be able to carry a gun in the District, but I do have my cane and KCC wouldn’t mind using it in self-defense.
Uber Liberal NC Representative Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake) to retire: Your blogger’s day is made. KCC lived in her district nearly all the years Weiss “served” and wrote her many letters. Weiss never once listened to a different idea, or one that didn’t come from her socialist playbook. Read Laura Leslie‘s report.
According to Leslie,
This year’s Republican redistricting maps drew her into a GOP-leaning district with a Republican incumbent, Rep. Tom Murry.
NC House Majority Leader, Rep. Paul Stam, wants you to know what the Marriage Amendment will do. It’s on the same ballot as the May primaries and he offers five points for readers to consider. KCC notes that our liberal friends have been getting most of the mainstream press on this (what’s new?).
Stam argues in part:
Legally Recognizing Only Heterosexual Marriage Isn’t Discrimination Against Homosexuals Wanting To Marry. Marriage between a man and a woman has existed in virtually every known society. It has served the purpose of channeling procreative sexual activity into an institution which will provide a stable environment for children produced from the sexual union of the partners in marriage.
In a true loss for our state and nation, Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC, 9) will not be running for re-election for her seat in Congress. Myrick, a former Charlotte Mayor, understands the terrorists threats more than any other member of Congress. She has organized workshops and worked with a variety of groups in Washington, Charlotte, and Raleigh, to educate and to promote understanding of what the terror threat is, and founded the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.
Katy’s Conservative Corner wishes Mrs. Myrick our very best and we thank her for her 9 terms serving North Carolina’s ninth district.
Finally, Pat McCrory, likely Republican nominee for Governor, is finishing off his fundraising push after his big announcement week. He needs any support you can provide. To donate to McCrory for Governor, please click here and follow the directions.
A reader wrote to KCC today, distressed that President Barack Obama‘s EPA chief is up to her old shenanigans:
Lisa Jackson doesn’t want to admit that her EPA policies are actually job killers and that it would raise costs on NC families and businesses.
The Raleigh News and Observer reported
In a speech at Duke University, Jackson argued that EPA policies conservatives and Republicans in Washington are spreading disinformation in a bid to roll back this country’s environmental protections and to hobble the agency.
However, the paper concluded that Jackson’s speech at Duke is part of a broader counter-attack by regulators who are facing intense criticism from conservative critics during the nation’s worst economic downturn since World War II.
Jackson has been in trouble with the Obama administration before, for going too far in attacks on conservatives. In fact, she nearly had to step down from her high post.
Listen to her entire speech, in the video below.
Today, your blogger received the following in her e-mail box from the SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, under the cover of “People’s Pizza”. Honestly, she thought it was a new pizza parlor in the neighborhood until she clicked on the link:
Over the last two days, I’ve watched as thousands of people from all over the country have poured onto the national mall to set up what they’re calling The People’s Camp.
Unemployed workers, union members, community organizers, and activists have built a thriving community of the 99 percent in the shadow of the Washington Monument, right in front of the Capitol, where 1 percent won’t be able to ignore it.
Just a few minutes ago, those thousands of activists headed up to Congress to tell their representatives that they need to focus on creating jobs.
This is hungry work.
Call in and order a pizza for the folks here at the People’s Camp. (link removed by KCC)
There are about to be 3000 really hungry people here back at camp, let’s thank them for their hard work.
This is from the files of the formerly unbelievable. When we clicked on the link, it lead us to a page on the SEIU site. After being beaten by an Occupy DC member and ignored by the DC police, KCC will believe anything now.
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.
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!
The Statements of Economic Interest are one of the means by which the public can determine potential conflicts of interest between a legislator’s duty in the General Assembly and their personal financial interests.
The State Government Ethics Act requires the disclosure of financial and personal interests by state legislators and other covered persons. All SEIs are public records and may be requested by the public. The form provides a profile of each legislator’s financial interests including: sources of income, real estate owned in North Carolina, ownership of public and private companies, involvement in non-profits, investments, and liabilities. Income from Social Security, federal and military retirement, and capital gains are excluded.
The SEIs include information not just on each legislator, but data on family members residing in the household as well.
This is a resource that you can use to look up your legislators individually and notify the Civitas Institute of interesting things you might find. KCC thanks Civitas for all of their hard work in North Carolina.