CHARLOTTE After a warm welcome by former classmate Justice Paul Newby, Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) told the delegates that “I won’t back down” from the negative remarks from Democrats and the press, referring to the song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
He’s working to be a problem solver and visionary, and he said he has the best cabinet to do it. McCrory said he’s done a lot in a short five months. He complemented the leadership of the NC House and NC Senate for bringing us a historic cut in income tax.
He plans an energy bill, in coordination with South Carolina and Virginia, to unleash the resources that are underneath our ground that should help improve our economy and put people back to work. He also chided President Obama for preventing NC from using the oil and gas buried 15-60 miles off our coasts.
Additionally, McCrory wants to change the state personnel rules. He says that it takes over 400 days to get through the appeals process when terminating a state employee.
Finally, “we are saying no to Obamacare”, he said to a standing ovation. ”We are saying yes to a healed Medicaid system to help women and children.” Currently, he opined, the taxpayer is being robbed. “Yes we want to help the poor and elderly, but as we have medicaid cost overruns, we are taking money from our teachers and kids in the classrooms. ”
He concluded that “you don’t expand programs that don’t work.”
“Watch for us to step on some toes, but we have a long way to go.”
CHARLOTTE We are back at the North Carolina Republican State Convention and Madeline Keeter has just sung a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
Saturday tends to be the bigger day at the NC GOP convention as the delegates listen to remarks from the big names in the state party, from other state officials, and to elect new officers who will direct the state party.
Governor Pat McCrory is up next.
CHARLOTTE: An embarrasing event is occuring at the moment at the NC Republican Convention. A minority of the delegates want to remove the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of NC, from the Central Committee of the NCGOP.
The opposition wants to push though this amendment, removing the group’s seat, as they feel its a slippery slope for letting other “ethnic groups” join later. The group was voted a seat on the Central Committee only about an hour ago.
Those in favor of continuing to seat the hispanic group realize that the point is to share Republican and conservative values into as many different groups as possible. The Democrats excel at this.
According to the most recent Census, hispanics make up 16.7% of the U.S. population.
According to voice vote, cooler heads prevailed, however “division” was called and a standing was ordered.
Thankfully, the Hispanic assembly was seated on the Central Committee and the amendment failed.
On to further business.
Most counties registered between zero and seven delegates, even those counties that are close by Mecklenburg, where the convention is being held. The exceptions were the home county, which registered only 77 delegates, and Wake County (3 hours away) which registered 67.
Many were disappointed at the low turnout, especially with the future of the party at stake this weekend. After all, delegates will elect their new state party officials on Saturday. Depending on the outcome of the elections, the Party could stay the same, change a little, or go in a drastically different direction.
Usually, however, more delegates do arrive Saturday for the elections and other convention business.
In other convention business today, the group voted to grant a seat on the Central Committee to a new group, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of NC. Ximena Uribe spoke on their behalf.
CHARLOTTE: After a delay of 30 minutes, the convention got underway. After the usual welcome messages by officials, and convention officials appointed, the convention honored the activists who had passed away in last year.
CHARLOTTE: Welcome back to Katy’s Conservative Corner. This weekend is the annual convention of the North Carolina Republican Party. State Party Chairman, Robin Hayes, is stepping down and there are several candidates vying for his post and that of vice chairman. More on that in another post.
1:24 The convention has not yet come to order and its clear the state Republicans are far from a quorum. Delegates are filtering in, after picking up their credentials in the hallways, and visiting with friends.
1:31 Some of the exhibitors include the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which is a fantastic group to give your time and money. Check out http://backinthegame.com for more information on their plan to “tax less, tax fair, and tax simple”.
1:36: Convention chairman Billy Miller is at the podium reporting heavy traffic and delays in the arrival of delegates. He added that the call to order would be delayed.
Follow along with the agenda of the convention here.
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.
On behalf of everyone that makes up the North Carolina Values Coalition and the 61% of North Carolina voters who voted for the Marriage Amendment last May, the North Carolina Values Coalition has filed an Amicus Brief with the United States Supreme Court to defend North Carolina’s definition of marriage.
California’s marriage amendment and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will go before the Supreme Court this Spring, and experts speculate these cases could be the deciding opinion on marriage and the ability of government to redefine marriage.
“The Court should not dismantle liberties of conscience and religious freedom by re-defining marriage to include same-sex ‘marriage,’ said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the North Carolina Values Coalition. “This would have a catastrophic impact on those who cannot conscientiously embrace it.
Since Attorney General Roy Cooper has not filed a brief in defense of our Marriage Amendment, we have filed this Amicus Brief to ensure the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court hear the voice of the 61% of North Carolina voters who supported marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
By Susan Bryant, Chairman, Wake County Republican Party
It’s Tax filing time, and when you file your IRS and North Carolina Tax returns, I am asking that you DO NOT check off the box that sends public funds to political parties!
From the time it began in the 1970’s, I have been opposed to public financing of political campaigns. This includes the years I made my living as a campaign consultant, and could therefore have pocketed some of the money involved myself. I consider my position one of the most selfless and altruistic I have ever espoused. But seriously, why should taxpayers’ money go to pay for politicians’ bumper strips when we are running up trillions of dollars of debt?
So I’ve been against all public financing schemes, the Presidential check-off, the many various proposals for financing Congressional campaigns that have been floated over the year, and, yes, the North Carolina check-off law, too. Now that we have a Republican legislature, I think elimination of the Political Parties Financing Fund ought to be a major part of the campaign reform bill they pass, along with Voter ID and a number of other changes that are needed.
Not all of the reports have been filed yet, but last year, more than $2 million was doled out by the state to the three recognized political parties, with by far the largest share going to the Democrats, who got over a million and a half. Some of the Democrat money (as Francis DeLuca pointed out in a Civitas Review article last April,) went to pay for the settlement the Dems paid to cover up the allegation of sexual harassment.
Doing away with the check-off fund would also make it unnecessary for Republicans to wrestle with the choice between honor and political expediency. Assuming they don’t get it repealed in time for the 2012 tax returns we’re all dealing with now, I will decline to say yes to wasteful spending again, hopefully for the last time, at least at our state level. I hope you will, too.
Democrats argue that public financing will cut down on political clout by fat cats and other special interests, but doesn’t that go against their basic philosophy of “soak the rich?” When they check the box, they are taking $3 out of the funds that would otherwise go to education, mental health and other worthy causes in the state budgets and give it to the politicians. How did that ever get to be the policy of the party of the “little guy,” anyway?
I don’t believe those precious dollars should go to politicians, but rather should go to the education of our children, homeless veterans and other worthy causes. And I encourage all who want to contribute to a political party to do so…and for you Republicans, I’m including a link to do so for either the North Carolina GOP or the Wake County GOP.
Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) filed Senate Bill 4 to exempt North Carolina from establishing a state-based health insurance exchange or a state-federal partnership exchange.
The bill also directs the N.C. Department of Insurance to return unspent taxpayer funds awarded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month to create a state-federal partnership exchange.
“Obamacare was forced on us against our will by the federal government, and they should shoulder the burden of implementing it,” said Sen. Apodaca. “Any claim that North Carolina would ‘control’ this program is nothing more than an illusion.”
Senate Bill 4 also rules out expansion of the North Carolina Medicaid program. In its 2012 decision on Obamacare, the U.S. Supreme Court exempted states from the federal mandate to expand Medicaid eligibility. Based on the court’s ruling, North Carolina has the authority to opt out of expansion.
Costs for North Carolina’s existing Medicaid program have increased significantly in recent years. In 2012, the General Assembly was forced to fill a surprise Medicaid shortfall that totaled more than $500 million. Recent figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that an expansion of the program would add hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state costs to North Carolina’s Medicaid budget through 2019.
“Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring every North Carolinian receives the highest quality health care and outcomes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “Saddling our citizens with the enormous costs of a new federal bureaucracy and entitlements is simply not the way to achieve this goal.”
Under Obamacare, each state must have in place a health exchange where individuals and small businesses, which are now mandated to have insurance, can purchase health care coverage. There are three options: a state-run exchange, a state-federal partnership exchange and a federally-run exchange. Senate leaders have spent months evaluating the implications of each type of exchange.
In November 2012, former Gov. Beverly Perdue prematurely declared her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange – three months before the deadline for the state to make this declaration – while at the same time applying for $73.9 million dollars in federal grant funding to set up the new government program.