Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

XGR_2013
Fitzsimon File

Republican legislative leaders and the will of the people

The General Assembly is returning to Raleigh next week for a special session to help areas of the state suffering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina.

There’s nothing surprising or controversial about that. Communities across the state ravaged by the storms and the fires need the help.

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mccrory-concedes-his-defeat
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McCrory the mayor who never figured out how to be governor

Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded the 2016 election to Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday, December 5 but he actually lost the race on March 23 when he signed the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2.

That not only created a firestorm of protest and boycotts and damaged the state’s reputation around the world, it confirmed what voters had come to realize about him ---that he was either unable or unwilling to stand up to the radical agenda of his own party in the General Assembly.

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Monday numbers

23---number of years since the Smart Start early childhood program began in North Carolina (“Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School,” Dodge, KA ; Bai, Y ; Ladd, HF ; Muschkin, CG; Child Development, 2016)

18---number of years since Smart Start was expanded to serve children in all 100 counties (Ibid)

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HB2-on-college-campuses
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Misguided claims about the election and HB2

The election in North Carolina may be almost finally over but the debate about HB2 is as absurd as ever. Supporters of the sweeping anti-LGBT law that has cost North Carolina thousands of jobs and damaged the state’s reputation around the world are now claiming that the reelection of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest shows that HB2 wasn’t a major reason for the almost certain defeat of Gov. Pat McCrory---which should be made official after Monday’s recount of votes in Durham. The law’s staunchest defenders also continue to brush aside the obvious damage the law is doing to the state. N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said this fall that HB2 has had no effect on the economy. Other pro-HB2ers blame job losses and the relocation of events like NCAA championships out of the state on national pro-LGBT groups and Democratic politicians.

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The troubling machinations of preserving political power in Raleigh

That sound you hear from Raleigh these days is coming from leading North Carolina Republicans, astonished that their iron grip on state government is in jeopardy, thrashing around desperately as they consider extraordinary mechanisms to maintain it by thwarting the will of the voters and ironically complaining about decisions by the federal courts.

The most stunning news for the state GOP elite on election night was that voters rejected Governor Pat McCrory in what turned out to be an almost Republican wave election, with Donald Trump and Senator Richard Burr both winning, the GOP maintaining its super majority in the state House and Senate and Republicans capturing a majority of seats on the Council of State for the first time.

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Monday numbers

630,000---number of households in North Carolina in which people do not have enough food to eat (“Hunger in the Tar Heel State, N.C. Budget & Tax Center, November 2016)

8---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states with the highest levels of food insecurity (Ibid)

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13days
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Monday numbers

13---number of days since Election Day 2016 (N.C State Board of Elections)

4,979—number of votes that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper was ahead of Republican Governor Pat McCrory by as of Monday, November 14 (Ibid)

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Glimmers of hope in election include misleading claims about education and HB2

Despite the shock of Donald Trump winning the presidency last week, there are a number of hopeful signs in the election results for progressives, many of which have been pointed out by folks looking for something positive to hold on to in the overall gloomy outcome.

Those include the fact that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, Democrats gained seats in the U.S. House and Senate, and four states passed ballot measures to increase the minimum wage including Arizona, a state Donald Trump won.

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vote-adobestock-ff-numbers
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Monday numbers

2,281,900---number of votes received by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper as of Election Day (North Carolina State Board of Elections)

2,276,921---number of votes received by Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory as of Election Day (Ibid)

4,979---number of vote margin for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper (Ibid)

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trump-1108-2016
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Trump’s big night lifts most Republicans in NC, but McCrory trails Cooper

Republican businessman Donald Trump shocked the world Tuesday night and his upset victory provided surprising coattails that swept many Republicans into office in North Carolina, neutralizing what was widely expected to be a year of Democratic gains in Congress and the General Assembly.

Instead Republicans rode the Trump wave to maintain control of the U.S. Senate and easily keep their supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature in Raleigh.

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voters-numbers
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Monday numbers

1---number days until Election Day 2016 (N.C. State Board of Elections)

3,102,725---number of ballots cast in North Carolina during early voting and by absentee ballot (Ibid)

6,864,841---total number of registered voters in North Carolina (Ibid)

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Portraits of Chung and Skvarla
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McCrory’s top N.C. economic development officials at odds about damage from HB2

HB2, North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, is affecting the relocation decisions of as many as one fourth of the companies currently considering moving to North Carolina.

That’s not some wild estimate by the folks opposed to HB2 or an allegation made by political opponents of Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the legislation into law last March and continues to passionately defend it.

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Monday numbers

(The items in this edition of Monday numbers are from “The High Cost of Being Poor in North Carolina Anti-Poverty Programs Help Alleviate Costs, But More Must Be Done to Reduce Burdens," a report from the N.C. Justice Center and the Coalition on Human Needs published October 26, 2016)

11.3---percentage of non-Hispanic whites in North Carolina living in poverty 2015.

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Mc-coalash1022
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Gov. Pat McCrory’s trouble with coal ash

The latest revelations in court depositions about Gov. Pat McCrory’s role in weakening warnings about the safety of drinking water near leaking coal ash pits have prompted news headlines about a war of words.

But the sworn testimony in the case obtained recently by Lisa Sorg with NC Policy Watch does not reveal a disagreement between the McCrory administration and environmental groups or partisan opponents.

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41numbers
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Monday numbers

22---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states in average teacher pay in 2003-2004 (“How to Build an Economy that Works for All: Attract—and Keep—High-Quality Teachers in the Classroom with Competitive Pay,” N.C. Justice Center, October 2016)

41---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states in average teacher pay in 2015-2016 (Ibid)

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Photo from flickr user familymwr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

50---percentage of children in North Carolina who live in homes with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (“North Carolina’s FY2017 Budget: What it means for children in North Carolina,” N.C. Budget & Tax Center, September 2016)

34---percentage of white children in North Carolina who live in homes with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (Ibid)

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