July 4th Parades in Pinehurst and Carthage

We’re all waiting on the Blue Wave to come to North Carolina this fall, but it won’t come ashore unless each of us plays a part in making it happen!

Here’s your opportunity:

if you haven’t already filled out the Volunteer Questionnaire and indicated your willingness to assist us in electing our candidates, please take this opportunity to do so!

As you may be aware, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced Senate Bill S.3036, the Keep Families Together Act on June 7, 2018. The Bill’s description is “to limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry.” She is urging all individuals who are represented by Republicans to contact those elected officials to urge them to follow the lead of Senate Democrats and DO SOMETHING NOW. The well-being of thousands of children is at stake!

We urge you to take a moment, send an email, or a tweet, a letter, or make a phone call to Senators Burr and Tillis. Your message can be as simple as There is no law responsible for keeping the children at our borders in an internment camp. PLEASE act now to stop this repugnant travesty.  This is not the America we love!”

Click on the red box above for contact info for Senators Burr and Tillis!

AMENDMENT WOULD PUT VOTER ID

IN NC CONSTITUTION

FROM: 

Raleigh, N.C. — House Speaker Tim Moore and other House Republicans filed a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday afternoon to ensconce a voter ID rule in the state constitution. The bill would ask voters to decide this November whether to add this paragraph to the constitution: “Photo identification for voting in person. Every person offering to vote in person shall present photo identification before voting in the manner prescribed by law.” The requirement deals only with in-person voting, not absentee voting. Voters wouldn’t necessarily see more details, including what sorts of ID would qualify, before voting. That would be laid out later by the General Assembly in a separate bill. Moore, R-Cleveland, said North Carolinians can look to other states with voter ID is already in place examples of what the legislature would approve.

The measure will start in the House, but the language has been discussed by House and Senate leadership, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said. Legislators hope to wrap this session by the end of the month, which would put the proposal on the House and Senate floors for votes within the next few weeks. It must pass both chambers with support from three-fifths of the membership to go on the ballot. The measure wouldn’t be subject to the governor’s veto. 

The General Assembly’s last push for voter ID was struck down by the federal courts, which found racial discrimination in that effort and in a number of other changes to voting laws included in a 2013 bill. That bill was rolled out a day after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of the U.S. Voting Rights Act requiring pre-clearance of voting law changes by the federal government.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in 2016 that the Republican majority targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision” in that law, noting among other things that the legislature had data in hand showing African-Americans were less likely than white voters to have the sort of identification required.

A previous version of that 2013 bill, proposed before the court changed the Voting Rights Act, would have allowed other government IDs, including expired ones. Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice who argued against the 2013 law in the lengthy court reviews that followed, said in a statement Thursday that legislators are “trying to trick voters into doing their dirty work for them. This is an obvious effort to implement a policy that has been shot down as being racially discriminatory.”

CLICK ON THEIR LOGO TO GO TO DEMOCRACY NC TO SEND YOUR OPINION TO BOLES AND TILLMAN!

If you meant to watch it, but forgot or got busy, here’s a link to the MSNBC Town Hall, broadcast on Tuesday, May 29th.

Many of us, I suspect, if we were fleeing brutal poverty or a corrupt regime or death squads, would give very little thought to anything beyond removing ourselves and those we love from an untenable situation.

We’d snatch up our children and flee to a place that held the promise of a better life. I’d wager that some of us would even sneak across a border with our babies in tow to escape a life that offered us no hope.

That said, every nation has a right and a responsibility to protect its borders. While it only has two to defend, the United States faces a distinct challenge with its neighbor to the south. While we have in-migration from all over the world, our border with Mexico is unique because the U.S. is a wealthy country and Mexico is a poor one.

It is rare in the entire world that an enormously rich country shares a porous border with another country so impoverished. And indeed, the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants in this country have come from Mexico.

It’s clear to anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of migration patterns that we do not encounter the problems with our northern border that we do with our southern. The inescapable conclusion is that the United States is an irresistible beacon of aspiration and prosperity to millions of our poorest southern neighbors.

The evidence is in the appreciable number of Mexican nationals who have risked everything to attain these ideals. Yet regardless of our feelings about them, we must never forget that the children they bring with them are guiltless.

When war, pogroms and famine have driven people to flee their own countries, the majority of Americans have repeatedly shown a willingness toward leniency to those who have found themselves outside our laws because of situations they had no ability to control.

Such is the case with the “Dreamers.”

Brought here by their parents as infants and children, many have never known another home. They think of themselves as Americans. Some have never again set foot in the country they were born in.

These children were raised with the same hopes and dreams that most of us have for our offspring: a good education and a job that will make them happy and economically secure. Under DACA, that is exactly what many of these young people have been able to accomplish.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a stopgap program introduced by President Obama in 2012 because Congress couldn’t or wouldn’t pass the Dream Act, first introduced 17 years ago. The Dream Act would have created a pathway to citizenship for these children. Nevertheless, neither DACA nor the Dream Act — if it had passed — was intended to be easy, hurtle-free avenues for remaining in this country.

DACA, which must be renewed every two years, has numerous restrictions with regard to who is eligible. Among them: DACA recipients must have been brought to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007; the program is available only to those now aged 16 to 35; and those eligible must currently be enrolled in or have graduated from high school or possess a GED.

They are ineligible if they have been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor or are considered a threat to national security.

After they have cleared these hurdles and become DACA enrollees, these young people are eligible to apply for driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, jobs, and although they do not qualify for federal financial aid, they can attend college utilizing private loans.

DACA recipients are Dreamers, but not all Dreamers are DACA recipients. When anti-immigrant legislators denigrate Dreamers and vow to kick them out of the country, they often fail to distinguish between the two. According to the independent, nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, DACA recipients are more likely to be enrolled in college or to have already graduated. They hold higher paying jobs than the average Dreamer. They’re even organ donors at a higher percentage than the rest of us.

While there are fewer than 800,000 DACA recipients, their economic contribution is enormous.

In the state of Iowa, for instance, programs like DACA have helped propel growth. Seven thousand Iowans fled the state between 2010 and 2015, but 29,000 immigrants moved in. Iowa’s economy could not be sustained without these new workers.

DACA is not any kind of permanent solution, and we absolutely must do something about our immigration laws. Many Democratic lawmakers have tried mightily to balance our immigration policy with empathy and compassion for DACA recipients.

But the Republican Congress members now bent on deporting these high-achieving, incredibly motivated Dreamers — who through no fault of their own cannot fully claim this country — are just plain mean-spirited and wrong-headed.  Click here to read the Counterpoint 

Haven’t read the 205-page partisan gerrymandering ruling? Here’s what happened:
From:
Three federal judges agree: North Carolina Republican lawmakers drew a congressional map that intentionally discriminated against voters and entrenched their party’s power.
They struck down the 2016 map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and ordered the state not to hold an election until a remedy is enacted. The legislature has until 5 p.m. Jan. 24 to redraw the congressional map, and with a candidate filing deadline looming, the court said it also intends to appoint a special master to help draw an alternative plan.
It’s the first time a federal court has blocked the use of a congressional map because of an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
“This is a true victory for North Carolina voters,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, a plaintiff in one of the cases. “At long last, politicians will no longer be allowed to use partisan gerrymandering in order to shield themselves from accountability to the public.”
The 191-page majority opinion, written by Judge James Wynn, a President Barack Obama appointee, and joined by Judge Earl Britt, appointed by Jimmy Carter, sharply criticizes Republican lawmakers for their overt partisan intent. Judge William Osteen, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote a separate 14-page opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
“Legislative Defendants also do not argue – and have never argued – that the 2016 Plan’s intentional disfavoring of supporters of non-Republican candidates advances any democratic, constitutional, or public interest,” Wynn wrote. “Nor could they.”
Osteen agreed with his colleagues that the 2016 map violates the Equal Protection Clause and Article I, Section 2 and 4 of the Constitution. He wrote that he did not believe the plaintiffs’ stated injuries amounted to a violation of their First Amendment rights.
… When a partisan gerrymander entrenches a political party in power, Wynn wrote, it undermines the ability of voters to effect change when they see legislative action as infringing on their rights.
It was James Madison, he added, who warned a legislature insulated by virtue of an insidious gerrymander could enact additional legislation restricting voting rights and further cementing “its unjustified control of the organs of both state and federal government.”
The GOP-controlled legislature has indeed attempted in its time to pass measures with either the intended or unintended consequence of suppressing voters, including a voter identification law that was struck down by the courts.
Lawmakers are also already in hot water with the courts over racial gerrymandering – an issue on which Wynn is also involved as a judge and on which he wrote in Tuesday’s opinion.
… WRAL reported a spokesperson for Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) said the case would be appealed.
Democrats and voting rights advocates celebrated the ruling.
“A great victory for #FairMaps!,” tweeted Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake).
North Carolina Congressman David Price said in a statement that no state had suffered more from extreme partisan gerrymandering.
“The North Carolina General Assembly must now comply with the court’s order and develop a fair map with compact districts,” he said.
His colleague, Rep. G.K. Butterfield applauded the three-judge panel for its ruling.
“The decision reaffirms my long held belief that Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly drew the congressional map with the express purpose of maximizing the number of Republican congressional districts,” he said. “Republicans comprise 30 percent of registered voters in North Carolina, yet they crafted a congressional map that would ensure Republican success in ten of thirteen districts, or 76 percent. The Republicans made this case relatively simple when they admitted in court that the congressional map was drawn for partisan political advantage.”
Eric Holder, a former U.S. Attorney General and current chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, noted that the court order signals the time for fair maps in North Carolina.
“The court could not be more clear and the Republican legislature could not be more wrong,” he wrote on Twitter. “The solution is simple: be fair in drawing districts lines.”
From  Inline image 1
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Point and Counterpoint: About That New Tax Bill
It Reflects the Republicans’ Commitment to the Rich
The author, president of the Moore County Democratic Women, lives in Southern Pines.
By Darlene Dunham, Special to The Pilot
If there was any doubt before the passage of the House tax bill that the leaders of the Republican Party have lost their compass, their raison d’etre, that doubt was all but erased in the middle of the night Dec. 2, 2017. While most of America slept, those early-morning hours witnessed an even more shameful piece of tax legislation rammed through the Senate. One does not have to be an avid follower of politics to understand just how far from their roots the Republicans have strayed with this bill.
The party of fiscal restraint, the party whose laments about the ever-burgeoning federal deficit and ballooning national debt have been a nonstop mantra everyone has listened to for decades, has abandoned all pretense of caring about these issues or about any Americans except those in income brackets capable of funding their campaigns.
The proof that this Republican-led Congress is inordinately beholden to the rich is written throughout this tax bill. From the beginning it was cloaked in secrecy and opacity. Thrown together in just a few weeks, it quickly burgeoned into a behemoth.
Coming in at 515 pages, the text of the bill was finally published Nov. 21 by the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The committee voted to move on it exactly one week later, Nov. 28.  On Dec. 1, after frantic bargaining and last-minute scurrying for votes, the final version, shortened by a mere 18 pages, was passed with critically important amendments handwritten in the margins and strikeouts throughout this now-official document.
Can anyone seriously believe this bill was thoroughly scrutinized and vetted? Contrast what happened in 2017 with what took place in 1986, the last time the Republicans went to the mat for comprehensive tax reform. Back then, they spent six months carefully crafting legislation. They held numerous public hearings, looking to cut taxes but not wanting to overly burden the federal deficit. And finally — wait for it — they passed their bill with bipartisan support in a Congress controlled by Democrats.
But not so much today with bipartisanship. Today, it is about Republicans delivering on promises made to their high-dollar donors and handing this ineffective president something resembling a legislative accomplishment. Today it is about throwing out long-held principles and bestowing government gifts on those who need them the least. And today, it is about adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit.
And that’s just for starters. The economic forecasts underpinning this bill are even more fanciful than the trickle-down theory of Reaganomics and have even less empirical evidence to support them.  Wishful thinking and alternative facts aside, when the real cost of this tax gift to the affluent becomes apparent, no amount of fantasy will make the numbers go away. There is every reason to believe that the deficit will grow by more than $1.5 trillion. And when the economy does not perform per the rosy forecasts of Mnuchin and Cohn, the general welfare of the American people will suffer.
Cuts will be made to Medicare and Social Security, and funding will wither for our public schools, lands and infrastructure. Make no mistake, this is exactly how these so-called leaders of Congress are planning to pay for the generous tax cuts they’ve gifted the wealthy this holiday season. But the true tragedy here is that absolutely no promises were extracted from the nation’s businesses that they would use these tax breaks to create new jobs or invest in capital projects. This is a bill that some of the most successful companies in America — Black Rock Financial, Starbucks, Vanguard, Berkshire Hathaway — have publicly opposed. They know that many of this country’s wealthiest corporations and companies are currently sitting on piles of cash, much of it in offshore banks.
Many of the chief executives of these financially flush firms have already stated that they have no intention of hiring additional personnel or investing in substantive improvements to their plants or equipment. Many, such as Amgen Inc. CEO Robert Bradway, have already made it clear that gains from these tax breaks will be returned to shareholders or be used for buybacks of company stock. CEOs from Coca-Cola and Cisco have made similar statements.
Finally, here are a couple of dirty secrets buried in those 497 pages and in the handwritten notes scribbled in the margins: All tax cuts come to a screeching halt in 2025, eight years from now.
Sorry, did I say all? I meant tax cuts end only for individuals. Then they revert to today’s rates. And the formula for figuring out which tax bracket you’re in?
 
See the full article, including the Counterpoint from former Moore County Republican Party Chair John Rowerdink HERE.

* * *

What happened when North Carolina cut taxes like the GOP plans to for the country

From

BURLINGTON, N.C. — For a peek into a world after a massive tax cut, visit North Carolina and ride along with factory owner Eric Henry.

Conservative groups have hailed North Carolina as a model of a tax overhaul since it began slashing state corporate and individual tax rates four years ago. And one of the effort’s main architects, Thom Tillis, is now in the U.S. Senate, where early Saturday he joined 50 other Republican senators in voting for a $1.5 trillion federal tax overhaul — a plan that employs many of the same tactics already in use here.

But as Henry drove through the conservative, rural county he’s called home all his life, he had trouble seeing many benefits of the tax cut. Business was good, but it wasn’t good enough that he could give his 20 workers significant raises.

And there were growing worries that the lost tax revenue — estimated at $3.5 billion this year alone — was beginning to significantly hurt core public services such as schools.

GOP ‘optimistic’ as tax bill heads to conference, despite deficit analysis

GOP senators brushed off concerns about the tax bill’s impact on the national debt and discussed the corporate tax rate on Dec. 3, as it heads to conference. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

“I don’t know the people who this benefits,” Henry said of the North Carolina tax cut.

Changing the national tax code is much different from changing a state’s code. But what’s happening today in North Carolina offers potential clues about the grand experiment with tax cuts the entire nation is close to embarking on, with Republicans appearing confident they can send final legislation to President Trump by year’s end.

The tax changes in North Carolina haven’t produced the fiscal calamity that led Republican legislators in Kansas this year to reverse dramatic cuts they passed a few years earlier, but nor have they produced the kind of win-for-all economic prosperity national Republicans say their effort will spur.

Instead, North Carolina has enjoyed the same steady growth as much of the country, making it challenging to estimate the impact of the tax cut compared with the many other factors shaping the state’s economy.

“There’s nothing magical that has happened in North Carolina,” said John Quinterno, an economic analyst at the Chapel Hill-based research group South by North Strategies.

Henry, 60, runs a T-shirt manufacturer called TS Designs, which sources all its material locally. His company almost went belly up in the mid-1990s when free-trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement opened the borders to cheap foreign textiles. Henry knew he couldn’t compete on price. So he rebuilt his business around selling a higher-quality, locally made product instead.

He’s been doing well in recent years. This summer, the company notched its best production month ever, allowing Henry to pay a bonus to his workers. He says the nation’s overall strong economy is what benefits him.

Henry was driving one day late last week to give a talk at nearby Elon University. It was on campus that Henry ran into Jason Cox, 37, who owns several Jimmy John’s franchises and commercial real estate projects. Henry asked Cox whether he’d seen a benefit from the tax cuts.

“Not really,” Cox replied.

Cox said the cost of health insurance and regulations loom much larger for him than taxes. Taxes, he said, enjoy “an over-exaggerated role in our decision-making.”

State cuts — and a warning

Taxes have long been targeted by many conservatives as obstacles to economic growth.

In 2013, the Republican-controlled legislature in North Carolina started rolling back taxes. The then-governor labeled it the “Carolina Comeback” and sold the plan as a way to energize a state economy growing sluggishly after the Great Recession.

The corporate rate dropped in steps from 6.9 percent to just 3 percent this year, the lowest in the nation among states that have such a tax. The rate is set to fall to 2.5 percent in two years.

Personal income tax went from a progressive rate that topped out at 7.75 percent to a flat 5.75 percent. This year, it fell again to 5.49 percent.

The state also abolished its estate tax and expanded the sales tax to include more services, such as ticket sales and auto repairs.

“I think North Carolina is an example of successful tax reform,” said Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the right-leaning Tax Foundation.

He praised the state for not only lowering rates but eliminating preferential rates for certain industries, creating a more neutral tax code.

Supporters boast that just last month, North Carolina was named No. 1 on Forbes’s annual list of the most business-friendly states. That was a first, although it was just a moderate improvement from earlier years, when it has finished in the top five.

“Generally, it’s part of what’s helped our economy to bounce back,” Lew Ebert, president of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, said of the new tax structure.

North Carolina’s recent history as a tax-cutting state is much less known — and much less turbulent — than Kansas’s.

A year before North Carolina launched its overhaul, Kansas’s Republican-dominated legislature cut rates, with Gov. Sam Brownback (R) predicting an “adrenaline shot” of economic growth. He openly described it as an experiment on the pro-growth strategies touted by conservative think tanks and politicians.  Read more …

* * *

 

 The NC Democratic Party is all about DREAMers!

On Tuesday, September 5th, the Trump administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Session, announced that in six months the Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  President Obama’s 2012 program allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children to be protected from deportation, while also allowing them to work legally, obtain a driver’s license, pursue an education, and contribute to our society.

Following are the talking points which the NCDP recommends we use in defending DACA:

• The president has cruelly decided he wants to remove from our country nearly 800,000 people who want nothing more than a better life and to contribute to our country.
• Trump and Republicans own this. They are forcing almost one million people back into the shadows. These people are our coworkers, our classmates, and our neighbors. This action will only tear families apart and make our communities less safe.
• If Congress does not act immediately, Trump will have dealt a devastating blow to our economy and our national security by heartlessly targeting immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were just children.
• Protecting the DREAMers is the smart thing to do for our economy, and it’s the right thing to do for nearly 800,000 of them who live, study, and work here.
– More than 27,000 North Carolinians contribute more than $1 billion to our economy. It’s shameful, and hurts our state’s economy,        to push them back into the shadows.
• It’s time for Congressional Republicans to put politics aside and give DREAMers the opportunity to continue chasing the American dream.
– They represent our country’s future and are already making invaluable contributions to our economy.
– Nearly two-thirds of Americans support protecting DACA and allowing DREAMers to continue going to school, creating businesses, and contributing to our society.
• Democrats believe our diversity is our greatest strength.  We will always fight for hardworking families and a smart, sensible immigration system.

Senators Tillis and Burr Contact Information

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Moore County Economic Snapshot


The economic picture of counties throughout North Carolina is clearer today with the release of the county-by-county snapshots by the NC Justice Center.  It’s more apparent than ever that the economic reality for North Carolinians varies greatly depending on where you live and work; where you live can affect your ability to get ahead.

Click here to learn more…

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Moore County Democratic Party

Just got off with The Rachel Maddow Show talking about why it’s clear that North Carolinians had their voices silenced. Mark Harris owes us answers but so far he‘s given us nothing but silence. Join us in this fight. secure.actblue.com/donate/q42018_dec_web?refcode=social ...

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