Last week in North Carolina In Review:

In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with a weekly round-up of news clips of importance to North Carolinians from around the state, as reported by various Democratic and Progressive news sources.  Click on headlines for the full story.
 
  
GOP pulling out all the stops to maintain its unconstitutionally elected majority 

Legislative leaders are scrambling for their political lives after the conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the legislative districts they drew to lock in the power they gained in the 2010 election were unconstitutional because they were racially gerrymandered. They are desperately trying to avoid two things that could put their supermajority control of the House and Senate in jeopardy, holding a special election in 2017 and/or having the federal courts draw the districts themselves instead of letting lawmakers try again to manipulate the maps to extend their hold on power. There is not much doubt about what would happen if voters went to the polls this year. President Trump is historically unpopular at this point in his presidency with only 36 percent of Americans approving of the job he is doing while 60 percent disapprove.
 
Protesters want North Carolina’s racially gerrymandered voting districts redrawn
ABC 11 // Tim Pulliam // June 12, 2017
Summary: “Indivisible NC, a grassroots voter advocacy organization attempted to put pressure on North Carolina’s legislature to act now in getting racially gerrymandered voting districts redrawn. The group held a rally outside the General Assembly Monday.”

MOORE COUNTY NEWS:

Private Owners of Woodlake Dam are broke, so DEQ will spend nearly $1 Million to fix it

By Lisa Sorg
This is the first of a two-part story.
Over one weekend last October, more than a half-foot of rain fell on the small town of Vass in Moore County. By Monday evening, when Hurricane Matthew had moved north and out to sea, a middle section of the spillway at Woodlake Dam had collapsed. Thousands of residents downstream were in danger.
The dam and lake are privately owned by Woodlake LLC, a troubled company with a dicey financial and environmental history: spinoff real estate ventures, multiple bankruptcies, broken promises to residents of its upscale development, violations of court orders and an opaque web of German investors and banks.
With the dam’s condition continuing to degrade despite court-ordered repairs, this week state officials seized control of Woodlake Dam from its owners after the NC Department of Environmental Quality issued an emergency declaration regarding its safety.

MORE STATE NEWS:

NAACP activists threatened with arrest while delivering letter to House speaker’s office N&O // Colin Campbell // June 14, 2017 Summary: “Activists with the N.C. NAACP were threatened with arrest Tuesday when they attempted to deliver a letter to House Speaker Tim Moore’s office, a video shows…The video, posted to YouTube by Fusion Films, shows Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble making the threat to the small group as they delivered the letter in the reception area of Moore’s office.”

House revives term limit proposal for legislative leaders WRAL // Matthew Burns // June 14, 2017  Summary: “House lawmakers are trying once again to adopt term limits for the positions of House speaker and Senate president pro tem.  The proposal, which also would need to be approved by voters as a constitutional amendment, would prohibit anyone from holding either of the two leadership positions in the General Assembly for more than four consecutive two-year terms.”

“One of the weaknesses of our institution is the power does seem to be in the hands of few people who call the shots,” said sponsor Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford. “I would like to see the speaker as more of a servant to the membership, to make sure everything’s done appropriately, according to rule, and that the members are the ones that hold the power.”

Our View: We’re not all donkeys or elephants, but law ignores it Fayetteville Observer // Editorial // June 14, 2017 Summary:”Here in North Carolina, the fastest-growing political affiliation of all is none of the above. It’s voters registering as unaffiliated — those who want to participate in our democracy but want no part of anyone’s party. ”

  • “That message hasn’t yet been recognized by the men and women who write this state’s laws. In the General Assembly, the great struggle, the war for hearts and minds, is still being waged between Democrats and Republicans, who act blissfully unaware that time and trends are passing them by.”

“Unaffiliated voters already outnumber either Democrats or Republicans in eight North Carolina counties and they outnumber Republicans in nearly half. If they want to serve on local boards of elections, or the state board, they should be allowed. ”

WFAE Exclusive: Governor Cooper Talks Redistricting, I-77 Tolls, Budgets and Gun Bill WFAE // Tom Bullock // June 14, 2017 Summary: “On Wednesday, Governor Cooper gave an exclusive interview to WFAE. He spoke with our Political Reporter Tom Bullock.”

“But we’re at a pivotal moment here. The Senate Republican plan looks out for millionaires, for billionaires, and giant corporations instead of the middle class. And the House Republican plan fails to adequately invest in education, and job training, and economic development. And these are the wrong priorities.” – Cooper

NC Senate envisions non-traditional teacher prep programs N&O // Lynn Bonner // June 12, 2017 Summary: “The state Senate wants to ease the teacher shortage, but critics said a bill passed Monday will make it hard for people to switch careers to teach…The Senate bill would allow new teacher preparation programs that are not part of college and universities. The bill also changes the way adults switching careers get into teaching, replacing what’s called a lateral entry license with a residency license.”

  • “We need to have a wholesale reform of how we do education preparation,” said Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake Forest Republican.

“This would allow anybody who wants to train a teacher to do so,” said Sen. Gladys Robinson, a Guilford County Democrat. “That is not an acceptable standard to me.”

* * *

Democratic Women of Moore County (June 2017 Meeting)


from the

Statement from the NC Justice Center: Trumpcare slashes pre-existing condition protections, guts Medicaid & leaves 23 million uninsured, according to new CBO analysis

RALEIGH (May 24, 2017) — Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the American Health Care Act passed on May 4 by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213. The bill was amended less than 24 hours before the final vote, and the House – including nine Republican lawmakers from North Carolina’s congressional delegation – passed it without having obtained the critical analysis from the CBO about the impacts on health coverage.

The previous iteration of this bill failed to attract sufficient votes from centrists and conservatives alike. Yet the amended bill would devastate older North Carolinians, Tar Heels with lower incomes, and our neighbors living with pre-existing conditions. Overall the CBO finds that the amended Trumpcare bill would:

  • Leave 23 million more Americans uninsured than the Affordable Care Act;
  • Hike premiums, particularly for low-income communities and people over the age of 50;
  • Eliminate affordable coverage options entirely for less healthy consumers and those with pre-existing conditions; and
  • Provide tax breaks to the wealthy, insurers, and drug companies at the expense of the Medicaid program, for which it would cap federal spending and cut by $834 billion.

Today’s CBO analysis confirms what we knew all along: last-minute amendments negotiated in the middle of the night made the American Health Care Act even worse for the American people. These changes would eliminate key protections for consumers, including the ban on pricing discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions and minimum standards of coverage for plans.

Contrary to predictions recently made by Senator Thom Tillis, the CBO estimates that states would take up waivers to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions against pricing discrimination and to allow insurance companies to sell plans that offer bare-bones coverage and minimal protection from major medical risks. In fact, according to the CBO, one-sixth of the U.S. population would see their insurance markets destabilized by the AHCA, and people with pre-existing conditions would be practically priced out of the market entirely. What’s more, 3.4 million North Carolinians with job-based coverage could once again face lifetime limits on coverage. Both this bill and its previous iteration would slash a total of $834 billion from the Medicaid program, kicking 14 million Americans off the coverage upon which they rely. As a result of these cuts, North Carolina would have to absorb $6 billion in cost shifts from the federal government to our state budget over 10 years, putting the benefits and coverage of North Carolina’s children, people with disabilities, and seniors in long-term care at risk.

In short, this bill would increase the number of uninsured in our state, make premiums and out-of-pocket costs like deductibles less affordable, reduce the quality and comprehensiveness of coverage, and deny equitable access to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Senate must start from scratch with a proposal to improve the health care system in our country. In order to do that, the Senate must ensure any future proposal does not:

  • Increase the uninsured rate
  • End the Medicaid program as we know it through a cap on federal funding to states (such as a per capita cap or a block grant)
  • Repeal the Medicaid expansion

The following members of the North Carolina delegation voted for the AHCA without waiting for today’s CBO report to analyze the impact of the bill:

  • Rep. George Holding (District 2);
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (District 5);
  • Rep. Mark Walker (District 6);
  • Rep. David Rouzer (District 7);
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (District 8);
  • Rep. Robert Pittenger (District 9);
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (District 10);
  • Rep. Mark Meadows (District 11); and
  • Rep. Ted Budd (District 13).

Wrap up of the District Eight Convention


Greetings Moore County Democrats:

It seems that every day brings us many more reasons for us to be proud and excited to be Moore County Democrats. Saturday, many of us attended the 8th Congressional District Convention in Biscoe. As we arrived, a little before 10, we were greeted by the District Chair with the observation that, among the many people already gathered at the high school, most were from Moore County. What a great way to start our day!

Overall, our delegation had 44 people there (at our best count), 40 of whom were voting delegates. There are all or parts of 7 counties in the district, and we had, by far, the largest contingent present.

Click to read more…

 Republican Effort to Degrade Healthcare Moving Forward


On Thursday, May 4th, 2017, Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District voted “Aye” to replace the healthcare provisions afforded to many Americans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as “ObamaCare”.

The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), H.R. 1628, is the House Republicans’ leading proposal to “repeal and replace” the ACA and “defund” Planned Parenthood. The AHCA removes essential healthcare protections from the most vulnerable among us. As stated by the Congressional Budget Office:

“CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would be capped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”

Here’s What We Need You To Do Now

Now that the bill has left Congress, it’s up to the Senate to completely reject or modify it in a meaningful way before it moves to the president for final approval and signing into law.  It is of the utmost importance that you continue making your voice heard by now calling the offices of Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr using the information below.  Let them know that you will not stand for this railroading of North Carolinians and other Americans alike and their decision here highly influences your vote in the their next election.  Then, join the discussion on the Moore County Democratic Party’s Facebook page by clicking here and plan to attend upcoming party meetings (calendar available by clicking here).

Senators Tillis and Burr Contact Information

Voice Your Opinion on Facebook

Moore County Democratic Party Facebook

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…

 

Recent @mooredemocrats Facebook Activity


Powerful ad announcing Randy Bryce for Congress in WI-01 (Paul Ryan's challenger). ...

It's official: Randy Bryce, community activist, and life-long resident of southeast Wisconsin launches campaign to challenge Speaker Paul Ryan in 2018. Like the Page Randy Bryce and sign up to volunteer and contribute at RandyBryceForCongress.com.

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