To Support NC Treasurer Dale Folwell or Not to Support Him, That is the Question for the NC General Assembly

ACT NOW

by Diane Rufino, March 25, 2019

NORTH CAROLINIANS, WE NEED YOU IN RALEIGH TOMORROW MORNING !!

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday), legislators in the House Health Committee will vote on HB184 – a bad bill that will cost taxpayers and State Health Plan members more than $1 million per day if it’s enacted.

HB184 (“Study State Health Plan Design”) was drafted, proposed, and is supported by those who want to frustrate NC Treasury Secretary Dale Folwell in his ability to question exorbitant state health plan costs and to come up with a plan to meet state workers healthcare needs while cutting costs and saving the taxpayers money. More specifically,, the bill was written at the behest of hospital lobbyists to stop Treasurer Folwell from moving forward with reforms to the State Health Plan (the “Clear Pricing Plan”) – reforms that will save Plan members $57 million every year in reduced out-of-pocket expenses as well as save taxpayers more than $258 million annually.

The opposition to Folwell began when he dared to ask for transparency in the billing of services. He wanted to know how much hospitals were charging for procedures, tests, scans, services, etc. The response was blunt and clear – hospitals would not provide detailed information about their costs and they said they didn’t think they should have to. While hospitals are claiming they need to charge the costs that they do because they are financially strapped, what the taxpayer doesn’t know is that one of its CEO’s made $5.5 million in salary and received another $500,000. when he retired. They have extensive investments and have funds sitting in accounts in the Caribbean. AND they have plenty of funds to lobby. It does not sit well with taxpayers when a special interest group wants to continuing gauging their pockets because of claims of insolvency yet they appear to be cash-rich behind the scenes.

HB184 would create the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Sustainability of the North Carolina State Health Plan (Committee) to usurp authority from Secretary Folwell. The bill reads: “The purpose of the Committee is to examine the needs and concerns of North Carolina teachers, State employees, and retirees participating in the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees (State Health Plan) and to redesign the State Health Plan in a way that adopts new practices and payment methodologies that promote health while incentivizing participation from both enrollees and providers.”

Those who proposed the bill and are supporting it are those who have been coopted by the hospital lobbyists and who are taking the side of the healthcare industry. To be clear, this is legislation that puts special interests (hospitals, and by association, physicians) ahead of the taxpayers. The state has massive unfunded liabilities in the State Health Plan which will ultimately bleed North Carolinian taxpayers, and Folwell is trying hard to fix it. He has a track record of fixing such problems.The special interests want to kick the can down the road while those unfunded liabilities that the taxpayers are ultimately responsible for will just continue to balloon.

Hospitals want to delay these important reforms, and HB 184 would block Treasurer Folwell from implementing the Clear Pricing Project in 2020. Even though the State Health Plan Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Clear Pricing Project last year, hospitals want the General Assembly to “study” the issue for two years. That’s code for “let the hospitals keep overcharging for care while we prevent the Treasurer from doing the job he was elected to do.”

The bill’s primary sponsors are: Reps Josh Dobson (R-Avery, McDowell, Mitchell), Julia Howard (R-Davie, Rowan), William Brisson (R-Bladen, Sampson), and Gale Adcock (D-Wake). Rep. Chris Humphrey (R-Pitt, Lenoir) is also supporting the bill. It is currently in the House Health Committee, where it’s fate will be determined. The chairman of that committee is Dr. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt). In general, if a committee chairman opposes a bill, he has the power to hold it indefinitely in committee, as has been done in the past by Senate committee chairmen on pro-gun bills. Steven Rader, in commenting on an article in The Daily Haymaker about the fight over the NC State Health Plan, noted: “Greg Murphy, in bringing this up for a vote as committee chairman, tells you a lot more about where he stands on Folwell than how he may ultimately cast his individual vote.” Note that Rep. Murphy still has time to remove it from the agenda if he backs our State Treasurer and what he is doing on behalf of taxpayers. We hope he will do so. Rader further commented:

“The 3rd Congressional District Republican Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution supporting Treasurer Folwell against the special interests. I hope chairman Murphy can take a hint that grassroots Republicans are strongly behind Folwell and against the greedy special interests. The ball is in Murphy’s court and I hope in the end he will stand with the taxpayers and with grassroots Republicans and take this special interest bill off his committee agenda for the rest of this session. Whether he backs Folwell or helps strip his powers will be a big factor in whether he is worthy of consideration for Congress.”

We need conservatives to be CONSERVATIVE on this crucial issue. Contact your representatives ASAP and tell NOT to vote for the bill.

Tomorrow, interested parties will be traveling to Raleigh, hopefully to the House Health Committee Meeting at 10:00 am. at the Legislative Office Building (LOB), Room 643 and then to speak with representatives in person.

 

Reference:

Brant Clifton, “#ncga: Bill Tying Dale Folwell’s Hands on State Health Plan Slated for Committee Action on Tuesday,” The Daily Haymaker, March 24, 2019.  Referenced at: http://dailyhaymaker.com/?p=23062&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailyhaymaker%2FgjBo+%28The+Daily+Haymaker+%3A+A+Carolina-Flavored+Dose+of+Common+Sense+Conservativism%29

House Bill 184 (HB184) Text – https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2019/Bills/House/PDF/H184v1.pdf

House Bill 184 (HB 184) Sponsors and history — https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2019/HB184

House Standing Committee on Health – https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/HouseStanding/26

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MEET REP. MICHAEL SPECIALE – The Tested and Unwavering Constitutional Conservative Candidate for US Congress

MEME - Michael Speciale

by Diane Rufino, March 12, 2019

Meet Rep. Michael Speciale – the proven, tried and true constitutional conservative candidate for the US Congress from eastern North Carolina.

There are several candidates who are seeking the Congressional seat from the 3rd District that was held by the late great Walter B. Jones, but only one is a tried and true conservative. And that is Rep. Michael Speciale. Michael has served the people and the state faithfully and has supported and promoted conservative values unwaveringly as a representative in the NC General Assembly.

Many candidates play the game of politics and court political favor by campaigning on what they know the particular party or group of voters expects them to say and what they know voters want to hear. Sometimes it is necessary, for political purposes, for a candidate to seek the support of Tea Party groups and other groups like them. But as we have also seen, sometime being associated with such groups can hurt a candidate. Over the years, we in the Tea Party/constitutional conservative movement have been terribly disappointed in candidates who have openly mocked the movement or who have courted the Tea Party only to later feel embarrassed by the association.

Michael is unabashedly a Tea Party conservative. He serves his constituency and his state with a conscience and with strong principles.

Michael is a retired US Marine who lives in Craven County and is currently serving his fourth term in the NC House from NC house district 3. House district 3 now consists of Craven County, but previously it represented Beaufort and Pamlico Counties as well. Until he went to the NC House, the people of eastern NC had never been represented by anyone whose values were so well-aligned with their own. He ran on a simple platform – limited government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, less regulation of businesses, growing the economy by respecting free market principles, protection of the Second Amendment in NC, eminent domain (property rights), education reform, and opposition to government mandated healthcare.

For those who don’t recognize this platform, it is essentially a restatement of the Mission of the Tea Party movement. These aren’t principles that Michael threw out there at election time to impress voters or to curry favor with conservatives. These are principles that he believes in to his core and which he has a firm grasp of.

These also happen to be the principles and positions embraced by our founders as they struggled to ground them firmly in state constitutions and in our US Constitution. They were the principles and positions that were responsible for the greatest degree of individual and economic freedom in our country’s history and were responsible for the historic growth and success of the United States. We study history to know what works and what doesn’t. Michael knows his history.

While serving in the NC General Assembly, Michael has worked on many different levels to secure and even expand our Second Amendment rights, to secure our First Amendment guarantees to religious liberty and to free speech (requiring protection of free and equal speech on NC college and university campuses), to require Founding American History to be taught in the state’s public high schools, to get rid of Common Core once and for all (it is still alive in our public schools, cleverly re-named “Carolina Core”), to require parents to be notified and to give or withhold permission for their children to be given instruction on sex education and the practice of safe sex (brilliantly, his bill wouldn’t require parents to permit their child to opt out of such a class, but would be require them to give permission to allow them to opt in), to protect our commercial fishermen’s ability to earn a living, to fight sanctuary policies for illegal aliens, to amend the state constitution (to enlarge gun rights, to remove offending language, including the Literacy Test requirement for voting, which is an offensive remnant of Reconstruction, and to remove the stigmas of defeat imposed on NC by the post-Civil War US Congress), to remove unnecessary regulations and to reduce taxes for all businesses, to reduce the tax burden for citizens and to provide a favorable economic climate to attract businesses and other employment opportunities to NC, to reign in the once-irresponsible spending of state government and to apply fiscal restraint to its spending decisions and policies, to protect private property rights, and to secure and expand the rights and liberties of all North Carolinians in general.

Michael promised he would do those things when he was running for office, and when he was elected, he went right to work on them, never once equivocating on his position or changing his position when called to vote. Quickly, Rep. Speciale became known by those who serve with him, by the communities he serves, and by conservative policy and thinktank institutions such as NC Civitas and the John Locke Foundation as a strong and principled constitutional conservative. He has worn that distinction with honor.

This new session (Michael’s fourth term) of the NC General Assembly is no different. In just a month’s time, Michael has sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to: secure and strengthen Second Amendment rights, to allow certain teachers/school administrators to be trained and to carry a firearm on school campuses), to protect places of worship, to require all schools in NC to allow and respect diversity of opinion, thought, and religion (or lose state funding), to require NC to comply with immigration laws and to create a private cause of action when officials, towns, universities etc do not), to incentivize educational freedom (tax credits for those who operate a home schooler), to re-assert state Sovereignty (especially as it helps maintain the proper balance of government between the federal government and the States), and to protect the rights of the living yet unborn. He has opposed bills which spend recklessly and needlessly, which would create or enlarge social programs, which would place a financial burden on the state (such as the $2 billion bond issue), which would raise the minimum wage to $15 (which Democrats have introduced; which would cut jobs in the state), and which would dumb down our public school education system (such as he bill introduced again by Democrats to alter the grading system to a 15-point system thus allowing students to be considered passing as long as they score over a 40).

Michael founded the House FREEDOM CAUCUS and serves as its Chairman. He is also the Chairman of the Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Vice-Chairman of State and Local Government, and a member of the Transportation, Elections & Ethics Law, Appropriations and Appropriations Justice and Public Safety Committees.

The reason I write so passionately about Rep. Speciale is because he has been such a loyal and strong supporter of the Tea Party and such a treasured friend and servant to all who call themselves true constitutional conservatives. Again, Tea Party principles are principles that a candidate or representative firmly believes in and guide his words and his votes, and are not simply a campaign line. One can tell a true Tea Party conservative by his history of voting. One’s voting record is the best evidence of what principles guide him in deciding whether the particular bill is something government is entitled to legislate on or should legislate on. And Michael’s record tells that story. It gives us the assurances that he has the intuition to introduce proper legislation and to vote responsibly within a strict constitutional framework.

I like to think I know what I am talking about when it comes to principled politicians and constitutional conservatives. I started the Tea Party in Pitt County (including Lenoir and Greene counties) back in 2009 and have been running it faithfully ever since. We meet every month to be educated and to remind ourselves why and how conservative principles work. I am a member of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association and I am the Legislative Action Committee Chair. I spend a lot of time in contact with my legislators, reviewing bills and committee meetings, writing in favor of bills and against others, and even writing model bills and resolutions. I’ve been active with my state legislature for many years. I have spent many years on the leadership committee of the Republican Women of Pitt County and also with the Pitt County GOP. I am a lawyer (conservative one; my Con Law professor was NJ Judge and Fox Senior Analyst Andrew Napolitano), writer of history and conservative topics, blogger, speaker, and I am a panelist on a weekly Talk Radio Show (WAKE UP CALL) serving eastern NC. I interact with hundreds of conservatives on an almost daily basis but reach far more.

But no one has to take my word. NC Civitas gives Michael the highest rating for conservativism and the John Locke Society applauds him for his principled leadership when it comes to fiscal responsibility. When I spoke recently to a board member of the John Locke Foundation about his positions with regard to spending bills that others have submitted (including fellow Republicans), he agreed with Michael. The gentleman, a fiscal conservative, told me he is right to oppose those bills. Civitas has recently written articles expressing concern over the positions that Republicans are now taking – seemingly becoming a more “recklessly spending” group, including one also running for the US Congress from District 3. Civitas policy analysts have spoken to conservative groups (including mine) and have spoken to me personally about this concern. They don’t understand what is going on.

We in the Tea Party movement and those of us who call ourselves true conservatives or constitutional conservatives know the Constitution, we understand what government can do and can’t do, we recognize abuse and over-reach and we especially see the widespread abuse and the utter ignorance and the willing disregard and the disgrace and dishonor by members of the federal government over the past few years. We know our history, we’ve studied the roots of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and even our common law. Twice a month we are educated, either on an issue, a history lesson, a civics or US government lesson, or a deep-dive into a court opinion. If we can be educated and informed, how much more of a responsibility do those elected to represent us have to also be educated and informed?

What is most important to us is that our representatives are so sufficiently informed on the Constitution they are sworn to support and uphold and principled and disciplined to do the right, the ethical, and the moral thing in passing and voting on laws that we can trust them to do the right thing by us and for the country (and for the “millions unborn and generations to come”) when we take our eyes off of them.

And that is what Michael does week after week and what he has done for over 6 years now as a state representative.

If you doubt Michael’s sincerity, just visit his office in Raleigh. It is full of books and articles that he uses to educate himself and to become fully informed on the many issues that he legislates on. For example, when he opposed a call for a Convention of States (and he was right to do so), the leading experts in the field (Publius Huldah, Don Fotheringham) were impressed by his breadth of knowledge and understanding of the topic.

When I spoke to him earlier this afternoon about some new bills that were introduced in the General Assembly, he talked to me a bit about his decision to leave the NC General Assembly and seek the seat in the US Congress. He said he looks forward bringing the same approach to government, to promoting constitutional conservative values, to respecting essential liberty rights such as free speech, religious liberty and the gun rights, to fiscal restraint as he took in Raleigh to DC, and he also looks forward to helping to educate fellow lawmakers on what the Constitution allows Congress to do and what the proper role of government is. He says the people need more representatives in Washington who have such knowledge rather than lack it.

In a flyer he recently put out, this is what he summarized as what he believes in and what his positions would be if elected to the US Congress:

Michael Speciale believes:

  • The number one purpose of government is to protect the rights of the citizens.
  • The right to life is not to be compromised.
  • America must remain a free market economy.
  • We must remain a Republic and Socialism must not be allowed to creep into our government.
  • We must BUILD THE WALL! Immigration laws currently on the books must be enforced and the wall along the border must be built to close the holes where human trafficking and drug running is coming through.
  • We must give the President the tools and the support that he needs to work with North Korea and other rogue nations to craft a lasting peace.
  • We must strengthen our military, and we must stop using our Armed Forces as a proving ground for social experiments. They are a war fighting force and must remain so!
  • Our religious freedoms must be maintained and strengthened, and that includes not being forced to do business that is against one’s religious beliefs.
  • The US Constitution is not a living, breathing document as the left believes, but a firm binding agreement between the people and the government.
  • Our rights are given to us by our Creator, not by government.
  • The 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable. Nowhere in the US Constitution does it give the federal government any authority over our rights under the 2nd

I write this article from personal knowledge; I’ve known Michael for many years and I have been following what he has been doing in Raleigh since the day he was first sworn in. He is humble and down-to-earth. He is not an ambitious politician type, does not take credit for anything he did not do, and does not say things just to make himself a more attractive candidate. No vote is worth him selling out his principles.

Finally, to emphasize a point I made earlier, the key to knowing the worth of a candidate and to predict how he will vote and serve in government is to look at his history of voting. One’s voting record is the best evidence of what principles guide him in deciding whether the particular bill is something government is entitled to legislate on or should legislate on.

Again, Michael’s record gives assurances to all Tea Party types, to constitutional conservatives, and to other conservatives that he has the intuition of a true conservative and that he is principled and disciplined enough to remain true to its values.

MICHAEL SPECIALE

VIDEO (Tax Day 2015)  Michael speaks about the “Con-Con” (Constitutional Convention) Movement – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOdzJ47uiug

 

APPENDIX: Legislation that NC Rep. Michael Speciale has Sponsored or Co-Sponsored:

2019 SESSION:

HB 22 – Woman’s Right to Know / Ashley’s Law.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  This bill requires that women/girls seeking an abortion are informed about the possibility of reversing that abortion when using the high-dose hormone product, RU486. Hence, the bill is referred to as the “RU486 Reversal Bill.” RU486 is an abortion pill regimen that uses a 2-step process: The woman takes 2 pills – Mifepristone and then misopristone. RU486 can effectively terminate a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks along (70 days) by sloughing off the uterine wall and the fetus with it. RU486 (mifepristone, a progesterone blocker; progresterone being essential for the uterus to sustain a pregnancy) basically causes the lining of your uterus to shed — so your pregnancy can no longer continue because the egg will have nothing to stay attached to. Then, the misoprostol will cause uterine contractions to allow the uterus to be emptied. According to the bill: The following information must be provided to a woman before a medical abortion: (A). Immediately prior to administering the drug mifepristone, the physician or qualified health professional shall inform the woman that: (i) it is still possible to discontinue a medical abortion by not taking the prescribed misoprostol (the second drug in the abortion protocol) and taking progesterone to reverse the effects of the mifepristone and (ii) information on how, where, and from whom women can obtain assistance in discontinuing a medical abortion is available on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Internet Web site. And (B) Immediately prior to administering the drug misoprostol, the physician or qualified professional shall provide medical proof to the woman that fetal death has occurred.”

HB 28 – Prohibit Abortions After 13 Weeks.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) — This bill would prohibit abortions after 13 weeks, unless absolutely necessary to protect the life of the mother or for a verified medical emergency. (The current law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks). After 13 weeks, the physician or qualified health professional who recommends an abortion would have to explain that recommendation, as well as present his medical findings, to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

HB 53 (= SB 52) – A Second Chance for LIFE.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 53 is the COMPANION BILL – S 52.   HB 53 (and S 52), would require a physician who prescribes an abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman to provide the woman with written information about the possibility of reversing the drug-induced abortion through the administration of progesterone. The bills direct the State Department of Health & Human Services to design the written materials including the phone number for the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline. (Refer also to HB 22).

HB 54 (= SB 51) – Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment     (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 54 is the COMPANION BILL to S 51.   HB54 would make it illegal for a physician to perform a “dismemberment abortion” in North Carolina. The bills define this gruesome procedure in the following manner: “With the intent to cause the death of an unborn child, to dismember a living unborn child and extract that child in pieces from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp, or a combination of these, a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”

The bills (S 51 and HB 54) make it unlawful “for any person to willfully perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child, or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion, unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The term “health risk” is narrowly defined to include circumstances necessary to avert the death of the mother or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions.” Both bills would allow the mother or father of the unborn child to seek civil penalties, including monetary damages and attorneys fees, against an individual who performs a dismemberment abortion.

HB 61 – Omnibus Gun Changes (aka, Permittless Conceal Carry).  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 61 is nearly identical to HB746 (“Permittless Conceal Carry”) which the Republican leadership in the NC Senate failed to move forward last year (2017). HB 61 provides: PART I: Section 14-415.35 of HB 61 makes it lawful to carry a concealed handgun in North Carolina without obtaining a conceal handgun permit (ie, “Permitless Conceal Carry”). All citizens are allowed to carry a concealed firearm without obtaining a permit as long as they meet certain common-sense criteria (to ensure the safety of others).

HB 63 – Protect North Carolina Workers Act.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 63 would (1) increase the number of employers who are required to participate in the federal E-Verify program; (2) would repeal the E-Verify exemption for temporary employees; and (3) would exclude farm workers from the definition of “employee” under Article 2 of Chapter 64 of the General Statutes. HB63 would increase the number of employers required to comply with E-Verify by changing the definition of “employer” as “any person, business entity, or other organization that transacts business in this State and that employs five or more employees in this State.” (Originally, for an employer to be required to participate in E-Verify he/it was required to employ at least 25 employees). Furthermore, the definition of “employer” includes the following exclusions: “The term does not include a farm worker, an independent contractor, or an individual who provides domestic service in a private home that is sporadic, irregular, or intermittent.”

HB 65 – Marriage Re-Affirmation Act.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  The full title: “An Act to Reaffirm the Vote oif the People of North Carolina to Adopt Article XIV, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, Known as the Marriage Amendment, to State Why the Amendment Should be Upheld, to Declare Null and Void for the State of North Carolina the Obergefell v. Hodges Decision of the US Supreme Court, and to Call on the US Supreme Court to Overturn the Obergefell v. Hodges Decision.” The bill would do the following: (1) Reaffirm the Marriage Amendment, which would be added to the state Constitution (Article XIV, Section 6); (2) Nullify the Obergefell decision in North Carolina (unenforceable in NC); (3) Call on the Supreme Court to overturn the opinion; and (4) No same-sex marriage would be recognized in the state.

HB 73 – Civic Responsibility in Education.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 73 would require the State Board of Education to include instruction on civic responsibility in the standard course of study (course curriculum) in Elementary, Middle, and High School. In Elementary, civic responsibility would be taught in the course “North Carolina History” and in Middle School, it would be taught in the course “North Carolina Geography.” In High School, civic responsibility would be taught in the course on the Founding Principles of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina.

HB 76 – School Safety Omnibus Bill.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 76 would establish school safety requirements for all public schools – to require Threat Assessment Teams be established at each school with duties clearly defined.

HB 110 (= SB 90) – Protect Religious Meeting Places.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  HB 110 would allow concealed carry on the premises when religious meetings are being held.

HB 131 (= SB 71) – Repeal Map Act.  (Speciale as co-sponsor) —  This bill would repeal the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act

HB 135 – Government Immigration Compliance.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 135 would do several things, including: (1) Repeal Law Enforcement authority to use prohibited forms of identification (ie, illegals can no longer present a matricula consular identification as an acceptable form of ID); (2) Create additional incentives for local governments to comply with state laws related to immigration; (3) Create a private cause of action to remedy local government non-compliance with state immigration laws; (4) Prohibit the institutions of the UNC university system from becoming sanctuary universities; and (5) Direct the Department of Public Safety to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the US Department of Homeland Security.

HB 136 – Concealed Carry Permit Relapse / Revise Law.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 136 would revise the Concealed Carry Law, Sect. 1. G.S. 14-415.16(e) to read: “If the permittee does not apply to renew the permit prior to its expiration date, but does apply to renew the permit within 180 days after the permit expires, the sheriff shall waive the requirement of taking another firearms safety and training course. course so long as the permittee (i) completes a refresher course on the laws governing the use or carry of firearms in this State that is certified or sponsored by at least one of the entities listed in G.S. 14-415.12(a and (ii) submits documentation to the sheriff confirming the permittee completed the refresher course.

HB 160 – Rescind Calls for Constitutional Convention.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) — House Joint Resolution 160. This Resolution calls for the rescinding of all applications made by the NC General Assembly made during any session to the US Congress to call a Convention pursuant to Article V of the US Constitution for proposing one or more amendments to that Constitution and urging other states to do the same.

HB 172 – K-12 Academic Freedom Act.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  This bill would REQUIRE the State Board of Education to adopt a policy of academic freedom. It would impart a DUTY to the SBOE to adopt a policy that SHALL include, at a minimum, the following elements:

(a) Students and educators are encouraged to respect the ideological, political, religious, or nonreligious viewpoints held by all persons in the classroom.

( b) Students and educators are permitted to engage in open dialogue, critical thinking, and the free exchange of ideas related to the content of the course.

(c) A student shall not be discriminated against or mocked for the student’s ideological, political, religious, or nonreligious viewpoints.

(d) An educator shall not take a student’s ideological, political, religious, or nonreligious viewpoints into account when evaluating the student’s performance.

(e) Educators may answer questions posed by students with openness and honesty.

HB 173 – Exempt Ocular Surgery from Certificate of Need (CON) Laws.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 172 would exempt ocular surgery and would provide limited exemption for limited exemption for gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures from the Certificate of Need requirement under NC law. The growing need of the elderly for ocular surgery requires this exemption.

HB 174 – Home School Tax Credit.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  This bill would provide an income tax credit for those operating a home school.

HB 196 – Parental Consent for Sex Education.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 196 would require a student to have parental consent for any class that educates or attempts to education on reproductive health and safety. Each school year, before students may participate in any portion of (i) a program that pertains to or is intended to impart information or promote discussion or understanding in regard to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, or to the avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy or (ii) a reproductive health and safety education program, whether developed by the State or by the local board of education, the parents and legal guardians of those students shall be given an opportunity to review the objectives and materials as provided in G.S. 115C-81.25(d). Local boards of education shall adopt policies to provide opportunities for parents and legal guardians to consent to their students’ participation in any or all of these programs. A student shall not participate in any program described in this subsection unless the student’s parent or legal guardian has consented to the student’s participation.

HB 215 – Justice for Rural Citizens Act.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) —  HB 215 would remove the injustice of extra-extraterritorial planning jurisdiction by declaring that no city in the state may have or exercise planning jurisdiction outside its corporate limits. HB215 lists the reasons for removing such extra-territorial planning jurisdiction: “Whereas, under current State law, any city may exercise planning jurisdiction under Article 19 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes within a defined area extending not more than one mile beyond its corporate limits; and Whereas, with the approval of the board of county commissioners with jurisdiction over the area, a city of 10,000 or more but less than 25,000 may exercise planning jurisdiction over an area extending not more than two miles beyond its corporate limits, and a city of 25,000 or more may exercise these powers over an area extending not more than three miles beyond its limits; and Whereas, the citizens who live in an area over which a city exercises extraterritorial planning jurisdiction are prohibited from voting in municipal elections; and Whereas, without the ability to vote in municipal elections to choose the persons who will make planning decisions about the areas in which they live, rural citizens do not have a say in some of the important matters that affect their lives and livelihoods.”

HB 216 – School Self-Defense Act.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor) — HB 216 would authorize certain members of a school’s faculty or staff to carry a handgun on the school grounds to respond to acts of violence of imminent threat of violence.

HB314 – Constitutional Amendment – Remove Literacy Test.  (Speciale as Primary sponsor – bipartisan bill) —  HB 314 is a bi-partisan bill that would amend the state constitution by repealing (removing) Section 4 of Article VI which requires a person to pass a literacy test in order to register to vote in North Carolina.

HB328 – Same Reqs/Officials/Early Vote & Election Day.  (Speciale as Primary Sponsor)  —  HB 328 would ensure that requirements for precinct officials (poll workers) will be the same for Early One-Stop Voting as they are on Election Day.

 

2017 – 2018 SESSION: (Bills Michael Speciale was the primary sponsor or co-sponsor)

HB 3 – Eminent Domain

HB 69 – Constitutional Carry Act   (to amendment the state constitution to prohibit condemnation of private property except for public use)

HB 76 – Increase Fire & Rescue Pension Benefits

HB 145 – Repeal Constitutional Regulation of Concealed Weapons   [this bill would remove the following language from Article I, Section 3 (“Militia & the Right to Bear Arms”): “nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice”)

HB 146 – Citizens Allegiance to US Constitution     [this bill would amend Article I, Section 5 (“Allegiance to the United States”) to remove the offending language, as underlined: “Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force”]

HB 147 – Amend the NC State Constitution to Remove Article I, Section 4 (“Secession Prohibited”)

HB 148 – Amend the NC State Constitution to Remove the Literacy Requirement to Vote   [this bill would remove Section 4 of Article VI (“Qualification for Registration”) of the state constitution which requires a person to pass a literacy test in order to register to vote – “Every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language”]

HB 201 – NC Constitutional Carry Act (to protect a person’s right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and to protect his right to purchase a handgun without a pistol purchase permit)

HB 266 – Terminate Agreement for Tolling of I-77

HB 306 – Require E-Verify for All Government Contracts

HB 417 – Actually Getting Rid of Common Core Act

HB 986 – Various Changes to Education Laws [passed and signed into law – SL 2018-32]

HB 1092 – Constitutional Amendment to Require Photo ID to Vote

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Jeffrey Moore: Government’s Obligation to Secure the Border and Enforce Immigration Laws

JEFF MOORE - with family by waterfront

by Jeffrey K. Moore, II

How does a nation truly exist if it lacks effective borders? A porous, ineffective border, threatens our nation’s very sovereignty, and thus the inherent sovereignty of every individual citizen of the United States. We MUST secure our border and finish building the wall

The federal government’s core purpose is to secure the God-given rights of each one of its citizens, but it fails to do that on a very fundamental level if it cannot account for, and confidently regulate, entry across our national borders.

This is not an intangible problem; it is very real, with sometimes horrible consequences. Organized criminal gangs, murderers, even child predators, have been taking advantage of our insecure border to illegally enter our country and subsequently commit crimes against our own citizens. Crimes that would never have befallen those citizens had our border been properly secured. North Carolina has an estimated 325,000 unauthorized illegal immigrants. If even one half of one percent of those are criminals inclined to violate the rights of us or our children, it means that 1,500+ criminals could commit crimes that are 100 percent preventable through proper border security.

As such, it is of the utmost importance that the federal government act immediately to secure and reinforce our border to reestablish our sovereignty and fulfill its core purpose – to secure our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is why I find merit in President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to better protect the border from illegal and unaccounted for immigration. As chief executive of our nation the president doesn’t just have the authority to enforce laws, he has a duty to do everything within his power to ensure national security. National security doesn’t always mean military attacks from foreign enemies; our national security is made up of the collective security of the citizens of our nation. If citizens are not secure due to unchecked illegal immigration, and congress repeatedly fails to fund security measures due to partisan acrimony, the president has an obligation to act.

Just this week it appears there are enough votes in congress to challenge President Trump’s declaration and, however frustrating that may be to some, it’s okay. Congressional challenges to unilateral presidential actions, (redirection of allocated funds in this case) are part of a checks and balances system designed by our founders. So is the presidential veto.

What is altogether more frustrating is the fact that a split congress can muster the votes to oppose a bold executive action from a controversial president, but they cannot unite behind putting a stop to the human and fiscal costs that result from unfettered illegal immigration. It’s disheartening, really, to see them so committed to handing President Trump a political loss, yet apathetic to the plight of those families that have lost loved ones to evil actors that never would have been in this country if it weren’t for congress’ collective lack of a spine.

It matters not that a great many of those crossing our borders illegally are doing so merely to make a better life for themselves and their families. The United States government, and we, the people, are under no obligation to blindly accept immigrants if it means risking the safety of our own citizens. There is a clear distinction between legal, and illegal, immigration; the former actually allows us to honor that duty to protect citizens rights. We are a nation of laws, and so we must never reward those that knowingly violate the laws with amnesty, and least of all citizenship. To do so would incentivize more illegal immigration, and represents the ultimate insult to those that followed proper procedures to enter and reside in our country legally.

If we have organized a government to protect the rights of the men, women and children of our nation, and illegal immigration demonstrably threatens those rights,  then it is only proper that the federal government should make every effort to secure the border and immediately. As Eastern North Carolina’s congressman I will not hesitate in the least to vote for funding to build the wall, augmenting that wall with cutting edge security measures, thoroughly enforcing immigration laws through out the union, and I would never support any form of amnesty as a part of immigration reform. The Third District cannot afford a representative that will simply bow to the powerful lobbies that helped this problem fester in the first place, or buckle to the pressure of a social justice campaign when the Left turns up the heat. This issue is not about politics; it is about principles. The way forward is clear.

 

***  Jeffrey K. Moore, II is a candidate for the US Congress, currently running in a special election to fill the seat left vacated by Congressman Walter Jones’ untimely passing on February 10. 
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How the Left Operates (How it has consistently used “race” to invalidate NC Voter ID initiatives)

VOTER FRAUD - I only got to vote once (Daily Haymaker)

(Photo Credit:  Daily Haymaker)

by Diane Rufino, March 2, 2019

North Carolina voters have tried for a long time now to enact a common-sense voter identification law. For years, they have suspected voter and election fraud, and so when groups like the NC Voter Integrity Project (founded by Jay Delancy, its president) and Project Veritas, and data analysts like Major David Goetze presented verified instances of such fraud (which the NC state Board of Elections refused to investigate and prosecute, and in fact, began to enact policies to prevent such groups and individuals from accessing public data to find the fraud), they went to the polls in great numbers to elect representatives who would finally once and for all, legislate on their behalf and address their legitimate concerns about the integrity and transparency of our elections.

North Carolina was the only state in the southeast not to have a Voter ID law.

In 2013, the Republican-majority NC General Assembly passed a strict Voter ID law (Act. 2013-381, HB 589, Part 2), to go into effect for the 2016 presidential election. It included a strict photo requirement to vote. In 2015, the law was challenged by the NC NAACP and other minority groups alleging that it was discriminatory to African-Americans. In anticipation of the lawsuit, the legislature met in an urgent session to revise the bill, making it a “non-strict” photo identification law (HB 836).

The district court upheld the revised Voter ID law, convinced that it was passed in furtherance of reasonable state interests in fraud-free elections. The NC NAACP and other groups appealed the ruling to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which struck the law down alleging that it was intentionally drafted and passed to target African-Americans and to diminish their voice at the ballot box.

In 2018, the Republican-dominated NC General Assembly passed a ballot initiative (HB 1092) to add a strict photo identification requirement to vote to the North Carolina state constitution. Voters would vote on the initiative (along with five other initiatives to amend the state constitution) in the November election. Despite a very strong campaign by the left, by the NAACP, by the Democratic Party, by the NC Bar Association, by the media (“North Carolina against tries to pass a Voter ID requirement to disenfranchise black voters), and others, including a scheme to confuse uninformed and ignorant Democratic voters who hadn’t even heard of any of the proposed amendments (“You must vote NO for all the amendments; they are the product of an illegal General Assembly!), the Voter ID amendment was approved by the voters.

In order to give life to the amendment, the General Assembly would need to enact legislation requiring verifiable forms of a photo ID in order to vote (a “strict photo ID” law). It would legislatively accomplish what the constitution now required. And so, on December 5-6, the General Assembly voted to approve Senate Bill 824 (SB 824), which listed the types of voter identification that would be accepted at the polls. [SL 2018-144 (2017-2018 session)]. The NC NAACP, headed by extreme race-baiter Rev. Anthony Spearman, held several press conferences articulating his delusion that North Carolina is like Alabama and Mississippi at the height of the civil rights era. They even held a rally outside the legislative building the first day of the vote.

On December 14, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed SB 824 and House Speaker Tim Moore responded in a press statement by saying, “We are disappointed that Gov. Cooper chose to ignore the will of the people and reject a commonsense election integrity measure that is common in most states, but the North Carolina House will override his veto as soon as possible.”

And over-ride the veto they did. Before the new legislature was inaugurated (late January), and while Republicans still held a super-majority, they met and voted to over-ride Governor Cooper’s veto.

North Carolina finally… FINALLY had a Voter ID law. And not only that, they had a strict photo identification requirement to vote enshrined now in their state constitution.

The question was: How long before Democrats and liberals would challenge them and try to invalidate them. It was the question that almost every single person asked on election night and then when the General Assembly met in special session to pass the Voter ID law.

As it turned out, the first lawsuit was filed within hours after the General Assembly over-rode Governor Cooper’s veto of the Voter ID law, on December 19, 2018. The NC NAACP filed that lawsuit and Clean Air Carolina then joined in. The suit was filed against Speaker of the House Tim Moore, Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger, and the State Board of Elections in Wake County Superior Court. [NAACP and Clean Air Carolina v. Moore and Berger (2018)]. The parties challenged two of the amendments (2 out of 4) that were adopted in November – the Voter ID amendment and the amendment capping the state income tax rate at 7% (lowering it from 10%).

In that lawsuit, the NCNAACP alleged that the NC general Assembly was improperly constituted in 2016, being the product of racially-gerrymandered state house and state districts, and therefore the amendment proposals adopted by that legislature for the November ballot were themselves tainted, were not the product of legitimate popular sovereignty, and therefore invalid acts. The NCNAACP asked the court to strike the amendments

Democrats have become all too predictable. As long as anything could be related to race, the race card would be used.

On Friday, February 22, Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins invalidated the amendments, The Voter ID amendment was passed by 55.49 % of NC voters and the amendment to limit the state income tax rate was passed by 57.35% of voters. In his ruling, Judge Collins agreed with the NCNAACP that the proposed amendments were passed by an “illegally constituted General Assembly” that was “not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s Constitution.”

Collins further wrote the “unconstitutional racial gerrymander tainted” the three-fifth majorities in each chamber necessary to submit the amendments to voters. He said that amounted to “breaking the requisite chain of popular sovereignty between North Carolina citizens and their representatives….. An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution.”

He struck down the two amendments. He declared them to be void.

The judge based his opinion on previous court rulings finding that the General Assembly had been elected using “illegally gerrymandered” district maps. What he conveniently ignored was the federal court ruling that ultimately allowed the maps to be used for the 2016 elections.

Rev. Spearman issued this press release following the ruling: “We are delighted that the acts of the previous majority, which came to power through the use of racially discriminatory maps, have been checked. The prior General Assembly’s attempt to use its ill-gotten power to enshrine a racist photo voter ID requirement in the state constitution was particularly egregious, and we applaud the court for invalidating these attempts at unconstitutional overreach.”

Most are attacking the ruling as an act of clear judicial activism. NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes told the News & Observer: “This unprecedented and absurd ruling by a liberal judge is the very definition of judicial activism.” And Sen. Ralph Hise commented that the judge clearly had “an axe to grind.” And in a statement issued to NC voters, Senate leader (Senate President Pro Tempore) Phil Berger wrote: “It’s yet another example of activist judges taking away your political power to suit their own liberal agenda.”

After the ruling was handed down, Berger posted his disgust on his Facebook page: “Your vote to add a Voter ID amendment to the state constitution was overturned on Friday by one Democratic judge in Wake County. One Democratic judge overruled two million voters—a majority—to toss out Voter ID in North Carolina. He absurdly argued that a voter ID constitutional amendment is unconstitutional.

He continued: “A single Democratic Wake County trial judge ruled that the entire North Carolina General Assembly was an unconstitutional usurper body for approximately 1 ½ years. The millions of votes cast by citizens and certified by the North Carolina Board of Elections could potentially be thrown out by one Democratic judge.”

In other words, the people of North Carolina essentially were without a government for almost two years. That is what the ruling essentially states.

Bryan Collins is a registered Democrat who has clear partisan leanings. He donated to the Kay Hagan campaign and has attended NAACP conventions. It’s hard to imagine he could be impartial in a case brought by the very group he saw fit to publicly support.

My first issue with the ruling is why Judge Collins concluded that the district maps (gerrymandering) had to have been drawn up based on the racial make-up of the voters. Why did he conclude “Race” when the district maps could have just as rationally been drawn up on account of “political identity”? Was it just because a racial minority group made the allegation? [I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the rationale in the Supreme Court decision Cooper v. Harris (2017); See Reference section].

This was the same question I asked when the 4th Circuit concluded that the changes to North Carolina’s voter laws were motivated primarily and overwhelmingly by racial animus – to intentionally suppress the African-American vote. Why did the court assume the General Assembly targeted them on account of skin color rather than on account of political identity? The Supreme Court has said that if a particular race happens to be impacted more than others by a voter ID law that is neutral on its face, than it would be permitted. It concluded that requiring photo identification to vote poses no reasonable burden to an individual right to vote.

Here are some statistics about North Carolina voters in that the NC General Assembly was able to consider in their re-districting plan: In 2016, 22% of all registered (active) voters in North Carolina were African-Americans. (That matches exactly the demographics in the state, with 22.1% of the population being African-American). Furthermore, exactly half of all registered Democrats in 2016 in North Carolina were African-American.

If you take these statistics together, it is seems quite obvious that almost all African-Americans identify as Democrats. It also seems quite obvious that the Democratic Party in North Carolina relies very heavily on the African-American community for votes.

So, if African-Americans identify almost exclusively (certainly overwhelmingly, well over 90%) with the Democratic Party, how does a judge in all honesty, conclude that district maps were drawn based on skin color and not on political identity. Isn’t “political identity” or “party affiliation” the more pertinent identifier ?

In 2016, the General Assembly drew up new district maps. A federal court (the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina), found the 28 of the 170 legislative districts (house and senate) and 2 of the congressional districts were improperly racially gerrymandered (black voters were drawn together in districts). The General Assembly addressed the concerns but they didn’t quite overcome the deficiencies. The 3-judge panel of judges, however, acknowledged that “there is insufficient time, at this late date, for: the General Assembly to draw and enact remedial districts; this Court to review the remedial plan,” and so, they allowed the maps to remain in place for the 2016 election. (The legislature would have to amend the maps in the 2017 session).

At some point during or after 2017, the maps would no longer be struck down by the courts as “racially” gerrymandering but rather as “partisan” gerrymandering. When the state legislature’s district maps could no longer be challenged as “racial” gerrymandering, they then began to challenge them as “partisan gerrymandering. That is, the districts were drawn to favored Republicans. Mind you, the courts are well-aware that the Supreme Court has never struck down a districting plan because it is partisan in design. But precedent has never stopped the liberal North Carolina courts. (See the Appendix at the end of the article).

The maps drawn up in 2016 and used in the 2016 election continued to provide a possible legal angle for disgruntled and racially-obsessed Democrats. The courts have been their friend in the past and they would use them again.

To understand why the NC NAACP brought its lawsuit against the Republican-majority General Assembly based on a racial allegation, we need to look at districting authority, federal law, and court precedent. We will see that the lawsuit was pure political strategy, taking advantage of outdated federal law and court decisions that still believe the United States and southern states in particular are still obsessed with white supremacy and motivated by animus and discriminatory intent when it comes to its African-American population. We will see that this is the favored approach of progressives who use the liberal courts to achieve what it can’t with duly-enacted legislatures and other governing bodies.

Each state legislature is tasked with drawing up district lines, or district maps. District lines for US congressional districts and for both state house and senate districts must be re-drawn every 10 years following the completion of the US census. The party holding the majority in the state legislature at the time re-districting maps are to be re-drawn has the benefit of drawing those district lines to its advantage. Nothing in the state constitution of North Carolina requires that re-districting be done on a non-partisan basis. In fact, for so many years, while Democrats have held the majority in both houses in the NC General Assembly, they have drawn maps to favor their party, including focusing on race since it is a strong indicator of Democratic support.

North Carolina has 13 US congressional districts (for its 13 representatives in the US Congress), it has 120 NC house districts, and 50 NC Senate districts. The NC General Assembly is alone responsible for drawing up all these maps/districts and they are NOT subject to approval by the Governor. In other words, the maps drawn up by the Redistricting Committee is not subject to being vetoed by the Governor.

In drawing up district maps, the federal government mandates that districts must have nearly equal populations to comport with the US Constitution and notions of democracy. The rule that election districts contain equal populations is the essence of the general idea of “One Person, One Vote,” which was emphasized by the Supreme Court in 1962 (Baker v. Carr). It means that a person’s vote counts equally no matter where he casts his vote. Civil Rights laws further mandate that district maps must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. It is OK to discriminate based on the white color of one’s skin, it is OK to discriminate based on affluence (or lack thereof), and it is OK to discriminate based on political affiliation. The courts have always tolerated partisan gerrymandering (even when district maps assume no reasonable shape at all) but they do not tolerate racial gerrymandering.

Hence we are starting to see why the allegation of “racial” gerrymandering was made. Partisan gerrymandering will not guarantee a favorable challenge and outcome. An allegation of “racial” gerrymandering will.

This is how the Democratic machine works.

Anyway, Senate leader Phil Berger has filed an appeal on behalf of the Republican legislative leaders, calling Judge Collin’s ruling an “absurd decision.” His full announcement read: “We are duty-bound to appeal this absurd decision. The prospect of invalidating 18 months of laws is the definition of chaos and confusion. Based on tonight’s opinion and others over the past several years, it appears the idea of judicial restraint has completely left the state of North Carolina. Rest assured, our lawyers will appeal this ridiculous ruling, but it’s yet another example of activist judges taking away your political power to suit their own liberal agenda.”

Republicans contend Collins’ reasoning jeopardizes dozens of laws.

Here is what the appeal by the Republican legislators argues: (i) Judge Collins disregarded the fact that a federal court had allowed the 2016 election to proceed using the challenged districting maps; (ii) If Collins’ ruling should stand, then essentially the state had no government for almost 2 years (2017-2018). Yet residents were still required to pay taxes to it; (iii) If Collin’s ruling should be permitted to stand, then it would invalidate all the laws of that “illegal legislative session – anarchy; and (iv) To allow Collins’ ruling to stand would create chaos and further litigation in North Carolina.

In the meantime, Sen. Berger appealed to Judge Collins to stay his order striking down the amendments (stay = “put on hold”) while he and fellow Republican leaders file their appeal with the state appellate court, but he refused. The case will most likely reach the state Supreme Court. Currently, the seven-member body is composed of at least five registered Democrats, but Governor Cooper will have the opportunity to appoint one more associate justice, to fill the vacancy on the court caused by his appointment of Associate Justice Cheri Beasley to Chief Justice. It will no doubt be another Democrat, bringing the total to 6 Democrat justices.

A statement by Sen. Berger after the ruling by Judge Collins perhaps describes it best: “All North Carolinians, regardless of party, should be concerned by this lawlessness, because it’s only a matter of time before a judge comes for their preferred legislative policies. Judge Collins is calling the legislature a usurper body while himself usurping the will of millions of North Carolinians who voted to amend their own constitution.”

The one redeeming quality about this ruling is that we can now see all so clearly how liberal-minded, overreaching judges tend to bend the Constitution for progressive purposes and how they use their positions on the bench to disregard the democratic process and un-do the will of the people.

So what does this mean for the honest and decent and well-meaning citizens of North Carolina who want transparent elections in their state? What does this mean for the honest and decent and well-meaning North Carolinians who, despite what Spearman says, do not live their lives seeing things in terms of black and white, who enjoy living side-by-side with persons who don’t look exactly like themselves, and who simply are concerned about the integrity of the NC election process? What does this mean for the majority of North Carolinians who have pressured their state government to address voter fraud and potential voter fraud since 2010?

The good news is that the Voter ID law (SB 2018-144) passed by the General Assembly in December is still good – at least for now. It is a stand-alone bill, not tied by language to the constitutional amendment, and passed by members of the General Assembly of both parties (with two Democrats joining Republicans in the House and one joining Republicans in the Senate). The equipment is not in place yet to provide a free photo ID to those who can’t afford one or who otherwise can’t obtain one, but should be in time for the next election cycle.

The appeal has been filed by Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore and we should soon find out if Judge Collins’ judicial order will stand or be overturned. If the order invalidating the amendments is upheld, there may be a lawsuit to challenge the Voter ID law as the product of an illegally-constituted General Assembly but to move forward under that theory would potentially mean that every single piece of legislation and every decision made could also be challenged in court. My guess is that such a lawsuit won’t be filed.

For now, North Carolina has a strict Voter ID law in place. The only thing the NCNAACP has done is to manufacture a crisis of racism that doesn’t exist and to be successful in convincing a lower state court judge to issue one of the grossest acts judicial activism in recent history. There should be no place in North Carolina for the NCNAACP.

 

References:

Voter ID law – SB 2018-144 (2017-2018) – https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookup/2017/S824“NC Judge Invalidates Two Constitutional Amendments Passed by Voters Last Fall,” NC Family Policy Facts, February 25, 2019. Referenced at: http://my.ncfamily.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=5207.0&dlv_id=9084

Gary Robertson, “Judge Strikes Down North Carolina Voter ID OK’ed by Voters,” The Washington Post, February 22, 2019. Referenced at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-strikes-down-north-carolina-voter-id-okd-by-voters/2019/02/22/0cfd1a98-3708-11e9-8375-e3dcf6b68558_story.html?utm_term=.24d45d7283d2

”Voter ID History,” National Conference of State Legislatures. Referenced at: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id-history.aspx

Rebecca Trippett, “NC in Focus: Who are NC’s Democratic Voters?” UNC Carolina Demography, October 2, 2016. Referenced at: https://demography.cpc.unc.edu/2016/10/07/nc-in-focus-who-are-ncs-democratic-voters/

“Federal Judges: Racially-Tainted General Assembly Districts Must Be Redrawn,” WRAL, August 11, 2016. Referenced at: https://www.wral.com/federal-judges-racially-tainted-general-assembly-districts-must-be-redrawn/15920846/

Adam Liptak, “Justices Reject 2 Gerrymandered North Carolina Districts, Citing Racial Bias,” The New York Times, May 22, 2017. Referenced at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/us/politics/supreme-court-north-carolina-congressional-districts.html

VIDEO: “How Gerrymandering Got its Name.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BWVDUpEaNM

VIDEO: “Crash Course on Re-districting.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnhFm5QVVTo

NAACP and Clean Air Carolina v. Moore and Berger, COMPLAINT –

https://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/words_docs/Complaint_-_Usurpers_FINAL_-_pdf.pdf [Notice how the NAACP refers to Republican leaders as “Usurpers”]

NAACP and Clean Air Carolina v. Moore and Berger (2018), OPINION – https://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/words_docs/doc03389420190222171503.pdf

Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court Blocks Court Order to Redraw North Carolina Congressional Districts,” CNN, January 19, 2018. Referenced at: https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/18/politics/north-carolina-supreme-court-redistricting/index.html   [US Supreme Court voted 7-2 to freeze (ignore) a lower federal court ruling that struck down North Carolina’s congressional districts, holding that it amounted to an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The order makes it likely, although not certain, that the controversial maps will be used for the 2020 election. In January 2018, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower district court and held that North Carolina’s 2016 plan was enacted “with the intent of discriminating against voters who favored non-Republican candidates” and that the plan violated the First Amendment by “unjustifiably discriminating against voters based on their previous political expression and affiliation.” Partisan gerrymandering had been permitted by the Supreme Court and lower courts in the past, assuming that politics was always involved in the drafting of maps. The lower district court had ordered the NC General Assembly to enact a remedial redistricting plan by January 24, 2019. The Supreme Court voted to freeze that court order and, at least for now, to allow the maps to remain in place for the next election. The order comes as the Supreme Court is also considering two other partisan gerrymander cases – one from Maryland and the other from Wisconsin. It is likely that should it take those cases, the NC case will be re-considered along with the other two. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the cases, it will be the first time that the high court takes up the issue of “when is partisan gerrymandering too extreme” (so as to offend notions of fairness). The court will address the question of whether or not standards for partisan gerrymandering can be determined and applied].

Voter ID Laws by State, Ballotpedia. https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_identification_laws_by_state

“Redistricting and the Supreme Court: The Most Significant Cases,” National Commission of State Legislatures (NCSL), July 9, 2018. Referenced at: http://www.ncsl.org/research/redistricting/redistricting-and-the-supreme-court-the-most-significant-cases.aspx

Those cases:

Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962). For the first time, the court held that the federal courts had jurisdiction to consider constitutional challenges to state legislative redistricting plans. The Court held that a federal district court had jurisdiction to hear a claim that this inequality of representation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368 (1963). The Court established the constitutional standard for equality of representation as “one person, one vote.”

Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725 (1983). Congressional districts must be mathematically equal in population, unless necessary to achieve a legitimate state objective.

Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993). Legislative and congressional districts will be struck down by courts for violating the Equal Protection Clause if they cannot be explained on grounds other than race. (While not dispositive, “bizarrely shaped” districts are strongly indicative of racial intent).

Cooper v. Harris, (2017). Partisanship cannot be used to justify a racial gerrymander.

**** I always thought that it was odd the Courts did so, since: (i) it is the manipulation of district maps for partisan purposes that is the real concern in elections, and (ii) all too often, racial identity and political identity are the same.

 

APPENDIX I: Gerrymandering in North Carolina (since 2016)

In November 2010, the Republican party gained control of both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. Republicans hadn’t had control of both houses since 1896, when the party successfully fused with the Populist Party. Republicans first gained control of the state house in 1998 but they have been unable to gain control of the state senate since 1896. Prior to the 2010 election, corrupt Democratic Senate leader Marc Basnight and corrupt House Speaker Joe Hackney controlled the state’s government. Basnight led the Senate for a record 18 years. The mandate for the newly-elected Republican majority was to end the corruption, to set a priority to live within a smaller more responsible budget (the state faced an estimated $3 billion deficit), and to enact a Voter ID bill.

Elections have consequences. Obama said this many times after he won, and in fact, the Supreme Court has recognized this common-sense truth in reviewing election matters.

The push-back against Republicans began immediately.

The following is taken directly from the “FACTS” section of the Complaint filed by the NCNAACP. It lays out the series of lawsuits against the North Carolina General Assembly (N.C.G.A.) with respect to the district maps.

The Unconstitutional N.C.G.A:

(1) The N.C.G.A. is comprised of 50 Senate seats and 120 House of Representative seats pursuant to the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, Art. II, §§ 2, 4.

(2) In 2011, following the decennial census, the N.C.G.A. redrew the boundaries of North Carolina legislative districts for both the NC Senate and the NC House of Representatives. The districts were enacted in July 2011.

(3) The N.C.G.A. unconstitutionally and impermissibly considered race in drawing the 2011 legislative maps, resulting in legislative districts that unlawfully packed black voters into election districts in concentrations not authorized or compelled under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

(4) On November 4, 2011, the NC NAACP joined by three organizations and forty six individual plaintiffs filed a state court action that raised state and federal claims challenging the districts as unconstitutionally based on race. Dickson v. Rucho, 766 S.E.2d 238 (N.C. 2014), vacated, 135 S. Ct. 1843 (2015) (mem.), remanded to 781 S.E.2d 404 (N.C. 2015); vacated and remanded, 198 L. Ed. 2d 252 (U.S. 2017) (mem.), remanded 813 S.E.3d 230 (N.C. 2017).

(5) On May 19, 2015, plaintiffs Sandra Little Covington et al, filed a parallel challenge in federal court alleging that twenty-eight districts, nine (9) Senate districts and nineteen (19) House of Representative districts, were unlawful racial gerrymanders in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment of the United States Constitution. Covington v. North Carolina, 316 F.R.D. 117 (M.D.N.C. 2016).

(6) In August 2016, the three-judge federal district court panel unanimously ruled for plaintiffs, holding that “race was the predominant factor motivating the drawing of all challenged districts,” and struck down the twenty-eight (28) challenged districts (nine Senate districts and nineteen House districts) as the result of an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. See Covington v. North Carolina, 316 F.R.D. 117, 124, 176 (M.D.N.C. 2016), aff’d, 581 U.S. ––––, 137 S.Ct. 2211 (2017) (per curiam).

(7) On June 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court summarily affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the twenty-eight (28) challenged districts were the result of an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, North Carolina v. Covington, 581 U.S. ––––, 137 S.Ct. 2211, (2017) (per curiam). On June 30, 2017, a mandate was issued as to the U.S. Supreme Court’s order affirming the lower court’s judgment.

(8) The United States Supreme Court, however, vacated and remanded the lower court’s remedial order for a special election, ordering the lower court to provide a fuller explanation of its reasoning for the U.S. Supreme Court’s review. North Carolina v. Covington, — U.S. —, 137 S. Ct. 1624 (2017) (per curiam).

(9) On remand, the three-judge panel granted the N.C.G.A. an opportunity to propose a new redistricting plan to remedy the unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Covington v. North Carolina, 283 F.Supp.3d 410, 417–18 (M.D.N.C. 2018). In August 2017, the N.C.G.A. submitted a proposed remedial map, drawn by Dr. Thomas Hofeller, the same mapmaker the General Assembly had hired to draw the 2011 invalidated maps. Dr. Thomas redrew a total of 11 of the 170 state House and Senate districts from the 2011 unconstitutionally racially-gerrymandered maps. Id. at 418.

(10) After reviewing the General Assembly’s remedial plan, the three-judge panel determined that a number of the new districts put forward by the N.C.G.A. in its 2017 remedial plan were essentially continuations of the old, racially gerrymandered districts that had been previously rejected as unconstitutional and either failed to remedy the unconstitutional racial gerrymander or violated provisions of the North Carolina Constitution. Id. at 447-58. For those defective districts, the three-judge panel adopted remedial districts proposed by a court

appointed special master. Id. at 447-58. The United States Supreme Court affirmed the districts adopted by the three-judge panel, except for certain districts in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties that had not been found to be tainted by racial gerrymanders, but were drawn in alleged violation of the state constitutional prohibition against mid-decade redistricting.   North Carolina v. Covington, 138 S.Ct. 2548 (2018).

(11) In order to cure the 2011 unconstitutional racial gerrymander, the remedial maps redrew 117 legislative districts.

(12) In November of 2018, elections for all N.C.G.A. seats were held based on the redrawn districts, the first opportunity that voters had had since before 2011 to choose representatives in districts that have not been found to be the illegal product of an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

(13) Since June 5, 2017, the N.C.G.A. has continued to act and pass laws.

Reference: NAACP and Clean Air Carolina v. Moore and Berger, COMPLAINT –https://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/words_docs/Complaint_-_Usurpers_FINAL_-_pdf.pdf [Notice how the NAACP refers to Republican leaders as “Usurpers”]

Additional Gerrymandering History (Background of a Possible Upcoming Supreme Court case) –

In 2017, two congressional district maps, one for congressional district 1 and the other for congressional district 12, were challenged as being racially gerrymandered, and the district and appellate courts agreed. It was appealed to the US Supreme Court, which also affirmed on May 22, 2017. The high Court agreed that the districts in question were improperly racially gerrymandered and sent the case back to the district court for a suitable remedy. The district court ordered the General Assembly to draft remedial maps for use in the 2018 election cycle, which it did. And the court approved them. (So all is OK with the 2018 elections)

Those same district maps were then challenged as being improperly partisan gerrymandered. In 2017, a federal district court and held that North Carolina’s 2016 plan was enacted “with the intent of discriminating against voters who favored non-Republican candidates” and that the plan violated the First Amendment by “unjustifiably discriminating against voters based on their previous political expression and affiliation.” Partisan gerrymandering had been permitted by the Supreme Court and lower courts in the past, assuming that politics was always involved in the drafting of maps. The Supreme Court has always been of the understanding (the rightful expectation) that “elections have consequences.” The lower district court had ordered the NC General Assembly to enact a remedial redistricting plan by January 24, 2019. The ruling was appealed.

In January 2018, a panel of 3 federal judges affirmed the lower court ruling and declared the congressional district maps to be unconstitutional, being the product of partisan gerrymandering – that is, the maps were drawn to unfairly favor Republican candidates. (“The Republican-dominated state’s House map violated the First and 14th Amendments by unfairly giving one group of voters – Republicans – a bigger voice than others in choosing representatives”). The ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court.

On January 19, the US Supreme Court voted 7-2 to freeze (ignore) the lower federal court ruling,. The order makes it likely, although not certain, that the controversial maps will be used for the 2020 election. The order comes as the Supreme Court is also considering two other partisan gerrymander cases – one from Maryland and the other from Wisconsin. It is likely that should it take those cases, the NC case will be re-considered along with the other two. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the cases, it will be the first time that the high court takes up the issue of “when is partisan gerrymandering too extreme” (so as to offend notions of fairness). The court will address the question of whether or not standards for partisan gerrymandering can be determined and applied].

In August 2018, the same three-member panel of judges reached essentially the same conclusion that it had in January – that NC’s district maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. The Supreme Court had never struck down a state district map based on partisan gerrymandering. However, the ruling sets up a delicate tactical question for the Supreme Court, particularly since two other states have had their districting maps challenged as well as being improper partisan gerrymandering.

 

APPENDIX II: Why the NC NAACAP Filed the Lawsuit

In short, the NC NAACP is an extreme racist group, believing the white community has one interest only – in keeping the black community down, disadvantaged, poor, and suppressed at the ballot box. It believes that the primary object of white legislators is to plot and scheme on how to do all of the above, especially to suppress the black vote. Whites = bad. Blacks = victims. Whites = Republican. Blacks = Democrat. It’s president, T. Anthony Spearman, has spoken often, with racism dripping from his lips, about how white legislators still cling to the Jim Crow mentality of the post-Reconstruction era and “meet in their lily-white caucuses” to “enshrine racism” in the state’s laws and most recently, to enshrine it in the state’s constitution. His organization will do anything, and has done everything in its power (ie, to cry “racism” about everything that the legislature does), to prevent a voter ID law from being enforced in North Carolina and to keep the notion alive that it has no other purpose than to suppress the black vote.

In filing the lawsuit, Spearman commented: “The supermajority’s proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution represent the greatest threat to our state’s democratic institutions since the Civil War.”

As usual, Spearman shows his utter ignorance of history and his willingness to distort history to further his ambitions. It was the Republicans in government (in power) that first gave blacks access to state democratic institutions and then to national democratic institutions. It was a Democrat, a slavery-supporter named Roger Taney (Chief Justice Roger Taney), who wrote the opinion in the infamous Dred Scott case (1857) that held that the United States never intended for persons of African descent to be included in the body politic (ie, to be considered as citizens) and hence, they could never be entitled to any protections under the US Constitution. In short, Mr. Dred Scott had no legal right even to bring his lawsuit.

It was the Democratic party and Democratic leaders who plotted and schemed to enshrine racism in laws, state constitutions, institutions, policies, and practices, and who engineered the social arraignment that was state-sponsored segregation (Jim Crow) to keep the races separated, implying that one race was superior to the other. It was Democratic Senators who filibustered in 1965 to prevent the passage of civil rights legislation. It was Republican Congressional leaders who banded together to break the filibuster and get the legislation passed.

If Spearman had any understanding or appreciation of history, he would know that Republicans aren’t the enemy of the black community. They aren’t the party that assumes that blacks are less intelligent, less capable, far less disadvantaged, incapable of making decisions on their own, incapable of competing in the workforce, incapable of supporting themselves, etc and hence government must take care of them. The Republican Party is the party of true equality, and all that it mean and all that it requires.

 

APPENDIX III: Why the NAACP Alleged the Income Tax Amendment to be Unconstitutional

The reason was provided in the Complaint filed by the NCNAACP:

“The income tax cap constitutional amendment harms the NCNAACP, its members, and the black community and its ability to advocate for tis priority issues. Because the amendment places a flat, artificial limit on income taxes, it prohibits the state from establishing graduated tax rates on higher-income taxpayers and, over time, will act as a tax cut only for the wealthy. This tends to favor white households and disadvantages people of color, reinforcing the accumulation of wealth for white taxpayers and undermining the financing of public structures (ie, public services) that benefit non-wealthy people, including people of color. For example, historically in North Carolina, decreased revenue produced by income tax cuts in the state has resulted in significant spending cuts that disproportionately hurt public schools, eliminated or significantly reduced funding for communities of color, and otherwise undermined the economic well-being of the non-wealthy.”

[In other words, the black community has nowhere achieved what the white community has achieved in NC, and because the black community has not achieved what the white community has achieved, the black community is entitled to what the white community earns. It makes no difference that the income tax cap amendment is absolutely neutral in its language and free from racial consideration. The black community is entitled to the wealth earned by others, which according to the NCNAACP, is earned almost exclusively by the white community].

Here is my question: Since the Reconstruction era, and especially after 1896, the NC state legislation has been in the hands of Democrats. Since blacks make up only about 22% of the population in the state, the only way that Democrats could have been elected and have continued to maintain control of the state government is if a large percent of voters were white. Democrats have held majorities and supermajorities for over 100 years, so if Spearman is complaining about the historic disadvantaged status of blacks in North Carolina, doesn’t it make sense that that’s because of the 100 years or so of Democratic government? Of Democratic policies? Republicans haven’t had the majority so it wasn’t their policies that have kept blacks so disadvantaged, so illiterate, so economically-depressed, etc. Maybe it was the white Democrats who are the real racists? In any case, it was Democrats, Democratic rule, and the long history of Democratic rule in North Carolina that have given rise to the status of blacks in the state.

Reference: NAACP and Clean Air Carolina v. Moore and Berger (2018), OPINION – https://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/words_docs/doc03389420190222171503.pdf

 

APPENDIX IV. Why Clean Air Carolina joined the Lawsuit

Clean Air Carolina’s issue is not with the amendments at all. It is with having too many Republicans in government. This is what they said: “If the legislature is successful in its power grab it will have dire consequences for citizens in the voting booth, for our communities and the air we breathe, and for our basic democratic institutions. This is not our typical lawsuit but the proposed ballot measures would impact our ability to fulfill our mission by limiting the voice that North Carolinians have in state policy, particularly on urgent environmental issues.”   [Translation of “the voice that North Carolinians have in state policy”: They obviously mean that conservatives don’t count as North Carolinians. They are only concerned about Democratic residents of NC].

“This legislature has carried out extraordinary attacks to strip fundamental clean air and clean water protections that North Carolinians have been assured of for decades, breaking with our state’s long history of bipartisan support for environmental safeguards. At the moment we are poised to re-establish fair representation that will accurately reflect voters on environmental issues, they have attempted a desperate and unlawful power grab.”

In short, Clean Air Carolina honestly believes that Republicans have no interest in the environment. Hence, if they can help get rid of Republicans legislators, they would happily do so.

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Democrats Continue to Devolve the US Into an Evil, Heartless, and Uncivilized Nation

 

ABORTION - late-term abortion

(Photo Credit: Robert Valencia)

by Diane Rufino, March 1, 2019

This past Monday, February 25, US Senate Democrats blocked a Republican bill – The BORN-ALIVE ABORTION SURVIVORS PROTECTION ACT – that would have threatened prison time for doctors who don’t attempt to save the lives of infants born alive during failed abortions.

Why are Democrats openly embracing infanticide? What demons do they have whispering in their ears? What devil sits on their shoulders? What evil master do they serve?

All prominent Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate voted down the measure, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The final vote was 53-44 to end Democratic delaying tactics — seven votes short of the 60 needed.

Three Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Doug Jones or Alabama. Three Republicans did not vote, apparently because of scheduling issues and plane flight delays — including Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Tim Scott of South Carolina (a HUGE proponent of Life).

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would have required that “any health care practitioner present” at the time of a birth “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”

To most people, it is a no-brainer that a doctor or other health-care professional should preserve the life and health of a newborn. Am I wrong to believe that the medical profession still adheres to the historic oath that dates back to Greek times, the Hippocratic Oath, which states that a doctor shall seek to preserve health and preserve life, to endeavor to do no harm?  The modern version of the oath includes this statement: “Above all, I must never play God.”

Ironically, one classical version of the Hippocratic Oath addresses abortion: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”

Last week, I watched the 2018 movie GOSNELL: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer with members of my Tea Party group. The movie chronicles the investigation by Philadelphia Police and the DEA of Kermit Gosnell, the infamous abortion doctor who operated an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, and his subsequent trial. Initially investigated for overprescribing OxyContin (oxycodone; an opioid derivative of heroin), a raid on his clinic uncovered horrors beyond description. He was charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania’s 24-week time limit (“viability”), and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law (patients must wait 24 hours after proper consultation by the clinic). The murder charges related to a woman who died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns who were killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. Surprisingly, the defense was able to mount an extraordinary defense of Gosnell and his practices, including an admonition by the judge that nothing asserted in the courtroom would be allowed to contradict a woman’s abortion rights. Towards the end of the trial, the prosecution was able to locate a young girl (in her teens) who worked at the clinic and who happened to take pictures of the babies who had their spinal cords severed by Dr. Gosnell.  When asked on the stand why she took the pictures, the girl responded to the effect that the babies were so big and so perfect and they looked like they should have been welcomed into a family, with brothers and sisters. She thought there should have been some record, a picture, to acknowledge their existence. Those pictures were shown to the jury, and one by one, their hearts melted and they looked down or began to sob.  Why? Because they inherently connected with the humanity in a newborn and even in a full-term fetus. Dr. Gosnell had committed atrocities that shocked their conscience. My suspicion is that they may have been convinced by the defense to overlook the successful abortions of a full-term fetus, but to take that additional step with callousness and without regard to the life on the medical table in front of him, struggling to move and breathe, wanting to be warm and cradled and comforted and kissed and loved, and take its life was an act of pure evil.

Inherently, we value life and we act under the teachings of compassion and care that our religion has impressed on us, even at some point in our lives.

The sad and tragic thing about this law is that it even needed to be introduced at all.  Providing medical attention and care to a newborn, even if it is a product of a failed abortion attempt, is the natural, the right, the intuitive thing to do.  How can those who would want medical care for themselves have the right to decide to deny it to others?  A life is a life.  It’s not defined by number of years but by DNA and breath and a beating heart.  It’s defined by an instinct to survive and continue living.

After the vote, President Trump tweeted: “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

Today the left uses the excuse that a baby inside the womb is the sole property and concern of the mother to justify its extermination. What will tomorrow’s excuse be?  Usefulness?  Competency?  Old age?

Here are my questions regarding this vote on this Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and in fact, regarding the extreme position that Democrats/liberals/progressives take on abortion rights in general:

(1)  Why do Democrats/liberals/progressives believe that abortion rights are broad and extensive enough to encompass a right to make sure that the abortion is successful, to the point that it includes infanticide?  In other words, why do Democrats/liberals/progressives believe that abortion rights are broad and extensive enough to include the right to condemn a baby born alive to be killed? The one thing the Roe v. Wade opinion seems to be clear on is that as long as the unborn is still inside a woman’s womb, it is not a life for which the Constitution or our laws can provide protection. But once that unborn has actually been born, then, as the opinion supports, that baby is now a new “life.”

(2)  The Fourteenth Amendment reads: “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  According to the plain language of the Fourteenth Amendment, any baby born, even if it is the result of a failed abortion, is a citizen and therefore a person with recognized liberty rights. If that is the case, then any person who terminates that life after birth, again even if that baby has suffered from an attempted abortion and even if that baby was intended to be condemned by the mother, is guilty not only of murder, but of intentional, premediated murder.

(3)  Democrats/liberals/progressives believe what Roe v. Wade stands for – that as long as the unborn is inside a woman’s womb, she has complete control over its destiny.  But once it emerges from the womb, even if it is the result of a failed abortion, then don’t both parents (mother AND father) have parental rights to that newborn baby?  Our child support laws would suggest so.

(4)  And if that “unwanted” baby should emerge from the womb, even if it is the result of a failed abortion, then wouldn’t that newborn baby become the ward of the state?  That is, wouldn’t the government (society in general) have the right and duty to care for it?

(5)  If all of the above are true, then how could any member of Congress, taking an oath to the Constitution, vote against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

(6)  The proper approach by government would have been to legislatively define LIFE at some point during fetal development.  (See my article “RESOLUTION to Define LIFE Through Legislation”).

To echo President Trump’s words, this vote by the US Senate “will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

 

References:

“Dems Block ‘Born Alive’ Bill to Provide Medical Care to Infants Who Survive Failed Abortions,” FOX News, February 27, 2019.  Referenced at:  http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/us-world-news/dems-block-born-alive-bill-to-provide-medical-care-to-infants-who-survive-failed-abortions#/

Diane Rufino, “RESOLUTION to Define LIFE Through Legislation,” For Love of God and Country, February 24, 2019.  Referenced:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2019/02/24/model-resolution-to-define-life-through-legislation/

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Jeffrey Moore, Seeking to Fill Rep. Walter Jones’ Congressional Seat, Offers His Views on the Proper Role of Government

JEFF MOORE

by Jeffrey K. Moore II

What is government’s purpose?

This is a question implicit in every policy debate. However, it is rarely actually addressed. Rather, the answers evade the direct question and instead show that people have a multitude of different political philosophies, none of which resemble that of our Founding Fathers.

Yet, it shouldn’t be so much a mystery, and I have always been grounded in the knowledge that there is one right answer. Our Founding Fathers described, in very clear terms, what the only moral purpose of government is, and why.

The only moral purpose of government, of a monopoly of force, is to secure the rights of man – Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – as a sovereign individual. Thomas Jefferson and his cohorts thought that these rights and their inalienable nature were self-evident, and they are for those that care to look, yet they are too often obscured by those that have an interest in the delusion that governments grant rights. So it is with any form of collectivist political philosophy, by which the world has been dominated for much of history.

But the American idea, more a discovery than an invention, saw the individual as sacrosanct. His rights coming straight from God, a demonstrable metaphysical extension of his very nature as reasoning, thinking being. With this vision they threw off the yoke of their oppressors and set about to secure individual rights so that there may be true liberty.

This absolute moral truth is what I’ve been fascinated with for as long as I can remember. To the extent that societies recognize and respect it, they are successful, but America has been the only true arbiter in this realm. Her unparalleled success is a direct result of this codified respect for the moral truth of individual rights. And yet she is constantly under attack from within, and from outside.

So when I look at government, I see it through this lens first and foremost. It’s first duty must always be the respect and protection of individual rights. And so it is with all of us, a duty to respect one another’s rights. A government, a majority, a mob, has no moral claim to deprive anyone of their life, their liberty, their property, or their productive pursuits so long as they are honoring their duty to respect others’ rights.

The duty of government to protect us from forceful threats on our rights from the outside is most widely accepted, and thus the need for local police, regional law enforcement, and a military to secure our nation is hardly controversial. With our military men and women, their rights must be considered in all foreign policy actions, and there should be clear justification for any and all military engagements.

My experience in drawing insights from geopolitics, current affairs and throughout history, leave me well-suited for determining when and what actions are justified.

However, while the need to guard against outside threats is readily accepted by most, the domestic threats to our lives and liberty from our very own government creep along cloaked in terms like ‘the common good’ and ‘compassion’ in their polite forms. The terms become more honestly depraved and detached from any moral absolutes the further that creep is allowed to crawl. We’re seeing that now in the Democratic Party.

The most egregious threat must be the wanton violation of the right to life for millions of unborn children. A moral government should never tolerate the killing of unborn children to the extent we can reasonably argue they represent an individual life. With current tools and technology, there has never been a time we have been so sure of what a ‘life’ is as now. My approach would be to stand for life at every opportunity, knowing that it is the most noble fight to

Most widespread is the constant, incessant attack on property rights. Even without federal and state constitutions, the violation of property rights is easily the most pervasive of all. Recent cases ruling against civil asset forfeiture highlight how abusive some government entities are, but we have become desensitized to how abusive the federal government’s tax regime has been for over 100 years now, and getting worse.

Taxes may be necessary, but there is no excuse for taxing one man and a different rate than another, beyond basic living standards. It is antithetical to the idea of equal rights, and as such the progressive income tax is an immoral system that any honest conservative has a duty repeal. Taxes should be low, flat and equally administered. Full stop. There is enough wrongdoing to push back in this respect to keep anyone busy, but freeing individuals and their businesses from undue tax burdens will be a mission of mine as a congressman.

With regulations, social policy, healthcare, education, and so on, I will always reference the moral absolutes of Individualism this nation was founded upon to weigh the most effective solutions. Such policies are the most effective because they are the most moral, acknowledging man’s rights, his nature, and naturally leading to a society less restrained from reaching its true potential.

This is my view of what government should be, in so many words, and I think the Third District knows this truth too. I feel compelled to help them reignite it in Washington, D.C.

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Shame on Senator Thom Tillis

THOM TILLIS - crazy face (Occidental Dissident)

(Photo Credit:  Occidental Dissident)

by Diane Rufino, February 26, 2019

If US Senator Thom Tillis looks insane it’s because HE IS!

Believe it or not, the US Senator from our fair state, Thom Tillis, has chosen to stand with the Democrats on the issue of the border wall. Earlier today, Tillis announced that he will vote in favor of a Joint Resolution against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexican border. It is almost certain that the Resolution will pass in the US House.

Tillis says he sees the national emergency declaration as an issue of separation of powers. He says that Congress was tasked with providing funding for immigration and it was Congress’ job to decide whether to fund it, pursuant to the federal government’s power of the purse. It decided not to fund the wall. Tillis believes the issue should have ended there. He believes Trump has no authority to go around Congress.

Here are my issues with Senator Tillis, who claims to be a strict constitutionalist (HA !!):

(1)  Article I, Section 8 tasks the federal government to come up with effective laws concerning naturalization, but nowhere in Article I does it mention that Congress has a general power to restrict immigration.. Congress may have control over spending for with respect to constitutional objects, but I would argue that it doesn’t when the objects are not delegated to the federal government. Therefore, just because Congress decided not to fund the wall doesn’t mean President Trump can’t come up with funding some other way.

Does this mean that States can refuse to have the wall built along their southern border? I can’t answer this. I know the federal government has claimed pre-emption on immigration matters and the Supreme Court sided (of course) with the government in that lawsuit against Arizona several years ago. There may also be an issue of the government sharing jurisdiction with states at the southern border, as it does with the coastal states.

(2)  In the alternative, if the federal government does have supreme power over immigration, then President Trump may have some leverage under Article II, Section 3 (“The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”). If the federal government claims pre-emption or supremacy in effecting our country’s immigration laws, then those laws MUST BE ENFORCED and they MUST be VERY effective. Why? Because if the federal government is denying the states any authority in restricting uncontrolled, illegal immigration across their borders (which is an invasion into sovereign state territory), then it must be willing to do the job itself. If the federal government didn’t intend to do the job very effectively, at the very least, it should permit “shared responsibility” at controlling the borders.

Anyway, if the federal government has assumed supreme control over immigration (thus denying control to the states who are directly impacted), and refuses to pass effective legislation (and funding for it to bring the laws to life), then President Trump may claim his right as the Chief Executive to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Even Senator Tillis has to admit that funding for the wall was withheld in bad faith.

(3)  President Obama gave Congress a deadline to come up with and pass a DREAM Act. That was after Congress was unable to pass one, year after year. And so Obama said in a very public statement: “If Congress won’t pass it, I have a pen and a phone.” And so he created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) by Executive Order, to provide temporary amnesty for the children of illegals. They would not be deported. Obama did this despite clear and consistent opposition to such a program by Congress. It had the authority to legislate on such matters of immigration. Didn’t the DACA program require funding? Yes, it did. But the crafty Obama sought to have DACA applicant pay a large enough fee ($500) so that the fees covered the expense of the DACA program. (Of course it is highly unlikely that it was really funded by such fees; it seems virtually impossible. But that is what Obama claimed.

What is good for the goose has to be good for the gander. If President Trump is unhappy with Congress’ response to what he considers an urgent situation needing immediate attention (as Obama considered the so-called Dreamers an urgent situation that needed attention), why can’t he solve the situation on his own, finding funding from another source so that Congress can be by-passed?

4).  Finally, there is this argument….. Forget Congress. Forget Trump asking Congress for $5.7 billion dollars to build the impenetrable wall along the southern border. Answer this question: If Trump hadn’t focused on getting the funding from Congress, could he have sought directly to build the wall by asserting a National Emergency at the southern border [based on the importing of lethal drugs that are killing our children, drug trafficking, increased MS-13 gang activity, human trafficking ,over-loading all our resources and social services, and just the massive illegality that is occurring, creating a dual system in the US – The Rule of Law for citizens and Lawlessness for Illegals, yet both being equally entitled to all that the US offers (except illegals can’t be drafted] and diverted the funds needed thru the National Emergency Act? The answer is most likely YES. Despite what the moronic Democrats tell you, there is a very real emergency at the border. The overwhelming majority of Americans understand this. It is so evident, that a whole group of house moms and soccer moms (those who were strongly against Trump in 2016) have abandoned the Democratic Party and are now in support of him.

If Trump could have gotten funding legally and legitimately for the wall by claiming a National Emergency in the first place, why can’t be do it in the second-place? He was simply trying to give Congress the opportunity to be part of the solution to our grave border crisis. Sadly, the Democrats put politics over the good of the country.

And so, it appears that Senator Tillis is simply putting on his Rhino clothes and doing what he does best. voting with whichever party he feels at any given moment. Shame on him.

We can’t let him get away with his blatant disregard of the emergency at the border. As a former legislator from North Carolina you would have thought he would have been influenced by the sheer number of illegal Hispanics and other illegals in our state as well as the huge increase in opioid overdoses due to heroin and fentanyl that is pouring across the border and the increase and expansion of the barbaric MS-13 gang, including into Greenville and onto the ECU campus.

The Republican House and Senate when in control failed to secure our borders and now we are in a state of emergency. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. We need strong leadership.

Please stand with our President and common sense.

Contact Senator Tillis’s office and let him know how you feel!! You can contact him at:  https://www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

 

Reference:

Ilya Sonin, “Does the Constitution Give the Federal Government Power Over Immigration,” CATO Institute, September 12, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.cato-unbound.org/2018/09/12/ilya-somin/does-constitution-give-federal-government-power-over-immigration

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