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NCGA Short Session Items

The following post was originally run on CaldwellTEAParty.Org on May 13, 2014, just prior to the start of the 2014 NCGA Short Session. Reposting here, as the items below are still relevant to the ongoing legislative battles being waged in Raleigh:

The North Carolina General Assembly convenes tomorrow at noon to begin the short session. Independent North Carolina, an informal NC activists communication network focused on government reform outside of the partisan structure, held our first conference call to discuss issues pertinent to the upcoming session. We are planning to hold follow-up calls once a month. If you’d like to be informed of future calls, you can join the group facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/719751841396840/

Here are a few of the items discussed of which immediate activism is needed – please call and email state legislators today about the following:

north-carolina-fishing-regulations

NC Commercial Fishing Industry Regulatory Burden - Video documentary for information on the plight of  NC Commercial Fishermen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imZll1qBKB0

Watch out for Joint Enforcement Agreement legislation: turns control of NC’s marine law enforcement over to the federal government by accepting grant money with strings attached. Linked is an action plan memo from North Carolina Watermen United for activists to share with NC legislators: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zEusP9Al-rZHnTCecbTGfwHXYzaBUzw_h5CCmC5zLdc/edit?usp=sharing

Common Core / Race to the Top - Video documentary for information on history of Common Core in NC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_tKGwR-tJI

The main issue is grant funding that was given to our state with strings attached. The Race to the Top phase II Grant mandated the implementation of common standards. RttT agreement was a 3-part initiative: common standards, data mining, & school reform/transformation including STEM and teacher professional development – these 3 parts are summarized in a chart on page 11(page 21 of pdf file) of the Race to the Top grant agreement signed in 2010 by Bev Perdue & June Atkinson:

commiecore

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase2-applications/north-carolina.pdf

The NCGA placed the grant mandates into NC general statutes in 2011, making compliance a state law. The language MUST be removed from NC’s general statutes if we wish to be rid of data mining, common core, federal testing mandates, etc. A legislative proposal from the Common Core Study Committee is eligible for hearing in NCGA short session. Their proposal forms another committee (more bureaucracy?) to propose “revisions” to the current standards, delegates $250,000 for the new committee to spend on education consultants, keeps us operating under Common Core (though renamed ‘North Carolina standards’), does not address RttT data mining, keeps many of the testing mandates in our general statutes, etc. – the committee’s legislative proposal is on page 21-25 of study committee packet:
http://www.ncleg.net/documentsites/committees/BCCI-6614/LRC%20Committee%20on%20Common%20Core%20State%20Standards%20Report-2014.pdf

Activists – petition legislators to instead offer substitute amendment which strikes all testing mandates & other grant-compliance mandates from NC general statutes, such as the sample legislation shown at following link: http://carolinalibertypac.com/2014/02/making-the-committees-job-easier-legislation-to-repeal-common-core/

*UPDATE* Rep. Larry Pittman was able to incorporate substantial amendments on the House side, including prohibitions on data collection. Action item: Petition Senators to PASS HB1061.

Toll Roads - Public-private partnership HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes plan for I-77; tax dollars fund the lane construction, private company (Cintra) profits from the tolls. NC residents already pay gas tax rates that are among the highest in the nation. In 2013hotlaneblogheader-0625132 the NCGA increased the annual registration fees of electric vehicle drivers to cover their exclusion from the gas tax. The eventual costs of the HOT lanes plan are incalculable as the toll rates would be subject to the whims of a private corporation unaccountable to the taxpayers of North Carolina. For more information about the HOT lanes scam, see: http://wideni77.org/about/

Skip Stam recent email to insiders on how to promote the idea of HOT lanes, published on Daily Haymaker, indicates that NCGA leadership will be pushing to finalize the plans ASAP: http://dailyhaymaker.com/?p=7924

House Bill 267 is still to be passed from the Senate side. Contact Senate members to REJECT passage of the HOT lanes-allowing bill from Senate. Contact info for Senate members can be found here.

The following message is a further action item regarding the HOT lanes issue from Charlotte TEA Party President Christian Hine: “The contract with Cintra has not yet been made available for public scrutiny. The DOT should be contacted as well as the members of the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee which is supposed to review the contract. Let them know additionally that we do not support the project in general. Both general purpose lanes and (worst case scenario) even a traditional toll road are preferred options.”

Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee members’ contact information can be found here: http://pundithouse.com/2014/04/cintras-hot-lanes-a-hot-mess/

Electioneering: Make it Count

Liberty activists! Heading to the polling stations tomorrow to inform voters about Greg Brannon for US Senate? Some strategy in electioneering can ensure that our energy is expended in a manner that does the most to further the state of liberty on the state level at the same time. Get the most out of your advocacy by choosing a polling location that also serves the constituents of a state-level constitutionalist candidate.

Also be sure to find a precinct with a high Republican voter turnout. Here is a map of historically high GOP voter turnout precincts across the state:  https://batchgeo.com/map/nctopprecincts

Not sure where to go? Here are a few races of which the outcome will be of great impact to the state of liberty in NC – reap twice the reward from your activism efforts by helping to advocate for one of these candidates while you advocate for Dr. Brannon!:

 

1924506_748560385163116_1728425933_nSharon Hudson House District 98, Mecklenburg County’s 3-way primary race will determine a Republican candidate for Thom Tillis’s NC House seat. Hudson is a grassroots candidate who has proven herself to be a vocal advocate of NC residents by taking a stand against the HOT lanes public-private partnership scheme pushed by House leadership (Tillis) last session. Her two opponents support and have advocated for the HOT lanes scam, making this election an easy choice for Mecklenburg County residents - as long as someone is at the polls to inform them! Get to the polls and let the voters know this vital piece of information so that we can avoid having another proponent of double taxation filling this important House seat.

 

1623331_1410112429236709_1682104295_nMichael Lavender Senate District 47, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey counties. A crucial race for breaking up the Raleigh Cabal of cronies: Michael Lavender is challenging incumbent Senator Ralph Hise. During the last session, Hise sponsored a bill to give NC’s corrupt Democrat Treasurer more leeway for making risky investments from the teachers’ and state employees’ pension fund – expanding practices that have led to an estimated $30 billion (with a “B!”) unaccounted for and payouts to “Wall Street money managers” nearing an estimated $1 billion from the fund. The money missing from the fund will cause tax hikes for NC residents down the road when pensions come due. Hise also opposes restructuring pension management with the creation of a board of trustees; he advocates the continuation of a sole fiduciary system (keeping Janet Cowell unchecked in charge of management decisions), and as a member of a commission established to review the pension management structure, Hise helped author a minority report to express his opposition to greater oversight. It is for this reason that the State Employees Association (SEANC) has dubbed the Senator “Raleigh Ralph Hise” and dedicated substantial funding to his primary opponent. This election has no democrat challenger, so Tuesday’s winner will serve in the Senate. Help break up the Raleigh Cabal and protect NC teachers’ pensions by electioneering at a polling location for Michael Lavender.

 

1013864_468894356550590_715384476_nAshley Bleau (pronounced like the color “blue”) House District 9 Greenville, NC: Another opportunity to help break up the Raleigh Crony Cabal. Incumbent House Rep. Brian Brown went to Raleigh and promptly turned against the people of his district by sponsoring anti-free market “game fish” legislation, a measure known to decimate coastal communities and completely eliminate the commercial fishing industry of the states in which it has been implemented. Proponents of game fish (making a particular breed of fish illegal to trap and sell) believe that the residents of North Carolina should not have access to our own local seafood, but should instead offer our commodities only to tourists who are willing to visit NC’s coast and catch it themselves, as this system will be worth more money to our state (yeah, right!). A representative who has shown that he is more concerned with this state of his campaign account than he is with the welfare of the people of our state is no representative at all. Ashley Bleau is challenging Brown for the seat. Bleau, a commercial fisherman and seafood restaurant business owner, advocated on behalf of commercial fishermen during Brown’s dangerous game fish hearing, proving that he considers the interests of NC residents to take precedence over outside special interests. If you would like to help electioneer for Greg Brannon, Walter Jones, and Ashley Bleau all on one ballot here is a contact for materials & information.

 

ncgop-mattie-lawsonMattie Lawson Electioneering in NC State House District 6 (Outer Banks – Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, and Washington counties) will allow one to advocate for Greg Brannon, Walter Jones, and Mattie Lawson on one slate – and then celebrate election victory on the beach! Mattie Lawson is a constitutional TEA activist within the Republican Party and a strong proponent of 2nd amendment protections, government transparency and reform measures, lower taxes & a fiscally conservative balanced budget, and state-level nullification of unconstutional laws. Lawson has been vocal in her opposition to state implementation of Common Core, Obamacare, footerpic4and UN or other federal unconstitutional intrusions upon states. NC D6 has a republican-minded population currently represented by a democrat. Lawson won the Republican primary for this seat during the 2012 election, but was narrowly defeated in the general election, losing to Democrat Paul Tine by only 458 votes out of over 41,000! Her since-increased name recognition and Tine’s failure to be an advocate for the residents of the Outer Banks on the issues most affecting them will certainly result in a win for Lawson this general election, but she must first get through the primary election this Tuesday.

 

pittmanLarry Pittman District 82, Cabarrus County. Incumbent Rep. Larry Pittman has proven that he will advocate for the people of his district. Pittman pushed for a full repeal of Common Core (though the other NCGA legislators opted instead to form a committee to “study” the idea), he has advocated for the protection of NC residents’ 2nd amendment rights, and he has been a proponent of state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. NC residents cannot afford to lose this stateman; he’s been working for us so let’s return the favor – get to the Cabarrus County polling stations to let voters know what a true citizen representative Larry Pittman has been.

Other citizen advocates - the following candidates do not have a primary challenger, but have a proven record of standing up for their constituents (some may need your help after the primary):

Robert Brawley
Michelle Presnell
Mike Speciale
Chris Millis

Who have I forgotten? Feel free to leave information on other local liberty candidates  who are facing primary elections in the comments below!

“I Will Not Accept Bribes” Pledge for NCGA Candidates

Though it is sad that this has become necessary, I would like to ask that NC Patriots print the following very simple pledge for any candidate running for state office:

The “I will not succumb to bribery” pledge.

I will not accept federal dollars through my office in exchange for my vote or my influence over legislation or public policy, nor will I cede my vote on any piece of legislation because someone else has accepted federal dollars, even if the legislation in question is that which I might otherwise vote to approve. I acknowledge that passing legislation in exchange for money amounts to an abdication of authority and selling my vote. I also acknowledge that allowing campaign contributions to influence my vote or the exercise of my powers of office is a violation of North Carolina’s legislative code of ethics per GS120-86, GS138A-31, and GS138A-33. I accept this pledge and do so freely and without reservations, so help me God.

Signed, Candidate for NC Legislature

This pledge is particularly necessary of any upcoming NC House Rep at this time with the formation of NC’s new Public-Private Partnerships Committee aka the Committee on Money Funneling. One very prominent example of a public-private partnership in action is the partnership between Pearson Corporation and the State of North Carolina, which was solidified with the writing of Common Core mandates into North Carolina General Statutes, under Speaker Tillis, in exchange for federal dollars.

The state of North Carolina was not required to place Common Core into our statutes in order to implement them, they were actually already being implemented, and the State Board of Education is able to make decisions on education standards without the copyright product being in our statutes; however having Common Core in the statutes now prevents the State Board of Education from being able to reverse the decision to use Common Core even if they wanted to. Understand: the children of North Carolina have been sold out for federal dollars. How is that for representation?

When Obamacare bribe money was accepted by Gov. Bev Perdue under the terms that North Carolina would develop a state-run healthcare exchange, after uproar from constituents, the North Carolina legislature sent the money back to the federal government and refused the terms. The same should have been done with Common Core, but unfortunately not enough constituents were aware of the situation at the time.

Another example of a public-private partnership agreement is the high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes plan for I-77, advocated by Speaker Tillis despite the fact that NC residents already pay gas tax rates that are among the highest in the nation, and the fact that in 2013 the NCGA increased the annual registration fee of electric vehicle drivers to cover their exclusion from the gas tax. This HOT lanes toll plan will cost North Carolinians, up front, more than double the amount required to simply widen I-77 with general access lanes. The eventual costs of the plan are incalculable as the toll rates would be subject to the whims of a private corporation unaccountable to the taxpayers of North Carolina. For more information, see: http://wideni77.org/2014/03/25/thom-tillis-after-8-years-only-tholl-roads/

Make sure that anyone asking for your vote is willing to denounce the practice of bribery, whether it is conducted as a personal practice or it is conducted through the realm of government. Here are some quotations from across the spectrum about the practice of bribery and government policy:

“Can I say that I think it should be against the law for one state to use taxpayer money to try to bribe businesses in another state to move? Which then causes the target state to use taxpayer dollars to try to bribe the businesses to stay.” -Gail Collins, New York Times

“In fact, in virtually every country in the world bribery is a shameful act. Those who accept bribes do not speak publicly of their bribes anywhere … 1. Bribery corrupts the capitalist economic system. The capitalist system is based on competition in an open and free market, where people tend to buy the best product at the best price. Bribery corrupts the free-market mechanism by getting people to make purchases that do not reward the most efficient producer. 2. Bribery is a sellout to the rich. In any situation ruled only by money, the deeper pocket will prevail. … Bribery produces cynicism and a general distrust of institutions. It destroys people’s trust in the integrity of professional services, of government and the courts, of law enforcement, religion, and anything it touches … Bribery treats people as commodities whose honor can be bought and sold. It thus tends to degrade the respect we owe to other human beings.” -Instructor’s Guide to Engineering Ethics

“Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,” “Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,” Proverbs 10:2

“Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security. … Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all. Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three milleniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out. Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States. Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties. The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.” – Henning Webb Prentis, often paraphrased as:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury” and “The American Republic will endure until the day that politicians discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”  

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