The most shameful thing in the NC Senate’s budget

We could give you volumes of very shortsighted decisions made by the Senate when they adopted their budget plan. This commentary by Cris Fitzsimon highlights just one of them: the over 5004-year-olds eligible for the state’s pre-K program.

Read the full article on the NC Policy Watch website.

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV) need you to call your representative

Last week North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV) was able to spread the good news that the dangerous gun bills were not passed before the crossover deadline because of your calls and emails. 

We also warned of parliamentary procedures that could revive the bills. Based on Speaker Moore’s press statement after crossover, it appears that he is considering using some of those procedures to pass reckless gun bills that could:

  • Allow guns on campus, even in areas with children such as daycares, early learning colleges, and hospitals
  • Eliminate our life saving background check on private sales of handguns (the pistol purchase permitting system)
  • Eliminate our concealed weapons permitting system

We can not stand for any of these provisions to be passed!

This is where you come in. Call your representative today to demonstrate that North Carolinians want to protect children and the public. Find out who represents you here.

Here is a sample message to use: “I am a constituent and I oppose carrying guns on campuses, eliminating the pistol purchase permitting system and eliminating the concealed carry weapons permitting system.  I hope that the representative will oppose these dangerous measures and advocate for common sense gun reform.  Thank you.”

After you make this important call, please pass this alert on to 5 friends and let us know how your call went –

Together we can stand up for common sense gun reform,
Becky and the rest of the NCGV team


Assessing the Supreme Court’s gerrymandering decision

The following is an excellent summary of the Supreme Court ruling regarding gerrymandered congressional districts 1 and 2.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the North Carolina GOP drew unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered congressional districts, but what does it mean and where do lawmakers go from here?
You can find the full article on the NC Policy Watch website.

NC Senator Jeff Jackson: “Two Minute Town Halls”

Last week I (David Bland) had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Jackson, a senator from Mecklenburg County. He is one of the most impressive individuals I have had the pleasure of getting to know. I can guarantee you that you will continue seeing him as a major force in Democratic politics in the years to come. The following video is an excellent synopsis of what gerrymandering really means. I urge you to watch it and get on his mailing list to see his upcoming videos.


100 Words from Jeff

At 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning I’m posting a video on social media, but I want to give you the first look.

We’re starting a series called “Two Minute Town Halls” that give short, fact-intensive summaries about specific issues affecting our state in a way that is (hopefully) easy and enjoyable to watch.

The first one is on gerrymandering (of course…).

How’d we do? And what should our next topic be?



Here’s Our Video



Big News on Gerrymandering

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina’s 2011 congressional map was unlawfully racially gerrymandered.  The effect of the ruling is to uphold the new congressional districts that were drawn last year as a result of a similar ruling by a lower court, so this won’t produce new districts.  However, it’s a positive sign for the direction the court is headed on gerrymandering.  We’re still waiting to hear from them about if/when our General Assembly will get new districts.

As Always

Please be in touch anytime just by hitting Reply.  I try to answer all emails within 24 hours.

P.O. Box 18515, Charlotte, NC, 28218
Paid for by Jeff Jackson for NC Senate


NCDP Statement on SCOTUS Ruling


May 22, 2017

NCDP Statement On SCOTUS Ruling

See NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin’s Statement On SCOTUS Ruling on Congressional Maps:

“North Carolina’s congressional districts have frequently been used as an example as some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision today to affirm the lower court ruling that the maps were racially gerrymandered. Republicans in the General Assembly have constantly discriminated against African Americans and we hope to see an election cycle with the fair maps our state deserves.”

Copyright © 2017 North Carolina Democratic Party, All rights reserved.


Equipping Today’s Students to Lead the Movements of Tomorrow

As all of you know I (David Bland) regularly post things for our North Wake Dems that North Carolina Justice Center has researched. I am supporting their Summer Policy Institute and I ask you to consider a donation as well. I just found a quote the other day which says it all in terms of our support of the Justice center’s effort:
Freedom is free, combating those who would do away with it is expensive

Equipping Today’s Students to Lead the Movements of Tomorrow

Help us Launch The Summer Policy Institute!

Dear Friend,

Last week we sent you a letter introducing the Summer Policy Institute launching this July in Raleigh for undergraduate students who are interested in policy and how to build a stronger economy.

This is an opportunity to strengthen the pipeline of talented young people to build the long-term power for changes that help more people and places in North Carolina be part of a thriving economy.

Please consider a gift today to help us launch the Summer Policy Institute and sustain connections with students attending year-round.

The cost per student for this three-day intense professional development experience is $400.  Our goal is to raise $5,000 and we are half way there.

With your help, we can make the training accessible to every student who is interested, regardless of how far they would have to travel or what their household income may be.

Your gift today will make this possible.

Our efforts to build a stronger network of engaged leaders and everyday North Carolinians who can promote better policy choices for our state is critical to our long-term vision that North Carolina can thrive and lead again.

We hope that you will consider a contribution today to help us lay a solid foundation for North Carolina’s future.


Alexandra, Brian and Chanae

P.S. Please consider leveraging your gift by engaging your own university or community college alumni network to match your gift, or taking part in your company’s matching gift program.



May 13, 2017

The Senate passed its budget under cover of darkness at the end of the week. Democrats, led by Durham’s Mike Woodard, held the floor for about a half hour Thursday evening, as senators took turns rising to ask Woodard scripted questions about the budget. When session resumed at 12:05 a.m. for the third and final reading of the budget bill, Democrats were ready with several amendments illuminating the budget’s deficiencies, all of which were tabled. At about 1:00, sick of what one GOP senator called a “filibuster,” Republicans decided to go into recess until 2:30 to caucus, and the final vote to pass the budget (32-15) was taken shortly after 3:00 a.m. Thursday night…er, Friday morning.

The budget was released after 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, and committee hearings began early the next morning. Except leadership who helped develop its line items, most senators and citizens alike had little time to digest the over 800-page budget until it reached the floor less than 48 hours after it was introduced. Little-known facets will continue to come to light as the document makes its way to the House, which will produce its own version soon. Luckily, the rumored timeline for House debate will give the public at least a little more time for input.

The Senate’s budget short-changes our state’s core needs, and General Assembly staff have said it will blow a $600 million hole in future budgets. When that happens, if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, you can bet Republicans will argue for an even larger dose of their poison prescription: drastic cuts and regressive sales tax hikes.

This is all thanks to an unnecessary $3 billion income tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations. Under this budget, millionaires will get a tax cut 60 times larger than that for middle-class families. But this is sadly nothing new for Republicans. Since 2012, a person making $1 million or more has saved more in taxes each year ($42,652) than the current salary of a teacher with 13 years of experience. NC Policy Watch had a great piece on what we could do with the $3 billion in revenue the GOP has thrown away.

Last week we told you Democrats would be looking for Gov. Cooper’s priorities in the Senate budget. Well—surprise, surprise—there was little common ground to be found. The governor’s office put together a handy side-by-side chart comparing the governor’s budget proposal with the Senate’s. They also released a chart comparing the teacher pay raises in the two proposals:

Needless to say, the governor’s document invests far more in our people without raising taxes. In fact, it lowers taxes for working families by reintroducing the child care tax credit.

Paid for by the Wake County Democratic Party. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Wake County Democratic Party
PO Box 25548
Raleigh NC 27611 United States

The Senate budget proposal: A guide to the big picture and the details

We all know that a final spending plan coming from the legislature will be “squishing together” from the Senate and House plans. The in-depth and comprehensive budget proposal made by our governor has gone the way of all well-thought-out proposals which have been made to the Republican majority. The bottom line out of this entire exercise is that since the Republicans have chosen to significantly reduce taxes benefiting the rich and corporations mostly, the available dollars have been significantly reduced. You will note from this report that the appropriations have been on a decline path ever since the great recession. If we do not reverse this trend and begin making investments in elementary and secondary education, free community college tuition, higher education teacher training and meeting the new requirements of our rapidly expanding technology, we can kiss the  reputation which North Carolina has enjoyed for many years goodbye.
Read the full article on the NC Policy Watch website.

Monday Memo 5/1/2017 from Progress NC Action


Monday Memo (5/1)

The Monday Memo is a subscription-only weekly email from Progress NC Action. It provides messaging, talking points and links of interest. Click here to add a subscriber to the Monday Memo. If you have information you would like to share in a future Monday Memo, email Logan Smith at

GOP claims of voter fraud and need for photo ID once again exposed as nonsense

The Board of Elections completed its 2016 vote audit last week and we now know how much voter fraud exists in North Carolina. And the answer is… ONE in 10,000 ballots cast last year was by someone not qualified to vote. A grand total of 508 ballots were ineligible.

But wait! There’s more. Of those 508 fraudulent ballots, only ONE would have been caught by a requirement that voters show photo ID.

  • Voter fraud is simply not a problem. Voting is a well regulated democratic process that typically runs very well. NC legislators once passed a law requiring ID at the polls, but that law was struck down by the courts before it could be implemented.
  • When Republicans cry vote fraud they’re really setting the stage for voter disenfranchisement. Widespread voting fraud has never been proven to exist. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying to use the spectre of people stealing votes to perpetuate their own agendas.
  • Voters face real barriers in NC. Last fall 100,000 people in NC had trouble voting and needed to use same day registration at one-stop voting to make sure they could cast a ballot. Another 2,000 nearly had their ballots thrown out because of mismanagement of the voting process.

Bottom Line: There’s no reason voter fraud should be a partisan issue. Every elected official– and indeed, every citizen– should want voting to be accessible, easy, and fair. But Republicans in NC keep trying to fix their elections by keeping the power of voting away from the people. The NC GOP does not like a lot of people voting because their policies are not popular with a lot of people.

Courts take Cooper’s side, block move to sabotage elections board

Friday afternoon a panel of three judges blocked a measure by Phil Berger and other state Republicans that would have stolen power from the Governor. This fairly complex plan would have combined the elections and ethics boards and would have forced Cooper to allow McCrory’s election chief to reign over the combined boards.

  • The election-stealing measure measure was enacted recently when Republicans overrode Cooper’s veto. It stayed in place less than a week before the judges blocked it, saying it would likely cause “irreparable harm.”
  • The Republicans’ law also created an eight-person panel, with four democrats and four republicans. This panel was impractical, was sure to be deadlocked, and would have led to gridlock on the State Board of Elections.
  • Judges continue to block these power-grabbing measures. Late last year Republicans called a special session and passed a similar law that took away Cooper’s appointment powers. Judges blocked that one, as well.
  • Legal cases are costly. The Republicans who passed this latest measure did so knowing that the courts were unlikely to uphold their law. Doing this creates extra work and extra expense for the taxpayers.
  • Cooper was fairly elected and should be given the same opportunity to govern and choose his staff as any of the previous governors.

Bottom Line: Passing laws that won’t hold up in court is the worst kind of political theater. It’s time for the Republicans to stop the power grab and start tending to their own home fires.

Senate budget proposal likely coming next week

Word on Jones street is that the state Senate will roll out a budget proposal next week. Chances are it will not include adequate funding for public school teachers, classrooms and students. North Carolina still languishes in per student funding, ranking #43 among states.

  • Senate leaders have said they plan to cut $1 billion in taxes over the next two years. This plan would lead to major budget shortfalls in a state that’s already struggling to keep textbooks on shelves and computers in classrooms.
  • In March Governor Cooper announced a budget proposal that would give all classroom teachers a raise and would fund more classroom supplies. Senate Republicans have made no similar promises but want to give some teachers incentive pay.
  • The Senate budget is likely to be long on tax cuts for the wealthy and short on any incentives that make life easier for working families.
  • The bills Republicans introduce are a good indicator for what their budget will hold. And based on those bills, Republicans will protect millionaires and corporations and throw teachers and teaching assistants under the bus.

Bottom Line: North Carolina cannot cut its tax revenue while schools still suffer. Our students are one of our most valuable natural resources. Any budget that doesn’t fully prioritize public schools is selling North Carolina short.

Abortion Legislative Report: Crossover Edition

We made it through crossover at the General Assembly without any abortion bills even making it to committee. This is in no small part due to the hard work abortion advocates did. But don’t take your eyes off the General Assembly yet. Session doesn’t end til late summer, and things could get hectic, y’all.

  • Four anti-abortion bills were introduced but didn’t make it to committee. This means North Carolina’s pro-abortion voices were strong enough that conservative legislators didn’t feel they had the power to openly attack abortion this session.
  • The bad news is, legislators could amend bills that have already been introduced to limit abortion rights. If legislators have more midnight shenanigans up their sleeves, it’s possible we could see another Motorcycle Vagina this session. Vroom vroom.
  • Anti-abortion legislators are always looking for ways to limit abortion access. Since they haven’t introduced anything yet, they’ll have to do so secretly. And we know they’ll move quickly.

Bottom Line: We’ve won the fight for abortion rights so far, but the attack could still be coming. Let your legislator know that you support abortion and won’t stand for attacks on abortion access in North Carolina. We send out a reproductive rights newsletter so you can stay informed on this and other abortion-related news. It’s more important than ever to be in the know!


Source: Dennis Draughton, Capitol Broadcasting Company