Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

The startling dishonesty of the power grabbers

One of the most striking things about the unprecedented power grabbing currently underway at the General Assembly is the dishonesty of some of the people leading the offensive effort.

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The cynical, undemocratic and outrageous spectacle in Raleigh

Early in the special legislative session Wednesday called by Gov. Pat McCrory for disaster relief, House Rules Chair David Lewis responded on the ...
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Monday numbers

29.8 million---increase in the number of uninsured people in the United States in 2019 if Congress partially repeals the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process as many Republicans have proposed (“Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation,” Urban Institute, December 6, 2016)

103---percentage increase in the number of uninsured people in the United States in 2019 if the ACA is partially repealed in the budget reconciliation process

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Republican legislative leaders and the will of the people

The General Assembly is returning to Raleigh next week for a special session to help areas of the state suffering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina.

There’s nothing surprising or controversial about that. Communities across the state ravaged by the storms and the fires need the help.

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McCrory the mayor who never figured out how to be governor

Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded the 2016 election to Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday, December 5 but he actually lost the race on March 23 when he signed the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2.

That not only created a firestorm of protest and boycotts and damaged the state’s reputation around the world, it confirmed what voters had come to realize about him ---that he was either unable or unwilling to stand up to the radical agenda of his own party in the General Assembly.

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Monday numbers

23---number of years since the Smart Start early childhood program began in North Carolina (“Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School,” Dodge, KA ; Bai, Y ; Ladd, HF ; Muschkin, CG; Child Development, 2016)

18---number of years since Smart Start was expanded to serve children in all 100 counties (Ibid)

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Misguided claims about the election and HB2

The election in North Carolina may be almost finally over but the debate about HB2 is as absurd as ever. Supporters of the sweeping anti-LGBT law that has cost North Carolina thousands of jobs and damaged the state’s reputation around the world are now claiming that the reelection of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest shows that HB2 wasn’t a major reason for the almost certain defeat of Gov. Pat McCrory---which should be made official after Monday’s recount of votes in Durham. The law’s staunchest defenders also continue to brush aside the obvious damage the law is doing to the state. N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said this fall that HB2 has had no effect on the economy. Other pro-HB2ers blame job losses and the relocation of events like NCAA championships out of the state on national pro-LGBT groups and Democratic politicians.

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The troubling machinations of preserving political power in Raleigh

That sound you hear from Raleigh these days is coming from leading North Carolina Republicans, astonished that their iron grip on state government is in jeopardy, thrashing around desperately as they consider extraordinary mechanisms to maintain it by thwarting the will of the voters and ironically complaining about decisions by the federal courts.

The most stunning news for the state GOP elite on election night was that voters rejected Governor Pat McCrory in what turned out to be an almost Republican wave election, with Donald Trump and Senator Richard Burr both winning, the GOP maintaining its super majority in the state House and Senate and Republicans capturing a majority of seats on the Council of State for the first time.

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Monday numbers

630,000---number of households in North Carolina in which people do not have enough food to eat (“Hunger in the Tar Heel State, N.C. Budget & Tax Center, November 2016)

8---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states with the highest levels of food insecurity (Ibid)

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Monday numbers

13---number of days since Election Day 2016 (N.C State Board of Elections)

4,979—number of votes that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper was ahead of Republican Governor Pat McCrory by as of Monday, November 14 (Ibid)

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Glimmers of hope in election include misleading claims about education and HB2

Despite the shock of Donald Trump winning the presidency last week, there are a number of hopeful signs in the election results for progressives, many of which have been pointed out by folks looking for something positive to hold on to in the overall gloomy outcome.

Those include the fact that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, Democrats gained seats in the U.S. House and Senate, and four states passed ballot measures to increase the minimum wage including Arizona, a state Donald Trump won.

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Monday numbers

2,281,900---number of votes received by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper as of Election Day (North Carolina State Board of Elections)

2,276,921---number of votes received by Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory as of Election Day (Ibid)

4,979---number of vote margin for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper (Ibid)

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Trump’s big night lifts most Republicans in NC, but McCrory trails Cooper

Republican businessman Donald Trump shocked the world Tuesday night and his upset victory provided surprising coattails that swept many Republicans into office in North Carolina, neutralizing what was widely expected to be a year of Democratic gains in Congress and the General Assembly.

Instead Republicans rode the Trump wave to maintain control of the U.S. Senate and easily keep their supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature in Raleigh.

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Monday numbers

1---number days until Election Day 2016 (N.C. State Board of Elections)

3,102,725---number of ballots cast in North Carolina during early voting and by absentee ballot (Ibid)

6,864,841---total number of registered voters in North Carolina (Ibid)

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Portraits of Chung and Skvarla
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McCrory’s top N.C. economic development officials at odds about damage from HB2

HB2, North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, is affecting the relocation decisions of as many as one fourth of the companies currently considering moving to North Carolina.

That’s not some wild estimate by the folks opposed to HB2 or an allegation made by political opponents of Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the legislation into law last March and continues to passionately defend it.

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Monday numbers

(The items in this edition of Monday numbers are from “The High Cost of Being Poor in North Carolina Anti-Poverty Programs Help Alleviate Costs, But More Must Be Done to Reduce Burdens," a report from the N.C. Justice Center and the Coalition on Human Needs published October 26, 2016)

11.3---percentage of non-Hispanic whites in North Carolina living in poverty 2015.

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