Following The Science?

On Tuesday, the John Locke website posted an article about North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus.

The article includes the following information:

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending May 17:

    • As of May 17, there were 963,539 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
    • Active cases comprised just 1.6% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
    • Active cases represented over 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
    • Now 34 out of every 35 (97.1%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
    • Only just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
    • About 90.6% people in NC had never had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, despite the PCR test cycle threshold set so high as to produce a large amount of false positives (note: this proportion will always decline, but we have been living with this virus since February 2020, as far as testing is concerned)
    • All things considered, nearly 99.9% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus most had never had and the rest had recovered from (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understand because it does not account for vaccinations)

The title of the article asks the question, “The NC Threat-Free Index for the Week Ending May 17 — and Why Are We Still Under a “State of Emergency”?”  That is a very good question.

Limiting Voting To Legal Voters

The idea of only American citizens being allowed to vote in American elections is pretty basic. You wouldn’t think there would be a lot of room for discussion (or lawsuits). You would be wrong.

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court has ruled against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, vacating a lower court’s decision blocking the inspection of the state’s voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting.

The article reports:

“North Carolina had tried to prevent the public from inspecting records related to noncitizens registering and voting in our elections,” PILF (Public Interest Legal Foundation) President J. Christian Adams said in a statement.

“Federal law presumes that election records are public,” Adams said. “The Fourth Circuit vacated the lower court’s dismissal of the case. This is an important win because it means that the public’s right to know about election vulnerabilities has been vindicated.”

The Richmond-based appeals court concluded “that the Board’s efforts in the present case to identify non-citizen registrants qualify as a ‘program’ or ‘activity’ to ensure an accurate list of eligible voters.”

In June 2019, PILF filed the lawsuit against North Carolina election officials after they failed to disclose voter roll records showing non-citizen registrations and voting. A lower court, though, dismissed PILF’s lawsuit claiming such records could not be disclosed to the public.

The article concludes:

While PILF will now go back to court to negotiate over the records, this is the third win for PILF on protecting the right to inspect state voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting since 2019.

In March 2019, a Texas court ruled that PILF could move forward with seeking non-citizen voting records in Harris County, Texas. Then, in December 2019, a federal court similarly ruled that PILF could continue seeking non-citizen voting records in Pennsylvania.

North Carolina has a history of concealing non-citizen voting. In November 2019, for instance, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed legislation that would have purged self-admitted non-citizen voters from the state’s voter rolls ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The case is Public Interest Legal Foundation v. North Carolina State Board of Elections19-2265 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Every American should support the idea of only legal voters voting. Every illegal vote cancels out the vote of a legal voter.

Watchdogs In Education In North Carolina

On Monday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article reporting some good news about education in North Carolina.

The article reports:

A North Carolina education advocacy group launched a website this week to help whistleblowers expose radicalism in K-12 schools.

Education First Alliance launched its Schoolhouse Shock watchdog site on Monday to help parents and teachers call attention to radicalism in the classroom. Users can anonymously upload videos, photos, and documents from their child’s class to catalog critical race theory-based lessons being taught in schools.

“Our new statewide whistleblower program, Schoolhouse Shock, will add to our toolbox in the fight against the onslaught of racially inflammatory and sexualized curriculums that children are being immersed in all over North Carolina,” Sloan Rachmuth, Education First Alliance president, said in a statement.

The North Carolina Board of Education in February adopted radical curriculum standards built around critical race theory—the idea that American economic and political systems are inherently racist. Critics including the Education First Alliance and North Carolina lieutenant governor Mark Robinson (R.) say the politically charged standards undermine students’ education.

Rachmuth, an investigative reporter, established Education First Alliance in January. The nonprofit opposes the use of anti-American ideologies like critical race theory and antiracism in classrooms and pushes “for the equality of dignity and of opportunity for all K-12 students.”

Although remote learning has been a problem for many children, in many cases it has allowed parents to pay closer attention to what their children are being taught. I believe that the Education First Alliance provides a way for parents to put their concerns into action.

The article notes:

Education First Alliance charts the rise of critical race theory in education on its blog. The group reported on a nine-week-long “Culturally Responsive Teaching” training that instructed teachers to “disrupt” the education system with critical race theory. The group also documented a series of tweets in which James Ford—a North Carolina state education board member who was hand-selected by Democratic governor Roy Cooper—lauded anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright.

The organization uncovered documents that instructed North Carolina public school teachers to ask students about their sexual orientations and more. Middle school students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district were asked about their sexual preferences. Sixth graders at Innovation Academy, a school south of Raleigh, were given a survey that asked students to count the number of genders and sexual orientations they believe exist, as well as whether they believe the gay community deserves rights.

Grassroots opposition to leftist indoctrination is on the rise. In North Carolina, Robinson in March created the F.A.C.T.S. Task Force, which provides parents another way to share radical education materials and other examples of “indoctrination” in schools. The national, nonpartisan Parents Defending Education launched in March to provide resources—including a tip-line and instructions for filing public records requests—to parents who want to protect their child’s education from “activists promoting harmful agendas.”

North Carolina’s education board began revising the state’s K-12 history curriculum in 2019. Early drafts of the standards called for teaching students as young as kindergarten terms like “systemic racism” and “gender identity.”

What we teach out children about America will determine the future of America. Parents need to be paying attention.

What’s Really In Our Voting Machines?

On Monday The Voter Integrity Project posted an article about voting machines in North Carolina. As I am sure you remember, one of the discussion points regarding the integrity of the 2020 presidential election was whether or not the voting machines were hooked up to the internet. In North Carolina we were assured that they were not. Well, not so fast.

The article reports:

April 13, 2021 (Raleigh) Demands for an audit of the 2020 elections has grown bigger after an April 9 Michigan court filing reported discovering a modem chip embedded in the motherboard of the ES&S 200, which is the same machine widely used across North Carolina.

…“A modem chip embedded into the motherboard of the the most popular voting machine in North Carolina greatly undercuts the State Board of Election’s claim that no tabulation equipment was connected to the internet,” said Jay DeLancy of Voter Integrity Project. “Now more than ever, we need the Legislature to step up and audit the 2020 elections.”

The NCSBE website says the ES&S DS200 is used all across the state, but they have never admitted the presence of modem chips.

According to evidence in a trial that included sworn testimony by aerospace engineer and former Michigan State Senator, Patrick Colbeck, the modem chip, the Telit 910 Cat. 1 Series, has the following capabilities:

    • Enable communication between voting system equipment and election servers
    • Designed to operate on a virtual private network
    • Testing has revealed that the same SIM card could be used in a separate wireless hotspot device. This device could then join the same APN as the ES&S voting machines.

“Election officials will probably deny and dismiss the presence of this capability,” DeLancy said, “and that’s we’re demanding for the Legislature to conduct their own independent audit as a function of their oversight authority.”

As New Hampshire voters have already discovered in the Windham incident, the quickest and most accurate way to see if the modem’s adjusted the vote counts is through a hand-eye recount. Such action resulted in a net vote swing of 1,300 votes, by giving one Democrat an extra 100 votes and penalizing four Republicans by 300 votes each.

According to Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers leader, Ed Naile, the machines used in Windham were NOT connected to the internet, but a motherboard modem would change everything. A forensic investigation is already underway to determine the root cause of the discrepancies.

“North Carolina lawmakers only require the presidential race to be verified in a random hand-eye recount,” DeLancy said, “so they now need to recount last year’s full ballot unless they want people to give up on the entire process.”

I am not a person who understands much about how computers work. However, I think everyone who uses a computer is aware of such things as hacking, viruses, and malware. It seems to me that a modem chip embedded in a machine could cause an endless amount of problems. The question becomes, “Why was it there?” and “Who put it there?” I think the answers to those two questions (if those questions are ever answered) would be very interesting.

A Message To American Christians

As I watch our nation slide further into godlessness and immorality,  I am concerned for the future of my children and grandchildren. Yet as I watch events unfold, I am reminded that the time of Jesus’ return is drawing near. All of the conditions are being met–Israel became a nation in 1948, communication is such that worldwide simultaneous broadcasting is possible, and we are seeing what Jesus identified as ‘birth pangs.’

I don’t know exactly what America’s future will be. I know that we were founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that we have forsaken those principles. It is interesting to me that the two models the Founders used for our system of government were the Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Israel. In Exodus 18, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, tells Moses to teach the Israelites God’s statutes and laws and to select able men who fear God to be rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. These rulers were to judge small local matters so that the burden of governance would be shared. That is the basis of our representative government. The original suggestion for our national sea paid tribute to both Ancient Israel and the Anglo-Saxons.

What is our responsibility as Christians and as Americans at this time? Obviously, we are to share the message of God’s love, but there is more. The current condition of America illustrates the wisdom of John Adam’s words, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Obviously that train has left the station.

I don’t know if it is possible to rescue America. I do believe, however, that if America is rescued, it will be a sovereign work of God through his people. So where do we start? We need to pray for our nation and for its leaders. Next we need to education our children about God’s love and the role of God in government–His place in our founding principles–and then on our history and their future responsibilities as citizens in a Constitutional Republic. Then we need to seek out virtuous (that is an old-fashioned but necessary concept) people to run for local offices (the farm team for national office) and support them with our time and efforts. Next we need to get involved with out current local and state leaders (that is where we have the most influence). We need to email, call, or write their offices regularly regarding current legislation. (All North Carolina legislators and legislation can be found at ncleg.gov). If you live in a state other than North Carolina, the same rules apply. Your state also has a legislative website that can help you get started. Get to know which state legislators will fight for your freedom. Encourage and support them.

God has placed us in a Constitutional Republic. There are responsibilities that go with the freedom He has blessed us with. Now is not the time to throw up our hands in response to the corruption we see around us. Our window of opportunity may be short. We who are living in North Carolina have some legislators who are willing to fight to maintain our freedoms, but there is no guarantee that they will win. If they do win, we may become a small island of freedom in an ocean of tyranny. Our redemption is near, but we have work to do in the meantime.

North Carolina Is Taking A Step Toward Election Integrity

Representative Keith Kidwell has introduced a bill into the North Carolina House of Representatives that represents a small step toward election integrity in North Carolina. The bill is only 12 lines long.

This is the bill:

This is a beginning. According to the North Carolina legislature webpage, the Bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary 1. Stay tuned.

The Dangers Of Moving To Green Energy Before The Technology Is Perfected

On February 10th, The John Locke Foundation posted an article about the proposed energy policies of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The article reports:

  • Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts
  • California’s Utility Commission recently published their findings of what happened to cause the massive loss in power
  • Years of misguided policies led to a shortage of dispatchable energy — the same policies Gov. Roy Cooper is advocating for North Carolina

Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts because the customers’ needs for electricity exceeded the California power system’s ability to generate electricity. Such a thing should never happen. The California Utilities Commission recently published a report explaining what happened and why.

North Carolinians should know that many of the energy policies Gov. Roy Cooper has advocated for here in North Carolina follow the mistakes identified as the cause of California’s blackouts. As in California, these missteps will leave North Carolina unprepared for our energy future and will ultimately lead to blackouts here. North Carolina should not repeat California’s mistakes.

The job of providing stable electricity to the consumer can be complicated, but this much is pretty simple: enough electricity must always be generated to meet the demand. The United States has developed one of the world’s finest electricity systems. Its costs are among the lowest, and its reliability is among the highest. What happened to California? What bad energy decisions were made over the years in California resulting in rolling blackouts?

According to the “Root Cause Analysis” published by California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission, here are the factors that led to the outages:

  1. Climate change–induced extreme weather caused the demand to exceed the generating capability of the California system.
  2. In transitioning to “clean” energy, the State’s dispatchable generating capacity had “not kept pace” with the state’s needs.
  3. The State’s “Resource Adequacy” program failed to predict the needs of the heat wave.

The article concludes:

Cooper is steering North Carolina in the same direction. He opposes building new natural gas pipelines while pushing for more solar plants, which need natural gas backup. Is this where we want North Carolina to go? Do we want more poverty? Do we want the poorest having to pay more of their monthly income for electricity? Do we want rolling blackouts?

Shouldn’t we learn from California’s mistakes instead and keep natural gas plants supplied with gas while we build more nuclear power?

There are a few things those promoting green energy (including electric cars) fail to mention when promoting their agenda. The disposal of the blades on windmills and the disposal of solar panels are creating an environmental hazard. The mining of lithium for electric car batteries involves the use of slave labor in Africa. (articles here, here, here, and here). Rolling blackouts are not acceptable in a country as prosperous as America. We have cut our carbon footprint significantly with the use of natural gas. It is folly to believe we can run a successful economy without the careful use of fossil fuel to keep the economy going. Spain learned that lesson in the early 2000’s (article here).

Hopefully the legislature can put Governor Cooper on the right track.

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

First of all, I would like to bring to your attention an article about a Dedham, Massachusetts, coach who was fired for

Second of all, The John Locke Foundation posted an article today about the new proposed social studies standards in North Carolina.

The article notes:

  • America’s public schools have a duty to ensure that they cultivate active, knowledgeable, and discerning citizens
  • Studies suggest that many citizens have a negligible understanding of history, economics, and government
  • The proposed social studies standards for North Carolina public schools fail to provide a framework for ensuring that children possess a satisfactory understanding of our social, political, and economic systems

The article continues:

The fact that any American, let alone a voting-age adult, cannot recall basic facts about the nation’s political system is an indictment of the institution responsible for educating them: public schools. Taxpayers assume that the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the American public school system will produce active, knowledgeable, and discerning citizens. And yet only 15% of eighth-grade students were deemed proficient on the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history test. Around one in four students scored at or above proficient on the NAEP civics and geography tests administered the same year.

In North Carolina, the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are responsible for ensuring that our public schools produce high school graduates equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive citizens. And those formative efforts primarily occur in public school social studies classes. So when state officials began their periodic review of state social studies standards in 2019, it was an opportunity to strengthen standards that had not been revised in a decade.

While teachers ultimately retain control of day-to-day instructional matters, state standards lay the foundation for what children will learn in the classroom. More importantly, they provide children a framework for helping them understand the ideals embodied in the American experiment.

Unfortunately, members of the State Board of Education railroaded the social studies standards adoption process last year, asking Department of Public Instruction staff to infuse the standards with language that reflected their left-wing ideology. The tone of the standards was changed dramatically. The previous version tried to strike a balance between competing visions of the nation. It highlighted groups’ struggles without abandoning the hope that those struggles could become exceptions in our history and not the rule. Critically, the new version of the standards sought to convey one vision, clumsily placing race, class, and gender conflicts at the center of the story at the expense of seeking to ensure children possess a satisfactory understanding of our social, political, and economic systems.

Some members of the State Board of Education have disagreed with these changes. Dr. Olivia Oxendine, Amy White, Todd Chasteen, and most recently Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson have been the most outspoken opponents of the revised standards. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt identified critical shortcomings in the standards and requested additional time to review them. To accommodate her request, the State Board of Education called a special meeting on January 27, a week before the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Truitt proposed three revisions to the social studies standards and a plan for developing additional resources to support implementation. The word “systemic” would be removed from the terms “systemic racism” and “systemic discrimination.” In addition, the term “gender identity” would be changed to “identity.” Supporting documents developed over the next seven months would include a glossary and other resources for social studies teachers.

The article concludes:

North Carolina needs social studies standards focused on civic literacy and dedicated to providing students a balanced perspective of American history. A balanced view does not attempt to conceal the nation’s mistakes. Instead, it gives equal weight to failures and successes. It identifies errors and facts. It affirms our ideals, even as we work to create a society that honors them.

This perspective is shared by the 26,000+ North Carolinians who have signed Robinson’s petition opposing the draft under consideration. The State Board of Education should delay their scheduled vote on their standards this week to consider the concerns of the thousands of citizens who signed the petition and countless others who corresponded directly with the board members.

The consensus of America’s founders is that a free nation requires an informed citizenry. As James Madison declared, “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” Given that our schools have abandoned the advancement and diffusion of knowledge in favor of leftist indoctrination, it’s remarkable that we have any liberty left.

Even if you don’t have children in school, the decisions made regarding this program will impact your life. America and its freedom will not be defended by those who have no understanding of it.

We Need Much More Of This

CBN News is reporting the following today:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and their international counterparts arrested 113 alleged child predators across the US and South America from Nov. 2 – 6 in what is described by the Department of Homeland Security as phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood. (OPCVII)

Working in cooperation with Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory, the agency’s operation simultaneously targeted the distributors and producers of child sexual abuse material throughout the Americas.

Law enforcement agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama coordinated with Homeland Security field offices in their respective countries during the sweep.

Here in the US, Homeland Security field offices working with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, and Florida executed a combined 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and made nine arrests for child exploitation offenses. 

Simultaneously, international law enforcement partners in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama also executed search warrants in their respective countries, totaling the following arrests: 

    • Brazil – 137 child exploitation related search warrants and 74 arrests
    • Argentina – 37 child exploitation related search warrants and 23 arrests
    • Paraguay – 2 child exploitation related search warrants and 2 arrests
    • Panama – 7 child exploitation related search warrants and 5 arrests

ICE officials especially praised Brazil for its efforts in the ongoing Operation Protected Childhood.

Thank God for law enforcement officers who are willing to search out and find the people exploiting innocent children. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

The Need To Count All Of The Votes

Just the News posted an article today about one aspect of ballot counting in this election that I have not yet seen mentioned–the absentee military ballots.

The article reports:

Military ballots for the 2020 presidential election remain uncounted in a number of key swing states, a spokesperson for a voter advocacy group told Just the News.

One state that could make a difference is Georgia, said a spokesperson for Count Every Hero, a group that advocates to make sure that ballots from overseas military personnel are counted.

In 2016, overseas military voters cast 5,203 votes in Georgia, according to the organization.

…Other states also have significant numbers of uncounted military ballots, the group said. They include the following:

    • Nevada, which counts service members’ ballots that arrive by Nov. 10. In 2016, overseas military members and their families cast 2,677 votes.
    • North Carolina, which counts military ballots that arrive by Nov. 12. As of Wednesday night, 4,200 of those ballots had not been tallied.
    • Pennsylvania, which counts military ballots that arrive by Nov. 10. As of Wednesday morning, 10,478 of those ballots remained uncounted.

The article concludes:

Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin counts overseas military ballots that arrive by Election Day. The group did not provide numbers on un-tallied ballots from those states.

Stay tuned.

 

Benign-Sounding Policies Often Have Negative Consequences

North Carolina is a battleground state in this election. After a responsible State Treasurer and a responsible State Legislature brought us into fiscal solvency, we are in danger of forgetting where we have been and what it took to get where we are. Because of an influx of people fleeing high tax states with bad weather (guilty as charged), it is possible that North Carolina will become a purple state instead of a red state. Many of those people coming into the state are attempting to implement the very expensive state policies that they fled. That would mean that the hard-fought income tax decreases passed by the legislators would be undone and spending would increase drastically as it had under previous Democrat legislatures. One of these items currently being mentioned in the gubernatorial campaign is Medicaid Expansion. Governor Cooper supports it and Dan Forest does not.

On September 22, 2020, The John Locke Foundation posted an article explaining what Medicaid Expansion would mean to North Carolina.

The article reports:

Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina is a misguided and costly plan for our state, and would not be free to state taxpayers, as Gov. Roy Cooper claims. New economic analysis released by the John Locke Foundation reveals that expansion would leave the state with a funding gap estimated between $119.3 million and $171.3 million in the first year alone.

The expansion funding gap would continue every year and could increase based on enrollment in the program and cost of the enrollees in the future. Multiple North Carolina expansion scenarios are detailed by JLF Health Care Policy Analyst Jordan Roberts in the report, Big Government, Big Price Tag: Medicaid Expansion = Funding Gap For State Government.

…Nearly 2.4 million people are currently enrolled in North Carolina’s program. Gov. Cooper and state Democrats have fiercely advocated for overloading Medicaid with 500,000 to 600,000 additional people. Nearly eight of 10 of the proposed expansion population are able-bodied, working-age adults with no children, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Gov. Cooper claims that adding this massive new group would not require any state money and that the state’s portion of costs would be paid for via taxes on hospitals and providers.

“The governor’s statement is wrong,” said Roberts. “Our modeling is rigorous and uses varying enrollment numbers and expenditure data from respected sources. The most likely modeled scenarios result in the need for state appropriations. That means taxpayers.”

Beyond the fiscal implications for the state, Roberts worries about the fate of those currently enrolled. “If massive numbers of new people are added, it will be harder to access care. Many current Medicaid patients have multiple health issues; they’re our most vulnerable. The worst thing we could do is to push their needs aside.”

We need to provide a way for all Americans to get the healthcare they need. However, we need to do it carefully–providing what is needed to the people who need it. The welfare state has grown so large that there is no concept of individual responsibility included in allocating resources. There is also no incentive for the overgrown bureaucracy to decrease the number of people getting assistance. It is time to encourage all Americans to take responsibility for their own economic welfare. That may mean providing a path out of government dependence rather than bringing them deeper into it.

Avoiding Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Election

Early voting began in North Carolina yesterday. Recently the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections attempted to change the rules regarding absentee ballots just before voting began. The Epoch Times reported yesterday that the effort has failed.

The article reports:

A federal judge on Oct. 14 ruled that absentee ballots in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina must include a witness signature.

District Judge William Osteen in Greensboro on Oct. 14 issued an injunction essentially prohibiting voters in the state from be able to “fix” an absentee ballot they had already sent in if it didn’t have a witness signature.

Osteen was reversing a Sept. 22 directive by North Carolina officials that had made it possible for state voters to return an affidavit verifying that the absentee ballot without a witness signature had been signed by them, and not somebody else.

The judge said the September directive conflicts with a ruling he issued in August upholding the overall witness requirement in state law, but requiring that voters be given due process to fix, or cure, minor ballot errors.

…Last week, Osteen raised concerns that eliminating the witness requirement for absentee ballots could open the door to ballot fraud. He suggested that someone could skip having a witness entirely, but then have their vote counted anyway by sending an affidavit to county officials.

“Judge Osteen was right to stop the … elimination of the absentee ballot witness requirement,” Sen. Phil Berger (R-N.C.) said in a statement in response to the ruling.

Republicans are fighting similar legal battles related to mail-in voting across the United States with the goal of preventing voter fraud. Democrats argue that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent and are fighting against various requirements they say make it hard to cast votes by mail. Democrats’ efforts involve at least 600 lawyers, and dwarf those of Republicans.

Absentee and mail-in ballots are the place where there seems to be the most voter fraud. There are also incidents of ballots not being delivered in a timely manner and also occasional instances where ballots are found in trash bins or discarded on the side of the road. This judge has made a decision that will help ensure the integrity of the election.

Shenanigans In North Carolina

North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger posted an article on Friday detailing the recent illegal actions of the North Carolina Board of Elections.

The article reports:

Meeting minutes from the Sept. 15 closed session of the State Board of Elections reveal a bombshell. The collusive settlement “negotiated” between the Democratic attorneys with the Board of Elections, the N.C. Department of Justice and national Democrats went way beyond the bounds of what the state Board of Elections had originally authorized.

At the very beginning of the meeting, Democratic attorneys falsely told Republican Board members that “privilege” forbade them from speaking to anybody about the collusive settlement. This apparent effort to muzzle the Republican members further supports the fact that Democrats went to great lengths to conceal their secret negotiations with Marc Elias.

Minutes clearly show that Board of Elections members authorized settlement terms that included keeping the witness requirement on absentee ballots and prohibiting unmanned ballot drop boxes.

But that’s not what the conclusive statement reported:

But the collusive settlement announced this week does the exact OPPOSITE of what the Board authorized. If accepted by a judge, the settlement would violate state law by allowing absentee ballots with no witness information. All the “voter” would have to do is sign a form, which also does not require a witness. That effectively eliminates the witness requirement.

The article lists the things that collusive statement would approve:

1. Permit anonymous outdoor absentee ballot drop boxes. The law forbids anybody other than a voter or a voter’s near relative from delivering an absentee ballot and requires the Board of Elections to record who returns every ballot. But the collusive consent order filed today allows outdoor “absentee ballot drop-off stations” and says, “a county board may not disapprove a ballot solely because it is placed in a drop box.” The Democratic-controlled Board was kind enough to require signs on the drop boxes that tell ballot harvesters they’re not really supposed to use them.

2. Eliminate witness requirements for absentee ballots. State law requires one witness to sign an absentee ballot and legibly include his or her name and address. But the collusive consent order submitted today effectively eliminates that requirement. If an absentee ballot is submitted without the required witness information, the Democratic-controlled Board of Elections will just mail a form to the address to which the ballot was sent, and the form can be returned with no witness information. The form can be returned nine days after the election.

3. Extend the time period in which an absentee ballot can be received by the Board to nine days after the election. State law requires absentee ballots to be received no later than three days after Election Day. This is to allow for a timely vote count and eliminate the possibility of “finding” enough “new” absentee ballots to sway the outcome of the election. But the collusive consent order unilaterally rewrites state law to provide nine full days of uncertainty and opportunity for gamesmanship after Election Day.

This is an invitation to election fraud and needs to be stopped in its tracks.

One Small Step Toward Election Integrity In North Carolina

On September 4, 2020, The Carolina Journal reported the following:

A three-judge panel has rejected a plea to block absentee ballot witness requirements for North Carolina’s fall election. The decision in N.C. Superior Court generated praise from the state Senate’s leader on election issues.

“The judges were right to reject this dangerous attempt to eliminate basic protections against fraudulent activity that took place in the most recent federal election, and I hope they do the same with the multiple other lawsuits filed by Washington Democrats this year,” said Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, in a news release. Hise co-chairs the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee. He also leads a Senate committee on election and redistricting issues.

The judges agreed not to grant a preliminary injunction in the case of Chambers v. State of North Carolina. Filed July 10 by four individual plaintiffs working with the American Civil Liberties Union, the case challenges an absentee ballot witness requirement in state law. The law requires one adult to witness an absentee ballot. It places limits on who can serve as a ballot witness.

The lawsuit alleges violations of four sections of the N.C. Constitution. But Judges Alma Hinton, Robert Bell, and Thomas Lock disagreed with the plaintiffs’ arguments. The judges found that “there is not a substantial likelihood” that the plaintiffs would win the case.

The article concludes:

“Washington Democrats sued to overturn an election security law passed with bipartisan support in the wake of widespread absentee ballot fraud uncovered in the 2018 Congressional election for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District,” according to Hise’s news release.

“Witness signatures on absentee ballots helped uncover the fraudulent activity that took place in the 2018 Congressional election and is suspected to have taken place for many other elections before 2018,” the release continued.

“The court upheld the election integrity law that passed with broad bipartisan support after the NC-9 absentee ballot fraud,” Hise said.

Both state and federal courts have upheld the witness requirement, according to Hise’s release.

On September 1, I posted an article detailing some of the methods of voter fraud. Two of the targets of those who engage in voter fraud are absentee ballots and mail-in ballots. We do not need to do anything to make those ballots less secure, in fact, we need to do anything we can to make them more secure.

This Is Not The Path To An Honest Election

On Friday, Civitas Institute posted an article about some recent changes in the North Carolina voting laws.

The article reports:

I wrote last week about how NC State Board of Elections (SBE) Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell had ordered county election officials to accept absentee ballots that they know were transmitted illegally.

In that same memo, Brinson Bell struck another blow against absentee ballot security when she told county election officials to not verify that the signature on the absentee ballot envelope was that of the voter:

1.No Signature Verification

County boards shall accept the voter’s signature on the container-return envelope if it appears to be made by the voter, meaning the signature on the envelope appears to be the name of the voter and not some other person. Absent clear evidence to the contrary, the county board shall presume that the voter’s signature is that of the voter, even if the signature is illegible. A voter may sign their signature or make their mark.

The law does not require that the voter’s signature on the envelope be compared with the voter’s signature in their registration record. Verification of the voter’s identity is completed through the witness requirement. See also Numbered Memo 2020-15, which explains that signature comparison is not permissible for absentee request forms.

Brinson Bell offers no example of what might constitute “clear evidence” that a signature is not that of the voter and she does not want election officials to use is the one thing they have on hand that to confirm that the signature on the ballot envelope is that of the voter: the signature on the registration record.

Brinson Bell justifies stripping away signature verification by stating that “voter’s identity is completed through the witness requirement.” While the witness requirement is an important tool in helping to prevent or investigate absentee ballot fraud, recent legislation reducing the witness requirement to one for the 2020 general election means that a single political operative who gains possession of a ballot is free to complete the ballot container envelope, complete the witness section, and forge the voter’s signature. Thanks to Brinson Bell’s order, the forged signature does not even have to be a reasonable approximation of that of the voter.

This is not a move toward an honest election.

It Has Happened Before, It Will Happen Again Unless It Is Stopped

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about double voting that occurred in
Georgia and North Carolina 2016-2018.

The article reports:

Anti-universal mail ballot activists say the two states are a tip-off for what will happen in the Nov. 3 election.

Liberal journalists demand that the Trump administration, which opposes mass-mailed ballots in most states, provide evidence of fraud. The counterargument is that it is difficult to cite such examples when only a handful of states before 2020 adopted remote voting.

Those unique balloting procedures painstakingly took years to perfect the checks and balances needed to avoid doubling voting. Today, because of the coronavirus pandemic, 22 states are fast-tracking the shift from in-person voting and toward the U.S. Postal Service, according to Ballotpedia.

Experts estimate that 80 million Americans will vote by mail in the 2020 general elections, about double those in 2016, when a total of 138 million people cast ballots for president in person or from afar.

The article explains:

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) has investigated instances in which fraud already may have occurred.

Clark County, Nevada’s largest, decided to switch to mail-in ballots just two months before its June primary. The result: nearly 225,000 of 1.3 million mailed ballots (17.3%) were sent back by the Postal Service as undeliverable. Only 305,000 mail-in ballots (23.5%) were accepted and counted, according to numbers provided to PILF.

In this year’s primary seasons alone, election boards across the country have rejected 534,000 ballots, compared with 318,716 in the 2016 election.

“American voters have a variety of warning signs demonstrating why voting in person in 2020 is the safest option to ensure their vote counts,” PILF spokesman Logan Churchwell told The Washington Times. “Even if they trust the postal system enough to get their votes handled on time, they still risk historic amounts of rejected ballots.”

Federal law prohibits voting more than once in the same election. From press reports, it appears that most mailed ballots are rejected because the voter’s signature does not match the one on file.

The article also notes:

PILF picked North Carolina and Georgia, where lawsuits are pending, to request a huge amount of voter data and then file two court briefs.

In North Carolina, auditors found nearly 20,000 voters who appeared to have voted twice in the 2016 and 2018 elections.

“This is a widespread concern in North Carolina,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said after filing a court brief in July. “We should be talking about how to strengthen our systems against misdeeds done out of the sight of election officials in 2020 instead of defending an imperfect system from total ruin. The plaintiffs are only raising the threat of worsening the settled fact that voter fraud is most common in the mail.”

In Georgia, PILF not only found more than 4,000 dead people on the rolls but also calculated that about 10,000 registrants voted twice in 2016 and 2018.

Obviously, this is an important election. We need to make sure that every legal vote is counted and the no legal votes are canceled by an illegal vote.

Another Lie From A Political Candidate

On July 10, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Cal Cunningham, the North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee. It seems that Mr. Cunningham was less than honest about his connection to a company that received between $1 and $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds.

The article reports:

North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham falsely claimed he cut ties with his waste management company before it applied for up to $2 million in taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief.

After a Washington Free Beacon report revealed that Cunningham’s company, WasteZero, obtained between $1 and $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds, the North Carolina Democrat claimed he wasn’t working at the company “at the time they applied for the loan.” He accused incumbent senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) and his “allies” of “distorting the facts” and launching a “pathetic attempt to mislead voters.”

However, Cunningham on Thursday admitted that he was “aware” of WasteZero’s PPP loan application, telling the Charlotte Observer that he is “still available to do occasional hourly work” at the company. While Cunningham previously said he left the company on March 20—a week before the loan program was enacted on March 27—he signed the company’s 2019 annual report on March 31.

Meanwhile the article notes that Mr. Cunningham has criticized the PPP program:

Cunningham has repeatedly criticized the PPP, which aims to support struggling small businesses during coronavirus shutdowns. “For PPP loans to have ‘generally missed the industries and areas most heavily impacted by COVID-19′ is unacceptable,” he said in a June tweet. “Leaving behind small businesses—and disproportionately those that are Black and Latino-owned—harms communities.”

He may be critical of the program, but his company was willing to take the money, and he was willing to lie about his involvement with the company.

Still Trying To Honor The Votes Of North Carolinians

Voters in North Carolina have voted twice to require a photo id during elections. Both times the courts have told the voters ‘no.’  On July 9 WRAL posted an article detailing the latest effort by the North Carolina legislature to honor the wishes of the voters.

The article reports:

Legislative Republicans called on the courts Thursday to lift an injunction and require voter to present photo identification at the polls this November, saying a bill they passed earlier this year should satisfy the last arguments against the rule.

“It is past time for activist courts to stop blocking another commonsense elections policy that is required by North Carolina’s constitution and a strong majority of other states,” House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement.

There are two lawsuits seeking – so far, successfully – to block the state’s voter ID requirement: one state and one federal. Republican lawmakers filed a motion in the state case Thursday, asking judges to drop their injunction against the state’s voter ID law.

They argued that a provision included in House Bill 1169 earlier this year should satisfy the court.

That bill dealt with a number of election issues, most of them geared toward tweaking election procedures to account for the coronavirus pandemic. It passed with broad bipartisan support.

It also included language adding a new category of IDs to the ones poll workers would accept: public assistance IDs.

That Republican lawmakers hadn’t included those IDs in the bill they passed in late 2018 laying out voter ID rules was part of the court’s rationale in blocking implementation this year.

“With the enactment of H.B. 1169, the General Assembly has adopted nearly every ‘ameliorative’ amendment proposed … and it also has addressed the key shortcoming identified by the Court of Appeals,” Moore’s office said in its release.

This is the exact step some Democratic lawmakers said they feared when they backed off support for House Bill 1169 earlier this year: That the snippet of voter ID language would be used in court.

“That was the poison pill when they put that in,” Rep.

Marcia Morey , D-Durham, said Thursday.

Stay tuned. After a while, you begin to wonder why some people are fighting so hard against voter id.

Follow The Money And Be Prepared

I think most Americans would agree that George Soros is not a positive influence on the American political scene. His money can be found buying influence and supporting candidates for election that bring chaos into our legal system. He is working hard to continue these efforts.

The Washington Free Beacon reported the following yesterday:

A powerful donor club cofounded by liberal billionaire George Soros quietly established two big-money entities to help its effort to inject $275 million into the 2020 election.

The Democracy Alliance, a coalition of deep-pocketed Democratic donors, launched the Strategic Victory Fund super PAC in March. The PAC appears to be aimed at state-based initiatives and can collect and spend unlimited sums on political advertisements. The group also created the Strategic Victory Fund nonprofit arm, which supplied the PAC’s initial $500,000 deposit.

Democracy Alliance helps set the Democratic agenda and Vox has called it the “closest thing that exists to a ‘left-wing conspiracy’ in the US.” The two new groups appear to be part of the $275 million anti-Trump strategy its board approved in February of 2019. The strategy includes supporting state-based organizing in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia. It would also work to elect more progressive politicians at the state and local levels while building a candidate pipeline. The network additionally pinpointed at least 25 rural communities to build infrastructure and leadership for “civic engagement and progressive agenda development.”

Both the PAC and the nonprofit were incorporated by North Carolina attorney Michael Weisel, who also incorporated other Democracy Alliance efforts, including its Committee on States. Gara LaMarche, president of Democracy Alliance, confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that the super PAC and nonprofit are part of the organization’s 2020 efforts. Scott Anderson, executive director of Strategic Victory Fund, was previously the executive director of the Committee on States. Anderson did not respond to a request for comment.

The Strategic Victory Fund’s dark money nonprofit arm funds the Organizing Together 2020 campaign, a large-scale effort to better position Democrats to take on Trump. Organizing Together was launched to boost Democratic campaign infrastructure in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The campaign, which consists of a coalition of 14 liberal groups, is co-chaired by Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. The total cost of its efforts is estimated to run between $20 and $60 million.

North Carolina is a battleground state. Residents need to be prepared for a barrage of anti-Trump ads (twisting the truth wherever possible) and lots of negative letters to editors and bots on social media. This is a time when voters need to rely on their own research rather than what they are being told. This will probably be the most expensive presidential campaign in history and hopefully will prove that money can’t buy elections.

Why Mail-In Voting Is A Really Bad Idea

In December 2018 The Federalist posted an article with the following title, “How Ballot-Harvesting Became The New Way To Steal An Election.” The article is still relevant today. So what is ballot-harvesting? Ballot-harvesting is the practice of party operatives collecting absentee or mail-in ballots and turning bunches of them in at a time. So why is this risky? A person can go into a nursing home with a handful of ballots, sit down with each resident (regardless of their mental capacity), fill out a ballot for them, have the resident sign it, and turn it in as the resident’s vote. There is no way of knowing if the ballot reflected the resident’s wishes.

The article notes:

With ballot-harvesting, paper votes are collected by intermediaries who deliver them to polling officials, presumably increasing voter turnout but also creating opportunities for mischief.

The latter is suspected in North Carolina, where uncharacteristic Democratic charges of vote fraud prompted an investigation into whether Republican-paid political operatives illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race. A national spotlight was shone by The New York Times, which, like Democrats, often minimizes vote fraud; it flooded the zone in this case, assigning five reporters to a single story.

In California, by contrast, Democrats exulted as they credited a quietly passed 2016 law legalizing ballot-harvesting with their recent sweep of House seats in the former Republican stronghold of Orange County, thereby helping them win control of the House. In that case, it was Republican eyebrows that were arched. House Speaker Paul Ryan said what happened in California “defies logic.”

The article continues:

Only 16 states regulate ballot-harvesting at all, and their rules vary. In Colorado, one of three states to conduct all elections entirely by mail-in ballots, third-party volunteers are allowed to collect up to 10 ballots, though critics have long alleged that the practice is ripe for exploitation.

In November, Montana voters passed a state referendum banning the collection of ballots by third parties. Arizona’s 2016 ban against the practice, which had previously been linked to voter fraud in the state, was recently upheld by a federal appeals court, despite claims that it would disproportionately impact Latino voters who relied on third parties to help navigate the voting process.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This is an activity that has successfully stolen elections in the past, and there is no reason to believe that it would not be used if voter laws were altered to allow voting by mail.

When Regulations Interfere With Solutions

Yesterday The Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper, posted an article about the possible shortages of medical supplies and hospital beds during the coronavirus epidemic.

The article notes:

ACROSS the country, state leaders have raised the alarm over the lack of enough beds should the COVID-19 pandemic create a surge in serious and critical cases. They are concerned that they simply won’t have enough hospital beds to care for ill patients and are taking drastic steps to “flatten the curve” – spreading out the timeline of the disease so that the health care system can manage the influx of new cases.

This is just as true in New Hampshire as across the country. However, the prime reason we don’t have more hospital beds is not a lack of demand, but government regulation.

According to U.S. Census data, New Hampshire’s population has grown by 48% since the 1980 census. However, the last new hospital to open in the Granite State did so in 1983.

The reason why our state hasn’t built more hospitals since then isn’t lack of demand. With a growing and aging population, our health care needs have gone up, not down.

The answer why we haven’t seen more hospitals and, thus, more hospital beds is because of government regulations that were intentionally designed to limit competition and choice. Sadly, these regulations have been effective in achieving those goals.

For many years, the prime culprit from new hospital development was the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) board. For someone to get a license to build a new hospital, they would have to go before this board and hope to get a government permission slip to have the opportunity to begin. Unsurprisingly, the CON board became a protection racket for the state’s existing hospitals to stop new development.

Thanks to the work of Americans for Prosperity activists and critical policy champions like Senator John Reagan and former Representative Marilinda Garcia, New Hampshire was able to put an end to the CON board in 2016.

The article cites some other regulations that limit the number of hospital beds:

One regulation forces anyone who wants to open a hospital to have a 24 hour per day, seven day per week emergency department. Given that emergency departments are the most expensive and toughest to staff part of any hospital, this is a huge barrier to opening a new facility.

And, like most cronyism, existing hospitals made sure this requirement doesn’t apply to any hospital that had its license before the law was passed.

Another regulation forces any new hospital to take reimbursement from all payers, regardless of whether doing so makes sense for that hospital’s business model. Across the country, cash-only facilities are thriving, providing lower cost alternatives to patients. But, under state law, they can’t operate in the Granite State.

Finally, one state regulation provides for a 15-mile radius monopoly zone around smaller hospitals in more rural areas. This guarantees that anyone outside of the southeastern part of New Hampshire will never see another hospital being built in their community, or anywhere near them.

While changing these laws won’t help us fight the COVID-19 virus, it’s high time the state legislature begins to remove these barriers to help us deal with the next pandemic. Our public health infrastructure has been unnecessarily hobbled, not by disease, but by special interests.

North Carolina is one of the states with Certificate of Need (CON) laws. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states and Washington, D.C. operate a CON program with wide variation state-to-state. I suspect that number is high–they may be including laws that are not technically CON laws. At any rate, North Carolina has been trying to repeal its CON law for a number of years. CON laws interfere with the free market and artificially inflate medical costs by creating monopolies. One way to lower medical costs without sacrificing quality of care would be to remove CON laws. However, hospitals like their monopolies.

Why The Census Is An Issue For The Democrat Party

The Democrats have been pursuing two paths regarding the 2020 Census and its impact on the 2020 election–the first is to eliminate the Electoral College and the second is the refusing to distinguish between American citizens and non-citizens during the census. Eliminating the Electoral College will put Los Angeles and New York City in charge of our country’s government (those two cities have not really mastered good government with fiscal responsibility) and counting non-citizens in the census will give more Electoral College delegates to the Democrat states.

On January 5th, The Blaze reported the following:

Population estimates show reliably Democratic states, like New York, California, and Illinois will each lose at least one congressional district and representation in the Electoral College. Conversely, states that tend to vote for Republicans—such as Texas, Florida, and Montana—are expected to increase their presence.

“This is looking to benefit Republicans only because of how the landscape has changed,” said Jenna Ellis, senior legal analyst for the Trump 2020 campaign, according to radio station KTRH.

Ellis also noted that Democrats’ anticipated losses is why they mobilized so strongly to oppose the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question on the Census.

“They’re not interested in laws,” she said. “They’re not interested in sound reasoning or fair and accurate representation of every American. They are only interested in concentrating their own political power by any means necessary.”

Most Americans have the option of voting with their feet. That is why California is rapidly losing citizen residents and Texas is gaining them.

The article lists the states gaining and losing population:

Among GOP strongholds expected to lose an electoral vote are: Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Among the blue states are California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island. That’s an even minus five for both parties from the 2016 election night map, according to an analysis by NBC News.

However, when analysts looked at states expected to gain seats, the GOP comes out on top. Three Republican states that went for Trump in 2016—Montana, Arizona, and North Carolina—are likely to pick-up one seat after the Census. On the Democratic side of the ledger, two states (Oregon and Colorado) will each add a seat, resulting in a net gain of one Electoral College seat for Republicans.

The big problem for the Left is that forecasts show Florida and Texas—both of which voted for Trump in 2016—picking up a combined five seats (two for Florida, three for Texas). Thus, if the estimates hold, Republicans will pick-up six Electoral College votes. Of course, this assumes that both the GOP maintains control of the Lone Star and Sunshine States, but that’s a topic for a different day.

The only hope for the Democrats is that the people moving to Republican states bring their big government ideas with them and overwhelm the population. As someone who lives in one of those states, I am hoping that doesn’t happen.

How Many Times Do Voters Have To Pass This To Make It Law?

A 2016 article at CNN reported:

A federal appeals court Friday overturned parts of North Carolina’s 2013 voting law, including provisions that required voters to show a photo identification card, saying they were enacted “with racially discriminatory intent” in violation of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

“We cannot ignore the record evidence that, because of race, the legislature enacted one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history,” 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diana Motz wrote.

This was the third federal court ruling against voter identification laws this month. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled July 20 that Texas’ voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act, and federal judges softened a Wisconsin law on July 19.

The voters responded by passing an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution in November 2018 that required voter id.

The Carolina Journal continues the story today:

 A federal court gave North Carolinians who adopted a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID a late lump of coal.

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs and Magistrate Judge Patrick Auld issued a notice Thursday, Dec. 26, saying the court will put the law implementing the constitutional amendment on hold. They’re presiding over a lawsuit challenging the law requiring voters to present a state-approved form of identification at the polls. The court said it will issue an order next week.

…What happens next is anyone’s guess. The defendants in the lawsuit who have standing to file an appeal may choose not to, jeopardizing the voter ID requirement for the March 2020 primary.

The N.C. chapter of the NAACP filed the lawsuit a year ago, saying the 2018 implementing law was too much like earlier voter ID attempts that were ruled unconstitutional. Senate Bill 824 became law Dec. 19, 2018, over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.

But in its lawsuit, the NAACP didn’t include the General Assembly among the defendants, even though legislators passed the law being challenged. The only defendants are Cooper (who vetoed S.B. 824) and the members of the State Board of Elections.

Legislative leaders asked the court in January to join the lawsuit. Biggs rejected the request, saying the elections board could defend the law.

County elections boards were told Thursday the voter ID informational mailing was scrapped.

It is significant that the only defendants are Governor Cooper and the State Board of Elections. My guess is that the Governor will choose not to oppose the ruling and we will have to vote for voter id again. The legislature passed voter id laws a few years ago, and the voters amended the Constitution to require voter id last year. The court is taking away the rights of the voters and of the legislature. That should not be allowed to stand.

Shenanigans In North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper was elected in 2016 and began his term in 2017. Previously he served as North Carolina’s Attorney General. My sources tell me that he runs the Democrat party much the way a mafia don would, using threats to make sure no legislators break ranks in their voting. He also seems to have some problems controlling spending in some of the state agencies.

The Carolina Journal posted an article today citing some of Governor Cooper’s current challenges.

The article reports:

Consider, for example, the current cash crunch at North Carolina’s Department of Transportation. Secretary Jim Trogdon blames the problem on hundreds of millions of dollars of hurricane damage and payouts to property owners whose rights were violated by the state’s abusive Map Act.

While these costs are real, they don’t fully explain DOT’s overspending. An outside consultant’s report dinged the department for faulty forecasting and cash management. State Treasurer Dale Folwell cited the report’s findings as well as DOT’s transfer of $1.1 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to the Highway Fund without his legally required authorization as reasons why Cooper should replace Trogdon.

Rather than responding to these specific concerns, the governor’s press office put out a statement rejecting what it termed “a financial lecture from the nation’s least effective state Treasurer.” DOT’s money woes have complex origins and consequences, to be sure. But Trogdon’s defense neither required nor was advanced by such adolescent name-calling.

Much less money is at stake over at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, but its recent miscue inflicted more political damage.

The department handles a decades-old program called the N.C. State Scholarship for Children of War Veterans. The department sent out a letter informing colleges and universities that scholarship payments would be “delayed until further notice,” citing the budget impasse between Gov. Cooper and the General Assembly. But according to reporting by WBTV’s Nick Ochsner, there was neither a fiscal nor a legal reason to suspend payment. Whether this was simply an administrative screw-up or a purposeful attempt to pressure GOP lawmakers, it was incredibly foolish.

There are also some questions regarding Medicaid in the state:

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services is mired in its own controversy over awarding a Medicaid contract to a managed-care network led by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina instead of one led by Aetna. In its legal challenge to the decision, Aetna argues that one of the DHHS employees in charge of evaluating the bids was living with a key Blue Cross executive.

Furthermore, according to reporting by Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington, an internal document shows that Aetna’s bid originally ranked above the Blue Cross bid. A DHHS official then intervened to create a new criterion after the fact, which had the effect of displacing Aetna in favor of Blue Cross.

There are also charges that the Governor attempted to obstruct an investigation into some aspects of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The article concludes:

Cooper and three of his aides have been asked to testify on the pipeline at a legislative hearing on November 8. Will the sober-minded former state senator and attorney general show up and provide a persuasive defense of his administration’s conduct? Or will North Carolinians be treated to another round of political hackery and juvenile tweets?

Lt. Governor Dan Forest will be running against Governor Cooper in 2020. Dan Forest definitely has my vote.