Judicial endorsement quandry

By Dan Barry

In a few weeks we will gather with Republicans from across our great state in Hickory as we unite our party for the coming election during our annual convention.  

Like so many of you, I am thrilled to have the primary behind us so we can focus on the task at hand — electing Republicans. Union County, like other counties across the state, has been hard at work getting organized, raising money, and walking a few neighborhoods. We are busy building the Red Wall to prevent the Pelosi Progressives from gaining an inch.

This year I had the privilege of serving on the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization Committee. The committee is asking delegates to approve a change in the Plan of Organization to allow Executive Committees to endorse candidates in judicial races where there is no primary. From a fundamental perspective, this is not something that any of us are pleased with. It is, however, necessary given the NCGA’s elimination of primaries in this year’s judicial elections.

The problem is simple math. If we have multiple Republican candidates enter these contests, the vote will be diluted and the opposition candidate runs at a significant advantage. Additionally, there is nothing to prevent a Democrat from switching party affiliation, filing as a Republican, and immediately switching parties after the filing closes. The Executive Committee will have an opportunity to vet these issues and make recommendations on candidates worthy of support. In no case is the Executive Committee required to make an endorsement.  

Union County has firsthand experience with this challenge. Several years ago, Union County had a number of individuals file in a non-partisan School Board election for an at-large seat. Only one Democrat filed. Diluting the Republican vote among several candidates gave the Democrat candidate a significant advantage and the Democrat was elected. 

We have all seen and are too familiar with what happens when Democratic activist judges are on the bench. We must come together and do all in our power to prevent this from happening.

The Plan of Organization Committee report is available online at the Convention Tab of the NCGOP.org website. I also welcome email inquiries to chairman@uniongop.com.  

Dan Barry is Chairman of the Union County Republican Party

Backing McInnis

At last, we move on down the path to the Fall mid-term elections. More than a few Moore County Republicans surely harbor lingering resentment about the lengths to which the state GOP establishment sunk to sink a primary challenge by Whispering Pines Mayor Michelle Lexo against incumbent Tom McInnis in NC-25 (although McInnis was no incumbent in Moore due to haphazard redistricting).

But in conceding defeat last week, Lexo took the high ground and graciously thanked her supporters. Republicans must now rally, reunite and take the high ground in embracing McInnis. Maintaining a GOP supermajority in Raleigh is priority one.

Although McInnis is facing a first-time candidate in Helen Probst-Mills, she is widely known in the community and not long ago hosted a fundraiser attended by Gov. Roy Cooper in her Pinehurst home. And that’s not all.

In its analysis of “races to watch” in 2018, the non-profit public policy web site RealFactsNC.com, makes the chilling observation that “the voters who sent (McInnis) to the General Assembly are gone (our emphasis) from his redrawn district.” Furthermore, fewer than half of NC-25 voters “have seen McInnis on their ballot before.”

Given that Moore County accounts for just under half of all voters in the district, this ostensibly means that Probst-Mills can legitimately make the same argument voiced by Lexo: I live in Moore; McInnis does not. (He counters by saying, legitimately, that he has owned property and paid taxes in Moore for 40+ years, and does, in fact, own a Pinehurst home).

The bottom line is that getting out the vote for McInnis is absolutely vital, and we must now leverage his backing from NC GOP heavyweights. Probst-Mills has fundraising chops, too, due to her status as a member of the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees (and her alliance with far-left SCC President John Dempsey), and ties to Cooper’s inner circle.

But she embraces several positions that will encounter fervent resistance in Moore County. Probst-Mills echoes the baloney from the left that North Carolina teachers are underpaid and that our schools are neglected. (Some are and yet school boards are not held to account). She favors further expansion of Medicaid, fueling the entitlement engine Democrats always seek to expand. And her campaign web site makes the unsubstantiated — if not false — claim that “people’s ability to vote is being curtailed” in our state. What a whopper!

Sen. McInnis holds a significant advantage that can be a double-edged sword for politicians. He has a voting record in the NC General Assembly. Opponents can use this as fodder. Unless, of course, a majority of Moore Republicans support McInnis’s positions on jobs and the economy, education and vocational options, and Second Amendment preservation.

These issues, if communicated effectively, will re-elect our Republican Senator. Get to know the issues and get to work!

 

 

 

 

 

Stave off the wave: Vote!

A “blue wave” is inevitable in 2018, the Democrats tell us, because Americans will reject surging economic prosperity and the restoration of our status as the indispensable world superpower. If this seems fundamentally illogical, you must remember that this is the party that supported a $1.7 billion cash ransom payment to Iran, and blindly backed deeply corrupt Hillary Clinton as the presumptive 45th President.

Early voting data in Moore County (through mid-day May 7) indicates Democrats will not be crowing, “Surf’s up!” after the May 8 primaries, which makes forecasting a blue wave (transferring power in Raleigh to Democrats) in the fall mid-terms equally tenuous.

In fact, the numbers to date forecast a “red wave”. A total of 2,718 voters requested a Republican ballot during early voting, compared to 1,158 who requested a Democrat ballot. We reported last September a statewide surge in unaffiliated voters since 2009. That trend is holding up this year loud and clear, and continues to bolster GOP support. The number of unaffiliated voters (UNAs) who have come out in Moore’s early voting will be at least 1,309, according to data compiled by CarolinaTransparency.com. They can request any ballot they desire. UNAs requested 246 Democrat ballots and 103 unaffiliated ballots. The remainder (960) requested Republican ballots.

These totals also reflect an increase in early voting participation across the board when compared to the most recent mid-term primaries in 2014. Four years ago, there were 1,642 Republican early voters and 638 Democrats. The comparisons are slightly skewed because early voting ran four days longer this time. But expectations that Republicans are unmotivated to vote in 2018 are not panning out so far.

Not only is a “blue wave” failing to build locally, but Democrats are seeing diminishing likelihood of a big national tsunami this November. On January 1, RealClearPolitics’ aggregated 2018 Congressional vote polling showed Democrats holding a 12.9% lead over Republicans. In other words, four months ago prospective voters indicated a preference for Democrat candidates in the ’18 mid-terms, 49% to 36.1%. As of May 1, that gap has been reduced by more than half, with the RCP average giving Democrats a 6.3% lead.

There are many votes yet to be cast on Tuesday, May 8. Be sure your’s is one of them.

 

Fed heat on Cooper

One day after North Carolina Democrat party lawyers deposed NC GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse to engage in what Woodhouse dismissed as “a fishing expedition”, Republicans cast a line of their own but with a much larger hook and serious implications for Gov. Roy Cooper.

Woodhouse was forced to answer questions in response to Democrats’ demands to know what role he played in the his party’s cancellation of this year’s judicial primaries. The deposition is tied to a Democrat party lawsuit against GOP leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger, attempting to overturn the elimination of those primaries last year.

While the lawsuit is little more than a sideshow — non-judicial county primaries are May 8; the case isn’t set for trial until June, leaving no time to wedge in another primary for judges — the NC GOP on April 24 issued a request for something with a bit more teeth, a federal investigation of Cooper and his role in the Governor’s office taking control of a $58 million pipeline fund.

The NC GOP is citing the Hobbs Act of 1949 in its submission to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Raleigh-based Robert J. Higdon Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Hobbs Act prevents wrongful property extortion by public officials whether they personally benefit financially or not. Eight governors have been convicted of public corruption through the Hobbs Act since becoming law 69 years ago.

Read the request for implementation of the Hobbs Act in the Cooper matter here.

A joint statement was issued by NC GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and Woodhouse:

“The conduct of Governor Cooper regarding the $58 million pipeline fund, designed to be under his sole control, appears to be the worst example of pay-to-play politics, intended to benefit him personally and/or politically. A serious look by federal investigators is warranted.”

Bring it on

President George W. Bush was roundly criticized for uttering his taunt of “bring it on” in articulating a strategy for fighting back against radical Islamic terrorism. President Donald Trump essentially takes the same view on a number of issues, most recently China and illegal trade imbalances. America First means being ready to fight, never nurturing the status quo.

Despite what has been and will be accomplished by a President and an administration rarely fazed by confrontation, we are increasingly hearing the drumbeat of Republican gloom as the 2018 mid-term election season approaches. The Democrats are energized, we’re told, by pundits and politicians alike.

Walker Warns of Dem Wave in Wisconsin after Liberal Wins State Judicial Race, read a headline at TheHill.com, citing a tweet by Republican Gov. Scott Walker:

“Tonight’s results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in WI. The Far Left is driven by anger & hatred — we must counter it with optimism & organization.”

A similar headline appears on the The Daily Beast website, Mitch McConnell Frets on Midterms: ‘The Wind is Going to Be in Our Face’. “This is going to be a challenging election year,” McConnell said.

Another Daily Beat headline shouts, New Analysis Finds More Republicans at Risk in Midterms.

“Democrats are widening their targets and a nonpartisan analysis shows that more GOP incumbents might be at risk.”

There is plenty of historical data to back Democrat optimism about a blue tsunami sweeping them into control of the U.S. House or Senate (the latter, a longer shot). But, as with healthy returns on investments, the past does not assure what will happen in the future.

This much we know. The present looks pretty solid for Republicans. In North Carolina the economy is growing, while unemployment is shrinking. The state ranked in the top 10 among best places for wage growth in 2017 (3.8%), tied at ninth with Georgia, according to Business Insider. Nationally, President Trump’s favorable rating (51% reports Rasmussen) has surpassed Barack Obama’s at the same stage of their presidencies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to argue that Republicans will struggle in states Trump carried in 2016 because of dissatisfaction with him since he took office, especially in the aftermath of last year’s tax cuts and a renewed pledge to secure the Southern border.

Also not to be overlooked in the face of inner-party fear mongering is the raw reality of what it is Democrats are actually for. The young co-founder of Great America Era, commentator and prolific tweeter Jack Murphy, neatly summarized just how far to the left the Dems are shifting as evidenced by themes on which they plan to win:

“Free college. High taxes. Open borders. Getting rid of ICE. Taking the guns. Unlimited welfare. Single-payer healthcare.”

In another tweet, Murphy brilliantly itemizes the Democrats’ glorious scandals and track records during the Obama era, the 2016 election and here and now in the Age of Trump:

“Fast & Furious (under Obama AG Eric Holder). FISA abuse. Oakland’s mayor (warning illegals about ICE raids). A failing Veterans’ Administration. IRS abuse. Benghazi. Hillary emails. Uranium One. NSA spying. Bowe Bergdahl.”

He might have added sanctuary cities and the bogus Mueller investigation, which can’t find a sliver of Russian collusion evidence.

We remind you that this is the RESOLVE blog. It is named for an acronym: Republicans for Security, Opportunity, Liberty and Victory that Endures. If we remember what we stand for, rally our voters to grasp the pivotal importance of the 2018 midterm elections, and hammer home the absurdity of Democrats running on a Hate Trump platform, it will indeed be a blue November — for them.

Mark his words

President Donald Trump was elected to “drain the swamp”, a phrase that characterizes for many a federal government gridlocked by entrenched career politicians across the ideological spectrum. His supporters, the so-called base, continue to demand drainage but Trump encounters resistance at every turn. Swamp creatures are defiantly protective of their turf (or muck, to be more precise).

official photo_0
Mark Meadows 

The Swamp overwhelmed the quest for Obamacare repeal early on. It was taken to its knees, finally, when Congress passed and Trump signed major tax cuts and reforms in late 2017. Other minor dredging has been accomplished here and there on Capitol Hill, yet along came the $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill. Even Trump was wearing waders at the signing ceremony for that spending fiasco.

Hours beforehand, Trump tweeted that he was tempted to veto the bill. The first entity to step forward in full support of a proposed veto was the House Freedom Caucus, a widely derided group of Republican lawmakers led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11). Going back to the age of Obama, Meadows and the Caucus have stood shoulder to shoulder since 2015 as Swamp-busting contrarians, committed to “giving a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them” and “open, accountable and limited government.”

Understandably, Democrats and, less vocally, many Republicans dismiss the Caucus as a band of obstructionists on matters of spending and ideological flash points such as immigration control. “Very destructive,” writes Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein. True conservatives applaud the refusal of Meadows & Co. to waiver, which typically is the signature of movements with staying power and, ultimately, real power.

As the Omnibus train was veering off the rails, Meadows and 24 others voted against bringing the bill to the floor, furious “that Republican leadership were only able to get (Trump) just over one-twenty-fifth of what he wanted for the construction of his long-promised border wall,” reported The Daily Caller. Said Meadows:

“Members of the Freedom Caucus chose to vote no, because this omnibus doesn’t just forget the promises we made to voters — it flatly rejects them.”

Meadows, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) penned an opinion piece in mid-March decrying yet another inclination by Republicans to accept business as usual. Despite the important elimination of the Obamacare mandate in the tax reform bill, policies remain under consideration that “would expand this healthcare disaster beyond even President Obama’s ambitions,” they wrote.

While still pending, Meadows et al are sounding the alarm — using a now well worn alarm button:

“One (proposal) would direct the Obama-created bailout known as cost-sharing-reduction (CSR) payments to go to ObamaCare insurance companies. Another would create an entirely new reinsurance program to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars directly to insurers in order to convince them to stick with ObamaCare.”

Who are the “destructive” ones in this scenario?

If there is a fray to enter, Meadows typically leads the charge into it. As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he’s become a go-to for Fox News programmers but is often seen on the Sunday show circuit as well. Most recently, he and Ohio’s Jordan were guests on FNC’s The Ingraham Angle to walk deeper into the fray surrounding calls for a new Special Counsel to investigate improprieties, and perhaps illegalities, committed by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation leading to and after Trump’s election.

Meadows and Jordan recently reviewed a heavily redacted report by the DOJ, which is a first step toward assembling the puzzle that will confirm shady activity and communication by figures such as fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, demoted FBI official Peter Strzok, and former CIA Director John Brennan.

“On seven pages, there were 12 material facts — material facts, not just names — material facts that were omitted by the Department of Justice. It’s time they come clean and give us what we need. … This Department of Justice is not complying with the subpoena. … For the Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) to suggest that there is not enough ‘there’ there is extremely disappointing.”

The frequent refrain echoed by frustrated Republican voters is a simple request, “Do your jobs.” The entrenched Swampers argue the better measure of their performance is how often they “get things done”. Meadows consistently does his job, unapologetically. Which is good news for his North Carolina district and for those who want to see President Trump succeed. Fellow NC lawmakers in Washington would be wise to adopt Meadows’ tenacity.

In a profile written for Vox.com last August, Tara Golshan described Meadows’ sphere of influence in Washington:

“The reality of today’s Congress is that in the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus is in control of the Republican agenda — with Meadows at the helm. He leads a body that made its mark as an opposition force from within. But tasked with governing, Meadows has to decide whether his conservative principles supersede getting things done. He may have paved the way for (Paul) Ryan’s speakership, but it’s Meadows who stands in the way of every major Republican policy push.”

Conservatives stand with him.

 

 

Hudson vs. 60 Minutes

Hudson on 60 Minutes

It was just a matter of time before last December’s passage of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, by the U.S. House of Representatives sparked left-wing media outrage. Leave it to none other than CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday prime time program to unleash correspondent Steve Kroft on the topic, which 2nd Amendment antagonists distill as follows: far right, gun packing rural hicks versus reasoned, intellectual elites who desire a permanent ban on firearm possession by our citizens and confiscation of previously registered guns.

Enter our Congressman, Richard Hudson (NC-8), who authored and championed the bill all the way to the finish line. It passed in the House 231-198 last Dec. 6 and is in the U.S. Senate pipeline. During a tense moment in their taped interview, Kroft barely contained himself while scolding Hudson’s comparison of a reciprocal concealed carry permit to a driver’s license, which is valid in every state.

“It’s not like a driver’s license!” Kroft shouted, insisting that licensed drivers must demonstrate minimum proficiencies. Kroft is unaware, apparently, or deliberately ignores that H.R. 38 would grant concealed carry reciprocity exclusively to legally registered firearm owners who “would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are carrying concealed.”

Remarkably, Hudson’s retort was not edited out of the segment. He did not blink. “But, driving is a privilege,” he said. “Owning a firearm is a Constitutionally protected right. So there is a difference.”

Make no mistake, this was a hit piece from beginning to end, but not merely an attack on Rep. Hudson’s bill, or Tim Schmidt, founder in 2003 of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (also interviewed by Kroft). The objective of 60 Minutes producers and Kroft was obvious: to demean and belittle the “folks” in the red(neck) states who, unlike their educated blue state fellow citizens, are trapped in a time warp in which guns, as Kroft put it dismissively, “are woven into the culture.” They are, in other words, dangerous, exceeded only by the Constitution itself as a threat to society.

Kroft’s segment was not so much a “report” on an issue of the day as it was a televised op-ed. Two examples. In the first, he characterizes a Constitutional right as an idea:

The central tenant of Concealed Carry Reciprocity is that the 2nd Amendment gives people the right to carry guns anywhere they want. But that idea is more aspirational than factual.

In the second, Kroft despairs that he and his New York-based arbiters of 21st Century America can not disenfranchise an enormous swath of our population (the inference being that the people who elected Donald Trump are alive and well):

Whether people like it or not, that world (where guns are carried and concealed) already exists in many parts of the country, where people are quite happy with it. And so are their representatives in Congress.

Kroft’s parting shot at Rep. Hudson was to dismiss the core assertion behind the necessity of concealed carry as having been “refuted by numerous studies”, but without detailing these so-called “studies”, or who conducted them. Hudson stood his ground, which is not easy to do amid the glare of the famously intimidating 60 Minutes entrapment sessions.

I can tell you that in the last 20 years you’ve seen a huge uptick of gun ownership, you’ve seen a huge uptick in concealed carry, and, at the same time, you’ve seen violent crime drop. If you look at states with concealed carry, you’ve seen violent crime drop.