Signs of our times

By Steve Woodward

After witnessing numerous cases of “mob rule” endorsed by the Democrat Party, the smear campaign against Justice Brett Kavanaugh foremost among them, it is not surprising that Republicans’ campaign signs are being removed every day (or under cover of darkness) across our communities.

This is not a new tactic by the left, but it is rampant in 2018. Last weekend, a fellow citizen was observed offloading a stack of GOP campaign signs, presumably removed from numerous locations. Offloading is perhaps too polite. The signs were dumped at the Moore County Landfill off of Highway 5. A keen observer captured a photo of the perpetrator’s license plate. The photo was sent to local law enforcement.

Republicans do not waste time wallowing in victimhood. Sign removal is a misdemeanor but more than anything it is a pathetic, ineffective strategy. It merely reinforces why getting Republicans and independents out to vote (beginning Oct. 17 with the start of Early Voting) through Nov. 6 is our primary mission. Energizing Republicans is what the new hard left Democrat party seems to do best, starting with anthem kneeling, and continuing with violent anti-police marches, historic statue vandalism (UNC-Chapel Hill), the Kavanaugh assault and, most recently, the exposing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s false claim of Native American heritage.

In a week when Stormy Daniels was downgraded to a rain shower by a judge who ruled she must pay President Trump’s legal fees, when the Russian collusion hoax is being proven further by the silence of key players, and when the number of job openings nationally surpassed 7 million, and with data out that there are eight times more new manufacturing jobs than during the long Obama era slog, those who bet the ranch on a “blue wave” are planning ranch estate sales.

Locally, Republican campaign signs might be dwindling but motivated Republican voters are surging. In the last official week for regular voter registration ahead of the start of early voting Oct. 17, Republicans have registered a total of about 4,300 new voters statewide (versus about 2,300 Democrats).

In Moore County, Republican voter registration has already exceeded 2016 by nearly 400, with a record 27,691 registered as of Oct. 16. In the latest reporting period, the Moore GOP picked up another 115 registrants compared to 46 Democrat registrants and 89 unaffiliated registrants.

The question for unaffiliated voters across North Carolina, of which currently there are 5,800, is not complicated and it won’t be swayed by yard signs. The question is: Do they want mobs or jobs in 2018 and beyond?

 

 

 

New Bern strong

WASHINGTON — He stood expressionless, probably exhausted, after a long bus trip to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. But there he stood, nonetheless, the embodiment of an American patriot. More than 2,000 journeyed to FreedomWorks’ Rally for the Republic on Sept. 26 on the Capitol’s west lawn, on a warm, humid morning.

Many yielded creature comforts to be here, but this lone man and his fellow New Bernians, felt strongly enough about the need to defend American values that they left behind the devastation Hurricane Florence has wrought upon their town and lives to put it on hold, to reengage with their fellow Republicans hundreds of miles away, if only for one day.

Man from New Bern

Republicans across the nation face hardships. But we do not go before those we elect to represent us to request handouts, subsidies and more “rights”. We go before our elected officials and remind them, even in sweltering heat, that we do not defer to them for our best interests. Instead, we demand of them that they uphold the oath to which they have sworn and do what we elected them to do.

The focus of Rally for the Republic was to lift up Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan as Republicans’ choice for the next Speaker of the House. Jordan told the audience that there are no victories to be had from the sidelines, and that the Bible dictates our marching orders in 2nd Timothy 4:7.

“Fight the good fight. Finish the course. Keep the faith.”

They will do it in New Bern. Let us resolve to fight, finish and keep the faith in the vital upcoming elections. What other choice do we have?

 

A taxing challenge

Moore County residents should give strong consideration to voting in favor of a tax increase in November.

Remain calm, Moore Republicans! Our blog has not been hacked. It’s editors have not been taken hostage. Keep reading.

In a world sharply divided by Republican and Democrat ideological wars, if there is one common rallying point in a community such as ours it is the necessity for quality education. As the Sandhills demographic shifts toward couples with young and growing families, long neglected, antiquated and over-crowded schools have come into sharp focus. And it’s overdue.

This explains why readers of The Pilot were greeted by the headline, School Bonds Pass in a Landslide, after bond referendums appeared on May primary ballots. General obligations bonds providing $103 million to build three public schools in Aberdeen, Southern Pines and Pinehurst were approved by 79% of voters. A separate bond to provide $20 million to build a new health education center at Sandhills Community College passed with a 77% approval rate.

Reported The Pilot‘s David Sinclair in an August 9 update:

“Voters approved the bond issue … with the understanding it could result in a 5- to 7-cent property tax increase in two years. But the (Moore County Commissioners) hope to minimize that by convincing those same voters to approve a quarter-cent increase in the local sales (tax) in November (on the mid-term ballot).”

Commissioners recently voted to approve the inclusion of the quarter-cent sales tax referendum (adding 25 cents to a $100 purchase and excluding the tax from being applied to food, medicine and vehicle fuel purchases). The panel also voted to pledge that all sales tax increase revenue will be used only for school construction costs.

It’s very easy for voters to understand the correlation between taking on bond debt and the need to service the debt. The logic of the minuscule tax increase is that it “could knock 2 to 3 cents off a property tax increase need to repay bond debt” down the road, The Pilot reported.

The hurdle now facing the commissioners and supporters of the tax increase was imposed by none other than the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. The GA repeated its stubborn stand of 2016. Raleigh politicians, especially Republicans led by Phil Berger, refuse to allow the wording of the referendum to specify that the tax increase is for school construction — the same school construction needs that drove voters to approve the bond referendums in May.

If we want beautiful, state-of-the-art, safe schools in our community, now is the time to begin educating friends and neighbors. It’s an uphill battle. The same quarter-cent increase failed by 428 votes in March 2016. Why? Voters caught off guard read “tax increase” and, in many cases, reflexively voted “NO”.

It’s a widely held myth that Republicans oppose taxes and tax increases. We oppose wasteful spending and unsustainable entitlements that require endless tax hikes. Building new schools is not wasteful spending and is highly sustainable due to the approved bonds.

Thwarting dirty politics

North Carolina Democrat legislators seem to forget they are the minority when the General Assembly is in session, and even express incredulity when Republicans use super-majority votes in representing the will of their constituents.

Of course, it never happened when the roles were reversed! But it was particularly amusing to watch Democrats try to protest when lawmakers returned to Raleigh July 24 to take up two timely bills — a House bill on wording Constitutional amendments on the November ballot, and a Senate bill essentially to stop a wholly inappropriate ploy by state Supreme Court candidate Chris Anglin.

The House bill was in response to a battle over semantics in presenting six amendments to voters this November. It revolved around a typical presumption among Democrats that their constituents are not very smart and need dumbed-down wording to understand the purpose of the amendments. These are the same Democrats who expect to sell higher taxes as a way to spur economic growth.

However, Senate Bill 3 represents a home run by Republicans lawmakers. Passage of the bill thwarts Anglin from appearing on the ballot as a RINO (Republican in name only).

Carolina Journal offered some key insights into how the Stop Anglin story played out, one of which was the factual point that Republicans created the scenario whereby Anglin suddenly became a Republican.

Republican legislators canceled this year’s judicial primaries. They permitted no other process for the major parties to identify the candidate of their choice on the ballot. … Acting roughly 105 days before the election, the General Assembly clearly rewrote election rules in the middle of the process.

Yet no leading Democrat has stepped forward to disparage the chicanery on his side of the political aisle. References to Anglin have feigned ignorance about partisan political factors motivating either the candidate or his backers. It would have been easy for a (Democrat) legislator to distance himself from the Anglin team’s questionable conduct.

On the last possible day in June, Anglin flipped his voter registration to Republican and filed for the Supreme Court race. The Senate bill eliminates political affiliation next to Anglin’s name on the ballot by specifying that any candidate (for any office) may not realign with a different political party if filing 90 days or less.

It’s clear,” writes Mitch Kokai for the Journal, “to any fair-minded observer that — regardless of Anglin’s original intent — elements within the Democratic Party have latched onto Anglin’s candidacy as a tool to help blunt Barbara Jackson’s vote among Republican voters. Their ultimate goal is to help ensure (Democrat Anita) Earls’ victory.”

Far better for NC Republicans to absorb baseless criticism for “changing the rules” in the middle of the game than to have allowed Anglin to masquerade as a Jackson alternative.

The informed voting option

Absentee voting does not require absence on Election Day this November 6. Any registered voter can visit the Moore County website where it is easy to download an absentee ballot request form, or can call the Board of Elections headquarters (910-947-3868) to receive one by mail.

With six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution awaiting us on the ballot, it’s the ideal year to be an informed voter. Request an absentee ballot, review it and vote in the comfort of your home. Think of this process as similar to taking an open book exam. Study your materials, talk to friends, form educated decisions and vote accordingly.

The deadline to receive an absentee ballot by mail is October 30.

Absentee voting is secure voting. To submit a ballot, a voter’s date of birth and state drivers’ license number is required. Or, the final four digits of his Social Security number. Ballots are held in a secure location and will not be tabulated until 7:30 p.m. on election day.

On behalf of Community in Action, Connie Lovell recently talked about absentee voting with Glenda Clendenen, Director of the Moore County Board of Elections. Lovell’s recurring interviews air at 10:20 a.m. Saturdays on 102.5 FM, and at 12:50 p.m. Saturdays on 550 AM. Community in Action is sponsored by the Moore County Republican Party.

Absentee ballot 2018.V2

Voters’ IQ welcomes voter ID

North Carolina’s General Assembly did its job this week. It passed legislation that is needed and overdue. This November, ballots will contain a proposal to amend the state constitution so that every citizen is required to present a valid photo ID in order to cast votes at a polling place.

Voter ID requirements were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court a decade ago. If voters approve of the measure, first passed by the House and immediately thereafter by the Senate, North Carolina will become the 34th state requiring voter ID at polls.

Moore County Representative Jamie Boles (NC-52) led the charge to advance the bill to the full House, where it gained momentum.

Next, expect Democrats to dust off their tired arguments that voter ID is a concoction to deter minorities and the elderly from voting. Former Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder considered voter ID a vile, racist step solely taken to “disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious rights.”

This heated rhetoric might have had teeth a century ago when a drivers’ license was some flimsy paper product, easily distorted, in an age when few held IDs or ever imagined driving a car. But this is 2018. Digital technology can produce slick, fraud-proof ID cards efficiently and cheaply. In fact, Republican state legislators say they will see to it that anyone who needs an ID card will receive one at no cost. Someone willing to make the effort to vote should be inclined to make a similar effort to secure an ID. It has many practical uses beyond the voting booth.

Boles’ challenger to his House seat, Democrat Lowell Simon, wasted no time raising red flags about voter ID. You would think Democrat voters would be offended by the inclination of their candidates to assume they are too lazy, stupid or elderly to figure out how to acquire an ID. But that’s their fallback position every time this issue comes up.

“I would be looking for ways to make it easier for people to vote,” Simon told The Pilot.

This follows the warped logic on the Left that we should be looking for ways to make it easier for families flooding our southern U.S. border to enter the country without documentation. It’s about compassion, don’t you know. Law and order is such a callous pursuit, after all.

Democrat Helen Probst Mills, who is running against Republican incumbent Tom McInnis for the District 25 NC Senate seat, also seems to doubt the intelligence of her supporters. She complained to The Pilot: “We are asking voters to approve a substantial change without providing them with enough information to make an informed decision.”

What additional information shall we provide? It’s strikingly obvious. If you want to exercise the privilege of voting, present an ID and confirm that you are eligible.

Unlike Democrats, Republican leaders are confident that their voters are smart, savvy and pragmatic.

 

 

 

 

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