Judgment day

By Steve Woodward

Moore County citizens, and North Carolinians across the state, should by now be acutely aware of the havoc that can be wrought by activist judges. Exhibit A is the state’s congressional map, redrawn as recently as 2016 when a court ruled the 2011 map unconstitutional as a result of so-called racial gerrymandering, and challenged again this year by a three-judge panel, skewing Democrat, only months ahead of pending 2018 mid-term elections. Fortunately for voters of all parties, an effort to re-draw close to an election was quelled.

Until the recent hard-left turn by the Democrat Party, the phrase “activist judge” rarely was mentioned. But the party gradually has become intoxicated by the practice of overturning the will of voters in courts.

This is relevant in these early days of November 2018 because there are six contested judicial races on the Moore County ballot. Despite their best efforts, Republican judicial candidates, most of whom are incumbents, will go into Election Day this Nov. 6 (Tuesday) likely wondering if their campaign appearances and yard signs will lift them to victory.

Democrats have the same fears, undoubtedly. There are multiple variables in play. Foremost among them is that voters, even some engaged voters, pay little or no attention to judicial candidates. Secondly, judges are not in campaign mode as often as state and federal congressional officeholders. They are less known, less visible, and not always natural campaigners.

Judge Barbara JacksonA prime example is North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson (left), who is running for re-election after an eight-year term. Prior to that, Jackson was six years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals as an associate judge. Despite her experience and reputation as a justice of utmost integrity, with a record to prove it, Jackson is in an uphill battle. In addition to being targeted by Democrat groups outside of the state (one run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder), which are funding her opponent Anita Earls, Jackson has a second opponent in Chris Anglin.

Anglin appears after Jackson and before Earls on the ballot as a Republican because he simply switched his longstanding Democrat affiliation before filing. That such a loophole exists is a story for after Election Day.

“He is seven years out of law school,” Jackson said during an October appearance before the Moore County Republican Men’s Club. “I posit that he is in here as a spoiler (to confuse voters and take votes away from Jackson).”

We know RESOLVE readers are up to speed and fully aware of Anglin’s dishonesty. Now it’s up to all engaged Republicans to inform friends and neighbors why a vote for Justice Jackson is vital, especially given the defeat of GOP state Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds in 2016.

Also worth noting when you are imploring fellow citizens to vote on Tuesday is that there are two other judicial races pitting Republicans against one another. To be sure your friends vote for the endorsed candidates in these races (Jefferson Griffin for NC Court of Appeals, Seat 2, and Steve Bibey for NC District 19D Court Judge), ask them to carefully review the Moore GOP’s gold sample ballot before heading to the polls.

Finally, in addition to sample ballot “homework”, it’s suggested every Republican planning to vote on Election Day spend time over the weekend visiting the web sites of our judicial candidates.

Here they are:

Justice Barbara Jackson; Andrew Heath for NC Court of Appeals; Jefferson Griffin; Chuck Kitchen for NC Court of Appeals; Michael Stone for NC Superior Court; Warren McSweeney for NC District Court (unopposed); and Steve Bibey.

Historically, a “blue moon” election is a ho-hum affair marked by low voter turn out. But early voting data indicates Republicans outvoted Democrats handily and in atypically high mid-term numbers. The key on the way to Tuesday’s finish line is to fend off complacency when voting for Republican judges down the ballot.

“The game plan (among Democrats) is to start using state constitutions,” Justice Jackson said, “as a means toward political ends.”

Trending for autumn: Red

By Steve Woodward

Moore County is proving to be a microcosm of a growing national trend among Republican mid-term voters in early voting states. If it holds up through Election Day, the trend is pointing toward a mighty Red Tsunami.

“We are well on our way to a record mid-term turnout (among registered Republicans) in Moore County,” reports our volunteer data analyst, Josh Lowery.

Through 10 days of early voting, 5,466 Republicans have voted as of Oct. 29. Analyzing Day 10 specifically, Republicans accounted for 43.7 percent of the day’s total turn out (including Democrats and the unaffiliated). That percentage is 3.1 percent higher than total GOP registration in the county, also an encouraging trend.

“I would expect (October 30-31) to be roughly the same, (with) maybe a slight increase.” Lowery reports. “But watch for (Nov. 1-2) to see larger spikes — somewhere around 1,700-1,900 would not surprise me — as people realize they don’t have much longer to early vote.”

Meanwhile, three of the largest states also are experiencing motivated Republican turn out during early voting. California Republicans are heading to the polls in such disproportionately high numbers compared to Democrats, “and younger (Democrat leaning) voters are not returning their ballots at the same rate,” Political Data Inc.’s Paul Mitchell tells CBS Bay Area affiliate KPIX.

The KPIX report adds: “For Democrats, the path to winning a majority in the (U.S.) house includes flipping seven congressional seats in Central and Southern California. Mitchell says, to do that, Democrats need exceptionally high voter turnout.”

In Texas, reports the Houston Chronicle, ““Ahead of the Nov. 6 election, voter registration spiked, reaching a record high of more than 15.7 million. From the primary until the final day of voter registration in October, roughly 400,000 people were added to the rolls, election records show.” Republicans greatly outnumber Democrats, but it’s clear that both sides are engaged.

Early voting began Oct. 22 in Florida, where turn out that day was twice as large as for the last mid-term in 2014.

“Florida’s statewide turnout for the Nov. 6 election already exceeds the turnout for 16 states and Washington, D.C., for the entire 2016 presidential election,” reports the Palm Beach Post. “Of the ballots cast in Florida so far, 43.4 percent are from registered Republicans and 39.1 percent are from registered Democrats.”

Writes political analyst and author Gerard Lameiro: “While intended to hurt President Trump and keep Republicans from holding the House during the mid-term elections, all the (Democrat attempts to diminish Trump) have worked to enhance the Conservative Red Wave. Instead of creating or building a Blue Wave, the Red Wave continues. Republican voter intensity exceeds the much heralded (and Leftist desired) Blue Wave.”

Despite many encouraging trends, it is important to remember that 13 states do not conduct early voting, and that Election Day, Nov. 6, remains pivotal in determining the ultimate fate of Republicans.

That means that every early voter in our Moore GOP ranks still has one major task ahead. Find friends and neighbors with transportation challenges. Drive them to their polling places on Election Day.

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.

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