The left’s scheme theme

By Steve Woodward

A well-financed activist group intends to counter the North Carolina treasurer’s plan to reduce health care costs accrued by state employees, active and retired, by pushing an alternative plan that encourages citizens to adopt healthier lifestyles. (Insert laugh track here).

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the Left’s playbook: Demand more spending to ensure better outcomes, which, eventually, will pay for themselves (except they never do). Any competing effort to reduce health care costs is dismissed as yet another heartless, “push Granny over the cliff” scheme.

In fact, radio spots paid for by Partners for Innovation in Health Care make three references to State Treasurer Dale Folwell’s “risky scheme” to trim spending by up to $400 million annually. The spots rely on semantic nuances that make their claims sound perfectly logical, if not reasonable, such as “ration care”, “jeopardize quality”, and “cripple operations”. These evoke memories of the deceitful claim by then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in 2017 that “hundreds of thousands of people will die” if ObamaCare was ever repealed. Who could possibly support rationing, jeopardizing, crippling or genocide?

Folwell is on record repeatedly saying that spending on state employees’ healthcare continues to rise, that providers such as UNC Health Care rebuke his efforts to examine actual costs, and that the snowballing effect is unsustainable. Folwell has emphasized his concern about North Carolina’s promise to provide more than $30 billion in health care coverage for retired state employees, of which less than 5% has been set aside, reported Business North Carolina in a Jan. 25 overview of growing opposition to Folwell.

Partners for Innovation is enlisting donors to help it spread its message that healthcare costs are not negotiable. It plans to raise $2.5 million toward that goal in coming years. Democrats in the General Assembly are floating plans to limit the treasurer’s ability to control health care costs.

The Socialist Left despises big corporations, but embraces government largesse and big healthcare with arms wide open. Rather than answering Folwell’s question — “I know what you are charging (the state) but how much am I supposed to pay you?” — Democrats and their activist supporters in the health care industry want to direct even more funds toward insane initiatives to coerce individual state employees to take better care of themselves.

Radio spots contend the treasurer disregards the dire need for a state health plan that will “provide (preventative) services”. Without these services, activists will not be able to encourage (force) state employees and retirees to manage their own chronic diseases, stop smoking, lose weight and adopt “active lifestyle solutions”.

Polarization in politics increasingly leaves responsible citizens with choices so blatantly absurd that only Democrats view them as black and white. The state’s first Republican treasurer in 142 years is determined to demand accountability by health care giants for the services they provide. What a monster, this Folwell!

His opposition sees more spending on coercion as the only option. Guard fast food drive-throughs with Dietician Police. Shutter ABC liquor stores. Deliver treadmills to every home. Ban smoking in the workplace. (Oops, already tried that. Didn’t stop smokers from smoking elsewhere). Make all restaurant parking remote but without shuttles. Finally, an “active lifestyle solution” if ever there was one.

The only consolation for donors to Partners for Innovation in Health Care pushing for more, not smarter, spending, is this: Their ideas are positively benign compared to their progressive brethren on Capitol Hill, who have unveiled the Green New Deal. This proposal does not merely seek to alter lifestyles, but life as we know it. No air travel tops the list. Elimination of fossil fuels, of course. And it goes on, all to be achieved in 10 years at a projected cost of $6.6 trillion annually.

Writing in February 11 editions of The Wall Street Journal, Barton Swaim observes that the Green New Deal “is an expression of dreams, but that doesn’t make it pointless or merely comical.” Economic freedom for individuals is not the aim of progressives. Whether here in North Carolina or in The Swamp, unchecked economic control and collectivism are their guiding principles. Swaim quotes the haunting, timeless words of political philosopher Michael Oakeshott, who warned that “the conjunction of dreaming and ruling generates tyranny.”

Then, there is this to ponder when next the anti-Folwell spots air. Oakeshott instructed that the political dream “is a vision of a condition of human circumstance from which the occasion of conflict has been removed, a vision of human activity coordinated and set going in a single direction and of every resource being used to the full.”

Until every resource is depleted.

 

 

Fraud cloud over NC 9

By Steve Woodward

Bladen County has a checkered history as a vote fraud hotbed in North Carolina. Democrats have complained about it for nearly a decade because they rarely win in the 9th District, which includes Bladen. But at least one Republican acknowledges a similar trend.

“Over that period of time authorities have failed to get to the bottom of that problem,” State Senator Dan Bishop said during a recent news conference covered by Carolina Journal. “The problem is not being solved by prosecutorial authority so far, and certainly not by the state board of elections over three administrations” spanning Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, Republican Pat McCrory, and sitting Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

For now, the final count in the race for the U.S. House seat in the 9th finds Republican Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor, holding a 905-vote lead on Democrat Dan McCready, but the state refuses to certify the result because a few volunteers came forward with stories of absentee ballot mishandling. Harris could use some divine intervention about now.

The alleged perpetrator is a Bladen County political activist, an otherwise obscure soil and water conservation supervisor and convicted felon, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., who has worked in at least five campaigns since 2010, The Washington Post reports.

National media outlets have been paying attention, presumably because they salivate at the possibility that another reliably Republican House seat will flip to a Democrat. The right-leaning The Wall Street Journal editorial board has taken notice of the drama in western North Carolina, even while scolding “Democrats (who often) insist that vote fraud is a myth”:

“Forty percent of the mail-in ballots for Bladen County were never returned, and it was 62% for neighboring Robeson County. That compares with 24% district-wide. So one suspicion is that Mr. Dowless could have perhaps destroyed hundreds of Democratic ballots.”

The word “perhaps” hangs over the resulting count because, ultimately, investigators have only the claims of volunteer absentee-ballot collectors recruited by Dowless — and voters who say their ballots were handed over to these collectors — as evidence of fraud. Unlike Broward County, Fla., mysterious boxes of ballots, mailed in or cast on election day, have yet to materialize in Bladen or Robeson.

The WSJ’s editorial did not conclude that fraud occurred in NC’s 9th. But it rightly shed light on the perils of making fraud easier than it should be.

“One lesson from this mess is the folly of pushing to expand ballot access without regard for ballot integrity. North Carolina implemented ‘no excuse’ early voting in 2000, which was expanded in 2002 to mail-in ballots. Previously, a voter had to demonstrate he was sick or would be out of town.”

The point is well taken and should be reviewed thoroughly by the state’s election officials, especially given North Carolina’s growing national reputation as the home of election chaos. And if you think court ordered re-districting wreaked havoc this election cycle, TheHill.com reports there looms a daunting worst-case scenario if the state decides a new election between Harris and McCready in the 9th is not necessary.

Observes TheHill.com: “The U.S. House of Representatives, which has the ultimate authority over congressional elections, can also call for a special election, which would trigger a new filing process, to be followed by a primary and general election (our emphasis added).”

If this happens, not only will Mark Harris be missing as the elected representative of his district on Capitol Hill, our state will have no elected representative in the halls of Congress for the foreseeable future.

The state board of elections holds an evidentiary hearing on Dec. 21.

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.