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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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VOTERS SHOULDN'T BACK CANDIDATES WHO ARE ELECTION DENIERS: When it comes to upholding the results of elections in North Carolina and the United States – the most recent of which in 2020 for president have been shown to have been fair and free of manipulation – there is no room for equivocation. Incumbents who want to continue to represent this state in Washington -- but who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 elections and still stand with former President Donald Trump’s outlandish and false notion he defeated Joe Biden – do not deserve to return. On Jan. 6, 2021 Budd voted (along with every other North Carolina Republican member of the U.S. House except Patrick McHenry) to overturn the results of the 2020 election that Democrat Joe Biden clearly won. Budd said on Twitter at the time there were “irregularities (and) constitutional violations in the presidential election.” When it comes to pledging loyalty to our nation, Americans don’t swear to monarchs, dictators or deities. The pledge is to uphold protect and defend the Constitution. Loyalty to a political party or to a politician should NEVER override honesty, Integrity and the rule of law. I don't care if Budd swears on a stack of bibles he will honor the results of the upcoming election, his actions speak much louder than his words. And those actions have been undemocratic and downright treasonous.
https://legacy.wral.com/editorial-voters-shouldn-t-back-candidates-who-are-election-deniers/20486679/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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INCREASE VOTING ACCESS AND MAKE POLLING PLACES SAFE FOR VOTERS AND WORKERS: When it comes to keeping voting in North Carolina accessible and secure the state’s Republicans seem to be saying one thing and then doing another. They say they want voting accessible, the rules and procedures open and transparent and polling places to be secure. But then they block regulations and file lawsuits that limit voters’ opportunities to cast ballots and would actually make polling places less secure. Rather than acting to give voters more faith in the electoral process, these actions breed confusion and mistrust. These contradictions vividly came into focus recently – first at a non-partisan session of the N.C. Trusted Elections tour in Smithfield and a few days later in a lawsuit filed in Wake County Superior Court by the state and national Republican parties. What is achieved by a baseless legal action that actually seeks to breed distrust and plant doubts about the conduct of the election? What is achieved is a continuation of the dangerous false narrative that Trump created to explain his defeat, in an effort to inspire harassment and belligerence targeting poll workers and minority voters. They should be ashamed, but they don't have the capacity.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-act-to-increase-voting-access-and-make-polling-places-safe-for-voters...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IF A TAX BREAK IS GOOD FOR NC CORPORATIONS, DON'T TREAT STUDENT LOANS DIFFERENTLY: Astonishingly, unless the legislature acts, North Carolina is going to force these same folks to pay from $500 to $1,000 in personal state income tax. While the federal government isn’t going to charge income tax for the loan forgiveness, state legislators failed to adopt the same exemption for state taxes. This is a state legislature that’s never seen a corporate tax cut it didn’t embrace. It wasted little time to link to federal tax codes to exempt those businesses from state taxes on millions they got in federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) dollars. It should act with the same dispatch to extend the same break to those with student loans. No one should buy the political spin of the likes of North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who took to Twitter to say: "This is a slap in the face to middle and working-class Americans already struggling with high inflation who will now have to pay off the debt of higher earners." Tillis didn’t offer the same critique for his big-business friends who got their big federal aid and tax exemptions. It was middle and working-class Americans who were forced to take out these loans in the first place, not "higher earners." Tillis is so out of touch with his constituents it's not even funny anymore. And if BergerMoore thinks this won't be a problem come November because that tax won't be due until next Spring, they are sorely mistaken. Voters will know, we will make sure of that.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-if-a-tax-break-is-good-for-n-c-corporations-don-t-treat-student-loans...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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RURAL COMMUNITIES NEED MEDICAID EXPANSION NOW: Despite careful planning and the tireless efforts of our team members, ECU Health is facing the same unprecedented challenges as other health systems. Some of our current challenges stem from unexpected and extremely high labor costs in addition to the rising cost of supplies like medicine and equipment, which are significantly higher than they were just one year ago. In rural regions like ours, navigating these realities is even more difficult. We already face a high burden of disease, a large geographical area where local providers and teams provide a literal lifeline to quality care and a large number of community members who don’t have access to adequate health insurance. That is why it is vital that the General Assembly pass Medicaid expansion and move forward with HASP funding. Together, these efforts will help close the insurance gap, provide care for our most vulnerable community members, lower medical bills, bring much-needed dollars to the state and allow health systems and hospitals to continue to provide high-quality care to those who depend on it. 9 out of 10 of the rural hospitals that have been forced to close their doors nationwide have been in states that have *not* expanded Medicaid. NC has lost 7 of those hospitals so far, and several more are teetering on the edge. The difference between traveling 20 miles for care or 120 miles is a deadly one, and those are deaths that don't need to happen.
https://www.wral.com/michael-waldrum-rural-communities-need-medicaid-expansion-now/20443241/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ILLEGAL LEGISLATORS CAN'T ENACT LEGAL LAWS: Should legislators, improperly elected from judicially ruled illegal racially gerrymandered districts, be able to enact laws that perpetuate racial discrimination? To most common-sense people -- even attorneys (such as state Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore) who learned the “fruit from the poisonous tree” concept in law school – the answer is an obvious “no.” And that is why Friday’s 4-3 State Supreme Court ruling says legislators likely lacked legal authority in 2018 to claim to be representing anyone and thus couldn’t enact legislation to amend the State Constitution. In the case at hand – it is Constitutional Amendments requiring presentation of a photo ID to vote and barring any increase in the state’s income tax rate above 7%. It is the job of the courts to review and determine if the legislature’s actions accord with the State Constitution. When those actions fall short, it is the courts’ job to negate those actions and apply appropriate remedies with which legislators must comply. That isn’t any infringement on anything. It is called the rule of law. That is what democracy is about in North Carolina and the United States. And their response is to attack that very authority that protects our Constitution, the state Supreme Court's oversight of the Legislature. That's what 3rd World dictators do, not responsible elected officials.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-illegal-legislators-can-t-enact-legal-laws/20427102/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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HEALTH AND LIFE TAKING A BACKSEAT TO POLITICS IN NC ABORTION POLICY: What did North Carolinians learn late on Wednesday when federal judge William Osteen Jr. allowed enforcement of the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy? They learned that health and life are not the most important matters to House Speaker Tim Moore and state Senate Leader Phil Berger. To Republicans Berger and Moore it is all about politics, the fall elections and their machinations to gain a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly. In reacting to Osteen’s unsurprising ruling, Moore mainly attacked Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, who appropriately recused himself from personal involvement in the matter after stating he opposed the previously unconstitutional state law. Berger, similarly took up a partisan cudgel. “Democrats’ position on abortion can only be characterized as extreme,” he said. Yet, if Berger and Moore are looking for extreme positions on abortion, they need look no further than legislation their fellow Republicans have introduced, which is still pending in the General Assembly and that they’ve not renounced. Republicans want the State Constitution (House Bill -158) to declare life starts “at the moment” of fertilization. Anyone who willfully tries or destroys a life is accountable for attempted murder. Is that what Moore and Berger want? Do they back legislation (House Bill 31) banning abortions after a “detectable” fetal heartbeat? Are these the “protection for the unborn” that Moore and Berger are promoting? We won't get any solid answers to such questions until after the November Election, because Republicans fear "informed" voters more than anything else.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-health-and-life-taking-backseat-to-politics-in-n-c-abortion-policy/20...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC CHAMBER PROTECTS BUSINESS TAX CUTS OVER QUALITY EDUCATION FOR KIDS: When dozens of the state’s most prominent business leaders signed onto a brief supporting full-funding of a consensus plan to assure every child has access to a quality education – a right guaranteed in the State Constitution – the state Chamber issued an over-the-top attack on the court order under the guise that the group’s current chair had not given her permission to have her name listed. Three former state Chamber chairs are among the signers and the current chair, according to Tom Bradshaw (one of those former chairs) Sepi Saidi, told him she agreed to be listed and offered to provide financial support for the effort. After release of the names last week, the state Chamber issued an over-heated statement saying she’d not given her permission while also denying – not that it had even been suggested – that the state Chamber supported the order. Quickly after she made it known that she did not want her name included among the signers, it was removed from the list. The N.C. Chamber knows the public education needs of the state but has chosen to ignore them and placed their financial gain above doing the best for our school children. This goes deeper than just a he said, she said issue; it reveals the corrupting influence of the NC GOP and the post-truth phenomena of Trumpism. But every time they rewrite history, their shaky facade of morality weakens.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-nc-chamber-protects-business-tax-cuts-over-quality-education-for-kids...

Daily dose

Trying this again, posting this email from Capital Broadcasting Company, without including all the links. You can subscribe to CBC's daily email here.

CBC Editorial: Monday, Aug. 8, 2022; editorial # 8780
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Last week North Carolinians learned what the leaders of the N.C. Chamber paid to eliminate the state’s corporate income tax – abandonment of support for public education and obedience to the powerbrokers in the General Assembly.

When dozens of the state’s most prominent business leaders signed onto a brief supporting full-funding of a consensus plan to assure every child has access to a quality education – a right guaranteed in the State Constitution – the state Chamber issued an over-the-top attack on the court order under the guise that the group’s current chair had not given her permission to have her name listed.

Three former state Chamber chairs are among the signers and the current chair, according to Tom Bradshaw (one of those former chairs) Sepi Saidi, told him she agreed to be listed and offered to provide financial support for the effort. After release of the names last week, the state Chamber issued an over-heated statement saying she’d not given her permission while also denying – not that it had even been suggested – that the state Chamber supported the order. Quickly after she made it known that she did not want her name included among the signers, it was removed from the list.

Not only didn’t it support the order, but it went on to say it opposed any court action requiring the state to pay any damages for its failure – since a state Supreme Court order in 1997 – to fulfill its Constitutional promise.

It can only be concluded that’s the price the state Chamber’s paying to the leaders of the legislature in return for taking the N.C. corporate income tax rate from -- 6.9% in 2011, down to 2.5% now and zero by 2030.

While the Chamber has, echoing the leadership of the General Assembly, tried to contend the issue is partisan the truth is to the contrary.

It was a unanimous court that issued the first Leandro ruling that the state failed to provide all children with access to a quality education. In 2004 Republican Justice Robert Orr wrote the unanimous decision further reinforcing the 1997 ruling that it was the state’s obligation to make sure every classroom is led by a well-trained, competent teacher; that schools are run by well-trained, competent administrators and that all schools have the resources to meet the needs of ALL children – including those who are “at-risk” – so they all have the opportunity for a sound basic education.

Since our nation’s founding – and reinforced in North Carolina by our State Constitution, there are co-equal branches of government. It is the role of the courts – in principles enshrined since the famous 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision -- to determine if the administrative and legislative branches of government are acting according to the law. If they aren’t, it is the job of the courts to tell them how to fix it – and even with specific remedies.

We’ve come to understand well that the current leaders of the legislative branch of government believe they are a power unto themselves. They’re testing that proposition – the so-called “independent state legislature” theory -- contending state courts cannot review the legislature’s action concerning congressional redistricting.

There was a time when the state Chamber offered leadership on behalf of public education and North Carolina’s school children. Governors like Jim Holshouser, Jim Hunt and Jim Martin could rely on the Chamber for advice, support and leadership in their efforts to provide needed resources for our schools.

The N.C. Chamber knows the public education needs of the state but has chosen to ignore them and placed their financial gain above doing the best for our school children.

NOTE: Among the signers of the business leaders’ amicus brief is James F. Goodmon, chair and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TELL US WHERE YOU STAND. BAN ABORTION? MORE LIMITS? VOTERS MUST KNOW NOW: Just this week in conservative Kansas, voters overwhelmingly rejected – 59% no to 41% yes --- an effort to amend the state’s constitution to so legislators could further restrict and even ban abortions in the state. Regardless of the issue, but especially in a matter that touches nearly every North Carolinian so personally and directly, offering broad platitudes and generalities won’t cut it. It is evasive and intended to mislead rather than dealing fully, honestly and plainly with those who will be most impacted by what legislators do. Voters deserve to know, and candidates are obliged to express in detail, where they stand. North Carolina voters must know, before they cast ballots this fall, in specific detail where every legislative candidate stands. Do they stand with extremes (Moore’s description) like the Republican legislators who want the State Constitution to say life starts at fertilization and anyone who willfully tries or destroys a life is accountable for attempted murder? No voter should wonder where their candidates for the General Assembly stand on Roe v. Wade and the rights of women to make critical decisions concerning their health and life. This is a "yes or no" question, and anything in-between should not even be printed or reported. Women deserve the truth, not calculated deception.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-tell-us-where-you-stand-ban-abortion-more-limits-voters-must-know-now...

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