Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NCGOP E-Letter - July 30, 2008



By Rob Christensen
News & Observer
July 30, 2008

CLINTON - Republican gubernatorial candidates like Pat McCrory have found eastern North Carolina politically barren.

One GOP gubernatorial candidate after another has stumbled in the sandy soil -- beaten by homegrown Democratic candidates, a Democratic tradition dating to the Civil War, and the state's largest black population.

But during his first extended swing through the coastal plain, McCrory, the Charlotte mayor, showed a populist touch that he hopes will connect with rural and small town voters. On Tuesday he was in New Bern, giving a tough anti-crime talk to a sheriffs' conference after spending much of last week in the region….

At a meeting room in a Piggly-Wiggly grocery in Clinton last week, McCrory said his wife -- a reluctant political spouse -- had developed a sudden interest in her husband's being elected governor after hearing about first lady Mary Easley's expensive European jaunts.

"My wife said, 'You know what? Maybe I'm really looking forward to you being governor because I hear the first lady can take trips to Italy by herself," McCrory said. "I said, 'No, it's not going to happen.' "

McCrory talks not only about Mary Easley's trips but about "academic elites" who don't want the community colleges to train electricians and other tradespeople. He warns of the "arrogance" of Raleigh, where he says five or six people run state government almost like "a secret society." And he says state government is not tough enough on criminals or illegal immigrants….

"I believe the ticket of Obama-Hagan-Perdue is far more to the left of the basic values of the people of North Carolina," McCrory told about 50 people last week in Clinton….

McCrory said he is preaching the same message across the state, emphasizing kitchen table issues such as supporting offshore oil and gas drilling and reducing the high school drop out rate.

"I don't think the voters really care where you come from," McCrory said, "but what you plan to do and what kind of leader you are."

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By Linda Daves
Chairman, North Carolina Republican Party

Barack Obama is offering more of the typical class warfare rhetoric employed by Democrat politicians this year on the campaign trail. Even while preaching his belief in a message of "unity" and campaigning on "change," he follows the same, tired Democrat political playbook to divide us according to the number on our pay stubs. It won't work this time. Voters are wise to this divisive tactic. When we look at who will actually be harmed by Obama's policy proposals on the economy, we know it won't be the rich. After all, those with plenty of money can make up for any new tax hikes Obama may propose.

Who will be harmed then? The answer is regular folks. With Obama increasing the top marginal tax rate, millions of small businesses who choose to file as individual income earners will be directly harmed. This is no small harm as Obama's plan would reduce the after-tax income for these small businesses from 55.4 cents on the dollar to 37.2 cents, a one-third reduction in after-tax income. Small businesses will then face the choice to either cut one-third of their costs or lay off one-third of their workers. Small business is the engine for job creation in North Carolina and across the country. In tough economic times and a declining jobs market, we need to enact economic policies that will help these businesses find their way to prosperity instead of placing government as the obstacle in their path….

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NCGOP Press Release
July 29, 2008

RALEIGH—As the aftermath of this year's short session of the General Assembly is still being evaluated, the Democrat leadership in the N.C. House and Senate illuminated their thoughts on the process and their beliefs about fairness.

"(Legislators) could not agree on a bail-out for the health plan that serves roughly 650,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their families. Those on the N.C. State Health Plan will have to worry whether their co-payments for services could be increased this year if the plan's finances deteriorate.

'We'll just deal with it on a week-to-week, month-to-month basis,' said House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman, a Lexington Democrat. 'If we get into real trouble we'll just have a special session.' …

At one point, state Sen. Richard Stevens, a Cary Republican, questioned the fairness of legislation that allowed Gov. Mike Easley to take $1 million from any state agency to devote to his Learn and Earn initiative that allows high school students to get a four-year college degree tuition free. Stevens asked why the money couldn't come from the Department of Public Instruction's budget.

Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand quickly rebuffed him.

'Because we're going to adjourn in a few minutes, and that's what it says,' said Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat.

The legislation passed both chambers a short time later. …" (Kane, Dan, Lynn Bonner, and Ryan Teague Beckwith, "Legislators end hectic session," News & Observer, July 19, 2008)

"Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, said lawmakers will take up any unresolved issues in January, when the next session of the Legislature convenes.

'The world won't end between now and then,' Rand said. 'I'll be ready to go.'" ("N.C. Legislature pushing hard to leave Friday," Fayetteville Observer, July 18, 2008)

Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:

"The brazen incompetence and failures of Tony Rand, Hugh Holliman, and the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly has gone on for long enough. It is clear that the balance of power in Raleigh is concentrated in too few hands. The good-old boy politics, with a wink and a nod, the strong arm tactics, and the silence of all opposition is impeding progress in our state. The people of North Carolina should not have to pay the price for Democrat letdowns and arrogance any longer. I do hope we will see more progress in the next session of the General Assembly, but we will only be able to move our state forward if more members of the entrenched Democrat power structure aren't back to stand in the way."

From the blog: Why Drilling Works

By Chris McClure
Executive Director, North Carolina Republican Party

It's not exactly rocket science, but it is worthy of explanation why drilling for oil now can reduce prices at the pump right away. The reason for this is that even though the oil will not be available right away, the impact on future markets will be felt right away. Right now, foreign oil producers are not pumping oil at maximum rates because they would prefer to sell oil at an even higher price as oil continues on an upward pricing trend. Why sell oil now at $150 a barrel when next year that same oil may be worth $200 a barrel? However, if an oil producer knows the market will soon be transformed by an increased supply of oil due to expanded drilling in the United States, then the decision to hold back oil from the market is no longer as lucrative. As oil producing countries begin to pump more oil to sell at the current market price, the overall supply of oil goes up while demand remains basically static. This causes prices to drop right away and lowers the burden for North Carolina families. That is the argument that Republicans are making. We can reduce gas prices in the short term and work toward cleaner, more efficient energy in the future. As we work toward ending our dependence on foreign oil forever through the use of new technologies and transitioning to alternative sources of energy, why not give hardworking North Carolinians a little help at the pump? Democrats need to answer that question instead of continuing to stand in the way of progress. North Carolinians will welcome debate on how best to end our dependency on foreign oil in the years to come. Right now, they just want a little relief at the pump.

Click here to visit the NCGOP Seeing Red Again blog…

A Defining Week for Congress

By Rep. John Boehner
July 28, 2008

The final week before the August district work period is typically among the busiest of all for Congress - and usually one during which major legislation is passed in advance of the lengthy recess away from Washington. The pressure is on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barack Obama (D-IL), and their colleagues in the Democratic leadership to carry on that tradition this week by bringing to the floor of each chamber comprehensive legislation that increases production of American energy to address the number one issue on the minds of the American people: the rising cost of gasoline.

Today begins a defining week for Congress. All year long, gas prices have soared as a result of misguided Washington policies. Even with the small recent dip since President Bush ended the executive ban on deepwater drilling far off our shores (a ban that Congress also needs to lift in order for critical energy production to take place in the oil-and gas-rich Outer Continental Shelf), families and small businesses know we will never see $2 or even $3 per gallon gasoline until the Democratic Majority signals real support for American-made energy to lower gas prices. Over the next five days, Congress has a chance to make this commitment - but only if Democratic leaders allow it.

Throughout the summer, Republicans have asked for a vote on an "all of the above" energy strategy built on increased exploration, conservation, and innovation - the reforms Americans solidly support in poll after poll. And throughout the summer, the Democratic leaders of Congress have made every excuse to block a vote - all at the behest of a tiny band of radical special-interest groups that support high gas prices and aim to keep America's vast energy resources under lock-and-key. Speaker Peosi plainly stated in a recent CNN interview, in fact, that when it comes to allowing a vote on the reforms the American people expect and support, she has "no plans to do so." ...

Last week, House Republicans transformed our "all of the above" plan into a single piece of legislation: the American Energy Act, which encourages conservation and efficiency, promotes alternative forms of energy such as biofuels and nuclear, and increases production of American energy far offshore, on federal lands in the Inter-Mountain West, and in remote areas of Alaska's North Slope. This bill would pass Congress with a strong, bipartisan majority right now ... if only it was put to a simple up-or-down vote.

If the Democratic Majority refuses to allow a vote later this week on the American Energy Act, House Republicans will stand firmly against a vote to adjourn for the August break. Prior to a lengthy recess, the adjournment vote is usually cast without a second thought. But this week, that vote could mean much, much more. A vote to adjourn without increasing production of American energy to bring down gas prices will be a vote against the American people and a vote against American energy independence. It will be a vote against increased energy exploration, conservation, and innovation. And yes, it will be a vote against lower gas prices - and for continued and dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

Just as this is a defining week for this "drill-nothing" Congress, the adjournment vote could be a defining one for the Democratic Majority. Casting a "yea" or "nay" on that vote would be the difference between heeding the calls of the American people, who strongly support more American-made energy to reduce gas prices, or continuing to defy their will by leaving town for five weeks of politics and vacations - and leaving them to fend for themselves amid energy costs that will only soar higher this fall and beyond.

John Boehner is a United States Representative from Ohio and the Republican leader in the U.S. House.

Click here for the full article…