Friday, February 6, 2009

NCGOP E-Letter - February 5, 2009


NCGOP Press Release
January 30, 2009

RALEIGH—North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Linda Daves released the following statement in response to the historic election of Michael Steele as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“I would like to personally congratulate Michael Steele on his historic accomplishment. North Carolina Republicans can be proud to be represented by a man of integrity and vision as our new RNC Chairman. The NCGOP will work closely with Chairman Steele and the RNC to renew our party in North Carolina. We will restore the party of Lincoln by building from the bottom up and reinvigorating our grassroots. As we rebuild the GOP, we will continue to stand on the foundation of conservative principles, continue to advocate for freedom, and continue to stand up for the values that Republicans hold most dear."

So-Called "Modest Differences"

Seeing Red Again
February 2, 2009

President Obama is urging Senators to rush through the process of appropriating $900 million toward alleged economic stimulus. He told the Washington Post, "But what we can't do is let very modest differences get in the way of the overall package moving forward swiftly."

If we are going to put American taxpayers on the hook for nearly a trillion dollars, we should probably take some time to think about how we are spending the money. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office has already
confirmed that a large percentage of the money spent in this bill will not filter into the economy until years have passed. In other words, there is no earthly reason to rush through a decision and process as important as this one.

Republicans in the House and the Senate have done their best to encourage President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill to consider Republican ideas in the package. Last week, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx passed on news of Congressional Republicans' plan for a smarter, simpler stimulus. She said, "North Carolina’s families and job-creating small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. My Republican colleagues and I have proposed an Economic Recovery Plan that will actually create jobs for the North Carolinians. We believe that the focus of any stimulus package must be on helping working families and small businesses. I hope that you will visit this website and learn more about the House Republican Economic Recovery Plan.”

You can view the plan

The Republican plan will create twice the jobs at half the price by investing less in government programs and more in American families and small businesses. As you will see, there are vast differences between the two approaches to stimulus. These differences are of philosophy, of trust, and of confidence. Does our philosophy for stimulus call for short-term, time-limited, project-related jobs created by government or does it call for long-term, secure, strong jobs created by our businesses and entrepreneurs? Do we trust the government to take care of our needs and rescue us in times of trouble or do we trust in self-reliance, personal responsibility, and the perserverance of the American worker? Do we have confidence in D.C. politicians to create the jobs we need and decide how best to spend our money to do so or do we have confidence in our neighbors and hometown employers to create the capital necessary to get the economy going again when government gets out of the way?

These are the differences between the parties and they are anything but "modest."

The "stimulus" package, according to Rep. Virginia Foxx

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx talks about the national debt increasing by $1 trillion in six months--before the so-called 'stimulus' is factored in at $900 billion. Republicans have an alternative economic recovery plan that creates twice the jobs at half the cost.

State Spending Reveals Democrats' Misplaced Priorities

Seeing Red Again
February 4, 2009

In a new report from the Civitas Institute, Brian Balfour breaks down the five year growth rate of state spending by category.

"Three categories of spending have outpaced overall General Fund spending growth:

  • Debt service, the money required to pay down the interest and principle of the state’s debt, grew at the fastest rate of any category with a 5-year growth rate of 65 percent
  • Natural and Economic Resources (NER), administers a wide variety of endeavors including: environmental protection, corporate welfare and other economic development, agriculture and consumer services, land purchases, museums, aquariums and the state zoo. NER experienced the second highest rate of growth, with a 5-year growth rate of 53 percent
  • UNC system appropriations have increased rapidly, with a five year growth rate of 50 percent. This increase, however, doesn’t fully reflect spending growth on the UNC system. Because much of the new building construction on campuses has been debt-financed, spending for new construction is reflected in rising debt service payments"

While the amount of taxpayers' funds we are using to pay down debt, corporate welfare, and pork is rising, the rate of growth is slowest for transportation and K-12 education. Is it any wonder then that our roads and highways have fallen into disrepair and our students are being failed by our public education system? While Medicaid/Health Choice spending is ballooning out of control, the slowest rate of growth is for mental health. Is it any wonder then that mental health care in North Carolina has spiraled out of control?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. N.C. Democrats may talk about improving education, transportation, and health care, but their misplaced priorities betray their true allegiances.

Aggressive Agenda Planned

Press Release
February 3, 2009

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake) today announced plans to pursue an aggressive education agenda in the current legislative session. Republican Leaders along with Representative Fred Steen (R-Rowan) pointed to the Report Card on American Education from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as a wake-up call for fundamental changes to improve the quality of educational opportunities for North Carolina students.

The ALEC report, released today, ranked North Carolina 30th in the nation based on fourth- and eighth-grade mathematics and reading scores as well as SAT and ACT scores. It was noted that despite public spending increases over the years, measured results remain disappointing.

Specific initiatives supported by these Republican lawmakers include:

  • Require the use of national normed testing to provide consistency in measuring academic progress
  • Reward our best teachers with merit and differential pay rather than the current system of pay based on longevity and credentials
  • Enhance career, technical and vocation programs in high schools
  • Eliminate the current cap on charter schools to allow families to exercise greater educational options for their children

Rep. Steen discussed the significance of findings in the ALEC “Report Card” to North Carolina’s educational challenges. He emphasized that extensive data from 1987-88 to 2007-08 indicates there is no direct correlation between public funding and achievement.

“In this time of shrinking financial resources we must seize the opportunity to bring critically needed change to our education system. The initiatives we advocate will not increase education funding, but will significantly improve student achievement as well as provide much needed options for the diverse group of students we serve,” said Stam.

“North Carolina’s graduation rate is abysmal,” said Senator Berger. “When one-in-three students are failing to graduate on time from our public schools, the future economic viability of North Carolina is at risk. This survey confirms that despite huge public expenditures, North Carolina’s schools and North Carolina’s elected leaders are failing our parents and students. Sadly, until we embark on a new direction in public education, we will continue to see the numbers stagnate.”

“As legislators, we should be more accountable to students, parents and taxpayers with education dollars and strive to make education reforms work for North Carolina,” said Rep. Fred Steen II. “The investment in knowledge is the best economic stimulus and that investment must not be wasted.”

These Republican lawmakers will introduce their initiatives over the next few weeks. They reported grass roots support from all across the state is expected to provide an increased sense of urgency for swift enactment.


NCGOP Press Release
January 30, 2009

RALEIGH— Kirk Robert Perkins was the victor last November in the race for a seat on the Soil and Water Conservation Board of Guilford County. There was a problem. He never showed up to claim his seat. Upon further review, it has been learned that "Kirk Perkins" is registered at an address of a commercial building which houses a flea market. In addition, "Kirk Perkins" social security number does not match his name calling into questions whether "Kirk Perkins" is a real name or if such a person even exists.

The Greensboro News & Record issued an editorial on the situation last week.

"He was allowed to file as a candidate because he was a registered voter. No photo identification was required for that. New voters are asked for a driver's license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number and proof of their address, such as a utility bill. Perkins' Social Security number didn't match his name, but that wasn't detected until much later.

George Gilbert, Guilford County's supervisor of elections, thinks state law should require verification of identity when a candidate files to run.

Absolutely. Safeguards must be enacted to prevent this kind of travesty. The integrity of the election system depends on making sure voters and candidates are who they say."

"Kirk Robert Perkins" remains a registered Democrat in Guilford County according to the State Board of Elections website. It is unknown whether "Kirk Perkins" cast a vote in favor of himself.

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

"This situation illustrates another shameful example of the inadequacy of election safeguards in North Carolina. It is absolutely unconscionable that we do not have laws in place to require that candidates for elected office in North Carolina show proof of identity before they are placed on a ballot. The current landscape of election laws call into question the integrity of the electoral process and cause voters to lose faith in the functioning of our democracy. We cannot afford to perpetuate a system that encourages cynicism toward the voting process as that destroys confidence in government.

We must put in place proper safeguards to ensure that this situation never again repeats itself. Common sense regulations requiring proper identification for candidates who wish to be on the ballot and for voters wishing to cast a ballot should be the law of the land. Identification requirements have not been shown to disenfranchise voters, but they do restore confidence that our electoral processes are functioning correctly. The General Assembly should take up this issue immediately."