Archive for the ‘Republican Governors’ Category

NORTH CAROLINA LT. GOV DAN FOREST QUESTIONS IMPLEMENTATION AND ADOPTION OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

 

July 22, 2013

Everything You Wanted to Ask About Common Core, and More

By Ann Kane

North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has written a set of over 200 questions challenging the state superintendent of public schools to explain in detail the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards — before the State Board of Education’s scheduled August 7-8 meeting.

 

Lt. Gov. Forest’s bold approach to finding the underlying cause of the CCSS in his state no doubt will be answered with attacks, as speaking truth to power rarely results in transparency on the latter’s part.  By questioning authority, the Lt. Gov. is showing us how to resist the tyranny of the minority.

 

Dr. June Atkinson, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, in a June 12 letter defending CCSS, has already begun a counterattack on why “a pause in the implementation of the Common Core” would be detrimental.  She implies that the entire educational structure would fall apart and that such an action would lead “to not teach students how to read, write, speak, listen, and learn math such as adding, multiplying, dividing, subtracting, etc.”  To which Forest in #26 returns with “North Carolina did not use the CCSS standards until this past school year. Do you believe that we have not been teaching our students to read, write, speak, listen, and learn math for the past several decades?”

 

Then, this past Friday, the Department of Public Instruction returned another volley at the Lt. Gov.  On his Facebook Forest writes, “DPI asked that I supply 10,000 pieces of paper so that they could answer my questions.”  He sent them the requested reams.  DPI could be pulling all-nighters.

 

It doesn’t appear that anyone checked out the ramifications of the CCSS before the state adopted them in 2010.  The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers released the standards on June 2, 2010, and North Carolina’s SBE adopted them two days later.  There was no legislative debate and no real public debate (there was a two-month window for public comments, but who knew?).

 

In his inquiry, Lt. Gov. Forest broaches the topic of international standards under the section entitled “Development of Standards” when he asks, “Who created the international standards to which the CCSS is benchmarked?”  Maybe he knows the answer already, but he wants to see if the chief of schools knows it. (more…)

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HOW NORTH CAROLINA BECAME THE WISCONSIN OF 2013

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

 

THE ATLANTIC

How North Carolina Became the Wisconsin

of 2013

With a Republican takeover of state government and weekly protests in Raleigh, the Tar Heel State is the front line in America’s partisan battle
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NCprotest.banner.AP.jpg.jpg
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Nowhere is the battle between liberal and conservative visions of government fiercer than North Carolina. From the environment to guns, abortion to campaign finance, religion to taxes, Raleigh has become a battleground that resembles Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011.

Just as Wisconsinites seemed shocked that their state could become so polarized, North Carolina seems like an unlikely candidate for such fierce political clashes. North Carolinians like to boast that their state is “a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit.” Until recently, it was certainly an oasis of political calm between Virginia — a fast-changing purple state fighting battles over transvaginal ultrasounds — and South Carolina, home of outspoken conservatives like Jim DeMint and Joe Wilson. The Tar Heel State was more moderate. For most of the last century, Democrats controlled the governorship, and they also tended to control the state legislature. Meanwhile, the state voted for a Republican in every presidential election from 1980 to 2004. In 2008, a major push by Barack Obama won him the state by a tiny margin, and it seemed that North Carolina, like Virginia, might be an emerging purple or even bluish state.

Then in the 2010 election, Republicans took control of both chambers of the General Assembly for the first time since 1870. Two years later, Republican Pat McCrory won the governorship (incumbent Governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat, opted not to run in the face of almost certain defeat). Obama, meanwhile, failed to hold the state in the 2012 presidential race, even after Democrats staged their nominating convention in Charlotte.

That’s where our story begins: when the Republicans took over Raleigh. McCrory seems like an unexpected man to oversee a dramatic rightward shift. He was the more centrist GOP contender for the gubernatorial nomination in 2008 (he lost to Perdue, barely) and had spent 14 years as mayor of Charlotte, earning a reputation as a moderate. But the combination of Republican control of both the governorship and the legislature has emboldened the GOP to take up a slew of conservative priorities. Central to the push is Art Pope, a wealthy businessman and political benefactor who is sometimes described as North Carolina’s answer to the Koch brothers, and whom McCrory appointed as state budget director. Pope and his associates spent $2.2 million in state races in the 2010 cycle alone, Jane Mayer reported in 2011. (more…)

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THE RED-STATE PATH TO PROSPERITY

Friday, March 29th, 2013

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • March 28, 2013

Laffer and Moore: The Red-State Path to

Prosperity

Blue states with high taxes are struggling to compete for businesses and workers.

By ARTHUR B. LAFFER
AND STEPHEN MOORE

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Among the 10 fastest-growing metro areas last year were Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. All of these are in low-tax, business-friendly red states. Blue-state areas such as Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Providence and Rochester were among the biggest population losers. 

You can tell a lot about prosperity in America by observing the places people are moving to and where they are packing up and moving from. New Census Bureau data on metropolitan areas indicate that the South and the Sunbelt regions continue to grow, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to shrink.

Among the 10 fastest-growing metro areas last year were Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. All of these are in low-tax, business-friendly red states. Blue-state areas such as Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Providence and Rochester were among the biggest population losers. 

This migration isn’t accidental. Workers and business owners are responding to clear economic incentives. Red states in the Southeast and Sunbelt are following the Reagan model by reducing tax rates and easing regulations. They also offer right-to-work laws as an enticement for businesses to come and set up shop. Meanwhile, the blue states of the Northeast, joined by California, Minnesota and Illinois, are implementing the Obama model of raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy to fund government “investments” and union power.

The contrast sets up a wonderful natural laboratory to test rival economic ideas. (more…)

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REFORM IS UNDERWAY IN NORTH CAROLINA

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

 

Townhall.com logo
January 30, 2013

In Some GOP Circles, Reform Is Already

Underway

By Byron York

1/28/2013

The Republican National Committee chose to hold its recent winter meeting in Charlotte because North Carolina was a rare bright spot in last year’s presidential election. Although it was the high-profile site of the Democratic National Convention, North Carolina became one of just two states won by Barack Obama in 2008 that went for Mitt Romney in 2012. (The other was Indiana.) So being in North Carolina made Republicans feel a little better.But not much. The 168 members of the RNC grappled with the consequences of losing the presidential race, losing the Senate and losing seats in the House. Everybody knew something was wrong with the party. To fix things, some emphasized outreach to Hispanics. Some emphasized modernized voter turnout efforts. Some emphasized the search for better candidates. No one pushed just one solution; most saw the answer as a mix of those and other ideas.

But they might also start by asking themselves the most basic of questions: Other factors aside, did Republicans in 2012 address the concerns of the overwhelming majority of Americans who cite the economy and jobs as the nation’s most pressing issue?

The answer, mostly, is no. But some Republicans did. At the RNC’s opening night event, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, members heard from one of those Republicans, new North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory first ran for the state’s top office in 2008. He lost to Democrat Bev Perdue in what became a brutal lesson in the overwhelming power of the Obama wave. “In ’08, I got killed by the Obama ground machine,” McCrory recalls. “We didn’t even know it was happening. The amount of money Obama put on the ground was something we’ve never seen before in North Carolina.”

 

Defeated, McCrory reassessed and decided to run again in 2012. But he knew he had to run a smarter race the second time around. He started earlier. He thought through his positions and the way he articulated them. He built relationships with more people across the state. He worked harder.

The new and improved McCrory stressed jobs, the economy and education. He highlighted — and did not run from — his 14 years of experience as mayor of Charlotte, even though that big-city resume was not a plus with many rural voters. He took advantage of Perdue’s disastrously bad performance as governor. And on Election Day, McCrory defeated Democratic rival Walter Dalton by nearly 12 points. (more…)

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9 STATES LEAD THE WAY TO TAX REFORM

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

 

The Wall Street Journal

  •  January 30, 2013

The State Tax Reformers

More Governors look to repeal their income taxes.

  • EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  A new analysis by economist Art Laffer for the American Legislative Exchange Council finds that, from 2002 to 2012, 62% of the three million net new jobs in America were created in the nine states without an income tax, though these states account for only about 20% of the national population. The no-income tax states have had more stable revenue growth, while states like New York, New Jersey and California that depend on the top 1% of earners for nearly half of their income-tax revenue suffer wide and destabilizing swings in their tax collections.

    In the case of North Carolina, a new study by the Civitas Institute concludes that a tax reform that shifts more of the burden to consumption from income would increase average annual personal income growth by 0.38% to 0.66%. That’s enormous over time and would lead to much higher state tax revenues. North Carolina’s top income tax rate is 7.75%, which is higher than that of most nearby states that it competes with for investment. Virginia’s top rate is 5.75% while Tennessee has no personal income tax.

Washington may be a tax reform wasteland, but out in the states the action is hot and heavy. Nine states—including such fast-growing places as Florida, Tennessee and Texas—currently have no income tax, and the race is on to see which will be the tenth, and perhaps the 11th and 12th.

Oklahoma and Kansas have lowered their income-tax rates in the last two years with an aim toward eliminating the tax altogether. North Carolina’s newly elected Republican Governor Pat McCrory has prioritized tax reform this year and wants to reduce the income tax. Ditto for another newcomer, Mike Pence of Indiana, who has called for a 10% income-tax rate cut. Susana Martinez, New Mexico’s Republican Governor, has called for slashing the state corporate tax to 4.9% from 7.6%, and the first Republican-controlled legislature since Reconstruction in Arkansas is considering chopping its tax rates by as much as half.

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Associated PressLouisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (more…)

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BOBBY JINDAL – THE NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

 

 

The Health of America Is Not About Government

By Gov. Bobby Jindal – January 25, 2013

 

By Gov. Bobby Jindal
Remarks by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte, N.C., January 24, 2013.

Thank you all for having me here tonight. And thank you Reince for the outstanding leadership you provide to the Republican Party. And I want to thank our great RNC members from Louisiana, Chairman Roger Villere, National Committeewoman Lenar Whitney, and National Committeeman Ross Little for all of their hard work.

Let me warn you in advance that I plan to talk big picture here tonight, and I plan to say some things that may challenge your assumptions.

You may not agree with all of it, but that’s ok, ours is a party that can handle real discussions.

And now, after losing two Presidential elections in a row, is certainly the time for some candid discussion.

I. America is not the federal government.

The first concept I want to talk about is simply this – America is not the federal government.

Take a minute to let that thought sink in. America is not the federal government.

In fact, America is not much about government at all. In America, government is one of those things you have to have, but you sure don’t want too much of it…kind of like your in-laws.

This is of course the polar opposite of the political debate in our country today.

At present we have one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can expand it, and one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can get it under control.

It’s a terrible debate, it’s a debate fought entirely on our opponents’ terms.

A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and shortsighted debate.

If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.

In our public discourse today, America is pretty much defined by government, by the latest moves that occur in Washington.

If you landed from outer space…and read the news…and watched TV for a week…you would have to conclude that Washington is the hub of America and that what happens in Washington is what drives and dictates the success or failure of America.

In addition to Washington, there are a bunch of outlying areas we call states, but they are pretty much just adjuncts of the federal government.

This is not the idea of America. But…this is what America will become if we do not reorient our way of thinking right away.

As government grows ever larger, it will become what America is all about…if we let it. This is our challenge; this is what we are here for. (more…)

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VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE HIGHLIGHTS A REPUBLICAN RIFT

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • January 7, 2013

Virginia Governor’s Race Highlights a

Republican Rift

Contest for Governor Pits Tea-Party Hero, Clinton Friend and Possible Third Player

By NEIL KING JR.

The Virginia governor’s race long has been considered one of the country’s marquee political contests of 2013, pitting a national tea-party hero, Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, against a close friend of the Clintons, former Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe.

But the plot has thickened amid a spat among the state’s Republicans over the party’s tone and direction. Some conservatives fear the fight could wound the GOP as it seeks to broaden its reach among independent voters in a state where Democrats have made big gains.

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Associated PressAttorney General Ken Cuccinelli, left, is a Republican running for governor of Virginia.

The governor’s race will be closely watched, in part because there are few other contests nationally in an odd-numbered year, but also because it follows the Republican party’s loss in last year’s presidential election.

The Virginia matchup looked relatively settled just weeks ago, after Mr. Cuccinelli managed to outmaneuver the man long seen as the Republican heir apparent, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

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The Register & Bee / Associated PressLt. Gov. Bill Bolling, the long-seen Republican heir apparent for governor of Virginia. (more…)

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OBAMACARE’S FAUX FEDERALISM

Friday, December 21st, 2012

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • December 18, 2012

ObamaCare’s Faux Federalism

GOP Governors are smarter than some of their conservative critics.

Having failed to persuade 26 states that participating in ObamaCare is a good deal, the liberals behind the law are denouncing these dissident Governors as federalist hypocrites. A few critics on the right are chiming in and arguing that the 26 are inviting worse results once the feds swoop in.

So someone ought to say a word on behalf of the people who run state governments in the real world and have examined the health insurance “exchange” question in detail. They’ve seen enough to know that the choice to set up and run these insurance bureaucracies is not a choice at all. 

The “federalism” ruse is a special instance of bad faith. If federal-state cooperation means anything, then it requires some element of genuine state control and the freedom to innovate. The Health and Human Services Department is abusing the laboratories-of-democracy line as cover even as it prohibits states from doing experiments. And it’s dictating details down to the lab coats and microscopes.

The folks at HHS envision the exchanges as centralized, interventionist, hyper-regulatory bodies. HHS’s idea of flexibility is telling the states they can make the exchanges even more centralized and interventionist. But if they don’t agree to that model, then Washington will impose it anyway.

The truth is that liberals never wanted the states involved. In 2010, the Pelosi Democrats were forced to swallow a Senate bill that included state exchanges because it was the only ObamaCare vehicle after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat.

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Getty Images

Now HHS is rewriting the law to create federal exchanges that the states only nominally govern. HHS for instance claims states can define the essential benefits that all plans must cover, within federal minimum standards, but those minimums are already much higher now than they were in the draft a few months ago. The Affordable Care Act forces states to use their own personnel and resources to do federal bidding and blurs if not erases the lines of political accountability between levels of government. (more…)

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THE SEBELIUS COVERUP – OBAMACARE EXCHANGES

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

 

Published on The Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com)

The Sebelius Coverup

Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny.

Jeffrey H. Anderson

December 10, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 13

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Prior to the election, most reporters — or their editors — weren’t interested in looking into any of this too closely. But in the wake of the refusal of elected GOP leaders in the states to do the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare, the development of the federal Obamacare exchanges might now receive closer examination. The idea of funneling about $1 trillion (according to the Congressional Budget Office) over Obamacare’s real first dozen years (2014-25) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to private insurance companies was always problematic. But it’s more problematic to hire a subsidiary of one of those insurance companies as an architect and policeman of the exchanges through which the Obama administration intends to have this abundant taxpayer money flow, more problematic still that Obama’s first head of the CCIIO may have profited personally from the venture, and most problematic of all that HHS may have told a private company to violate federal securities law in order to aid Obama’s reelection prospects.

Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level.

States are not required to set up Obamacare exchanges, but it seems to have surprised observers that many are choosing not to. Politico reports that, with only 17 states so far having said they will set up the exchanges, the “Department of Health and Human Services’s role in bringing the law to life is going to be a lot bigger than originally thought.” More than a third of all states have already said they won’t set up the Obamacare exchanges. Among others, Republican governors Scott Walker, John Kasich, Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Nathan Deal, Paul LePage, Robert Bentley, Mary Fallin, and Sean Parnell have said they’ll refuse to set up the exchanges in their states.

In Missouri, voters took matters into their own hands, approving a ballot measure to vest authority over the decision in the Republican-led state legislature, rather than leaving it up to the Democratic governor. Missouri will not be establishing an exchange. Utah governor Gary Herbert, meanwhile, has opted for a sort of mild civil disobedience, saying that his state will continue to pursue “our version of an exchange based on defined contribution, consumer choice, and free markets” — a type of exchange that is rather plainly banned by Obamacare.

States’ refusal to be complicit in this crucial aspect of Obamacare should shine a spotlight on the development of the federal exchanges — and what it illuminates won’t be pretty.

The Obama administration’s congressional allies botched the drafting of this aspect of the health care overhaul, as the plain language of Obamacare doesn’t empower federal exchanges to distribute taxpayer-funded subsidies to individuals; it empowers only state-based exchanges to distribute the subsidies. (The administration pretends otherwise.) Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is lagging behind in developing the federal exchanges.

It gets worse. HHS has contracted with a subsidiary of a private health care company to help build and police the very exchanges in which that company will be competing for business. The person who ran the government entity that awarded that contract has since accepted a position with a different subsidiary of that same company. An insurance industry insider (speaking on the condition of anonymity) says that HHS, in an attempt to hide this unseemly contract from public view until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission. (more…)

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NORTH CAROLINA’S RED-STATE RESURGENCE

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • December 8, 2012

North Carolina as the Blueprint for a

Red-State Resurgence

With party unity, good candidates and an inclusive message, conservative campaigns can prosper.

By FRED BARNES

Democrats across the country are celebrating the re-election of President Obama and the pickup of two seats in the Senate and eight in the House. But in two formerly Democratic states, Republicans have much to be joyful about.

The GOP victory in North Carolina included the governorship, veto-proof majorities in the state Senate and House, control of 54 of the state’s 100 counties, three new U.S. House seats, and a pivotal seat on the state Supreme Court. All this lifted Mitt Romney to a narrow victory in a state that Mr. Obama won in 2008.

It is premature to declare North Carolina a reliably red state, but Republicans are “positioned to be the dominant party in North Carolina for at least a decade if not beyond,” says GOP consultant Marc Rotterman.

The same is true in Arkansas, the second-best state for Republicans in last month’s election. Both states offer Republicans an opportunity to unseat Democratic senators in 2014. In Arkansas, the GOP trend has moved so quickly that Sen. Mark Pryor, who had no Republican opponent in 2008, is now considered highly vulnerable. In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagen, when matched against an unspecified Republican challenger, led just 45%-41% in a Public Policy Polling survey last month. The last Democratic senator to win re-election in North Carolina was Sam Ervin in 1968.

Republicans in the Tar Heel State were unified, with all elements of the party, including social conservatives, engaged with the various campaigns. The GOP ticket was ideologically balanced, with moderate gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory at the top. The party, Republican campaigns, and GOP-oriented groups joined in a massive turnout operation. Republicans exploited every opening that Democrats gave them—and there were plenty.

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Associated PressPat McCrory

The administration of incumbent Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue—though not Ms. Perdue personally—was marked by scandals. The John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank, uncovered numerous instances of misconduct and reported them in its publication, Carolina Journal. Gov. Perdue’s job approval sank to 25%, making her the second-most unpopular governor in the country (behind Pat Quinn in Illinois). (more…)

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