West drops out of race
Former Buncombe County GOP Chairman, Nathan West, says he will no longer campaign for the House District 115 seat in the upcoming primary.
From his press release:
“I’ve come to the conclusion that continuing my candidacy at this time wouldn’t be in the party’s best interests,” commented West. “Given the local political climate, an ugly and divisive Republican primary just won’t contribute to defeating John Ager in November’s general election.”
West first reluctantly agreed to put his name forward as a candidate back in February, if only to hold the seat open, because no other Republican candidate at that point had decided to run. A Tea Party candidate, pushed by former school board member Lisa Baldwin, former party chair Chad Nesbitt, and current party chair Carl Mumpower, filed just 15 minutes before the primary deadline closed, however.
Mumpower challenged West to prove that he had pushed Evans over West in this primary:
As an aside - I have shared this with Mr. West. I would encourage anyone with evidence that I colluded with anyone against his candidacy to contact him with that information. This may be a golden opportunity that should not be overlooked.
Nathan - as you know, Ms. Evans was presented to me as a possible candidate the day before the filing deadline. My initial encouragement and support was grounded in my having no knowledge of your plan to run - I learned about you after I had vetted Ms. Evans and committed our support per my understanding of the NCGOP's protocols. There was no collusion on my part to work against you in any fashion with anyone - just the opposite - I actively and persistently discouraged personal attacks by members of the BCGOP Executive Committee. If you can offer any tangible evidence that I did otherwise, it will be my pleasure to resign as Chair of the BCGOP. Collusion along the lines you have suggested would warrant nothing less.
Carl Mumpower, Chair
You can listen to the interview I did with West yesterday here.
Skip ahead to the 87:25 mark.
Cooper Admin gets grilled on lack of disaster relief funding
WBTV-TV in Charlotte has been beating away on this story for more than a year, and now NC lawmakers are prompted to demand answers raised by the reporter, Nick Ochsner:
Members of the North Carolina House of Representatives spent more than an hour firing questions at state leaders responsible for ensuring residents impacted by Hurricane Matthew recover from the storm.
Heavy flooding from Matthew devastated portions of eastern North Carolina after making landfall in mid-October 2016.
Now, more than 18 months after the storm hit, thousands of residents are still without homes, have been promised government help but have no idea when that help will come.
WBTV reports that NC has spent none of the $236 million in federal grants awarded for relief.
Nick Burk, Assistant Director of Emergency Management for Resiliency, told lawmakers his office had deployed strike teams to help speed assistance to the impacted areas.
But as he defended the efforts of his team to lawmakers, he was also forced to acknowledge that his staff had yet to submit required assessments to HUD that must be approved before any CDBG-DR money can be awarded.
Read the entire article.
We tried to ask questions of @NCEmergency about the slow page of hurricane recover. #NCGA police stopped us and made us end our questioning. Officer said he followed us out of the building #ncpol pic.twitter.com/nfUrOlGu31— Nick Ochsner (@NickOchsnerWBTV) April 16, 2018
I'm just trying to imagine the level of outrage the left would be expressing over this, had a Republican administration done this to a reporter.
But I guess that's the thing about a culture war... each side forgives the excesses and failures of its own side.
Speaking of the culture war...
Democratic state lawmakers are not happy with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's comments about religiosity, faith, hope, and the size of government.
The News & Observer with the original comments Forest, a Republican, made to a conservative conference over the weekend:
Forest, a likely Republican candidate for governor in 2020, said “the left” marches and lobbies for bigger government with “religious fervor.”
“It’s the thing that wars used to be fought over,” Forest said. “You see it on issues like climate change, or the Me Too movement or black lives matter or gun control,” he continued. “Name the issue today, the fervor has reached a religious pitch in America. Why? Because it really is the religion of the left.”
"They have no hope in a higher power," Forest also said.
“They are hopeless. They truly do believe that, but for the government, but for the work they do, there’s no hope for America. So, it’s a dangerous place to be.”
There is much research about this, of course.
Here's Pew on the widening "Christian Gap" (GOP becoming more Christian and the Democratic Party becoming less):
And here is a 2015 piece in the Washington Post about the "God Gap":
This is oversimplified. Yes, seculars have always voted for Democrats at higher rates than for Republicans. But the percent of seculars voting for Democrats isn’t much different than in the early 1960s. And there are also more Secular Republicans now than in the 1960s.
Moreover, among the activist bases, the trends that do exist—such as the growth of evangelical activists in the Republican Party, or secular activists in the Democratic Party mostly reflects broader trends in American society.
Very religious Americans are more likely to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party and less frequently identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with those who are moderately or nonreligious.
And here's a report on how Republicans prefer to give to charities directly, rather than government programs:
Red states are more generous than blue states. The eight states where residents gave the highest share of income to charity went for John McCain in 2008. The seven-lowest ranking states supported Barack Obama.
Religion has a big influence on giving patterns. Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not. Two of the top nine states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church. The remaining states in the top nine are all in the Bible Belt.
When religious giving isn’t counted, the geography of giving is very different. Some states in the Northeast jump into the top 10 when secular gifts alone are counted. New York would vault from No. 18 to No. 2, and Pennsylvania would climb from No. 40 to No. 4.
The reasons for the discrepancies among states, cities, neighborhoods are rooted in part in each area’s political philosophy about the role of government versus charity.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I sympathize with these Democratic lawmakers who don't like the idea that their party is one of secularism and not faith - and that these ideals lead to larger government replacing Christ's call for people to for their neighbors.
But that's not Dan Forest's fault.
And another thing....
NC Civitas' Sue Myrick has a write up on "how the Left, through the help of the North Carolina legislature, created an election system that ultimately favored Democrats for decades. Having total power over the election process takes more than just controlling what laws are passed in the legislature. Winning battles in the courts, and infiltrating the State Board of Elections has helped to solidify the Left’s control over our state’s election process."
You can read it here.