Two Democrats are writing ballot language for amendments they oppose
After two Superior Court judges said two constitutional amendments slated to appear on the November ballot wouldn't adequately inform voters, an emergency meeting was called for this morning to write new language.
The ballot questions will be written by Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein - both Democrats who oppose the amendments.
There is a Republican on this ballot-writing commission (his name is Paul Coble), but he won't be winning any of the debates that are reportedly occurring... because OF COURSE the Democrats are trying to write the language to induce "No" votes on the amendments.
They outlined their views extensively the last time the commission met.
Joe Killian at the leftwing NC Policy Watch was covering the meeting, and you can see how the Democrats were playing it:
Commission now discussing changing "there is no public fiscal note at this time that details the expected cost to implement the proposed amendment if it is approved by a majority of voters" in Voter ID amendment to "We do not know how much this will cost." #NCPol #NCGA— JoekillianPW (@JoekillianPW) August 23, 2018
Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble says of amendments - isn't it always true that you don't know how an amendment may be carried out and how much it will cost? Attorney Gen. Josh Stein: No. In 14 of the last 15 amendments, no. #NCPol #NCGA— JoekillianPW (@JoekillianPW) August 23, 2018
So, when we vote whether there should be voter ID, the ballot language will state: "We do not know how much this will cost." Good grief.
We also don't know what the cost of a "sound basic education" is - but it's still in the NC Constitution. The Constitution is the foundational document, and the Session Law (adopted by the Legislature) is the mechanism to determine how the state operates with the framework of that constitution.
It's clear that the intent is to craft the questions in a way that induces NO votes.
At least we have finally found an instance where Democrats are concerned about government spending.
Commission adding language clarifying that the income tax rate cap amendment will not lower taxes. Discussion now over whether language about having to cut services in a disaster or recession is unnecessary. #NCPol #NCGA— JoekillianPW (@JoekillianPW) August 23, 2018
The cynicism and politicization on display here is remarkable, although it won't be framed as such by the official Narrators of Truth in our society. There is currently a cap on the income tax in North Carolina. It's been there for about a century.
It was originally 7%. It was changed to 10%. This measure brings it back to 7%.
Somehow we were able to change this in the past without being told that if Democrats ever want to ramp up spending levels, they'll not be able to do so. (Which is the entire point of a cap.)
But Democrats are not worried about running out of money in the event of a natural disaster. That's not what this is about.
To wit, the Republican General Assembly built up a "rainy day fund" - now about $2 billion. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper sought to raid this fund for regular operating expenses. The Democratic approach is to raise taxes, spend all of the revenue, and then if a disaster strikes - raise taxes even higher. Because they had inadequate savings.
This is the "see a penny, spend a penny" mindset.
So, they'd like voters to be scared into voting NO on the income tax cap by conjuring disasters and recessions - and scaring voters into believing the only response the state would have is to raise income taxes. That might be the only response DEMOCRATS have, but it's not a fairly written question. It assumes the Keynesian argument is correct, and attempts to induce the preferred answer based off that assumption.
Also, if the Governor's response to Hurricane Matthew is any indication, simply raising the money doesn't mean Democrats would actually respond to a disaster.
UNC to investigate Silent Sam protest
The UNC Board of Governors plans to launch an investigation into how vandals were able to tear down the "Silent Sam" statue on Monday night. The News & Observer reports the Board will hire an outside firm to conduct the review, and will seek to address questions about the lack of a police response.
[Board Chairman Harry] Smith described the firm’s assignment as “an exhaustive and complete review” of what occurred Monday to “encompass any instructions that were given or not given.” He said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt did not give any orders to police to take a hands-off stance at the rally but added that there are many other employees at the university.
A criminal investigation is underway.
But, wait! There's more!
Gov. Roy Cooper said he'd work with Republican lawmakers. He hasn't.
GOP leaders in the General Assembly are looking to call another special session.