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Carolina Journal Radio No. 891: COVID-19, protests affect N.C. election landscape

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 891: COVID-19, protests affect N.C. election landscape

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 15, 2020 8:00 am

Candidates in North Carolina’s high-profile elections have been coping with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they could face challenges linked to looting and riots that followed protests of the controversial Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes potential impacts of these unforeseen developments on the state’s most important electoral contests. The pandemic has caused stress for North Carolina’s meat supply. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler assessed this issue and other ag-related challenges during a recent online forum sponsored by the John Locke Foundation. The John Locke Foundation and Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution recently produced a joint report on the future of telehealth in the United States. Jordan Roberts, JLF health care policy analyst, participated in an online forum designed to promote that report’s key findings. Before the pandemic, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a pro-union bill dubbed the PRO Act. Isabel Soto, labor market policy data analyst at the American Action Forum, points out potential negative consequences tied to this legislation. Laws across the country are targeting privacy of donors to nonprofit groups. Legislation targeting privacy amounts to an attack on free expression. It’s used primarily as a political intimidation tactic. Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, explains why N.C. lawmakers should move proactively to reject this type of legislation.

Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Carolina Journal Radio
Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
Family Policy Matters
NC Family Policy

From Cherokee to current tagging from the largest city to the smallest town and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome the Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state to cope with 19 pandemic is caused a strain on North Carolina's meat supply to learn how with expert insight from the states agriculture Commissioner, the John Locke foundation and Brookings Institution produced a recent report it's on the future of telehealth will hear highlights from one of that report's authors.

The US House of Representatives recently passed a bill called the Pro act and market oriented labor analyst explains why that Pro act as plenty of con's and will discuss efforts to safeguard privacy of donors to nonprofit groups across the United States and in North Carolina. Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline well first we had a global pandemic hit, then we've had protests, riots, even looting in the wake of the George Floyd killing which occurred on video. They are unexpected events affecting our country and our state. We had toward a major election in November events that could impact who is elected president and who was elected governor of North Carolina. Carolina Journal is following all of these election stories Rick Anderson as editor-in-chief, he joined me now to talk about it. Welcome back to the show like you very much they say in politics that things can change on a dime and who could have ever predicted the last three months or so, not only for our country in terms of public health and social issues and events by Tom just the potential impact on November what are your thoughts on it. It's is remarkable because it has been only three months seems like it's been years that I recall having a conversation with someone was talking about the vision there there self being in the isolation chamber since January and they would hear the data that the global carbon emissions are down dramatically.

This I while I was at will. Those fires avoid Holocaust that was happening was that was taking place.

And so it is. It's absolutely remarkable in many ways it's extremely heartbreaking to see how many people have been affected directly by the coronavirus outbreak in pandemic and indirectly through the various understandable moves in the early stages about shutting down the businesses interactions until it people figure out what was going on and then the fits and starts with which people have reopened and the inconsistent responses and then finally the you know the death at the hands of police of George Floyd and how that has led to other reactions and all sorts of opportunities to reach out and healing of the same time the others seek to destroy its is just totally birthday. Let's talk about the race for North Carolina Gov.

First, we have Gov. Roy Cooper who I have to say has been out in public more in the last three months and I think in the. The entire time. Prior to that, that he had been sitting in office and then you have the Lieut. Gov. Dan Forest. He was the Republican nominee and they have had very different views about how the pandemic should be handled etc. and how protesters them should be handled. What your sense of that race. At this point it looks as if some of the support for Gov. Cooper who was a very safe position as recently as a month ago. Looks like some of that support is slipping. I'm not sure how much is slipping, but it looks like there's been some tightening in the race from some polling that we've seen of generally speaking, the chief executive gets an awful lot of leeway if that person seem to be comp is seen to be competent during a crisis, and Gov. Cooper certainly led a calling hand the things in the early stages, but as things have continued and as he is being compared to his peers in other states, then there's a little bit more unease going on in the Gov.'s very cautious man recently 20 Carolina, Journal 80 Taylor NC State talked about the caution of Roy Cooper. The fact that he deals with things very carefully and how that's it manifested itself that he relied almost exclusively on advice from his public health officials and very little from economist and from business leaders and that sort of thing you brought you in but very few and not as many as you would think to have one of the largest economies in the country will completely to a standstill and essentially, the state relying on federal aid to bail us out for a period as yet undetermined right at with this fourth Lieut. Gov.'s concerned, he there's there's not only so much he can do as far as his official office is concerned because legislation is a good job of limiting the power some years ago, but he's tried to be very public and the fact that he sits as a different vision.

The Gov. Cooper does, he would have certainly reopened at least portions of the state economy a lot faster than the governor would have. He would have the state much more open now than it is.

He would be much more top much tougher on the people who've got used violence is their way of saying whatever it is they want to say right exactly sure what that is but he he would've been a much much tougher in that regard, and also is been very very unusual situation for Lieut. Gov. Forrest to someone who really is a grassroots politician, a retail politician and he has largely stayed away from that. I think he's tried not to campaign as actively as as you might think he would do. I don't know the if you will that the rhetorical gloves may be off if something hasn't changed but by July 4 you mentioned the grassroots aspect of Dan Forest, which in political circles sees his campaign is known is legendary for having that really in place in every nook and cranny of this state. Of course that's what he's banking on to try to take him into the governor's office in in November, but you also mentioned that Gov. Cooper has been seen, at least in the beginning. Polls will show you that a majority of both political parties that did see him as having a steady, calming hand at the beginning of the pandemic. As we went to further down the road on things that seem to have changed, but the grassroots campaigning have been able to really go out and about much now. Who knows, may be behind the scenes. The force campaign is doing a lot of virtual meetings with constituents and with supporters etc. but we've seen something very similar on the national level with former VP Joe Biden who is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

He had to do a bunch of things essentially at the joke was from his basement right in in his home is only fairly recently started to get out a bit. Let's talk about the dynamics of the presidential race. People like Donald Trump like and people don't like Donald Trump don't like any of this can change the dynamic for Donald Trump.

I think it's much as anything else. It's a matter of how long the president can can Ken feel that he can generate the energy he needs to with a second term by not being able to attend relics or by choosing not to hold rallies and he did hold.

I think a rally or two people suitably brought later. They probably should have.

Again, what we really don't necessity there.

So much of still known about how the virus was spreading and continues to spread. So that's one thing that people say was bad act on his part that he should've ran things down sooner than he did, but you could tell he gains a lot of his energy from holding very public events with people who uses energy from others uses energy from crowds and when he stepped out in public company, the most recent and most recently the event that he held that the church across the street from the White House went badly for him. I think for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons it went badly. In addition to maybe choosing the wrong venue to do this is a fact that he was out there with the members of his cabinet and advisors alike and basically nobody else who wanted to see if you will. And so it is his energy is derived largely from people who want to hear his message and will cheer them on and vice presidents will see how help you work through will not. We haven't seen him do that quite a while so right that's that's an issue that that that's good of play on the campaign is how soon can in North Carolina. Dan Forest get out and hold town halls all over the state and how soon can present Trump go out and start working as big crowd to get things change so quickly that was we mentioned at the top. Three months ago we would have been talking about any of this at three months from now. It could be something else occurs or people forgotten about it. Once people are back to work, etc. yet that the end, the issue is how is going back to work because even if we largely start to reopen businesses and the like. It's going to be a while before people back that seems to be the lesson that we have learned so far. And of course the Carolina Journal is reporting not only on the election aspect of all of this, but on the issue of the pandemic and the state agencies to be sure to watch Carolina for your daily update Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief.

Thank you thank you see with this much more Carolina journal radios, and just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up Carolina you'll receive Carolina Journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money.

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It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca the COBIT 19 pandemic is caused headaches for the food supply nationwide and in North Carolina state agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler assess the situation during a recent online forum sponsored by the John Locke foundation were all along full crash will will you know will will will will last as long as you stay so all for the Lord will live.

Troxler explains that the pandemic is arrived at a time when agriculture faces other threats were all so scared so as so as soon as you know will that's North Carolina state agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. He speaking during a recent John Locke foundation online for Troxler offered an overall assessment of the pandemic's impact on agriculture low all to the little one will be Troxler explains how the covert, 19 pandemic caused a shock to the status quo solution will close all you will and grocery store so all so true with little Troxler explains how COBIT 19 has highlighted a regulatory challenge for meat processing all explore how Troxler has looked abroad for clues about the aftermath of the covert, 19 pandemic here in the Tar Heel state to no long-term but they all learn a lot. Strange. That's North Carolina state agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

He spoke recently for an online forum sponsored by the John Locke will return with more Carolina journal radio.

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So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mark foundation of Qubec, Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca the John Locke foundation and the Brookings Institution join forces recently to promote telehealth across the country. The two groups authored a report and they took part in a national online forum, Locke healthcare policy analyst Jordan Roberts explained his interest in telehealth. I'm from North Carolina and we are one of the largest rural populace is the entire country instead of extending healthcare to these people, these medical deserts where we have serious maldistribution physician medical professionals in the state. The title of our paper is that 21st-century barriers to telehealth adoption. What we look for is what are ways that we can simply change regulatory language simple changes in Medicare policies what they can cover just to expand and include as much different technology as we can in the future you know getting these barriers out of the way and letting the market dictate who gets the services we can really make a lot of progress and we know that rural populace is they just don't look like they did, 20, 30 years ago. We have less population there is economic activity there and so we need to look at and realize that kind of accepted traditional hospital in the traditional emergency room and things like that may not work in these more rural rural communities so where can we remove barriers, remove regulatory barriers that just allow these different innovations to even you can take place in the first place and places like rural North Carolina so it's looking to where we can knock down barriers and allow medical geniuses we have in this country to really take their expertise and apply it to these traditionally underserved populations.

What message would Roberts send to federal regulators about telehealth don't restrict that it know we want to allow for as much usage of this allow providers and patients become more comfortable with it. Allow insurers to work with providers figuring out the proper way to reimburse and use this to just don't restrict.

Don't limit it.

We know that the technology is gonna move quicker than the regulation so set up a regulatory framework that allows robust future for telehealth and you know as much use of it as we possibly can help out state regulators across the country. How should they approach telehealth. I think you should just look at you know where the need in your state is and look at how the laws are set up and look at we identify the paper if there's any barriers to allowing patients or providers to adopt this and just allow them to make those decisions. What's best for their practice. What's best for their healthcare needs.

So just look for any barriers. Anything that gets in the way have more for usage of this that's Jordan Roberts healthcare policy analyst for the John Locke foundation, he took part in a recent national forum on telehealth sponsored by the Brookings Institution, will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes headlock is a little bit different.

It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time that's listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation for Qubec Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca the US House of Representatives recently approved the protecting the right to organize, act, also called the proactive our next guest has concerns about the legislation's potential impact Isabel Soto's labor market policy data analyst at the American action form.

Thanks for joining us. You recently spoke about this to the John Locke foundation's Shaftesbury Society and one of the ways that you described this large piece of legislation as Frankenstein. Ask how is this a Frankenstein monster of a bill itself is mainly made up of three different failed valves in addition to a number of provisions in it been struck down significantly modified or deemed unconstitutional by courts in these all have to deal with the relations between workers and their employers. What are some of the types of things.

It covers their specific reclassification and definitional changes specifically pertaining to independent contractor is and how one classifies independent contractors, as well as test relationships between employers and union power, which is the most important part of the spell is when a testing union power. You have looked at this bill that some economic analysis and one of the points that you made in the presentation was. This is designed to support or say to help workers and you found it seems no instances in which it actually would workers as I write abstract and there are significant concerns surrounding privacy of workers and biomarker choice. So what is increasing in power which is not necessarily mean that it's going to increase worker choice or worker freedom know you mentioned there are many different pieces of this, you have focused specifically on some of them. Let's talk about them.

One deals with the reclassification issue of people who are not full-time employees but might be considered full-time employees under the proactive how how would that change in trying out costs from players significantly and also mean that those independent workers marking economy workers would be locked into schedules in my network print on their parents would not be controlled by not anymore.

It went hindering their ability to set and own their own work and this would happen because people who are contractors now would would be considered full-time employees is that how the situation would change it when essentially make it very hard for independent contractors to be considered independent contractors and not full employees. Now is this because there is a large clambering of independent contractor saying we want to be full-time employees, absolutely not. I can look at that parent labor statistics data here in NY and every time independent contractors would prefer to be in a traditional employment situation. So basically sounds like were taking away an option that these contractors like think that I we are chatting with Isabel Soto who is labor market policy data analyst at the American action forum. In addition to reclassification while the other things that you dealt with was the impact on businesses that operate with franchise and the franchise model how with the proactive effect while he talked to folks at work in a franchise model. They are seriously concerned that this can be the and in the franchise model they're wearing thin things like with the reclassification redefinition of the current employer standard that the proactive with pass would make it so that they can operate for those who are familiar with the joint employer standard held how does that work in a way that is is conducive to the franchise model. Now that would changed for the worse under the proactive, so I knew the pro acts I the franchise. Not all went. The time plan model would be such that the franchising relationship. The main franchise. I would be held liable for any unfair labor practices committed by the franchisees. But secondly they don't have much control over to begin land it would broaden the standard increase risk and liability for anyone entering into franchising sounds as if it would make it less likely for someone who would be the overall franchise award to want to have to deal with the folks that they would now be responsible for exactly the cost wouldn't really be worth 10 point know another thing that you dealt with was something that's very important here in North Carolina which is right to work state. What would proactive to right to work states abolished all right to work states and force people to pay union dues. Whether or not they agree to be members of the union are want to be affiliated with the union and all and in terms of economic impact. Could that be a significant hit on states that have right to work status now, especially a place like North Carolina that is seeing really great friends sign a lot of its metropolitan areas and has low business costs and a very favorable regulatory environment know if you are in a right to work state, one of the things that happens is you don't have to join a union to be able to work at a particular business if that situation changes and more people have to join a union to get a job.

What is that to do in terms of their freedom of association, or the ability to get the type of job they want to get financing it makes your job contingent upon a group that you associate last wet are not you actually believe in what they're doing. Are you to write any benefits from it all. Essentially you're paying into something that might not actually help you. Another thing that you talked about in your presentation to the John Locke foundation was the impact on strikes and the way that the proactive would affect striking workers and businesses dealing with striking workers.

What are some of the ways the proactive would change that relationship so the product would not allow businesses to replace striking workers. It would also allow for secondary strikes or sympathy strikes which would make the cost of business significantly higher, especially for talking about. I locally owned a family on businesses and justice for those who don't know a secondary strike is what essentially if you have one big organization organization name when the workers are striking and there and some sort of business agreement with the small, family-owned business, the workers and their striking business and could put pressure on the small family owned business in order to get their demands back to the point of the strikes. Another thing that to you mentioned are the presentation was that the ambush rule would come into effect. Tell us a little bit about that. So the endless rule is a significant pricing scale on the first thing it would do is to shorten the amount of time that unions would be able to get certified think it would be as low as about 10 days I think we do is require employers to share private information.

Employees that includes things like email addresses, cell phones and a shift schedule and even her home address. Lots of changes that are tied to the supposed proactive, which is gotten through the house not through the Senate.

Some people here North Carolina say our right to work state without the worry about this. Why should people in North Carolina be paying attention to. This is an ongoing conversation. It doesn't start more and test with the proactive.

I just recently came Phyllis proposed with the sole intention of abolishing right to work are also seeing states already sure up defenses against things like abolishing right to work with Tennessee working to push back against this kind of movement nationally include right to work language in its state constitution that you've done some extensive analysis of various pieces of the proactive people would like to find that analysis. What's the best thing for them to do panic and head over to the American action forum website and find the pieces not a lot of other great policy pieces online. That is the voice of Isabel Soto. She is labor market policy data analyst at the American action forum like so much for joining us thinking more on Carolina journal radio just a moment really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life.

Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are. Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio Donna Martinez the constitutional right for Americans to freely express our views is under attack under attack from laws that require nonprofit organizations to subject their donors to public scrutiny. North Carolina lawmakers could and should proactively reject this intimidation tactic invades donors privacy for political gain is the thrust of a new report published by the John Locke foundation and authored by John Cusack who is the director of legal studies, and John joins us now to talk about some key themes from this report.

John welcome back to the shelf text on right so I think I'm I'm sure all of our listeners and you and I have at one point or another made a charitable donation to some sort of nonprofit groups of people might be wondering well, what's the big deal John. What is the big deal if it becomes public that say I Donna Martinez donated money to a cancer organization or some sort of mental health organization. Why is that an issue. Well there's lots of reasons why donors might want to keep their their giving private domain. One reason for example, is simply something about a religious objection.

They feel that it's not the same.

If they people know what that they're giving.

Another reason people want to maintain some kind of privacy is because once people know their giving. Then other people come in asking for money. There's lots of reasons why people want to keep their donations private are all legitimate and they'd all be undermined by some of the donor disclosure regulations and rules that are going into effect on the country but the reason the reason that there's one reason for donor privacy that I think is most important, and that is that if you give money to an organization that other people disapprove of. You can get private retaliation, you could lose your job if you own a business, you could be boycotted, you could have tickets out in front you might just get lots of death threats through social media. There's all kinds of very unpleasant consequences to having it known that you given money to an organization that expresses views that are unpopular and because of that, these donor disclosure laws have the effect of suppressing unpopular views from the public form and that's what we want to that we don't want that to happen because free expression of ideas is important to the whole system of government that we have. It's important to a free society so we will what laws it make people afraid to express themselves. It sounds as if really the issue comes in the public policy arena and also the issue being that if someone wants their name to be public, and doesn't care that's their choice.

No problem.

But what were talking about here with these laws in this movement is to use government power to require that names be released to the public whether the donor or the organization thinks that's a good idea or not. Is that a fair characterization of where we are. I think that's right. Although some of these laws don't expressly say it's going to be made public.

In fact, sometimes the agency that's probably getting the laws will claim that they're going to keep it private.

The problem is they often don't. And they probably can't in this day and age state state databases just are that secure in California for example were a lot of these cases we may talk about come from.

It came out a trial that despite the state claim that they were to keep this information private. Several times list of donors were exposed on online and when one of the people were challenging these laws hired a hacker to go and get it.

He had no trouble at all getting list of all the people who were given money in California so that sometimes some of these laws expressly say were going to reveal it to the public. Some of them say were not. Either way, though it has a chilling effect because people know that that information is secure and they don't want people to know which organizations are giving money to John. Is this a nationwide movement from state to state are there organized actors behind the scenes who are working with lawmakers who are friendly to this idea of mandatory public discussion disclosure try to essentially enact these laws estate my state-by-state well is there clearly is what we's we see it all started around the same time, which was after the citizens United decision was handed out of the Supreme Court. This is being advertised as part of the way to get dark money out of politics and there's a lot of talk about society like a sunshine public disclosure.

The public's right to know, and so on so forth. Of course these donations are for electioneering soul citizens United doesn't really have any bearing on this. Even if you don't like that decision but what we saw was very soon state one state after another started doing this and they use that the people promoted in the state legislatures of the states attorneys general who were promulgating these kinds of rules used exactly the same language from one state to the other. Use exactly the same mechanism so I'm quite sure there is a coordinated movement mostly on the left. Although there have been some states which Republicans have done this to two mandate donor disclosure for the express purpose of suppressing speech they don't like these laws, donor disclosure makes people afraid to exercise rights that are specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution there specifically enumerated in the North Carolina Constitution and those rights are freedom of speech, freedom of the press the right to assemble and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

These are very specific fundamental rights that are enumerated in state and federal constitutions.

John, as we move forward and hopefully we start having a very substantive discussion about this in our state legislature. I know your report is going to be key for lawmakers to review again. It's called protecting donor privacy in North Carolina available at John, but there might be some legislators or activists to safe you know what this really isn't that big a deal, and you're talking about theory in terms of the potential retaliation against someone and that that may just dad never really happened but in your report you actually reference that there are real-world examples of the terrible retaliation that some people in this country have faced when it became public that they were donating to a nonprofit group whose views were either in the minority or unpopular will what we see we see this happen all the time. I can't believe anybody is unaware of the extent to which this happens. If you are found to have expressed unpopular view it anyway and old sweet if you gave money to a campaign or a referendum that the political correct majority doesn't approve of this gets people in trouble.

We seen people lose their jobs.

We've seen people subject to the death threats we've had plenty of examples of people having graffiti. Other houses, businesses have been boycotted. Everybody knows this happens anytime the public finds out that you've expressed unpopular view. We can stop all of that, but we can certainly stop some of it and this is a particular important place to put a stop to it because giving money to an organization that amplifies your ability to get your eye view your views out into the public form is important and we don't want to take away that absolutely vital way for expressive freedom is an important issue. It is an emerging issue, particularly here in North Carolina.

That's why were talking about it with the author of this new report is called protecting donor privacy in North Carolina. Just go to John you can put that into the search box or the name of our author, our guest here today John Coetzee G use EE and you will find that report right there.

John so much for joining us to talk about the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Michiko Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for another edition of Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John lock call 66 jail left 166534636 Carolina journal radio is the John Locke foundation Carolina spring marketing tank and Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are solely those did not merely reflect the station. For more information about the show. Other programs and services of the foundation. John Locke toll-free at 866 JL would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across Carolina and our sponsors.

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