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Carolina Journal Radio No. 877: Carolina Journal breaks story of N.C. DOT circus train

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 877: Carolina Journal breaks story of N.C. DOT circus train

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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March 9, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal recently broke the news that the N.C. Department of Transportation had purchased a former circus train and parked its cars in a wooded area near Spring Hope in Nash County. The CJ story stirred up interest in the transaction among lawmakers who oversee the DOT. It’s just the latest example of the impact of CJ’s work. Editor-in-chief Rick Henderson discusses the circus train story. He also highlights the N.C. Press Association’s recent recognition of CJ’s outstanding achievements. NCPA presented seven awards to Carolina Journal writers and editors at an annual banquet. Any person who has been to college, is planning to go to college, or is helping a child prepare for college has some familiarity with the stress linked to admissions tests, predominantly the SAT and ACT. Tyler Bonin, high school teacher at Thales Academy and education fellow at Young Voices, argues those tests are more than stressful. He says they can distract from meaningful education. Bonin shares his concerns and discusses potential alternatives to the current testing regime. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling against North Carolina is changing the way the state Revenue Department addresses taxing trusts. State lawmakers recently reviewed the options under consideration as the Revenue Department changes course. The U.S. attorney based in Raleigh recently took some local sheriffs to task for their decisions not to cooperate with federal immigration agents. In a news conference, Robert Higdon discussed the implications of sheriff’s unwillingness to honor federal immigration detainers. The N.C. General Assembly expects significant turnover in membership after this election year. Many lawmakers are retiring from office or leaving their current posts to seek other elected offices. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, discusses the potential impact of that turnover on legislative priorities and cohesion. Gray also looks forward to the new legislative session that starts in late April.

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From chair to current attack from the largest city to the smallest 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 luggage Coke. I during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. If your students or parent you might be familiar with the stress of college admissions tests will hear from one educator who is concerned that those tests distract from learning a recent US Supreme Court ruling is prompting a change in the way North Carolina taxes trusts Y the US attorney based in Raleigh has concerns about local sheriffs who refused to cooperate with federal immigration agents. He explains the consequences of sheriffs ignoring detainer request for immigrants charged with crimes and will look ahead to North Carolina's next legislative session at even further ahead to next year when a significant number of current lawmakers are set to leave. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline.

So what do Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the state of North Carolina have in common. Believe it or not, they do have something in common. Both organizations have been the proud owners of a nine car train complete with a greatest show on earth insignia slapped on the side note, we are not kidding about this.

We do know that North Carolina now owns a circus train Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal he joins now to talk about this really incredible story broken by Carolina Journal Rick welcome back to the shell.

Thank you. Okay, so why does the state of North Carolina on a circus train because people inside the state Department of Transportation believe that this particular train which state bought wooden brothers well business three years ago can be refurbished into a passenger train passenger cars for a passenger train nine cars running cars. That's right, there's no there's no engines as the locomotive, but these could sub for refurbishing. Now the question is Don Carrington was out there reporting the story and looking at the train he calls into question whether or not that's actually going to be worth refurbishing.

By the time anybody gets around to it because as far as we can tell the plans for doing so are not immediate and the train itself.

The cars are starting to get dilapidated having some of the windows have been broken out, covered with plywood. The metal itself is getting rusty in his justice.exactly what you would call your classic turnkey operation when it comes to refurbishing a train wreck. Where is this train sitting just outside the hotel spring. Hope it's on a the term abandoned rail line draws the ire of some people in the real business because actually you could conceivably still use this little spur to do things like store trains are longer in use that with her circus really actually on train track. It's on a train track, but the track itself is not really used for anything right now has been for some time and that's typically what happens. As it turns out when someone purchases an out of service trainer portion of the train that it intends to use later on it will put it all in an area that doesn't have any active traffic so illiterate to move it constantly. But it's sort of hidden in the woods and we tip about it and Don was actually able to look on Google Earth and see yes there's a train out in the woods and he and so he went out and and you took some photos of the start asking some questions in the story and by the way the story and this incredible pictures of this train are available at Carolina. I would encourage everyone who hasn't yet seen this to go on the website Carolina and I suspect if he put in the search box circus train going to come up and you can see the picture of this and can you write Rick when I'm looking at the pictures I need to see the greatest show on Earth placard that has been on the side is kind of like peeled off and there is plywood, so it looks like it's in terrible condition and I said that DOT says they may want to convert it into some sort of operational train do we have any idea where where they might see that train actually going to and from the use would be Department of Transportation does is involved with some passenger train operations.

For one thing it could, indeed, contract, lease with Sam track or some other similar passenger train system.

They spent nearly $400,000 for these nine cars. But again, taxpayer money is out for that's right, that's taxpayer money began as far as we can tell there are no immediate plans to do this.

There are yet again there issues as well is it more expensive to purchase new railcars if you're going to have a passenger train system, but it is to refurbish old and will this will be a good test case, whether or not that is true. I've been reading stories over the last months about them. What apparently is a very very interesting hobby. Almost all I'll use that that term by people who have some money to spare, and who like to ride on trains and they go out and buy these things themselves and then they I guess hook onto Amtrak. At some points and they're able to go across the country where they want to go on their private car, but I never really thought of it as something that state government will get involved and do you recall when they bought this was it was right after this right after business in 2017. It was bought right after Cooper took office. In fact, the and the thing about it is we don't really know exactly when they're going to use it where they plan to use it but just have it. They say we need the excess stock in case we want to operate passenger lines but again with.

It also owns a railroad we don't stories about the relics, as well as railroad company buildings trained as noted engines for sale sitting somewhere. We just don't know you were getting there that will ever realize train. We can use the great done by Don Carrington of Carolina Journal again it's all available, including those really interesting photos at Carolina. and Rick. I think this story which is really caught on other news media now reporting on this after CJ broke this story. It's a really good example of the type of really good reporting work and investigative work. This happens to be kind of 1/2 fun, half serious story, but it is taxpayer money in this important for people to know, but Carolina Journal does have great reporters does get tips that other news organizations down and follows up on them and in fact now Carolina Journal is the recipient of numerous additional awards now from the North Carolina press Association oversaw congratulation. Thank you. You happen to be one of the award winners text about it.

That's great with will a few years back, the press Association started acknowledging the fact that there were publications that produce most of their content online and print or broadcast in the press Association doesn't really handle broadcast media at all, but it does has focused on print and it started opening an online division for publications like ours, we do a paper product, but most of the material we do is online, print edition, his monthly daily news site daily new cycle and so we do we do that, and so they opened up a separate set of awards for online publications and we'll begin entering that three years ago at each of the three years we've been winners and we won seven awards this time, which is actually combined as many as we were the previous two years were very pleased with the fact that we got a couple first prizes I got it for editorials for the third straight year for editorials for the third straight year, but also very pleased with the reporting towards one of them was a separate category that Duke University sponsors on higher education reporting and I carry Travis and Lucy. Marcello won that award for the work, about general transparency failures inside the UNC system they both are reporting about this. Everything from issues with the board of governors to silence Sam problems and things like that and so I got first place in that and I think that's that's that's a really nice feather in the cap for offer is the one that also went to get second place award for education reporting for story that she had about the 25th anniversary of the Leandra lawsuit and then she also got second place really proud of this for her accounting of the veto budget be to override in the house on September 11 because everybody was reporting on the judge's mission as much of this was a story in which there were a lot of entities. The play centers and there is your second place and that's were very proud generally have black and John Trump. Also anyone else that second-place John for his columns about various topics in the Julie for hers about a series of stories she did dealing with people who qualify for Medicaid North Carolina and can get there because the bureaucracy and so I get a wide range of stories and were just proud of everybody so reporting and also commentary winning awards from the team at Carolina. Journal all of that work available at Carolina. Make sure that you can take advantage of this award winning rigorous journalism Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief.

Thank you, thank you stay with us much more Carolina Journal radio to come in 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 at Carolina. You'll receive Carolina Journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles.

The powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot on the Carolina once, twice, even three times a day won't be disappointed.

It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for daily email do that Carolina Carolina Journal, rigorous, unrelenting, old-school journalism, we hold government accountable for you. Welcome back Carolina Journal radio I Michiko guy.

If you have a child in college or child getting close to going to college. You've probably dealt with the prospect of admissions tests, ACT or SAT well. Our next guest wrote a recent column for real clear education with this headline college admissions tests hinder meaningful education but they don't have to. Our guest is Tyler Bonnett.

He is a high school teacher at Thales Academy in Raleigh and also an education fellow with young voices. Welcome to the program, etc. so everyone who's ever had to deal with college.

Whether you are the student yourself or the parent said, think about the prospect of taking the ACT. The SAT or both become very stressful and in your piece you focus on the fact that it's not just stressful, it actually takes away from meaningful education for these high school students also so the process of studying for the SAT, the CT of trying to up your score has become a very stressful event for many students the SAT and ACT is getting a lot of attention recently performed for two things one is because of the sort of arms race that many top-tier colleges are engaging in ever since U.S. News & World Report became be source for rankings and the source for parents and students are looking at colleges.

It's just become this competition in terms of always getting that increase in the average SAT and ACT scores among students, and so is life is huge impotence among families to really spend a lot of time engaging with this recently was even in California.

Several of civil liberties groups have threatened to file a lawsuit against the University of California system, citing the fact that the SAT is inherently discriminatory because you have those families who have the resources to to hire outside tutoring to hire a lot of help for the SAT were slow students who are in underserved schools or what not right but beyond that, though the recent changes to the SAT this is done at the behest of David Coleman, who's the newer CEO of college board to develop some answers yesterday has aligned VSAT with common core which he was also the chief architect and so what you seen with the SAT and ACT tracks along as well because it also to attempt to align with common core is a move away from those traditional texts those traditional elements of education, 26284 sort of databased informational based test. So for instance in common core. By the time kids are in eighth grade over half of what they read needs to be informational in nature and by the time to graduate high school requirements have it so that nearly 75% of what students read our informational texts so that doesn't leave any room for so that the great works great literary works, philosophical works that we know to venture the pinnacle of a traditional education and so were talking about reading something like a how-to magazine article or instructions for putting something together rather than reading Plato or Dante's Inferno or something like that is that we'll talk about that's true that you works and might be sort of journalistic works and of course they have value in our society journals are very important, but it doesn't present them with the opportunity to to really push the boundaries a way that they think about things as is illegible for philosophical work would have a bed to read, say, Kant or Aristotle or something like this, so this is something that's tied into now the ACT and the SAT out one of the interesting things about your piece it real clear education is the fact that there's another test out there that actually offers an alternative and you suggest a better one tells about that. Yes, so the New Testament is referring to is a classic learning test known as guilty and that has been around for a while now. It started with a few schools accepting it, as well as institutes within the school. For instance, comes Institute. The study of capitalism also takes his testing the work. A lot of the great books and in a program is focused on the moral foundations of a free market economy so use at the they're using a test tube to gauge occasional coming in, but now you're looking at over 170 colleges accepting the state test and the. The basis of this test is that it's focused on grid. The great books and prominent historical figures, United States, and so I imagine the article you are looking at a test it's going to include passages from Aristotle to Archimedes to a Susan B Anthony Booker T. Washington and others and so it's it's giving a new life to what it means to engage with great works of a conversation from your vantage point. Why is that so important to not just have the basic skills of reading a journalistic article but to have engaged in these great books, and learn to about about historical figures who report well to be honest that some of the bigger conversation a bit of the biggest being having education. We are fundamentally built on these works right, we came from the Western tradition and these works are fundamental to understanding that tradition to really engage with history at a deep level to understand where we are today. You have to engage with the important conversations across time means more than simply analysis of the text is important. Know how to read, but is also important know how to read between the lines, how to think at a deeper level and to think critically, and sometimes when you just engagement student asked them to simply restate the main idea of the passage and draws a passage that's important. You need not agree but it's not really getting at the root of what is to mean to truly learn to engage in a much deeper level with with ideas that are that are sometimes really hard to grapple with. As an educator, who's dealt with high school students do you see a difference when you have the students who are focused on. I gotta do something. This could help me on the SAT versus� Engaging in these books of engaging in these great ideas that have come down through the ages, I do.

I really do.

It's it's it's a hard sell. At first I think that's again part of the nature of education today. Of course I teach at classical Academy so were trying to get back to the root of true learning these notions of truth and beauty and goodness right, but I think would beat what happens though is that when you keep everything a surface level. You have the. For instance, you have grades as a soul exogenous motivator. It's it's always about doing what you need to do to achieve the grade or to achieve the score and so you're you're going through the season time students fall in the trap of going through the process, not to better themselves not to grapple with ideas and come to a better understanding not to seek the truth necessarily, but just to seek that grade. I think common Courtney as a teacher exacerbates the notion of having this outside motivating force instead of trying to engage the great works of help to build the motivation force from within. The motivation for student to learn and understand the world better. These are very interesting issues. Once again, the article which you could find it real clear education is titled college admissions tests hinder meaningful education but they don't have to. Its author is Tyler Bonner and he is a high school teacher at Thales Academy in Raleigh. Thanks so much for joining us and will have more Carolina journal radio in just a moment. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education James G.

Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina

Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lock foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else.

Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke NC and at Carolina journal. Who knew you could shop and invest in freedom at the same time it is true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shop using the Amazon smile program and designate the John Mott foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop Amazon donates money to pass the John Locke foundation. Here's how long. Time to Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products same prices. But here's what's better is on donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Locke foundation. Be sure to designate us as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. 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 Mott foundation will go back Carolina radio on which co-guy recent US Supreme Court case is forcing some changes in the way North Carolina taxes trusts in the so-called castor case, the nation's highest court ruled that North Carolina could not tax an out-of-state trust solely because the trust's main beneficiary lives here in the wake of that case, the state revenue department is dealing with roughly 500 requests for tax refunds during a recent meeting legislative staffer Greg Roney explained some of the issues the department and legislators could consider using a lot of family planning again right now. Your basis of taxation is either the assets physically here or the beneficiaries physically here and now accordance it will take beneficiaries physically here and so it's a pretty you're not anywhere close to the limits of you are already on right now all you did nothing. You're still a local lore in for you because were not trust the office were only will this year in the course that will look at State Sen. Paul Newton had questions about the steps his colleagues and the revenue department might take moving forward. You made a determination whether you need legislative relief going forward are challenging to me like you have changed how human attacks trust as a basis of this of this case in your narrowly defined the case properly so you think you have the tools you need going forward or are you do you know today what you can ask us to cancel legislation around we are internally considering whether legislation is appropriately got some draft legislation that were considering what we not finalize one you to ask you to ask that if legislation is required for you to close what gaps you think are remaining in properly taxing trust beneficiaries. You some good analysis about potential unintended consequences of that follow-up on center prices notion that you trust are developed to avoid taxes exist, so we suddenly taxed more heavily. What's to prevent the trust beneficiaries of the trust just going to another jurisdiction with a lighter touch so I would want a lot of things that we vote on something that will increase taxes on beneficiaries.

That's State Sen. Paul Newton sharing his concerns about North Carolina's possible response to a US Supreme Court ruling against the state. The so-called castor case deals with taxation of trusts more Carolina journal radio 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'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with S. Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listened Locke 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 back Carolina journal radio why Mitch co-guy, the US attorney based in Raleigh recently targeted North Carolina sheriffs who refused to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

Robert Higdon shared his concerns about them sheriffs during a news conference with the work that I stayed to focus on the countries actual physical borders work herself in Mexico to the north. Of course that is only a part of what ice does where they serve enforcement of our immigration laws which are key to the safety and security of every American take place throughout the country including right here in Houston just on a daily basis. Ice and steel individuals were present as we investigate violations that individuals find looking for offenders and handle those cases in either immigration court or in criminal court is necessary.

My office working with ice and other agents of the department of homeland security regularly prosecutes violations of federal integration law those prosecutions. In general, target individuals who are here illegally and who have been previously deported and/or who are engaged in other criminal activity, even a cursory review of our press announcements of the last two years or so show the types of cases as we do our part to ensure that the country's immigration laws are respected. Unfortunately, in the last year or so. We found the work of enforcing the immigration laws all across the to be more difficult.

Some of our key law enforcement part, have refused to cooperate guys by declining to honor detainers is a detainer since the notification provides informing the sheriff holding that there are sufficient facts to believe that the individual is present in the United States in violation of rights laws, and is subject to deportation with a detainer is asking the sheriff to hold him he was already in custody for short period of time until I say this to take custody of that individual.

I present him or court determination of their status as a simple process to serve us well for decades� Prosecutor, which allows for the proper enforcement of laws while focusing on criminal offenders and doing so in the safest and most low-key way available to us since conditions changed the last year or so away, sheriff's offices declined on her eyes detainers on more than 200 occasions is released into the ice officials have determined are present in the high-stakes violation of federal laws.

This is a growing problem across the state. Several of our sheriffs and the largest state have declined to cooperate guys in this regard that has left us with very few options as you seek to enforce immigration laws on behalf of the people of this federal district was left us with a single course of action status have been required to go out into the community investigate the whereabouts of these is only recently sheriffs cost locate them rest increase.

This increases the risk of danger to the investigating and arresting agents increases the risk of danger which the offenders found increases the cost and strain on an already burdened law enforcement system. This task force in British law.

Raleigh-based US attorney Robert Higdon discussed ice's response to the sheriff's recent actions over the course of the last week ice officials here in North Carolina have been working to find and arrest individuals who have been released by the Sheriff's is larger counties declined to cooperate with ice's conduct targeted on a daily basis and will continue going forward. The most recent operation targeted at large criminal aliens who had been fired based upon encounters that his arrest with local law enforcement. What were the results the Raleigh area ice team made 16 arrests of foreign nationals with a variety of criminal arrests and convictions in the background, including driving while intoxicated burglary, assault, assault on the child, robbery, drug possession and resisting a public officer one individual has been to be a member of a transnational street gang's rate of 13 others arrested by a previously deported are now pending federal prosecution for violations of title 18, United States code, section 1326, which is reentry of a removed alien. Seven of those eight have now been charged charge in the middle District initially formed individuals arrested were legally while in the custody of Sheriff's office was released. Despite a detainer having been placed on the subject of charges involving two children ages 3 to 6, three were released before I respond, Higdon highlighted specific examples Jos� Montiel Martinez is a citizen or national of El Salvador. He was convicted of felonious breaking and entering of the building is largely here in wake County back in 2013 and November 2013 he was ordered to be deported by United States judge warned of the penalties every high-stakes definition was found in the United States during the abortion operation is now in charge of the complaint is Francisco Javier Contreras, Villa Verde is a citizen or national of Mexico back in June 2000, he was Harris County, Texas, evaporated robbery is seven years imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections in April 2005 he was ordered deported to Mexico. I was warned of the field is reentering the United States. He was found in the district as part of this operation, especially as now been charged by criminal complaint in this district.

Luis Larson is Mexico in March 2010. Larson was arrested in Johnston County were deported in June of that year it was later found in Sierra block of Texas in September 2010 was again 1/4 to Mexico in January 2011 November 3, 2018. Larson was arrested by local authorities in Johnston County, was charged with driving while license is arrest and search of I sent got databases results in a positive match is a previously deported he was of course a release before ice collage detainer had been large since of course is any indictment, please keep in mind that the individual stars are present innocent will be my office's burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We look forward to the Raleigh-based US attorney praised federal immigration and customs enforcement agents and women of eyes work they do for the incredibly professional manner in which they do that work, risk their lives and safety every day to ensure our security.

We owe them a deep debt of gratitude today is part part is design the fact that by refusing to honor eyes detainers some stress on some of our law enforcement partners shares declined authorized painters and make the difficult work of our partners much more sheriff to reconsider their position on detainers and help us to properly and efficiently enforce the country's immigration laws and to ensure the safety of people in our communities. We will keep working hard to bring justice recently asking for help in getting US attorney Robert Higdon. He's defending federal immigration customs enforcement agents and is chastising North Carolina sheriffs who refused to cooperate with ice agents will return with more Carolina journal radio 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 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 two dozen state lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats that do not percent of the Gen. assembly are so well they are retiring from office so that means after the November election.

There will be quite a few new faces over the state legislature and potentially some new outlooks on policies as well.

Becky Gray, who is senior vice president with the John Locke foundation will be getting to know all of the new members after the election, she joins us now to talk about what could be head Becky. Welcome back to the sheltie, always a pleasure dozen people. That sounds on the one hand, like a lot of people, but is it really out of the hundred and 70 total lawmakers that we have in the general assembly, the turnover gather people that retire for whatever reason there are people that you after the primary working of Satan because there may be some who were defeated in the primary right. Don't come back me what we just know now as he was filed and who hasn't. This is not out of the ordinary, not an one way or the other. Is this an outlier in what we usually say we always have folks who have been a long time serving in the general assembly that moves on, and with them guys some real historical knowledge and background in that this is how it because it's an ebb and flow kind of thing to couple things I have found interesting this year that yes they are a number of lawmakers who are giving up their seats in the Gen. assembly to run for other offices.

We have a couple of house members that are running for open Senate seats in the wheels.

I have a number of lawmakers that are running for governor, Lieut. Gov., superintendent of public instruction, meaning at their other offices that some of the sites are running for. So although they are leaving the general assembly they are taking their knowledge and experience from the general assembly and perhaps going to start in other offices in across North Carolina since that is the thing that struck out to me in the ass of maybe a little bit unusual. One other thing to that I found interesting is there are a number of public and members are members of the house who were coming back to run for their seats again and one Democrat in the Senate. I think it is Alan well and who is from Johnston County who served in that in that body years ago is going to is running again for that seat so there's a there's always a transition and there's always an amp and flow. The numbers are not what is interesting to me this year its way or those people are going and whether other interest a lot of moving parts. That's kind of interesting's on the one hand when it comes to the general assembly there will be some loss of institutional knowledge and background and history of how things have worked what policy issues and proposals have come up before perhaps. But on the other hand, you get some new ideas and new thinking and also people who need to ramp up on all of that knowledge that other people have one of the ways they do that of course is to rely on organizations like the John Locke foundation and you actually run a program that helps legislators no matter their political party, no matter their ideology get up to speed since 2008.

So it's a very well-established program that we have been on this is open to all candidates, regardless of what their political affiliation may be or even the word. The particular race that they're running for on it's geared mostly towards legislative races but we also work with a lot of Council of State, rices, and in congressional candidates that he was interested in good, solid, well researched conservative policies. We are the go to source and Donna being a bend this year has another kind of outlier think we had more participants just this far in the election cycle this year than we have in the past. So I think that's good news I think is good news. The block foundation. But it's also good nature North Carolina that people are very interested in these kind of policies and the information that we are able to provide.

So you're helping to get those set folks educated and informed about public policy as they look towards running for office. And then those that are actually elected in November. Boy they're going to have a lot of information they'll need to know and of course you'll be over there at the legislature.

Literally, day in and day out.

Talking with folks helping them understand the questions on his public policy in which state government is complicated and there's a lot of pieces to it and think one of things that I have really been encouraged to again.

People from all different parties want to be informed. I want to know they want the facts that want the data they want to be able to understand to process and then to articulate what their views are on these very important issues.

Whether it's taxes, and budget.

Whether it's raining and the growth of government whether it's regulation, whether it's healthcare, education, legal issues, property rights, you name it.

People of been very responsive to what we have to offer. And I think that's good news again for the lot foundation for the candidates but also for the people of North Carolina and helping those candidates and elected officials understand the impact on real people of the votes that they will make as members of the unit. As you mentioned to our interaction and our efforts done and when.

Election day is over.

In a lot of ways it were just getting started then as a resource for lawmakers throughout each two-year by any minute. Some cases because we been doing is facets 2008. There are sitting legislators that we worked with when they were just thinking about running for public office and soaking at you had that valuable relationship and also the consistency of the policies and ideas that we have and are able to articulate and prevent that good solid information for folks. It will be after November 2020, then, that we find out what the established and elected makeup of the Gen. assembly will be in who those in new people are.

And who those veterans are that you will be working with.

Going forward, but before we get to Becky without actually a short session of the current general assembly that will be back in Raleigh in April and I know you've Artie got your list together of what you hope to be talking with people about let's start and end talk about criminal law reform that is been a real high priority on your list in the legislature started to take some action.

What is it.

First of all we see these transformational forms in North Carolina with our tax system with the way that we look at state government budget the size of state government. How that is put together infrastructure the way we fund education the way that we make investments in infrastructure inside this criminal law reform is kind of the next big piece of the reforms that North Carolina can do what were talking about is looking at air criminal law system. We have criminal statutes that of course are in those volumes of law books actually scattered throughout all of those volumes of the general statutes and in addition to that we have all kinds of criminal violations through the state agency. We also have all kinds of criminal violations that are put into place by local governments, municipalities and counties, boards and commissions all kinds of things and it is a big mishmash of stuff.

There is no way that a regular person can understand and figure out all of those criminal law violation. Now obviously things like rape and murder in larceny and battery and all of those kind of things, of course, what we have. There's a lot of criminal activities that have been declared criminal activities that are in many cases being a burden for people to start businesses. Imagine if you were that you want to start you know your your own business you've invested your money you get underway with that and you begin to realize G if I go askance of the lawn here.

I could be convicted of a crime. I think and probably late. Don't eat would not even know what the chilling effect that has on people that you may want to start their own business and it just lots of overlap occupational licensing can have criminal convictions associated with it. So what this conformist talking about is going up and cleaning data looking for duplication.

Looking at you know we have 17 different laws of larceny scattered all across the blocks. Why why we have one law that says North Carolina is against the law to steal stuff. Then all this other than my client on a little bit, but it really has been. It is had a real chilling effect on people inside his home criminal law reform notion is to go and clean it up and then re-codify what our laws are and then go forward from that and with that, once we get that all cleaned up in some of the other criminal justice were forms we talked about will try to take care of themselves. Becky Gray is senior vice president with the Locke foundation. Becky, thanks for joining. Thank you.

Time we have for the show this week. Thank you for listening. I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for another edition of Carolina generating Carolina journal radio is a program of the John lot foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations support programs like Carolina send email to development John Locke or call 1866 JM left 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John lot foundation airline is maintaining Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are so clearly the station for more information about the show. Other programs foundation John lot three and 868 JM would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across airline Carolina journal radio. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next week

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