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Carolina Journal Radio No. 809: Voters break Republicans’ N.C. legislative supermajorities

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2018 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 809: Voters break Republicans’ N.C. legislative supermajorities

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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November 19, 2018 8:00 am

Voters have broken veto-proof Republican supermajorities in the N.C. General Assembly. The November election results ensure a more powerful role for both the Democratic minority and Gov. Roy Cooper. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, analyzes the election’s significance. The United States and other Western nations are choosing to reject the economic Miracle that has generated most of the world’s prosperity. That’s the assessment of Jonah Goldberg. The American Enterprise Institute Scholar and National Review senior editor explains his assessment in the recent book Suicide of the West. He discussed key themes from the book during a recent visit to Chapel Hill. The University of North Carolina System has turned to the retiring CEO of UNC Health Care to lead the state’s public universities on an interim basis. Dr. William Roper recently shared with reporters his reaction to the appointment as interim UNC president. Conservative principles can improve public policy at all levels of government. P.J. Connelly is applying those principles to his job as mayor of Greenville. It’s the largest N.C. city with a Republican mayor. Connelly discusses his priorities and challenges as a conservative working in local government. Democrats made big gains in N.C. judicial elections on the statewide November ballot. The state’s voters also approved four of six proposed constitutional amendments. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the significance of the only ballot items every N.C. voter faced this year.


From Cherokee to current attack 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. This week's edition of Carolina Journal radio is brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina working every day to transform the health system for North Carolinians. More information available at today. America and other Western nations are choosing to throw away a key driver of their prosperity. That's the complaint of author and nationally known political pundit Jonah Goldberg. He outlined his concerns during a recent visit to North Carolina UNC system is a new interim president sees a familiar face from the world of healthcare will hear from Greenville is the largest North Carolina city with the conservative mayor will hear from him. He shares his priority list that will assess what North Carolina voters had to say recently about judicial elections and proposed constitutional amendments. Speaking of elections staffs the topic Donna Martinez addresses she joins us now with the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina Democrats had hoped to take control of the Gen. assembly on November 6. But voters failed to give the Democrats the ballot box wins necessary to rest the majority from state Republicans. But that does not mean that Democrats didn't do well on election night, particularly in metropolitan areas. Voters did give them enough victories to break the Republican vetoproof majorities in both legislative chambers that may well mean a different dynamic at the legislature come January. Becky Gray is senior vice president for the John Locke foundation. She joins me now to talk about what this all means Becky welcome back and are you glad election time is over. Yes, I think everyone in toilet paper and deodorant area so it's going to be an interesting time efforts of all its name to us what is going to be different in the legislature in terms of the power and influence in votes based on November, and this is gonna be a big change. Currently, the Republicans hold a super majority in both the House and the Senate know what that means is they have the votes to override any the time that the governor may put into place on and it Hansen and the Democrats have complained about this that it really makes the Democrats voice much less influential, particularly in those issues that revolve around elections on budgets. Those kind of things. What this election has done is it has well underway. Those super majorities. Republicans still have control of both the House and the Senate, which means that we will have a Republican speaker a Republican president of the Senate.

The committee chairs will most likely be mostly Republican but what it does is it is going to narrow down what they can do because of the governors the time now. It doesn't mean I can't do anything. Donna, you may recall, in 2011 we had a situation where the Senate had a super majority, but the hands did not. And so in order to get things done. That was when speaker Tom Tellis was running that chamber in order to get things done.

He had to get cooperation get votes from some moderate Democrats.

They overrode Gov. Beverly produce veto of the state budget, and other things they put some tax reforms into place. They began to roll back regulations they'd lifted the chap on cap on charter schools so it doesn't mean that things are going to get on it just means it's going to be a little bit more difficult. Under this new landscape will be working with. What will this mean for policy priorities will we still be working on the agenda of the Republicans. Well, I think you know and and we're looking at this very closely at the John foundation as we get ready to go into the session and prepare and we're working to put our resources where we believe that there can be real inroads for free-market policies on ethical organ be doing is looking for areas where there is consensus when there are things that we can work to gather on them, that we may not all of us. Everyone involved in the public policy debate in North Carolina on I think that there are some issues that we've already seen.

Everyone can get on board. If you look at the hurricane relief and the how the $2 billion savings account has been spent addressing the needs of the hurricane victims. We can continue to say that I think will see that the November, 27th session. I think it will see that going into 2019. The other thinks get things like reform of the ABC system in North Carolina, something we've written about talk about this last session. It got a lot of attention, some of the craft beer and craft spirits industries really growing in North Carolina in what we found was there was consensus on both sides of the Nile that you reforms need to be put into place in a pretty antiquated system healthcare something else. A lot of people are concerned about access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas in North Carolina think something that Republicans and Democrats recognize the problem recognize something needs to be done. Looking for solutions to that.

So it's going to be a little bit different in that Republicans are going to have to take a little bit of a step backward in their agenda and their policy priorities. Recognizing that there is a stopgap that is provided by the governor's veto and a smaller majority control that they have. Speaking of the governor. What does this mean for his involvement in public policy in North Carolina necessarily even his his public profile, but the more involved perhaps in policy discussions. I think some we've already seen this one of his reactions to the election was number one. He said that he was looking forward and hope to work with legislative leaders think that's a good sign.

He also mentioned to specific things that he has prioritized one is additional funding for teachers and investment in education and the second one is broader access to healthcare. So those are two issues education funding education investment and access to healthcare. He's already identified those those are key issues for the legislature's I think you already were getting an idea of what that's going to be like what I hope doesn't happen is what is happened in Washington when there is gridlock in areas just refusal to work together entirely also hope that the next two years are not spent with either side or both sides trying to make political logs make you a quick political gains on gamesmanship. As far as forcing votes on particular issues to make the other side look bad enough that I don't think is what anyone wants will certainly be doing our part of the John Locke foundation provide a lot of good solid policy ideas and information data that they can can look at and hopefully drive a very positive free-market limited government agenda that will continue to improve our economy.

What it also perhaps mean for the governor that he has proposals made, particularly in the budget area might need to be more realistic sense he needs to be reaching out more and there's gonna be more back-and-forth presumably absolutely nothing. We saw that during the budget cycle of his first two years on his budget was very much a wish list. It was a list of priorities that I think even recognize. It was no way that the kind of tax increases that his budget ideas would have required would ever be palatable to got the keys can have to be more realistic and I think it will see more compromise and negotiation between the governor's office and the Gen. assembly when it comes to the priorities of legislators back. It's always been fascinating. It's no secret, and you know it better than anyone about how rural areas of the state have different priorities. A lot of times from more urban metro areas of the state and was on the vote this time a bluing of the urban metro areas while the other areas were staying more red in the suburban areas kind of in the middle.

Is there any way to try to ever bridge that gap that's going to be the biggest challenge I think the next two years and and perhaps the next decade finished equipment went on that and wake County. After the selection white canning there is one Republican in the wake delegation in Mecklenburg County. There is one maybe two Republicans in the Mecklenburg delegation Sen. Dan Bishop and then Representative Bill Brawley is in a very tight rice work and have to see. After some probably recounts in that race with areas, but I think that illustrates what you're talking about. And then there are more Republicans in the urban parts of the state.

We've seen this divide. We see in the struggle, whether it is the distribution of sales tax revenue. Whether it is education funding edge investments in infrastructure and roads in the healthcare as well.

You know you just look at the medical facilities that are located in wake County, Durham, Chapel Hill, Mecklenburg County compare that in other parts of the state. Clearly some challenges that we can have to address and I know that you will be on top of all of the actions when the Gen. assembly comes back. Becky Gray will be following it all as will Carolina journal. You can find all of and Carolina thank you thank you thank you stay with this much North Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment. This week's edition of Carolina journal radio was brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina working every day to transform health system from North Carolinians. More information available today. voters have spoken in North Carolina.

How can you make sense of what they said about the legislature Congress, the courts, the Constitution, Carolina journal has you covered in print each month. Online every day.

Carolina journal is your source for up-to-the-minute information about North Carolina state government policies and their impact on you Carolina Journal offers in-depth analysis of the election's aftermath, then looks ahead to 2019. How will elections affect your family, your wallet, your schools, your business find out in the free Carolina Journal newspaper Carolina journal your number one source for government news that affects you visit Carolina today. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy, Western civilization is choosing its own demise. That's the less than cheery assessment of Jonah Goldberg, the American enterprise Institute scholar and national review, Senior editor, recently visited North Carolina, he shared key themes from his most recent book. It's titled suicide of the West. Recent headlines seem to play into your book's thesis.

There are some long-term trends that have been going on in our culture for very long time. I think that is a lot to say Donald Trump is the cause of our problems, but is a symptom of an those symptoms are larger than just what's going on right or just what's going on the left. They are currents are running around through basically all the West, including in your populism and nationalism are at the forefront and I think phenomenal there that big and that complex are going to have manifestations of themselves that almost any given moment for years to come. Your book features the following subtitle how the rebirth of tribalism, populism, nationalism and identity politics is destroying America democracy. What were really experiencing this country and across the West is a breakdown in the institutions that traditionally give us a sense of meaning and belonging in our lives with the biblical using civil society but also includes things like a family and what has two thumbs and loves capitalism. The sky, but capitalism can't capitalism depends on values he cannot create and cannot restore once lost those values are incubated in the family and church and faith and also in all the what Evan Burke called the little platoons of civil society. These these little institutions that give people a sense of meaning and belonging when they break down what happens is we don't lose her desire for meaning and belonging. We look to other things, to provide them. Among the things that historically have done better. Things like tribalism or or nationalism or populism or just simply politics and more and more people are turning to politics for a sense of meaning and belonging in tribal identity and is profoundly unhealthy. You mentioned the breakdown of civil society. How are we seeing this today. One of these I try to do in the book is work on the assumptions that modern secular progressive you know people who aren't necessarily conservative consider to be the sort of central science, evolution, right economics, material metrics about well-being and what we see is is that capitalism is done.

Unbelievably, truly miraculous things for improving man's material condition for improving our public health longevity. You got on an incredibly long list of people like Steven Pinker turn into a whole book but what can't do is fill the holes in your soul can give you a sense of meaning or belonging, and so one of the things that were seen today go to the rise of partisanship. Social scientists are kind of overwhelmed by the fact that one's partisan identity is now a bigger driver of attitudes and behavior for millions of people then religion or ethnicity or even sex or gender or race are and that's because our our desire to sort of is as normal institutions that provide those things with her. We attach ourselves to these partisan causes. So you have an enormous rise with a cold negative partisanship negative partisanship ship is about how there are millions of people who the only reason they call themselves Democrats because they hate Republicans and the only reason why millions of people call themselves Republicans as they hate Democrats.

It's a very tribal way of viewing the world in tribal societies, which is what we all evolve our brains are designed to see the people like us of the people that we form coalitions with as good as everybody outside of the dangerous other than that is defining so much of our politics these days. You have people say that it's worth being a jerk, so long as the right people are offended people defending some of the Donald Trump says her tweets purely on the grounds that it's that liberty tears are delicious.

That kind of thing and using the same phenomenal mall on the left with people going after the right mocking religion mocking traditionalism purely because it makes you know Mike pence sat and this is a profoundly unhealthy way to think about politics. That's the voice of Jonah Goldberg scholar at the American enterprise Institute senior editor at national review and author of the recent book suicide of the West, you use the word miraculous in your book talks about threats to a capital M miracle. What's the miracle reason I chose the word miracle in the Enlightenment ride even modernity is that is miraculous. It is bizarre for 250,000 years or however long Homo sapiens existed since we split off from the Neanderthals. The average human being everywhere in the world lived on no more than three dollars a day. Man's natural environment was grinding poverty punctuated by an early death, either from violence or some valves doing disease and then once and only once in all of human history, did human prosperity for the average person that some aristocrats and Pharaoh or ember start to go up. It's been going up ever since extra six life times that we've been we've left out of our natural state sense really want to go back to the agricultural revolution that was only 10,000 years ago, we existed for hundreds of thousands years before that and one of the reasons why caller miracle is that it's just simply miraculous the transformation that we have, but also because we really don't understand why it happened lots of good theories summarizing most of the theories are actually pretty good about about explaining parts of it, but there is no consensus that the total consensus about the poverty for 250,000.

There's no consensus about why we got out of it and so part of my listening.

What a miracle is some glorious wonderful thing that happens that you can't explain now as part of my argument. I don't attribute to God. I have no public people do is persuade people who come from the other side of the political aisle. But even if you don't think God has anything to do that we should still have a profound sense of gratitude for an for me conservatism is best understood as a disposition of gratitude. You look around the world. Look around your society you see those things that are valuable that are lovely, but you want to pass on to the next generation may be improved, but certainly not degraded and you only can do that if you have a sense of gratitude for instead in this country we teach in gratitude. Teaching gratitude is a matter of higher education of popular culture, we teach people to own something we teach people to be resentful. Resentment is the opposite of gratitude. And when you have that attitude when you have that mindset that says I'm old more than what I have and you take everything that we have for granted you. You start acting as if there people who took what you're owed away from you and that is the driving sense of grievance that informed so much a populism of nationalism of identity politics of tribalism of socialism which is not a subtitle but usually could have been sort of implied and I honestly think that the way out. There is a policy things we can do. But first of all we need is to open our hearts to the fact that were all lucky to be alive in this country and the civilization at this time as we know one is had it better. As a generalization, Jonah Goldberg is an American enterprise Institute scholar senior editor at national review and author, most recently suicide of the West will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment. Did you know you can now advance freedom and free markets just by shopping with Amazon it's true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shot using the Amazon smile program and designate as the foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to us. The John Locke foundation. So here's how it works.

Log on to Amazon smile.

It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices is much better. Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to pass the John Locke foundation to try to be sure to designate the Locke foundation is a nonprofit, you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy will also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation voters have spoken in North Carolina.

How can you make sense of what they said about the legislature Congress, the courts, the Constitution, Carolina journal has you covered in print each month. Online every day.

Carolina journal is your source for up-to-the-minute information about North Carolina state government policies and their impact on you Carolina journal offers in-depth analysis of the election's aftermath, then looks ahead to 2019. How will elections affect your family, your wallet, your schools, your business find out in the free Carolina journal newspaper Carolina journal your number one source for government news that affects you visit Carolina today if you love 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 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 from the 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. This week's edition of Carolina Journal radio was brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina working every day to transform the health system from North Carolinians. More information available at today. will go back to Carolina Journal radio I Michiko got the University of North Carolina is turning to the retiring CEO of UNC healthcare to serve as interim president of the University system.

Dr. William Roper explains the change in jobs. The last 14+ years I've spoken about the business of training the next generation of doctors and scientists and other health professionals today. Moving forward I speak place voice we have work ahead to do business. The trains are next generation of teachers versus innovators, veterinarians and entrepreneurs, cinematographers, and philosopher Schneerson. Many, many others. Let's not confuse that work with our responsibility to shape towards inspiring kindness and a sense of belonging. All only in our institutions in our world why Roper UNC Board Chairman Harry Smith response is very complex asset concerning things that I was looking for someone actually ran and managed a sophisticated asset and Bill has done's levels of success and so she took a load his accomplishments in this jocular management, human capital is some of the marshlands someone is known as anybody is amazed and oversaw the engines of Roper hasn't set out a list of priorities, but he does offer some clue. We need most of all we have in abundance is the support of the people to operate this precious strengths in public education system takes goodwill, but it also takes money takes people working together in a collegial fashion not for this or that, for all North Carolina Roper is 70.

How long does he expect to hold this interim job will it always be interim. I really do believe in public service, and part of what the Olsons when you're asked to do something so you say yes unless there is strong reason not to. So I'm suggesting this. I'm looking forward to having supper tonight and tomorrow. Not once in the future care of himself. That's Dr. William Roper recently named interim president of the University of North Carolina system. He takes that new job January 1 will return with more Carolina Journal radio in a moment a commitment to truth and transparency in government. That is the mission of Carolina journal and we are proud to deliver and now proud to tell you the North Carolina press Association has honored to members of our team with awards for reporting and writing, that's right, we really do deliver award-winning journalism we shine the light on government spending, reveal the truth about boondoggles and dig deep into programs paid for with your tax money. We keep you in the know in a way other media outlets don't in our reach and influence are growing all of our outlets. We reach more than 1 million N. Carolinians each month so make sure you're one of them are monthly print edition arrives in your mailbox every month. Our online daily news site Carolina has fresh stories, opinion pieces, and more. The award-winning Carolina journal team I reporters make government accountable to you. Call 1866 JL FINFO for your free subscription, welcome back. Carolina Journal radio I Michiko got what we discussed conservative politics and policies of this program.

We usually focuses focus on state or even national issues but conservative principles can form local government actions as well as one person who is putting conservative ideas to work at a local government is PJ Connolly is Mayor of Greenville, North Carolina. It's the largest North Carolina city with Republican mayor welcome to the program. Thank you for having me.

So you were recently elected as mayor of Greenville after serving on the council for a couple years. What's the transition elected to the top job on the counselor will you know I have say that it was very beneficial.

Balance accounts for couple years you can really learn the ropes and in understanding how things work units. It's been it's been a very big benefits to say that I was on the Council for couple years. What are some of the things that you're focusing on now as make well we we start off when I was well was elected we really want to make a focus on jobs that was one of the main things you notice of final priority standpoint we really focusing on bringing jobs for community and economic development.

We well was first sworn into office.

One of things we made was a tagline said Greenville means business, so we really want to focus on is is growing businesses in our area that have already invested there and also bringing new businesses to our community as well.

Tells me earlier today.

One of things we really are very fortunate to have as we have a great medical facility and we also have a great university or community college in our in our area so were very thankful for that. But what is your dues diversify your portfolio to soldier on his return, bring private sector jobs or community and in the cities.

A lot of things moving forward with with Rhonda to hit on his priorities. Turner budget cycle. We put a large amount of money towards site development.

We also put some money towards workplace development as well. So we really try to focus on on even as simple as possible and and and working on the economic development standpoint, conservatives working in government can often run into some obstacles or challenges are there things that you have seen in working with city government that you said this is something we we ought to fix her auto dressed well today.

One of the first things I noticed with get into city government was how slow things moving on being a private sector got myself that back and be very frustrating. So all things were doing right now is return lay the groundwork for the future and we understand all these different initiatives that were coming up with right now. Time to be able to capitalize on so were trying to screw a good base moving forward. So some of the conservative principles that we are put in place for now will be beneficial, 10, 15, 20 years from now. What are some of those things, you know, one of things that we really focus on as we have a big issue with deferred maintenance with our infrastructure so the city Council and myself have really put a big emphasis on on building our infrastructure. You know I say about that a lot has to do with our road system. I'd say 9/10 people asked what the worst what what the worst thing our city was was was a road system and knows is the mayor and in the Council has really made a priority to fix the roads this year were down 27.1 lane miles, which is the most of the cities ever done so will try to do is when we are knocking on doors and talking to your constituents to ask him to vote for us and telling were to fix a road system want to make sure that we are actually doing so. That's normal main focuses so far since we've taken office. We are chatting with PJ Connolly, mayor of Greenville, North Carolina, and as you been pursuing some of these initiatives. Are you finding some pushback from from people within government or people glad to hear some of these fresh new ideas for the most part everybody's been pretty happy with. We really try to focus on some the bare necessities in our community like a solution with focus on the infrastructure would also focus on beautification. I'm begging on on your first impression you get one first impression you better be a good one is what's over the city staff. So what we've done is we've really starts to work on the adopt a city person adopt a city street program and which was pretty much dead when I first got into an office so we start work on that. That's been very beneficial were starting to clean up our city human people come in our community so that that first impression is everything we want them to come and see that were clean, safe, nice place to live in an tell friends that they should Bush come and visit Greenville, North Carolina. You mentioned having the private sector background are the particular things that you try to do is Mayor were trying to have the Council or the actual manager and the government staff do to make things easier for private businesses absolutely loose there several things that were doing one of things that they are most proud about is recruiter concierge service.

So when people are looking to locate her, bring her businesses to to the city of Greenville have a one point contact to make a very very easy for planning and zoning for for permitting. They just have to go to that one person that will walk through the steps as far as what they can do open up a business in Greenville. Another thing that we've done to his work, we offer job incentives and this is the first time this never happened in the city of Greenville is were offering job incentives for for companies that want to locate in our municipality and even in Re: TJ as well, or try to do is we want people to grow their businesses and will will incentivize them based off of how many jobs there.

It will create have to tell you the John Locke foundation has been an opponent of targeted tax incentives for bringing jobs. Are you trying to put in programs that at least have some clawbacks or particular characteristics of the make it not too easy to get out incentives.

Absolutely others deftly clawbacks on the nurse. It's a strict requirement of the entry-level 50 jobs that you have to bring in so it's not just a small one we've we've past administrations have gone through this and and they've created some kind of incentives to to be able to create jobs and what ends up happening is the business of the folding and were looking to find that money back in and we do have called oxen and they have to produce for us to be able to to Providence central now as the mayor they were the mayor of the largest city in North Carolina that has a Republican mayor is has it been difficult to find some other people.

You could turn to for ideas of good conservative things to try and city government, or are there good resources for now. It's been prayed actually with they will have a a lot of good friends in the state legislature that have been really welcoming and are helping with our mission. They understand you're trying to do to try to grow the city of Greenville not try to make a partisan issue with our city work were doing the best we can and and were fortunate enough to try to spring a ready together understand that this is a team effort and for Greenville to be able to grow also have to work together so it hasn't been to partisan you mentioned bringing people together that tends to be in government. One of the trickier things making sure that you can get folks on all sides to compromise or at least come to some consensus on some issues that something you're having to focus on yet is him in the tough part is when I first became the mayor of the city of Greenville.

We have a county was working separate from the city greater utilities whose our utility provider in our community was working separately. The universe is working separately and we understand that if we want to grow community want to create a good economic development environment where all you have to work together. Some were coming to knock on the door here in Raleigh at our state legislature were all coming together with one plan in place a model asking for something separate so I think we all realize that we work together things will be better people seeing the video are hearing the audio probably can tell this is kind of a younger fellow. Do you have some long-term long in the distance ideas of where Greenville audibly. Well, you know, we just want Greenville continue to grow and relock you think the last numbers I saw that were going on about a 7% rate. We will continue to grow more Greenville continue to have businesses for people one when I graduate from East Carolina University or for community college want them to stay there. Bill raise a family there, live there and have a great life on but one of the people who's going to be trying to help make that happen.

Greenville at least for the coming years as the mayor is PJ Connolly with thank you so much for joining us on Carolina journaling. Thank you for having appreciated 11 more just a moment. This week's edition of Carolina Journal radio was brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina working every day to transform the health system from North Carolinians. More information available at today. voters have spoken in North Carolina. How can you make sense of what they said about the legislature Congress, the courts, the Constitution Carolina Journal has you covered in print each month. Online every day. Carolina Journal is your source for up-to-the-minute information about North Carolina state government policies and their impact on you Carolina Journal offers in-depth analysis of the election's aftermath, then looks ahead to 2019 album elections affect your family, your wallet, your schools, your business find out in the free Carolina Journal newspaper Carolina Journal your number one source for government news that affects you visit Carolina today. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I'm Donna Martinez North Carolina Democrats scored solid victories on November 6 and statewide races for North Carolina's two highest courts. While Republicans notched wins on several amendments to the North Carolina Constitution Carolina Journal covering all of the stories for you it Carolina Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief.

He joins us now to talk about some of these big races Rick, welcome back, thinking let's talk about the big Democratic wins first when it comes to judicial races in the. The key race, the North Carolina Supreme Court seat and incumbent Justice goes down to defeat right, Barbara Jackson, who was running for her first full term is the receipt of the second full term she's appointed and she ran and she ran a successful race eight years ago in was running for her second full term on the court, lost to Democrat Anita earls in a race that was that was rather controversial from the beginning because there was also a second Republican candidate on the ballot Chris angle in a nominally registered Republican who actually was a longtime Democrat in his financing came from Democrats was trying to be a spoiler, who's basically trying to knock Jackson off the court and he was successful in doing so you earls got less than 50% of the vote and the two combined Republican vote was about 50.5%, so it is with all of the statewide races there is a clean Democratic sweep of these judicial races. Even the Republicans cast more ballots by 50 got up 52% ballot statewide for legislative and house races so Democrat still swept all the statewide risk. The state second highest court. Also, the Court of Appeals aside Democrats out winning all three races for seats there. So now that we know that Democrats have done so well in these judicial statewide races. What does that mean going forward. Well what that means going forward is that there's a very good chance that the notion that some pressure pushing of Sue till you're blue is going to be emphasized even more. I think the biggest policy. Watch out for this is is an area school choice, especially the opportunity scholarship program, which the teachers union and the other education establishment members and lots of Democrats have wanted to get rid of the beginning.

The Supreme Court has upheld that the opportunity scholarships are constitutional, but Democrats want to get rid of it and they may well try to figure out some vehicle to go to the courts, with the expectation that if it does reach the Supreme Court that with a five to majority now they can they can declare those unconstitutional Rick, let's talk about the actual balance in the number of people who were running for some of these races in our listeners may be thinking, hey, wait a second on that Supreme Court race.

There were two Republicans there and one Democrat. How is it possible to have two Republicans running in the same race will that gets back to some legislative activity right. It turned out really to undermine the work of the Republican majority in the general assembly undermining a Republican candidate. You Republicans probably lost to Supreme Court seats because of some of their attempts to be clever with the law. He attempted to earlier this decade to replace the direct elections in a one versus one contest legislatively with retention elections for judges who were up over whose terms it ended, which showed the judge's name will appear on the ballot. Voters would give them a yes or no for an additional term and that if there was no vote and you have to have an actual election to sell this race between candidates. Well that was determined to be unconstitutional because they try to change something in statute that was defined unconstitutional action providers contest between two or more candidates so that didn't work then the Republicans said was just a way with judicial primaries and have this is sort of a free-for-all race thinking. For some reason that Democrats would have lots of candidates try to get that Supreme Court seat and one Republican incumbent Barbara Jackson doing so well did turn out that way Democrats coalesced behind Anita earls very early and when the filing period was about to close Chris Anglin who is an attorney was never served on the court before change his registration from Democrat Republican a few weeks before the filing deadline ended and then file is Republican when and got enough of the votes to.doc of objects off court so that's how it went.

In the judicial statewide races that really good night for North Carolina Democrats now.

Conversely, the Republicans seem to have had a pretty good night when it came to those constitutional amendments that were on the ballot there were six of them. We know that first about 2:04 went down in that unit went down had to do with them a power shifting arrangement that taking some power away from the governors office and giving it over to the Gen. assembly. After we had those five former governors who came out against that they appear to have that had an impact there, and I'm not sure it was a good life. Republicans simply because they assumed that all six would pass easily. They had pulled these particular items, and said look, these are things that are popular with our voters sure that they were good policy, but there are popular with voters and if we get them on the ballot will draw our voters to the polls there that will therefore maintain our super majorities in the Gen. assembly. This will translate down ballot to races. Instead, it kinda backfired on because the amendments were not numbered on the ballot. There was no designation separating one from another, except for the titles of the amendments so therefore it was very easy for the Democrats to say well you know we made not have any problems with a couple of these amendments but guess what will she thought against all mix all six was how the hashtag on social media, but also, there were signs everywhere saying vote against these misleading amendments of these deceptive amendments without defining what was deceptive or misleading about them at all and because of that, that held down the support for something like the victims rights and we still got about 68% of the vote.

I think that was polling in the 80s and 90s.

In some cases, the, the amendment on hunting and fishing which also got pretty high support but not as high as anyone thought since the past unanimously or with only one dissenting vote in each chamber of the legislature and the two amendments that were really the most important Republicans were the ones changing the structure of state government. The balance between the executive and legislative branches of those went down varies significantly. One of them would have reconstituted the state board of elections and ethics reform. I think for the fourth time in two years and because the previous versions of all instruct down in court as unconstitutional violations of the separation of powers.

The other one we changed how judicial vacancies were filled taking that hit that out of the hands of the governor entirely.

That's what the five living former governors campaigned against them. So once you had the Knicks all six campaign to strip government structure amendments that were kind of confusing the voters. I think in the five governors coming out against it.

It became fairly easy ferocious. I will understand what's going on Rodeo. Let's talk about photo ID to vote. Eli did pass one of the four events past and damn. So now going forward later this month, then the legislature has to actually define the language right the language to go into the Constitution. That's right, that's right. They scheduled a special session for the week after Thanksgiving to to do to pass enabling legislation necessary and they been struck down several times in court. The federal and state about the voter ID requirement so I'm hearing some people suggesting that what the general assembly should basically do is embrace the language in a North Dakota law, which just past the muster of the US Supreme Court. Whatever it says just copy that language include data than when someone inevitably Susan someone will is a call here voter suppression, then you can say what the Supreme Court said this was fine.

So let's go with your predicting legal challenge, no matter what all absolutely because there are there are advocates especially on the left as you say, any attempt to require identification of the polls is voter suppression would not actually put North Carolina in the mainstream now in terms of those laws. Hello, I think, so something like 30 states or more have some sort of ID requirement we been talking with Rick Henderson. He is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal Rick Anderson thank you thank you that's all the time we have for the show this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio this week's edition of Carolina journal writing is brought to you by Blue Cross Shield working everyday to transform health system. More information available today.

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