CAUTION’s Summer Sessions are in full swing…and it’s really Summer now as well!
Join us Monday evening at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille from 6-7:30 for some great conversation with fellow conservatives.
This is a long newsletter, so let’s dive in!!
This week, in addition to our This Week in History presentation, we’ll also hear from our Vice Chair Mel Morganstein on the science behind fracking. Governor McCrory and the state legislature recently passed the Energy Modernization Act which clears the way for permits to be issued allowing fracking for oil and gas as soon as next Spring. This is good news for supporters of energy independence and economic growth, but there are detractors from both sides of the aisle. Mel will get us up to speed on what fracking actually is and help dispel some of the negative publicity it receives.
We’ll also begin a conversation on our strategy to help fight the sales tax increase referendum that the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners decided to put on the ballot at their last meeting. Mecklenburg County already has the second highest sales tax rate in NC. This quarter percent increase will make us tied for first. Tax increases in general are an irresponsible move, but tying a tax increase to bonuses for a specific class of employees (teachers) is a very wrong-headed move. There is also no guarantee that future councils will have to use the money generated by this sales tax in the same way. Bring your opinion and your talking points and let’s start to hammer out our strategy for confronting this.
See you soon!
~The CAUTION Leadership Team
Common Core Update
After a relatively weak Common Core “repeal” measure was proposed from the Common Core Study Committee in May, NC House Reps. Pittman and Speciale worked to add substantial amendments to the House version of the legislation. The amendments help ensure student data privacy as well as prohibit the State Board of Education from ceding authority over education standards to the federal government in the future. Sen. Tillman’s Senate version of the bill mirrors the legislation that he introduced to the Study Committee and directs that NC shall continue to be in compliance with federal grant mandates. On 6/19/2014, the House Education Committee met to hear the Senate version of the Common Core legislation. Rep. Horn motioned to keep the House amendments; Senators Tillman and Soucek spoke on the motion, defending the Senate’s version of the bill. Rep. Horn stated that the differences of opinion over the language would have to be worked out in a conference committee and called the question on adopting the House language. The motion passed 25 – 17. Roll call on the vote begins after 6 minutes in. Here is the video. The NEXT STEP is call Thom Tillis and make sure he knows we’re watching to ensure that those who voted “yes” are appointed to conference committee. Make sure his US Senate campaign knows we are watching who he appoints, as well. If he appoints a single one of those “no votes” then he is supporting Common Core, because it will likely take just a few from the House side to give the entire thing away, since the Senate side is organizing to drop Pittman’s amendments. Please let him know to appoint people like Pittman, Speciale, Michele Presnell, & the other “yes” votes from the roll call. (Full list is not up yet on the NCGA website, but the message is the same even without specifics. Appoint those who will fight for the Pittman amendments to HB 1061!!)
HOT Lane Update
Your Help is Needed To Stop the Tolls!
Following is an email that went out from WidenI77.org. We need you to copy/paste or write your own version and notify legislators that this is unacceptable. 9 (NINE!) other projects like this are planned for North Carolina. If you want this to stop, now is the time to take action. For those of you who want to maintain a Republican majority in the General Assembly and for Tillis to beat Hagan, this plan has got to stop! This will probably be one of the biggest issues that will push Independents to not vote for Republicans since this plan was pushed by Republican legislators and McCrory has been silent. If we don’t have Independents voting for Republicans, then we lose elections. Also — please keep in mind that only Cintra (the Spanish company) bid on this project. So we are getting into a deal with no competing bids and the only reason we even have this information is because of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Here’s the email text:
Subject: I-77 Tolls Expected to be $9 One Way – Need Your Help Now!
On June 25th the NCDOT and a private company are set to sign an agreement to toll I-77 for the next 50 years. Once that document is signed, the cost to North Carolina taxpayers to exit the agreement will cost as much as it would have been to address congestion on I-77 in Lake Norman in the first place.
According to documents recently obtained by WidenI77, here is what the agreement will mean to your commute:
- Initial tolls from Mooresville to Charlotte are expected to be $9 one way, escalating to $20 one way by 2035
- Total toll payments are projected to be $13 billion over the life of the contract
- Travel times on the free lanes are expected to nearly double in less than twenty years
- Rush hour speeds from Hambright to Langtree (11 miles) will average 15mph
- The taxpayer will subsidize any shortfall in toll revenues up to $75 million
The NCDOT just released this information last week and now, a few days later, are ready to sign the contract. They hope no one will notice. We hope they’re wrong.
We need your help to stop this impending calamity!
Contact Governor McCrory and your state and local elected officials and demand the NCDOT not sign the agreement until the Lake Norman governments have had a chance to publically review the impact on our communities.
This is our last chance to stop this disaster. Please contact them today!
Learn more at www.wideni77.org
Recommended message to Elected Leaders:
Subject: Stop the NC DOT from Committing Lake Norman to 50 Years of Gridlock
Hon. Governor McCory and Elected Leaders,
The P3 HOT Lane funding model for widening I-77 between Charlotte and Lake Norman is expensive and ineffective, and puts the taxpayer at significant risk of a bailout. There are fairer, cheaper and more effective ways to fund our roads.
The true cost to the Lake Norman region are only now being released to the public, yet the NCDOT is poised to sign the P3 contract June 25th. Lake Norman citizens deserve greater transparency and inclusion in this decision. Please delay the signing of any P3 agreements until the Lake Norman governments have had a chance to review and hold public hearings on this contract.
I believe government works best when legislators and the public are properly informed.
Governor Pat McCory – firstname.lastname@example.org orhttp://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/email-pat
Speaker Thom Tillis – Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net
Rep. Charles Jeter – Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net
NC Rep. Joel Ford – Joel.Ford@ncleg.net
NC Sen. Jeff Tarte – Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net
Tuesday, June 24 – Mecklenburg Young Republican Meeting
Wondering what Common Core is all about?
Please join the MeckYR’s and our special guest Jamey Falkenbury, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forrest’s education policy director.
Jamey Falkenbury will be giving us a presentation on Common Core and the impact on the state’s education standards, followed by Q&A.
For more info, click HERE.
Saturday, June 28 – TEA Party Picnic with Asheville Tea Party
Dr. Greg Brannon, U.S. Senate 2014 primary candidate, will be at Lake Julian Park in Asheville on Saturday, June 28th from Noon to 4 PM to thank his many volunteers for their effort and support in the primary and to deliver the message: The Mission Going Forward. Asheville Tea PAC will be sponsoring the event. The event is free and open to the public.
Live music comes to us from Reed Williams, Nashville, country music song writer and singer. Food and drinks provided. Attend and have a chance to win readiness items. The Bug Out Truck to be raffled off July 4th will be displayed. There are paddle boats, a playground and crafts for kids. Grassroots organizations will have tables with their materials and upcoming events to share. Among others, on-line media news outlet, Carolina Plott Hound, freedom activist organization, FreedomWorks and ATPAC supporter, Randy’s Guns and Ammo will also join us.
Lake Julian, Pavilion #5, is located at 406 Overlook Road Extension, Arden, NC 28704, off Highway 26 Long Shoals Exit.