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The Campaign Trail
Sen. Hise Blasts Democrats For Not Wanting A New Primary In Ninth Congressional District PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 09:58
Senator Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), Chairman of the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee, today issued the following statement in response to opposition from Congressional Democrats for a new primary if the North Carolina State Board of Elections orders a new election in the 9th Congressional District: 
 
"The hypocrisy from Democrats demanding the NC-9 primary results stand if fraud allegations are proved true is breathtaking and deeply depressing. News outlets, including the New York Times, have reported that the same alleged shenanigans took place in both the primary and the general election. Yet Democratic Members of Congress say the alleged fraud, if proven true, requires a new general election and, at the same time, the alleged fraud is no grounds for a new primary election. I’d like the number for their acting coach, because it’s remarkable they could say that with a straight face. If a new election is called, primary voters deserve the chance to choose their candidate based on new information they didn’t have earlier this year. A new election means a new election, fair and square." 
 
Center On Budget And Policy Priorities Calls For Higher Taxes On Wealthy PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:29

Policymakers should be expanding the taxation of assets of the very wealthy, since loopholes and other special benefits currently shield much of the value of these assets from federal, state, and local taxes, a new series of reports by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) argues. Eliminating these tax advantages would shift some of the responsibility for funding critical public services and investments like schools, roads, and health care from low- and moderate-income taxpayers to those best able to pay while increasing opportunity for everyone.

How States Can Tax Wealth , which launches today with two short Issue Briefs (listed below), explores how states can better tax wealth and high incomes to make state tax codes fairer, raise adequate funding for public services, and expand opportunity.

*     Issue Brief: State Taxes on Inherited Wealth: State taxes on inherited wealth apply only to the wealthiest individuals and are the primary state tax on wealth. But these taxes have gradually eroded, even as wealth and income have become more concentrated. States with these taxes should maintain them, and states without them should consider enacting them — or consider taxing inheritances as income. State taxes on inherited wealth are not affected by the federal estate tax. Reinstating an estate tax in North Carolina with a $5.43 million exemption, roughly what was in place before its elimination, would raise an estimated $100 million each year to fund education, health care, and other important public services.    

*     Issue Brief: State Taxes on Capital Gains: Capital gains, which go overwhelmingly to the wealthiest households, receive special tax preferences in a number of states, such as a partial exemption. States with such preferences should eliminate them. There are also several ways that states can boost capital gains revenue to support investments that increase prosperity for all.

"State policymakers across the country and across the political spectrum agree that inequality and the increasing concentration of wealth is a problem," said Elizabeth McNichol, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and project lead on this new series. "The good news is there are plenty of policy solutions that can improve state tax systems, raise new revenues for important public investments, and boost opportunities for workers and families striving to get ahead. Our new series can help lawmakers make smarter decisions in 2019 and beyond."

Nationwide, the top one percent of households own roughly 40 percent of the wealth, while the bottom 90 percent of households own just 21 percent. This top-heavy structure reduces opportunity for millions of American families - particularly Black families, Latinx families, and other families of color, who have faced additional barriers to building wealth due to the legacy of historical racism and the ongoing damage from racial bias and discrimination. In North Carolina, the median net worth of white households is nearly four times (3.76) greater than that of households of color. When the data is further disaggregated by race, this number grows. The median net worth of white households is 5 times that of Black households and nearly 10 times greater than that of Hispanic households; data does not exist for Asian households.

State and local governments largely exacerbate this disparity through the state and local tax code, which asks low- and middle-income taxpayers in most states to pay a larger share of their income in taxes than the wealthiest taxpayers.

In North Carolina, the lowest 20 percent of taxpayers face an average state and local tax rate that is 33 percent higher than the top 1 percent. The average effective state and local tax rate is 9.5 percent for the lowest-income 20 percent of individuals and families, 9.4 percent for the middle 20 percent, and 6.4 percent for the top 1 percent.

A recent change to the North Carolina Constitution decreased the allowable maximum income tax rate from 10 percent to 7. Given that income tax is the most progressive source of revenue available to policy makers compared to property, sales, and excise taxes, if revenues are not raised in an equitable way, this change has the potential to exacerbate existing disparities.

 "Improving and expanding the taxation of wealth could help bring more balance and equity to our state's tax code by ensuring the wealthiest families are paying their fair share toward building a stronger North Carolina," said Alexandra Sirota, Director of Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. "Better tax policies like these are an important tool for creating a state with more opportunity and more broadly shared prosperity."

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Jacob Kaufman-Waldron, CBPP, 202-325-8746 and Alexandra Forter Sirota, NC Budget & Tax Center Director, 919-861-1468 or  Martine Aurelien, BTC Public Policy Fellow, 919-856-3192

The Budget & Tax Center is a project of the NC Justice Center, a nonpartisan organization that works to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household in the state has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.

 

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Conservative Groups Call For Recusal Of Ethics Enforcement Chair From Voter Fraud Investigation PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:15
Monday, 17 December 2018 10:22

The North Carolina Values Coalition and other conservative organizations delivered a letter to Governor Roy Cooper today asking the Governor to call for the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement Chairman Joshua Malcolm to recuse himself from the investigation, upcoming evidentiary hearing, and board vote concerning the election fraud investigation in Bladen and Robeson Counties.

"There is evidence that Joshua Malcolm is too partisan to play the role of prosecutor, judge, and jury during this critical election investigation and State Board proceeding." according to Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director.

The coalition includes representatives from North Carolina Values Coalition, Concerned Women of America Legislative Action Committee, and FRC Action. The groups are concerned that Board Chair Joshua Malcolm’s past overtly partisan actions will taint the election and destroy the confidence voters have in the integrity of the process. They call for him to recuse himself from the investigation, the upcoming evidentiary hearing, and the vote of the Board, citing this supporting evidence:

  • Over the last decade Joshua Malcolm served six years in leadership on the Robeson County Board of Elections, a county at the epicenter of the alleged fraud, and for the last five years on the State Elections Board. Malcolm has insisted that he is "very familiar with unfortunate activities that have been happening down in my part of the state." Malcolm also has insisted that he knew there were absentee voting problems in these counties for years. As a member of both county and state Election Boards, he had numerous opportunities to shine light on these irregularities and even hold up certification of past elections to investigate these known "unfortunate activities" but he failed to do so while serving on election boards in this region for over a decade.
  • In 2016, in an effort to meet canvass deadlines, Malcolm made a motion to dismiss election fraud allegations related to absentee ballots and certify the election in question, yet in 2018, he made the motion not to certify the election of Mark Harris based on the similar alleged absentee ballot irregularities. According to Board minutes, the State Board of Elections never actually inspected all the absentee ballots in question from Bladen County in 2016. They simply dismissed the allegations and referred the case to the U.S. Attorney, because there were not enough votes to overturn the election. In 2016, the election in question was for Governor Cooper. This year, it is the election of Republican Mark Harris. This inconsistency is unexplained.
  • In 2016, in response to election complaints concerning Governor Cooper’s election, Malcolm said, “It would be a mistake for this board to take up protests. (Counties) need to make fact-finding decisions.” Yet, in the current election year with regard to certifying the win of Mark Harris in District 09, Malcolm overturned the County’s certification of the race, inconsistency that can only be attributed to partisan motives.
  • Last week WBTV identified a local businessman and political action committee, funded by the North Carolina Democratic Party, as two additional coordinated efforts targeting absentee ballots, but to our knowledge the State Board has not issued any subpoenas to further investigate these other two groups. Malcolm’s failure to investigate seems politically motivated.
  • Malcolm, a resident of Robeson County, has publicly stated he is “personally offended” about matters coming to the Board of Elections from Robeson and Bladen counties. This signals that he won’t be objective and fair. For example, he was fully aware of absentee ballot irregularities in the 9th, but the State Board had no hesitation to certify a Mecklenburg County House race where over 20% of the 9th Congressional District’s absentee ballots were cast. The overlapping State House race was won by the Democrat by only 68 votes, yet no review was initiated by the Board.
  • In September 2018 it was Malcolm who led efforts on behalf of the Board to immediately rescind U.S. Department of Justice subpoenas investigating voter fraud in Bladen and other eastern North Carolina counties. Malcolm surely “turned a blind eye” to voter fraud allegations then.
  • In March 2018, Malcolm made the motion to remove Wayne King, Congressman Mark Meadows’ District Director, from the Cleveland County Board of Elections in what is called a “partisan move.” In the statewide appointments, Malcolm was the only Board Member to raise an objection to any of the 400 appointments.

As highlighted by The Charlotte Observer, it was Mr. Malcolm’s score-settling that started this investigation into the 9th with an unacceptable lack of transparency.

“Chairman Malcolm is guilty of mismanagement of the election process, since he is the only continuing member of the Board from 2016 to present. Chairman Malcolm, while making a motion to not certify the election results in the 9th Congressional District, failed to hold up certification and personally signed the election certificates of all other elections on the same ballot that would have been impacted by any absentee voting and election irregularities. This can only mean that Chairman Malcolm is prejudiced against the winner of that election, Mark Harris. While the board must see this investigation to the end and refer any alleged illegal actions to proper authorities, Chairman Malcolm should recuse himself” according to Tami Fitzgerald of NC Values Coalition.

 

 
Cooper Names New State Board Of Elections Chair PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:13

Governor Roy Cooper named Joshua Malcolm Chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections and appointed former board member Robert Cordle to the board’s vacant position.

“North Carolinians deserve to have confidence in our democratic process and as Chair, Joshua Malcom’s leadership and experience will help ensure fair and honest elections. Robert Cordle has a proven record of service on the State Board of Elections, putting aside party affiliation to hold elected leaders accountable. I appreciate their service to our state,” said Governor Cooper.

Malcolm serves as Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He holds more than 14 years of legal experience and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Governor Cooper selected Robert Cordle from a list of nominees provided by the North Carolina Democratic Party. Cordle was nominated along with Wake County Elections Board Vice Chair Greg Flynn.

Cordle previously served on the State Board of Elections until 2013 and practiced law in Charlotte from 1968 to 2018, before retiring from Mayer Brown LLP in 2005.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2018 11:14
 
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