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The Campaign Trail
Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation to Combat Alzheimer’s Signed Into Law PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Donna Martinez   
Friday, 11 January 2019 09:21

Bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that would, for the first time, create a public health infrastructure across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain healthwas signed into law by President Trump.

“Successfully getting this legislation signed into law has a deep personal meaning for me, as I was a caregiver for my grandmother during her battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Senator Tillis. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will create the framework necessary to preserve brain health for millions of Americans, and I am proud to be a part of the fight to combat, and hopefully one day end, this terrible disease.”

 

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and the United States spends more than $277 billion per year, including $186 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. In North Carolina, more than 170,000 people are living with the disease, and over 466,0000 family members and friends are providing care. Without further action, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to triple to as many as 14 million by 2050, costing the nation more than $1.1 trillion per year. 

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will apply a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, advance care, improve data, and ultimately change the trajectory of this devastating disease. Headed by the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), it will authorize $20 million annually over the next five years to establish:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence dedicated to promoting effective Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving interventions as well as educating the public on Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and brain health.  The centers would implement the CDC’s Healthy Aging Public Health Road Map, and would take key steps to support health and social services professionals as well as families and communities.
  • Cooperative Agreements with the CDC that would be awarded to State Health Departments to help them meet local needs in promoting brain health, reducing risk of cognitive decline, improving care for those with Alzheimer’s, and other key public health activities. 
  • Data Grants to improve the analysis and timely reporting of data on Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, caregiving, and health disparities at the state and national levels.

The BOLD Act is supported by 183 organizations and individuals, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, and Maria Shriver, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. 

 
Sen. Hise - NC Target Of National "Sue Til Blue" Campaign PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 January 2019 09:17

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina is the latest battleground in a national strategy to use partisan courts to ensure Democrats win legislative and congressional majorities. In November, Democrats continued their “sue ‘til blue” actions by filing a lawsuit asking the Democratic-controlled North Carolina state courts to draw new legislative maps to favor Democrats.

This isn’t the first time that North Carolina maps drawn by Republicans in the General Assembly have faced a challenge from Democrats and liberal activist groups. Since 2011, legislative Republicans have faced a near-constant stream of legal challenges. The maps were initially approved by Eric Holder’s Justice Department and the D.C. Circuit Federal Court. Nevertheless, Democrats sued and Republicans redrew the districts to comply with a different federal court’s order. Since Democrats still didn’t win a majority under those maps, they now want a Democratic state court to draw even more favorable districts so Democrats win.

“This is just another example of the Democrats’ nationwide efforts to subvert the democratic process and use partisan judges to get favorable results when things don’t go their way,”said Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell). “They already got a court to redraw maps once, but since that didn’t give them a majority, now they’re suing again under a new strategy. They won’t stop until a liberal court draws them into power.”

Around the country, Democratic activist groups, including Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), have launched a campaign to use Democratic state courts to strip small towns and rural voters of their political influence in favor of urban interests. These groups target states, like North Carolina, that have concentrated pockets of city Democrats and broad swaths of rural Republicans, and then advance a flawed proportional representation argument that a 50/50 statewide vote means that Democrats should hold 50 percent of the state legislative and congressional seats.

Under the guise of “fair maps” and ending “partisan gerrymandering,” these groups seek to have Democratic state courts effectively rewrite state Constitutions – with no public input – to include proportionality provisions and draw new maps that favor Democrats. Their logic is that party control of legislative and Congressional seats in a state should be proportional to the statewide party vote breakdown. This effectively negates the political power of small towns and rural voters, and rejects the American system of local district representation, driving all campaign activity into the largest cities and allowing concentrated urban majorities to rule. This exact tension between urban and rural voters was contemplated by America’s founders and resolved in the 18th century.

The theory of proportionality ignores the fact that Democratic voters are concentrated in a few urban centers, whereas Republicans are spread out across suburban and rural areas. This fact causes Democrats to win major victories in those urban centers, whereas Republicans win modest victories in the rest of the districts. The total statewide vote may be close to 50/50, but on a district-by-district level, Republicans win.

Geographically diverse legislative districts have been a staple of America’s form of governance since The Great Compromise in the 18th century. Now, Democrats seek to bludgeon 200+ years of precedent so they can win majorities, disenfranchising small towns and rural voters in the process.

This strategy was successfully employed by Democrats in Pennsylvania in 2018. After a liberal activist group filed a lawsuit against the state’s Republican-drawn Congressional maps, the majority-Democratic state Supreme Court redrew maps that resulted in Republicans going from a 13-5 congressional majority to an even 9-9 split. This theory of proportionality was already dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court as “gobbledygook,” but national Democrats now seek to rewrite state constitutions using sympathetic liberal judges.

“Just like Democrats in Pennsylvania, North Carolina Democrats don’t have a maps problem, they have a geography problem,”said Hise. “But rather than convincing more people to vote for them, they are following the blueprint from Pennsylvania and asking a liberal state court to draw new maps favorable to Democrats that overturn longstanding political precedent in the United States. This is a war on small towns and rural voters.”

 
NC Democratic Chair Says Rachael Hunt Lawfully Elected PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 January 2019 09:12

 

Raleigh – North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin released the following statement in response to the conservative outside group NC Values Coalition’s request that Representaive Rachael Hunt not be seated. 

“This is a desperate, last minute attempt to deny a seat to a lawfully-elected representative. The Mecklenburg and the State Board of Elections have both certified Rachel Hunt as HD-103’s Representative, and she will officially assume that seat (tomorrow).”
 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2019 09:14
 
Values Coalition Requests Rep. Rachel Hunt Not Be Seated PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 January 2019 09:08

Today the NC Values Coalition filed with the Clerk of the North Carolina House of Representatives a memorandum and supporting evidence of absentee ballot irregularities that occurred in the 2018 general election in House District 103 (HD103).  Along with this memorandum and supporting evidence, the NC Values Coalition sent a letter to the Speaker of the House, requesting that he refuse to seat Rachel Hunt as the duly elected Representative of HD103, while the House conducts a full investigation into voting irregularities that occurred in HD103 using absentee by mail ballots. 

The Executive Director of NC Values Coalition, Tami Fitzgerald, stated: “The State Board of Elections committed malfeasance when it instructed county boards of elections to ignore the law clearly requiring absentee by mail voters to mark and affirm their ballots in the presence of two witnesses or a notary. At least 300 voters improperly marked and affirmed their ballots in HD-103 and NC-9 and many other ballots were improperly or illegally cast.  Many voters and witnesses involved in these irregularities have signed sworn affidavits. Proper application of the law could result in Bill Brawley’s re-election to HD103 and almost certainly would have increased Mark Harris’ lead in NC9. Given these improprieties, the negligence of the now-defunct board of elections, and the clear conflicts of its past two chairmen, it is clear that the board mishandled these two elections and who knows how many others.  The State House of Representatives should follow the lead of the United States House of Representative and decline to seat Rachel Hunt until it has thoroughly investigated this matter and determined which candidate won the most legal votes. The results of every close election in the State should be in question.”

###

 

Background: Following December allegations of absentee by mail voting irregularities in Bladen and Robeson Counties, the NC Values Coalition (NCVC) began to look for other signs of irregularities in absentee by mail voting in other counites in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District (NC9). The research was conducted by NCVC’s sister organization, the Institute for Faith & Family (IFF), because it is a non-partisan research organization.  IFF uncovered substantial evidence of absentee ballot irregularities and questionable conduct by the State Board of Elections in that portion of NC9 that lies within HD103 beyond the previously reported irregularities in Bladen and Robeson Counties.

  • Statewide, absentee by mail ballots made up 2.6% of all votes in the general election of 2018. After examining voting methods by county in NC9, it became clear that six NC9 counties had absentee by mail ballot voting utilization in line with the statewide numbers.  Two counties, Mecklenburg and Bladen, had anomalous utilization of absentee by mail ballots.  Since the alleged irregularities in Bladen County were being closely examined by many people, IFF decided to focus its attention on that part of NC9 located in Mecklenburg County, where voting absentee by mail made up 5.8% of the votes which is more than double the average statewide.
  • Hand examination of the absentee by mail ballot envelopes found over 300 absentee by mail ballots cast in NC9 that had discrepancies between the date the voter signed the ballot envelop and one or both of the witnesses or notary signed the envelope. This indicates that the voter failed to comply with N.C.G.S. 163A-1310A requiring that the voter mark his/her ballot in the presence of the witnesses or a notary and sign the certificate.  Discrepancies in the dates indicates that the ballot was not marked and attested in the presence of the witnesses. 
  • Even more disturbing, a State Board of Elections memo in April appears to direct county boards of elections to disregard state law on absentee by mail ballot witnesses and to count votes that were illegally cast outside of the presence of two witnesses or a notary.
  • If these illegal ballots were thrown out, Rep. Bill Brawley would most likely have won re-election, instead of Rachel Hunt.
  • IFF was able to obtain 11 affidavits from witnesses and voters attesting to various irregularities including voters marking their ballots outside the presence of witnesses, people who were listed as witnesses to ballots that attest they did not witness the ballot, voters who voted by absentee ballot but no longer live at the address where they are registered to vote, and other significant irregularities.
  • Although they refused to sign affidavits, many voters whose ballots had date discrepancies talked candidly with IFF’s canvassers at their doors and admitted that they had not marked their ballots in the presence of the witnesses or notary and that the attestation on the ballot envelope was false.
  • IFF has asked the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections for public records since December 7th and board has insisted the organization pay up to $10,000 before the board would provide redacted copies of the records. The board also has refused IFF access to visually inspect some of the records. NC Statue 163A-1306 requires the register of absentee requests, applications and ballots issued shall constitute a public inspection of any registered voter of the county within 60 days however the County Board has refused IFF access to ballot request forms.
  • Another problem uncovered by IFF during its canvassing operation is that numerous absentee by mail ballots were cast by voters who were registered at an address where they no longer live. One particularly disturbing case is a voter who moved to New York City 5 years ago, requested an absentee ballot disclosing on the request form that she no longer lived at the address at which she was registered in Matthews, and yet the voter received an absentee ballot and voted in the 2018 general election.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2019 09:15
 
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