sun145The debate rages on about the tax cut for millionaires passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory, breaking a campaign promise that any tax reform would be revenue neutral.

A Charlotte Observer analysis of the tax plan included this from Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who reportedly wants to succeed Thom Tillis as House Speaker.

State Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Charlotte Republican, said she’s certain the tax cuts will spark more than enough economic growth to balance out the revenue lost. She said the cuts should give North Carolina an edge in the chase for corporate relocations.

The assertion that tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals will spur massive new job creation is a common refrain of supporters of the General Assembly’s tax shift, though most lawmakers don’t generally claim it is a certainty. Read More

Remember all the criticism a few years ago from Republicans about the way Democrats ran the General Assembly and the promises from the GOP that they would run things differently when they were in charge, by being open and more transparent?

They repeated the promises when they took over the legislature in 2011. They are breaking those promises every single day now.

This morning, with literally a few minutes notice, a subcommittee of a House Judiciary Committee unveiled a slightly modified version of the sweeping and unprecedented attack on women’s reproductive rights that was rammed through the Senate last week with no notice or public hearings at all.

Also this morning, a House bill dealing with wildlife resources was changed to add  a constitutional amendment about eminent domain. No notice about that either.

Legislative calendars are now meaningless. So are bill numbers and schedules of any kind. The folks in the General Assembly have turned the legislative process into a banana republic.

They can and will do anything they want, any time they want, any way they want, democracy be damned—not to mention the public they are supposed to represent.

Now that Senate leaders have launched their sneak attack on the rights of women to make their own health care decisions, the question in Raleigh is what will Governor Pat McCrory do if the House approves the offensive legislation too.

McCrory has already weighed in about the undemocratic process Senate leaders used to pass their radical attack on women in a statement  issued this morning.

When the Democrats were in power, this is the way they did business. It was not right then and it is not right now. Regardless of what party is in charge or what important issue is being discussed, the process must be appropriate and thorough.

But McCrory did not say anything about the substance of the legislation that would make it virtually impossible for women in North Carolina to access legal abortion services. Read More

It looks like Governor Pat McCrory is getting tired of the back and forth about tax reform. Travis Fain with the Greensboro News & Record reports that McCrory gave lawmakers a deadline of sorts during his visit to Jamestown this morning.

The clock is ticking on tax reform, and if state leaders cannot reach an agreement over the next two weeks the issue should probably be set aside for now, Gov. Pat McCrory said during a local visit this morning.

McCrory’s comments come after Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca openly complained about McCrory’s office being involved in the tax cut negotiations.  Here’s how the News & Observer reported that.

One impediment in the tax deal is apparently McCrory’s office. “It’s kind of difficult to negotiate with three bodies instead of two,” Apodaca said. “The House and Senate seem to do a pretty good job; sometimes it’s difficult to have to negotiate with the governor’s office.”

As interesting as Apocada taking a shot at his own governor might be, hands down the quote of the week  came from political consultant Paul Shumaker, now working for the Tillis for U.S. Senate campaign.

Here’s what Shumaker told AP when the reporters asked about a fundraiser for Tillis held by the consumer finance industry less than a week after state lawmakers passed legislation allowing lenders to jack up their interest rates.

Tillis campaign spokesman Paul Shumaker said Monday there is no problem with the House speaker raising money for his Senate run from donors with business pending before the state legislature.

Whew. Thanks Mr. Shumaker. For a second there, it seemed awfully shady.


Good luck trying to figure out where Governor Pat McCrory stands in the back room negotiations about a tax cut plan. The story in the News & Observer this morning offers a very confusing picture.  First, there’s this.

The document that State Budget Director Art Pope recently sent to select House lawmakers outlines a concept that would gradually reduce state income taxes and expand the sales tax to dozens of additional services, such as car repairs and appliance installations.

Seems pretty clear. Pope, in his official capacity as State Budget Director and on behalf of Governor McCrory, is offering a compromise to House and Senate leaders.

Maybe not. This is from the same story.

McCrory reviewed the alternative proposal before it was shared with lawmakers, but his office was careful to say he did not endorse it.

Say what?

The folks at NC Capitol ask the pertinent question, “Is McCyory’s tax vision a mirage?”

So we apparently have a tax compromise plan being circulated by McCrory’s top budget officer who denies that it is really a plan and McCrory hasn’t endorsed it anyway.

That certainly clears things up.