29 Jan 2016

What Matters for Friday, January 29, 2016

It’s a jam-packed show to cap off a busy week! Chad shares the State Supreme Court decision over the power of the General Assembly compared to the power of the Governor. This related specifically to a trio of commissions including one overseeing coal ash cleanup. But, as Chad points out, the ruling could have repercussions on many committees.

Then, Chad talks to Citizens United President David Bossie. He tells Chad what Citizens United does, what they hope to accomplish moving forward and how the organization got started. Trust me, they’re more than just videos.

And next up is NCSU Political Science Professor Dr. Andrew Taylor. He breaks down the Fox News debate and what it was like without the frontrunner, Donald Trump. Chad asks if there was a marked difference without Trump or if it was just him. Dr. Taylor says there was definitely an odd feel without Trump – both in the audience and viewers at home. Chad notes the tone didn’t seem less visceral. Dr. Taylor points out Cruz seemed to be on the defensive – in fact, almost taking on Trump’s role. Chad plays the clip on immigration between Rubio and Paul and then Rubio’s remarks about Cruz’s record in the Senate on immigration. Dr. Taylor says he’s trying to point out how Cruz is not transparent on his record – especially about immigration. He compares this to Rubio’s run in 2012 in differentiating himself against Newt Gingrich. Chad asks if any candidate differentiated themselves. Dr. Taylor says he doesn’t think so. Chad agrees though he thought Christie and former Bush did a much better job without having Trump on stage. Both Chad and Dr. Taylor noted how Santorum and Huckabee went from the undercard debate to the Trump rally. Dr. Taylor notes this must have been really embarrassing for both of them. Chad says he was impressed Dr. Taylor admitted to watching the Trump rally. Dr. Taylor says he kept switching back and forth to see where Trump was physically because if he had strolled in to the debate, it would have been fantastic television.

In the second hour, News14’s Tim Boyum joins us. Chad asks him his thoughts on the federal investigation into the misspent HHS funds. Tim says perhaps the agency is just too large. Chad asks about the I-77 toll road issue. Tim says Robert Brawley told him Tony Tata said other roads were being considered for these managed lanes. Chad and Tim agree this will probably won’t have a big impact on the Governor’s race, but could have big repercussions on who becomes the next House Speaker. Tim says he thinks this will be something that goes back to the legislature. Chad brings up the 10% teacher raises recommended by Superintendent June Atkinson. Tim says he had Superintendent Atkinson on his show Thursday and asked her how this could be funded and she said basically it’s an election year so anything can be pushed through. When it comes to the Common Core curriculum, Tim says because they didn’t change the math standard, it throws it back to Senator Jerry Tillman which is not a story that’s being talked about a lot. Chad questions Tim on fundraising between the Governor and the Attorney General. Tim says while $800,000 is a lot of money, there’s still quite a lot of outside money that hasn’t come in to either campaign yet. This is a fast-paced, information packed and fun segment each and every week and this week is no exception.

Finally, there’s a Maryland school that is allegedly teaching students that Islam is the right religion and all others are not. They taught that Islam is the only peaceful religion and instructed students on jihad. The parent involved in the lawsuit is a veteran. That’s just not legal….or right.

Monday we learn about the Town of Louisburg from Mayor Karl Pernell and catch up on all the latest happenings at Civitas from President Francis De Luca.

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28 Jan 2016

What Matters for Thursday, January 28, 2016

ABC….easy as 1, 2, 3, right? Not necessarily. Chad shares a couple of stories about our state’s educational system. One is about a proposal to have the five lowest performing schools taken over by charter companies overseen by a Superintendent selected by the Department of Education. A Charlotte Representative is pushing the bill to have this done on a five-year trial with a three-year extension upon success. Chad points out there is no mention of a curriculum change discussion during the meeting. The other is about a push by the Superintendent of Public Instruction for a raise for all state teachers and bonuses for experienced teachers who coach fellow educators or teach in low-performing classrooms. He points out the committee is looking at how much to raise teacher salaries, but questions where the state will get the money. Chad shares how tests show all minority students are doing better in charter schools than in traditional public schools, as are female students. He says instead of attacking charter schools, perhaps leaders in education should look into what they’re doing that make them successful and emulate them.

Next, Chad speaks to WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner. They discuss the I-77 toll road issue. Nick says it has yet to be seen whether this will cause a real problem for the Governor in the March primary against Rep. Robert Brawley. They move on to requests for public records. Nick tells Chad he now has the longest standing public records request with the DOT. He says since there is no evidence of cronyism as has been alleged on the I-77 issue, he requested the records to see if there is or is not any proof. Chad questions why the DOT wouldn’t want to show there was no impropriety in the deal. Nick says he doesn’t know. Chad asks if he’s reached out to anyone in the Governor’s office about this issue, and Nick says he has but keeps getting referred to the DOT. He says he’s also getting pushback from the State Auditor’s office on the toll road issue. With questions over contractual relationships, Nick reached out to Auditor Woods office. He still hasn’t received anything from them, either.

In the second hour, Civitas Policy Director Brian Balfour joins Chad. He and Chad discuss a study of fiscal responsibility by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. They did an in-depth look at a bunch of fiscal issues in North Carolina like pensions, state budget growth, taxation, incentives, and more. When it comes to healthcare, Brian says the study shows Medicaid expenses can be driven in line with other states by controlling growth. On education, Brian says the study says the state is spending its money wisely, but think school choice should be expanded to raise numbers on quality of education. Chad asks about the amount of money spent on each child and if the study considered charter schools. Brian says he believes they put charter schools in with public education. Chad questions the section referring to the problem with fiscal illusion. Brian explains it pertains to the issue of funding current and retired state employee’s healthcare and pensions. There was also no positive correlation found between incentives and economic growth. It said it encouraged targeted lobbying and cronyism. Chad points out that insurance regulation is given an “F” in the study – something he’s not given much thought. Brian says he was surprised by this fact as well. He says the recommendation is a closer examination of the insurance system and a rollback of regulations to be in line with other states. This is an interesting segment and study you’ll want to take a look at, too.

Finally, if you think you’re a highly successful and productive person, you could be even better with these 15 tips. Here’s a hint – skip meetings and write everything down.

Tomorrow Citizens United President David Bossie, NCSU Political Science Professor Dr. Andrew Taylor, and News14’s Tim Boyum join us.

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27 Jan 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It’s “what’s up with that” day on the show. Chad gets into two stories – the decision by the Governor’s office to not allow CSX to put an intermodal terminal in Johnston County and NCAE’s refusal to provide its membership numbers to the State Auditor. He’s surprised by the lack of mention of eminent domain in the statement from the Governor’s office. He also calls out lawmakers for not taking the NCAE to task.

Next, Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser is in studio. Chad and Paul discuss the I-77 toll road story and whether they think this will have any consequences for the Governor in November. Chad brings up the issue of how much money each candidate has raised so far and what it means to each candidate. Chad is amazed at the amount of money Josh Stein has amassed in the race for Attorney General. Paul says he is surprised as well – especially when compared to candidates like Deborah Ross who is running against incumbent Senator Richard Burr. Paul says some of the stories getting the most clicks have been about the Panthers heading to the Super Bowl. There’s a lot to read on Carolina Plott Hound and a lot of discussion about many of the articles you don’t want to miss.

In the second hour, NC Free Enterprise Foundation Executive Director Joe Stewart joins Chad. Chad asks Joe to explain what the Free Enterprise Foundation is all about. They quickly move to what Joe thinks about whether the decision to move the primary to March will bring more advertising dollars to the state. Joe says he doesn’t think it will make a large difference in the bottom line of most media outlets. Chad asks where Democrats will focus their attention. Joe says the challenge for the Democrats is that the party structure has not recovered from their collapse in 2012. He says the Democrats have to hope they can recreate the excitement and fervor President Obama generated in his run in 2008 in younger voters. Joe says Hillary just doesn’t generate that enthusiasm. Chad asks about the Republican slate. Joe says the Governor has an almost sandwich effect of having a strong incumbent Senator and Lt. Governor provides a nice cushion for the Governor in his bid for re-election. Chad asks about members of the General Assembly – especially the House and its divisiveness. Joe tells him it’s quite interesting because the divisions in the caucuses feel really strong which does several things. It makes it difficult to govern. It makes it more difficult to raise money in a cohesive way for all House Republicans. And, it makes it harder to guarantee vacated chairs will be filled by Republicans. Chad and Joe agree there may be a change in leadership in the House. He nominates Chad as Speaker if there if there is a tiebreaker. Chad laughingly tells him he’ll do the same for Joe. This is a fast-paced, engaging, political conversation you’ll find riveting and entertaining!

Finally, did you know that almost half of the young people in America think socialism is a better way of running the government than capitalism? For voters under 30 that don’t remember the U.S.S.R. or the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism has become akin to cronyism. And we wonder why Trump is resonating with so many Americans?

WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner and Civitas Policy Director Brian Balfour join us tomorrow.

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26 Jan 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It’s an eventful news day which means a really exciting show. Chad gets the skinny on a meeting stopping disruption that led to the arrest of some protestors at the UNC Board of Governors meeting from Carolina Journal Associate Editor, Kari Travis. She describes the scene when students and faculty members brought the meeting to a halt over the appointment of Margaret Spellings and cutting funding for programs at traditionally black state universities. She tells Chad the faculty group presented a survey to the Board pushing for more funding. She says one member of the BOG said they would not stand for non-peaceful protests and banned the group from the building. After disbanding for 10-15 minutes, Kari says the BOG reconvened and completed the meeting.

Next, Chad speaks to Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Commissioner Troxler shares his thoughts on the CSX project, the impact of the recent storm on crops, the reduction in the number of small farms, the increase in number of small Farmer’s Markets in the state, the addition of a Sky Lift at the Fairgrounds, solar and wind energy, what he would like to see to grow the agriculture industry to a $100 billion market in the state, and being the first Republican Ag Commissioner ever. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at how many things his department has a part in that you may not be familiar with.

In the second hour, AFP State Director Donald Bryson is in studio. It’s school choice week. Chad asks Donald his thoughts on the good and bad going on around the state regarding school choice. Donald tells Chad the growth of charter schools is one of the really good things that are happening. Chad says the compliance issues charter schools have to go through are extremely stringent. Donald adds when public schools are failing, they get more funding; when charter schools falter, parents pull their children out which means less funds and perhaps the eventual failure of the school. Donald points out the availability of direct instruction is one of the benefits of charter schools. So, if your child is interested in art or nature, there’s a school focused specifically on those issues. Chad segues into the upcoming primary. Donald shares the limits AFP has regarding the primary and issues without having to disclose their donors. He says laws put in place in 2010 and 2011 have limited their free speech.

Finally, Chad shares an article by Michael Barone about Americans being tired of political and media elites considering them stupid and vicious. The article delves into the fear of many to call Islamic extremists what we know they are – terrorists.  Chad questions what has happened to free speech. How much freedom do we really have today? Good question.

Tomorrow NC Free Enterprise Foundation Executive Director Joe Stewart and Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser join us.

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25 Jan 2016

What Matters for Monday, January 25, 2016

There’s still some ice and snow on the ground, but we were able to make it in to bring you the stories that matter. Chad starts out with his excitement over the Panthers win. He shares some of the sports reporter’s statements prior to the season about how Cam Newton would play. So, who do you trust? Cam Newton has proven he’s the man to beat on the football field. What about politically? Do we know?

Next, Chad speaks to Shallotte Mayor Walter Eccard. Mayor Eccard says some of the challenges the town faces are establishing an identity within such a large coastal county like Brunswick. He explains while the town is coastal, it’s not on a beach, it’s on a sound. Mayor Eccard says being halfway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, the riverfront was ignored for almost a hundred years. When looking at what was special about the town, they decided to enhance Main Street and the riverfront. Then 2008 hit. But, they were able to purchase about 20 acres of waterfront without putting any additional taxes on citizens and they hope to start construction of a Riverwalk, home, shopping – a real destination location to continue the growth in population they’ve seen in recent years. Chad asks about the numbers of people who’ve been moving into the area. Mayor Eccard explains the majority of them have been retirement age which means catering not so much to children and parents, but to restaurants, shops and entertainment. He tells Chad when he was on the planning board, he met with the established families of the town who shared the histories of the town, why it has been so important to them, and what the river meant to the growth of the town. The Mayor says, “While Shallotte River is a small river, it’s a tidal river which means it changes constantly giving a different view each time people pay it a visit.” Chad asks how he sees the town’s relationship with the County and State Government. Mayor Eccard says his relationship with the County is very good. With the State, he says in the monthly meeting of area Mayors and Representatives, the sales tax issue has been brought up each time. He tells Chad a cut in sales taxes will hurt Brunswick County and many small towns. He says needs have to be met and redistribution is always going to hurt someone. He believes it’s the responsibility of the legislature to find some other way besides sales tax redistribution to figure this out. It’s an interesting conversation about a beautiful town you should definitely visit.

In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Chad. Chad shares that he’ll be guest host at the Poll lunch this Thursday at the Wilmington Marriott. Francis shares that the race between Cruz and Trump is close, but the results aren’t exactly like the PPP poll that is much less balanced and more left-leaning. Chad asks Francis whether Senator Burr could have said what he did about Senators Cruz and Sanders. Francis recounts what Senator Burr stated about Cruz during one of the government shutdowns and thinks that there is no love lost between the two. This leads to a discussion over a divided government and whether the Attorney General should be an appointed instead of elected position. They also discuss the CSX debacle. Francis says he’s never seen politicians run so fast from something as this issue – even ones that originally came out in support of it. Chad agrees and says they spanned from local to federal politicians. Francis also shares that CLC will also probably be moving from the Crabtree Marriott to a new location that will be disclosed in the next couple of days.

Finally, Chad shares his thoughts on the I-77 toll road issue and what it means to the Governor’s race. He says Governor McCrory’s Campaign Manager’s words on the issue should have probably been chosen more carefully so as not to leave a bad taste in some voter’s mouths. Chad says this is an explosive issue in an area where the Governor needs votes and could cause him a problem this election cycle. He says the only way he feels the Governor will be hurt is if his challengers are capable of making him seem less “cool” than he actually is because if you’ve ever met Governor McCrory – you know he’s pretty darned cool.

Tomorrow AFP’s State Director Donald Bryson and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler join us.

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21 Jan 2016

What Matters for Thursday, January 21, 2016

It’s all about that storm – and we’re not just talking the two systems that may bring a lot of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the state. Chad starts by getting straight to the big story of the day with WeatherBell.com Senior Meteorologist Joe Bastardi. Joe says we’re going to be in a war zone between the two systems with the Triad getting a lot more snow than ice while areas more to the east could see snow on the front end, then sleet and freezing rain and perhaps even more snow as the systems exit the state Saturday. He says he looked at three different systems and how they acted – the blizzard from February, 1983, the storm from 2003 and a storm in 2010 to determine his forecast which hasn’t really changed since Sunday.

Then, Chad speaks to Johnston County resident Trent Lassiter who was told by CSX Railroads his farm would be taken by way of eminent domain. He tells Chad his family came together in the home built by his ancestors and cried over the thought of never having another Christmas there. Trent says he took on the role of leader because many of his neighbors also having their land taken are older. Trent says he recognizes the magnitude of the project for the state, but it’s just not right for a non-government entity to take property from landowners for a purpose that is not government-related. Chad asks how he sounds so calm. Trent says he’s taken all his emotions and motivations and put them toward this project to save his land. He tells Chad tears were shed at the Commissioner’s meeting Wednesday night when they voted down the project. Chad asks what is next. Trent says until he sees that the project is not going through his farm in writing, he will keep going full steam ahead. He tells Chad CSX has told people he knows if he’ll stop leading the fight against the project, they’ll cut his farm out of the plan. Chad asks if this has moved his wedding date up. He says it hasn’t yet. You can show your support by going to their Facebook page, Fight for the Farm.

In the second hour, Senior Education Policy Analyst, Dr. Bob Luebke joins Chad. They discuss the issue of teacher pay. Bob says he thinks teachers deserve fair pay. He tells Chad the system which was revamped a few years ago treating all teachers the same. In order to develop a true and just system, Bob says each school system should be given block grants so they could decide which instructors truly deserve raises and which do not. With the current system, there is no incentive to be better than anyone else because everyone gets the same raises. Chad points out that block grants put the onus back on Superintendents and Principals to be managers because they know their staff. Chad asks Bob who in the legislature would champion this cause. Bob says that’s a good question since many lawmakers would hesitate to back it knowing lobbying groups will be knocking down their door. Bob says there is no one to carry the torch forward on this cause right now, but he doesn’t think this should stop the issue from being pushed forward.

Finally, Chad discusses an AP story which has been denied by Senator Richard Burr’s office, that he said he would endorse Bernie Sanders before he endorsed Ted Cruz. AP is not backing down on the story’s accuracy. Oh, and there’s snow and ice heading our way. Do you have your bread and milk yet?

We hope to be with you live tomorrow, but no matter what, we’ll have a great show for you. Stay safe and warm!

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20 Jan 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How do you feel when someone you support does a 180 on an issue about which you feel strongly? Chad kicks off the show sharing how many candidates – both those running for national and statewide office – are doing just that to their constituents chagrin. They’re using taxpayer funds after they get into office to push initiatives to stop global warming and keep renewable energy mandates in place.

Next, Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser has all the news that’s worth a link. Chad asks Paul if he likes the snow. Paul does not. They move quickly to a story about a restaurant in Concord that was fined for picking up road kill, chopping it up outside and then cooking it up and serving it. The meat – deer. Was it a crime? No. Can they continue doing it? No. Chad asks Paul about the CSX terminal and Congressman Rouzer pulling his initial support for the project because of information, as he stated, because of how many people are losing their land. Then there’s the Unaffordable Care Act. BCBS of North Carolina customers are seeing rate hikes of 30% and more. Chad tells Paul it’s like you’re punished for doing the right thing.

In the second hour, Insider Editor Patrick Gannon joins Chad. Pat starts by explaining the information “The Insider” provides to its readers. Pat says as part of the McClatchy Group, they focus specifically on the goings-on with state government. Chad asks Pat if it’s difficult to cover stories objectively. Pat says it is, but most reporters don’t want to be part of the story. He explains that many people who are the focus of a story want to drag reporters into making a stand on one side or another. Pat explains that covering state politics allows him to get behind the scenes at the state legislature to truly explain what is happening in any bill to readers. Chad questions Pat about the difference in writing an opinion column and writing for “The Insider.” Pat explains how different it is to take an issue and give his real thoughts on it instead of just the facts. The most recent, as Chad points out, is a statement by a lawmaker saying $30,000 has the same value no matter what county you live in. Pat (and most everyone) know that’s just not the case. He tells Chad about how the article came to fruition. This is a great insider’s look at one way news gets written.

Finally, Chad shares how a new study shows a man’s beard may be more hygienic than a man’s clean shaven face. It’s true.

Tomorrow Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke and WeatherBell Senior Meteorologist Joe Bastardi join us.

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