29 Apr 2016

What Matters for Friday, April 29, 2016

School bathrooms and HB2. Mark kicks the show discussing the decision by Durham City’s school board about bathroom and locker room policy for girls and boys with NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald. Tami tells Mark she stood up in the meeting and pointed out how the policy went against the Public Facility Privacy and Security Act (HB2). Mark also discusses Target’s stand on the issue and how the law applies to the corporation.

Next, American Enterprise Institute Director of Education Policy Studies Rick Hess joins Mark to discuss his recent article on Real Clear Politics titled, “School Reformers Must Stop Giving Parents a Pass.” Mark asks if Mississippi’s Governor’s proposal for a bill asking schools to grade a parent’s involvement in their child’s education is a good idea. Rick explains we’ve gone from blaming parents for the decline in educational performance of students to the opposite extreme of a careful-not-to-offend tolerance of the kind of parental behavior that would once have been roundly condemned. This is a great discussion you’ll want to hear more than once.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Capitol Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum joins Mark. They discuss the first week back at the General Assembly, how he feels as a journalist about making body camera footage available to the public, and all the news that’s worth talking about. It’s always fun when Tim is on.

Finally, Anson and Union County Rep. Mark Brody joins us. He is running for Republican Party Committeeman. Mark asks Rep. Brody why he wants the job. Rep. Brody says he has the time to fulfill the obligations and he has the political experience to do the job. Rep. Brody tells Mark it’s important to keep education in community colleges up-to-date, especially in agriculture. He says agriculture is such a huge part of economy, it’s crucial to make sure the state continues to provide opportunities for students to get the education they need to continue this proud tradition.

Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, Montreat Mayor Tim Helms, Civitas President Francis De Luca, and American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Derek Scissors join us Monday.

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28 Apr 2016

What Matters for Thursday, April 28, 2016

Knowing how to read or not. That is the question. Mark kicks off the show with Writer and Editor at the John William Pope center for Higher Education Policy, Jesse Saffron. They discuss his article, “Will the UNC System Rise Above Higher Education’s Status Quo.” Jesse tells Mark one of new UNC System President Margaret Spellings goals is to improve the general education curricula by insuring all incoming students have basic math and reading skills before they enter high school, much less try to apply for college (whether community or university). Mark is amazed anyone could make it past 1st or 2nd grade without knowing how to read. Jesse says Spellings has also suggested better student assessments of professors so leaders in education can improve course content and make adjustments where needed. Mark says this really could help create a graduate who is more fully prepared to enter the workforce.

Then, WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner joins Mark. Mark asks if the Queen City is getting behind the Charlotte Hornets as they move forward in the NBA finals. Nick says it’s not the fervor the Panthers received, but there is excitement. They segue to HB2. Nick says interestingly, the bill seems to be affecting not only business in the Charlotte, but the Mayor who got the ordinance passed that caused the bill to ever be passed into law. Mark asks if it’s a negative effect. Nick says that has yet to be seen, but he knows she’s not well-liked in Raleigh. Mark asks why Rep. Schaeffer resigned so suddenly. Nick says he thinks the long session has a lot to do with it since she cited work as a reason for her resignation. Mark asks the latest on House Speaker Moore. Nick says he has a new story coming out tomorrow at 6 on WBTV regarding some financing questions.

In the second hour, Civitas Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke joins Mark. They discuss the recent request by UNC and NCSU for $500 million in bonds that would be paid back over 100 years that would go toward building or repairing existing brick and mortar structures on campus. Bob explains from a taxpayer perspective, taking out a bond for this amount time doesn’t make financial sense. He says in order for the Board of Governors to approve this, the GA would have to change a law because the current maximum length of time a bond can be financed is 30 years. Mark asks why more buildings are needed when there are articles about how many are being underutilized. Bob says that’s a good question and one which lawmakers should consider if this issue indeed gets that far. They also delve into the issue of teacher pay that will keep you riveted.

Finally, Facebook will allow you to identify up to 58 genders, but it won’t let one woman post pictures of herself dressed as a man questioning whether this makes it acceptable for a man dressed as a woman go into a restroom that doesn’t match their sex. Kristi Merritt says Facebook notified her about some of her pictures being inappropriate because of nudity. She explains one was taken at the Republican Convention and another was of a mug. Mark asks if the mug was clothed. Kristi says they finally banned her from FB for seven days. She says Washington is looking at similar legislation. Her post has been shared more than 120,000 times. That’s what you call viral.

American Enterprise Institute Director of Education Policy Studies Rick Hess and Tim Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum join us tomorrow.

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27 Apr 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The constitutionality of proving your identity to cast a ballot is no longer in question. Mark opens the show speaking with Civitas Elections Policy Expert, Susan Myrick, about the decision handed down by Judge Thomas Schroeder this week. Susan explains she was in the courtroom for the first of the VIVA testimony and wondered sometimes if the Judge was grasping all he was hearing, but then he’d ask a quite complex question. She adds his lengthy decision really clarified any remaining questions that should’ve remained over the issue. Mark asks about people voting out of precinct and why this would happen. Susan explains that the primary groups filing suits over voter id and other issues generally want to create chaos in the system; the judge’s ruling makes it more difficult to do so. She says there were always safety nets for people who never had any form of identification and even before requiring id to vote was discussed.

Next, Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser joins Mark. Mark asks Paul about a Campus Christian group at NC State who is suing the school with the help of a national Christian organization. They allege discriminatory practices between what different religious groups are allowed to do on campus when talking about their faith. They also delve into the problem Congressional candidates are facing with no decision on which district they will actually be running in with the June 7th primary rapidly approaching.

In the second hour, Meredith College Professor of Political Science Dr. David McLennon joins Mark. They delve into the results from Tuesday’s primaries in Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Mark asks if Trump can be stopped now with his overwhelming victories Tuesday. Dr. McLennon says it’s going to be difficult. He is still saying controversial things, but yet still dominates the news cycle. He explains it’s a very complex electorate between veterans frustration over the inability to get an appointment at a VA hospital to college students frustration over establishment candidates. Mark asks about Ted Cruz’s announcement of Carly Fiorina as a running mate. Dr. McLennon says this is unheard of from someone who has not been declared the nominee, and, he doesn’t think it will do him much good in the remaining primaries. Mark asks why Hillary remains on top even with scandal on top of scandal. Dr. McLennon says sociologists call it cognitive dissonance – the ability to disassociate negative acts from the person that does them. What groups will propel the eventual nominees to victory? That will come down to who the nominee is and what happens in the world between now and then.

Finally, Mark shares Senator Buck Newton’s response to the outrage over his comments prior to the beginning of the short session about setting our state “straight.”

WBTV Investigative Report Nick Ochsner and Civitas Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke join us tomorrow.

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26 Apr 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The bathroom just won’t get off the front page. Mark kicks off the show discussing the demonstrations that took place at the legislature over the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2). Civitas Communications Coordinator Demi Dowdy had gone to the legislative building. She describes the demeanor of the two groups. Mark mentions how the whole issue has been taken out of context. Demi explains how Charlotte’s ordinance contradicted state law by establishing a special protected class. At this time, the transgender community is not part of a protected class. Demi points out the transgender community constitute a small portion of the population yet know how to push an agenda benefitting them forward at a dizzying rate. Mark points out there were no arrests in the group that supports HB2 while those who are in opposition had more than 50 arrested. Demi says she has had the nastiest comments made to and about her since the bill was passed – something she doesn’t see as much of from those on the right. Mark shares a story about something that happened to his son when he was interning at the GA during a Moral Monday protest that will infuriate most parents.

Next, Mark speaks to LadyLibery1885, A.P. Dillon. She describes how before each Moral Monday protest, meetings are held to choose who will be arrested. Mark is surprised by this revelation. She says the volunteers wear a wristband to indicate to others in the group that they’ll be the ones that will take the fall this week. She also tells Mark what the scene was like leading up to the arrests.

In the second hour, AFP Communication Director Joseph Kyzer joins Mark. They discuss what AFP is doing to try to keep energy costs down. Joseph explains AFP is not asking for the elimination or repeal of the President’s clean energy plan. Instead, they’ve called for Congress to freeze the renewable energy portfolio standard mandate and study it. He says this will give lawmakers a chance to see if it is actually beneficial or will hurt Americans. Mark asks him to explain what he means by forcing customers to buy solar or biofuels. Joseph explains that by 2020, current legislation requires energy companies switch to alternative forms of energy production that will raise the cost of power by over $430 a year. And these same companies are already charging $2-3 a month in the form of a REPS charge on their monthly power bill which adds up month by month and year after year. Joseph tells Mark AFP has also released its education plan which includes lifting a growth cap on charter schools and open enrollment in public school districts.

Finally, the NCAA has issued another notice of allegation (NOA) against UNC Chapel Hill’s athletics department. Another? Really?

Civitas Election Policy Analyst Susan Myrick, Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser and Meredith College Political Science Professor Dr. David McLennon join us tomorrow.

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25 Apr 2016

What Matters for Monday, April 25, 2016

Lawmakers are back in town and so are the protestors. Francis De Luca opens the show with a special announcement. He hands the baton to new show host, Mark Shiver. They chat about the show’s direction, Mark’s background in radio and as a newspaper reporter. They also discuss upcoming activities at Civitas.

Next, Angier Mayor Lewis Weatherspoon joins Mark. He tells Mark some of the things that make the town great include the parks, the sidewalks that allow you to walk through the entire town, and the diversity of the population. Mark asks what legislation has affected the town. Mayor Weatherspoon says the elimination of use permits have left the town without a way to know who is moving into a building. He explains many times the building owner keeps utilities in their name after a tenant moves in and without use permits, the town has no way of knowing the kind of business that is occupying the building. He says their number one need is a four-lane road into and out-of-town. He says it becomes like a parking lot in rush hour. Mark asks why he decided to get into politics. Mayor Weatherspoon says he was complaining about something town leaders had done and a friend said, “Well, why don’t you do something about it and run for office?” He says the filing period was almost over, but he made it just in time. He talked to his family, prayed about it and decided to run. And the rest is history.

In the second hour, Jennifer Marshall, Vice President for the Heritage Foundation, about her article “Big Business Trying to ‘Rebrand’ Religious Liberty as Bigotry.” She explains there is no one standing up for the small business, instead we’re seeing the opposite, big business calling small business owners bigots for not wanting to be bullied into catering to clientele that violates their conscience. Ms. Marshall breaks down Mississippi’s law which provides protections for religious organizations while allowing all organizations and businesses to set their own rules. Mark says it seems like more corporations seem to think anyone with religious beliefs are bigots. Ms Marshall says policies like those in Mississippi and North Carolina just common sense and citizens should get smart about seeing through the smoke screen corporate establishments throw up that disregard that fact.

Finally, The Insider Editor Patrick Gannon joins Mark. He tells him about what has been going on ahead of the gaveling in of what is supposed to be the short session this year. He says he had to walk through the opposing groups for HB2 and says there are even people selling items in support of each side. Mark comments he’s glad to see the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive at the legislature. Pat says a pro-marijuana group had brought a big, fake joint they were going to like at the symbolic time of 4:20 today. Pat adds bills were also filed relating to the I-77 toll road issue and the repeal of HB2, but adds there were only about ten signatures so it wouldn’t be going anywhere. Mark questions what is happening in the resigning and replacement of some lawmakers. Mark asks about the resignation of Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer. Pat speculates that perhaps all the heat from issues like the I-77 toll road and HB2 got to be too much since she never seemed to like being in the spotlight. Pat says he thinks we’ll see some tax reform, more money in the rainy day fund and business as usual.

Civitas Communications Coordinator Demi Dowdy and AFP State Director Donald Bryson join us tomorrow.

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22 Apr 2016

What Matters for Friday, April 22, 2016

Pushing back. That’s what the right is finally doing with regard to the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act and the left can’t stand it. Guest host Mark Shiver starts the show speaking with Guilford County Rep. John Blust. He says he’d like to see the discussion shifted away from the bathroom to the locker room and how people would react then. Mark agrees that would create a different picture in most people’s minds. Rep. Blust stresses this isn’t about the transgender community, it’s about keeping people safe and common sense. Mark asks what he’d like to get accomplished in the short session. Rep. Blust says he’d like to see some campaign finance reform.

Next, Iraq war veteran, small business owner and candidate for Republican National Committeeman Greg Gebhardt joins Mark. He tells Mark about his history serving in Iraq and working with Rep. David Lewis. He explains there is one committeeman and one committeewoman. Marks asks how you run for committeeman. Greg says you contact delegates to the state convention of the Republican party. Mark tells him he’s got a lot of calls to make. Greg agrees and says he’s not afraid of a challenge. He tells Mark leadership is about doing what’s right and he thinks that’s what people are looking for in the state Republican party right now and what is needed to unify the party. Marks asks how Greg feels about the tensions between the party, committee and current leadership. Greg says he doesn’t know how this will play out, but as reasonable people, he thinks they will do reasonable things. He says the most important thing is making sure a Republican ends up in the White House and Governor’s office.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum joins Mark. They talk about President Obama’s comments on HB2. Tim says he thinks after all the entertainers, businesses and others who have made a big deal over the law, it seems what the President said is basically being overlooked. They also delve into the Governor’s proposed budget which was rolled out today. Tim says the lack of a raise for state employees didn’t do any favors for the Governor. He adds with the size of SEANC, not getting their endorsement might hurt him in November especially after they endorsed Dale Folwell for Treasurer – a surprising move – this week. You need to listen to get caught up on everything important in the state this week because it’s always great when Tim’s with us.

Finally, Greg Pulscher shares what he’ll be talking about this weekend on his show “Free to Brew.” You can hear the show at 1 p.m. every Saturday with repeats through the weekend.

Angier Mayor Lewis Weatherspoon joins us Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!

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21 Apr 2016

What Matters for Thursday, April 21, 2016

Title IX and HG2. Did the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals follow the letter of the law or definitions of gender defined in an article about Title IX? Guest host Mark Shiver kicks off the show talking to Civitas Center for Law and Freedom Chief Counsel Elliot Engstrom about that very issue. Elliot says a law adding Title IX protections for gender identity was never enacted. Mark asks how the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was created. Elliot explains it all can be traced back to the New Deal. He says in the 50’s and 60’s, all these agencies were set up to make the world better. He further explains the ruling will have to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He says a stay could be issued on the ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. If you want to understand the law, check out Elliot’s blog and listen to his show “Closing Arguments with Elliot Engstrom” on Friday’s between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Next, House Speaker Tim Moore joins Mark. He shares some of the accomplishments he’s most proud of from the last legislative session which include expanding educational choice, expanding tax reductions, and funding key priorities. Mark asks about the length of the last session. Speaker Moore says he gets a lot of questions about that, but it’s what happens when you bring together that many people with differing opinions. He says some of the goals for the next session include working on budget adjustments for the biennium, continuing tax reductions, education reform, and tweaking HB2 in accordance to what the Governor has requested. Speaker Moore says the state has been subject to a smear campaign over the passage of this bill. Mark asks if the issue of occupational licensure will come up this session. Speaker Moore says this will have to be addressed in the long session. He points out that some professions have been included that perhaps shouldn’t have been.

In the second hour, Director of Policy Brian Balfour is talking taxes with Mark. Brian breaks down how the state was so ill-prepared for the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 that lawmakers had to put in place to pay for unrestrained spending of previous years. Mark asks how we can continue to see a continued tax revenue surplus when lawmakers are lowering the tax rate. Brian explains that the tax cuts are allowing consumers to put more money back into the economy, more people are coming to the state to look for work and more jobs are being created. Brian tells Mark some of the reforms he expects to see in the coming session are corporate income and personal income tax rates continuing to drop. He adds that by doing so, North Carolina is on pace to become the lowest on both in the nation.

Finally, Vice President of Business & Culture for the Media Research Center Dan Gainor discusses former Boston Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling’s comments on Facebook about transgenders and ESPN’s response to it. This is a great discussion about much more than sports.

Republican National Committeeman Candidate Greg Gebhardt, Time Warner Cable News’ Tim Boyum and Free to Brew host Greg Pulscher join us tomorrow.

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