11 Jul 2016

What Matters for Monday, July 11, 2016

The House and Senate coming to an agreement on a budget by the end of June was a remarkable accomplishment. Delving into some of the more contentious points with Mark is House Chief Budget Writer, Wake County Rep. Nelson Dollar. He explains there is a legitimate concern over the long-term ROI about funding the state’s pension fund. Mark asks what you do in a situation like this. Rep. Dollar says they consult with the Treasurer, the House had a special select committee to look at these issues, the committee consulted the chairs of the committees, and he says if candidate for Treasurer, Dale Folwell, wins the race, he thinks there will be more funds available for this fund. He adds he’s pleased they are reaching the 8% return which they’ve never reached before in the rainy day fund. They also talk about CON legislation and HB 3.

Next, Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles joins Mark. He tells Mark the town is really growing because of its proximity to Raleigh and other communities as well as WakeMed North and Wake Tech’s northern campus. He tells Mark when they build, they build with quality and that also attracts people. Mayor Eagles says their good schools help also bring people to the area – especially with their athletic program – one of the best in the county. He tells Mark Rolesville is more like a community than a town. Mark asks why he decided to get into politics. Mayor Eagles explains his family has been in the political game for a while. He said he got into the game the first time as a democrat working for Governor Jim Holshouser. He says he worked for the state for a while and got of politics then felt the call again, got on the town board and then ran for Mayor. Mayor Eagles says the town is so appealing because it’s a relaxed community with developments that aren’t obvious, plenty of jogging and walking trails, parks and charming shops and restaurants for residents and visitors.

In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Mark. They discuss biases, stereotypes, and last week being a bad week for law enforcement in America. Francis says the week started with the FBI director deciding not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton primarily because she is running for President, went on to two armed black men being shot by police officers though they hadn’t drawn their weapon and ending with the death of five police officers in Dallas. He says this doesn’t make a good impression of America. He goes on to explain getting rid of guns is not the answer. They continue to talk about the criticisms of the country that many have expressed since the shootings and the fact the writers wouldn’t have the ability to express those thoughts if they didn’t live in a free country.

Finally, Justin Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst for Defense Budgeting Policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security and Foreign Policy joins Mark to discuss cuts in defense spending. He tells Mark Senate Democrats don’t want defense to be funded if the rest of their agenda is not funded. Mark says he thought Republicans were in the majority. Justin explains they needed 60 votes to get the bill started, but they couldn’t get the support. Mark asks if it’s a good bill. Justin says it’s okay, it could be more robust considering spending has been cut by at least 25% in the last decade. He explains anytime there is a discussion over defense spending levels, Democrats and Republicans are split. Mark asks what will happen next. Justin says Senator Mitch McConnell will probably do a stopgap measure and put the bill in front of Congress again in a continuing resolution. Mark questions why we’re hearing so much about cuts in defense spending now when we didn’t hear about it even under a democratically-controlled Congress. Justin says it’s a new and very sad development we’ve seen in recent years where parties use these bills as leverage.

AFP State Donald Bryson, The Radiance Foundation Chief Creative Officer Ryan Bomberger and Heritage Foundation DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society Director Roger Severino join us tomorrow.

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08 Jul 2016

What Matters for Friday, July, 8, 2016

What Matters Host Mark Shiver speaks with former FBI agent Chuck Stuber, and current candidate for state auditor, about why he is running against Democratic incumbent Beth Woods and about FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the FBI would recommend not charging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Chuck said that he was surprised by the outcome but also by the FBI coming out to make its recommendation public. Chuck said that he decided to run for state auditor because over his entire career his focus has been on public service, specifically working on fraud cases. Chuck says that he wants to fight corruption in state politics from office of the State Auditor.

Mark talks with John Wynne, assistant editor at Politics NC, about his article on Clinton’s North Carolina campaign strategy and whether North Carolina is a swing state. John says that with Clinton-Trump its more “who do you like less than who do you like more.” John says that the Clinton campaign is drawing Trump’s people into the state by coming here, even though North Carolina is a more-Right state.

Mark talks with Tim Boyum, anchor of Time Warner Cable News Capitol Tonight, speaks about the session that was just wrapped up, leaving legislators and changes made to HB 2 at the end of the session. Tim also speaks about the bill that former Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) ran to reduce tuition costs at some state universities. The bill originally included 5 schools, including three historically black universities, but those were pulled from the bill after Apodaca said he received death threats. Elizabeth City State University requested to be added back into the bill and their request was granted. Mark also spoke with Tim about some of the bills that didn’t pass including the failed bill to add three Constitutional amendments, the bill to pull the I-77 toll lane contract and the failed regulatory reform bill.

Mark speaks with Dr. Leon Threatt, candidate for the Twelfth Congressional District challenging incumbent Alma Adams, about recent officer involved shootings, as well as the attack on officers in Dallas. Threatt worked as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer and speaks with Mark about the Baton Rouge shooting and what he sees as mistakes made during the altercation leading up to the shooting. Threatt said that there is a fear of the Black community among law enforcement and vice versa.

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07 Jul 2016

What Matters for Thursday, July 7, 2016

The show kicks off strong with former White House Secret Service Officer and “Crisis of Character” author Gary J. Byrne. He describes what it was like serving as a Secret Service agent during Bill Clinton’s presidency. He tells Mark Ms. Clinton feels like she’s above the law and doesn’t want to follow the rules. For example, if she felt the computer was moving too slow, she set up her own network instead of following proper protocol even if it could lead to a security breach. Mark asks why he wrote the book. Gary says because he wanted to make sure everyone knew the truth about the Clinton’s. And then there’s the affairs. Gary goes into some of the details of President Bill Clinton’s multiple indiscretions while he was Commander-in-Chief. Gary tells Mark the book’s title was also about a crisis of character for him because he had to compromise his morals to do the job he was sworn to do. Mark asks how he feels about another possible Clinton presidency. Gary says it gives him great anxiety and thinks it would be a disaster for the American people. This is a great interview and very interesting read, too.

Next, it’s our monthly visit with Lt. Governor Dan Forest. Mark asks which bills he was most proud of from the last legislative session. The Lt. Governor says there were so many then goes on to mention raises for teachers and more funds for opportunity scholarships made him particularly proud. Mark asks him what achievement he’s proud of that is never discussed. The Lt. Governor says the repairs to the economy, recovery of the rainy day fund, repaying the federal government for borrowed monies for unemployment earlier than expected on top of raising teacher pay, expanding the cap on charter schools, standing up for morality and so much more that will never get talked about. Mark asks about the changing dynamic in the General Assembly. The Lt. Governor says it changes every two years, but next session should be quite interesting.

In the second hour, Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst, Dr. Bob Luebke joins Mark. They get into the nitty gritty on the education portions of the budget.

Finally, Heritage Foundation Director of Policy Services Rachel Bovard delves into how Congressional Republicans aren’t acting conservatively or even like members of their party for that matter. Rachel tells Mark Senator Mitch McConnell will set up bills requiring 60 votes to pass knowing there are only 54 Republicans in the Senate. She says there’s a joke in Washington that there are actually three parties – Republicans, Democrats and appropriators and right now, the appropriators are the only ones that are getting anything because Republicans aren’t pushing hard on hot button issues like repealing Obamacare, defense funding, immigration issues and terrorism.

Politics NC Assistant Editor John Wynne, Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum and Republican Candidate for State Auditor Chuck Stuber join us tomorrow.

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06 Jul 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In the remaining days before the National Conventions, the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is already ramping up. North Carolina will be pivotal for both candidates this election year. NCSU Political Science Professor Dr. Andrew Taylor breaks down why North Carolina is so crucial and its voters are still quite undecided. He tells Mark neither Trump or Clinton or the ideal candidates for their respective parties. He adds that Hillary Clinton doesn’t even generate the amount of enthusiasm that President Obama or Bernie Sanders were able to garner, but says she inspires people who don’t like Donald Trump. He tells Mark Trump needs some image work. He says the right surrogates will be able to help Trump with his transition into looking Presidential which is very important for voters still on the fence. Dr. Taylor says the gubernatorial candidates will likely distance themselves from not only the Presidential candidates, but the race itself. He says the gubernatorial race will be close and a hard fought campaign. Mark asks if HB 2 and tweaks to it will hurt the Governor. Dr. Taylor says it will be a narrative in the campaign, but unless the economic ramifications really ramp up, it likely won’t be the deciding factor for most North Carolinians.

“She’s too big to jail.” That’s how Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz describes the way the FBI seemingly considers presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Mark asks why the Clintons have been allowed to blatantly get away with any and everything. Mr. Horowitz says if Ted Cruz had been caught doing something similar to Secretary Clinton, he’d have been crucified in the media and likely prosecuted by the FBI. He goes on to say the Supreme Court is out of control. He tells Mark no matter who is elected, the alleged conservative Justices do not vote in a conservative manner so we’ve lost the courts already.

In the second hour, Mecklenburg County Rep. Dan Bishop discusses tweaks made to HB 2. He explains there never was a provision that disallowed people to sue in state court over job discrimination. He says this was a blatant falsehood that was misreported over and over. He says the only tweak they made to the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act was defining the amount of time people had to file a discrimination claim. He adds there is still tremendous support for HB 2. Mark says they were exceptionally busy those last few hours passing over two thousand bills. Rep. Bishop says it was fascinating and exhausting, especially as a freshman Representative. He adds there is a definite division of responsibility between the two chambers -for good reason. Mark asks if he has enjoyed his term. Rep. Bishop says he has, so much so he’s running for Senator Bob Rucho’s seat this November.

Finally, John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy President, Dr. Jenna Robinson, discusses better ways to fund our state’s institutes for higher education with Mark. She says another method should be considered instead of the straight enrollment formula that is currently being used for determining how much money each university received. Mark asks her thoughts on Senator Apodaca’s proposal to help HBC’s in the state. Dr. Robinson says this wasn’t done with ulterior motives and was one of several attempts to help Elizabeth City State and the other universities facilitate their excess capacity.

Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke, Heritage Foundation Director of Policy Services Rachel Bovard, Lt. Governor Dan Forest and former White House Secret Service Officer and “Crisis of Character” author Gary J. Byrne join us tomorrow.

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05 Jul 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Not everyone has to play by the same rules, that’s what we’ve seen by the recent decisions by the Supreme Court. That’s is the perception of many Americans according to John Daniel Davidson, Senior Correspondent with “The Federalist.” He tells Mark the Supreme Court, the FBI, the national securities agencies are all supposed to be above politics. Mark asks how you fix a confidence problem of this magnitude. Mr. Davidson says it won’t be an easy or fast process. Mark asks about religious liberty. Mr. Davidson says the cases involving pharmacies selling certain contraceptives obviously weren’t worth the Justice’s time.

Next, Family Research Council Executive Vice President, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, joins Mark to discuss the issue of military readiness after last week’s decision by the Pentagon regarding transgenders in the armed services. Mark asks what Gen. Boykin thought when he first heard the announcement. Gen. Boykin says his first thought was Secretary Carter doesn’t feel that way. He is shilling for the administration. No one can prove to me that this will have a positive impact on our military. How will this enhance readiness? In speaking with a Commander in the Navy over the weekend, he was told the Commander’s aren’t sure how to implement the new guidelines. Mark asks what kind of response he’s gotten from enlisted men and women. Gen. Boykin says many want to know where they are getting the funding when there are many vets waiting to get lifesaving medical care from VA centers around the nation.

In the second hour, AFP State Director Donald Bryson joins Mark. Donald says overall, they were pleased with the budget. He tells Mark they will keep pushing for Certificate of Need reform, but weren’t surprised with the number of hospital lobbyists working to keep CON laws ON the book. He says efforts to lower tax rates was fantastic. He was pleased by the increase in funding for the opportunity scholarships. Overall, he says, he’d give the session a B+ because they completed the second year of the budget in a timely manner and got of town on time.

Finally, The Daily Signal News Editor, Josh Siegel, joins Mark to discuss the “non-decisions” by the Supreme Court regarding illegal immigration. He tells Mark it’s doubtful we’ll see much movement or change and it’s definitely one of the more divisive in the nation right now. He says to see any movement, we’ll have to look to Congress, but it has become such a toxic issue for Republicans they are unlikely to take it on. He adds it’s doubtful we’ll even see Kate’s Law or the Sanctuary City bill passed in both chambers of Congress, but the President is not likely to sign either into law.

NCSU Political Science Professor Dr. Andrew Taylor, Mecklenburg County Rep. Dan Bishop, John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy President & Executive Director Dr. Jenna Robinson and Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz join us tomorrow.

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01 Jul 2016

What Matters for Friday, July 1, 2016

We kick off the show by speaking with one of the most powerful men in the state, Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger. He tells Mark they are very happy with the compromise budget that was just passed. Some of the items he is most proud included raises for teachers, state employees and one-time bonuses for retirees. Mark asks why the left tends to spin the benefits of across the board tax cuts benefiting only the one percenter’s. Senator Berger says we all know how the left likes to spin how monies are used. He says the one percenters are those who know how to leverage their funds to take the most advantage of any and all deductions available on both the federal and state level. He adds that the middle class never sees the tax cuts they are promised. Mark asks about changes made to education. Senator Berger says these changes should accomplish three things – what’s good for students, what’s good for parents, and what gives parents more control over their child’s education and student’s more opportunities for their future. This is an informative interview you don’t want to miss.

Next, Randolph and Moore County Senator Jerry Tillman joins Mark. He says he’s quite pleased with the budget. He tells Mark the Senate plans to make no changes to HB 2 because they will not be “bullied by the NFL.” Mark asks if he’ll be the oldest remaining Senate member. He laughingly says Senators Berger and Brock and himself will be the longest-serving members left.

Then, President and COO of the USO of North Carolina, Lt. Col. John Falkenbury joins Mark. He shares information about the services active duty and retired service men and women can receive at the USO. Col. Falkenbury breaks down the difference between PTS and PTSD. He says PTS is the symptom, but when it affects your life it is PTSD. He goes on to say that this is the longest time we have been at war which puts the USO in a unique position to help soldiers. Mark says he doesn’t think many people think about us being at war. Col. Falkenbury says unless you have a friend or family member who is serving, you may not think about it because we don’t see images on our nightly news like we did during Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Mark asks his thoughts on women in combat. Col. Falkenbury says they will follow the constitution, but this becomes a social issue when people start seeing more deployed women that have suffered wounds in combat coming home with amputations, head wounds and severe injuries. Mark asks what fuels his passion to keep working for the men and women in duty. He says after 9/11/2001, he couldn’t sit by idly. He wanted to help the men and women who were serving and about to go and serve. On this Independence Day weekend, take a moment and listen to this interview. You’ll be glad you did.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Capitol Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum joins Mark. Tim says it’s frantic at the General Assembly as they try to wrap up business and head home. Mark asks if he thinks the Governor will sign the budget. He says he thinks the Governor will have a lot to be happy about with this budget because there were a lot of compromises made between the House, Senate and Governor’s versions. Tim adds there wasn’t much the two chambers needed to come to terms with so it seemed to go smoothly. He says it’s kind of a wacky end of session as they try to “make the sausage.” Mark mentions a dust up over a change in occupancy tax. Tim says lawmakers are starting to get testy which can lead to some odd things taking place. Mark asks if he thinks there will be any changes to HB 2. Tim says the only part he thinks might get changed is the requirement that job discrimination cases be taken to federal court. It’s always great when we talk to Tim.

Finally, Senior Editor for “The Federalist”, David Harsanyi, talks free trade and Donald Trump. He explains one of the problems with Trump saying he’s going to bring jobs back from China and Mexico is that those countries aren’t the problem – technology is the issue and that’s not necessarily bad. He explains running a trade deficit also isn’t the worst thing in the world. People just have an issue with the word deficit because they don’t like being in debt. Mark asks why people don’t seem to care about free trade anymore. He says he wonders if they don’t understand the real meaning of free trade.

We’re taking Monday off for Independence Day, but we’ll be back Tuesday with AFP State Director Donald Bryson, The Federalist Senior Correspondent John Daniel Davidson and Family Research Council Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin.

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