16 Aug 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mark speaks with former Rep. Mike Hager about his decision to leave the General Assembly after three terms in the House, in which he rose to the role of House Majority Leader. Mike says that everyone who goes into politics wonders when they will have fulfilled their usefulness and it becomes time to get out, and his time has arrived. Mike says that it is time to leave to spend more time with his family and also respond to the economic pressures of being paid as a part time legislator. He says that it is a bittersweet time for him to be leaving the Legislature and that someone will step into the majority leader role and do a great job just as someone will step into his shoes for his district and will do a great job as well. Looking forward Mike says that he has opportunities in front of them that he does not want to jinx, so stay tuned.

Mark speaks with Mark Paoletta about Anita Hill’s claims of sexual assault at the hands of, then Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas as well as Juanita Broderick’s claims of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Clinton and how the mainstream media treated each case. Paoletta says that Anita Hill’s case seems to have hole after hole in it with no one to back her story up or other alleged victims of Supreme Court Justice Thomas. Paoletta says that sexual harassment/assault has been used as a political issue where it is ignored for some and focused on or constructed against others. Mark and Paoletta talked about the Duke Lacrosse case and the way the media treated that case, as well as the UVA/Rolling Stone case. Paoletta said that the media picked up both of those stories and ran with them and both turned out to be falsehoods.

Mark speaks with Donald Bryson, state director for Americans for Prosperity of North Carolina, about Rep. Mike Hager’s resignation, renewable energy mandates and socialism in Venezuala. Donald also speaks with Mark about North Carolina moving up over the halfway point to be in the top half of states judged by freedom. Of Venezuala, Donald says that the state has tried to take the people’s money and use it better than they have but at this point even the animals in the zoo are starving as well as the people despite the huge oil reserves that the country is sitting on.

Mark speaks with Ed Haislmaier, senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, about the discontent that many Americans have with the Affordable Care Act. Ed says that while most Americans are not affected by the ACA that the ones who have been effected have been very negatively so. Ed says that while about 7 million Americans are getting subsidized insurance that there are about 10 million more Americans getting hit with the full price of Obamacare, subsidizing those who do get the discounted rates. To hear Ed talk more about the future of Obamacare, and instability in the healthcare system, listen in…

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15 Aug 2016

What Matters for Monday, August 15, 2016

Mark speaks with Dr. David McLennan about the presidential race and other races in the state. David says that some races focus on issues and some on character and that this race is the latter. David says that people are voting for the person they like most, or more specifically voting against the person that they dislike the most. David speaks with Mark about the Burr v. Ross race where Deborah Ross is showing well against incumbent Richard Burr. David says that polls are a snapshot in time and this far out from the election the results need to be taken with a grain of salt. He says that up until two weeks until a race polls aren’t the best indicators of how someone really will vote. Turning to the Long Session next year, David says that with so many Republican leaders leaving the Legislature there will be a lot of new faces in Raleigh in January, as well as new faces in leadership positions around Speaker Tim Moore and President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

Mark speaks with David Rowe, mayor of Mount Airy, about his home and its relation to The Andy Griffith Show. The town boasts a museum, good food and most importantly good people. David says that as long as the people of Mount Airy are around and as friendly as they are the spirit of Andy Griffith will live on. David says that the town is seeing a lot of growth in new businesses after losing its mill as manufacturing jobs dried up in the state.

Mark speaks with Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca about the institute’s upcoming poll lunch, voting in the state and more. Francis says that as the state has grown in the number of unaffiliated voters overall that state is looking more and more red. Francis says though many liberals will blame gerrymandering for the change in the state that does not hold true when looking at local county commission seats and also the election of a Republican governor and lieutenant governor, which are elected at large. Mark speaks with Francis about Rep. Mike Hager’s surprise resignation from the North Carolina House, making him the most recent member from the leadership in the Legislature to leave. Francis says that Hager was one of the more conservative leaders in the House and now that slot will need to be filled, maybe by Rep. Chris Millis or Rep. Marilyn Avila. Francis tells Mark about the differences in leadership style that Moore has versus his predecessor Thom Tillis, who is now a U.S. Senator. Francis speaks with Mark about the recent decision by a three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out nearly 30 of the state Senate and House voting districts, saying that they were racially gerrymandered. Francis said that race must be taken into account and that making a true majority-minority district is safer than making a district with less than 50 percent blacks and relying on white voters to vote with blacks to elect black leaders.

Mark speaks with Kevin Mooney, investigative reporter with The Daily Signal, about his article “Secret Deal Among AGs to Prosecute Climate Change ‘Deniers’ Challenged in Court.” Kevin says that the science of global warming, or climate change, is turning against those seeking to continue regulating power production based on the idea that “clean energy” is better for the environment than fossil fuel production methods. Kevin’s article focuses on those that want to prosecute those who are looking into the validity of “climate change” in America under federal racketeering laws meant for criminal organizations such as gangs, mafias and cartels.

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12 Aug 2016

What Matters for Friday, August 12, 2016

Mark speaks with Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at the First Liberty Institute, about a football coach in Washington who was fired from his job for praying following each football game. Jeremy says that scrutiny was brought by the school district, and eventually punishment, after someone came to the school expressing appreciation for Dys’s actions on the 50 yard line. The school district threatened to fire him if he continued his practice of praying after games and he refused, and was then suspended and eventually fired. Jeremy says that a friend of his practices a Buddhist chant before each game and he has not been bothered by the school district. Jeremy said that students and teachers do not lose their Constitutional rights when they enter their schools, as recognized by the Supreme Court, but that seems to be ignored now. Jeremy said that he is advocating for universal freedom of speech and religion and not just for freedom for Christians, that seem to be under fire more-so than others in the current climate. Jeremy will likely be fighting this case for the next few months, or even years. Track the status of the case at www.firstliberty.org

Mark speaks with Dr. Michael Ledeen about the death of an Iranian physicist and it’s relation to former Sec. Hillary Clinton’s private server. Shahram Amiri was executed a few weeks ago by the Iranians after a strange series of actions on his part. But Amiri’s connection to Clinton comes in the form of mentions of him in her emails, released to the public by the government, discussing his work for the U.S. as a spy. Michael says that the U.S. Government leaked that he was working as a spy for the U.S. for some time period, guaranteeing his death upon his return to Iran. Michael says that in 2010 there were media reports that Amiri was a spy but after Clinton’s emails were released it was clear to the Iranians that a discussion about an unnamed man wanting to return to Iran would be a problem for the U.S. To find out more listen in.

Mark speaks with Tim Boyum, anchor of Capital News Tonight on Time Warner Cable News, about his recent interview with Donald Trump. Tim says that one-on-one Trump is calmer and less bombastic but on stage he has a stronger presence. Tim says that he believes that there is a struggle of thinking in the Trump campaign between him running a more traditional campaign or keeping up what won him the nomination. Tim says that in the gubernational race Gov. Pat McCrory got some good news that no one in his administration will be charged in connection with an investigation into expensive contracts for high-ranking employees and consultants as the state Department of Health and Human Resources. For more listen in.

Mark speaks with Matthew Sheffield, editor of Praxis.ink, about how conservatives have allowed themselves to become isolated from the full media echo chamber by choosing not to pay attention to media sources that are seen as “leftist” and focusing only on conservative media sources. Mark speaks with Sheffield about how conservatives are making themselves ignorant by consuming only news from their “go to” sources. He says that the media segregation and the favorability that the media seems to have for the Left can help and hurt both sides, with conservatives not getting as much coverage as they would like and liberals not being called on issues that are important to voters, insulating them from information that they need to do something about them. To find out more listen in.

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12 Aug 2016

What Matters for Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mark speaks with State Board of Elections Kim Strach about the upcoming election and recent judicial rulings affecting elections in the state. Kim says that the Board has spent the last few years making sure that voters knew that in 2016 they would need a photo ID, and now that has gone out the window. Kim says that the Board has been working to build uniformity tools around the voter ID requirements that now have to be rebuilt ahead of the November election. Kim says that she is optimistic that things will run smoothly for the voters. She says that voters who have been aware of the coming photo ID requirement may be confused about why it is no longer needed but she is optimistic. Kim says that as the election comes close the Board will need to bring on some new temporary help to get past election day smoothly. A federal court just today, in addition to striking down the U.S. Congressional voting districts recently, shot down the state’s House and Senate voting districts as well.

Mark speaks with Nick Oschner, an investigative reporter with WBTV, about an odd lawsuit filed by a former Trump campaign worker from North Carolina. Nick says that the state director for Trump in NC pulled a loaded weapon “on him” while driving down the road in a Jeep in South Carolina. Nick says that there was an exchange between the staffer and former campaign head about why he was pulling the firearm and then the gun was put away and the two continued traveling down the road. The plaintiff says that he reported the issue up the command chain and that nothing was done about the issue. Nick says that the lawsuit alleges that a similar situation happened with up to four other staffers in addition to the plaintiff brining the suit. Looking over at another story Nick is working on, a Raleigh attorney has been accused of lobbying the state Legislature without being a registered lobbyist. Nick says that he was advertising himself as a lobbyist in June, but did not register until July. To find out more listen in to the show.

Mark speaks with Civitas Institute Educations Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke about teacher pay in the state and the increases in teacher salaries and education funding that the Left doesn’t want you to know about. Bob says that the facts easily cast aside the rhetoric coming from the Left about what Republicans have been doing to education in the state. Bob says that the state has a teacher pay problem, but the state is working on fixing it. The problem Bob says is more tied to the fact the teachers are given salary raised based on years of service and not quality of service, but he says the state is working on that. Bob says that the best teacher in the school and the worst teacher in the school, if they have been teaching the same amount of time, make about the same money, which is not represented in the private sector in most cases.

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10 Aug 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mark speaks with Rep. John Blust (R-Forsyth) about the recent judicial activism from the three judge panel from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and how the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has emboldened the appellate courts to step up and make changes that would not have been made under the 5-4 conservative split that exited on the court prior to Scalia’s death. John said that he believes the decision was a political one, based on laws from other states that include the same policy and has been upheld. In addition to having a voter ID requirement got rid of same day registration and out of precinct voting, which many other states co not have. But the court decision reversed that change as well as the voter ID requirement. John says that there is not one single eligible voter under VIVA that could not have easily voted. John says that nothing in the election reforms law was racist and to say so is ridiculous. John said that his hope is that the Supreme Court will step in and defend the rule of law. John says that there is a lot riding on the next election beyond the White House but for the majority in the Supreme Court where several justice seats are expected to open over the next 8 years. John says that mysterious deaths at the DNC don’t interest the media but if Trump breaths hard it is front page news. John says that if it would help Democrats to stop put of precinct voting then they would support it, but since it doesn’t they oppose it.

Mark speaks with Berin Szoka, president and founder of TechFreedom, about the future if freedom on the Internet and plans from the Obama Administration to release U.S. Government control over a core aspect of the Internet. He says control of the system that ties to Internet together may come out from under U.S. control under the plan. Berin said that the government seems intent on letting the contract which controls the system lapse, giving up control over the private group that controls the system. Berin says that with this change we are moving toward a system where governance of the Internet seems to be less grounded in the First Amendment and could lead to editorial controls on the Internet. To learn more, listen in to hear Berin explain how this change puts Internet freedom at risk.

Gregg Stebben, noted author, returns to the program to the program to speak with Mark about short term rentals and how it relates to North Carolina. Gregg said that the issue is a complicated one and that people who fear services like Airbnb don’t usually understand the issue. Gregg says that he bought a house in Raleigh with a separate housing unit that he and his wife decided to rent out their “granny unit” on Airbnb. Gregg says that before renting out his unit he actually called the city and asked if it was legal, the answer to which was basically “we aren’t sure but we won’t bug you unless someone complains”. Unfortunately someone did complain about him doing just that. Gregg was issued a citation but then a few months later the city stopped enforcing the law with the intention of coming up with a plan to legalize the practice. Gregg says that ironically there is a need for more lodging in Raleigh and that the lack of rooms is hurting the convention center, meaning that it would seem that having more rooms would be a good thing. Gregg says that he attended a meeting yesterday of the Raleigh economic development community and at that meeting the committee debated the issue for only one hour before essentially doing nothing. Gregg suggests building a task force of business leaders, neighbors and short term rental purveyors, which was shot down. Gregg says that the city’s attempts at resolving this issue have failed, as evidenced by the fact that the issue has not been resolved.

Mark speaks with Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of politics and history at Catawba College, about the voter pool in North Carolina and how while NC seems a Democratic state by the numbers but in performance the state seems to lean a little more Republican. Michael says that the state is an important battleground state and will be again in this election. Historically North Carolina has been a federally Republican state and a locally Democrat state where state Democrats would distance themselves from federal Democrats but in recent years the state has shifted to Republicans. Michael says that it is hard to get a good finger on the pulse of many state voters here in North Carolina when it comes to new voters, who are largely registering as unaffiliated voters. He says that unaffiliated voters tend to vote in a partisan manner, whether it is Democrat or Republican. Michael says that many independents or unaffiliated voters really aren’t very independent but are affiliated, if only in their mind, with a certain political party.

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09 Aug 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mark speaks with Rep. Bob Steinberg (R-Chowan) about voter ID, the state’s overthrown marriage amendment and other judicial activism. Bob says that there is a laundry list of things that require a photo ID and the idea that requiring a photo ID to vote is racist or discriminating is laughable. Bob says that his constituents are absolutely outraged over the three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to throw out the 2013 voter ID law. He says that it is all about politics and not the law. Bob says that Democrats are trying to work Hillary Clinton into the White House, even if it means opening up elections in North Carolina to voter fraud to do it. Bob says that a Clinton presidency would open up the state to a flood of liberal federal judges from the Supreme Court on down, leading to more decisions like the one made by the panel to throw out the state’s voter ID law.

Mark speaks with Philip Wegmann, congressional correspondent for the Daily Signal, about his article on how conservatives will need to block a spending bill forming in Washington to be passed as part of the lame-duck session, the period of time from the election in November until new legislators come into office. Philip tells Mark that even though appropriations proceedings don’t get a whole lot of attention that the topic is of great importance, even if it is dry. Mark and Philip talk about 20 years ago Republicans were interested in cutting growth in spending and not cutting spending itself. Mark says that he doesn’t believe there will be a spending cut ever again in the overall budget. Philip says that if Congress can’t cut $30 billion from the budget, which is essentially a rounding error amount of money, then they will never be able to do any meaningful spending cuts.

Mark speaks with Joseph Kyzer, Communications Director for Americans for Prosperity of North Carolina, about their campaign to thank Gov. Pat McCrory for the recent tax cuts for North Carolinians as part of their plan to campaign for McCrory in his upcoming election. Joseph said that people will be able to keep more of their own money after the most recent tax breaks and that AFP-NC wanted to thank McCrory and legislators in the state for putting those policies in place. Mark speaks with Joseph about how the Left will yell about tax cuts as being for the rich but that the cuts put forth in the state are helpful for the 2/3 of taxpayers who don’t itemize their tax returns.  Joseph calls pointing at the specter of tax breaks for the rich as opposed to arguing against the policy is lazy and inaccurate politics. Joseph says that, even though the weather is still toasty, that AFP-NC is getting ready to kick off its Fall Field Plan to educate about the tax cuts. Joseph says that AFP-NC wants to hit a couple thousand doors during the election season.

Mark speaks with Peter Weber, senior editor for The Week, about his article “Is Donald Trump Trying to Throw This Election?” Peter says that it’s hard to believe after everything Trump has said and done that he isn’t actively trying to throw the election. Peter says that Trump can be presidential when he wants to but that he often says things that put him in the light of the media in a seemingly bad way, and the question is whether it helps him or hurts him. Just today in Wilmington Trump made a comment about the Second Amendment community in relation to a possible Hillary Clinton presidency and judicial appointments that would be made by Clinton. Liberals are calling his comment threatening to Clinton. Peter says that Trump seems to love the campaigning aspect of running for president but isn’t sure if Trump will really enjoy being the president.

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08 Aug 2016

What Matters for Monday, August 8, 2016

Mark speaks with Lee Teague, with the NC Public Charter Schools Association, about their convention last week and the year looking forward. Lee says that charter schools are an option for parents to find the school that fits their specific child. He says that not all teaching styles fit for all children and charter schools give children another option. Lee says that charter schools are public schools under the state Department of Public Instruction but are not under the “public school system.” He talks about different bills that were looked at in the Legislature and what legislation his organization will be chasing in the upcoming session, set to begin in January.

Mark speaks with Banner Elk mayor, Brenda Lylerly for the show’s Mayor Monday segment. Brenda tells Mark about the charms of her mountain town, including a Woolly Worm Festival in October in addition to the many natural wonders of the Appalachian mountains. Brenda boasts of the small seasonal mountain town’s scenic views, natural attraction and comfortable summer days. Brenda also said that the area pulls in people from all over who come to see the leaves change in fall. She says that one attraction in her town is the historic Banner Elk School, and is a must see. Brenda says that she has been involved in politics in Banner Elk since 1985 and moved into the mayor position after she thought she was going to retire from public service.

Mark speaks with Greg Gebhardt, policy adviser to NC Rep. David Lewis, about the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to throw out the state’s voter ID law. Greg says that the decision to throw out the law in full was not a logical one. Specifically Greg said that while the decision from the appeals court held the decision to study voting trends by race as proof of improper consideration of race he says a lower court found their awareness of race data in the process was a prudent measure. Greg said that the decision was a partisan decision and not one based in the facts of the case. Greg said that liberals turned to the courts to get things done after losing elections across the state and the country and that it hurts the voice of the people in the country. Greg said that with about 300 or so federal judge appointments on the line with the next election that voters need to get to the polls to elect Donald Trump.

Mark speaks with Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca about the decision to strike down the voter ID law, the Voter Identification and Verification Act, and about whether the decision was a “judicial coup-de-tat” against the states. Francis said that the courts are stepping in an controlling elections in the state. Francis says that Judge Wynn, a North Carolina Democrat, should not have been on the three-judge federal panel ruling on the law. He says it was a partisan decision, and not a judicial one. Francis says that in 2004 Wynn campaigned at a get out the vote rally with NAACP-NC President Rev. William Barber, a main opponent of the voter ID law. Francis also speaks with Mark about the new Congressional maps drawn in response to a court decision throwing out the state’s 2013 Congressional maps, saying that the maps took race into account too much in drawing the maps. Francis speaks with Mark about Gov. Pat McCrory’s political strategy to hammer current Attorney General Roy Cooper on not doing his job while he campaigns to take McCrory’s job as governor. Francis said that he wonders if Cooper wins, would he just not do things he doesn’t want to do. Looking forward to the presidential election Francis said that Donald Trump will need North Carolina to win, though Hillary Clinton doesn’t, but given the chance she will take it from Trump if she can.

Mark speaks with Dr. Scott Gottleib, with the American Enterprise Institute, about the threat of Zika Virus and how the virus is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. Scott says that a mosquito can bite an infected person and transfer that to another person but the mosquito does not actually have Zika. Greg says that main risk for Zika is in densely populated areas because the mosquito that is most likely to be transferring the disease does not range far from where it is hatched making the risk higher in densely populated areas. Greg says that is actually good news in the U.S. because densely populated areas usually take strong measure against mosquitoes making the risk much lower for Americans. Greg said that there will be isolated outbreaks in the U.S. and that it likely won’t spread far but that even though the risk of getting the virus is low the price can be very high, especially for pregnant women. The most important thing to be done to combat Zika is to continue the mosquito abatement practices that are already happening across the country. Greg said that though the risk of contracting Zika is very low in the U.S. it is not to be taken lightly because the cost is very high.

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