Monthly Archives: March 2016

What Matters for Thursday, March 31, 2016

The hubbub over HB2 continues. Chad starts the show drawing attention to the latest efforts by the LGBT community and others to make businesses feel guilty over their bathrooms. He shares the latest stories on HB2 including Chicago’s Mayor saying he was start poaching businesses from our state. Chad says we should let them try and see what actually happens.

Next, WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner joins us. Chad asks about the stories Nick has done on funding the Connect NC bond. He tells Chad they uncovered a possible misuse of monies by the Connect NC Committee to promote the bond. Nick says he went to former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, who he greatly respects, who was also on the committee, and asked if this was legal. He says Justice Orr told him that’s the way it’s been done since 2000. Chad asks what can be done if misuse is proven. Nick says he thinks someone would have to take up the case. Chad asks Nick about another story he did on Mecklenburg County State Senator Joyce Waddell who got paid for the special session on HB2 though she never showed up. Nick says he asked Sen. Dan Blue about those who chose to walk out and not vote. Sen. Blue told him many didn’t feel their opinions were represented and that’s what they were elected to do – represent their constituents.

In the second hour, Civitas Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke joins Chad. They discuss the NEA’s National Teacher Salary Ranking Survey. Bob explains North Carolina always ranks low on the list. He says while most media outlets don’t put this in their coverage of the study, the group that puts the study together even says the information presented shouldn’t be used without proper context. Chad says he’s not surprised since this is never a reliable indicator of actual teacher salaries. Bob says the study doesn’t consider how many new teachers have been hired which lowers the average salary for everyone, the average cost of living, how salaries are funded or how they are calculated (the benefits that are included). He says this makes the study fundamentally unreliable because it doesn’t compare apples to apples. Chad tells Bob our system has too many disincentives to make some want to improve. Bob agrees and adds this should be changed if we want to make our state’s educational system better. Chad asks how you change the system. Bob says he wrote a story a few years ago about getting rid of the salary system and replacing it with a performance-based scale. He says he has never gotten more of a response to a story than that one – especially from teachers. Bob says a better way would also be tying more salary increases to merit.

Finally, remember when you used to have to earn good grades (A’s and B’s)? Chad shares a study that says social promotion is replacing realistic grading of students. And we wonder why Johnny can’t read.

Investigative Journalist and businessman James Simpson, Congressman Mark Meadows and Time Warner Cable News Political Reporter Tim Boyum join us tomorrow.

What Matters for Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Have you ever missed the forest for the trees? Chad kicks off the show with the argument that if lawmakers had followed the Governor’s recommendation of waiting to see the repercussions of the ordinance in Charlotte, there may have either a) never been an issue lawmakers had to deal with, or b) become such an issue for Charlotte, lawmakers had to step in to correct the mess made by city council members. He proceeds to share several articles on the bill and reactions to it – both outrageous and reasonable.

Then, Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser is in studio. Chad asks his personal opinion on the HB2 issue. Paul says if we’re going to start making special carve outs for “how” people identify, where does it end? He says if this is what we start doing, the consequence is other people’s rights are being imposed upon. Chad moves away from the HB2 issue to ask Paul where he found the picture of the smoking squirrel wearing a spiked collar to go with the story about a fire at the outer banks being caused by humans and not animals. They have a good laugh about the picture’s origins.

In the second hour, Mecklenburg County Rep. Dan Bishop joins Chad. He was one of HB2’s initial sponsors. Chad first asks what Rep. Bishop thought about the ordinance when it was introduced. He tells Chad in January, he wrote a piece saying if the ordinance was passed, the legislature would take action. Chad asks why the legislature didn’t just reverse Charlotte’s decision. Rep. Bishop says this was a business law and legally, lawmakers cannot nullify these ordinances, they have to create a law. Chad says this seems more like a special privilege right. Rep. Bishop says you cannot make headway with that argument with the groups who are pushing back against the passage of HB2. He tells Chad the reason lawmakers didn’t wait to return to session to deal with the issue because people would’ve been left vulnerable. Rep. Bishop says they actually expanded nondiscrimination rights by matching federal rules. He tells Chad the federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU is explicitly pointing out that having a “family bathroom” stigmatized the defendants. He says the proliferation of false statements about this law is dumbfounding. Chad agrees and says he’s consistently amazed by what he sees that’s incorrectly stated about the law and its ramifications. Rep. Bishop points out the ordinance in its original form actually eliminated opposite sex bathrooms by moving language to a general section of the statute. Chad says Charlotte’s City Council has been pushing for this ordinance since 1992. Rep. Bishop says he thinks this was the first time they actually eliminated men and women’s bathrooms. The final question Chad asks is about the leader of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce who pushed to have this passed. Rep. Bishop says he was a convicted sex offender. ‘Nuff said.

Finally, how many times have you heard, “As long as it’s not in my back yard”? Chad reminds us of the landfill hubbub which eliminated the creation of additional places for trash in the state. Sound familiar?

WBTV’s Nick Ochsner and Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke join us tomorrow.

What Matters for Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It’s been an active few days in the nation and especially in the state. The passage of HB2 has brought a storm of accusations of discrimination by groups and people in and out of state about lawmakers and others who supported it. Chad kicks off the show by explaining what is going on, why the furor got started, and when the push for changes in legislation began in Charlotte. The question remains, was this ordinance even needed or was it another way to push an LGBT agenda?

We’re in pretty good shape. So says Investigative Management Group CEO Robert Strang. Chad asks the former Special Agent turned terrorism expert how we move past the immediate fear that comes after an attack like the one in Belgium. He says we have to keep doing what we’re doing to keep it safe it home, make sure the executive and legislative branches keeps doing their part in balancing privacy, keep policing our nation’s terrorist risks, and continue listening to our informants in other countries. He says it’s like a three-legged stool, as long as all three legs are there, we’re doing just fine. Chad asks if this is just the beginning of a move in western Europe of increased terrorist activity. Bob says it’s moving closer to America, too. We have to stay one step ahead of this threat. It’s not the same world it used to be before 9/11. Chad asks about the situation with cyberattacks. Bob says he tells young people the future is cyber. Cybercrime is growing and our own government can’t stop it. He tells Chad every time we put a wall, they penetrate it and it’s frightening. We have to take baby steps to try and keep up with it. He says there’s so much information available on the black market, there are not enough bad guys to buy it. Chad asks if our basic infrastructure is a concern. He says he has a constant concern about our water and power infrastructure, nuclear plants and transit systems.

In the second hour, AFP Communications Director Joe Kyzer is on with Chad. They start with national issues AFP is addressing including healthcare reform. Joe explains there is a push by the federal government for our state to join the Obamacare exchange – the same exchange that is causing other state’s inability to fund healthcare for their citizen’s. He says it’s one of the issues AFP makes sure voters have correct information on instead of leaving it up to the media to disseminate the information as it sees fit. Joe also brings up the issue of occupational licensure and how our state’s abundance of licensing requirements puts a burden on our economy. He tells Chad there will be a hearing April 5th concerning licensing requirements that may makes things easier for many who are trying just to make a living in our state. Chad says we’re starting to see the results of AFP’s efforts in eliminating bad energy policy. Joe says it’s just best to let the free market control this and not the government.

Finally, remember the concept of fusion? It’s back and it’s just as costly and ineffective now as it was in the late 70’s-early 80’s. Remember, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Mecklenburg County Rep. Dan Bishop and Carolina Plott Hound’s Paul Chesser join us tomorrow.

What Matters for Monday, March 28, 2016

It’s a special “Best of What Matters” today featuring some of the best interviews off the past three months.

We’re back Tuesday with Investigative Management Group CEO Robert Strang and AFP State Director Donald Bryson.