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.