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The Republican Party of North Carolina The Republican Party of North Carolina

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. While 2018 seems like it's never going to end with the mess in NC09, 2020 gets started with everyone's least favorite Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. Welcome to the Democrat presidential primary, otherwise known as the 2020 Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor.

WHAT HAPPENED

STORIES FROM THE NATION

Let's start with some good economic news. Although the stock market has been up and down lately, the jobs report is incredibly encouraging. This report describes it with one word: "blowout." Bloomberg

There are two ways to look at this report of sexism and harassment on Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign: A) Sanders and his staff were oblivious to the allegations or B) the kind of women who worked on his campaign are potentially more likely to report interaction with men as harassment. Either way, read this report for yourself. The New York Times

Marsha Blackburn is the first woman from either party to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. Joining her as the first Republican women on the Senate Judiciary Committee will be Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. Congrats, ladies! Politico

The anti-Semitism problem among the current Democrat Party has been well-documented; their religious bigotry, less so. Leading that charge are Senators Kamala Harris, Maggie Hirono, and Diane Feinstein by attacking the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus. The WSJ Ed Board writes this short but blistering op-ed in response. The Wall Street Journal

STORIES FROM NC

With the start of the new year, your state income taxes and the corporate income tax are going down again because the state is meeting its financial obligations. But what laws are going into effect? WNCT

Most of the Raleigh press has been ignoring the NC Democrat Party-funded Bladen County Improvement Association PAC. The NCDP has been absolutely silent on the PAC's ballot harvesting allegations. Now, they have even more trouble coming their way: WBTV

Rep. Susan Martin of Wilson County has been a steady voice of leadership in the NCGA. Our loss is Tennessee's gain as she moves to the Volunteer State. This editorial details Rep. Martin's tireless work for her constituents. The Wilson Times

Most of you probably received the email from Chairman Hayes yesterday discussing how Governor Cooper was embarrassed into backing down. For additional details, check out this recap. Carolina Journal

TRACKING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

As promised, I am shortening the news section by two stories each and adding some additional tools for tracking your legislators on the federal and state level. We'll add some more details when the NCGA gets going (January 30), but the U.S. House started its business yesterday. 

CONGRESS

First, allow me to introduce GovTrack. Some of you may already use this helpful tool, but you can sign up for alerts for specific representatives. The alerts will tell you when they've introduced legislation, co-sponsored others, and how they voted on roll-call votes on the House floor. GovTrack

  • If you want to track how they vote in committee, you'll have to check out the individual committee websites. When they post the committee assignments publicly, I'll post them here.
  • For contentious or impactful legislation, I'll post a story on the legislation itself and how each member of the NC delegation voted.

Bad Bill Of The Week - I'll also be posting the ridiculous legislation that is sure to come with the Democrat majority, even if they are just publicity stunts. First one up is from Tennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen (TN09) that calls for abolishing the Electoral College and moving to the popular vote election for President. H.J.Res. 7

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The NCGA doesn't have a tool (yet) to track your representatives similar to how GovTrack works. You can sign up for committee meeting notices if you'd like, but it doesn't tell you anything other than when they're meeting and what they're considering. Signing up for the daily calendar emails will at least tell you what bills have been filed the day before as well as what bills are up for consideration and where they're being considered.

That said, the UNC School of Government has a handy presentation on how to track legislation in the NCGA. Check it out here: UNC SOG

Bad Bill Of The Week - I'll be doing this here too starting January 30th when they convene for regular business. The far-left wing of the NCGA Democrats, e.g. Reps. like Graig Meyer or Deb Butler and Senators like Jeff Jackson or Jay Chauduri, will assuredly file publicity stunt legislation as well.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The North Carolina Right to Life will be holding their annual prayer breakfast on January 12, 2019. Want to attend? Find details here.

Also on that Saturday is the annual March For Life. Show up and march with thousands of other pro-life advocates! Details here.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I'm not going to do this every week, but this popped into my head as we prepare for the next two years with a Democrat U.S. House majority and more Democrats in the NCGA. They're going to introduce a ton of bad bills. As Republicans, from my perspective, we've struggled with messaging against poor legislation. For example, Democrats want to move the country to a single-payer system. We all know this is an egregiously bad idea and are able to explain why. What we don't do well is explaining how it will affect the people and what the alternative should be. The 2019 municipal elections will be a prime proving ground to test not only the messaging of conservative policies in urban and suburban settings, but how those policies affect people. Have discussions at your county GOP or Republican club meetings. Work through the messaging. Bring in legislators or policy wonks to speak on issues. Attend a meeting for an organization you might not agree with to get a different perspective or to strengthen your own argument. 

When it comes down to a battle of ideas, I believe that we will win. Start working now.

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