June 2011



In a shocking turn of events, the Senate’s Commerce Committee today completely gutted HB 36, better known as the Immigration or E-Verify Bill (hat tip to Randy’s Right!).  The bill that the House passed required public and private employers with more than 24 employees to use E-Verify to confirm an employees’ immigration status before hiring them.  The bill that passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee today removed all language pertaining to private employers.  The toothless bill now heads to the Senate floor where it may be voted as soon as tonight.

This is the same bill that was already watered down in the House (see House Republicans all bark and no bite on immigration bill).  We now have to choke down this version which does absolutely nothing (more…)


No thanks to Tim Spear, the NC House passed, and the Senate is now considering, a bill that would allow for the order of political parties listed on the ballot to rotate every four years. Current law provides that the order of the parties are alphabetical, resulting in Democrats always being listed first.

Spear was one of only fifteen Democrats to vote against this bill.   What good reason could there be for opposing this bill?  Was it because this change will make it too confusing (more…)


After voting against the Voter ID bill earlier this week, Spear took to the airwaves to defend his vote yesterday. While his office was telling constituents that he opposed the bill on grounds of costs (now debunked, see prior post), he told WTIB’s Henry Hinton that he was opposed to the ‘strict’ photo-id requirement in the bill. Here is the link to the audio clip.  It’s a two hour clip but you can skip to the 1hour 32 minute mark to hear Spear’s remarks.

Mr. Spear says in the interview that the id requirements (more…)


A detailed review of the costs associated with HB 351, the Voter Photo ID bill, shows that the costs associated with implementing this bill were grossly inflated.  The cost estimate of $3.2 Million noted in the Legislative Fiscal Note for this bill used dubious criteria to determine how many id cards would likely have to be issued and double counted the the costs associated with the issuance of the cards.  The report was issued on March 22, 2011 and signed by the head of the Fiscal Research Division, Marilyn Chism.  On March 30th, Ms. Chism, a Democrat, was forced to resign her position.  No reason was given for her forced resignation.

Following are my observations and comments on this LFN.  For reference, download the 11 page LFN here.

This report estimates that 14.5% of North Carolina voters, or 885,000 of them, might need to be issued a free voter photo id card.  Now if you’re thinking that 14.5% seems like a high percentage, you’d be right.  The report was clearly designed to be misleading.  The real figure is (more…)


North Carolina is one step closer to requiring a photo id at the polls. House Bill 351, Restoring Confidence in Government, passed a second reading yesterday in the House. Three readings are required for passage. The vote on the second reading was 67 to 53.  All Republicans voted in favor and all Democrats, including Tim Spear, voted against it.

A clear majority of North Carolinians support requiring a photo id to vote. Poll after poll confirms this; (more…)


The NC House Republicans are touting their tough stance on illegal immigration.  But is their latest bill to address the issue really going to take a bite out of illegal immigration?  I’m afraid that the answer is an emphatic ‘No!’  A reading of NC House Bill 36, which requires the usage of E-Verify to verify the immigration status of workers, finds that the House Republicans have caved in to the agricultural and construction lobby, to the point where the bill is nearly worthless.

HB 36 requires government contractors, subcontractors and all employers in North Carolina to use E-Verify to verify the immigration status of employees.  The main problems lies in the definitions, exemptions and penalties.  Here are some of the exemptions: (more…)


The Dare County Board of Commissioners today rejected County Manager Outten’s proposal to ban smoking on all Dare County property.  The final vote was 3-4.  The motion to adopt the proposal was brought by Vice Chair Allen Burrus and seconded by Max Dutton  Commissioners voting for the ban were Chairman Warren Judge, Vice Chair Allen Burrus and Max Dutton.  Those opposed were Mike Johnson, Jack Shea, Richard Johnson and Virginia Tillett.  The highly controversial proposal would have banned smoking in all county cars and on all outdoor property owned, leased or occupied by Dare County.   Smoking is already banned inside County buildings.

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