$15/hr Min Wage No Cure for Poverty Trap

Still more evidence of the power of the government welfare poverty trap:

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance. But there may be a hitch in the plan.

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

“If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people,” said Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz show on 97.3 KIRO-FM. (emphasis added)

The Welfare State creates strong incentives favoring government dependency over work. When confronted with these incentives, the rational choice for many people is to choose continued government dependency, or risk making themselves actually worse off by accepting higher wages or more hours.

Government welfare programs were never intended to “lift people out of poverty.” They were designed to create government dependency, and in turn that dependency translates into more power in the hands of government.

An Open Letter From Civitas Board Chair to NC House Repub Caucus

The following email was sent from Civitas Institute Board Chair Bob Luddy to House Republican Caucus members expressing his opinion of the “Liberal House spending plan”:

Subject: House Budget, Major new spending and no Tax Relief

Dear House Caucus Members,

Since 2010, I’ve given consistently to help elect House Republicans.  We now find that based on the Republican budget, special interests such as film producers, non-competitive solar energy manufacturers and out of state companies are favored over hard-working taxpayers and North Carolina businesses.  

I had planned to donate $25,000 this year to the House Republican Caucus to help re-elect a conservative super-majority.

Unfortunately, after seeing the $1.3 billion in additional spending and no across the board tax relief in the proposed house budget I had to reconsider. 

Today, I decided to give the $25,000 intended for the House Caucus to Americans for Prosperity NC to fight the Liberal House spending plan.

BL

Wake County Taxpayers Need to Brace Themselves for Light Rail Tax Hikes

Last night at the taxpayer-funded Raleigh Convention Center, some taxpayer-funded consultants made a presentation to sell area residents on a taxpayer-funded transit scheme that includes wildly expensive light rail. From the N&O

About 600 people came to the Raleigh Convention Center Monday for the opening pitch for a hotly anticipated transit plan, billed as holding transformative power for the region.

Consultant Jarrett Walker, hired this year by the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ then-Republican majority, introduced himself with a broad argument for transit, then laid out choices ahead.

According to the Wake County website, local light rail would cost $1.1 billion to build and $14 million annually to operate. Funding in part would likely come from a 1/2 cent local sales tax hike, which is currently estimated to cost taxpayers $53 million per year. Of course, that means actual construction costs will likely be more than $2 billion because average cost overruns worldwide for light rail is 104 percent – and let’s not forget the Lynx south corridor line in Charlotte was originally estimated to cost $227 million and the final costs exceeded $520 million – good for nearly two and a half times initial estimates.

The snake oil salesman consultant then reportedly with a straight face told residents and elected officials that “transit brings a ‘triple bottom line’ – benefits for the economy, for disadvantaged people and for the environment.”

Wrong.

The triple bottom line of those benefitting from light rail transit is: crony developers, overpriced deceitful consultants and government bureaucrats. Meanwhile, the bottom line for taxpayers takes another big hit.

How the Liberal Left Reacts to Voter Fraud in NC

James O’Keefe is in town and talking to campaign workers at early voting – the results are chilling. His video illustrates that the progressive Left accepts voter fraud as a “given” in elections and their poll workers are their to advise and accommodate anyone willing to cheat. Remember every illegal voter disenfranchises a legal voter.

The most remarkable thing about this video is – not one person even raises an eyebrow when they are told that the person they are talking to is a non-citizen/illegal and wants to vote!

Election Loser: Myth of Early-Voting Suppression

This update of an earlier post is being written before the votes from Tuesday’s primary are counted, but there’s one clear loser: the myth that vote reform would suppress turnout.

According to the State Elections board, one-stop early voting concluded Saturday, May 3 with 259,590 votes cast over the 10-day period.  Turnout in the 2010 primary totaled 172,972 votes cast over a 17-day period. A greater proportion of registered voters participated in 2014 (3.98%) over 2010 (2.83%).

To sum up, though the voting period was shorter in terms of days, the reform clearly failed to discourage voters: Turnout, rather than slumping, increased by 86,618.

To reap what we wrote previously on this blog, in light of the final early-voting tally: Vote totals are convincing evidence the progressive-left was wrong when they claimed shortening the in-person, early voting period would suppress the vote. Plus, the results also show that an early voting window of 17 days was excessive to say the least, especially when we take in account that all 100 counties were held to the same time standard. It’s also good to know that, for the primary, 38 counties received approval to lessen the number of hours they were open during one-stop voting. No doubt the news that North Carolinians are more than able to budget their time in order to vote will surprise liberals, but that is what appears to have happened.

The progressives in the General Assembly and those working in Z. Smith Reynolds’ collective of Blueprint NC organizations focused their attacks on several key provisions in the law that do the most to protect everyone’s vote. Reforms to in-person early voting are one of those provisions. The Voter Information Verification act (VIVA) shortened the length of the in-person, early voting window from 17 days to 10 days, but it also inserted a provision to maintain the total number of hours each county allotted for the previous equivalent election. The left wailed about the loss of “the first week” of early voting, suggesting that VIVA’s proponents were suppressing the voters that vote in the first week of early voting. At this point, that sounds really silly doesn’t it? But that was one of their arguments.

Progressive-liberals will likely continue to scrounge for signs the Republicans who championed the bill only did so because they wanted to stifle African-American voters’ ballots. But this election and the ones that follow will prove them wrong.

Time is on the side of the overwhelming majority of voters in North Carolina who believe that our vote is worth protecting. The next few elections will demonstrate that the new elections reform law will only help re-establish integrity in our election process and begin to reassure voters that their votes really do count.

This all being said, the Left’s challenges to early voting should be disregarded altogether because every voter can vote in the comfort of their own homes by requesting a ballot by mail. The Left’s arguments against shortening the time to vote early in-person are diminished immediately when we understand that early voting really begins at least 50 days ahead of an election – when absentee voting by mail begins.

Opponents of Election Reform and Voter Integrity Got It Wrong on Early Voting

Already progressive fictions about voting reform are being dispelled by hard numbers from state government.

Today (April 29, 2014) data from the State Board of Elections revealed that as of yesterday (eight days out from Election Day) 95,257 people had voted early. Also, 90,031 of those voters had voted at an early voting one-stop location. That’s after five days of in-person early voting. In 2010 (the comparable election year), at the same time (eight days out from Election Day) 85,255 people had voted. Of those 81,323 had voted at one-stop sites. The difference: In 2010, at eight days out from Election Day, voters had been voting for 12 days already.

This is proof positive that the progressive-left was wrong when they claimed shortening the in-person, early voting period would suppress the vote. Plus, it also proves that an early voting window of 17 days was excessive to say the least, especially when we take in account that all 100 counties were held to the same time standard. It’s also good to know that, for the Primary, 39 counties received approval to lessen the number of hours they were open during one-stop voting. No doubt the news that North Carolinians are more than able to budget their time in order to vote will surprise liberals.

The progressives in the legislature and those working in Z. Smith Reynolds’ collective of Blueprint NC organizations focused on several key provisions in the law that do the most to protect everyone’s vote. In-person early voting is one of the provisions they have attacked. The Voter Information Verification act (VIVA) shortened the length of the in-person, early voting window from 17 days to 10 days, but it also inserted a provision to maintain the total number of hours each county allotted for the previous equivalent election. The left bemoaned the loss of “the first week” of early voting, suggesting that the VIVA’s proponents were suppressing the voters that vote in the first week of early voting. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that is one of their arguments.

As progressive-liberals continue to scrounge to find evidence that the Republicans who championed the bill only did so because they wanted to stifle African American voter’s votes, this election and the ones that follow will prove them wrong.

Time is on the side of the overwhelming majority of voters in North Carolina who believe that our vote is worth protecting. The next few elections will demonstrate that the new elections reform law will only help re-establish integrity in our election process and begin to reassure voters that their votes really do count.

This all being said, the Left’s challenges to early voting should be thrown-out altogether knowing that every voter can vote in the comfort of their own home by requesting a ballot by mail. The Left’s arguments against shortening the time to vote early in-person are diminished immediately when we understand that early voting really begins at least 50 days ahead of an election – when absentee voting by-mail begins.

Raleigh’s Russian Connection: Capstrat & Ken

Surprisingly the Russia/Ukraine conflict story has a Raleigh connection. That would be the Ken Eudy led Capstrat, the Raleigh PR/consulting firm which has ties to the Democratic party, and which was bought by the DC Lobbying firm Ketchum.  Ketchum just announced it was sticking with Putin and keeping Russia as a client.

“Ketchum has worked for the Russian government since 2006, when it helped the country prepare for the Group of Eight Summit in St. Petersburg. The firm held (sic) with research and media rollout for Putin’s 2007 “Person of the Year” award by Time Magazine and contacted The New York Times last year about an op-ed written by the Russian president, according to Justice Department records.”

During this time period, Russia invaded Georgia, provided support to the nuclear weapon program in Iran and helped Assad remain in power in Syria. Now Russia has successfully separated Crimea from Ukraine.

Capstrat, headed by former North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Ken Eudy, was bought by Ketchum in 2013.  Capstrat for years has seemed to use its extensive political connections to land lucrative contracts from state government. Since the Republican takeover of state government they have tried to bring in staffers with possible connections to the new majority but have not been able to regain the foothold they once had. Perhaps looking for business in Russia is easier…

Florida NBC2 Investigative Reporter Uncovers Voter Fraud

The surprise isn’t that non-citizens are voting in our elections, its that a reporter for a mainstream media news organization is investigating, verifying and reporting on voter fraud.

It really is no surprise that there is voter fraud or that non-citizens register to vote and vote in the U.S. In Florida, as in North Carolina, there is no requirement to prove one’s citizenship in order to register and vote. As in Florida, North Carolina only asks a registrant to check a box, attesting to the fact that they are a citizen – it’s called the honor system.

In the NBC2 news clip, non-citizens admit to voting and one, though she claims she doesn’t know how she is registered, had voted six times. Another voter said that it was “their” fault that he was registered, but the reporter had a copy of his registration form that the voter had signed and it was clear that he had indicated that he was a U.S. Citizen with a check of a box.

Andy Pierrotti, the NBC2 reporter that headed up the investigation, used jury excusal forms and compared them to the voter rolls to find the illegal voters. Something similar was done in North Carolina in 2012.

The video includes a great segment of a “voter/actor” who was almost forced to vote although he kept insisting that he wanted to show his Columbian passport. The former director wanted an investigation into Project Veritas – not so much the illegal voters.

North Carolina took a step toward promoting integrity in elections in the last legislative session. They should now move to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

Civitas Institute Has No Link to Newspapers that Eyed Permit Database

It’s very important to understand that the Civitas Institute has no connection whatsoever to a newspaper chain that reportedly was considering a database of people with concealed-carry permits.

The claim has been made by the Buckeye Firearms Association:

According to an internal email provided to Buckeye Firearms Association by a confidential source, Civitas Media, which owns some 88 newspapers across the country, has discussed the use of “public records act requests” to “build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry” firearm licenses.

There is no connection between the nonprofit Civitas Institute and the newspaper chain, a private company which by coincidence is headquartered in North Carolina, but has newspapers across the country.

The Civitas Institute fully supports the Second Amendment, and the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain permits to legally carry concealed firearms.

The gun-registry scheme looks like a tactic to intimidate and harass people who have legal permits to carry firearms to protect themselves. The newspaper company has disavowed any plans to create a gun registry.

Remember the Race-Baiting City Councilman? There’s More to the Story!

A previous Civitas blog post reported that Rocky Mount City Councilman and Witness Wednesday arrestee Andre Knight made comments which could easily be interpreted as calling a community leader a racist.  This happened when that community leader was presenting a petition for the City of Rocky Mount to have a public hearing on whether or not the city should build a proposed Event Center downtown. Wait a minute there is more to the story.

In the meeting, which took place Jan. 13, there was a proposal put forth to approve $67,430 to include a study that would be run by Visions Inc.  Senator Angela Bryant(D- Nash) runs this organization, and Rocky Mount City Councilman Lamont Wiggins is on the board. The Rocky Mount Telegram reported that “(t)he intent of the plan was to assist the city in recognizing the importance of a diverse workforce reflective of the community as much as possible allowing the city to better understand and respond to citizens,” said Assistant City Manager Ann Wall in a memorandum to City Manager Charles Penny. “The intent of the plan was also to establish a workplace which values employees and encourages their development.” The study was approved that night, since September of 2012 the City of Rocky Mount will have spent $413,220 just on studies  for the City and for building of the proposed $43.6 million Event Center.  Citizens in the community are beginning to become upset that the city is spending the taxpayers’ money not only to help a local Senator and City Councilman but to also build an Event Center that is of questionable value.

Another thing to look at about the Visions study that was approved was the fact that it passed the City Council with a voice vote.  Some said “Aye”, no one said “No”, and no one recused themselves.  If LaMont Wiggins is on the board for Visions Inc. wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest for him to vote on the approval of the study?