Civitas Institute

Civitas Institute The Civitas Institute fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life. The Civitas Institute fights to remove barriers to freedom in North Carolina by exposing the truth about state government the mainstream media won't tell you; by holding elected officials accountable when they support liberal policies; and by persistently fighting to give voice to those who feel they're not being heard.

Operating as usual

Our attorney general, ladies and gentlemen...
10/27/2020
AG Josh Stein grants award to radical leftist protester - Civitas Institute

Our attorney general, ladies and gentlemen...

Yesterday it was announced that Attorney General Josh Stein "awarded 12 Triangle area leaders with Dogwood Awards. These awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy, and happy in their communities." One of the recipients of the award is a ra...

PODCAST: We discuss the recent gubernatorial debate between Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, sharing what we bel...
10/27/2020
Cooper-Forest showdown and Civitas Action Freedom Rankings

PODCAST: We discuss the recent gubernatorial debate between Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, sharing what we believe were the evening’s hits and misses.

We also examine the special Civitas Action Freedom Rankings and consider the top scorers (including a surprise or two!) in this unique rating system that considers legislative votes in light of whether they are freedom limiting or freedom advancing.

Take a listen!

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More This week, Ray is joined by Leah Byers to discuss the recent gubernatorial debate between Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, sharing what they believe were the evening’s hits and misses. They also examine the special Civitas Action Freedom Rankings...

These three examples of 21st-century election fraud cases in North Carolina should serve as a warning to voters and elec...
10/27/2020
Warnings from three 21st century cases of election fraud in North Carolina

These three examples of 21st-century election fraud cases in North Carolina should serve as a warning to voters and election officials that we must be vigilant about watching for attacks on the integrity of our elections.

These examples of 21st-century election fraud cases in North Carolina should serve as a warning to voters and election officials that we must be vigilant about watching for attacks on the integrity of our elections. In addition, prosecutors must start to take election fraud cases seriously if we are...

The shady agreement between North Carolina's Board of Elections and Democratic attorney Marc Elias over absentee ballots...
10/26/2020
Elections board collusive settlement will have a date with the U.S. Supreme Court - Civitas Institute

The shady agreement between North Carolina's Board of Elections and Democratic attorney Marc Elias over absentee ballots now has the General Assembly appealing to the United States Supreme Court.

Unsurprisingly, leaders of the General Assembly are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given the constitutional separation of powers question involved and the unusual nature of the appeals court ruling, the Supreme Court is almost certain to take up the case.

Don’t ever be shamed into thinking that so many politicians today are more enlightened or superior in intellect to the i...
10/26/2020
Affirming America's founding or a return to the dark ages? - Civitas Institute

Don’t ever be shamed into thinking that so many politicians today are more enlightened or superior in intellect to the individuals who came together to advocate for liberty, and not only that but built the model and framework for a government that is meant to resist tyranny.

Affirming America's founding ideals is a requirement if we are going to preserve this great nation.

Advantaged families already have school choice because they can afford to live in neighborhoods that are assigned to the...
10/26/2020
Funding students rather than institutions would be a school choice victory

Advantaged families already have school choice because they can afford to live in neighborhoods that are assigned to the best public schools or can readily pay for private school tuition.

Funding students directly would empower more families to choose how and where their children are educated.

These are difficult times for North Carolina families. Our current system of funding schools puts the needs of institutions before the needs of students. Those institutions haven’t been responsive to the changing needs of families. Funding students directly fixes that problem. ESAs rightfully elev...

Did you know that North Carolina has made substantial progress over the past decade? Take a look at our latest ranking ...
10/23/2020
North Carolina cracks top 10 in Business Tax Climate Index - Civitas Institute

Did you know that North Carolina has made substantial progress over the past decade? Take a look at our latest ranking among the states!

The Tax Foundation, a national tax policy analysis organization, has moved North Carolina up to #10 in the 2021 edition of its annual State Business Tax Climate Index. The Tar Heel State ranked higher than all its neighboring states, and second only to Florida in the southeast. The lofty ranking is....

Who would suffer the most under Vice President Joe Biden's tax plan?
10/22/2020
What would Biden's tax plan mean for North Carolina? - Civitas Institute

Who would suffer the most under Vice President Joe Biden's tax plan?

So what would a Biden tax plan look like for North Carolina small businesses? A top combined state & federal marginal effective tax rate of 57.8% Taxing the rich doesn’t just harm the rich, it hurts the economy’s most vulnerable.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of the media have been quite aggressive in their push to drive this president from...
10/22/2020
Skeptical of the polls? The media used to be too - Civitas Institute

It’s no secret that the vast majority of the media have been quite aggressive in their push to drive this president from office and will often tout any poll that confirms this preference.

However, there was a time when media were much more dismissive of polls.

It's okay to doubt or be skeptical of presidential polling. The media used to be some of the biggest skeptics.

Take a look at these charts. The growth of administrative staff in North Carolina outpaced teacher hiring over the same ...
10/21/2020
Do schools spend too much on administration? - Civitas Institute

Take a look at these charts.

The growth of administrative staff in North Carolina outpaced teacher hiring over the same time period.

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More That’s the point Ira Stoll seems to argue in a recent blog post in Education Next. Specifically, Stoll is updating a previous post on the growth of the education bureaucracy by showing the expansion of administrative staff and the number principals outpa...

Historically, conservatives have not been as vocal about down ballot races. That’s a mistake. Education is often the lar...
10/20/2020
Why conservatives should care about local school board elections

Historically, conservatives have not been as vocal about down ballot races. That’s a mistake. Education is often the largest expenditure for state and local government and few local positions are as consequential.

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More It’s election season. And if you live in North Carolina you might think the only elections are those for president, U.S. Senate and governor. Fever pitch campaigns for those races have made voters weary and given them even less time than normal to focus ...

***Election Update*** A few things to note about early and absentee ballot voting:- It appears that less than 1.5 millio...
10/20/2020
Monday election data dump: absentee ballot requests plunge as one-stop voting starts - Civitas Institute

***Election Update***

A few things to note about early and absentee ballot voting:

- It appears that less than 1.5 million North Carolina voters will request absentee ballots

- Democrats currently have an advantage in early turnout compared to 2016, but unaffiliated turnout soars

- Unaffiliated registrations overtake Republicans

Here is data from the sixth week since the start of voting in North Carolina, including the first week of one-stop voting.

Democrats now enjoy a six-to-one majority on the N.C. Supreme Court. The best case scenario for Republicans this Novembe...
10/20/2020
Republicans face tough fight for state’s highest court

Democrats now enjoy a six-to-one majority on the N.C. Supreme Court. The best case scenario for Republicans this November is to win a three-to-four minority.

Two variables in this election should give judicial Republicans concern: campaign fundraising and the undervote.

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More When it comes to the state’s highest court, 2020 is a high–stakes year for N.C. Republicans. Democrats now enjoy a six-to-one majority on the N.C. Supreme Court. Because North Carolina’s Supreme Court Justices serve “staggered” eight-year terms, ...

Court-packing is what banana republics do. When a new regime comes into power they so often just change the rules and ru...
10/19/2020
Court packing is a sign of a banana republic - Civitas Institute

Court-packing is what banana republics do. When a new regime comes into power they so often just change the rules and rule of law to fit their agenda.

This would also be true of any political parties if they tried to pack the courts. Put simply, an attempt to pack the courts to erode checks and balances would be disastrous for the nation and the rule of law.

What this nation desperately needs is a clearer understanding of the role and purpose of our three branches of government

According to reports, Democratic candidate J.D. Wooten rented two homes he owns to a convicted drug dealer and then appe...
10/16/2020
Ethics Expert requests investigation into J.D. Wooten for unreported rental income from drug dealer

According to reports, Democratic candidate J.D. Wooten rented two homes he owns to a convicted drug dealer and then appears to have failed to disclose the rental income, as required by law.

After seeing a WXII-12 news report revealing J.D. Wooten rented two homes he owns to a convicted drug dealer, former Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement member John Lewis filed an official complaint against the District 24 (Guilford, Alamance) Democrat candidate for failing to d...

The North Carolina State Elections Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell should be fired after the 2020 election i...
10/16/2020
Mixed results in court rulings lets elections board violate 14th Amendment - Civitas Institute

The North Carolina State Elections Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell should be fired after the 2020 election is certified.

While she apparently has solid administrative ability, as noted in former election board member David Black’s resignation letter, her continued attempts to usurp authority not granted to her position by statute or regulation, and her willingness to subvert election laws, means that she cannot be trusted to continue in a position of administrative authority.

Judge William Osteen Jr. of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued two orders on the evening of October 14 in the ongoing dispute. While they provided different results, both emphasize the illegal actions of NC State Board of Elections (SBE) Executive Director Karen Bri...

North Carolina is still well positioned to weather the economic downturn caused by Gov. Cooper’s economic shutdown, than...
10/15/2020
Tax revenue up, still nearly $600 million in COVID relief funds unspent - Civitas Institute

North Carolina is still well positioned to weather the economic downturn caused by Gov. Cooper’s economic shutdown, thanks to years of wise, conservative fiscal responsibility.

The bottom line: North Carolina is still well positioned to weather the economic downturn caused by Gov. Cooper's economic shutdown, thanks to years of wise, conservative fiscal responsibility.

While Cunningham’s failures as a husband, as a father, and as a lover are a concern, of greater concern are his failures...
10/15/2020
The real issue is Cal Cunningham’s failure as a leader

While Cunningham’s failures as a husband, as a father, and as a lover are a concern, of greater concern are his failures as a leader and an officer holding a position of authority and trust, especially since Cunningham has made his military experience the centerpiece of his campaign.

It appears that Cunningham has decided that telling the whole truth about his alleged violation of Article 134 of the UCMJ would be worse for him than letting the political crisis linger. However, he owes the whole truth both to U.S Army investigators and the people of North Carolina.

“I’m not necessarily convinced that Biden is inching up,” said Donald Bryson, president of the conservative Civitas Inst...
10/14/2020
As President Trump visits NC, Joe Biden begins to inch ahead in recent polls

“I’m not necessarily convinced that Biden is inching up,” said Donald Bryson, president of the conservative Civitas Institute. “I think this race has been pretty volatile all year. We still have a very close race in North Carolina. At some point we have to acknowledge that Donald Trump is a phenomenon to polling, which we still don’t understand at this point.”

North Carolina appears headed to a close finish either way.

The Left continues to behave as if the conservative tax cuts of the past several years have hurt lower and middle income...
10/14/2020
Lowest-Income Households Pay Smaller Share of State Income Taxes After Tax Cuts - Civitas Institute

The Left continues to behave as if the conservative tax cuts of the past several years have hurt lower and middle income North Carolinians.

This couldn't be further from the truth.

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More North Carolina’s 2013 tax reforms, instead of being a “huge windfall” for the rich as the Left claimed, in fact resulted in high-income households paying a higher share of state income taxes, while middle- and low-income families ended up paying a sm...

North Carolina progressive liberal groups and politicians have for years criticized the past decade of conservative tax ...
10/13/2020
Ten Tax Hikes That Slammed Middle Class Families – Courtesy of NC Democrats - Civitas Institute

North Carolina progressive liberal groups and politicians have for years criticized the past decade of conservative tax cuts as being only “for big corporations and the rich.”

The claim is false.

In fact, here are ten examples of how progressive policies have hurt lower and middle-income North Carolinians.

Don’t be fooled by their promises to only “tax the rich and big corporations.” The evidence is clear: when in power, North Carolina Democrats won’t hesitate to raise taxes on middle class and working class households.

"...families are essentially powerless when it comes to K-12 education. The public school system is a monopoly that lack...
10/13/2020
Funding students rather than institutions would be a school choice victory

"...families are essentially powerless when it comes to K-12 education. The public school system is a monopoly that lacks meaningful incentives to cater to the needs of families."

Thankfully, there is a solution available!

Take a read of this recent piece by Civitas' director of policy, Bob Luebke, and co-author, Corey DeAngelis of Reason Foundation.

North Carolina families need educational options as much right now as ever, if not more. Ever-changing diets of virtual and in-person learning have disrupted the instruction of thousands of students and left many parents concerned about their children’s educational needs.

“Today, the median age of Democratic Socialists of America's membership is 33, down from 68 in 2013.”Who is North Caroli...
10/13/2020
NC Democratic Socialists of America serve up woke but gloomy agenda

“Today, the median age of Democratic Socialists of America's membership is 33, down from 68 in 2013.”

Who is North Carolina's largest socialist organization and what are their political goals?

Ultimately, socialism won’t work for North Carolinians or any society because it’s a materialistic worldview that places the state above the individual.

This November we have the opportunity to elect a new superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent is the sta...
10/12/2020
A closer look at the candidates for state superintendent of public instruction

This November we have the opportunity to elect a new superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent is the state’s highest-ranking education official and the elected head of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction which oversees K-12 public school systems.

Here's essential reading on where the Republican and Democratic candidate stand on very important issues that will impact North Carolina families.

SHARE: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email More This November, North Carolina voters have the opportunity to elect a new superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent is the state’s highest-ranking education official and the elected head of the North Carolina Department of Public Instructio...

While most of the attention in North Carolina politics is being paid to the presidential and major statewide races, ther...
10/12/2020
Some state legislative races to watch

While most of the attention in North Carolina politics is being paid to the presidential and major statewide races, there are several intriguing state legislative races that are worth a look.

The winners of the races listed in this article will go a long way toward determining who controls the General Assembly in January.

While there are many other competitive races in North Carolina in 2020, the results of these races will go a long way towards determining which party will control the General Assembly next year.

Civitas' Leah Byers "pointed to a study from the Foundation for Government Accountability that says 63 percent of people...
10/12/2020
FACT CHECK: Cooper, Forest disagree on issue of Medicaid expansion

Civitas' Leah Byers "pointed to a study from the Foundation for Government Accountability that says 63 percent of people who would be eligible for an expanded Medicaid already have private insurance, while the 28 percent that has insurance from the individual marketplace would have Medicaid as the only option.

She also said a study from KFF in December 2019 found that 40 percent of the state’s uninsured people — roughly 338,000 people — already qualify for a fully subsidized plan on the individual marketplace."

The long and short of it is: Medicaid expansion would be bad for North Carolinians.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One of Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature issues has been the push to expand Medicaid in the state. Cooper, a Democrat, is facing Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in the general elect…

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