Political notebook: National poll shows most support minimum wage increase

Published 12:05 am Saturday, April 9, 2016

A nationwide survey by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling finds a majority of people across the political spectrum support a minimum wage increase.

The poll, released on March 31, found that 72 percent of overall voters support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour. A total of 15 percent of those surveyed would rather not raise the minimum wage, and 11 percent preferred that policy makers eliminate the minimum wage. Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,083 voters from March 24 to March 26.

Respondents who identify as Democrats were the largest supporters of a minimum wage increase. A majority of Republicans and independents also favor increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 per hour.

When broken down by party affiliation, 89 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans said they supported a minimum wage increase.

The current minimum wage is $7.25. Individual municipalities, however, are unable to implement any sort of change in minimum pay. Aside from any federal change, only the North Carolina General Assembly can approve an increase in minimum pay. The restriction was caused by recently passed House Bill 2.

Rowan’s local legislators say increasing the minimum pay rate within individual municipalities would cause confusion for businesses. It could result in a number of cities have varying minimum wages.

Candidate will boycott PayPal because company left NC

With uncertainty about whether the election will take place or if maps will hold up, the 13th District congressional race has been relatively quiet so far.

Mocksville radio station owner Farren Shoaf, a candidate for the 13th Congressional District, this week said he won’t take any campaign contributions through PayPal because the company canceled plans to bring 400 jobs to Charlotte.

After the passage of House Bill 2, which struck down a Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, PayPal canceled its plans to bring hundreds of jobs to North Carolina. Citing PayPal’s decision, Shoaf said corporations frequently try to bully state governments into accepting liberal views.

“Therefore, in response to PayPal’s boycott of North Carolina, the Farren K. Shoaf for Congress Campaign will no longer use PayPal as its donation platform. I challenge all my opponents to do the same.”

Shoaf said his campaign will use other ways to accept campaign donations.

“As real men and Christians, it is our duty to protect our women and children, our mothers, our daughters,” Shoaf said. “And, I say we never let any government legislate away our God-given right to privacy (and) security when we are out in society.”

Shoaf is among 22 total candidates and 17 Republicans who are running for the 13th Congressional District.

Democrats take PayPal news differently

If nothing else, House Bill 2 is making for a popular campaign issue.

Two statewide candidates for elected offices reacted a bit differently than Shoaf to the PayPal news.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat and candidate for governor, said the news is evidence of tangible job loss resulting from House Bill 2. Cooper directed his comments directly at Gov. Pat McCrory, who will face Cooper in the November general election.

“These are new, better paying jobs North Carolina won’t get because Governor McCrory has put his political ideology above all else,” Cooper said in a statement. “It’s time to reverse course and take actions to undo the damage. Governor, it’s time to show some leadership and repeal HB 2.”

Deborah Ross, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, took aim at her Republican opponent, too. She will face incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., in the November general election.

“Senator Burr claims this law ‘does not discriminate’ and ‘doesn’t involve federal issues,’ but the facts show that this discrimination bill is costing North Carolina real jobs and economic growth,” Ross said in a statement. “Senator Burr is out of touch, and North Carolina needs a U.S. Senator who understands the law’s impact and cares about all the people of our state.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.