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Political Notebook: Kathy Manning visits with Rowan County Democratic Party

As the Rowan County Democratic Party gathered for their monthly breakfast on Saturday, an air of excitement filled the room.

This energy stemmed from a multitude of promising candidates in both congressional and state races, a so-called ‘blue wave.’

In Rowan County, 13 Democrats are running in seven races, including five candidates for the county’s two congressional seats in House districts 8 and 13.

One of two candidates for District 13, Kathy Manning, spoke during Saturday’s breakfast. Manning is running for a seat held by Republican Ted Budd.

She will face Adam Coker in this year’s primary.

During her speech, Manning said there were many reasons why she was running. One, she said, was personal.

Her daughter was recently diagnosed with a chronic illness and given a prescription that needed prior approval. Manning said she spent two days fighting with her insurance company in order to acquire the medicine.

During that time, she said she had a startling thought.

“What happens to people who can’t spend two days fighting?” she said. “What happens to people who don’t know to fight and just give up?”

Manning said it was after this that she watched Congress work to repeal laws that would ensure her daughter had health coverage despite her preexisting condition.

“Nobody talked about the real issue: how do we make healthcare more affordable?” she said.

She said that the prescription her daughter needed would have cost $10,000 for one month out of pocket. In Canada, the price would have been half that, and in South Africa it would have been a quarter of the United States price, she said.

“Why are our drugs so expensive? Because people like Ted Budd are taking money from big pharma and corporations,” she said. “They are not looking out for our interests. That’s why I have taken the pledge not to take any corporate PAC money.”

Manning said that, if elected, she would like to go after drug companies that are “ripping off the United States public.”

Beyond that, Manning also expressed her frustration with proposed changes to immigration practices in the United States.

“This is also about honoring the past because I live everyday grateful for what this country has done for my family. … For my great-grandparents, this was the land of opportunity,” said Manning. “When I see what’s going on in Washington today and the way we treat immigrants, I just wonder what has happened to our country? It’s not American.”

Manning cited the revocation of Temporary Protected Status, and said that it was not only cruel but didn’t “make economic sense for our country.”

“These are people who pay their taxes. They have good businesses here. They are laborers. They own shops. They own homes,” she said.

She said that Washington needed people who are who are going to use common sense, both to be compassionate but also to think about the economy of this country.

“We need to spread the word, and the word is this Budd’s not for you,” said Manning.

N.C. Department of State Treasurer expands in-house indexing fund to $4 billion

RALEIGH – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced Thursday that $4 billion in passive indexing funds are now being managed in-house as a means of reducing fees paid to outside investment managers.

“As the keeper of the public purse, my first priority for the pension plan is to protect our investments on behalf of teachers, first responders and other public workers who are counting on it for their retirement,” said Folwell. “Bringing additional assets in-house lets us cut the fees we pay to Wall Street while maintaining performance as measured against industry benchmarks.”

Treasurer Folwell also extended his thanks to co-Chief Investment Officers Christopher Morris and Jeff Smith; Investment Director for Public Equity Rhonda M. Smith; trader and analyst Greg Taylor; and trader and senior analyst Casey High for their hard work in advancing the internal management capability.

The North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, which manages the $98 billion state pension plan, has significantly expanded assets under internal management since launching the in-house initiative in November 2017. Assets being managed internally now include:

  • Approximately $1.25 billion transitioned from Piedmont Investment Advisors Russell Top 200 index strategy
  • Approximately $2.25 billion transitioned from BlackRock’s Russell 1000 index strategy
  • Management of a Russell Mid Cap Value strategy previously managed by BlackRock valued at approximately $400 million in assets

The department is on track to expand its external domestic passive assets by billions of dollars in 2018, with a goal of bringing all $13.5 billion of U.S. passive management assets in-house by the end of the year. North Carolina’s internal domestic passive equity management now consists of the following:

  • Russell Top 200 — approximately $2.9 billion in total assets under management
  • Russell Mid Cap Core — approximately $670 million in total assets under management
  • Russell Mid Cap Value — approximately $398 million in total assets under management

The state pension plan, known as the North Carolina Retirement Systems, is the 10th largest public pension fund in the United States. It provides retirement benefits and savings to more than 900,000 members, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com.

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