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Political notebook: Civitas Action releases 2018 N.C. legislator rankings

RALEIGH – Civitas Action, a nonprofit organization, recently released its legislator rankings for the 2018 session.

The North Carolina Freedom Ranking evaluates each legislator on conservative principles.

The group has been providing the annual legislative rankings since 2008.

According to the Civitas Action website, the group bases its rankings on votes on select bills and amendments that show a “commitment to conservative ideals that are derived from free-market economic policies, limited government, personal responsibility and civic engagement.”

State House and Senate members are graded on a scale from zero to 100. A score of zero is least conservative, and 100 is most conservative. Members are also ranked in comparison to fellow legislators.

Donald Bryson, president of Civitas Action, said this year’s relatively short list of bills led to multiple perfect scores. A total of 13 legislators received perfect scores: 11 in the House and two in the Senate.

One Rowan County legislator, Rep. Carl Ford, R-77, was among them.

Other Rowan County legislators include Sen. Dan Barrett, R-34; Sen. Tom McInnis, R-25; and Rep. Harry Warren; R-77.

Rep. Larry Pittman, R-82, is campaigning to represent parts of Rowan County in the newly drawn 83rd House District.

The legislators were given the following marks:

• Ford received a score of 100, with a ranking of No. 1 among representatives.

• Barrett received a score of 85.7 out of 100, with a ranking of No. 3 among senators.

• McInnis received a score of 85.7, with a ranking of No. 22 among senators.

• Warren received a score of 80, with a ranking of No. 58 among representatives.

• Pittman received a score of 90, with a ranking of No. 12 in the House.

This year, Civitas Action provided “lifetime rankings” for legislators as well, also graded from zero to 100.

Ford has a lifetime ranking of 89.73; Barrett; 87.5; McInnis; 78.53; Warren; 77.08; and Pittman 89.19.

U.S. senators support disaster declaration request for western N.C.

Last Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, both Republicans from North Carolina, wrote to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state.

The declaration would be for damage from rain and flooding in western North Carolina that occurred May 15-31.

On May 15-20, rains caused flash flooding and damage across several counties in western North Carolina. Additionally, the region was hit by Subtropical Storm Alberto on May 24-31, causing further damage and the loss of five lives.

The senators requested that the flood damage be assessed and that North Carolinians receive the federal recovery assistance they need.

“The heavy rainfall that occurred in western North Carolina in May resulted in substantial damages for many North Carolinians,” said Tillis. “As the region continues to recover, I join Sen. Burr in urging FEMA to consider the entirety of the severe weather western North Carolina received when deciding the appropriate federal recovery assistance required to help rebuild.”

Burr said the area had been “overwhelmed by back-to-back storms of flash floods and heavy rains.”

“For the residents who weathered them, these storms weren’t individual rainfalls, but a major weather event from which they are still recovering,” he said. “For that reason, I firmly believe that FEMA should consider both of these incidents and their aftermath as one disaster as it assists affected communities.”

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