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Political Notebook: Rep. Hudson joins Budd in announcing he will object to election certification

Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican who represents North Carolina’s 8th Congressional district, announced on Sunday he would object later this week to certifying the Electoral College votes of certain states cast for the 2020 general election.

Members of Congress will meet in a joint session on Wednesday to count Electoral College votes following the 2020 presidential election. The Electoral College met in mid-December to certify Biden’s 306-232 victory over President Donald Trump.

“The American people need to have confidence in the integrity of our election process. Currently, millions of people do not trust the outcome of this presidential election because there is incontrovertible evidence of voter irregularity — if not outright fraud — in multiple states,” Hudson said in a statement posted on his website.

Hudson, who previously represented parts of Rowan County, added that election laws were changed in numerous states, including extending the deadline for absentee by mail ballots, adding unsecured drop box collection sites and changes to signature verification measures.

Hudson is joining a number of members of the U.S. House and a group of 11 sitting and incoming Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who announced Saturday that they will join Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, to object Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana will all join Cruz and Hawley in the objection. Four newly sworn in senators plan to join them, including Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, according to the joint statement.

In North Carolina, Hudson is joined by Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican whose 13th district now covers all of Rowan County, and Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican whose district covers the western part of the state, who also represents parts of Rowan County. Hudson and Budd also were among the more than 120 Republicans who signed an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit in December seeking to overturn 2020 general election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Supreme Court threw out the suit Dec. 11.

In December, former U.S. Att. Gen. William Barr said the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread election fraud that would change the results of the election.

In his statement, Hudson expressed concern for the “impact big tech bias and censorship had on this election.” He specifically cited “unprecedented suppression of information” such as the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s alleged financial ties to foreign governments as well as “arbitrary flags” on individual posts and ideas on social media.

“For these reasons, I believe it is my constitutional duty to object to certifying the Electoral College votes of certain states that violated their own election laws,” Hudson said. “I know there are many who will disagree with my decision to object, and the hyper-partisan hysteria from some on the left and in the media is predictable. However, I am fighting to preserve the process that makes their disagreement with me possible in the first place.”

Hudson added that he wanted to be part of a “bipartisan solution to restore transparency and faith” in the election process.

 

Gov. Cooper extends state evictions moratorium until end of month

Gov. Roy Cooper on Dec. 30 signed Executive Order 184 that extends North Carolina’s evictions moratorium through Jan. 31 in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Too many families are living on the edge, trying to do the right thing, but left with impossible choices,” Cooper said. “This order will help them stay in their homes, which is essential to slowing the spread of the virus.”

E.O. 184 clarifies and expands the federal eviction moratorium, which was extended by Congress in the latest COVID-19 relief package until Jan. 31. The order halts evictions for nonpayment of rent.

In North Carolina, an estimated 485,000 adults in rental housing reported that they are not caught up on rent and nearly three million adults reported difficulty in covering usual household expenses, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

This order also extends protections for individuals applying for assistance through the state’s Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program, which assists North Carolinians facing financial hardship by providing rent and utility payments directly to landlords and utility companies. Over 21,000 renters have been notified that they will receive rent or utility payment help and award notices totaling $37.4 million have been issued as the HOPE Program continues to provide more assistance to its applicants, according to the governor’s statement.

 

State board of elections increases individual contribution to political campaigns to $5,600

The state Board of Elections has increased the individual contribution limit for North Carolina political campaigns from $5,400 to $5,600 following a recalculation based on changes to the consumer price index.

State law currently requires the board at the beginning of each odd-numbered calendar year to calculate and publish the contribution limit based on changes to the consumer price index. This year’s change, effective as of Jan. 1, is based on the 2.8% increase in the index from July 2018 to July 2020.

Now, no individual or political committee may contribute more than $5,600 to a candidate committee or political committee in any election. However, some exceptions to the limit allow a candidate or their spouse to contribute unlimited amounts to that candidate’s committee. Additionally, any national, state, district or county executive committee of any political party recognized under N.C.G.S. § 163-96 is exempt from contribution limits.

If there is a primary and a general election, the political committee may receive $5,600 from a contributor between the beginning of the election cycle and the day of the primary, and another $5,600 from the same contributor beginning the day after the primary through the end of the election year.

 

NC Poor People’s campaign releases national policy agenda

The Poor People’s Campaign, led by the Rev. William Barber of North Carolina, has released a set of 14 policy and legislative priorities for the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration. 

The campaign has also been in conversation with members of the Biden-Harris transition team about a round table with poor and low-income, moral leaders and key public health, economic and legal advisers to follow up on the new administration’s commitments to addressing poverty and systemic racism made in the election season and to discuss the Poor People’s Campaign policy priorities for the first 100 days. 

The 14 policies priorities include:

• Enact comprehensive and just COVID-19 relief that provides free testing, treatment, vaccines and direct payments to the poor.

• Guarantee quality health care for all, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

• Raise the minimum wage to $15/ hour.

• Update the poverty measure.

• Guarantee quality housing for all.

• Enact a federal jobs program to build up investments, infrastructure, public institutions, climate resilience, energy efficiency and socially beneficial industries and jobs in poor and low-income communities.

• Protect and expand voting rights and civil rights.

• Guarantee safe, quality and equitable public education, with supports for protection against re-segregation.

• Comprehensive and just immigration reform.

• Ensure all of the rights of indigenous peoples.

• Enact fair taxes and targeted tax credits.

• Use the power of executive orders.

• Redirect the Pentagon budget towards these priorities as matters of national security.

• Work with the Poor People’s Campaign to establish a permanent presidential council to advocate for this agenda.

“These priorities are constitutionally consistent, morally defensible and economically sane,” Barber said. “They come out of the lives, struggles, agency and insights of the 140 million and their moral, economic and legal allies. They embody a politics of love, justice and truth that can defeat the politics of death, and bring us down the path towards genuine democracy.”

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