Joseph Demarest Named Associate Executive Assistant Director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch

Director James B. Comey has named Joseph M. Demarest, Jr. to the newly established position of associate executive assistant director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch (CCRSB). Director Comey created the position to address the FBI’s growing and vital work in cyber and criminal investigations, international operations, critical incident response, and victim assistance. Most recently, Mr. Demarest served as assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division.

Governor McCrory Nominates Lyons Gray to Utilities Commission

RALEIGH, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory announced today he is nominating Revenue Secretary Lyons Gray to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

“In Lyons Gray, the people of North Carolina will be represented by a man who brings a wealth of real-world experience and compassion to the Utilities Commission,” Governor Pat McCrory said. “His unique combination of service in the public, private and non-profit arenas as well as his stellar record of integrity will be an asset to the commission and our citizens for years to come.”

Gray’s appointment will be submitted to the General Assembly for confirmation. Gray will continue to serve as Secretary of Revenue until his appointment is confirmed.

NC Values Coalition: Citizens take Raleigh by storm to protect religious freedom in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. — According to a press release from the N.C. Values Coalition, hundreds of citizens from all across North Carolina gathered in Raleigh Tuesday for Religious Freedom Legislative Action Day in support of protecting religious freedom.

“Tuesday’s legislative day of action in support of religious freedom was a great day for North Carolina,” said Kami Mueller, spokesperson for the coalition of state leaders and national experts on religious freedom. “When 90 percent of the voting electorate polls in favor of protecting religious freedom, it should illicit the ears of decision-makers with a sense of urgency. When it is the overwhelming will of the people and when it is the right thing to do, it will always be worth fighting for regardless of the timeline.”

Opinion: Fallacies Impede Sound Policy

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

hose who advocate rational public policy, based on a thorough understanding of the principles of human action and the benefits of voluntary exchange, are bound to be disappointed much of the time.

That’s not an argument against fighting for freedom. But it is an argument for realism and for keeping expectations low — so you can be pleasantly surprised when policymakers resist political temptations and make good decisions, whether they be here in North Carolina or in Washington, D.C. (Just kidding about the latter possibility.)

National Register Adds 18 North Carolina Places

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that 18 individual properties and districts across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were subsequently approved by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

Annual state drought council meeting set for April 30

RALEIGH – The N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council will use its annual meeting on April 30 to discuss the potential dry conditions parts of North Carolina may experience in the coming weeks and the possible impacts from those conditions.

All counties in North Carolina are experiencing normal conditions as of April 23 when the most recent version of the North Carolina drought map was released. The last time any part of the state experienced drought conditions was on April 23, 2013.

Senate Acts Unanimously to Prevent “Unfair, Illegal” Employee Misclassification It Says Hurts Workers, Law-Abiding Businesses

NCGARALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that it says will help prevent the unfair and illegal misclassification of some employees as independent contractors.

The Employee Fair Classification Act was inspired by a five-part series published in The (Raleigh) News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer last year describing a pattern of some North Carolina companies – primarily in the construction industry – improperly treating workers as independent contractors to gain an unfair competitive advantage. These companies are able to achieve substantial savings by neglecting to pay unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and workers’ compensation coverage. That has not only caused a host of problems and inequities for workers and competing businesses who play by the rules, but has also shortchanged the federal and state government hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue – which could go toward important priorities like public education.

Tillis, Burr, Grassley Bill Puts Teeth Behind President Obama’s Pledge to Prioritize Removal of Alien Gang Members

ThomTillis2015WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with North Carolina senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, today introduced legislation prohibiting people with gang ties from receiving deferred deportation and other immigration benefits. The bill also makes gang members deportable and inadmissible for immigration purposes.

“North Carolina is unfortunately all too familiar with the tragic consequences of the Obama administration’s failure to properly vet and subsequently deport known gang members who are in the country illegally. I am pleased to support commonsense legislation that promotes a zero tolerance policy toward gang members who are non-citizens of the United States, which in turn will remove violent criminals off our streets and help keep our communities safe,” Tillis said.

Public Policy Polling: Walker leads by double digits in Iowa, Clinton over 60%

Public Policy Polling’s newest Iowa poll finds Scott Walker well ahead of the rest of the Republican field in Iowa, getting 23% to 13% for Marco Rubio, 12% for Jeb Bush, 10% each for Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, 8% for Ted Cruz, 7% for Ben Carson, 5% for Chris Christie, and 4% for Rick Perry.

Governor McCrory Congratulates B.W. Collier on SBI Director Confirmation

PatMcCrory1RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory congratulated Bernard W. (B.W.) Collier II whose nomination as Director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) was unanimously approved by the House yesterday completing his confirmation by the General Assembly. Collier will oversee the operations of more than 300 SBI and Alcohol Law Enforcement special agents located in offices across the state.

“B.W. Collier is a man of great integrity and intelligence.  His proven experience and capable leadership, ably demonstrated as Acting Director, are assets to the men and women working in this professional law enforcement agency,” Governor McCrory said. “I want to thank members of the House and Senate for their thoughtful consideration and approval of his nomination.”