National Review Episode 38: North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest

Dan Forest’s role as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina includes much more than the traditional responsibilities of his office — this week on Reality Check with Jeanne Allen, Forest talks about making education a priority, using funds effectively and working in and out of the business, education and technology sectors to create a more fluid economy in his state, from encouraging advances in innovation to working in the statehouse to help policy work for every community.

Dan Forest has served as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina since January 2013. Prior to becoming Lieutenant Governor, he received two degrees from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. After college, Dan became a leader in the business community for over 20 years, having served as office president and senior partner of the state’s largest architectural firm – Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. Dan has been designated as an Architect Emeritus. A father of four, he and his wife, Alice, reside in Wake County.

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Forest Statement on Toll Project Points to 2020 Governor Bid

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Brief words from North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest about a toll project have reinforced expectations he will run for governor in 2020.

The Republican released a statement the day after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s transportation secretary described efforts to alter plans for two proposed toll lanes for Interstate 77 north of Charlotte, built and operated by a Spanish company. Some people weren’t pleased with the incremental plan.

Forest called Thursday the I-77 contract “a colossal mistake” signed by then-GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration, “punted by the Cooper administration” and that “would be fixed by a Forest administration.”

Forest was elected lieutenant governor in 2012 and has openly expressed interest in running for governor. His campaign had $519,000 entering the summer. McCrory also has said he’ll consider a 2020 bid.

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Lt. Gov. Forest Speaks at Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Blowing Rock

BLOWING ROCK — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest made a stop in Blowing Rock on Aug. 4 at the Watauga County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at Chetola Resort.

“We believe, as a family, that elections have consequences,” Forest said, echoing a Barack Obama quote from 2010. “Ideas have consequences, bad ideas have victims and we know that Republican ideas really are the best ideas for America.”

“We are here to pool together our resources to go out and continue to make America great again and continue to make North Carolina great,” Forest said. “We’re seeing the changes in D.C. really be pushed down to our local communities.”

Forest spoke about the greatness of North Carolina, saying it had the “secret sauce” in its people, and about how the country and state are going in the right direction and the opportunities going forward.

“I think ‘the left’ has left the Democratic party behind,” Forest told the crowd. “And I think there’s going to be a lot of people looking for a new home.”

Forest joined the other speakers in pushing for people to be active during the upcoming November elections, imploring the crowd not to take their Republican representatives for granted and the keep the faith.

“We’re being outspent in a lot of elections right now, and they’re going to continue to do that,” Forest said. “We don’t want to be surprised in November, I don’t think there’s a ‘blue wave’ coming, I see maybe a blue puddle.

“All across America right now, you need to know that we’re winning.”

Forest was referenced by several other speakers as the “next governor of North Carolina in 2020,” indicating a potential challenge to Democrat Roy Cooper, although Forest hasn’t officially announced his candidacy.

“Run Forest run,” said NCGOP Chair Robin Hayes.

“I hope we soon take that ‘liutenant’ away from his name,” U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) said of Forest.

Forest, Hayes, Foxx, pro-life activist Penny Lea and Greensboro-based conservative political activist Mark Keith Robinson all spoke to the crowd.

Hayes spoke briefly about the upcoming election and what it means to be a Republican.

“Folks, we as Republicans have the duty to be evangelists to deliver the progressives or whatever they’re calling themselves now from the bondage they’re in, the bondage of government,” Hayes said.

Hayes compared President Donald Trump to King Cyrus in the Bible as well as Winston Churchill, noting their personal problems but how they’re being used by God for his purpose.

Foxx spoke about the need of Republicans to come together despite disagreements, noting that Ronald Reagan once said that you need to hold onto someone who agrees with you 70 percent of the time, as well as the need to get Christians involved.

“I’ve always said that if you’re not getting Christians involved, you’re leading it to the Philistines,” Foxx said.

After speaking about the recent tax cuts and the perceived economic success under President Trump so far, Foxx implored Republicans to rally this November.

“This is the most important election we’ve ever faced,” Foxx said. “North Carolina has a bullseye on it.”

Foxx got choked up asking Republicans to give their time and energy and to be proud of America.

‘I’m going to work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life,” Foxx said. “There are people under siege all across the country.”

Lea, who owns Tazmaraz in Blowing Rock, spoke passionately about her pro-life position and the 45 years since the Roe vs Wade verdict by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, condemning legalized abortion as “slaughter.”

Robinson was the keynote speaker to end the evening. With his voice booming off the nearby hills, Robinson first spoke against several Democratic figures, then talked about how conservatives needs to be proud of who they are and the importance of local politics.

“This movement is not about me, it’s about saving this great nation,” Robinson said. “This movement is about doing my part to leave a nation for my grandson that has the same rights and privileges that I have.”

Robinson ended his speech with the story of Doris “Dorie” Miller, a sailor in the U.S. Navy who was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Miller died in the Pacific Theater of World War 2 in Nov. 1943 after his ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine.

“He saw through the warts, he saw through the bad things and knew in this country we had the ability to fight for a better day,” Robinson said.

The Watauga Democrat will provide coverage of the Watauga County Democratic Party’s Fall Rally on Saturday, Oct. 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Central Dining Hall on the campus of Appalachian State University.

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Lt. Governor: ‘The ball was dropped’ on federal hurricane relief

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest says officials on Governor Roy Cooper’s team dropped the ball getting federal relief funding to victims of Hurricane Matthew.

During a stop in Columbus County not far from Fair Bluff — one of the communities hardest hit by the October 2016 storm — Forest was asked about the delay in the state dispersing federal money designed to help Hurricane Matthew victims. A series of reports by WBTV in Charlotte found the state has also missed two self-imposed deadlines in the effort to help repair and replace hurricane-damaged homes.

“I think that is inexcusable,” Forest said. “We’ve done everything in our power as lieutenant governor to try to make sure we are moving in the right direction. It’s out of our hands. It’s certainly in the governor’s hands and the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management and all those folks to make sure we do it. But I think the ball was dropped on this one.”

According to a release sent this week by House Speaker Tim Moore’s office, just one of the 22 counties impacted by the storm has received final approval to begin spending $236 million of federal community development block grants for disaster recovery (CDBG-DRs). Another three counties are expected to complete required paperwork in August, according to the division, and work is just now underway in the remaining 18 counties.

When asked if the delay should result in people in the departments losing their job, Forest stopped short of calling for resignations.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily that,” he said. “I think it’s a process issue that is being dealt with right now. I think that is well underway at this point, but it’s kind of a day late and a dollar short right now. There’s still people out there that need that money and it needs to get to them as quickly as possible.”

Forest made two stops in Columbus County on Thursday.

At West Columbus High School, he spoke to the cheerleading squad that won a national championship. He then toured Ricky Benton Racing in Cerro Gordo, talking to members of the team that has fielded cars for the biggest races on the NASCAR circuit in 2018.

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Looking to 2020, Cooper, Forest Keep to Campaign Fundraising

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and a potential 2020 challenger keep vacuuming up campaign money.

Political committees for candidates not on ballots this year had until Friday to file finance reports covering the first half of this year.

Cooper’s committee reports raising $865,000 and having $1.6 million in cash on June 30. He’s raised $2.3 million since early 2017.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is expected to run for governor. His committee raised $404,000 in the first six months of 2018 and had $519,000 in campaign coffers. He’s raised just over $1 million in the last 18 months.

Cooper reports over 10,000 separate donations so far in 2018. Forest reported more than 600.

A “super PAC” that promoted Forest’s 2016 campaign reported $1 million on hand earlier this month.

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Wounded Veteran, Family Receive New Raleigh Home

 — Army Sgt. Anthony Von Canon sacrificed for his country, so builders and volunteers stepped up for him with a new house.

Von Canon became the 17th wounded veteran to receive a home through Operation Coming Home, a collaboration between the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County and other nonprofits.

He suffered serious spinal and hip injuries in a rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2009.

The celebration Thursday to welcome the Von Canon family to their new home in north Raleigh was fit for a hero, with two military flyovers and appearances by North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

“To give someone a home seems like such a grand gesture, but in view of what he’s done for our country, it seems very small in comparison,” said Paul Kane, executive vice president and chief executive of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

Builder Level Homes made the vision reality.

“Words can’t describe it,” said Ric Rojas, North Carolina president for Level Homes. “What Anthony has done for our country, this is just a token of what we can give back to him. It’s a great feeling.”

Von Canon and his wife, Arlette, were visibly moved by the gift, which comes a few weeks after the birth of their third child.

“We’re blessed to even be nominated in the first place, and then be the winner, it’s exciting,” he said. “Our family believes life is to be lived in a way that honors God. I know he is looking down today pleased with all the loving actions of everyone who helped this home come together.”

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Forest, Troxler Visit Duplin County on Hog Suit Warning

Republican politicians are heading to an eastern North Carolina farm to talk why they’re worried litigation involving hog farms could harm the state’s economy.

A top GOP legislator says Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and other lawmakers plan to attend a news conference Tuesday at a Duplin County farm to highlight the “unfairness” of recent and pending lawsuits.

Neighbors to farms producing hogs for Smithfield Foods have filed dozens of lawsuits complaining their odors and activities are a nuisance. Juries for two lawsuits already tried have returned multimillion-dollar verdicts against Smithfield.

The first verdict caused the General Assembly last month to approve new restrictions on initiating these nuisance lawsuits, passing it over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. But the new law can’t halt pending cases.

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