Lt. Gov. Forest: Politics are the ‘Religion of the Left’

Republicans may control Congress, the White House and North Carolina’s legislature.

But when it comes to debating the role of government in the public square, N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says conservatives are at a disadvantage.

Forest, a likely candidate for governor in 2020, was among the headline speakers this weekend during the Civitas think tank’s Conservative Leadership Conference at the Crabtree Valley Marriott.

In a short speech Friday night, Forest argued that government can’t — and shouldn’t be expected to — fix all of society’s ills. But, he said, small-government conservatives are in a dangerous place in history because “the left” marches and lobbies for bigger government with “religious fervor.”

“It’s the thing that wars used to be fought over,” Forest said.

“You see it on issues like climate change or the Me Too movement or Black Lives Matter or gun control,” he continued. “Name the issue today, the fervor has reached a religious pitch in America. Why? Because it really is the religion of the left.”

Real societal and cultural change comes with changes in character, Forest argued. Referencing a push for more gun restrictions, Forest at one point noted that God punished Cain — and not the rock — when Cain used a rock to kill his brother Abel in the biblical book of Genesis.

The left, however, “they don’t have a hope in God,” Forest said. “They have no hope in a higher power.

“They are hopeless. They truly do believe that, but for the government, but for the work they do, there’s no hope for America. So, it’s a dangerous place to be.”

Republicans are guilty of relying too much on government too, Forest added. He noted that the recent omnibus spending bill in Congress raised America’s debt, didn’t block funding to Planned Parenthood and didn’t repeal Obamacare.

Government isn’t the answer, he said.

So what is? “Before we can change government, we must change men’s hearts,” Forest said.

He suggested that people don’t help each other enough because they expect government to step in. “Why would we help our neighbors if government is going to do it for us?” he said. “Why would we help the poor if government’s going to do it for us? Why would we feed the hungry, help the sick, take care of mom and grandma in their old age if government’s going to do it for us?”

The U.S. Constitution and founding documents were crafted through a “God-ordained framework,” Forest said.

But, he argued, America‘s culture is no longer God-centric. “We need to teach character education in North Carolina,” he said. “If you want to make a huge dent in the breakdown of society, then make a dent in fatherlessness.”

Forest laid out these numbers: 43 percent of children live without their father, fatherless children are four times more likely to live in poverty, 70 percent of children in state-operated facilities come from fatherless homes and fatherless kids are twice as likely to die by suicide.

“If you want to make a dent in all these issues, don’t make a policy, don’t get government involved,” Forest said. “Start to do something about fathers in homes.”

He didn’t elaborate on what that might look like.

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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest requests Billy Graham statue in U.S. Capitol Building


A statue of Billy Graham may soon be in the U.S. Capitol Building.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest tweeted Tuesday, “soon, a statue of Billy Graham will reside in the US Capitol Building showing our admiration for the life he lived, the faith the held, the Gospel he preached and the pride we have in calling him our own.”

Forest wrote a letter to the architect of the Capitol, asking the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress to approve North Carolina’s request to replace the statue of Governor Charles B. Aycock in Statuary Hall with a statue of Reverend Billy Graham.

“Today, as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina and President of the North Carolina Senate, I write to encourage you to approve North Carolina’s request to replace Governor Aycock’s statue with one of Rev. Graham,” Forest stated in the letter.

Graham died just before 8 a.m. Wednesday from natural causes at his family home in Montreat, NC, just outside Asheville. He turned 99 on Nov. 7.

Graham’s body is currently lying in repose at the Graham Family Homestead in Charlotte, where thousands have visited since Monday.

Wednesday, Graham’s body will be taken to the U.S. Capitol where he will be the first private citizen to lie in honor there since Rosa Parks in 2005. Rev. Graham’s body will lie in honor for Wednesday and Thursday.

Graham’s funeral service starts at noon on Friday, March 2. The funeral will be private and open only to invited guests. Burial will follow.

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Lt. Gov. Forest to Speak at Ag Rally

The Sampson County Friends of Agriculture is having its annual Ag Rally on Tuesday, Feb. 27, with the Lt. Gov. Dan Forest as this year’s guest speaker.

The event is open to the public but Friends of Ag organizers request that people secure a ticket to attend. Tickets are available at the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Office , Hwy 421 South and Clinton Truck & Tractor Co., 107 NE Blvd. Clinton, NC

Forest has served as Lt. Governor of North Carolina since January 2013. Prior to becoming Lt. Governor, he received two degrees from the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). After college, he 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.

He has been designated as an Architect Emeritus. A father of four, he and his wife, Alice, reside in Wake County.

Since being elected to office, Forest has been a strong proponent of the agriculture community. With North Carolina being the third most agriculturally diverse state in the nation,Forest saw an opportunity to grow the industry when food manufacturing only ranked 19th. He led the charge for the development of the Food Manufacturing Task Force, of which he was a co-chair. Through his leadership, as well as that of the Department of Agriculture and NC State, this task force devised a plan to grow food manufacturing in North Carolina, which will result in approximately 40,000 new jobs, and help thestate reach the goal of $100 billion annually produced by the state’s agriculture sector.

For his work on behalf of the agriculture community, Commissioner Steve Troxler presented Forest with the distinction of Ambassador of Agriculture, the highest honor in North Carolina for someone in the agriculture community.

Finally, Forest successfully worked with the FCC to bring high speed broadband to every single classroom in the state. Building off this success he is now working with the Federal Department of Agriculture and the FCC to bring high-speed broadband to the last mile of rural North Carolina and the state’s farming communities.

He will be discussing this topic among many others during his time at the annual Ag Rally here in Sampson.

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Lt. Governor Dan Forest Named National Chair of RLGA

North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest Named Chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association for 2018

Arkansas’ Griffin to Serve as Vice-Chairman

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 6, 2018) — The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association announced today that North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest will serve as chairman for 2018.

First elected in 2012, Lt. Governor Forest is only the second Republican elected Lt. Governor in the state of North Carolina since 1897 and the first Republican ever to be re-elected to the position. In 2016, Forest easily defeated his Democratic opponent by over 300,000 votes, gaining more votes than both presidential and gubernatorial candidates.

Lt. Governor Dan Forest released the following statement upon the announcement:

“It’s a tremendous honor to be named chairman of the RLGA for this midterm cycle. My engagement with the RLGA has allowed me to interact with Republican Lt. Governors from around the country, and I’m excited to be able to continue to facilitate those relationships. With 31 Republican Lt. Governors currently in office, Republicans will have a lot of territory to defend in 2018, and I look forward to helping elect Republican Lt. Governors across the country this year.”

The RLGA also announced that Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin will serve alongside Lt. Governor Forest as Vice Chairman. First elected in 2014, Griffin previously served as U.S. Representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District from 2011 to 2015, including being a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Majority Whip. Griffin holds the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).  Griffin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush.

“I look forward to working with Dan to help elect common sense conservative lieutenant governors all across the country who know how to solve problems and get things done. Dan and I are excited about the opportunity to build upon the success the RLGA has already had electing candidates who are committed to the core principles of freedom, security, and prosperity for all Americans,” Lt. Governor Griffin stated. 

“As the highest ranking statewide Republican in North Carolina, Lt. Governor Forest has consistently been an outspoken voice for responsible governance and leadership in the Tar Heel state. Lt. Governor Forest knows what it takes to win in a competitive environment, and with Lt. Governor Griffin at his side, their shared experience will be a tremendous asset to the RLGA in what is expected to be a challenging election year,” said Matt Walter, President of the Republican State Leadership Committee. 

In 2016, the RLGA made its largest investment, nearly a million dollars, in its history at that time to a Political Action Committee supporting Lt. Governor Forest’s re-election campaign. Since 2016, six Republican Lt. Governors have ascended to become Governors of their respective states. 

The 2018 Executive Committee will also include Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, serving as Annual Conference Chair; Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.


The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and the only national organization whose mission is to elect Republicans to multiple down-ballot, state-level offices. Since 2002, the RSLC has been working to elect candidates to the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state legislator, the judiciary and other down-ticket races. After Election Night 2017, state-level Republicans maintain 67 of 99 legislative chamber majorities in red, purple and blue states, hold 31 lieutenant governor seats, and control 30 secretaries of state offices. To learn more about the RSLC, please visit or follow @RSLC on Twitter.

About the RLGA

The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), a caucus of the RSLC, is the only national organization committed to raising money and assisting Republicans in their campaigns for lieutenant governor. Across the nation, Republican lieutenant governors perform critical tasks overseeing small business recruitment, heading economic development, administering fair elections, maintaining homeland security and leading disaster recovery. Republicans currently hold 31 of the 45 lieutenant governor offices nationwide, including 14 of the 19 independently elected positions and 17 of the 25 team-elected/appointed seats.


Dan Forest Fundraising On Track To Oust Cooper In 2020

RALEIGH – The campaign arm for Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest released its latest fundraising figures on Thursday, showing he will have the firepower to challenge Roy Cooper in 2020 and finally bring some conservative leadership to the mansion on Blount Street.

Forest’s campaign released the totals he raised, not just for his election committee, The Committee to Elect Dan Forest, but also publicly released the totals he raised during the same cycle for two other entities.

Here are the numbers:

Committee to Elect Dan Forest

Amount Raised: $631,515

Cash on Hand: $336,239

Republican Council of State Committee, of which Dan Forest is the chairman

Amount Raised: $1,416,151

Cash on Hand: $1,332,772

Truth & Prosperity, a NC Registered Super PAC

Amount Raised: $1,000,000

Cash on Hand: $1,036,295.41

Little more than a year of fundraising, and Forest seems to be building a respectable war chest to spread his conservative message across the Old North State.

The ‘Republican Council of State Committee’ is notable because of just how much influence those statewide elected leaders have across state government agencies. Republican N.C. State Treasurer Dale Folwell has been a great example of just how much a difference conservative leadership can make.

Now imagine the difference a REAL conservative like Dan Forest could make as governor?

That message is perhaps best driven home with voters from Murphy to Manteo through the Truth & Prosperity Super PAC. By law the Super PAC is at least an arm’s length from the Forest campaign, but such PACs are often very effective at delivering unfiltered, hard hitting truth bombs.

Looking at the PAC’s numbers, it’s clear they are saving their firepower.

When it comes to Forest versus Cooper, there will be plenty of material for the PAC to work with because the contrast between a tried and true conservative leader, and a sniveling Leftist that will smear our own state to advance his political career (manufactured House Bill 2 media storm?) could not be starker.

A cursory search for Cooper’s released fundraising didn’t turn up anything, so it is hard to compare numbers. Obviously he will have the progressive N.C. Democratic Party helping him out there too.

As Forest ramps up his fundraising over the next year, it will be interesting to see how they stack up against each other. Total money should not be given too much importance though, because the messages offered by the two candidates will resonate very differently. Something tells us that Forest will get far more bang for his buck.

2020 here we come.

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Likely gubernatorial candidate Forest touts fundraising

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest

RALEIGH — The latest fundraising numbers released by likely 2020 North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest could make fellow Republicans think twice before getting into the race against him.

The lieutenant governor’s campaign committee said this week he had raised more than $3 million during 2017 for the committee and two other political groups, including a “super PAC” that promoted Forest during his successful 2016 re-election bid.

That group, an independent expenditure committee called Truth and Prosperity, received only one donation last year, a $1 million contribution in late December from a private investment firm executive, according to a report filed with the state elections board. Committees had until Friday to turn in reports for the six months ending Dec. 31. 

An email to supporters announcing the 2017 figures had Forest taking credit for raising money for all three committees.

“We issued a public statement to be transparent with the general public,” Hal Weatherman, who is both Forest’s chief of staff and his top political aide, said on Friday. “The three entities we solicit for are all required by law to disclose their donors to the general public” with reports to the elections board, Weatherman said.

Forest, a Raleigh architect first elected in 2012, has made no secret of his interest in seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. He’s built a statewide network of supporters and has been a voice for social conservatives in support for the state’s previous “bathroom bill” and school choice options.

Forest’s campaign committee reported raising $631,500 last year. And the Republican Council of State Committee, a newly formed organization designed to help elect Republican candidates to statewide elected offices, raised $1.4 million, according to Forest’s email. The Council of State committee filing had not been posted on the board’s website Friday.

Larry Shaheen, a Republican political consultant, said Forest’s diverse fundraising represents a level of sophistication found in other states.

“It sends a huge message that his campaign is being run like a well-oiled machine, which is what Republicans will need to take on a sitting governor,” Shaheen said in an interview. “The only question is whether someone is willing to at this point to go through what looks like a very expensive” primary, he added.

Former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who narrowly lost to Cooper in the 2016 election, has said he’s keeping his options open to run again. He said recently he’ll decide after this November’s midterm elections.

Still, Cooper’s campaign committee reported raising nearly $1.5 million last year, or more than double what Forest’s campaign committee collected. The Cooper for North Carolina committee had $1.1 million in cash as of Dec. 31 compared to $336,000 in the Forest committee. Separately, Cooper has been raising money to help Democrats win additional legislative seats in 2018 and 2020.

A Cooper campaign spokesman declined comment Friday.

The $1 million donation to Truth and Prosperity came from Greg Lindberg, owner of Durham-based Eli Global, its report said. Truth and Prosperity can receive unlimited amounts of money from individuals or businesses but can’t coordinate spending with Forest.

In a release, the state Democratic Party accused Forest’s campaign of “improperly and potentially illegally” coordinating with Truth and Prosperity through the fundraising.

Josh Lawson, a lawyer at the state elections board, said Supreme Court rulings indicate a North Carolina candidate can raise money for an independent committee because state law is silent on whether that activity is unlawful coordination.

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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest Releases Campaign Finance Totals

(Raleigh, NC)– The campaign office of Lt. Governor Dan Forest today publicly released their cycle-to-date campaign finance results for the reporting period ending December 31, 2017.

As a reminder, state law requires all statewide elected officials to release the amount of money raised during certain prescribed reporting cycles each year. Today’s figures are based on the fundraising dollars raised cycle-to-date – the time period running from the conclusion of the 2016 general election and December 31, 2017.

Forest’s campaign released the totals he raised, not just for his election committee, The Committee to Elect Dan Forest, but also publicly released the totals he raised during the same cycle for two other entities.


Committee to Elect Dan Forest

Amount Raised: $631,515

Cash on Hand: $336,239

Republican Council of State Committee, of which Dan Forest is the chairman

Amount Raised: $1,416,151

Cash on Hand: $1,332,772

Truth & Prosperity, a NC Registered Super PAC

Amount Raised: $1,000,000

Cash on Hand: $1,036,295.41