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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For Immediate Release: Lt. Governor Dan Forest’s statement on The NC Farm Act of 2018 (Senate Bill 711)

“Governor Cooper needs to sign the NC Farm Bill now. It is abundantly clear that the North Carolina farming community is under attack from out-of-state organizations who are using the tactic of repeated lawsuits against farmers to drive them out of business. Agriculture is our state’s number one industry and we must not stand by and watch this happen. Either we stand with the farmers or stand with the lawyers trying to put them out of business. I choose to stand with the farmers.”

FCC Chairman Visits North Carolina High School to Celebrate School Connectivity

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visited Graham High School to recognize North Carolina’s recent technological achievement. The Tar Heel State is the first and only state with broadband access in every single classroom.

“As we enter a digital economy we want our students to be able have the tools necessary to compete and, increasingly, that means access to the internet,” Pai said during the visit Tuesday, May 22.

Joining Pai was Lt. Gov. Dan Forest; State Superintendent Mark Johnson; Alamance-Burlington Superintendent William Harrison; Rep. Stephen Ross, R-Alamance; Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, and Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance.

“We have made some giant leaps over the years, but I think this is probably the largest one so far,” Forest said.

The achievement is long in coming. In 2002, the General Assembly created the Business Education Technology Alliance commission to determine how best to integrate technology into public education. Former Gov. Bev Perdue led that commission.

It wasn’t until 2007 that the School Connectivity Initiative was created to connect every school district to broadband access with help from the Friday Institute. The General Assembly allocated $12 million in recurring funds for the initiative, but eventually the pot grew to $32 million.

The goal was to have every classroom connected to broadband by 2022, but Forest wanted to get there sooner.

“I said, ‘What do we have to do to speed this process up?’” Forest said. “Really, the equation amounted to money and manpower.”

North Carolina reached the goal with help from the FCC and public private partnerships with the Friday Institute, MCNC, and other agencies. The FCC contributed $65 million to the endeavor.

“For the last 11 years North Carolina has been the recipient of some $700 million dollars in E-rate funding, and we see today in this high school, in this very room, the power of that funding.” Pai said. “Every dollar has been stretched in the Tar Heel state to make sure that every student here, regardless of who he or she is, regardless of where in the state he or she happens to live, has access to educational opportunities.”

The job isn’t done just because every K-12 classroom has access to broadband. Johnson said he would continue working on a computer science plan to help prepare students for a job in that field.

“There are over 18,000 jobs here in North Carolina right now that are open in the field of computer science,” Johnson said. “The lieutenant governor and I are looking for a way to connect every student to those opportunities, and having high speed internet in the classroom will help with that endeavor.”

Connectivity was one of the easier parts of moving the initiative forward, Forest said. Data management, teacher training, and integrating technology into school curriculums are part of future efforts.

“Now we are finally starting to see the benefits of connectivity,” Forest said. “Because of this endeavor of getting every classroom connected, we are starting to see results in local level as well.”

Forest pointed to the equalizing effects of internet access and argued that students in poorer areas now have the same ability to succeed as students in wealthier, urban districts.

“This makes a difference in students’ lives,” Forest said. “To have a student in a rural part of our state, in Hyde County or Alamance County, or Swain county or somewhere else that doesn’t have connectivity to the best content and curriculum in the world, now they have that.”

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Lt. Governor Dan Forest’s May Newsletter

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter. Please share it with people whom you know would be interested, and if you are a club chairman of one of the affiliated Republican Clubs, please share with your members.

Administrator Linda McMahon and Small Business Week


During Small Business Week, I hosted Administrator of the SBA, Linda McMahon in Raleigh for a series of events.  She was selected by President Trump to be part of his cabinet because of her success as a businesswoman, creating a multibillion dollar company with WWE.  During her visit we visited Triangle Rock Club, attended a small business awards luncheon and wrapped up with a town-hall with the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Lineworkers Rodeo

Although it was an early morning wake up call, I had a blast at the Opening Ceremony for the Lineworkers Rodeo in Wake Forest.  This is an annual event that is held each year around the United States.  This year, North Carolina was able to host the best lineworkers in the country to compete in their version of the Olympics.  From the fly over to the competitions, it was an awesome morning. These men and women truly do “keep the lights” on for all of us and we should be grateful for their work throughout our communities.

Henry Clay Day

Another great Henry Clay Day at our office. We always look forward to celebrating the life of one of our country’s greatest statesmen, as well as honoring a leader from North Carolina that puts principles over politics. This year we honored High Point native Dr. Robert “Bob” J. Brown as the newest inductee into The Order of the Henry Clay Oak.

Brown’s career includes working with Martin Luther King Jr. and serving on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, working for U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, and serving as a direct report and adviser to President Richard Nixon.

On the road in Morganton and Hickory

I had a great day on the road visiting Morganton and Hickory. Started off with the Special Olympics opening ceremony, then visited WPCC as well as the future site of the Western Campus of the School of Science and Math, and wrapped up with a NFIB Business Roundtable.

Opening of Standard Process Inc.

I joined leadership from Standard Process Inc. for their ribbon-cutting at the North Carolina Research Center in Kannapolis. Standard Process, a manufacturer of high-quality nutritional supplements, has chosen North Carolina as the location for its Nutrition Innovation Center. We welcome Standard Process and thank you for choosing our state. Be on the lookout for a video that we are doing about this operation.

“NC Democratic Party’s Tone Deaf Response to Lt. Gov. Forest’s Speech at CLC” – Civitas Institute

Recently the North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement with the headline, “NC Democrats Condemn Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s Comments Attacking Democrats of Faith” at Civitas Institute’s annual Conservative Leadership Conference this past weekend.

In it, they scold Lt. Gov. Forest for calling Democrats people that “don’t have hope in God.” The only problem is, he never once mentioned democrats during the seventeen-minute speech (you can see for yourself in the video below).

The speech aimed to point out the religious-like fervor with which secularists have embraced government in hopes of achieving their version of utopia. He also pointed out that this is not just a problem on the Left, saying, “This is not just an idea of the Left anymore. I think this is an idea of the Right, too. I think you see more and more people on the Right looking for government to solve the problems.”

Unfortunately, this is an example of opportunists choosing to incite outrage without relying on facts or context.

The question is, did they willfully blur the lines between secular progressive ideologues and Democratic voters, at large, or do they genuinely believe that every registered Democrat subscribes wholesale to their platform?

Not every Democrat is a leftist, and not every Republican is a conservative. Saying so evokes a sort of political ignorance for which there is little excuse.

The decision to lump all Democrat voters into the same category as those mentioned in the speech delivered at the Civitas conference is an unfair representation of their own party, since voter opinion runs a broad spectrum for both of the state’s chief political parties.

For example, many secularists on the Left believe there should be no restrictions on abortion. Contrast that radical position with the fact that 49 percent of Hispanics (a demographic that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate by a wide margin in 2016), believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Perhaps this serves to prove the point even more clearly: In the February Civitas poll, 50 percent of Democrat voters said they support having a smaller government with fewer services compared to 35 percent of those that support having a larger government with higher taxes. If we were to ask progressive ideologues this same question, it is safe to assume their opinion on big government wouldn’t even come close to 50 percent.

Lt. Gov. Forest was making a larger point about how the growth of secularism leads to more dependence on government. That is a point on which many Democrats and Republicans can agree, even if they hold different policy solutions. A belief in transcendent truths or God will naturally place limits on the state.

The NC Democratic Party has chosen to paint their members with a broad brush in hopes of fostering needless partisan division. They have irresponsibly misconstrued a statement and covertly apply a blanket label to 38 percent of voters, to incite outrage.

We invite you to chime in on this conversation. If you think the NC Democratic Party mischaracterized the Lt. Gov.’s speech, share this video with your friends. Let’s give North Carolinians the real story behind Friday night’s CLC speech.

For original statement click here