Despite the national results in 2014, ProgressNC Action helped defeat four incumbent Republican state lawmakers: NC House Reps. Tim Moffitt (Buncombe Co.), Tom Murry (Wake Co.), Nathan Ramsey (Buncombe Co.), and Mike Stone (Lee Co.). ProgressNC Action worked to generate news coverage to hold them accountable for their poor priorities and policies. Turns out, North Carolina's General Assembly was the only Southern state legislature where Democrats gained seats. Check out some examples of the work:

Rep. Mike Stone (R-Sanford)
Stone had a number of noteworthy relationships with the gambling industry, as well as a controversial record on education cuts and fracking.

The AimHigher Petition Delivery in Sanford
After Gov. Hunt's op-ed calling for NC to raise teacher pay to the national average, we helped promote the AimHigherNC petition and AimHigherNow campaign calling on state lawmakers to answer Gov. Hunt's call. We collected over 61,000 signatures and delivered them to a number of areas, including Sanford. At our Sanford rally, local teachers spoke of the challenges they face given their low pay.

The rally was featured on local TV news in the Triangle as well as the front page of The Sanford Herald.

Local Educators Speak Out Against Stone's Budget Vote:
After the budget was released, we helped organized the "Teacher Truth Tour," which made a stop in Sanford. At the event, local teachers discussed the tiny raises they are receiving, the misleading promises from Raleigh, and how their classrooms and students have suffered from the cuts to public education.

 

There was the Teacher Truth Tour again on the front page of the Sanford Herald!

Gambling Petition Followed up With a Press Conference in Sanford: 
Mike Stone received $4,000 from a now-indicted poker executive. Stone refused to give the money to charity, as other politicians in the state, including Speaker Tillis and Senator Berger, had done. We promoted a petition calling on Stone to donate that money directly to local teachers trying to fund local classroom projects via www.donorschoose.org. Once we collected over 1500 signatures, we delivered them at a rally in Sanford where local teachers and students spoke about how the cuts to education were hurting them. 

 

 

 

 

 

The rally was again front page news at the Sanford Herald as well as a local blog, The Rant.

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Stone
In 2012, Stone held a raffle for a political fundraiser supporting his campaign. Unfortunately for him, political raffles were illegal until 2013, and ProgressNC Action filed a complaint at the State Ethics Commission against Stone when we learned of the transgression. The complaint was covered inThe Sanford Herald and Stone lashed out with the comment seen below:

 

Capitalizing On Mistakes: MikeStoneNC.com
A few months before Election Day, we noticed that Rep. Stone let his domain expire. We scooped it up and refreshed the content a bit. 

After a small digital ad campaign on Facebook and a local Harnett County newspaper's website, the News and Observer took notice, NC legislator lets website expire, opposition group buys it.

The Results: Stone lost his re-election bid 54 - 46. Allow us to run more campaigns like the ones that helped defeat Mike Stone with a contribution to Progress NC Action: Click here to donate

Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe)
Once considered a rising star in his party and a possible candidate for Speaker of the House, polls suggested Tim Moffitt was actually among the most unpopular of all state lawmakers. We helped remind Buncombe voters that Moffitt was tied closely to corporate interests and had turned his back on our public education.

The AimHigher Petition Delivery in Buncombe
After Gov. Hunt's op-ed calling for NC to raise teacher pay to the national average, we helped promote the AimHigherNC petition and AimHigherNow campaign calling on state lawmakers to answer Gov. Hunt's call. We collected over 61,000 signatures and delivered them to a number of areas, including Black Mountain and Asheville. At our rallies, local teachers spoke of the challenges they face given their low pay, shortage of textbooks and dwindling classroom supplies. 

 

The rally was covered by the Asheville Citizen-Times and WLOS-TV in Asheville.

Buncombe Teachers and Parents Speak Out Against Moffitt’s Budget
After the legislature finally finished the short session and started spinning false claims about the budget, we helped organize a "Teacher Truth Tour" where teachers and parents exposed Moffitt’s misstatements. 

 
The rally was covered by the Asheville Citizen-Times, WLOS and WSPA.

Progress NC Action Uncovers Blatant Plagiarism
Rep. Moffitt owns a company that provides websites for dozens of lawmakers in his party, including one for himself. Moffitt’s company provides blog content that is syndicated across the network. We discovered dozens of instances of plagiarism on the blog, many taken directly from oil and gas industry talking points. 

The plagiarism was covered in the Asheville Citizen-Times, and on the local blog AshVegas.

Tying Moffitt to McCrory
Governor McCrory’s approval ratings are very low in Buncombe County, so when Governor McCrory came to raise money for Moffitt, we wanted to public to know. So we printed a few signs up and organized a rally outside the fundraiser.

The protest was covered by the Mountain Xpress

The Results: Tim Moffitt lost his re-election bid 52 – 48. Allow us to run more campaigns like the ones that helped defeat Tim Moffitt with a contribution to Progress NC Action: Click here to donate

Rep. Nathan Ramsey (R-Buncombe)
Ramsey liked to claim that he stood up to his own party to support education, but his record showed otherwise. Instead he voted in nearly lock-step with his own party, including supporting the reckless tax cuts that are strangling our public schools as well as the 2014 budget that cut millions from teacher assistant funding.

The AimHigher Petition Delivery in Buncombe
After Gov. Hunt's op-ed calling for NC to raise teacher pay to the national average, we helped promote the AimHigherNC petition and AimHigherNow campaign calling on state lawmakers to answer Gov. Hunt's call. We collected over 61,000 signatures and delivered them to a number of areas, including Black Mountain and Asheville. At our rallies, local teachers spoke of the challenges they face given their low pay, shortage of textbooks and dwindling classroom supplies. 

 
The rally was covered by the Asheville Citizen-Times and WLOS.

Buncombe Teachers and Parents Speak Out Against Ramsey’s Budget
After the legislature finally finished the short session and started spinning false claims about the budget, we helped organize a "Teacher Truth Tour" where teachers and parents exposed Ramsey's misstatements.

The rally was covered by the Asheville Citizen-Times, WLOS and WSPA.

 Connecting Tax Cuts to Education Funding
One of the challenges in this race was helping voters to understand the link between reckless tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations and the lack of funding for public education. We worked with Dr. Raymond Stone, who was instrumental in creating the NC Community College system, to place an op-ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times that directly called out Rep. Ramsey.

You can read the full newspaper column here. 

Missing Duke Energy Contribution
When we looked at Rep. Ramsey’s finance reports, one thing stood out. Ramsey did not report a $1,000 contribution that Duke Energy said they gave him. We helped alert local media and the story was covered by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which included this quote from us:

 "What an incredibly convenient mistake to forget to report the most politically toxic campaign contribution of the year, when you have voted to water down clean water regulations and allow ratepayers to pay for Duke's toxic mess," Gerrick Brenner, Exec. Dir., ProgressNC Action.

The Results: Nathan Ramsey lost his re-election bid 51 – 49. Allow us to run more campaigns like the ones that helped defeat Nathan Ramsey with a contribution to Progress NC Action: Click here to donate

Rep. Tom Murry (R-Wake)
While Rep. Murry tried to cast himself as a moderate, independent, and friend of education, Murry's campaign tried to whitewash his record of voting for virtually every bad bill that came out of the General Assembly. 

The AimHigher Petition Delivery to the General Assembly
After Gov. Hunt's op-ed calling for NC to raise teacher pay to the national average, we helped promote the AimHigherNC petition and AimHigherNow campaign calling on state lawmakers to answer Gov. Hunt's call. We collected over 61,000 signatures and delivered them to six counties around the state and finally to the NC General Assembly in Raleigh. At our rallies, local teachers spoke of the challenges they face given their low pay, shortage of textbooks and dwindling classroom supplies. The petitions are pictured outside at the offices of Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger below. The 300-pound, 61,000 signature Jones Street delivery was covered by WUNC and local TV news throughout the Triangle.

Guerilla Flash Protests
In the last week before Election Day, we helped organize flash protests outside of local schools during the morning drop off. These schools were in key precincts that we knew would likely decide the election.

Talk about Rapid Response! Murry Caught Red Handed On Election Day!
On Election Day, we learned that Rep. Murry had printed up misleading flyers that implied he was endorsed by NCAE. NCAE had in fact endorsed his opponent! Murry had hired temp workers to pass out "rotten apple cards" in a desperate attempt to trick voters who care about education and then endorsement of teachers.

We worked with partners to push the story to local media and it was covered by several Raleigh news outlets, including local NBC-TV station WNCN. 

The Results: Tom Murry lost his re-election bid 51 – 49. Allow us to run more campaigns like the ones that helped defeat Tom Murry with a contribution to Progress NC Action: Click here to donate