Candidates for NC governor, US Senate speak at forum
Political candidates Sen. Thom Tillis, Cal Cunningham, Deborah Ross, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Attorney General Josh Stein are all speaking at the annual Partners Forum hosted by the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
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It's always a wonderful event. And first of all, this year we're doing that different and adapting like everybody's having to adapt. So I'd like to express my gratitude to the chamber staff for adapting and contemplating these. Ah, navigating through these technical things that may pop up and ask for your grace of things pop up. We got a lot of speakers here today, but I want to think the chamber staff. I'd also like to thank the the speakers today for joining us in this new format. I'd like to thank our sponsors who continue to support us in this new format, and I'd like to thank you as participants this in the dinner event with surf and turf and handshaking in that working. But this is important event for informing all of us, um, as we go into this important election cycle. So I thank you for adapting and joining us today. As we all know, election days are critically important. They're important for the business community and our community as a whole. It's important that we show up and vote because whoever is voted into office effects decisions that in fact affect policy that affect our businesses and our communities on a daily basis. This morning is an opportunity to celebrate the partnerships we enjoy with these elected officials and the triangle business leaders. But it's also opportunity to gain insights on the political landscape and get prepared for the 2020 elections. It's important that we elect business Lee. It's important we elect leaders who understand the issues important to us in the business community and to our communities as a whole on. And it's also important that we stay engaged and that we provide support to those elected officials as they serve. Today, you'll hear from candidates from various races at the federal and state level of government, and throughout the course of the event, I encourage you to do these four things. First, I encourage you to follow the rally chamber and the candidates that you here today on the Social in Social Media platform of your choice, whether it's Facebook, instagram or Twitter. Second, take note of things that you may hear from candidates that resonate with you. And be sure to share that on social media. And I also ask that you tag us in this event with hashtag Partners Forum 20 again Hashtag Partners Forum 20 third thing is considered how you could get more deeply involved. Not only the hold candidates accountable for what you might hear, Um, note. You may hear them promise and say as they go through the election cycle, but also so that you can be a resource for these elected officials as they serve and as they need inputs from those of us in the business community. And lastly, I'd like for you to think all the elected officials have taken time to participate in today's event and also who take time out of their lives to serve our our region and our state and our country and given their service to us through their elected service partnerships, we forge during with our elected officials is critical in sustaining the vibrant economy we enjoy in our region. It's those partnerships that have helped us continue to achieve national and international accolades. So I want to thank each of you for your support and dedication to a region to our city, to our region in our state before we continue. I'd also like to recognize the sponsors who made today's events today's event possible. I'd like to begin with our presenting sponsor, McGuire Woods Consulting. We'll hear more from Mary Nash rusher, but thank you, McGuire. Well, it's for being a presenting sponsor here today. Next, our silver sponsors. Those include Dominion Energy, Fidelity Investments and Nationwide Insurance. Thank you to our silver sponsors. And lastly to our bronze sponsors A T and T North Carolina, Martin Marietta, Relate Advocacy, Skanska USA, Shoko and York Properties. Thank you all for being bronze sponsors and for helping us to bring this event here today. And thank you for your continued partnership with Rally Chamber. Again. Please join the conversation on Twitter. Um, but by with about using the hashtag partners for him, 20 again hashtag partners form 20. And with that I'd like to turn the program over to marry Nash Rusher, managing partner with McGuire Woods to learn more about their firm and introduce our speakers. Mary Nash. Morning, Mike, and thank you for hosting this important event, although I miss the surf and turf and I miss seeing all of you in person. Um, I am the managing partner of Raleigh office of McGuire Woods. I'm standing in today for Bo Heath, who is the practice group leader of McGuire Woods Consulting in North Carolina. He had a client engagement this morning and could not be here. We are very pleased to be the presenting for today's event on day to hear about and provide a forum for this really important topic. And Maguire, with Consultant Consulting, is the government affairs arm of McGuire Woods. Um McGuire. Woods itself is an AM law 50 law firm with offices across the country. But most importantly, in my opinion, in Raleigh and Charlotte, the law firm and Agora Woods Consulting work hand in hand to provide comprehensive solutions to challenges our clients face. McGuire was consulting as a national later in government affair solutions with comprehensive services at the local, state and federal levels. Our distinctive straight strengths are in state and local lobbying thought, leadership issue management, bill tracking, coalition building and grassroots grass tops efficacy. In North Carolina, we have a group of bipartisan government officials with decades of experience ranging from legislative aides, two Supreme Court judges, two gubernatorial chiefs of staff. If you have any questions or needs that McGuire, Woods consultant could help you with, please feel free to contact both, he's, um at McCord was consulting or myself at the law firm. Next, I wanted to introduce our keynote speaker today. Brad Crunk is a president of Campaign Connections, a Raleigh based consulting firm specializing in public affairs, public relations and grassroot campaigns for trade associations, advocacy groups and corporations. A North Carolina native, Brad has been providing Governmental affairs and public relations consulting services since creating his firm in 1991. Before that, he was a daily newspaper publisher at the Thomasville Times in Thomasville, North Carolina. It was first desktop newspaper publisher in the state with his weekly publication that Clayton Star, which he sold in 1999. Mr. Kron has served as a special assistant to North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Graham and deputy press secretary to US Senator Loch Faircloth during the 1984 Democratic gubernatorial campaign. He has more than 30 years of experience in regional politics, managing campaigns and public affairs programs in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia. He has been featured as a mover and shaker in campaigns and Elections magazine. He has consulted on a number of policy issues, including health care reform, progress, prescription drug policies, bankruptcy reform, agribusiness development, agriculture, labor policies and volunteerism. In America, he is a wolf Pack, has a better of arts degree from North Carolina State University in political science with a concentration in communications. He has additional studies at Mount Allah College and the North Carolina Institute of Government. Please join me in welcoming Brad Crone. Thank you, Mary. Long live Dr Abraham Holtzman. He was a great professor of mine, N c. State University. A great American as well. Like this. Welcome and say Thank you for all the chamber members who are joining us this morning as well as welcome the viewers from wre L Online who may be watching us on live stream this morning. Campaign 2020 is going to be, ah, a really important moment in our history. I can't think of any other election that I've been involved in that is as dynamic as an election that we're seeing right now. A lot of there is based off of the grows, the changing complexion of our state's political makeup, and that's driven predominantly by the growth that we're witnessing in our metropolitan area ins. For the past 20 years, we've seen unprecedented growth, in particular in the Charlotte market and in the Raleigh term fail market, as well as not as hot but a sustained growth rate in the Green Spur. Winston Salem happily market a note of history. The 2015 session of the North Carolina General Assembly made history housed in the first time in the history of our state that there were more lawmakers from Urban District's than rural District's. Another interesting dynamic. And the campaign this year is that over the last really 14 years, 16 years, we've seen a concentration of vote along the I 85 quarter three television markets now controls 75.74 point 5% of the 75% of all the votes that will be cast in the general election are in three television markets. Next line. So you can see on the ST Mark up that the Raleigh Durham television market represents 33.5% of the television. Of the votes cast, the Charlotte market represents 23.75% of the total votes cast and the greens for a market. Gilford and Forsythe, with the Wraparound counties represents 17.25 The other significant, the Wilmington Market at 5% the Greenville, Washington, newborn market at 10% and the bunkum counting Asheville Television Market, 9%. The Norfolk market is at 1.5%. The Myrtle Beach Lawrence television market, right at 1% in the Atlanta market that covers the far Southwest tip of the state crammed Cherokee and Clay counties, is right at 1% as well. The next slide. The television markets are dominated by the metropolitan counties, which have a different political flavor. Then, you would say in the suburban wraparound, So your tier one, your highest populated counties, argue metropolitan counties with weight, Derm, Cumberland Guilt or foresight. Mecklenburg and bunkum count Next slide. Then you have what is known as the most important wraparound counties because these counties air going to determine, to a great extent the outcome of the election. And these are what I call your wraparound counties, which include in the Charlotte Market Union. Stanley Cabrera's row in our Delk, Talbot, Lincoln Gaston County in the Green Supermarket. It it's Allah Mats Randolph and Davidson County in the Raleigh market. It's Johnston Harnett, Lee Wilson Nash weighing Halifax, Franklin and Granville County, now based on the recent U. S. Census data showing the growth that you're seeing in Franklin County. So those are the wraparound counties that play an important role because both bases air galvanized at this point in time. And so the performance of the unaffiliated voter in your wraparound counties will determine who governs to stay to North Carolina. Next lot, there are some important numbers for you did to know 60% 16% 27.35%. 60% is the average unaffiliated boat cast for Democrats and Republicans in 68 10 8012 in 2014 in 2006 and eight unaffiliated voters broke 60% for Democratic candidates at state level and at the federal level. If you remember the 2008 election, you had a sweet with the presidential U. S Senate gubernatorial and legislative races in the state buoy by unaffiliated boat performance in 2010 it was the exact opposite. Unaffiliated voters broke 60% for Republicans in 10 12 6014. That number was cracked just a little bit in 2016 when 55% of independents voting broke four Republican candidates at the federal and state level. In 2018 that number was right, about 53% of unaffiliated voters casting ballots for Democrats at the state and federal level, 16% is the average Democratic crossover vote for elections over the last 10 years. In 10 12 6014 that number was cracked a little bit in 2016. It was crack significantly in 2018 where the Democratic cross ever vote was 8%. So Democrats have been over able to cut off the crossover vote. The crossover vote is usually older. Why Democrat in a rural region of the state who is fiscally conservative and socially moderate to conservative? And so they've been breaking with the Republican candidates. And that's been a big problem because Democrats have a hard time winning statewide elections when the crossover rate gets above 10 or 11%. 27.35% was the under unaffiliated voter performance in 2016. That was up almost five points from 22.64 performance in the 2012 presidential election, a coded the trump bump. Approximately 202,000 new independent voters were performing at the ballot box and that gate President Donald Trump, a win here in the state of North Carolina next one. A breakdown on voter performance From 16 2068.51% of all Democrats were registered to vote. Turned out, Republicans had a higher performance. 75.24% of all rough Republicans registered to vote turned out to at the Pose own 2000 16 and unaffiliated independent voter performance was 63.7%. The unaffiliated voter performance is the real story in North Carolina politics right now. Next lot over the last eight years we've gone from seven counties across the state had a plurality of unaffiliated voters. Now they're 13 counties across the state that have a plurality of unaffiliated voters. It is the highest performance of registration above both Democrats and Republicans, and it will continue to be an interesting trend to see how unaffiliated voters access the ballot box as we move forward. One thing that I would note Look, Wait County there we now have more unaffiliated voters registered in Wake County than we do Democrats or Republicans. Next line campaign 2020 is going to be all about turnout. Every single candidate, campaign manager and consultant will tell you that Campaign 2020 comes down to turnout. Both bases, Republican base and the Democratic base are energized. Over the last week, I made about 40 telephone calls to clients former clients, elected office holders, Democrat operatives, Republican operatives trying to get a handle for what's going on as faras organized efforts to turn out their votes. And both parties, the Republicans and the Democrats are really putting a lot of energy and effort, time and money into their turnout models. The Republicans have organized turnout models around Team Trump and practically every county in the state. The reports that as many as 300 paid field staff will be working in North Carolina by the end of August for Team Trump. And they tweeted just last weekend that the Republican volunteers across the state have made more than one million telephone calls toe act The voters in the state, the Democrats aren't going to be out done, though there is severe there's imported organizing. They Democrats are really working in the metropolitan and suburban counties with organized volunteer efforts to insane thing on voter Contact. Cove in 19 of course, has limited their ability to hold meetings and do Daughter Door. So a lot of its direct telephone work. One other interesting note is that the Cunningham campaign is actively organized with an aggressive field effort, and they're targeting groups like veterans, women, farmers and younger voters. Even with the Cove in 19 restrictions, I believe in North Carolina we're looking at a 70 to 75% turnout model, with both in both bases being energized and galvanized. So it really does come down. What does that unaffiliated voter do in the ballot box? And how heavy do they turn out? Next line I went through and looked over the last three general elections at the abstract data, the statistical data voter performance and trying to identify a party advantage by television markets, own voter performance. And, as we look at the 2016 model, the only television market in the state where the Democrats have an advantage, this rally derm faithful television market. So the Republicans have a structural advantage in every single market other than the Raleigh mark. But the Raleigh market, as you see, is substantial for the Democrats, with a 227,000 vote advantage in the governor's race. 205,000 vote advantage in the presidential 152,000 voter advantage in the U. S Senate race. So I talked a little bit about the Crawl suburb voter Next slide. We will have to watch and see how that cross over voter performs at the ballot box. Will the Democrats be able to hold crossover vote to seven or 8%? That is a trend line that we've seen in 2018. Does the anti trump atmosphere continue toe hold Democrats close to their base next lot? So here's ah, breakdown of 2016 where it showed the Republican statewide had 100,000 vote advantage in voter turnout in the 2016 election on a lot of that was driven by the new 200,000 unaffiliated voters who performed in that election. So we will be watching that one thing that the Democrats have to do to make North Carolina competitiveness improved their or improve their performance beyond just the metropolitan counties and the northeast region of the state. That got to look at better performance not necessarily winning but cutting their vote differences in the wraparound counties in the television in the presidential race, A said, The Republicans have a structural advantage. Next slide. Um, we're going to be a battleground state. The president is concerned right now. He just started a $4 million television buying the state, Um, the president, I believe, also in the polling data that I've seen. It has got to be worried about fatigue with the marginal voter, the middle of the road, unaffiliated voter in the metropolitan areas as well as wraparound counties. It's extremely close, and the race will be determined within 100,000 votes. The Trump voter in North Carolina next ladder, basically three groups. You have a loyal base of Trump voters. The true believers, I call them. They're predominantly lower income, blue collar evangelical voters. You have your marginal trump voters, which I call your country club Republicans. They're old school. They like the policies that the president has advocated. They don't necessarily like the way he speaks and how he says it, whether it's on Twitter in the demeaning fashion, that he engages own social media platforms that demographics and older, white, wealthy, college educated GOP voter. And then finally you have in the Republican party, You're never Trumpers. That's about 7 to 8% of the Republican base. Their fiscal conservatives there, some loyal Democrats who are definitely opposed to him. The primary demographic there of you Never. Trumpers, um, white, college educated, skilled female Democrats unaffiliated and conservative Republicans Next lot. So what to watch for in the presidential election, it's going to be minority performance if it reaches the levels of 2000 and eight right at 23% of total votes. Cast Democrats gonna have a very good night. If Republicans turnout higher boat performance 75 to 80% and captured an unaffiliated voter within the suburban markets around Charlotte and Raleigh, It could be a good night for President Trump. I believe the race is going to be extremely close in the state of North Carolina. 110,000 votes margin. Next line next to slides and go one more, right, So here's the performance from 2016. Trump versus Clinton. The Democrat side to build base for themselves, need to cut the margins of victory in your red counties. Johnston, Harnett, Lee Wayne Franklin, Nash County's next life Republican advantage and the Charlotte market was 102,000 boats. Same thing there. The battleground will be union. Compare Stanley Ruin hired Elka Talbot, Lincoln and gassed in counts. Next line in the Green Spur television market, you'll see the same thing. Next line. Let's go to the Tillis Cunningham race. Um, a lot of the races down ballot from presidential going to be determined on what happens at the top of the ticket. The presidential, the U. S. Senate. The congressional and gubernatorial races ride to a great extent on how the Democrat how the two parties do on turning out bass boat and persuading unaffiliated independent voters and your top two television markets. Um, the Cook Political report in Washington has the race is a toss up. The public policy polling has cutting him up. Civitas Polling Has Senator Tillis up Tell us has recently launched a major multi $1,000,000 state advertising campaign building positive, talking about his jobs record in particularly and the fact that he's going to stand up for a little person where he had grown up in a mobile home, uh, cutting cam campaigns going to launch a major statewide advertising campaign at the end of the month. Right now there is independent expenditure advertising own going attacking Senator Tillis, not seen any i e spending attacking Senator Cunningham. What I can tell you is it's probably going to be a 30 to $40 million rates. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has already committed $25 million advertising reserved on television. In every major market across state, Tillis has reserved 15 million to Senate. Republican Senate Campaign Committee has reserved 15 million, and there's more coming. You're also seeing major expenditures on both sides of the all out from the independent expenditure effort. Senator Tillis was not able to join us today, but he did send in a pre recorded He's on Capitol Hill with Senate holding votes today, and he sent in a pre recorded message and we'll hear from Senator Thom Tillis. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for allowing me to share a message with you all during your virtual Raleigh Chamber partners event. We're all in challenging times, right? Good morning, everyone. Thank you for allowing me to share a message with you all during your virtual Raleigh Chamber partners event. We're all in challenging times right now, and I know having to move your annual dinner online was not what you expected. But I commend you for your flexibility, and I appreciate the important work you're doing in our communities. These past few months, I've been laser focused on protecting the physical and economic health of North Carolina and the nation, as we've all made sacrifices and worked together to Fight Cove in 19. North Carolina's economy and our business community has been devastated. But I know it's time to start the recovery process. I understand what many small business owners are going through right now because I've been there. I know what it's like to have nothing and toe have to scrap for everything you earn. Growing up, I couldn't afford to go to college, so I went to work for minimum wage at a warehouse job. I put myself through college at night while raising a family, and eventually I worked my way up to being partner at IBM. Those experiences taught May what is going to take to get North Carolina's economy back on track and put the little guy first. My job is fighting for the jobs of hard working people in North Carolina who are struggling to make ends meet, and we've made significant progress already. We worked across the out to assist North Carolina struggling small businesses by passing The Cares Act, the largest economic recovery legislation in our nation's history. And the paycheck protection program has provided over 100,000 approved loans in North Carolina, providing North Carolina small business with with over $12 billion. So what we need to do going forward with North Carolina continues to rebuild. The solution is not raising taxes or increasing government regulation on small businesses, which is what my opponent and Joe Biden want to do. Our state needs the same common sense economic policies that I helped implement and Riley and in the Senate, which gave us record job creation and growth lo record unemployment in an economy where blue collar workers are seeing wage gross that's outpacing their bosses. That's why this election is so important. We have a chance to revive our economy into allow small businesses to flourish again, or we can let the government get in the way and cripple the recovery effort. This is the case I'm going to be making every day from now until November 3rd and it's going to be a fight. I'm glad so many of you are fighting alongside of me. And I thank you for your support. It's an honor to represent the people of this state. And it's an honor to have you as a friend. Thank you all. And God bless. Thank you, Senator Tillis. Also joining us live today is former State Senator Cal Cunningham. And, uh, we will call on Senator cutting him too present to us. You know, Brad alone. Yes, sir. Well, thank you. Thanks for that presentation. I saw Mary Nash earlier Job Mike. Thank all of you for the opportunity to present here A to this chamber gathering. A grateful for a chance Teoh to see you. This way, though, it's obviously much better when we can gather in person. I'm honored to be the Democratic nominee for this U S Senate seat, especially at a time when we're living through ah generation defining set of crises. A public health crisis that has precipitated une economic crisis, which is really revealing an inability on the part of Washington to contain the chaos that is around us and a town hall after town hall on virtual format in conversation after conversation. The struggles that I'm hearing from North Carolinians are really almost hard to believe. We're truly being challenged as a country and as a people right now. But I believe very deeply in the tenacity of North Carolinians and throughout all of my life I have run towards the fight, and in this campaign, I'm asking North Carolina and North Carolinians toe put me into the fight so that we can take on the big challenges that are in front of us. Growing up in Lexington, I learned of the value of hard work. Ah, stacking bricks on the family brickyard and steel toed boots and blue jeans, driving a forklift in a front end loader. I grew up at the feet of a small town attorney who took on our neighbors causes as his own at the dinner table at night, I learned through him that often in America, justice requires a fight as a student leader at U. N. C. I probably got my U N C flag over here. Oh, all I learned the importance of public service of giving back to a state that's made me who I am and By the way, Brad heard the shout out. I didn't see stake earlier. I know that just got accepted. So we're gonna you medical Cunningham household. Okay, after after September 11th the attacks that our country in 2001 I answered the call to serve and I volunteered for the Army Reserve. Three active duty tours later. I've served in Iraq and in Afghanistan, deeply animated by the desire to serve people in a state that I love very passionately. Growing up in Lexington, growing up around business and in business, helping run a small business headquartered right here in Raleigh. I know this on small business is the backbone of our economy. And in this crisis, so many of our small businesses have taken it on the chin. I've been a strong proponent of the interventions that are necessary to help keep our companies moving, keeping people on the payroll measures like the paycheck protection program. In this campaign, we're giving voice to the need to invest in the infrastructure of America the research and development and the education, the building blocks that are gonna drive in America to come back. We know that we need to boost families and workers so that this economy can't recover. One of the reasons I have called in this campaign so strongly for oversight of the relief funds is that we know with so much taxpayer money on the line that we've got to get it right that we've got to make sure that we are taking on the risk of corruption as a military prosecutor in Iraq prosecuted corrupt government contractors that were stealing tax money and disrupting our mission. Taking on the corruption in Washington is gonna be one of the major priorities of my time in the U. S. Senate. Let me say, this is your center. I'm going to lead by listening first. I'm not going to check voter registrations before I hear out the people of this state and even though we may disagree on some of the issues, I'm always going toe honor the North Carolina experiences of our people and respect where you are company from small business is a vital part of our story here in North Carolina and our economy. And as a senator, I'm gonna work in partnership with all of you to make sure we not just whether this economic crisis, but come back even stronger than before. I look forward to getting to know all of you toe working with you to the opportunity to represent a state that I deeply love in a country that I deeply love. Brandt. Thank you for this opportunity. Toe to the rally chamber. I'm grateful to all of you. Thank you. Thank you, Senator Cunningham. Thank you for your leadership over a long period of time. And I think your daughter or love in C state uh, we're going to jump around a little bit. We have the attorney general online with us to talk about the Council of State races. His race is going to be an interesting races where it's Lieutenant governor's race, the commissioner Labour's races, an actual open race to again, it turns out to turn out, and it's going to turn. It's going to depend on the form. It's off those critical voters in the wraparound counties around them, a major three television markets. So I'd like toe bring on Attorney General Josh Stein to speak to us. Mr. General, see if we're getting audio there. Can you hear me now? I can hear you now. I could not. I couldn't find my girlfriend, but we got it. Well, thank you, Brad. This has been a great presentation. Have enjoyed being ableto Teoh Observe, just like all the members of the chamber over here. And it's pleasure to be with the Raleigh chamber today. I wish, however, we could be together in person. It's been too long since all of us have seen each other. Uh, I'm excited to join you all today, not as your state senator, which I was for many years but is your North Carolina attorney general. I am extremely grateful to the voters for hiring me in 2016 because I love this job of attorney general. I go to work every day with very dedicated public servants trying to protect the people of this state. In many different ways. We protect people from crime by combating the opioid epidemic and eliminating the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. We protect seniors and consumers from scammers. We protect taxpayers by going after tax cheats and medical providers defrauding the Medicaid system. We protect our air and water on. We protect fundamental rights like the right to vote with more time. I go into detail on each of these, but I want to focus on the issues of race and the coronavirus pandemic like every one of you. I was absolutely sickened by the video of the killing George Floy, who died at the knee of his own government. The North Carolina Department justice includes the North Carolina Justice Academy and the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commissions. We take our responsibility to training law enforcement in North Carolina very seriously. Ah, now I recognize that we have a lot of work to do to root out racial disparities from the criminal justice system. I think I'm a Cooper for forming a task force for racial equity and criminal justice and honored that he asked me and associate Justice Anita Earls to totally this effort. Our objective is to identify and implement concrete ways to make our criminal justice system more closely approximate the maximum that's chiseled into the face of the United States Supreme Court building equal justice under law. Justice Charles and I are eager to get to work as another the governor's. He confessed to get to work, and I'll afford reporting back to you all on our progress in the coming weeks and months, we are having this national wrecking reckoning on race. At the same time, we're dealing with the deadliest public health pandemic and the worst unemployment in my lifetime. And most of yours, in addition to assisting the governor's office in drafting the executive orders his policy decisions, we've been defending them in court and almost unanimously successfully. We're also focused on protecting consumers, which is a core aspect of our work. We've redoubled our efforts to educate people about scammers because the criminals will exploit any opportunity any moment of fear and uncertainty. To try to steal people's resource is on their main avenue of attack has been robo calls. This is an issue I've been working on since I was elected in a year ago or so. I put together a coalition of every attorney general in the country, 51 bipartisan to negotiate a series of eight anti robo call principles with the major telecom companies to deploy technology, to screen out most of these calls from ever coming to our fund in the first place, and to partner with us and investigate the wrongdoers. And I want to thank AT and T Verizon T Mobile in the other major phone companies for their partnership. In this effort to combat robo calls, clearly, we have more work to do. I've also been enforcing the state's price gouging laws during this emergency. We recently won an order against the towing company in Charlotte that was putting boots on trucks charging outrageous sums when the truckers were just trying to get medical supplies and food back into the stream of commerce. And we want in order. So that case many people, as everyone knows, since strong, are struggling financially because of this pandemic. Eso I've been working with the governor to do a weak hand to give people experiencing these financial struggles some breathing room to get back on their feet. I've asked financial institutions to join the Carolina Relief to help their borrowers, and I want to thank Bank of America for its participation. Bank of America has committed that any borrow who's in trouble by the end of this month can reach out to them and work out at 90 day for Barents and then repayment plan and be assured that they will not be foreclosed upon or have their car repossessed and I were working, talking to other financial institutions as well as if any of financial institution members of the chamber want to learn mawr, just reach out to me or Bradford's meeting in my office, and I want to thank also the many businesses that I know are bending over backwards to work with their customers who are just trying to keep their heads above water. I know this because I've talked to many of you, and so any one of you that are out there trying Teoh give people that space. We appreciate it because it's absolutely necessary. And I dont many businesses air struggling themselves during this procession. And while the P P P program was a lifelong for many businesses, to many of the recipients were national companies and not enough for mom and pop shops. And so I join with my colleagues, a number of attorneys general and urging Congress to reform that program going forward, serving as the attorney general of North Carolina, protecting the people of North Carolina has been an incredible honor, and I am eager to continue this work for another term, and that's why I'm running for reelection and with your help. We can continue to make North Carolina safer and stronger. Brad, thank you so much for having me today. Thank you, Mr Attorney General. Really appreciate it. You taking your time to participate and to relay important information about your campaign Teoh us today. But the chamber and those viewers who may be streaming its own line on news outlets wre about so thank you for your time. Today. I will say that we offered the same opportunity to Republican nominee Jim O Neill, the Foresight County District attorney, to either present pre video or to join us on this call today. He was unable to do so. Let's turn to our congressional races real quick in the state of North Carolina. There three congressional races that are gonna be extremely important to watch an open seat in North Carolina to a closely contested race in North Carolina. Eight, which is from favorable all the way over to compares County and then an open seat North Carolina 11. That was left by the vacating Mark Meadows, who is now chief of staff to President Trump in North Carolina second Congressional District. It has been newly re drone reapportioned under judicial mandate and uh, encompasses much of Wake County. Running for that office is long time. Democrat Deborah Rose, who served, had an impeccable career in the North Carolina General Assembly, prouder that she was with the A c L u ah, a lady of great character and integrity and been a forceful leader for state. I'll be happy to call own representative Deborah Ross it this time. Whatever. Well, thank you so much bread and thank you to the chamber for being creative and flexible about hosting this event. I've been to it many times as a legislator, as as an attorney, and when I worked for Go Triangle, and I know that it's an important way to bring our business folks and our elected officials together, and we're doing it virtually, but I look forward to doing it in person. I also want to thank the chamber right now. I think that the Greater Rally Chamber of Commerce has shown its leadership in so many ways and in partnership with government, the chamber has led the way on every single school but on for the Wake County school system, which is really one of the best school system in the country. The chamber has led the way every time Wake Tech needed additional resource is to become the amazing institution that it is. And then I've worked very, very closely with the chamber on Transit. And one of the bright spots of the 2016 election was that Weight County finally has to transit referendum and is working on a comprehensive transit plan that will help all of our residents get to work, get to school and be able to be more mobile and economically mobile members of our of our society going to be crucial to see what comes out of all of that planet. I've been a champion for infrastructure in the General Assembly and as a young municipal bond lawyer with Mary Nash rusher teaching me how to do my job. And that's one of the things that I planned to focus on. When I go to Congress, you know me because I've served in the General Assembly and I was with you for 10 years and I did a lot of work on voting rights on higher education because I represented five colleges and universities, including wake text and on infrastructure, and those were the same kinds of issues I plan on working on in Congress not just for Weight County, but for the entire country. Because the fact of the matter is with Kobe 19 right now, we are going toe, have to rebuild parts of our economy in creative ways. Wait, Tony is one of the most fortunate counties in the country. We attract people from not only all over the state of North Carolina and all over the country, but all over the world we have a talent surplus, and we've been using that to build our economy. But since Kobe 19 we now in Wake County have an unemployment rate 11%. And we know that many of the job that have been lost may not be coming back. And it is precisely the time for us to invest in our community college system so that people can get the jobs of the future and so the next. The next generation can be prepared for the jobs of the future, and it's time to invest in infrastructure. Several of the other folks who have spoken have talked about the importance of small business. One of the great things about Wake County is that we've got so many creative and unique. Small businesses were not a real corporate town. But many of those small businesses are suffering, and what Congress has done to help them simply has not been enough, particularly for our minority businesses and for our restaurant and retail businesses. It's on off to be able to find ways to partner with government, to partner with our financial institutions, to be able to bring back that vibrant economy that Wake County has enjoyed for so long. I want you to know that I am going to be a partner with you every step of the way. I'm going to use my experience that the legislator, I'm gonna use my experience as an infrastructure attorney. I'm gonna use my experience, particularly now as a civil rights attorney and advocate, Wake County is poised to come back from this Corona virus stronger than ever. But it's going to take all of us, and I'm so proud of everything that the chamber has been doing to take care of all of our businesses large and small. I look forward to working with you throughout the campaign and I especially look forward to working with you in January when I go to Congress. Thank you. So so much for this opportunity to be with you and looking forward to hearing from the other candid representive Ross, Thank you so much. We, uh, one thing that watching your career that I've always been impressed with is your excessive ability and your willingness to listen to even people who may have opposite side or opposing opinion and your ability to respond and that is so important in public life. And as we move forward, it is really important because we see such division in our politics today, just the ability to be accessible and responsive. It's a very, very important. We reached out to Alan Swain, the Republican nominee for the Second Congressional District, as well offer their campaign an opportunity to present to us today, and they were unable to do so. So I want to go back real quick to our slide deck on the U. S. Senate race and run through that, and then we'll get to the governor's race. Um, the really interesting thing on the Senate races again. The Republicans have had a voter advantage in the 16 12 6014 election cycles as well. So what makes the state competitive? As we look at the 2020 election again, I go back and and will continue to go back. It's going to be your wraparound counties in this suburban counties in your major metropolitan television markets. Charlotte Market and the Raleigh market are going to be extremely important. And how those campaigns communicate with that unaffiliated voter or persuadable voter during throughout the election cycle. What you're going to see because of the cove in 19 the inability of the campaigns to get out and do door to door and to do the rallies and the activities that would you typically see an election cycle. You're going to see earlier television commercials and social media, digital media advertising, radio advertising as component because right now, between now and literally the month of September over the next 90 days, 85% of all the voters who will cast about in the general election or in the process of making decisions of the candidates that they're going to be able to support next slide. So looking at the Charlotte market in the 2014 while Senator Hagan, one Mecklenburg County. She lost the television market. Um, substantially. And, uh, you see, there was 100 and 12 vote variants there between your wrapped around counties and the performance of Mecklenburg Next slide. Same thing in the Raleigh market. Murali Hagen was able to win the Rollie Market, but you're wraparound counties were were performing Republican and so tell us, actually lost the Raleigh Durham market. And we've seen that trend line continue in the 2016 election. Next slide, Senator Hagan was able to win her home county and Guilford County and in Foresight County. But again, look at the performance of the wraparound counties. The vote performance in the county's wrapped around um clearly suggest those will be the battleground since we moved forward. Ex slide. Let's go to the governor's race real quick and as a show you in an earlier slide. The Republicans have the structural voter advantage and every television market other than the Raleigh Durham market. In 2016 Governor McCrory underperformed in our Del county. He underperformed in New Hanover County. Um, he underperformed in Pitt County. He lost by 10,000 votes. If he had been able to improve his performance and Iredell County, New Hanover County or Pick County, he probably would have been reelected in an absolute squeaker. Um, so that is a real challenge for Governor Cooper. There were a number of issues in the 2016 election, including House Bill, two film incentives in New Hanover County and then, of course, the toll road on my 77 in northern Mecklenburg Gardel counties. So, ah, with Kobe 19 the governor's been able to increase his approval ratings. He's raised his name awareness, but as fast as it shot up, it can fall. And, ah, the governors, facing critical challenges with increasing caseloads, increasing hospitalizations and then increasing calls to reopen the state's economy, public policy, Polling and Civitas both showed the governor with an 11 point lead. The governor's also purchased a significant amount of television television almost close to $9 million starting in August. At this point, Lieutenant Governor is cash strapped about a $1,000,000 cast on hand, according to the latest State Board of Elections report. He's not been able to buy pre purchase a lot of advertising at this point in time, but I would argue to you Based on the structural advantages, Lieutenant Governor really doesn't have to match dollar for Dollar the governor. But he does have to be competitive in this television advertising campaign. Next line turnout's going to be the major issue here. There's African American performance reached 2008 levels in your metropolitan and suburban counties. And is it a metropolitan vote? Is the suburban vote. It's absolutely Governor Cooper is the first governor in the history of our state, the only when 27 counties and win the election. So he has got to look at improving his performance in your wraparound counties in your major television markets, as well as improving in the major populated markets in eastern North Carolina. So one way that the governor is going to do that is to look at defining Lieutenant Governor Dan farce. And again, I think, one of the issues that you'll see there in the governor's efforts to define government and lieutenant Governor Forest is going. We'll see a lot of communications back on the house, Bill two if you and um, I would also say to you is important toe watch your unaffiliated independent voter because you're metropolitan unaffiliated voter is a lot different in performance and philosophies than your suburban unaffiliated voter. And so as political consultants, we look at unaffiliated voters who lived with Democrats, unaffiliated voters who live with Republicans and then the really most important persuadable voter. From an unaffiliated standpoint, it's unaffiliated voter who love who lives with another independent voter. And they don't necessarily vote in the party primaries. Whether it's Democrat, well, Republican. I do believe that Cooper has an advantage and that he will win. But it's going to be closer than the pose suggests. This point in time, probably a 60 vote margin. We offered an opportunity for Governor Cooper to join us by a pre Roe pre recorded messages as well is joining us online? The governor was unable to get any type of message pre recorded or did not have the scheduled today to join us. So we were not here from Governor Cooper. We did offer that opportunity to the lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, and he recorded a special message for us. We'll hear from Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest at this point in time. There with this is we get the audio struck again. All right, just bear with us folks for a second as we get this article issue straightened out, if you can imagine there are a lot of moving pieces on doing a motel speaker, uh, from a lot of telephone calls and video feed. So just stand by with this is we get the audio straightened out for Lieutenant Governor. Sounds on sounds on my computer. Well, tell you what we're going to do, we're going to see if we can get the audio fixed on that. And if not, we will post it back up to our website so folks can be able to go in and Teoh, look at it later on, uh, we'll go back to slide deck on the performance statewide. The Republicans, the Democrats, actually have ah voter performance statewide, uh, in the major television markets. But again, the decisive factor in the in the governor's race in the US Senate raise presidential race will be your high performing wraparound counties and are three major television markets Next slide. Here's a breakdown of the 2016 Raleigh market with weight term orange, Chatham Nash wilts and Cumberland County's going for Governor Cooper Johnston are innately more weighing Franklin going for governor Macoris. Next line. Let's take a second to look at the North Carolina Council of State Races that are going to be extremely important. And these races really do ride on the back of what goes on at the top of the ticket as well. Lieutenant Governor seats going to be an open seat with Dan Farce running for governor at this point in time, Republicans have nominated Mark Robinson from the Greensboro area, and Democrats have nominated you VOD Lewis Holly from Raleigh, who served in the General Assembly. I believe this is going to be a very competitive race. Mark Robinson has a built in base of score from grassroots North Carolina and in our A as you know, he built his campaign along the presentation that he made to the Greens for City Council from a year ago, um, about gun rights in the state of North Carolina. Ah, both of them are African American, and both of them are garnering support from their party bases. It will be interesting to see how they communicate with the middle of the road unaffiliated independent voter. The North Carolina Commissioner Insurance race is going to be another interesting contest. It's a rematch that we saw in 2016 from Republican Mike Causey and Democrat Weighing Goodwin. Winning had served two terms on in pointed two years, said he'd served almost 10 years, this insurance commissioner and ended up short almost 40 for 43,000 vote difference and the election in 2016. This contest comes down to what's going to happen at the top of the ticket, and it will probably be another close race. Wayne Goodwin has a competitive advantage right now. He has been able to out raise the incumbent insurance commissioner causing. But Causey is hold thrust of his campaign's going to be fighting fraud, corruption and abuse. Of course, taking on AH infamous term injured Greg Limburg in a federal corruption trial there, then also last year taking on of CEO in Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. So it's gonna be an interesting race. It is very competitive. It is a toss up race. Another issue will be following this the nor Calendar Commissioner of labor race. It's an open sea. Cherie Berry is stepping down for the first time, I believe since 1992 and when she was elected to serve one of the longest serving members of the council state. At this point in time, Republicans have nominated Josh Stops in a state legislator from Surrey County, and Democrats have nominated Wake County Commissioner Jessica Homes. That race is going to be dependent again on what goes on at the top of the ticket. Interesting In North Carolina. This will be the second election where there won't be straight ticket balloting, so people have to go down through the about two participate. Next slide we have the Nor Cal in of Supreme Court race is one of the most important races will be the race for the chief justice's position. Sherry Beasley, Democrat and pointed about governor cut for a year and 1/2 ago, will be challenged by seat mates Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby. On the Republican side. Seat number two, this Lucienne Mint former quart of appeals justice Democrat and she will be challenged by the son of the president Pro TEM Phil Berger Jr. The former district attorney in Rockingham County, and has served on the State Court of Appeals. And seat number four is marked. Davis and hey will be challenged by former state Senator Tamara Barringer. From here in Wake County, Mark Davis was a former legal counsel the governor produce appointed to the Court of Appeals have been to the state Supreme Court. So that will be The court races will be extremely important for the business community. Be monitoring and see how those races go. More Carolina legislative races. Your chief justice Beesley. Was she able to join us? I don't think so. The congressional races. Instead, we heard earlier from Deborah Rose, North Carolina. Eight is going to be a really interesting race. But former Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons Goodson dammit Democratic nominee running against AH, longtime incumbent congressman Richard Hudson from compares County. That race is going to be a donnybrook. Multiple millions of dollars spent from battle over to embarrass County. I would say it is very closely contested and a toss up race. At this point. North Carolina Congressional 11. There will be a runoff. There will be a runoff in the congressional race there for Mark Meadows. C. Mo Davis is the Democratic nominee. I do understand we have pre recorded message. I'm gonna go back to the ah Supreme Court. We have ah, pre recorded message from the chief justice. So we will see if we can get that video up and going for you to hear from the chief justice of North Carolina Supreme Court. The honorable sherry bees. Hi, I'm Sherry Beasley, chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. As chief justice, I lead the Supreme Court, and I also lead the judicial branch of government. There are nearly 6500 judges and elected officials and employees who make up our more than 300 court facilities across the state of North Carolina. We know that people during this covert 19 pandemic have been very challenged. We know that our communities and our business partners and so many people are facing difficulties. We also know that we have seen difficulties around the expression of racial concerns here in North Carolina and across this United States. The one thing that I know is that through all of this we will be stronger as we come forward together, looking for solutions, collaborating and making partnerships to make a stronger and better we're better. North Carolina. I have served as a judge for almost 21 years. I became the 29th chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina a year ago. I've served on the Supreme Court of North Carolina for seven years. I served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and as a district court judge in Carbon County, presiding in Oliver courtrooms. We're excited about her business courts. We have an amazing contrary of judges who worked very hard, who are on the front lines of making sure that we are addressing the needs of the business communities across the state of North Carolina. I'm very pleased to be able to work with Chief Judge Lewis Bledsoe, who it's a real maverick in making sure that that court is technologically sound as registers potentially sound. So I'm very thankful to them and for them. I also know that so many of the businesses rely on our courts. We know that it is important that we provide the services that you need to address all of the issues that you might face. So some of your mother's might come before the business courts, but so many of others might be addressed in some of our other courts. I can tell you one of the things we're very excited about is R E courts. We know that it's important for us to be efficient and functioning in a way that attract businesses in North Carolina. And it is one of the ways that we will introduce technology to make sure that we're not driving files from one place to the other in a way says that our judges can be efficient in the handling the cases that come before the courts. And we're very excited about the rollout of e courts to the extent that it will really be the kind of life changing device that will be helpful for businesses and for members of the public. One of the ways we're excited about making a contribution to the business community is we're excited about making sure that people have a driver's lessons to get to and from work. The chief justice is equal access to Justice. Commission has committed it's time and talent toe working with district attorneys across the state of North Carolina toe work to make sure that people's driver's licenses are restored. It's been amazing to see thousands and thousands of lives changed across the state because now people can safely and legally get to and from work. We're excited to be a part of that word. We're really excited about Our Cove in 19 Small Business nonprofit initiative. We know that many small businesses are struggling during this period of time as a part of this pandemic. This is a wonderful opportunity for small businesses that are challenged by employment issues, issues around their commercial leases, bankruptcy and other issues to be eligible for legal assistance at no cost on a limited basis. If you would like more information about that, please go to N. C. Pro bono. That board. We're also excited about the North Carolina Faith in Justice Alliance. It's a wonderful opportunity to train clergy to be able to identify legal issues and refer people to legal assistance at no cost to them. These places of worship will also host legal clinics for their communities. We're excited about the intersection between faith, law and justice, especially during this very challenging time for our communities. I'd also like for you to know about our school justice. Partnerships were excited about the fact that we have an opportunity to partner with a host of community leaders to make sure that Children stay in the classroom and that our courtrooms, as you can see so much of what I've been engaged in, it's making sure that justice is truly accessible to all people. It's important that our courts are fair and accessible and just. But it's also important that we be partners with people like the business community to make sure that we are addressing the needs of our communities everywhere. So I thank you so much for this opportunity to be here with you this morning. Thank you, Madam Chief Justice for your comments today. Also joining us by pre recorded messages Republican Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, who call on justice newbie at this point in time for his message to us. Hello, My name is Paul. Maybe on the senior associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. I'm running for chief justice. I'm the only justice to been elected twice by the people of North Carolina, both in 2004 and then again in 2012 with widespread bipartisan support. My judicial philosophy is very straightforward, equal justice for everybody. Lady Justice is blind. Phone it for a reason. She can't see who comes before rich, poor, powerful, not powerful. Everyone is treated the same. Businesses need tohave walls that are consistently and predictably applied. Business owners just need to know what the rules are so that they can comply. Government is there to protect our fundamental rights and freedoms is our declaration tells us each of us is created equal, endowed by our creator with inalienable rights of life and liberty and pursuit of happiness. And government has instituted among people to protect these fundamental rights and freedoms. I've practiced law for 40 years, served on the Supreme Court's 16 years. I'm the only justice with a background of having been on in house counsel of a company as well as a transactional practice representing businesses and individuals with regard to their business activities. In addition to that, I served a zone assistant United States attorney where I was instrumental in recovering North China's original copy of the Bill of Rights stolen in 18 65 Union Soldier and I did the undercover sting operation in 2003. Supreme Court impacts What you do with your business is it answers questions like, What about personal liability? Do my does my business form protect me personally and protect my family. One of the rights of shareholders. Class action lawsuits, unfair deceptive trade practices, thes air all issues that the North Carolina Supreme Court has dealt with there in my 16 years on the court, and we continue to see these. Since its inception, I've been a big proponent of the business court, and I'm glad to see that it is expanded to give businesses opportunities to litigate. They're very specific issues in front of judges that are well trained. In that I wanted to share with you just a couple of the cases that have come before my court that I think would be of interest to you. If you are starting a business or you know, of someone who is and they ask you to help him out, serve on their board may be introduced them to other people who may have some capital to invest. Should you be liable. If that business doesn't turn out the way everybody hopes it, it would. Well, in the past, we all thought that there would be protections there. Sadly, recently, my court issued an opinion that found a director and outside director liable to investors, even though those investors never relied on the information, UH, that he gave in good faith that he had received from the company. It expanded civil fraud liability for securities, and it reduced the protection that the General Assembly had been in place with regard to director safe harbors. Also recently, my court expanded class action lawsuits. This judicial expansion, I think, is wrong. I descended. In that case, I descended in the case that exposed that director to personal liability. It's important that we have judges and justices who understand the importance of businesses but also understand separation of powers is up for the General Assembly to make the laws and the course should enforce the laws as intended by the General Assembly. Court should not be making the law themselves. This has been my approach from the beginning, and it continues to be. I grew up in a little town, Jamestown ever between high point in Greensboro. My mom was a school teacher, my dad an hourly worker. Little did I know that I would have an opportunity one day to become a lawyer. I jokingly tell people the only four years I've ever spent out of state with the four years I went to do, and then I had the opportunity to get a U. N C. Law School as an Eagle Scout, I've continued my involvement with scouting, leading the report to the state. I've been honored with the distinguished Eagle Scout Award and actually received the heroism award rescuing nine People from Ripped. I've co authored the only book on the state Constitution, and I teach is an adjunct professor of Campbell all school. I would ask that you would support my candidacy for Chief justice. Please visit paul Newby dot com. Thank you, Justice Newbie. Thank you for your message. Their own your race for the North Carolina Supreme Court chief justice position. Let's go to North Carolina legislative races for Campaign 2020. Perhaps one of the most important campaigns for the business community is who we elect to run and lead our state legislature. Oh, For much of the 20th century, Democrats ran the General Assembly. Both the House and Senate 1994 Republicans captured a majority in the State House. They lost that majority in 1998. Democrats maintained control from 1998 up to 2000 and 10 the 2010 general election. Republicans captured both houses for the first time since reconstruction in our state's history and maintain control of the General Assembly, This year is going to be an extremely important. While there have been skirmishes, legal skirmishes over redistricting and a portion it and the state regarding, uh, the district lines for members of the state Senate. The members of the State House. 2026 cents this year, 2021. We will have redistricting all over again. So the Democrats are making an all out push to try and to capture ground in the General Assembly this month. Civitas Better Opinion survey by Harper Polling gave the Republicans a 13 point advantage in the generic ballot question, with very likely voters, with Republicans getting 45%. Democrats 32% 18% undecided. On this, 4% didn't answer or didn't have an opinion. It's absolutely imperative that the Democrats win all their competitive races and hold their competitive seats toe. Take a majority in either chamber, and the question is going to be well, Democrats be able to gain seats in those suburban markets that you'll have a couple of competitive races