Forty-Seven Democratic members of the state House and candidates running to join the Democratic caucus have signed a pledge to defund the police, restrict the ability of law enforcement to obtain basic protective equipment and strip citizens of Second Amendment rights with no due process. The pledge includes ending cash bail and the assignment of court fees and costs, one which would return some dangerous criminals back to the streets, the other which would further defund the police by eliminating revenue for police training and police retirement. Eight Democratic state Senate members and candidates also signed the pledge. While not all current Democrat house members signed the pledge, if all 47 of the pledge signers were elected, they would represent 85% of the current 55 Democrat members of the state House.
Included in part of the pledge is the policy statement:
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) scheduled a press conference for Monday, Sept. 14 and released the following statement:
“This radical pledge by House Democrats to defund police in North Carolina is a betrayal of the basic public trust to keep families safe, particularly in times of crisis, as crime rates rise in other areas led by the radical left,” Moore said.
“Assessing expenditures on policing to identify evidence-based ways to generate savings…especially communities most impacted by current policing practices,” is an official policy promise of House Democratic leaders and candidates to North Carolinians,” Moore continued. “It is stunning that House Democrats in North Carolina would sign a pledge to defund law enforcement, and that so many in their caucus would join with radical national liberals promising to cut funding for police officers who protect innocent people.”
Moore further noted that in exchange for at least $100,000 in donations, House Democratic candidates pledged to enact legislation requiring “a comprehensive review of the state’s police funding” to “reduce excessive policing.”
The pledge is advocated and promoted by the organization Future Now Fund, and found at this link: https://www.futurenow.org/
The group is classified as a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization with the sole purpose of helping Democrats win state-level races.
North Carolina Democratic candidates for the General Assembly not only signed a pledge to support this radical anti-public safety agenda, Future Now Fund has become a major funder of Democrat campaign efforts. The North Carolina State House joint campaign fund (House Caucus) and at least 9 individual candidates have accepted the maximum contributions from this fringe group that appears to want to threaten public safety.
During the June 25th “#NCDayofGiving,” the House Democratic Caucus featured the Future Now Fund as a partner organization, and they donated $50,000 to the joint campaign operations.
Among those who accepted the maximum $5,400 contributions from the Future Now Fund are key swing seat Democrats that are central in Democrat efforts to regain control of the chamber including:
- Nicole Quick (D), who is challenging Rep. Jon Hardister (R) in a Greensboro seat that only slightly leans towards the GOP. It is rated as GOP plus three (R +3), in the Civitas Partisan Index, a measure of the partisan leanings of North Carolina state legislative districts. It is a measure of the base partisan leanings of a North Carolina state legislative district compared to the state as a whole
- Sydney Batch (D) who is defending her (R+3) Western Wake County seat against Erin Pare (R)
- Joe Sam Queen (D) in a slightly Republican-leaning seat (R+2) that covers Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties facing former Rep. Mike Clampitt (R)
- Democrat Dan Besse, facing Republican Jeff Zenger in Winston-Salem area House District 74, an open seat left with the retirement of Rep. Debra Conrad. Besse has already been accused of “defunding” the Winston-Salem Police by voting to support reallocating $1 million in police appropriations for an anti-poverty initiative on 6/15/2020
- Democrat Christy Clark is facing a rematch against Republican John Bradford, whom she narrowly defeated two years ago. Civitas rates that seat as R+5
- Democratic Rep. Ray Russell represents Watauga and Ashe County in a Republican-leaning district (R+3) and is facing Blowing Rock Inn owner Ray Pickett
- Democrat Kimberly Hardy is facing Republican Diane Wheatley in Cumberland County’s open house seat 43 (D+1)
- Democrat Brian Farkas who is challenging Republican Rep. Dr. Perrin Jones who was appointed to the Pitt County District 9 seat
- Democrat Aimy Steele running against Kristin Baker in House District 82 in Cabarrus County. Dr. Baker was appointed to the seat on the death of Rep. Linda Johnson (R+4)
According to the New York Times, the two-year-old Future Now Fund worked with the progressive think tank Data for Progress to apply pressure to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates by ranking them in terms of who is doing the most to help Democrats win state legislative races.
The goal of the Future Now Fund is threefold: get Democratic state legislative candidates to sign on to their agenda, fund them and lift them to victory, and remain involved to cash in on their victories on redistricting, health policy and defunding the police.
“Future Now has the grandest ambitions of them all. Combining both a political-action committee, Future Now Fund, and an advocacy group, it strives not only to help progressive candidates win elections, but also to enact, in as many states as possible, a specific and far-reaching policy agenda by 2030.”
“A whole lot of people have found religion on state legislatures but unfortunately they stop at gerrymandering,” said Daniel Squadron, executive director of Future Now to the Huffington Post. “That’s just the beginning,” he said, noting the disproportionate impact states have on labor rights, environmental rules, women’s rights and antitrust regulation.
To that end, Future Now also has a nonprofit arm that embeds itself in state legislatures after elections are over to provide policy and political expertise for Democratic lawmakers.
The landing page for their entire platform is here.
By clicking “Equal Opportunity for All” it opens a link to “Improve Public Safety by Reinvesting Policing Savings in Community Based and Prevention Programs.”
Here you find the clear and direct reference to defunding the police under the terms “reassessment of police funding and a reallocation of funding.” The pledge also includes the elimination of court imposed fees, some which in North Carolina fund police activities.
Further you see a tab for “Make Communities Safer by Stopping the Use of Military Equipment Against Americans.” But that military equipment is not limited to tanks, it includes blocking local police’s ability to purchase and acquire sidearms, helmets, riot gear, batons and shields.
At any rate, the agenda is clear: Defund the police. Block the police from obtaining the most basic equipment to keep the public and police safe as well as stop the kind of uncontrolled street violence that has become all too common in 2020.
Finally, the pledge includes ending all cash bail, even for dangerous criminals that need to be held prior to trial, making the streets less safe and making it harder to guarantee the accused show up for trial.
Further the pledge includes a promise to support extreme red flag laws that can remove a person’s Second Amendment rights without any kind of judicial hearing.
The issue of defunding the police has already become the central issue in Senate District 31, which includes eastern Forsyth County and all of Davie County with Republican incumbent Joyce Krawiec facing progressive Democrat challenger Terri LeGrand, a Wake Forest University administrator.
Krawiec cited an article in the Kernersville News as the basis of her claim, telling TCB: “My opponent uses misleading language to attempt to hide the fact that she wants to defund police. She recently told the Kernersville News she wanted to ‘reallocate’ police funding but denied wanting to defund.” LeGrand reiterated her position that she does not support defunding the police in a statement to TCB.
However, Terri LeGrand also signed the pledge that promises to defund the police, limit the ability of police to obtain basic protective equipment and severely restrict Second Amendment rights.
Recent Civitas polling shows this is a powerful issue this election cycle.
When asked in the August poll, 70% of respondents had an unfavorable view of the term “defund the police.” And 85% of respondents had a favorable view of police officers serving in their communities.
87% of respondents see the issues of crime and public safety as important when considering their vote in this fall’s election, with 69% seeing the issues as very important.
A plurality of respondents (40%) indicated they believed there was more crime than there was 6 months ago, while only 12% said there was less. 25% said crime was about the same.
Civitas has learned the team in charge of Republican House campaigns is launching a massive direct mail and television campaign in select districts calling attention to the pledge democratic candidates signed and the contributions they accepted from the group.
In response, House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson tweeted:
“The pledge folks signed 2 years ago (before this slogan defund even existed) is on the website. It says nothing about police funding.”
However, as noted by Director of State House Campaigns Stephen Wiley via Twitter:
The pledge list includes brand new 2020 election cycle candidates such as Emily Nicholson, Frances Jackson, Nicole Quick, and Kimberly Hardy.
Also, the pledge list and agenda has been published for months and North Carolina Democrats do not appear to have asked for any corrections or declined to accept the organizations large contributions.
In total, 47 current House Democratic members and candidates signed the pledge to defund the police, limit the ability of police to obtain protective equipment and to limit Second Amendment rights. The full list is below:
Emily Bunch Nicholson – House District 1
Kandie Smith – House District 8
Brian Farkas – House District 9
Rep. Allison Dahle – House District 11
Tom Simmons – House District 17
Rep. Deb Butler – House District 18
Marcia Morgan – House District 19
Rep. Raymond Smith – House District 21
Rep. Shelly Willingham – House District 23
James Gailliard – House District 25
Rep. Marcia Morey – House District 30
Rep. Rosa Gill – House District 33
Rep. Grier Martin – House District 34
Rep. Terence Everitt – House District 35
Rep. Julie von Haefen – House District 36
Rep. Sydney Batch – House District 37
Democratic Leader Rep. Darren Jackson – House District 39
Rep. Gale Adcock – House District 41
Rep. Marvin Lucas – House District 42
Kimberly Hardy – House District 43
Frances Jackson – House District 45
Rep. Graig Meyer – House District 50
Lowell Simon – House District 52
Rep. Verla Insko – House District 56
Rep. Ashton Clemmons – House District 57
Nicole Quick – House District 59
Rep. Pricey Harrison: House District 61
Ricky Hurtado – House District 63
Rep. Evelyn Terry – House District 71
Rep. Dan Besse – House District 74
Wendy Sellars – House District 80
Aimy Steele – House District 82
Gail Young – House District 83
Rep. Mary Belk – House District 88
Greg Cranford – House District 89
Rep. Ray Russell – House District 93
Kim Bost – House District 96
Rep. Christy Clark – House District 98
Rep. Nasif Majeef – House District 99
Rep. Rachel Hunt – House District 103
Rep. Brandon Lofton – House District 104
Rep. Wesley Harris – House District 105
Rep. Carla Cunningham – House District 106
Rep. Kelly Alexander – House District 107
Rep. Susan Fisher – House District 114
Rep. John Ager – House District 115
Rep. Joe Sam Queen – House District 119
Eight state Senate members and candidates signed the pledge: