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Capitol Broadcasting Company                                                        Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dan Bishop needs to represent constituents, not his ideological self-interest

CBC Editorial: Thursday, April 18, 2024; #8924
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

How out of step is U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte with the nation, North Carolina and even most of his fellow Republicans? A look at last week’s key votes in the U.S. House of Representatives offers a clear and dramatic illustration.

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the “Stronger Workforce For America Act,” sponsored by North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx. The legislation, according to Foxx, is “a bill for those who believe in the incredible, boundless potential of the American workforce.” It expands skills development, “strengthens the relationship between employers and the workforce system and put more Americans on the pathway to successful careers.”

It is worthy of note here that Foxx is among the most staunchly conservative Republicans in the U.S. House.

In a statement after the legislation passed on a 378 to 26 vote, Foxx said: “This legislation will bolster the efficiency of the workforce system by dedicating 50% of funding to upskilling workers. Skills are becoming the currency of the labor market and the key to unlocking career success, yet too few of the taxpayer dollars provided to the workforce system are being spent developing the skills of our workforce. By elevating skills development, this bill will deliver more opportunities for Americans to prepare for good-paying jobs.”

Not a single Democrat – including those in the North Carolina delegation – voted against Foxx’s bill.

All 26 votes against the bill came from Foxx’s fellow Republicans. The ONLY member of the North Carolina delegation to vote against it was Republican Bishop who represents the 8th Congressional District.

The vote on Foxx’s bill – and two other pieces of legislation that overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week — are stark and stunning displays of just how ideologically rigid Bishop is, how his political isolation fails the needs of his constituents he is supposed to represent.

Just what else last week did Bishop – the ONLY North Carolina representative to do so – vote against? How far out of the broad consensus was he?

He voted AGAINST the National Museum of Play Recognition Act – one of just 31 (all Republicans) to oppose it while 385 representatives voted for it. The bill simply designated a play-focused museum in Rochester, N.Y., as the National Museum of Play. It didn’t make it part of the federal Park System.

He voted AGAINST the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance and Rehabilitation Act to set up a grant program for rescuing marine turtles stranded on beaches. It passed 332 to 82. Again, only Republicans opposed the bill and Bishop was the ONLY representative from North Carolina to vote against it.

In just one week Bishop voted against broadly bipartisan, consensus legislation to: Help American workers; Save endangered turtles and; Recognize opportunities for children to play and learn. The reality is these votes are more reflective of Bishop’s typical voting behavior than any kind of exception. It must be noted that Bishop, when a member of the state legislature, was the author of the notorious and disastrous 2016 House Bill 2. It was later essentially repealed – with a majority of Republicans and Democrats supporting the move.

Quite a record for someone who also is seeking statewide office – attorney general –in North Carolina.

What does that say about whose interests he’ll be representing? What does it say about the priorities he’ll bring to the critical position of representing the state in legal matters, providing legal guidance, when requested, to the governor, the General Assembly and other public agencies and other duties?

Will he be guided by what is best for the ideological and partisan biases of Dan Bishop or by the law and what is best for the state?

Bishop’s record, particularly as reflected by his votes last week, provides the clear answer.

Thursday, April 18, 2024 — A round up of news, opinion, commentary and analysis.

For questions, please contact Opinion Editor Seth Effron at:  Your support and readership is much appreciated. Thank you!

Indications of financial mismanagement: Mark Robinson family’s nonprofit faces N.C. DHHS probe (WUNC-FM) — While Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s wife told her nonprofit’s clients that she was shutting down because of her husband’s campaign for governor, she told a state agency a different story. For years, Yolanda Hill has led a nonprofit called Balanced Nutrition that helps childcare facilities apply for and receive federal funding for kids’ meals. Mark Robinson and the couple’s son and daughter worked as employees of the Greensboro nonprofit. Emails and documents show the abrupt closure relates to an ongoing investigation by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the childcare center nutrition program. One issue highlighted in the DHHS records was that Balanced Nutrition at one point didn’t have a balanced budget — the group’s expenses were higher than its income. Another budget document noted that Balanced Nutrition wasn’t in compliance with a program requirement that administrative costs — such as staff salaries — can’t exceed 15% of overall funding. Robinson’s wife Hill’s annual salary was about $140,000 last year — a big increase from the $71,000 salary she was paid in 2019. Budget documents were signed by Hill and either Kimberly Cephas (the Robinsons’ daughter) or Danzeto Cephas (their son-in-law), who has served on the nonprofit’s board of directors.