Tim Boyum

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Posts by Tim Boyum

The Pizza Man Impact

     In the past couple months there has been some considerable discussion about the impact of Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh on North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.  In my interviews with him, the focus of his campaign centers on stopping all wars.  He’s raised some attention for his unique campaign videos as well.  However, recent polling has even caught the eyes of journalists in Washington, D.C.  Between Civitas and Public Policy Polling, Haugh has received 11%, 8%, 11%, 9%, 8%, and 7% respectively in those polls since mid May.  The surprising and consistent polling led to a Washington Post article and several other national television interviews.  But can he really make a difference in November?  Some analysts argue it could hurt House Speaker and Republican Thom Tillis.  Haugh has argued to me that he believes support comes from Democrats as well. 

So can Haugh really play spoiler?  I decided to look up some NC Board of Elections stats to see how tough of a task he faces at the polls.  First, let’s take a look at registered voters who identify themselves as Libertarians.




     As you can see the number of registered Libertarians has nearly tripled since 2010, however the 2014 total is still just .04% of registered voters in North Carolina.  That does not mean Sean Haugh will only get .04% of the vote because the chart below shows prior Libertarian candidates getting much more than that in previous elections.  Clearly, unaffiliated voters and disgruntled Republicans and Democrats have cast a ballot for Libertarian candidates in the past.  However, prior election results do show the tough task Sean Haugh has in the U.S. Senate race.



      As the graph shows, vote totals ranged from roughly 33,807 in 2002 to 133,430 in 2008.  Keep in mind, the 2004 and 2008 elections were also presidential election years.   Here’s where the numbers show Haugh’s current poll numbers may wane.  The percentage of the total vote was just 1.5% for Sean Haugh in 2002, 1.4% for Tom Bailey in 2004, 3.1% for Christopher Cole in 2008 and 2.1% for Michael Beitler in 2010. 


     What does this all mean?  At most, a Libertarian candidate has received 3.1% of the vote in U.S. Senate races since 2002.  This is not meant to undermine the potential impact of Sean Haugh.  In a race that is considered a toss up, a percentage point here or there could tip the scales in Thom Tillis or Kay Hagan’s favor.  However, it seems the 7%, 8% or even 11% in polls appears to be disgruntled voters and history shows they will likely move to one major party candidate or the other after Labor Day.  It does, however, show both major party candidates likely have some making up to do with their base before election day. 




An interview with Clay Aiken

As you have probably heard, Clay Aiken will indeed file to run as a Democrat for Congress in District 2.  That seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers.  Before we get too far, I should also mention that both candidates will have a primary race.

Regardless, I had the chance to talk with Mr. Aiken for about ten minutes today.  The interview will air tonight on Capital Tonight at 7 and midnight but here’s a few nuggets from our conversation.

On why a singer thinks he would make a good U.S. Representative:

“I don’t look at the question that way.  I look at it as what do I bring and I bring an understanding of the area because I’m from here.  I’m from here lived here my entire life–lived elsewhere just for two years and had to move back.”

On the issues he is focused on:

“I think the issues that are important to anyone right now are the jobs and the economy.  I think the overriding issue is the way things are working in Washington–I should say not working–it’s dysfunctional.  One of the biggest issues is listening and working together.”

On the issue of same-sex marriage:

“I don’t think you take on the issue at all.  I disagree that it’s going to come up.  I think it will come up in settings like this, but I don’t think it’s an issue that people care about.  People know my position on it, it’s well documented, but it’s not something that affects people in their lives in this district.  When I talk to people it’s not even in the top ten of things that matter to folks.”

On the Affordable Care Act:

“There are provisions that need to be fixed.  Absolutely. hands down, but there are too many that are good to repeal the entire thing and lose those.”

On any potential of campaigning with President Obama:

“I think there are enough things that the President and I disagree on.  I don’t know that he would campaign with me to be completely honest with you.  I imagine, he needs to be spending his time in Washington instead of coming on the campaign trail if I’m being completely honest because I think people up there need to work together and I think he needs to do just as good a job reaching out to people as I want the other side to reach out to him.”

Check it out during the show tonight and we’ll post the interview later as well.  Loretta Boniti will also have reaction from the other campaigns coming up this afternoon.

– Tim Boyum

Rep. Deb McManus Arrested

Here’s a release from the Department of Revenue:

“RALEIGH – A Siler City resident was arrested Wednesday on felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Deborah Hawkins McManus, 56, of 11 Pine Forest Drive, Siler City was charged on December 11, 2013 with three counts of embezzlement of state property.

Arrest warrants allege that McManus, as bookkeeper and responsible person of Carolina Family Practice, P.A., aided and abetted the corporation to embezzle, misapply and convert to its own use $47,369.00 in North Carolina Individual Income Tax withheld during the period January 2011 through July 2013.

McManus appeared before a Wake County magistrate and was placed under a $150,000 bond. A first appearance was scheduled for December 12, 2013 in Wake County District Court in Raleigh.

The charges against McManus resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh.”


BCBSNC unveils health exchange plans

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina unveiled health care plan prices for the Affordable Care Act Exchange in North Carolina.  For simplicity, here’s the press release from BCBSNC:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), the only insurer in the state that has applied to serve all 100 North Carolina counties on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance Exchange, today announced pricing information for its ACA-compatible products for individuals.

Consumers can visit bcbsnc.com/bluemap for a summary of how the ACA might impact them, including whether they might qualify for a subsidy. Blue Map will be available online until Sept. 15. Consumers can also speak directly to BCBSNC representatives at one of many ACA informational events being held across the state. Click here for a list of these events.

“Health reform is complicated, and it affects everyone differently. We want to help North

Carolina consumers understand how they will be affected and provide information to support them in making the best decision for their personal situation,” said Barbara Morales Burke, BCBSNC vice president of health policy and chief compliance officer.

BCBSNC plans to offer 26 plans on the Exchange, including plans at every metal level and catastrophic option(s) for those who qualify. Catastrophic plans have higher deductibles and will be available for consumers under age 30 and those who receive “hardship exemptions1”. Bronze plans cover 60 percent of health care expenses, silver plans 70 percent, gold 80 percent and platinum 90 percent.

Statewide average rates for those plans are listed below:

Monthly Premium for BCBSNC’s ACA-Qualified Health Plans


Consumers can purchase the same BCBSNC ACA health plans, and access subsidies, from the Exchange or directly from BCBSNC. BCBSNC’s buy online tool facilitates the transaction for those who qualify for a federal subsidy (consumers purchasing their own coverage with income levels between 100 percent and 400 percent of Federal Poverty Level2). The subsidy impact will be significant for some. For example, a person earning 100 percent of FPL could pay $19.15 per month for a Silver plan.

By choosing to offer its products on the Exchange in all 100 counties, BCBSNC is ensuring that low- and middle-income consumers who depend on a subsidy to afford insurance will be able to access the subsidy and purchase coverage.

ACA health plans generally offer richer benefits than plans many BCBSNC customers choose today. In addition to requiring richer benefits, the ACA eliminates the use of gender or health status in setting premiums. Consumers may begin shopping for coverage – and can learn exactly how much subsidy they might receive – by visiting the Exchange when it opens.

“The ACA will make coverage available to many who have never had it and will enhance benefits for most consumers. These are good things, but they come at a cost,” said Patrick Getzen, BCBSNC vice president and chief actuary. “After the impact of subsidies, we expect about two-thirds of our individual customers will see the amount they pay for coverage increase similar to previous years – or they may pay less. The remaining one-third of our customers will see fairly substantial increases due to the requirements of the ACA.”

Tidbits from Roy Cooper

I had the chance to sit down with Attorney General Roy Cooper this afternoon.  The entire interview will air on Capital Tonight at 7 p.m. and replay at midnight. You can probably guess a number of the subjects we talked about.  Here’s a preview.

On defending laws he doesn’t agree with that could include the recently passed election law, same-sex marriage ban, and potential abortion related lawsuits he says his office will defend the state. Keep in mind that a few of his colleagues in other states have refused to defend the state in same-sex marriage lawsuits.

“It’s pretty clear that it’s the duty of the Attorney General in North Carolina to defend the state when it gets sued,” Cooper said.  “There has to be extraordinary circumstances when that would not be the case. I plan on our office defending the state in all of these cases. ”

Despite criticism from Gov. Pat McCrory, there is no concern from him that he’s giving out his personal opinion against the election overhaul law and then defending the law.

He also talks about a bill sitting on the governor’s desk that gives House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger the same legal standing to represent the state that Cooper holds.

Yes, I asked him about running for governor. He is talking to people about running for governor in 2016. While he says an announcement is not imminent and we are a long way off from the election, a decision may come sooner than you think.

“I will certainly be making decisions soon.,” Cooper said. “I believe that we need to work now to change things and move North Carolina forward and to put us back on the right road of making sure we fund public education like we should. It’s the economic engine that moves this state forward.”

After the interview I asked him a few questions about some other topics. He says the state will appeal to the State Supreme Court on the cases handed out by the appeals court today related to life sentences and social media use among sex offenders. He also said for personnel reasons he cannot talk about SBI agent Mark Isley remaining on the job in light of a settlement with a man who was released from prison.

Check it all out at 7 p.m. and midnight only on News 14 Carolina!

Gov. McCrory interview preview: Told bill sponsors he’d veto

Had a chance to interview Gov. Pat McCrory this afternoon for about seven minutes.  It goes real fast too! Anyway, here’s a quick tease of our discussion with the entire interview airing on the show tonight!

Q.  Tell me about the process of your decision to veto the bills.

McCrory:  Well, my vetoes come as no surprise to Speaker Tillis and Phi Berger because I told the sponsors of the bill before it was passed that if this passes I will veto it.

Q.  Did the legislature veer off course from your message of jobs?

McCrory: You can’t run away from issues that the legislature, another representative body, wants to work on. I stopped a lot of bills prior to the bills even being voted on.  Whether it be eliminating helmet laws or having a state religion they didn’t get beyond the press announcements of these bills. They were dead on arrival and there were many more bills like that.

Q. Would you have preferred a clean voter id bill?

McCrory:  Well, listen there is no perfect clean bill. There are other issues that were very important in that bill.

Q. Do you wish you had line-item veto?

McCrory:  I wish I did have line-item veto.  I would love to have line-item veto. If I had line item veto it would give me a lot more flexibility. I’m not sure the legislature is going to give me that. The veto is still pretty new in North Carolina.

The governor also said he’d like to change the culture of last minute bills at the end of session. Check out the entire interview on the show at 7pm and midnight. We’ll post it on here at some point as well!

Perdue-McCrory poll comparisons

Hearing about Gov. Pat McCrory’s latest approval numbers from Public Policy Polling had me curious about his numbers versus former Gov. Bev Perdue in her first seven months of office. Thanks to the folks at PPP, here’s the comparison. The first number is those that approve followed by disapprove.  See chart below as well.


                                 Perdue (2009)                 McCrory (2013)

February                       43/32  (+11)                           47/33 (+14)

March                           44/35  (+9)                             49/35  (+14)

April                              41/40  (+1)                             49/36 (+13)

May                              34/51   (-17)                            48/38 (+10)

June                              30/53   (-23)                            45/39 (+6)

July                                25/55   (-30)                            40/49 (-9)

August                            27/52   (-25)                           39/51 (-12)


So as bad as the numbers may seem, McCrory is clearly in a much better situation than Perdue was at this point in her term. Although, Gov. Perdue did see a two point jump in August while McCrory saw a one point drop.


Online Graphing


What will Tillis do on early voting?

House Speaker Thom Tillis

As you have probably heard by now the state Senate has added a number of big changes to the latest voter ID bill.  Two big ones are shortening early voting by a week and ending same-day registration during early voting.

While the Senate will likely pass the bill with the changes, the question remains how the House will respond.

When these ideas were floating around the General Assembly this spring, I had a chance to ask House Speaker Thom Tillis about the issue of early voting and what changes he would support.  Here’s what he had to say in that April 9th interview.

“I think that as long as we do not really restrict the number of days,” Tillis said. “There are some inconsistencies around counties, but I think that early voting is a good thing. In my election, I won before election day in early voting. The question about whether we should have consistent days and times across the state is a valid question and I’m sure people will ask about that. But, I don’t see a significant ratcheting back of the number of days available for early voting. Part of that is the cost involved. If you compress it as we’ve heard in Florida and other states, you could have a significantly greater number of people waiting a significantly longer amount of time on election day, so we need to take that into account.”

Click here for the show featuring Tillis to hear it for yourself. It’s the middle segment of the show.

So, at first glance it appears he doesn’t support changing the length of early voting but he then says he doesn’t see a “significant ratcheting back”.  Guess the question is what’s significantly cutting back?  We’ll soon find out.

Voter ID bill comparison: Senate version cuts college IDs

Sen. Berger’s office just sent over this comparison list done by General Assembly staff between the House and new Senate version of voter ID bills.

The Senate version is posted here.

1) Deletes the House provision creating the Voter Identification Verification Act Board.

2) Consolidates the various “educational” provisions contained in the House version and deletes other “educational” provisions. [Part V]

3) Changes the list of acceptable ID documents in proposed GS 163-166.13(e) to:  i) require unexpired identifications except in some instances and ii) delete several categories such as UNC system or community college student ID, employer ID, and some other kinds of government IDs issued by local governments. Allows out-of-state drivers licenses to be used only for 90 days after the voter registers. [page 3]

4) Clarifies the disaster provision in GS 163-166.1(a)(3) on how to get a disaster declaration form.  [pages 2-3]

5) Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to require county boards of elections to promptly dispatch multipartisan teams to assist nursing home resident vote. Calls on the State Board of Elections to issue temporary rules by 10/1/2013 on this subject. Currently there is limited assistance to such persons – only a near relative, legal guardian or multipartisan county board team can assist voter. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

6) Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to provide that if county fails to dispatch a multipartisan team within 15 days those voters can get assistance from anyone but: (i)an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; (iii) an individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office; or (iv) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

7) Amends G.S. 163‑229(b) to add to House provision that the envelope for an absentee ballot contain information about criminal penalties the following language “except if there is not room on the envelope, the State Board of Elections may provide for that disclosure to be made on a separate piece of paper to be included along with the container‑return envelope.” [Section 4.1, page 8]

8 ) Clarifies effective dates to more closely effectuate intent of bill to phase-in the voter identification requirement.

Get your tax documents!

Yes–sounds exciting doesn’t it?  If you haven’t seen the analysis done at the legislature on the new tax plan being voted on–here it is.  Includes fiscal impact, tax plan details, and potential impact. on different income levels.






By the way—not everyone agrees–here’s a link to some preliminary analysis from the other side of the story.