Tuesday, April 15, 2014


April 15, 2014


Greensboro, NC - Rep. Jon Hardister (R- Guilford) released the following statement today concerning the closure of Forest Oaks Country Club:

It is with great sadness that I receive the news about the closure of Forest Oaks Country Club. I have many fond memories of attending the PGA golf tournament that took place at the club, and I am also a former member. Right now my thoughts are with the employees and the families who are being affected by the closure. It is my hope that this situation will be resolved and that operations of the club will be underway again soon.

Rep. Jon Hardister


Thursday, April 10, 2014

There Really Is No Free Money

This is an op-ed that I wrote about the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina. It was published in the Thursday, April 10 issue of the Rhino Times.

The Greensboro City Council recently voted in favor of a resolution asking the State of North Carolina to expand Medicaid. This expansion would be offered by the federal government as a part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It has been explained that the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion for the first three years, and then the State would assume 90 percent of the cost thereafter.

While I respect the views of the City Council, I disagree with their stance on this topic, and I maintain that the state legislature made the right decision by choosing not to expand Medicaid. Here are the reasons why I voted with our conservative majority in favor of not expanding Medicaid:

The costs are hard to predict. After three years the State would have to assume 90 percent of the cost, and it is hard to predict what the cost would be. And there is a good chance that it would cost more than what our budget forecasters predict.

The federal government would not cover the increased administrative cost of expanding Medicaid. Our taxpayers 
in North Carolina would incur these expenses. It would increase government bureaucracy, which would create long-term budget obligations.

It is unwise to rely on the federal government. While the federal government claims to pay 90 percent of the cost after three years, there is no guarantee that the feds will uphold their promise. If the feds renege on their promise, then North Carolina’s taxpayers would have to pay the bill.

The federal government is not financially stable. Our national government is spending enormous amounts of money and growing trillion dollar budget deficits. This type of spending is unsustainable and problematic. If North Carolina were to partake in the Medicaid expansion, then we would be contributing to the problem. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as “free money.”

It doesn’t make sense to expand a system that is in need of repair. Our focus should be on improving the quality of our current system. If we expand Medicaid, then we would be making it much more difficult to streamline the system for long-term sustainability.

Expansion would result in thousands of individuals dropping out of private health insurance plans, and then enrolling in Medicaid.
The proposed expansion of Medicaid is crafted in such a way that it would result in thousands of individuals leaving private health insurance in order to enroll in Medicaid. This would expand bureaucracy and shift additional costs to our taxpayers.

It is important that we take a cautious, methodical approach when making decisions that will have a long-term fiscal impact on our State. We also need to be skeptical about any action that will result in the expansion of government bureaucracy. As a legislator, it is my duty to protect taxpayer dollars to the best of my ability.

For these reasons I maintain that we made the right decision by choosing not to expand Medicaid. Doing so would involve too much fiscal uncertainty, and it would place the financial burden squarely on the shoulder of North Carolina’s taxpayers. Our goal moving forward should be improving the integrity of our Medicaid system by making it more efficient, cost-effective, and predictable.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Potential Voter Fraud in North Carolina

Today the Legislative Elections Oversight Committee, which I have the privilege of serving on, met to hear a report from the State Board of Elections. The report was presented by officials from the SBOE, including Kim Strach, who is the Executive Director. Much of the report explained procedures that are being used by the SBOE, including how voter ID laws are being implemented and how voter registration is tracked.

There is one portion of the report that is very alarming. The SBOE has discovered evidence indicating that there have been numerous cases of voter fraud in North Carolina.

According to the SBOE, North Carolina recently began participating in an "Interstate Crosscheck" with 27 other states. This crosscheck allows participating states to compile and share information related to voter registration.

According to the information compiled in the crosscheck, the SBOE has identified 765 cases where there is an exact match of a voter's first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the Social Security number -- registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in North Carolina and the other state in the 2012 general election.

The SBOE has identified 35,750 other cases where there is an exact match of a voter's first and last name and date of birth -- registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in North Carolina and the other state in the 2012 general election -- but the Social Security numbers have yet to be verified.

Also, the SBOE has identified 155,692 cases where there is an exact match of the voter's first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the Social Security number -- registered in both North Carolina and another state, but has not voted in North Carolina in a recent election.

Obviously these are very alarming numbers. It appears likely that there have been thousands of cases of voter fraud in North Carolina. This means that people's vote may have been disenfranchised by people who committed voter fraud by casting multiple ballots, distorting the outcome of an election.

Moreover, there are currently only 28 states that are participating in the Interstate Crosscheck system. If we were to factor in all of the other states that are not participating, such as California, New York, and Texas, chances are good that the numbers of possible voter fraud would be much higher.

All of this is still being investigated by the SBOE. I am hopeful that we will have more detailed information soon. Besides the bad news of potential voter fraud, it is great to see the SBOE working to promote integrity within our elections system.

This news highlights the reasons why we moved forward with voter ID and other election-related reforms in the 2013 legislative session. Our goal is to increase the integrity of our elections system by making the process as fair, efficient, and honest as possible.

Voter fraud doesn't exist if you don't look for it. I have thought for a long time that the reason why there aren't widespread cases of voter fraud is because there has not been proper oversight. This report from the SBOE may prove that theory to be correct.

Also, to make matters more interesting, the SBOE has identified at least 81 people who appear to have voted after becoming deceased. This indicates that there is either voter fraud or technical errors within the elections system. The SBOE is in the process of investigated this matter as well.

We owe it to our citizens to get to the bottom of this situation as soon as possible. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available. This matter will continue to be monitored very closely by the SBOE and members of the General Assembly.

Below are screenshots from the SBOE report that was presented today.