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Political Notebook: Tillis seeks to protect kids with SANTA Act

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Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana recently introduced the Stop All Nefarious Toys in America or SANTA Act.

If the legislation is passed, sellers would be required to provide a gamut of information including the origin and business contact to sell children’s toys and products through online marketplaces.

“As families across North Carolina celebrate Christmas and the holidays, parents buying toys should have the peace of mind that they are buying safe and reliable products for their children,” Tillis said in a statement. “I’m proud to co-introduce the SANTA Act so online marketplaces like Amazon must include important information to ensure families aren’t buying counterfeit products that put their children at risk.”

Tillis also co-introduced legislation to tackle prescription drug prices. The Debbie Smith Act to fight the national backlog of rape kit processing that Tillis co-sponsored passed the Senate on Dec. 18 and the anti-robocall legislation he co-sponsored is on the president’s desk to be signed into law.

Dems have candidates in state, federal races

Last Friday the North Carolina Democratic Party announced candidates for every statewide and federal office in every state district and almost every state house district.

According to a release from NCDP spokesman Robert Howard, 78 women and 63 people of color were among a diverse slate of candidates for the offices.

“At the close of filing, Democrats have candidates in 50 of 50 Senate districts and 119 of 120 House districts,” Howard said.

“North Carolina is the biggest 2020 battleground in the country, and Democrats are going all out to win up and down the ticket,” NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin said. “The momentum is there following a strong midterm election when we broke the Republican super majority, won in deep-red areas and swept statewide judicial races. Democrats are ready to take back North Carolina as we fight for better opportunities, more jobs and a cleaner environment and the future for our children.”

Tillis: Impeachment is a ‘kangaroo court’

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis last week called the impeachment of President Donald Trump a “kangaroo court.”

“House Democrats ran this blatantly partisan impeachment process like a kangaroo court, presuming the president was guilty and shamefully denying the president and the minority basic due process rights,” Tillis said. “In spite of the lack of evidence they gathered and the facts not being on their side, they still voted to impeach the president to pander to their fringe base.”

Dems: ‘Nobody is above the law’

On Dec. 18, the North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement on the impeachment of the president in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“In America, nobody is above the law — not even the president,” said NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin. “It’s now incumbent on the Senate to hold a fair and transparent trial instead of rushing through a sham process that covers up the president’s abuse of power and obstruction. Unfortunately, Sen. Tillis continues to show he’s just a partisan rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and can’t be trusted to be an independent voice for North Carolina or the rule of law.”

Challenger called ‘too liberal’ for NC

Last week, Joanna Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that Erica Smith, a Democratic challenger for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, was “too liberal for North Carolina.”

“Erica Smith’s unabashed support for impeachment is an attempt to appeal to the most extreme wing of her party,” Rodriguez said. “She’s too liberal for North Carolina, and Cal Cunningham’s silence and non-answers make him complicit in this impeachment madness.”

“In October of this year, Erica Smith took the position Trump should face criminal charges and be ‘controlled and contained.’ In his recent TV interview with Spectrum News, Cal Cunningham refused to take a position on impeachment, despite being asked three times,” Rodriguez said. “Smith is leading Cunningham in the most recent primary poll.”

Republican files for DPI superintendent

Republican Catherine Truitt, chancellor of nonprofit Western Governors University North Carolina, filed as a candidate for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction last week.

“I’ve had a very unusual career for someone who began as a classroom teacher,” Truitt said. “I trained to be a high school English teacher but across 13 years found myself teaching in all kinds of settings, including elementary school and young adults in the British school system. My husband’s career as a naval officer meant we moved every few years, so I just bloomed where I was planted.”

Truitt was a classroom teacher in Johnston County for three years and worked for Gov. Pat McCrory’s office as his senior adviser on education.