Speaker of the House Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, says nearly 50 N.C. Democratic House lawmakers and candidates have backed a dangerous pledge to defund the police, but House Minority Leader Darren Jackson, D-Wake, says that’s a lie.

During a Monday, Sept. 14, news conference, Moore attacked Democrats for signing a pledge to accomplish a list of policy goals by 2030 as outlined by the left-leaning advocacy group Future Now. Joining Moore’s news conference were Rep. Carson Smith, R-Pender; Rep. John Faircloth, R-Guilford; and a handful of county sheriffs who shared Moore’s concerns for what they considered a radical agenda. 

Future Now’s Pledge to Achieve America’s Goals includes promises to provide affordable health care, boost education spending, and ensure equal opportunities for all. Dozens of N.C. House Democrats and Democratic candidates have signed the pledge since 2018.

While the pledge doesn’t explicitly call for defunding the police, such a proposal can be found under the subsection for “Equal Opportunities For All” on the America’s Goals website. Included is model legislation to create a commission to study taking money from police departments and giving them to other community programs like youth shelters. 

“Right now, law enforcement officers across our nation are being targeted and attacked,” Moore said. “I consider signing this pledge a direct attack on North Carolina law enforcement too.”

Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, told Carolina Journal that when she signed the Future Now pledge in 2018, defunding the police was not part of the stated goals. She told CJ the police proposals must have been added this year and she doesn’t support defunding law enforcement.

Carolina Journal sent an email to Jackson asking him if he would pledge his support today now that a proposal to defund the police is listed on the America’s Goals website. Jackson didn’t respond. 

Instead, Jackson sent out a news release challenging Moore’s statements.

“Speaker Moore has given us another set of blatant lies. No, we didn’t pledge to defund the police but we did pledge to invest in quality Health Care and Education for all North Carolinians,” Jackson said. 

If House Democrats don’t agree with the proposal to defund the police then they should come out and disavow Future Now, Moore said. They can also give back the money that Future Now gave them. 

Future Now has given thousands to Democratic candidates in 2020, including incumbent Reps. Christy Clark, D-Mecklenburg; Sydney Batch, D-Wake; Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood; and Ray Russell, D-Ashe. 

While some House Democrats may have signed the pledge in 2018, Democratic candidates running in 2020 likely signed this year. Future Now has given money to challengers, too: House Democratic candidates Nicole Quick, Kimberly Hardy, Brian Farkas, Aimy Steele, Dan Besse, Frances Vinell Jackson, and Ricky Hurtado have received campaign donations from Future Now. 

The America’s Goals pledge is not an endorsement of any specific bill, Future Now Executive Director Daniel Squadron said in a news release following Moore’s news conference.

Future Now funds America’s Goals, which on its website says it is a policy library with model legislation, 50 state report cards, and everything needed to turn a bill into a law.