State Rep. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth, a long-time advocate for North Carolinians who were involuntarily sterilized under the state's eugenics program, introduced legislation today that would set up a $10 million fund to compensate those victims.
The Governor's Eugenics Task Force recommended that the victims receive a lump-sum, tax-free amount of $50,000 each. So far, 132 people have been verified; 118 of them are living.
Between 1929 and 1974, the State of North Carolina sterilized an estimated 7,600 men, women and children. Even after most states ended their programs after World War II, the N.C. Eugenics Board continued to approve sterilizations for often little more than the loosely defined definition of being "feebleminded" and therefore unfit to reproduce.
The bill would provide funding for several related compensation initiatives, according to a press release, including $654,000 to Sterilization Victims Foundation, which serves as a clearinghouse for verification requests and have the authority to advocate on behalf of verified victims.
The N.C. Board of Elections has ruled that the mailers produced by the Durham Partnership for Progress were not coordinated with any candidates supported by the local SuperPAC.
As the Indy reported last week, several complaints had been filed with the Durham Board of Elections, which forwarded them to the state level, alleging that the Partnership was working in concert with Durham commissioner candidates Michael Page, Brenda Howerton, Joe Bowser and Rickey Padgett.
The Partnership has received more than $54,000 from Southern Durham Development, which is supporting the four candidates because of their stance on the 751 South project. The Partnership is tied to Southern Durham Development through Tyler Morris and Alex Mitchell, who work for both organizations.
The Partnership is an independent expenditure committee, also known as a SuperPAC, because it can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for candidates as long as it does not coordinate with them.
Southern Durham Development is the company behind that development; incumbents Page, Howerton and Bowser voted to approve a controversial rezoning of land in the sensitive Jordan Lake watershed that made 751 South possible. Padgett, a captain in the Durham County Sheriff’s department, has also spoken in favor of 751 South.
Woodard says he learned Friday that the stack of forms he says he sent Feb. 22, within the required 10-day period, had not been received by those offices.
"I mailed them. They didn't receive them. It's my responsibility to get them in, and I'm going to take care of that today," Woodard said.
The commission needs a Statement of Economic Interest and the SBOE needs a Statement of Organization, which includes a treasurer's name and bank information.
Woodard, when contacted by the Indy, said he was on his way to Raleigh to meet with officials and make sure they have all of his paperwork.
Sutton's full press release is below: