Late Edition: NCDP Clips for Thursday, March 8, 2013


CHARLOTTE OBSERVER – McCrory’s former law firm active in MetLIfe negotiations
When state officials met Thursday morning in a fourth-floor conference room to award one of the largest state job grants in North Carolina history to MetLife, the company was represented by several members of Gov. Pat McCrory’s former employer.

The Charlotte law firm Moore & Van Allen, where McCrory was employed until just days before taking office, helped the New York-based insurance company negotiate with state and local governments to receive more than $94 million in taxpayer-funded incentives in return for the promise to add more than 2,600 jobs in the next three years.

SALISBURY POST – MetLife moving 2,600 jobs to NC
Insurance giant MetLife Inc. said Thursday it will move 2,600 jobs from offices in four Northeast states and California to lower-cost locations in two North Carolina cities, while also getting tax breaks and other incentives that could reach $100 million.

The insurer is shifting the jobs from Lowell and Boston, Mass.; Somerset, N.J.; Bloomfield, Conn.; Johnstown, Pa.; Warwick, R.I.; and Aliso Viejo and Irvine, Calif., MetLife spokesman John Calagna said. The positions will be consolidated in Charlotte, which will become the U.S. headquarters for MetLife’s retail business, and at a global technology and operations hub in Cary. The company’s retail segment sells and services life, disability, auto and other insurance

NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL – MetLife’s sweet Carolina; what compels them to go?
MetLife plans to move jobs from New Jersey to North Carolina in a consolidation aimed at helping cut $600 million in costs, according to a report by Bloomberg.
A spokesman told Bloomberg that moving those jobs brings different teams into proximity with each other, and it reduces the real estate locations the company has to deal with. In addition to its operation in Somerset, NJ, the company will completely leave buildings in Lowell, MA, and Aliso Viejo, CA, while reducing its presence in other locations, Bloomberg said.

SENATOR HAGAN – Hagan Applauds Major MetLIfe Jobs Announcement
"Today’s announcement is a tremendous investment in North Carolina’s economy. MetLife’s decision to expand in North Carolina bolsters our place as a leading hub for business and technology, and reinforces what we already know – North Carolina is the best state in the country to live, work and do business. Jobs are my top priority, and I will continue working in Washington to create a business climate that entices investments, like today’s MetLife announcement, to our state."


WRAL – Voting-rights groups plan to challenge ID law
Two days after Republicans mapped out their plan to pass a law requiring North Carolina voters to present a photo to cast a ballot, the NAACP attacked the idea as just another poll tax to restrict voters.
The NAACP joined other voting-rights groups Thursday to protest the voter ID proposal, contending that it will unfairly exclude thousands of registered voters who don’t have a photo ID, especially minorities, students and the elderly.


WRAL – Burr, Hagan seek to reopen Cape Hatteras to beach driving
U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan are backing an effort to reopen the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to off-road vehicles.
The two North Carolina senators filed the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act, which would scrap rules that went into effect a year ago and reinstate an interim management strategy governing off-road vehicle use on southern Outer Banks beaches.


WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL – N.C. House bill would let 2008 revaluations stand until 2016
North Carolina’s counties, including Forsyth, could keep 2008 tax values in place until a new property reappraisal in 2016 under a bill that state Rep. Ed Hanes, D-Forsyth, plans to introduce.
Hanes said the bill, which is still in the drafting stage, would give the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners the ability to decide whether to scrap the 2013 reappraisal.

WBTV – Caylee’s Law passes NC House, moves to Senate
The North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 149 Thursday.
House Bill 149 is commonly known as "Caylee’s Law" after Caylee Anthony, the two-year-old whose disappearance and death resulted in the now-infamous trial of her mother, Casey Anthony.


WRAL – GOP used remote pen technology that conservatives question
The Republican National Committee has used the same Internet-based voter registration system that conservative groups in North Carolina have pilloried the State Board of Elections for authorizing.
Allpoint Voter Services, a California company, has developed technology that allows prospective voters to fill out registration material using their smartphone or tablet and sign the form on their device’s screen. That signature is put to paper by a robotic pen, and the form mailed to the voter’s local board of elections.


Clay Pittman
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman