Sen. Hagan introduces legislation to address job skills gap, calls prospect of a shutdown ‘ludicrous,’ LA Times editorial board on the "voting rights disaster," on VRA anniversary Donna Brazile calls for ‘help,’ McCrory sits on 38 bills, Chris Hayes profiles Art Pope, Nancy Pelosi’s popularity rises, a profile on the deep bench of Democratic women champions, President Obama cancels Putin meeting, prominent national Republican pans Tillis ’14, Dems predict big wins in 2014 Governor races and the "tarring democracy in North Carolina"
Dome: Morning Memo: Kay Hagan on gay marriage, a government shutdown and immigration
The Democratic U.S. senator met with Fayetteville Observer reporters Tuesday. Here’s a few tidbits on what Kay Hagan’s remarks, as reported by the paper’s Myron Pitts: “On the Republican-dominated General Assembly’s actions toward school teachers and public education: “I do not understand not supporting the teachers, and not supporting the university system, which is the crown jewel in North Carolina.” ”On gay marriage, which she supports: “I don’t think the government should tell anybody who they should marry.” ”On gridlock in D.C. and the prospects of a shutdown: “I think it would be ludicrous to have a government shutdown.” ”On dealing with the state’s unemployment, which she believes comes down to re-training people and supporting small businesses: “The key is small business.”
HCPress: U.S. Sen. Hagan Releases Statement on 48th Anniversary of President Johnson’s Signing of Voting Rights Act
“We must look no further than our own state to witness efforts to limit voter access. Instead of making this most crucial right more available, a new law in North Carolina will erase a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and eliminate pre-registration for high schoolers all while expanding the way political parties can use corporate money. Every citizen in North Carolina deserves an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process and make his or her voice heard, and I will continue to advocate for honest and just elections.”
WFDD: Sen. Hagan Introduces Bill to Address Job Skills Gap
North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, introduced the America Works Act with bipartisan co-sponsors. She says a recent study that found 67% of US manufacturers report a shortage of available, qualified workers, which reflected what she sees in her state. "I introduced this act after hearing from business owners across North Carolina, who told me they had open positions but they couldn’t find workers with the right skills to fill those jobs. I hear this all the time as I travel around our great state."
WRAL: Hagan, Burr say they want end to defense cuts
Speaking Tuesday at a defense trade show in Fayetteville, Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr said they don’t want to see the across-the-board budget cuts drag on. Hagan described the sequester as "a poison pill" and quoted one of her colleagues, who called it "stupid on steroids." "The Senate has a budget. The House has a budget,” said Hagan, a Democrat. “We’re trying to appoint conferees in the Senate so we can come together and meet with the House, form a budget and do away with this sequester.”
Fayetteville Observer: U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan calls for better monitoring of veterans who are mailed prescription painkillers
Hagan was responding to a five-part series last month of a Fayetteville Observer investigation into painkiller abuse. The newspaper found that the Fayetteville area around Fort Bragg has a much higher rate of opiate abuse and deaths than anywhere else in the state. The paper found that opiate painkillers contributed to 95 deaths in Cumberland County between 2008 and 2011, more than the previous eight years combined.
WNCN: ‘Daily Show’ the latest in line of satirists taking aim at NC
Enacting new abortion regulations, requiring a photo I.D. to vote, cutting raises for teachers, and capping the sales tax on jets and yachts — these are just a few of the measures passed by the General Assembly catching the attention of national media.
In recent months, North Carolina has become a target for comedians, satirists and writers for the new bills that have been passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.
Los Angeles Times: The voting rights disaster
It has been less than six weeks since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark law that for five decades has protected this country’s most basic democratic right. But it is already clear that the decision was a disaster.
Freed of the obligation to seek federal approval before making changes in their election practices, some states have moved to introduce or restore policies that will make it harder for racial minorities to vote or will dilute their political influence.
Dome: Hagan uses Voting Rights Act to criticize GOP legislature
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is using today’s anniversary of the Voting Rights Act to poke at the state legislature — a jab likely intended for potential Republican rival Thom Tillis. Hagan’s office issued a statement Tuesday touting the law on its 48th anniversary but said "injustice remains and threats to the right to vote still exist."
Huffington Post: North Carolina Voting Laws Could Hinge On Evidence Of Racism
In recent weeks, civil-rights advocates and legal experts in North Carolina have contemplated a provocative question: Are the state’s Republican lawmakers racist? The answer could determine the future of North Carolina’s voting laws. If a court finds that the state’s lawmakers have engaged in a deliberate attempt to discriminate against minority voters, the federal government could require the state to clear all future election policies with the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court. That would renew the federal oversight that ended with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.
USA TODAY: Donna Brazile: Voting Rights Act needs help
On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act and said, "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." In the 48 years since its enactment, the Voting Rights Act has helped secure the right to vote for millions of men and women in our country – dismantling the injustice of preventing eligible citizens from casting their vote — and our democracy has been made stronger for it. But now the promise and purpose of the Voting Rights Act is in jeopardy.
Chicago Tribune: North Carolina governor signs law for tougher abortion clinic rules
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law on Monday new requirements for clinics performing abortions that supporters say will protect women’s safety and opponents say will restrict access to the procedure. The new law places sweeping new restrictions on abortion clinics, including a requirement doctors be present when abortions are performed. It also bans publicly funded health insurance programs from paying for most abortions, and authorizes state health officials to design rules for increased safety standards for abortion clinics.
WRAL: McCrory says he’s still pondering the last 38 bills
Gov. Pat McCrory says he will decide whether to sign or veto the remaining 38 bills on his desk next week. Lawmakers adjourned for the year on July 26, leaving the governor with a stack of pending legislation, including a sweeping measure that makes dozens of other changes to the state’s election laws. McCrory did not mention the elections bill Tuesday morning and did not stop to speak with reporters on his way out of the Council of State meeting.
Dome: McCrory says he won’t act on bills until next week
Gov. Pat McCrory said he won’t act on any 38 bills sitting on his desk before next week. "I have reviewed in detail each of the 38 bills," McCrory told a meeting of the Council of State Tuesday morning. "Some time starting next week, I will either sign, veto or not sign the remainder of the 38 bills. That process will begin next week.”
WRAL: Bar Association calls for veto of judicial discipline bill
The North Carolina Bar Association is urging Gov. Pat McCrory to veto legislation that would change how state judges are disciplined. House Bill 652 strips the Judicial Standards Commission of its authority to issue public reprimands and places all forms of public discipline in the hands of the North Carolina Supreme Court. All disciplinary hearings would be private, and case records would be confidential unless the Supreme Court decides to take disciplinary action.
MSNBC (Video): Why you should know Art Pope
Chris Hayes talks with Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies about a powerful force behind North Carolina’s political swing to the right.
Dome: National media beats up on NC, and that’s just fine with GOP
Judging by all the national media attention on North Carolina’s swing to the right – particularly the comedy TV show variety – you’d think the GOP was sunk. But, funny as they may be, the national political jokesters might not be the best source of insight into the state’s future. At least that’s how the Republicans see it – to the contrary. North Carolina will be leading a red-state resurgence, North Carolina GOP media strategist Marc Rotterman tells NPR blogger Alan Greenblatt. “I think McCrory is going to end up being one of the most popular governors in the country,” Rotterman is quoted saying in the It’s All Politics blog last week.
WRAL: Wood: Auditors leaving government for higher pay elsewhere
State Auditor Beth Wood says she has been losing staff this summer because state government salaries can’t keep pace with what private accounting firms offer. "I can’t meet the market salary," Wood, a Democrat, told Gov. Pat McCrory during Tuesday morning’s Council of State meeting.
Dome: Renewable energy group airs TV ads thanking lawmakers
An environmental organization is airing TV ads thanking 23 state lawmakers for blocking an effort this session to repeal renewable energy mandates. The roughly $150,000 campaign is paid for by the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, a renewable trade group promoting solar and wind. The 30-second spots will run for two weeks in coordination with a three-week online ad campaign, according to Lowell Sachs, a spokesman. The ads thank 14 Republicans and nine Democrats for blocking House Bill 298 and Senate Bill 365, neither of which made the crossover deadline. It covers 12 senators and 11 House members.
Washington Times: Nancy Pelosi quietly raises popularity rating; poll respondents are not so sweet on politicians
What’s Nancy Pelosi doing right? While the other top congressional leaders are fading, the House minority leader and former speaker is on the rise, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Thermometer poll, which shows the California Democrat is gaining popularity as one of the nation’s top political figures. The “warmth rating” for Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, has tumbled from more than 51 in 2011 to less than 37 since he ascended to the top House job . The rating for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has slid 1 point, and the number for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, has dropped more than 7 points.
Roll Call: Leaders Fan Out for August Push
Non-campaign-year August breaks tend to be less aggressively frenetic than those in years that end in even numbers, with members keeping a busy schedule while at least trying to appear less overtly political. But there will be certain policy areas highlighted, especially economic ones, though many will look to see how constituents react to events about an immigration overhaul scattered throughout the country and calendar.
The Hill: Pelosi warns GOP on repeat of downgrade and debt-limit drama
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used the two-year anniversary of the nation’s only credit rating downgrade to issue a new warning to Republicans ahead of this fall’s fiscal fights. In a statement issued Monday, Pelosi said the anniversary of the Standard & Poor’s downgrade should serve as a reminder that both parties will need to strike an agreement on boosting the nation’s borrowing cap this fall."Democrats are calling on Republicans to join us at the table to avert a further crisis," she said.
Daily Beast: Wendy Davis, Kamala Harris, Chris Taylor & More Tough Democratic Women
Kathleen Kane has fought her governor on gay marriage. Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking on Mitch McConnell. Both are part of a rising guard of Democratic women, reports Patricia Murphy.
Washington Post: Obama cancels upcoming meeting with Putin
President Obama will cancel a planned meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid mounting anger over Russia’s decision to allow National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden into the country, the White House said Wednesday. Obama had intended to visit Russia’s capital and meet with Putin in advance of next month’s G-20 summit in St. Petersburg. But Obama has decided he will not meet with Putin one-on-one — a rare diplomatic snub — and will only attend the G-20 summit.
Politico: Obama: ‘No patience’ for Russia’s anti-gay laws
President Barack Obama said Tuesday the anti-gay laws in Russia are a prime example of violating “universal rights.” Jay Leno asked Obama about the laws, and the “Tonight Show” host didn’t mince words. “This seems like Germany, let’s round up the Jews, let’s round up the gays,” Leno said. “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in a way that intimidate them or are harmful to them,” Obama responded, while stressing that “Russia is not unique,” and noting he’s had to balance his pressure over laws like these within larger relationships with several African nations as well.
Dome: RedState’s Erickson bashes Tillis bid, backs Greg Brannon
RedState’s Erick Erickson, an influential tea party pundit, slammed Thom Tillis’ U.S. Senate bid, throwing support behind the relatively unknown Greg Brannon in the GOP primary. Speaking at his organization’s gathering in New Orleans last weekend, Erickson said: "I can tell you I rather vote for the pile of brown goo on the side of the road in New Orleans than vote for that guy as a Republican in North Carolina. He is terrible. You do not want this person."
The Washington Times: Angry bluegrass roots and strong rivals spell trouble for Mitch McConnell in Kentucky
In Washington, Mitch McConnell is the Senate Republicans’ floor general and a major power broker. Back home in Kentucky, however, he is possibly the most endangered member of the GOP Senate caucus ahead of next year’s midterm elections, as he tries to balance pleasing vociferous right-wing constituents with his role as chief congressional dealmaker.
BuzzFeed: Democrats Predict Big Wins For 2014 Governor Races
“We’ve got a great story to tell, and for some reason, the national press hasn’t been telling it,” Shumlin said in an interview this weekend at the National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting. “What’s been forgotten is that in 2010, we had more new governors elected than anytime in American history. It was the same electorate that sent all these Tea Party folks to Congress, and they won more governors’ mansions than anyone would have ever envisioned.”
Politico: Organizing for Action pitches help for Democrats
Organizing for Action is looking to help Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, marking the first time that President Barack Obama’s political arm has explicitly crossed into Democratic politics. Several political operatives and potential donors told POLITICO that OFA Executive Director Jon Carson made the pitch to help Nunn in various discussions this spring.
The Virginian-Pilot: Tarring democracy in North Carolina
It will be harder to cast a ballot in North Carolina now, thanks to a catch-all set of anti-voter legislation that – as it did in other states – addresses a problem that doesn’t appear to actually exist. North Carolina’s Republican-controlled government has eliminated same-day voter registration; reduced early voting; abolished a program to help high school students register; given party poll-watchers more authority to challenge voters; weakened disclosure for "independent expenditure" committees; ended out-of-precinct voting; made it more difficult to open satellite polling places, say at a nursing home; banned an option for straight-ticket voting; and – of course – approved a new photo-ID requirement.
Asheville Citizen-Times: Election Day chaos coming
For the first time in many years there is a big shuffle at the precinct level. North Carolina law specifies that the precinct chief judges of election precincts be of the same party as the governor. We now have a Republican governor. The positions being shuffled are those of the people that keep the polling place running and adjudicate matters within the precinct. Every chief judge in every precinct in North Carolina will be new at his or her job in the next election. I’m not suggesting the new chief judges will be bad, but they will all be new.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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