N&O: Christensen: Maybe it’s the GOP’s turn to rule, but which GOP?

“I often hear people say the Democrats have controlled North Carolina for more than 140 years, and it is now time to give GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislature a chance to see what they can do. While it is true that North Carolina, like the rest of the South, has been dominated by the Democratic Party for much of its history, the Republicans – and what’s more important, conservatives – have a much richer history in the Tar Heel state than some may realize…”

N&O: McCrory talks about climate change on Sunday shows

“North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory went on two national talk shows Sunday to talk about climate change and the winter storms that have iced over the state in the past two weeks. On both "Face the Nation" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," McCrory was asked about his comments while running for governor in 2008 that he doesn’t get caught up in the global warming debate because he thinks it’s in God’s hands…


Fitzsimon: Governor’s reviews

“The reviews for Governor Pat McCrory’s proposal to give only a third of teachers in North Carolina a raise next year are still coming in and the news is not good for the governor. Other than the predictable remarks from his partisan supporters and the think tanks funded by his state budget director, most of the reactions to McCrory’s plan fall into one of two categories, neither of them supportive…”

N&O: Only in NC could a possible pay raise become a nightmare for a teacher

“I am a veteran educator who was running late to a recent faculty meeting. I tried to sneak in, but the creak of the door turned heads because the room had been silent. My colleagues were engrossed in the review of the “Top 25 Percent.” The silence took me aback. Usually chatter flurries over a controversial topic. The air was heavy with lingering thoughts. Expressions contorted in an attempt to comprehend. Teachers, perhaps, were wondering, “Will I be in the top 25 percent?” Or contemplating, “What will I do if I am in the top 25 percent?” …


CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Washington Republicans help fill Tillis’ war chest

“Cornelius Republican Thom Tillis has added 10 more U.S. senators and more than a dozen state lawmakers to the list of donors to his Senate campaign, according to a new campaign report. Tillis has raised $1.8 million, more than three times any GOP opponent. However, he trails Sen. Kay Hagan, who raised $9.9 million last year…”

POLITIFACT: Pro-Democratic group says North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis would let pre-existing condition protections disappear

“A race in North Carolina has become one of the top battles in the war to control the U.S. Senate. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., is trying to win a second term and help keep the Democrats in control. But she is expected to face a tough race against one of several Republicans competing in the primary. One of the leading candidates is Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House. Patriot Majority USA, a pro-Democratic group operating independently of the Hagan campaign, has begun to run ads against Tillis, who has already benefited from a blizzard of ads against Hagan that were paid for by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity…”

UNDER THE DOME: Tillis still leads GOP field as undecideds shrink

“Thom Tillis still leads the Republican field for U.S. Senate as the margin of undecideds continues to shrink. In the February survey from Public Policy Polling, Tillis lead the GOP with 20 percent. The next closest challengers are Greg Brannon and Heather Grant at 13 percent, then Ted Alexander at 10 percent.”


INSTITUTE INDEX: Just how cozy are Gov. McCrory and Duke Energy?

“Date on which news broke that the U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) following Duke Energy’s massive coal ash spill into the Dan River: 2/13/2014 …Month in which DENR’s chief lawyer will reportedly appear before a federal grand jury looking into the matter: 3/2014”

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Second pipe at Duke ash-spill site could break

“A second stormwater pipe under a Duke Energy ash pond in Eden is in danger of failing, say state officials who ordered Duke to fix the problem Friday. A 48-inch pipe under the pond broke Feb. 2, dumping up to 39,000 tons of ash into the Dan River…”

NEWS & OBSERVER: When spills flow into NC rivers, how soon does public need to know?

“When sewage and pollutants contaminate North Carolina’s waters, the public often is the last to be alerted. While workers in Burlington last month rushed to contain a huge spill of sewage liquids and downstream governments monitored their drinking water, no one reached out to the boaters who paddle the Haw River in the winter…”


INSTITUTE FOR SOUTHERN STUDIES: Pope jumps into spending arms race for NC judges

“First Art Pope helped change the rules about money’s influence in electing judges to North Carolina courts. Now, the GOP mega-donor is mobilizing special-interest donors — and spending his own family fortune — to take advantage of the new money-fueled judicial election system he helped create. This week, conservative State Supreme Court Justice candidate Bob Hunter sent out an email — signed by Art Pope — announcing an April 10 fundraiser at the ritzy Carolina Country Club in Raleigh…”


NY TIMES: Behind Debt-Limit Retreat, a G.O.P. Eye on Retaking the Senate

“WASHINGTON — Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, two Republican leaders facing primary challenges, knew they would take an immediate political hit from the Republicans’ Tea Party wing by voting to clear the way for a debt-limit increase. They also knew that their willingness to cast that vote would enhance their party’s chances of gaining a majority in the Senate next year. “It was not an easy exercise, but it keeps the focus on the issues we want it to be on,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who argued that by putting the debt limit fight behind it last week, his party had robbed Democrats of an opportunity to portray Republicans as reckless. “We dodged a bullet here…”

NYTIMES: Labor Regroups in South After VW Vote

“CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Volkswagen labor officials in Germany renewed calls on Sunday for the company’s three-year-old plant here to establish a German-style works council even though its workers voted days earlier against unionizing. “The outcome of the vote, however, does not change our goal of setting up a works council in Chattanooga,” Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of Volkswagen’s global works council, said in a statement…”


Marjorie Fields Harris
t: 919.821.2777, Ext. 205
c: 919.397.7562

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