NEWS & OBSERVER: After comment to Gov. McCrory, food store cook fired in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — An employee at a Myers Park gourmet food store was fired after Gov. Pat McCrory’s security detail complained Sunday about a comment the worker made to the governor. On Sunday afternoon, McCrory was shopping at Reid’s Fine Foods when Drew Swope, a 45-year-old cook, said he asked if he could help McCrory.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Report finds State’s new election law disproportionately affects Black voters

The state’s new election law will disproportionately affect black voters, according to a study done by political science professors from Dartmouth and the University of Florida. The state passed its election law last summer shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling enabled the legislation by allowing North Carolina, along with eight other states, to change election procedures without federal preclearance.

UNDER THE DOME: MORNING MEMO: Morning Memo: Where are the women in NC politics?

A photo recently prompted a question about North Carolina politics: Where are the women? The front-page News & Observer photo from the announcement of Republican leaders teacher pay plan featured a smiling Gov. Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate leader Phil Berger and Rep. Bill Brawley.

UNDER THE DOME: MORE #NCGOV – BEHIND THE SCENES – CHARLOTTE TV STATION SPENDS A DAY WITH THE GOVERNOR: The WBTV piece starts: “North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is a polarizing politician, he’s both loved and loathed.” More highlights:

On food stamp crisis: “I don’t know, we’re going to have to do some negotiating with the federal government,” McCrory said. “See Secretary Wos has fallen on her sword for the 100 counties, it’s each of the counties that are responsible for this.”

On his detractors: “I know a lot of this is political. We have their document coming out of the UNC Poverty Center and their No. 1 goal was to eviscerate Pat McCrory.” (The “eviscerate” memo came from America Votes, as the N&O reported. It’s unclear what the governor is referring to.)

On his reaction to the protesters: “I hide my thin skin most of the time.”

On running for president: “Right now, based on the protestors, I’d better survive the next week,” he said.

@NCCapitol: Food stamp backlog rises one week after USDA deadline

Raleigh, N.C. — The number of backlogged food stamp cases ticked up slightly in the week since a federal deadline to clear the majority of delayed cases. New data from the state released Monday evening show the total food stamp backlog now stands at 1,678. That’s up about 34 percent since N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers workers met a U.S. Department of Agriculture deadline to clear longstanding and emergency cases by Feb. 10.

@NCCapitol: Judge refuses to dismiss challenge to NC school voucher law

Raleigh, N.C. — A Superior Court judge refused Monday to dismiss a challenge to a North Carolina law that allows low-income parents send their children to private or religious schools with taxpayer money. The North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina School Boards Association filed separate lawsuits against the law passed last year by the General Assembly. Dozens of local school boards also are challenging the legality of the Opportunity Scholarship program.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Sharp exchanges spice State meeting on coal ash

RALEIGH A four-hour legislative meeting on Duke Energy’s Feb. 2 coal ash spill ended Monday with sharp exchanges over North Carolina’s policing of the waste but little clear direction on policy changes. Duke apologized again for dumping up to 39,000 tons of ash into the Dan River and repeated that it is reassessing its ash-handling practices. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has also created an ash task force. A federal court last week issued subpoenas to both as part of a criminal investigation.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: More legal losses for NC Republicans

If legislating were an Olympic competition, Republicans in North Carolina wouldn’t be within sniffing distance of a medal anytime soon. Because judges don’t seem to like much that comes out of Raleigh. Last week, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that North Carolina’s “Choose Life” license plate – pushed through by Republicans in 2011 – was unconstitutional. Last month, a federal judge struck down a provision in an N.C. law that required doctors to narrate ultrasound images for women seeking abortions.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The days when political campaigns would try to make inroads with demographic groups such as soccer moms or white working-class voters are gone. Now, the operatives are targeting specific individuals. And, in some places, they can reach those individuals directly through their televisions.

NY TIMES: Letter from America: A Tangled Fate of Prosperity and Struggle

If today’s America were a cocktail, the recipe might be: a single shot of Shanghai, a double shot of Greece and a couple dashes of French bitters. That is to say, a part of the country still lives on history’s cutting edge; a part of it is corroding from within, its people losing faith in the state and their own power to bend fate; and a part of it muddles in between, fretting over what once was.



WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNPA)—Despite the unprecedented levels of obstruction from Republicans in the Senate, President Obama has managed to get a higher rate of black judges confirmed than any other president in history, according to a court watchdog group. Research compiled by the Alliance for Justice, a national organization dedicated to progressive values and the creation of a just and free society, shows that so far during the Obama administration, blacks have accounted for 18.7 percent of the federal judicial confirmations, a sharp increase over the George W. Bush administration, where 7.3 percent of the judicial confirmations were black. During the Clinton administration, 16.4 percent of the federal judicial confirmations were African-American.

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