NCDP CLIPS – FEBRUARY 20, 2014

NORTH CAROLINA

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: DEMS’ SENATE COMMITTEE OUTRAISES GOP IN JANUARY

WASHINGTON The Democrats’ committee trying to keep the party’s majority in the Senate raised more money in January than its Republican counterpart. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said Wednesday it raised almost $6.6 million in the first month of 2014. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $4.6 million during the same time.

N&O: UNDER THE DOME MORNING MEMO: Greg Brannon joins race, but is he a viable candidate

Amid questions about his viability, Republican Greg Brannon filed the official papers Wednesday to join a crowded primary for U.S. Senate. It came a day after a jury verdict questioned his integrity and financial management and put a dent in his political prospects.

N&O: UNDER THE DOME: THE REAL TOP STORY: AMID SUBPOENAS, McCRORY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDS ITS ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD

While criticism from environmental advocates and a widening federal criminal investigation swirled around him, N.C. Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla on Wednesday defended how his agency has handled the threat of pollution from coal ash at Duke Energy power plants around the state. Even as Skvarla spoke at the department’s headquarters in Raleigh, his staff was busy complying with a new round of subpoenas they received Tuesday and disclosed Wednesday demanding 18 current and former employees appear before a federal grand jury in Raleigh next month.

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC FAST Director leaving state agency

Anthony Vellucci, head of the much-maligned computerized public benefits program NC FAST, is leaving the state Department of Health and Human Services. The agency announced Wednesday that Vellucci is leaving DHHS on March 7 to work for EngagePoint, a healthcare software and IT services company in Maryland

N&O: Google considers expanding high-speed broadband to Triangle

The Triangle is one of nine metropolitan areas where Google is considering expanding its high-speed Internet and TV service known as Google Fiber. Over the next several months, the company expects to do topography and infrastructure studies and hold planning conversations with local officials to determine whether the Triangle is suited for its network. Google’s fiber optic network offers residential customers 1 gigabit-per-second Internet service, which is nearly 100 times faster than most broadband connections in the United States.

STAR NEWS ONLINE: Some NC lawmakers hope to revise school calendar

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina lawmakers hope this year’s winter storms will spark new discussion on the law on when schools can start and must end. The Charlotte Observer reported (http://bit.ly/1ctfIL2) that Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County said she thinks adjusting the law will get more support because of the snow this year.

NATIONAL

NY TIMES: Labor Leaders See Focus on Wages as Key to Union and Democratic Victories

HOUSTON — Gathered for their annual winter meeting, the nation’s labor leaders say that what they see as the best theme for reviving the union movement — American workers need a raise — also would be a winning issue for their Democratic allies in this fall’s elections. “Raising wages for all workers is the issue of our time and, hopefully, will be the issue of this election,” Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said at a news briefing here on Wednesday.

COMMUNITY

LA NOTICIA: Indocumentados intentarán cruzar la frontera para regresar a Carolina del Norte

Por lo menos 10 indocumentados intentarán cruzar la frontera en marzo próximo para unirse con sus familias en Carolina del Norte, como parte de iniciativa “Bring Them Home”, de la agrupación de soñadores Alianza Nacional de Jóvenes Inmigrantes (NIYA).

*Note from the NCDP Office of Communications

The NCDP Clips will begin to include news items of interest to Democrats from community newspapers which reflect the rich cultural tapestry that encompasses the North Carolina Democratic Party. Today’s feature is from La Noticia, a Spanish-language newspaper with 500 points of distribution and more than 80,000 readers weekly. We hope you enjoy it!

PERSPECTIVE

NC POLICY WATCH: Koch brothers-backed law firm intervenes in lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s school voucher law

This week, two lawsuits challenging the state’s new school voucher law were green-lighted to move forward by Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood, who denied the state’s motions to dismiss the cases on the basis that they lacked merit. Also green-lighted by Judge Hobgood? An intervenor in the case who is seeking to defend the law on behalf of parents interested in school vouchers.

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