NCDP CLIPS FEBRUARY 25, 2014

HAGAN

NEWS & RECORD: Democratic incumbent Hagan filing for Senate in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is officially filing to run for a second six-year term. The Greensboro Democrat planned to turn in her candidacy papers Monday at the State Board of Elections in Raleigh. She’s been preparing for a re-election bid for some time and has several million dollars in her campaign fund.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Hagan drawing homegrown cash for re-election campaign

WASHINGTON — Facing a tough re-election season, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is relying on some vital home-state interests to fuel her campaign for a second term, according to federal fundraising reports. The pharmaceutical, and securities and investment industries are among the top contributors to the North Carolina Democrat, widely viewed as one of the more vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterm elections.

NORTH CAROLINA

NEWS & OBSERVER: UNDER THE DOME: State lawmakers get second lesson in food deserts

A state House study committee met for only the second time Monday afternoon to hear what is working across the state to increase access to healthy food in what are known as “food deserts.” Food deserts are areas where residents have to travel some distance to find a variety of fresh, healthy foods. In urban areas, the generally accepted distance is one mile; in rural communities, it is 10 miles.

NEWS & OBSERVER: UNDER THE DOME: Morning Memo: McCrory caught in ‘Crossfire’ managed to smile

Gov. Pat McCrory went on CNN’s “Crossfire,” an unusual venue for a governor who does not like confrontation, and managed to smile when he wasn’t shaking his head. Van Jones, a Democrat and host, suggested North Carolina is rigging the election system with the new bill limiting early voting period and requiring a voter ID. He also poked holes in McCrory’s argument about the same number of hours available.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: BLOG: NC superintendents send message to lawmakers

Create a five-year plan to get N.C. teacher pay to the national average. Kill the new voucher program. Commit to the Common Core curriculum and adopt nationally-normed exams. Those are among the recommendations prepared by superintendents of the state’s 10 largest school districts, including Heath Morrison of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and James Merrill of Wake County Public Schools. The coalition, which also includes Cumberland, Durham, Gaston, Guilford, Johnston, New Hanover, Union, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth, has created position papers on Common Core, vouchers and teacher pay.

NEWS & OBSERVER: UNDER THE DOME: Hagan and the conservative Club for Growth just disagree

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan agreed with the conservative Club for Growth 3 percent of the time on key votes in 2013, according to the group’s political scorecard, released on Monday. Hagan’s “lifetime score” is 8 percent, the scorecard showed. Two U.S. senators get perfect stores for 2013: tea party favorites Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

THE VOTER UPDATE: Report shows judicial public financing was a success in NC

A new report from the National Institute on Money in State Politics underscores how successful North Carolina’s system of judicial public financing was when it was available. Yet despite the program’s success, it was eliminated as part of the massive election overhaul law passed by the legislature in 2013.

NC POLICY WATCH: Report on private schools helps explain what controversial voucher program would really mean for North Carolina

Last week’s ruling by Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood that put at least a temporary halt to the implementation of North Carolina’s controversial public school voucher scheme has served to highlight a number of important problems with the new law – many of them already pretty widely publicized. The voucher program would, for instance, rob badly underfunded public schools of millions of public dollars. It would worsen racial segregation in education. It would further the pernicious process whereby more and more core functions of civil society are being transferred from public to private hands. It would also violate the state constitution’s “public purpose” requirement which mandates that funds for purposes of public education be used exclusively for free public schools.

ENVIRONMENT

NEWS & OBSERVER: State rescinds Cleveland County reservoir permit waiver

North Carolina’s environment agency, challenged in court, has quietly erased its waiver of a state permit for a controversial water-supply reservoir in Cleveland County. In an unprecedented move last year, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources waived a state permit to certify that a dam across the First Broad River wouldn’t hurt water quality.

NATIONAL

WASHINGTON POST: In John Dingell’s departure, a changing of the guard and the end of an old style of power

In the arc of Rep. John D. Dingell’s storied legislative career, it is easy to discern the fading trajectory of power in Washington over the past six decades. He was the last of the true committee barons, one who muscled for legislative turf and who had been known to pound his gavel so hard it shattered.

COMMUNITY

THE TRIANGLE TRIBUNE: Chemical contamination of minority communities on rise

As the nation ruminates on the legacy of the civil rights movement, environmental justice activists are calling attention to what they say is the new frontline of the human rights struggle: chemical contamination of minority communities. “When corporations decide where to build chemical plants, landfills or water treatment plants where chemicals leach, they most often choose low-income communities of color,” Richard Moore, a long-time civil rights and environmental justice leader with the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, said in a statement.

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