- The Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks fails in the Senate, nonpartisan redistricting moves forward, and an NCGOP legislator confronts a newspaper publisher/embarasses himself. Thursday’s clips:
WASHINGTON POST – Gun-control overhaul is defeated in Senate
President Obama’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws in response to December’s school massacre in Connecticut suffered a resounding defeat Wednesday, when every major proposal he championed fell apart on the Senate floor.
It was a stunning collapse for gun-control advocates just four months after the deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown led the president and many others to believe that the political climate on guns had been altered in their favor.
THE HUFFINGTON POST – Gabrielle Giffords On Gun Control Failure: ‘I’m Furious’
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (R-Ariz.) ripped senators who "gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation" on background checks in a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday evening.
"Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious," Giffords wrote. "I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe."
NEWS & OBSERVER – House Democrats counter flurry of gun bills with ambitious if ill-fated legislation
Repealing the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law, requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance, conducting universal background checks for all private firearm transfers, limiting the size of ammunition magazines.
Those are some of the provisions in a bill filed Wednesday by four House Democrats in a comprehensive gun-control bill that, they acknowledge, has no chance of passing. But, co-sponsor Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham said, it carries a message.
“We worked hard to put together a bill that covers about every issue we feel ought to be involved to have a safer North Carolina,” Luebke said Wednesday afternoon.
WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL – Legislative Briefs: House committee endorses voter ID bill
A bill requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls was endorsed Wednesday by a North Carolina House Committee.
Republicans in the House Elections Committee overcame solid Democratic opposition to advance the bill, 23-11. The vote followed more than two hours of mostly unsuccessful amendments from Democrats who wanted to broaden the forms of acceptable ID and ease restrictions.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER – N.C. House coalition proposes independent redistricting, but Senate leaders likely to balk
Even as they debated a voter ID bill Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushed a potentially farther-reaching change in how North Carolinians vote.
The unusual alliance – representing a majority of House members – touted a bill that would take redistricting out of their hands and give it to an independent commission.
WRAL – More than half of the House backs redistricting changes
More than half of the sitting members of the state House have co-sponsored a measure that would put the job of redrawing legislative and congressional districts into the hands of nonpartisan professional staff.
THE HUFFINGTON POST – Tommy Tucker, North Carolina State Senator, Confronts Publisher At Public Hearing
A Republican state senator in North Carolina told a newspaper publisher to "be quiet" during a public hearing Tuesday on legislation that could shift public notification of local government actions online and away from print.
DLCC – Koch Brothers inserting their dark money to North Carolina tax reform debate
The Koch Brothers have decided to release its brand of divisive and underhanded politics onto North Carolina. According to a press release from the North Carolina Democratic Party, Americans for Prosperity "has committed to investing at least $500,000 in a statewide campaign to represent their far-right, radical agenda" as North Carolina prepares to discuss tax reform in the state.
WINSTON-SALEM CHRONICLE – Adams: GOP will get fight they are seeking
North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) Chair Randy Voller, Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford) and College Democrats of North Carolina (CDNC) President Louis Duke called on Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican leadership in the General Assembly to rein in extreme legislative proposals that they say would infringe on the voting rights of North Carolinians.
WRAL – Bill shuffling Wake school board passes committee
Wake County’s school board would be reshuffled so that members would be elected in a two-tiered district system under a bill that cleared the Senate Redistricting Committee Wednesday.
WRAL – Senate committee calls for ending class-size caps
A bill approved Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee would end a decade-old policy of restricting classes in kindergarten through third grade to no more than 24 students.
NEWS & OBSERVER – Pat McCrory’s "Aha!" moment
Gov. Pat McCrory raised the possibility Wednesday that public education leaders- from pre-K to the university system – would get together on a budget to send legislators rather than have each sector work separately with the governor’s office on the proposal.
WRAL – Proposed highway funding plan favors NC metros
State officials rolled out a plan Thursday to change the way North Carolina pays for road construction, moving from a formula that spread money evenly across the state to one that favors urban areas.
Transportation Secretary Tony Tata called the new funding system the "strategic mobility formula" and said it would split money among statewide, regional and local projects. The first two would receive 40 percent each of available state road money, while the latter would receive the remaining 20 percent.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS – Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.
North Carolina Democratic Party