- Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (D) will not run for a second term. In the NCGA, Speaker Tillis kills the so-called "state religion bill," while the Republicans’ plan for Voter ID is rolled out. Friday’s clips:
MAYOR ANTHONY FOXX
WCNC – Mayor Foxx says he doesn’t plan to run for re-election
Mayor Anthony Foxx announced today that he will not seek re-election, according to a statement released by his office.
The statement did not say what he plans to do after leaving office.
WRAL – House Republicans file voter ID bill
House Speaker Thom Tillis and Republican House leaders have filed a new proposal to require photo identification for voters.
House Bill 589, entitled the Voter Information Verification Act, or VIVA, was filed Thursday afternoon, after what Tillis said was "a transparent and deliberative process" of seeking public input.
FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER – North Carolina’s voter ID bill would phase in plan over three years
North Carolina House Republicans said Thursday their proposal to require voters to show photo identification to cast ballots would be phased in over three years and takes into account the apprehensions of older adults, the disabled and the poor.
GOP legislators, holding a news conference to unveil details of a bill introduced later in the day, said the legislation’s details reflected in part what they heard at a public hearing last month and from advocacy groups.
ROWAN COUNTY DEFENSE OF RELIGION ACT
HUFFINGTON POST – North Carolina House Speaker Kills Bill To Create State Religion
The Republican speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives killed legislation on Thursday that aimed to establish an official state religion.
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Charlotte) announced Thursday afternoon that the bill would not be receiving a vote in the full House, effectively dropping the measure. Loretta Boniti, a reporter for News 14 Carolina, broke the news on Twitter, and it was confirmed in a breaking news alert posted on the home page of wral.com, a Raleigh-based television station. Tillis’ decision followed several days of national media attention on the bill, which also said that the state government did not have to listen to federal court rulings and was exempt from the requirements of the First Amendment.
WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL – N.C. House Speaker: No vote on ‘official religion’
The N.C. House won’t vote on a resolution that asserts North Carolina and its counties could establish a religion, a spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis said Thursday amid growing criticism that the measure would violate the U.S. Constitution.
WRAL – Food watchdog calls for gas drilling investigation
A Washington, D.C.-based food watchdog group is calling on North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to investigate Gov. Pat McCrory over the Republican administration’s push to fast-track natural gas drilling in the state.
In a letter to Cooper, Food and Water Watch points to places where the governor and his administration may have conflicts of interest on the drilling issue. The nonprofit has worked to pass laws in other states banning hydraulic fracturing drilling, or "fracking," and its causes lean to the political left.
WRAL – Prospect of broader NC sales tax raises concerns
Republican legislators have vowed to overhaul North Carolina’s tax system this session and, although no bills have been filed, the prospect of applying the sales tax to more things is already generating opposition.
Realtors, for example, have started an online campaign warning of the cost of blanket tax reform.
"Imagine selling your home and being forced to pay an 8 percent tax to the Realtor, an 8 percent tax to the attorney and an 8 percent tax to the appraiser," an online commercial states.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER – Bills are laughable so N.C. is butt of jokes
Fannie Flono – This week some N.C. lawmakers are putting an exclamation point on the line from Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.” A bill proposed by two of them that says North Carolina and its counties and towns have the right to establish an official religion is getting the loudest national heehaws at the moment, and deservedly so. This crackpot bill states boldly that though the U.S. Constitution prevents Congress from creating an official religion, that ban does not apply to the states.
SALISBURY POST – Have N.C. GOP lawmakers ‘jumped the shark’?
Chris Fitzsimon – In a few years when people are looking back at the demise of the reign of the radical right in North Carolina, this may well be the week that they point to as the beginning of the end, the week that the tea party Republicans in control in Raleigh jumped the shark and caused even people who never pay attention to politics to ask what in the world is going on in their own state government.
North Carolina Democratic Party