High Point Enterprise: Parents, teachers ‘walk-in’ for public schools
The North Carolina Democratic Party had feelings on the topic as well. “When we fail our teachers, we fail our children,” said NCDP First Vice Chair Patsy Keever in a statement. “Gov. McCrory and General Assembly Republicans have turned their backs on our state’s long-standing commitment to public education in North Carolina. Faced with almost half a billion dollars in cuts to public education this year alone, our teachers are frustrated and being pushed to the brink.” With this year’s budget, North Carolina lawmakers eliminated tenure; created “opportunity scholarships,” which will provide $4,200 for children to attend private schools; eliminated funds for teacher assistants; and got rid of master’s pay for teachers who earned their master’s degrees. One of the main budget concerns for teachers this year is that there were no salary increases in this year’s budget.
Fayetteville Observer: Inside Politics: Claims by mayoral candidates not supported
The head of the North Carolina Democratic Party on Thursday endorsed Val Applewhite in the Fayetteville mayoral race. Randy Voller, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement that "Fayetteville has a unique opportunity to elect a proven leader as its next mayor. "At a time when Republicans have just shut down the federal government and furloughed thousands of Fort Bragg employees and contractors, gutted public education by almost half a billion dollars and overreached to snatch local control of municipal assets, Fayetteville needs a strong leader with a mainstream plan to create jobs and reduce crime with the will to get the job done," Voller said.
Fayetteville Observer: State, congressional Democrats are endorsing Val Applewhite for Fayetteville mayor
Applewhite is running against Nat Robertson in Tuesday’s election to be the next mayor. She is a sitting councilwoman, and he is a former councilman. Price, in his recording to voters, says: “I’m endorsing Val because I know that she will be a mayor for all of Fayetteville. As a 32-year public servant, Air Force veteran and a three-term city councilwoman, Val knows the issues and will fight for progress.” Glazier’s recording says, “…Val knows the issues and will fight for a better jobs and safer neighborhoods. Fayetteville needs another leader with experience and integrity to move the city forward, and Val can do the job.” Last week, the head of the state Democratic Party came out in support of Applewhite.
ELECTION DAY 2013
Charlotte Observer: Early votes are in and the winner is…
Democrat Patrick Cannon is likely to have a sizable head start heading into Tuesday’s mayoral election in Charlotte. In Mecklenburg County, 22,319 people cast early ballots through Saturday, more than in 2011 but fewer than 2009. The vast majority of voters were from Charlotte. Of those, 12,528 were Democrats, according to the board of elections. There were 5,556 Republicans and 4,217 Unaffiliated voters who cast ballots.
Charlotte Observer: Voters to decide on mayors, school boards, bond issues, and more
With this being an “odd-numbered” year, there aren’t statewide races on the ballot. Instead, voters will select the people who will represent them at the local level. That includes the City of Charlotte, where Democrat Patrick Cannon and Republican Edwin Peacock III are competing in the mayoral race. That contest grew testy in the closing days of the campaign, with the candidates battling over the city’s financial support of the Carolina Panthers in their stadium renovations. Charlotte City Council seats also are up for grabs. Mecklenburg County voters also will select six district members to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board, and a pair of big bond issues – for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and CPCC – also are on the ballot. In Mecklenburg’s smaller towns, voters will select mayors and boards of town commissioners. Many of the local mayors are unopposed, but nine-term incumbent George Fowler faces opposition in Pineville for the first time in at least a decade. Libby Boatwright and John Edwards are running against Fowler.
My Fox 8: Election day is tomorrow; Perkins, Vaughan working for votes
Tomorrow is election day and the mayoral race in Greensboro is drawing a lot of attention. Today Mayor Robbie Perkins and Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan spoke on several topics with FOX8′s Neill McNeill. The candidates discussed, among other things, Black Network Television threatening to sue the city of Greensboro and the city’s decision to settle on lawsuits against the police department for $500,000. The mayoral race is far from the only decision voters will be making tomorrow at the polls.
Fayetteville Observer: Democrats a force in Fayetteville early voting
The competitive race for Fayetteville mayor has drawn large numbers of early voters – most of them Democrats – ahead of Tuesday’s election. By Saturday afternoon, the last day to vote early, 3,158 people had cast ballots for the mayor and City Council races. That number is well above the 1,986 ballots cast during the one-stop period before the October primary, which had a field of five candidates vying for mayor. The race between Val Applewhite and Nat Robertson is likely driving interest in the municipal election. Total turnout in the primary was just above 10 percent, double the turnout of the 2011 primary. This is the first time in 30 years that the mayor’s seat is open without an incumbent, who typically has an advantage. Applewhite, a three-term councilwoman, and Robertson, who served a total of four terms more than a decade ago, have waged aggressive campaigns to take over the job of Tony Chavonne, who isn’t seeking a fifth term. Seven seats on the City Council are contested, too.
The Daily Tarheel: Students encouraged to vote in local elections
Chapel Hill is encouraging its student population to get out and vote today as the town faces contentious municipal issues. “This election does affect the students — on how easily they can stay here and what their choices are while they live here,” said Chapel Hill Town Council member Gene Pease, who is not running for re-election. “It comes down to the opportunities they have while they study here. Do they want a say on what those opportunities are?” Nine locals have filed for four open seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council. Pease said voters of all ages are faced with issues that will affect them directly. “It’s not just economic development,” he said. “There’s several issues related to that, which students in particular should be aware of.”
Citizen Times: Asheville City Council seats on ballot today
Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. today and close at 7:30 p.m. for voters in Asheville and Buncombe County’s other incorporated municipalities. Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and formercity employee John Miall are competing to replace Mayor Terry Bellamy, who is mounting another bid for U.S. House instead of seeking a third term as mayor of Asheville. Seeking three council seats are incumbent City Councilman Cecil Bothwell, former city policeman Mike Lanning, incumbent Councilman Gordon Smith, stay-at-home father Jonathan Wainscott and former corporate executive Gwen Wisler. There are also contested races in Black Mountain, Weaverville, Woodfin and other towns around Western North Carolina.
Charlotte Observer: Local, not US, issues at play in Tuesday voting
Big judgments about the direction of the country will have to wait on this Election Day as voters around the country express opinions on a couple of governors’ races, several mayoral races and a host of local issues. Among the contests around the country Tuesday are governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey, and such questions as how best to turn the page in San Diego’s scandal-ridden mayor’s office and whether to spend more than $217 million to revive Houston’s shuttered Astrodome. From ballot initiatives to mayor’s races, these off-year elections will shed virtually no light on how the American public feels about today’s two biggest national debates — spending and health care. Those will have to be addressed in next fall’s midterm elections. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting matters on which voters will render judgment:
News and Observer: North Carolina voters to decide local elections
Nearly all North Carolina counties are holding elections Tuesday for municipal and school board races and local referenda from the mountains to the coast. As usual, the odd-numbered year elections in the state highlight mayoral elections in some of North Carolina’s largest cities _ some officially partisan and others nonpartisan. Charlotte voters are deciding Tuesday on whether Democrat Patrick Cannon or Republican Edwin Peacock should succeed Anthony Foxx, the former mayor who is now U.S. Transportation Secretary. Patsy Kinsey, who filled the remainder of Foxx’s term, decided not to run for mayor but faced no opposition in returning to the city council.
Fayetteville Observer: Fayetteville mayoral candidates take similar stances on crime
With the homicide rate on the rise, Fayetteville’s mayoral candidates are taking similar stances on how to reduce crime. Voters will choose a new mayor on Tuesday. Democratic City Councilor Val Applewhite and Republican Nat Robertson are running to replace four-term incumbent Tony Chavonne, who is not running for re-election. Twenty-five people have been killed on the streets of Fayetteville in the first 10 months of 2013. That’s up from 22 killed in all of last year. "We have to deal with the social issues. We cannot ignore that," Applewhite said. The Democrat pointed to a lack of jobs and a lack of community engagement for those higher crime numbers. "People won’t be out committing crime if they have an investment in the community and an opportunity to provide for themselves," she said. "We have to take ownership of our communities or neighborhoods, and look out for our neighbors."
CNN: Races say as much about future as Election Day
Welcome to Election Day 2013, where two gubernatorial contests and the race for mayor of the nation’s biggest city will be settled and a GOP primary battle for a U.S. House seat in Alabama is getting outsized attention. But what makes most of these 2013 elections interesting is what they may tell us about 2014 midterms and the 2016 race for the White House. Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold elections for governor in the year after a presidential contest, putting them directly in the national political spotlight. In New Jersey, public opinion polls indicate tough-talking Gov. Chris Christie, one of the biggest names in the Republican Party, will easily win re-election over little known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono. With Christie considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, his re-election campaign is seen as a tuneup or stepping stone for that likely White House bid. In Virginia, national issues like the government shutdown and the health care law are playing a large role in the battle between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. For months McAuliffe has held a consistent small lead in public opinion polls over Cuccinelli, who is considered a hero to many tea party supporters and other grass-roots activists thanks to his very public conservative crusades, including his push against Obamacare.
Real Clear Politics: National Issues Frame Final Leg of Va. Race
The battle for Virginia governor has taken on pronounced national overtones in its final hours, with each side positing the election as a referendum on one of two issues at center stage in American politics: the implementation of the health care law and the government shutdown last month. Since neither candidate is particularly well liked by voters, each is hoping to bring down the other with an issue that has been problematic for the opposing party. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 6.7 points on Election Day, challenging the commonwealth’s three-decades-long history of electing a governor from the opposite party of the president. If McAuliffe is successful, Democrats will likely replicate his model in 2014 congressional races by pinning Republican opponents to the government shutdown and the polarizing figures behind it, primarily Sen. Ted Cruz.
Washington Post: Female voters in Virginia poised to send a message
It’s pretty basic math, really. Women are the majority of America’s population. And year after year, women vote in greater numbers than men in just about every election. So how on Earth does any candidate in Virginia or elsewhere think he can win by antagonizing women, by ignoring the issues that are important to us and turning campaigns into cockfights? Trust me, gentlemen. Women aren’t just going to vote for the guy with the biggest political advertising budget. We want elected leaders who address the real issues of our everyday lives — transportation, education, equal pay for equal work, day care and housing. Female voters — of all ages, incomes and political parties — largely favor government that focuses on community building, helping the sick and disadvantaged and providing basic social services, according to a study done by Rutgers State University’s Center for America Women and Politics that analyzed numerous political polls.
Politico: Final sprint in Election 2013
Candidates for Virginia and New Jersey governor and New York City mayor on Monday sprinted toward the finish line of Election 2013, trotting out the big names to keep their voters from getting complacent in a trio of races with clear — if not prohibitive — frontrunners. In Virginia, home to this year’s marquee gubernatorial race, Vice President Joe Biden warned Democratic voters that the only way Republican Ken Cuccinelli could beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe is if they don’t bother to show up at the polls on Tuesday. Stumping for Cuccinelli a few hours later, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) portrayed the election as a referendum on the troubled Democratic health care law.
The Daily Beast: Why National Democrats Rolled Over for Chris Christie
National Democrats stand by the decision not to play seriously in New Jersey, according to several who spoke with The Daily Beast. The calculation was two-fold, they said. First, the money required just to land a punch on Christie in the pricey New York and Philadelphia media markets could fund an entire campaign somewhere or sometime else when a Democrat had a chance of winning. Second, Democrats firmly believe that no matter how strong Christie looks on Election Day 2013 in New Jersey, the Republican nominating gauntlet will eat his 2016 presidential candidacy alive before he ever gets a chance to face off against a Democrat in a general election.
Dome: Morning Memo: Jack Hawke dies; pro-Hagan ads hit TV
WHAT TO WATCH ON ELECTION DAY 2013: It’s Election Day! And despite being an off year, plenty of races on the ballot will tell important stories. Municipal races in the state are being closely watched and at the national level, a handful of races may hold tea leaves for North Carolina. Here’s a breakdown of 5 races to watch:
Winston Salem Journal: NC gov. mansion gets ballistic windows, gas logs
The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory has spent $167,000 on renovations and repairs at the North Carolina Executive Mansion, including the additions of bullet-resistant windows, gas fireplace logs and outdoor fire pits. The Associated Press reviewed public records of 2013 spending at the historic Raleigh manor after the Republican governor was forced to scuttle plans last month for $230,000 in bathroom remodeling following public outcry. Department of Administration spokesman Chris Mears said he could not discuss whether a specific threat prompted the March addition of laminated ballistic glass to windows on the mansion’s lower floors, citing concern about disclosing precautions taken to ensure the governor’s safety. "Terrorism is a real and active threat," Mears said. A notation in documents obtained through a public records request indicate that the old windows were "not operable" and presented "a safety hazard to (the) first family, employees and guests." The windows and repairs to woodwork on the mansion’s balconies cost at least $72,000, according to records. Mears said a few windows in the mansion were previously armored during the administration of Democratic Gov. Mike Easley, who had been the subject of death threats years earlier while serving as a state prosecutor. No U.S. governor has been assassinated while in office.
My Fox 8: DHHS expands communication staff
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is expanding its internal communications group, including establishing a subunit of three employees dedicated to its Medicaid privatization effort. An internal memo sent Oct. 24 by communications Director Ricky Diaz listed its staff at 24, including six vacancies that are expected to be filled. The expansion was first reported Friday by N.C. Policy Watch, a left-leaning advocacy group that made a public-records request for the memo. There has been no formal announcement of the changes. When contacted Monday, Diaz declined to answer questions about the cost of the salaries to fill the six vacant jobs and the communications office’s overall payroll.
WRAL: Search McCrory’s newest at-will workers
Public information about Gov. Pat McCrory’s list of newest at-will workers is now available in WRAL News’ exempt employee database. On Oct. 1, McCrory added about 300 positions to his existing list of so-called exempt designations, a move that makes it easier to hire and fire workers by stripping them of civil protections. Although the current tally of 1,300 exempt workers is well under the governor’s legislative cap of 1,500, it’s more than triple the number under any governor for a quarter-century. Critics say the increase in exempt positions, made possible by two legislative changes to the State Personnel Act in 2012 and 2013, increases the potential for politicization within cabinet departments responsible for everything from environmental protection to public health policy.
WRAL: State slips in key business ranking
Gov. Pat McCrory likes to talk about competing against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for jobs. He may want to start substituting Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal instead. After leading Site Selection magazine’s 2012 state business climate rankings, North Carolina dropped to second place in 2013. Georgia took over the first-place spot, rising from fourth place in 2012. South Carolina came in seventh. North Carolina has led the annual rankings for 10 of the past 12 years. The article that accompanies the rankings specifically cites Georgia’s economic development efforts, logistics infrastructure and low energy costs. The magazine’s annual ranking reflects a survey of the nation’s top corporate site selectors and corporate real estate executives. According to the magazine, the executives surveyed said their most important 2013 criterion was the state’s existing workforce. Second most important was transportation infrastructure. State and local taxes were third on the list.
Political Wire: Only 23% of Republicans Want More Women in Congress
A recent ABC News/Fusion poll finds "vast differences among groups in trust in government, immigration policy and beyond, including basic views on issues such as the role of religion and the value of diversity in politics, treatment of women in the workplace and the opportunities afforded to minorities in society more broadly." Key finding: "Forty-three percent of Americans say it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress – but the range here is from six in 10 Democrats and liberals alike to just 26 percent of conservatives and 23 percent of Republicans. Instead two-thirds or more in these latter two groups say it makes no difference to them." Amanda Marcotte: "If Republicans can at least scatter a few more women in brightly colored suits among the ‘grey-faced men with $2 haircuts’ (thank you, Tina Fey), they will have to make liberals work a little harder and use more words to explain why the policies [ie, attacks on women's rights] are misogynist. Right now, all liberals need to do is show some pictures and point."
Washington Post: Everything you need to know about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
Monday night, the Senate took a key vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, virtually assuring its passage in the upper chamber. It’s the biggest step forward yet for an effort that’s been 30 years in the making, but still faces long odds as it heads to the House, since Speaker John Boehner says he won’t bring it to a vote. Here’s what you need to know. What is ENDA? ENDA is the acronym for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity in hiring decisions for businesses with more than 15 employees.
Politico: Gay rights measure advances in Senate
The Senate on Monday advanced legislation banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — marking a victory for gay rights supporters despite the bill’s dim House prospects. The measure, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, cleared a key test vote on Monday evening, 61 to 30. The bill appeared to clinch 60 Senate votes — the threshold needed to avoid a filibuster — after Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he would endorse the bill earlier Monday.A “patchwork of state laws excludes tens of millions of Americans from basic protection against discrimination. It is simply not good enough,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday. “As long as hardworking, qualified Americans can be denied job opportunities, fired or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, all workers are at risk.”
Washington Post: Senate close to passing bill to ban discrimination against gay workers
The roll call on the vote produced a rare moment of Senate drama, as a trio of prominent Republicans — Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) — holed up in the GOP cloakroom off the floor deciding at the last minute whether to back the legislation. Democrats needed each of those GOP votes to clear the 60-vote hurdle because a couple of supporters were absent. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the legislation’s main sponsor, negotiated with the GOP holdouts over the bill’s final details, and almost 40 minutes after the roll call began, the three Republicans voted for the measure. A decade ago, the political calculation was far different. The brain trust of President George W. Bush’s reelection team encouraged a series of state ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage as a way to draw more conservatives to the polls. In 2006, running into the head winds of a midterm election, Senate Republicans pushed legislation that would have imposed a federal ban on same-sex marriage in large part because GOP advisers considered it a winning political maneuver even as it fell well short of the two-thirds majority required to amend the Constitution.
New York Times: Senator Rand Paul Faces New Charges of Plagiarism
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who in recent weeks has had to explain how Wikipedia entries came to be incorporated into his speeches with no attribution, faced charges of direct plagiarism on Monday night. In an op-ed article he wrote for The Washington Times in September on mandatory minimum prison sentences, Mr. Paul, a Republican, appears to have copied language from an essay that had previously run in The Week magazine. That article, written by Dan Stewart, an editor for The Week, included this sentence: “America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.” It was posted to the web on Sept. 14. On Sept. 20, Mr. Paul wrote this: “America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.”
Bloomberg: Poll Shows Sour Electorate With Republicans Faring Worse
The adage that voters hate Congress but love their own representatives no longer holds true, according to a poll that shows Americans increasingly sour about the country’s direction and spoiling for change in Washington. In the George Washington University Battleground Poll, 73 percent of voters said the nation is on the wrong track, compared with just 19 percent who say it’s headed in the right direction, a grim political environment one year out from U.S. House and Senate elections. The adage that voters hate Congress but love their own representatives no longer holds true, according to a poll that shows Americans increasingly sour about the country’s direction and spoiling for change in Washington. In the George Washington University Battleground Poll, 73 percent of voters said the nation is on the wrong track, compared with just 19 percent who say it’s headed in the right direction, a grim political environment one year out from U.S. House and Senate elections.
The Republican Illinois senator has been recovering from a stroke he suffered in January 2012, but he took to the Senate floor Monday to discuss his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. “I think it’s particularly appropriate for an Illinois Republican to speak on behalf of this measure in the true tradition of Everett McKinley Dirksen and Abraham Lincoln, the men who gave us the 1964 civil rights act and the thirteenth amendment to the constitution,” he said.
Dome: Adame: So where did this guy Thigpen come from?
Marshall Adame over the weekend welcomed Jason Thigpen to the 3rd district Democratic primary, but expressed surprise at the move. “He jumps from the tea party one day and wants to lead Democrats the next? Really?” Adame said in a statement. Thigpen last week switched from being a Republican candidate for the 3rd district seat held by GOP Rep. Walter Jones to being a Democrat. Already in the race, was Adame, who also ran for the seat in 2008. Adame is currently in Saudi Arabia on government business. He is a retired U.S. Marine. Contracting in Iraq, he was a U.S. advisor to the Iraqi Minister of Interior, airport director in Basra, Iraq. He is also the father of two Iraq/Afghanistan combat veterans.
Political Wire: Crist Comes Out Swinging
"Over two decades in politics, Charlie Crist has developed a reputation as one of the most charming politicians in modern Florida history. But Monday, as the former Republican governor kicked off his Democratic campaign for governor, he left no doubt his challenge of Rick Scott will be anything but gentle," the Tampa Bay Times reports. Said Crist: "Governing for the people has been replaced with cronyism and government on the fringes. The voice of the people has been silenced by the financial bullies and the special interests."
Charlotte Observer: Will N.C. teachers walk out on Monday? They already are
Most teachers will be reluctant to walk-out, sick-out, or otherwise not show up for work on Monday because of the responsibility they feel toward their students. The curriculum is packed. There are no days to spare. And others are making demands on instructional time with mandatory administration of the PSAT and ACT tests. The teachers who walk out Monday are sending a warning. It is better that they issue the warning by walking out for one day than to walk out and not come back. Make no mistake. The walk-out has already begun. Take for example the high school math teacher who spent two years in Tennessee as a Teach for America teacher before coming home to North Carolina. After one year in North Carolina she was offered a $7,000 a year raise to teach at the private school she attended as a child. Her compensation included the tuition to pursue her master’s degree. She walked out in June of 2013 and didn’t come back. Last month, the chairman of the English department at a Charlotte high school left in the middle of the term. He is pursuing a career that will pay more money and provide more time to spend with his family. He walked out and is not coming back.
The Daily Tarheel: Fixing the broken ladder
The teaching profession is broken. In no other career are you expected to work for peanuts upon graduation and work 15 years before your salary reaches $40,000. Research shows that, compared to the average teacher, an effective teacher can provide an extra half year of growth in student learning per year, but we do a terrible job of recruiting the best and brightest to the field. The problem is particularly apparent in our great state: North Carolina has fallen to 46th in teacher pay. Luckily, the climate is ripe for intelligent reform within budget. Currently we reward teachers for one thing only: seniority. Excellent and terrible third-year teachers are paid the same. Worse, if a great teacher wants to move up the career ladder, they must leave the classroom and cease serving the students that so desperately need them. These incentives are all wrong. First, we have to recognize that the base salary of $30,800 for a newly graduated teacher is not going to attract the best to the classroom. Pay is not increased until after year 5, but a teacher does the majority of their improvement in their first 5 years of teaching.
NC Policy Watch: Teachers walk-in to speak out against cuts to public education in North Carolina
Monday’s walk-in was originally organized by a handful of frustrated teachers that took to social medial to promote a “walk-out” to protest the cuts made by lawmakers to public education over the past several years, which include slashing funds for instructional supplies and textbooks, eliminating thousands of teacher assistants’ positions, and yet another year of freezing teachers’ pay. But it became apparent that a walk-out was not a prudent choice given that it would require abandoning students in the classroom, not to mention the fact that North Carolina law prohibits public employees from striking.Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, told NC Policy Watch that some of their members met with the walk-out’s organizers to come up with a “walk-in,” an activity that NCAE was already planning for American Education Week, November 18-22. The walk-in was designed to allow educators to keep the instructional workday undisturbed, instead inviting parents and community members to come to the public schools and hear from educators about their working conditions—and their students’ learning conditions. Walk-in events took place before and after classes at schools around the state.
The Daily Tarheel: Teachers walkout turns into a walk-in protest
Teachers across North Carolina staged a walk-in on Monday to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the condition of the state’s public school system. The walk-in was originally intended to be a walkout, where teachers would have abandoned their classroom duties for the day, said Rodney Ellis, president of the N.C. Association of Educators. But some teachers expressed concern that an actual walkout could cost them their jobs — and Ellis said walkout organizers were receptive to the idea of a walk-in, where educators instead would walk alongside students into their schools. “I don’t think they genuinely wanted to walk out,” he said. “They just wanted to demonstrate their frustrations.”
The Duke Chronicle: Forum tackles NC voter law implications
Students in North Carolina took steps to understand the implications of the North Carolina voting reform law, passed this summer, at a forum Monday night. Students have voiced their concern on campus over the state’s election reform law, signed by Governor Pat McCrory on Aug. 12, regarding how college students’ ability to vote may be affected. About 60 members from both the Duke and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill communities continued the conversation in the Keohane Atrium to hear from experts on the issue and discuss the implications of the law amongst themselves. The forum, called “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” was sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. “College students are the enemy for people who want to restrict voting,” said Timothy Tyson, visiting professor of American Christianity and southern culture and education chair for the N.C. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Talking Points Memo: Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers
Donna received the letter canceling her insurance plan on Sept. 16. Her insurance company, LifeWise of Washington, told her that they’d identified a new plan for her. If she did nothing, she’d be covered. A 56-year-old Seattle resident with a 57-year-old husband and 15-year-old daughter, Donna had been looking forward to the savings that the Affordable Care Act had to offer. But that’s not what she found. Instead, she’d be paying an additional $300 a month for coverage. The letter made no mention of the health insurance marketplace that would soon open in Washington, where she could shop for competitive plans, and only an oblique reference to financial help that she might qualify for, if she made the effort to call and find out. Otherwise, she’d be automatically rolled over to a new plan — and, as the letter said, "If you’re happy with this plan, do nothing." If Donna had done nothing, she would have ended up spending about $1,000 more a month for insurance than she will now that she went to the marketplace, picked the best plan for her family and accessed tax credits at the heart of the health care reform law.
Salon: Obamacare “victim” now says loss of previous health plan may be “a blessing in disguise”
Because her $54 per month plan was cancelled due to Obamacare’s new higher requirements — and because her insurance company’s recommended replacement would cost her nearly 10 times as much — Dianne Barrette became the face of Obamacare’s so-called victims. But in a new report from the New Republic, Barrette, after factoring in her tax credits and going through her options with reporter Jonathan Cohn, is now singing Obamacare’s praises, even going so far as to say her previous plan’s cancellation was “maybe” a “blessing in disguise.” When Cohn detailed for Barrette how much she’d be paying for far more comprehensive health insurance, Barrette told him she’d “jump at” the chance to secure the plan. “With my age, things can happen,” she said. “I don’t want to have bills that could make me bankrupt. I don’t want to lose my house.”
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): They’re saying he said one thing and not the other. The president said, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ For 95% of the American people who have health insurance, that is the case. For a small number in the private market, they will do better because of the Patient’s Bill of Rights that is built into our legislation — no preexisting conditions, no lifetime limits, no copay, all the rest of that for certain people. So, they will do better. That’s 95% of people who have health insurance, have it through their employer, through Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration. So, we’re just talking about 5% — significant, but nonetheless largely will do better.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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