NCDP Clips for Friday, July 10th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Friday, July 10th, 2015

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Year out from campaign: McCrory’s polling numbers match Perdue’s (Public Policy Polling) — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory finds himself mired in kind of subterranean polling numbers that mirror those four years ago that Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue faced. The difference: Perdue was fighting a GOP-dominated legislature and still fighting off the lingering impace of the Great Recession. McCrory, in stark contrast, should have the advantage of a legislature overwhelmingly dominated by fellow Republicans and a national economy in full recovery from the recession.

In the Public Policy Polling survey released yesterday, McCrory’s approval rating was 33 percent – a point lower than Perdue’s rating, 34 percent, in July 2011. Disapproval for McCrory is at 48 percent while Perdue’s was 49 percent. In 2011, just 55 percent of Democrats approved of the job Perdue was doing. In 2015, how many Republicans approve of McCrory’s job performance? You guessed it – 55 percent.

In 2011, McCrory held an 8 point lead over a face-to-face challenge to Perdue. In 2015, McCrory faces a 2 point deficit against potential Democratic challenger Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. Just 57 of voters who label themselves “somewhat conservative” say they back McCrory for re-election. Four years earlier, 70 percent of those voters were backing McCrory.


Education ‘polarizes’ legislative Republicans (EdNC) — North Carolina’s state government tells an alternative story to Democratic-Republican polarization. A Republican sits in the governor’s office, and the GOP has veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Democrats can oppose, but Republicans have the votes to rule. Now, however, as lawmakers return to Raleigh from a one-week hiatus, negotiations will ensue over House and Senate versions of a state budget that reflect a kind of internal GOP “polarization.”

NC lawmakers may have acted within their power with HB 263 (Greensboro News & Record) — The city is headed to federal court, taking on the state over what it calls unconstitutional changes to the City Council.

McCrory Signs Outdoor Heritage Act, Other Bills (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory has signed H.B. 640, or the Outdoor Heritage Act, into law.

Workers’ rights groups push for paid sick days (WRAL-TV) — Advocates for low-income workers used the legislature’s vacation this week to push for laws to require paid sick leave and family leave.

Beach towns worry NC Senate plan could stop ‘sand tax’ (Raleigh News & Observer) — Four North Carolina beach towns are concerned that a Senate budget provision could put the fate of their “sand tax” districts in the hands of a few voters.

Gene Nichol’s new poverty fund at UNC generates same controversy (Raleigh News & Ob server) — A new UNC law school fund that supports research on poverty has prompted controversy months after the UNC Board of Governors acted to close the school’s poverty center.

Proposed machinery tax hike worries Cree (Raleigh News & Observer) — Durham-based LED lighting company Cree complained to legislators that a proposed machinery tax hike in the Senate budget would increase its tax burden by up to $5 million.


Republicans Yield as Confederate Flag Issue Roils Congress (New York Times) — Amid a national debate, Republicans in Washington withdrew a bill that would have allowed Confederate symbols at national cemeteries.

‘North Carolina Needs More Monuments.’ Whom Should We Recognize? (WUNC-FM) — There are more than 120 Civil War monuments in North Carolina, outnumbering state monuments commemorating any other event. But Keith Hardison, State Director for Historic Sites, said people need to keep putting more up, whether they recognize the Civil War or civil rights.

Zachary to succeed Steelman on N. Carolina Court of Appeals (AP) — A Yadkin County lawyer is joining the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he appointed Valerie Johnson Zachary of Yadkinville to succeed Judge Sanford Steelman, who retired last week after 12 years on the intermediate-level appeals court.

Florida Court Finds Politics Determined District Lines (New York Times) — A State Supreme Court ruling calls for eight congressional districts to be redrawn within 100 days, finding evidence of political gerrymandering at work.

Reaction to Bragg cuts: We can absorb losses, Spring Lake mayor says (Fayetteville Observer) — The relatively small number of troops cut from Fort Bragg is a relief for government officials leading the communities around the Army’s largest military installation.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane Running for a Third Term (TWCN-TV) — Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane is running for a third term.

Study: NC counties paid $144M in incentives over 5 years (WRAL-TV) — A report released Thursday by the John Locke Foundation shows North Carolina counties paid out about $144 million in economic development incentives over the last five years.

Former Congressman McIntyre steps into new role: lobbyist (Lumina News) — Former Congressman Mike McIntyre left office six months ago, but he’s still meeting with local officials and special interest groups. The only difference is, this time he’s coming at issues from the perspective of a lobbyist. McIntyre is now senior adviser and director of government relations for the PoynerSpruill law firm in Raleigh, which among other things lobbies for legislation and government policy on behalf of clients.

Judge: Man charged with IS support to be held indefinitely (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the indefinite detention of a 19-year-old North Carolina man accused of plotting a series of American deaths to show his support for the Middle East group calling itself the Islamic State.

Ashe County deputies kill man after officer dragged by truck (AP) — Ashe County deputies are saying little about why they shot and killed a 62-year-old man after responding to complaints of a disturbance on his rural road.

N.C. role in $590,000 makeover for the White House’s State Dining Room (LA Times) — Michelle Obama has given the White House’s State Dining Room a makeover, seizing an opportunity to leave a lasting impression at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. before she and her husband take their final leave as president and first lady. The $590,000 makeover — paid for by a private fund dedicated to the upkeep of White House rooms that are open to the public — involved new chairs and draperies. New side- and armchairs were custom-made in North Carolina, finished off in a brown, grid-patterned fabric and brass nail heads. They were modeled after armchairs that President Monroe acquired in 1818 from a Washington cabinetmaker.

Charlotte may rescind benefits for unmarried same-sex partners (Charlotte Observer) — The city of Charlotte may rescind benefits for same-sex unmarried partners, now that gay marriage has been legal in North Carolina for nine months and is allowed nationwide.

Wake allows religious, political events in libraries after lawsuit (Raleigh News & Observer) — Wake County recently changed its policies to allow religious and political groups to use county library rooms after it was sued by a Christian group that was denied space at the Cameron Village Regional Library.

How States Are Confronting High Long-Term Unemployment (Governing) — The nation’s long-term unemployed represent one of the lingering effects of the Great Recession, and they typically face steep barriers to finding another job. Numbers of these workers – those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more — remain high in nearly every state even though job growth has picked up. In some states, the long-term unemployed accounted for more than four out of every 10 unemployed workers last year.


Redistricting reform would better serve voters (Rocky Mount Telegram) — For too long in North Carolina, senators and representatives in the N.C. General Assembly have chosen their voters – not the other way around.

NC House should reject plan to end funding for electronics recycling (Raleigh News & Observer) — The state Senate has passed a bill remarkable in its shortsightedness, a bill that would no longer require computer equipment and television manufacturers to help with the cost of recycling their products sold in North Carolina.

Ending air-quality protections in NC would endanger our health (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Manijeh Berenji: We have been working to protect North Carolinians from air pollution, but now the General Assembly is considering taking those protections away.

Poking the bear? (Greensboro News & Record) — Former Mayor Perkins urges mending fences with the legislature, while current Mayor Vaughan fights for her city.

N.C. cities are paying for an accident of history (Charlotte Observer column) — State control over cities comes from a time when the latter were less important.