MAY 19, 2014


Women voters will be pivotal in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate contest: Hagan’s game plan tries to capitalize on her party’s strength among women voters and gives her campaign a message that it hopes will appeal to women who vote independent as well. Boosting the Democratic turnout in the November mid-term election is crucial for Hagan, and Democratic candidates across the country. Midterms are traditionally low-turnout elections and often hurt the party in power, and this year it’s Hagan’s. Read more here.

Senate Dems’ campaign arm raises $6.3M in April: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday released a summary of last month’s fundraising and noted that it again had outraised its Republican rival. The Democrats’ committee is debt-free. Read more here.


New plan to get rid of NC’s special superior court judges: Last year state Senate Republicans really wanted to get rid of the 12 special superior court judges who travel the state hearing cases. But the House balked in the face of blowback from the legal community, and in the end it didn’t happen.House Republicans have an alternate plan, though, that comes up with a new way to accomplish the goal: gradually….The bill would eliminate the positions of the judges as each one retires, resigns, has their term expire, is removed or dies.Read more here.

Moral Monday protests return, Senate begins hearing bills:. Senate leaders put four bills on Monday’s calendar, including a measure that would limit what design standards cities can demand of home builders and another bill that would require more reporting by nonprofits that receive state grants. As lawmakers return to work, the Moral Monday coalition of liberal groups protesting policies advanced by the General Assembly will again take up their weekly demonstrations. Read more here.


Bipartisan support for background checks: A majority of likely voters in swing congressional districts and states this year support stricter background checks on gun purchasers, and the support spans both parties, a new POLITICO poll finds. Read more here.

Boehner’s big reform decision: Republican and Democratic advocates see one final, long-shot chance to pass immigration reform this summer, and its fate rests with a Speaker stuck between his party’s resistance and his search for a career-defining legacy. Obama said last week that Republicans have “two to three months” to take action. It is widely believed that if the House takes no action, the president, under pressure from liberal activists, will issue an executive order in August to slow or halt deportations of illegal immigrants. Read more here.

The right starts to fold on Obamacare: How conservative governors are suddenly coming around: With a series of GOP leaders taking federal funds to provide healthcare, the politics of Obamacare have transformed.It’s fair to say that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has thrown Obamacare politics for a considerable loop. Pence, a staunch conservative and opponent of the Affordable Care Act, plans to use money made available by the ACA to expand Indiana’s program for insuring low-income residents. Read more here.


Fracking: Lee County at epicenter of NC’s gas drilling: But what is certain is that Lee County will be at the center of this new industry, which has transformed other rural communities across the U.S. with sudden wealth from landowner royalties, new jobs and millions in new revenue for local governments. Yet with those promises of economic revival come risks. And even some in Lee County who stand to reap the most from drilling fear the consequences of gambling with uncertain odds. Read more here.

Long-running Asheville water dispute now in court:Asheville is suing after North Carolina lawmakers approved a bill last year that moves the assets of the Asheville water department to a regional authority that already handles sewage in the area. Gov. Pat McCrory allowed the bill to become law without his signature because he wanted the issue to be heard by a judge. Read more here.

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