NCDP Clips for Monday, February 25, 2013


POLITICO: Sequestration: Expecting a tax refund? It may be delayed
Law-abiding taxpayers could shoulder the brunt of the blow when the sequester hits the Internal Revenue Service Friday — and tax cheats might find it easier to rig the system.

It’s a little-discussed risk of the automatic budget cuts — and yet, another smack to the already battered 2012 tax filing season.

USA TODAY: White House details sequestration cuts by state
The White House kicked off a week of warnings about the sequestration by issuing reports Sunday on how the looming $85 billion in automatic budget cuts will affect each of the 50 states.
Among the examples: A slowdown of Superstorm Sandy cleanup in New Jersey, teacher layoffs in Ohio, reduced ship maintenance in Virginia, fewer vaccinations in Georgia, military base cutbacks in Texas and California, and similar reductions in states across the country, said the reports.


WRAL – Judges to hear arguments over NC district maps
People who challenged North Carolina’s boundaries for seats in the General Assembly and Congress in late 2011 are making their full arguments in person before a three-judge panel.
Two days of court hearings involving a pair of redistricting lawsuits were set to begin Monday morning in a Wake County courtroom.
Democratic voters and other groups want the judges to declare the maps unconstitutional. They say Republican lawmakers illegally packed black voters, split voting precincts and failed standards to keep whole counties within districts.


CHARLOTTE OBSEVER – McCrory likes ‘pink licenses’ aimed for immigrants
Gov. Pat McCrory says he signed off on the controversial “pink licenses” that will be issued to some young illegal immigrants who were granted protection from deportation for two years.
The new North Carolina governor said he thought it was important that the driver’s licenses for immigrants clearly distinguish “between legal presence versus legal status.”
Critics have decried them as a modern-day scarlet letter. The new driver’s licenses will have a bright pink stripe and bold words “NO LAWFUL STATUS,” written in red capital letters across the front, according to mock-ups.

NEWS & OBSERVER – McCrory tells MSNBC he’s concerned about sequestration, GOP image
Gov. Pat McCrory has been in Washington the past few days attending meetings with other governors. He started his visit with an interview on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd, saying he is concerned about the effect of the federal budget sequestration on the state’s military bases.
“We don’t know what the real impact is going to be right now,” he said.
(An advocacy group warning about the cuts recently cited a U.S. Senate report from 2011 showing that it will cost the state $1.5 billion in defense contracts and 11,000 jobs, and non-defense cuts are expected to cost nearly 1 million jobs nationwide and reduce the state’s gross domestic product by as much as $2 billion.)

THE DAILY REFLECTOR – Fitzsimon: McCrory’s ‘broken government’ speech
Gov. Pat McCrory could have gone a couple of ways with his widely-anticipated State of the State speech last week.
He could have laid out a compelling vision for the future of North Carolina and in the process answered questions about which McCrory is actually governor, the moderate mayor of Charlotte or the far-right campaigner who bellowed anti-government rhetoric at tea party rallies.
But flowery oratory is not McCrory’s style so it’s not surprising he didn’t choose that option.
He could have laid out very specific proposals on tax reform or job creation or health care like Republican and Democratic governors before him have done in their addresses to the General Assembly and the statewide audience watching on television.
He didn’t do that either.

NEWS & RECORD – Are N.C. jobs waiting for right workers?
Gov. Pat McCrory — and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory before him — said repeatedly that there are empty jobs across the state sitting open for a lack of trained workers.
It’s the linchpin of his pitch to overhaul high school education in this state. The state started down that path this month when McCrory signed legislation to expand vocational training in high schools and add career or college-ready designations to diplomas.
But is it true?


Clay Pittman
Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman