NCDP Clips for Monday, February 4, 2013


WRAL – Pittsboro mayor elected NC Democratic chairman
Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller is the new chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, barely turning back a last-minute push by former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge.
Members of the State Executive Committee meeting Saturday in Durham elected Voller over Etheridge by a vote of 309-298.
Voller, the grassroots choice, had been publicly running for two months and appeared to be the only candidate when former state Sen. Eric Mansfield dropped out last week.

NBC 17 – New NC Democratic chairman elected as Parker steps down
North Carolina Democrats elected a new chairman in Durham Saturday as the party tries to put a difficult year behind them.
Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller eaked out a win over former Congressman Bob Etheridge, by a vote of 309-298.
Democrats in attendance tell WNCN they hope having a small town mayor at the party’s helm will help them broaden the party’s appeal with rural voters. In November, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton lost to Republican Pat McCrory by double-digits.


THE WASHINGTON POST – President Obama taking gun violence plan on the road
President Obama is taking his first trip outside Washington to promote his far-reaching plan to curb the nation’s gun violence, jetting to Minneapolis on Monday to discuss his ideas with local law enforcement leaders.
Obama will visit the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center, where he will deliver remarks about what the White House calls his “comprehensive set of common-sense ideas to reduce gun violence.”

CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Obama to push for gun measures outside of Washington
Even as key lawmakers remain cool to some of his proposals, President Obama will try to keep up a drumbeat for new gun control measures in a visit with law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday.
The quick day trip to the deeply Democratic city is the president’s first outing outside of Washington to try to sell the gun control package he proposed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Obama is due to huddle with police and other law enforcement officials at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center, before making remarks.,0,3010056.story


WCNC- McCrory defends streetcar comments, denies meddling
Former Mayor — now Governor — Pat McCrory has said it before — he thinks any plans for rail in Charlotte should be focused on the light rail to the University area.
McCrory ignited controversy last week with comments about the streetcar during a meeting with Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and City Attorney Bob Hagemann.
According to a city memo, McCrory hinted that state funding of light rail could be harder to get if the city went ahead with streetcar plans.
McCrory told NBC Charlotte’s news partners at The Observer Saturday that he was trying to give city staff "helpful advice," not threats.
As proof that he’s always opposed a city-funded streetcar, he pointed to comments he made during roundtable discussions on WCNC’s public affairs program, Flashpoint.
"They’re breaking three promises," said McCrory on an August 4, 2011 edition of the show. "The city council and mayor have gone around that regional board, which is against the promise we made to voters."

FOX CHARLOTTE – Gov. McCrory Appears To Contradict Mayor Pat
When Governor Pat McCrory was just plain old Mayor Pat, there were three things he believed.
McCrory supported raising taxes to pay for Charlotte public transportation; local leaders, not state legislators, decide city policy; and find creative ways to fund economic development project (remember Time Warner Cable Arena).
Now, due to his stance on the streetcar, some think McCrory has flip-flopped on all three.
"I think that it’s moving along the way that it should, and hopefully it will continue to remain a local issue," said Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte.
The non-profit supports extending the Lynx Blue Line north and creating an East-West corridor with the streetcar.
Both projects are part of Charlotte’s 2030 Transit System Plan.

MOUNTAIN XPRESS – Rally this morning challenges McCrory, Moffitt, Apodaca to live on $350 a week
A group of community leaders and advocates are calling on newly- elected Governor Pat McCrory, NC House Rep. Tim Moffitt, State Sen. Tom Apodaca, and other members of the NC General Assembly to put their money where their mouths are and commit to live for one week on the maximum unemployment benefit of $350, which is now proposed by the North Carolina General Assembly.
Monday night (tonight), the NC House in Raleigh is expected to take up a bill to slash top unemployment benefits by 35% to $350/week and cut federal benefits to zero for 80,000 NC residents. Last week in Rocky Mount, Gov. McCrory stated he supports this plan.


NEWS & RECORD – McCrory’s education decree is misguided
LISA LEVENSTEIN – On Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory vowed to change the system of public higher education in North Carolina. Instead of educating students broadly in the liberal arts, he wants universities and community colleges to train students narrowly for existing jobs in fields such as “mechanics.”
“We are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs,” McCrory told conservative radio talk-show host Bill Bennett, disparaging subjects such as philosophy for providing students with inadequate skills.
Unlike the governor, many Americans value a liberal arts education for teaching critical-thinking and communication skills through the study of the arts, social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. As students read great literature, investigate scientific problems, learn foreign languages, analyze data, scrutinize historical artifacts and study global cultures, they acquire tools that foster lifelong learning and promote engaged and responsible citizenship.


THE WASHINGTON POST – Why immigration reform in 1986 fell short
When Ronald Reagan signed a comprehensive immigration overhaul in 1986, he confidently predicted: “Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people — American citizenship.”
More than a quarter-century later, however, that law has not turned out to be the triumph that Reagan envisioned. Instead, those on both sides of the immigration debate see it as a cautionary lesson.


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