NCDP Clips for Monday, March 11, 2013


NEWS & OBSERVER – Art Pope gives Gov. Pat McCrory needed muscle in Raleigh
Gov. Pat McCrory’s hiring of Art Pope as his budget director was a shrewd move – and not just because Pope works cheap as a $1-a-year man.
Many people find it difficult to think dispassionately about Pope because he has become such a polarizing figure – knight of the right to his admirers or a somewhat sinister Daddy-Warbucks-Dick-Cheney-string-puller to his critics.

But for McCrory, a rookie governor with little Raleigh experience, having Pope at his side during the early months of his administration has been an asset.

WTVD – Governor cuts spending to cover Medicaid bill
Citing $100 million or more in cost overruns in the state Medicaid program – added to $132 million in debt already owed to the federal government – Governor Pat McCrory ordered the State Budget Director Friday to transfer available state funds to offset the losses while also directing state agencies to hold salary increases, limit purchases, and reduce travel.

WTVD – MetLife hired McCrory’s former firm for NC deal
Gov. Pat McCrory avoided questions Friday about the state offering MetLife Inc. $94 million in tax breaks and other incentives to move thousands of jobs to North Carolina and using his former employer to help broker the deal.


WRAL – Gun proposal highlights nullification debate
A proposed amendment filed this week to restrict what limits can be placed on gun ownership in North Carolina is the latest shot in the growing debate over nullification of federal laws.
Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, filed House Bill 246, dubbed "The Gun Rights Amendment," on Wednesday.


WRAL – Medicaid contractor loses provider’s personal information
The contractor building North Carolina’s over-budget and overdue Medicaid billing system has lost a thumb drive containing the personal information of thousands of Medicaid providers.
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Computer Sciences Corp. announced the loss late Friday afternoon.


CNN – Republicans, while skeptical, welcome Obama outreach
Whatever you choose to call it – a charm offensive, an olive branch or just dinner – President Barack Obama’s outreach to congressional Republicans is certainly a change of pace.
And on Sunday, those Republicans seemed guardedly optimistic the new approach from the White House could work, though they were quick to acknowledge that no amount of broiled sea bass or upcoming visits to Capitol Hill could produce the kind of compromise that’s eluded the two sides since Republicans took control of the House in 2010.

LOS ANGELES TIMES – Senators agree on path to legal status for illegal immigrants
Eight senators who have spent weeks trying to write a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration laws have privately agreed on the most contentious part of the draft — how to offer legal status to the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.,0,4603683.story

CNN – Ryan says House GOP budget will include Obamacare repeal
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the budget he will unveil this week counts on a repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law, a position which is unacceptable to many Democrats and unlikely to become law. \


WRAL – Policy groups help set the agenda in Raleigh
Raleigh’s version of the cold war heated up this year when a controversial political memo authored by a liberal group surfaced and raised hackles among Republican policy makers.


THE WASHINGTON POST – Obama could get things done by governing today
FRED HIATT – Shortly after the Republican gains in 2010, a tea party-backed senator was telling me his legislative goals, starting with a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget that would limit spending to 18 percent of gross domestic product.


Clay Pittman
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman