NCDP Clips for October 15, 2013

NCDP Clips for October 15, 2013

SHUTDOWN

Politico: Senate leaders nearing a deal
Senate leaders are closing in on a deal to reopen the government and extend the U.S. debt ceiling until next year, marking a major breakthrough in an impasse that has paralyzed Washington and struck fears across the globe. In a furious round of last-ditch negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were discussing a proposal to reopen the government until Jan. 15 and extend the national debt limit until Feb. 7. The plan would also set up bicameral budget negotiations over major deficit issues, that are to conclude by Dec. 13. There were still minor sticking points Monday evening, including over whether to change the law to prevent the Treasury Department from using “extraordinary measures” to go beyond the new Feb. 7 debt limit deadline, a change McConnell was pursuing. But the White House and Reid are strongly opposed to that idea, and several Democratic sources insisted such a provision would not be included in the final package.

The Hill: Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit
An emerging deal to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling until February gathered political momentum Monday evening after Senate Republicans signaled they would likely support it. Lawmakers and aides said the legislation would fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February but leave ObamaCare largely untouched. One senior Senate aide said it would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 while another said Feb. 15 remains a possibility. It would also establish a Senate-House budget committee to craft a replacement for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which would have to report its work product to Congress by Dec. 13.

Daily Tarheel: Hagan denounces shutdown, Tillis largely silent

Last week, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., spoke on the Senate floor about how the government shutdown is negatively affecting North Carolina’s economy. Hagan said the shutdown was hurting the state’s veterans who receive Veterans Affairs benefits, the state’s national parks and tourism industry and universities’ research money. In particular, Hagan criticized House Republicans for passing bills the Senate would not accept. “Political stunts won’t get this government open back up for business,” she said. But while Hagan has made her stance, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg and a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in next year’s Senate race, has largely stayed quiet. Tillis’ campaign website, Twitter feed and Facebook page have made no mention of the shutdown since it began.

Business Insider: Republicans Aren’t The ‘Daddy Party’ Anymore
Duncan Black comments on the insane reader mail I’ve gotten this week: For as long as I can remember, the Republicans were the serious daddy party, and the Democrats were the dirty hippie hysterical mommy party. If you look past the crude gender stereotype, the mommy party/daddy party frame is actually a useful way to think about politics. Government needs to uplift the poor and protect the vulnerable; it also needs to be mindful of resource limitations, encourage productivity, and conduct its own operations efficiently. Two parties that put different weight on these values can have productive debates about making government better. But Republicans today are not holding up their end of the division of labor. If Republicans were once the daddy party, now they’re the abusive ex-husband with a substance abuse problem party. Instead of telling hard truths, Republicans are wildly misleading voters, both about policy ("America is going to be destroyed by Obamacare") and political reality ("Democrats are feeling the heat" because Republicans shut down the government). Instead of warning about resource limitations, Republicans are manufacturing them. President Obama’s deficit spending did not result in the debt crisis that conservatives warned it would, so Republicans have been actively trying to create one by making dangerous threats over the debt ceiling.

Huffington Post: Louie Gohmert: A Debt Default Is ‘An Impeachable Offense By The President’
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) isn’t sure whether he’ll support a debt limit deal, but he is sure of one thing: a debt default would be President Barack Obama’s fault. A reporter for The Young Turks asked Gohmert whether he’d support a bill that would raise the debt ceiling at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. "The word ‘deal’ concerns me," he said. "If it’s good for America." When asked whether he would allow the government to default on its debt, Gohmert projected the responsibility for such circumstances onto Obama. "No," he said, "that would be an impeachable offense by the president." Gohmert has continuously attempted to diffuse blame for a potential breach of the debt ceiling — and the government shutdown — as an Oct. 17 debt limit deadline looms.

Addicting Info: Eric Cantor Given Total Control Of House In Late Night Rule Change By GOP (VIDEO)
In the dead of night before the shutdown, the Republicans forced through a rule change, one which effectively handed over control of the government over to one man, Eric Cantor. You see, under therules of the house, the members of the house had the ability to put the Senate resolution to a vote in the house. Here is the rule, as written: When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged. However, the rule change pushed through in the dead of night without any oversight or debate instead put the authority to proceed into the hands of the majority leader in the house, Eric Cantor. This is the same Eric Cantor who is known for having gutted anti-corruption and bribery legislation. And now, he runs the show. Even House Speaker John Boehner can not bring it up to a vote.

Politico: Sarah Palin: Barack Obama flirts with impeachment
President Barack Obama is risking “impeachable” offenses with the way he is handling the debt limit debate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said in a post on her Facebook page Monday. “Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense,” Palin wrote. In her statement, Palin also accused the president of “scaremongering” on the debt ceiling. She suggested that a default could be averted by paying interest on the debt through daily revenues collected by the United States, an idea that has been recently touted by several conservative voices on the right.

Politico: Government shutdown poll: GOP disapproval grows
While voters are angry with everyone in Washington, Republicans continue to see the brunt of the blame and growing disapproval, according to a new poll out Monday. Seventy-four percent of Americans disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling negotiations over the budget, the Washington Post-ABC News poll shows. This is up four points from last week’s poll and up 11 points since the start of the shutdown. Democrats also see a majority of Americans disapproving how they are handling the negotiations, but that number remained steady from last week’s poll at 61 percent. This is a smaller climb from 56 percent at the start of the shutdown. Republicans are also struggling with support from within their own party. The Washington Post reports that 49 percent of self-identified Republicans approve and 47 percent disapprove of the job Republican lawmakers are doing. Alternatively, more than six in 10 Democrats approve of the job Democratic members are doing.

EDUCATION

News and Observer: One NC husband who’s happy his overburdened wife is leaving teaching
It is with great happiness that I report that yet another distinguished teacher has left her career and chosen to be employed by a company in the private sector. I am happy not because I desire the public school system to fail, but because that distinguished teacher is my wife. After nearly seven years of her passion for teaching turning to dread, she is free to live her life unburdened by the oppressive hands of incompetent legislators and school board members who wish to micromanage education without actually getting involved with the people in it. As each passing year of new policies and tests fails to deliver the results they desire, rather than reform their thinking, these officials create new policies and new tests and pile them on top of the old ones. They, with the raising of a hand and a stroke of a signature, applaud themselves for their feigned ingenuity without thought or regard for those who will have to bear the burden of it.

WRAL: Lt. Gov. Forest calls on parents to reject home school visits
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says the parents of students who are home-schooled should send government bureaucrats packing if they ask to visit. Forest made the comments in a news release sent to reporters late Monday. He was reacting to a decision by the state’s Division of Non-Public Education to select five home-schools at random for site visits this year. That announcement garnered attention from advocates in the home school community. Some of those same advocates said Monday they had been told the school visits would not take place. They quoted an email from David Mills, director of the division, as saying, "It has come to my attention that the effort to make a small sampling of homeschool visits is not well understood by homeschoolers. Today, as of October 14, 2013, I do not plan to do any more after the initial five I have already contacted."

NCDP

Fayetteville Observer: Weakened N.C. Democrats look to make comeback in 2014 election
"Frankly, the realistic goal is: Eliminate the super-majority in both chambers, or at least one," said Jeanne Milliken Bonds, a Democratic strategist and pundit in Wake County. From there, the party can work on taking back at least one of the chambers in 2016, she said. State Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville, one of the ranking House Democrats, is more optimistic. Since early summer, he said, he has encountered a growing number of people who are upset with many of the decisions of the Republican-controlled legislature, particularly on education. "There is a realistic plan and possibility of the Democrats being able to recapture both the House and Senate, and I would not have told you that five months ago," he said. Adds Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller, "Right now, people are hot. Right now, people are feeling the pain and willing to work for change." But the Democrats face a tough opponent and have severe disadvantages. They need money and strong candidates and must overcome the demographics of districts designed to favor Republican candidates.

WSOCTV: McCrory spends $230K in taxpayer’s money to remodel his bathrooms
North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Ben Ray said the Republican governor’s spending priorities are skewed. "This is an administration and a legislature that rejected health care for 500,000 North Carolinians," Ray said, referring to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid, mostly with federal funds, under the Affordable Care Act. "So to drop $230,000 on a bathroom renovation just shows that Pat McCrory’s priority is not North Carolina, but himself," Ray said.

MCCRORY

News and Observer: NC’s failure to expand Medicaid takes its toll
How easy it was for Gov. McCrory and Republican leaders of the General Assembly to ignore the consequences of their decision to reject the federal government’s offer to expand Medicaid. Washington would have paid the entire cost, for three years, of adding 500,000 people to the federal/state health insurance program for the poor. And, the federal government would have covered 90 percent of the cost thereafter. The expansion was part of the good program Republicans love to hate, the Affordable Care Act. Under it more people would be on Medicaid, most of the other uninsured would be able to buy insurance though health care exchanges, and with more individuals covered, insurance premiums for all likely would go down. But while they were on a roll in the last session, bashing public school teachers, cutting unemployment for jobless North Carolinians and cutting education in general along with other worthwhile programs, GOP lawmakers and McCrory said no to more Medicaid participants. The problem, they said, was that the federal government would probably go back on its promise to pick up the cost. There was no basis for that suspicion. The federal government has paid its share of Medicaid for decades.

Dome: Morning Memo: McCrory flushes taxpayer-funded remodel”
Gov. Pat McCrory has decided the six bathrooms in the executive mansion don’t need a $230,000 taxpayer funded redo after all. The day after AP reporter Michael Biesecker reported the large-scale renovation that included $100,710 just to fix the governor’s master bathroom — complete with marble and ceramic tile — his spokeswoman said the no taxpayer money will be used for the upgrade. Kim Genardo, McCrory’s communications director, said only a limited amount of money would be used to fix broken faucets, code violations and treat dangerous mold. The original story noted that a memo justifying the repairs said there was concern mold might be growing behind the walls.

Talking About Politics: Can the Potty Jokes
Spend $230,000 in taxpayers’ money fixing up the private bathrooms at the Executive Mansion? You could hear howls across the state when that news leaked. (Get it? “Leaked”?) OK, time out. No more potty humor. This has already been a headline-writer’s dream: “Flushed,” “in loo of,” “down the drain,” “taxpayers take bath.” Let’s deal with the serious political issues swirling – excuse me – involved here. Like, whose bright idea was this? Who in the McCrory administration thought this made sense? Well, the list came from none other than Budget Czar Art Pope. The news release about the $90 million in repairs and renovations came from the Department of Administration (Secretary Bill Daughtridge and PIO Chris Mears). The release quoted Governor McCrory himself: “This is the first step of fulfilling my promise to the people of North Carolina to rebuild and repair state facilities that have been ignored for far too long. These long-needed renovations will not only produce more efficient buildings, they will also protect and enhance the public’s investment, particularly at our state universities.” The bathroom redo sank fast. Governor McCrory had to put out a statement Saturday pulling the plug. (Stop me. I can’t help myself.) But this is just like paying inexperienced 24-year-old campaign aides $87,000 a year. The public gets it. They may not get all the Medicaid debate. But they get $87,000 salaries. They get spending more on bathrooms that most people’s homes cost in North Carolina.

Charlotte Observer: McCrory reverses course on mansion bathroom remake

Gov. Pat McCrory has decided against spending up to $230,000 in taxpayer funds remodeling bathrooms in his private living quarters at North Carolina’s Executive Mansion. McCrory spokesman Kim Genardo issued a statement Saturday saying the scope of the work would now be scaled back.

Politics NC: Freeloaders
Well, it looks like Aldona Wos got to kick some freeloaders off the dole after all. The News & Observer is reporting that North Carolina will stop Work First payments to poor families. Last week, Wos tried to stop WIC payments but, fortunately for recipients, Art Pope figured out that it stands for Women, Infants and Children. He didn’t figure that DHHS needed anymore bad publicity and beating up on pregnant women and kids wouldn’t look good at all. This year, the legislature rejected an expansion of Medicaid that would have been paid for by the federal government and provided health care to 500,000 North Carolinians. They also passed a law to drug test all welfare recipients even though similar programs in other states have proven to be more costly than effective. And two years ago, the legislature cut $350 million from Medicaid, including dental and eye care. It’s been a long time since we’ve such animosity toward the poor in North Carolina. There’s a strong dose of blame-the-victim in their rhetoric and their actions. It’s surprising that sentiment is so strong given our economic problems.

2014

Washington Post: Dems dare GOP to provoke another hostage crisis during 2014 elections
Under Reid’s proposal, the debt ceiling would be extended for six to nine months, and the government would be funded at $986 billion until some point in December. Doing so would punt the fight over whether to lock in 2014 sequestration levels at $967 billion until December. And by extending the debt ceiling until the middle of next year, it would put the issue in the center of the heated 2014 midterm elections. A Senate Democratic aide confirms to me that this is roughly accurate, but adds some important additional points. For one thing, the aide tells me, Dems will demand a genuine concession in exchange for a medical device tax delay, such as the closing of loopholes on the rich and corporations. Democrats don’t expect Republicans to agree to any real concession, so they don’t expect the medical device tax to be part of the final deal.

The Hill: Hillary Clinton to campaign in Virginia with McAuliffe (Video)
Hillary Clinton will campaign with Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) this weekend. It will be Clinton’s her first public campaign event since she left the Obama administration in February. Clinton will officially endorse McAuliffe at a "Women for Terry" event in Northern Virginia on Saturday afternoon, McAuliffe’s campaign announced. This will be the former secretary of State’s third event for McAuliffe, after hosting two fundraisers, and her first public campaign stop in years.

First Read NBC: Off to the races: Shut it down! (But keep that open!)
RNC release: “Today the Republican National Committee (RNC) is launching robocalls to the constituents of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu, and Kay Hagan. Launched when these Democrats are likely to be in their districts today, these calls urge their constituents to demand these Democrat leaders stop playing politics and stand up for veterans who deserve their benefits. The calls follow a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives to ensure our veterans receive their benefits.” Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz showed up at the WW2 memorial to protest its closure. There were tea party flags, a confederate flag (!!!), the crowd chanting a Reagan oldie: “Tear down these walls,” and there was even a guy dressed like Captain America. But here’s the reality: Whether it’s veterans’ benefits or the memorial closure, you can’t close a grocery store and then be “outraged” that the bread aisle isn’t open.

News and Observer: Ellmers called ‘faux conservative,’ gets primary challenge
Frank Roche, a Cary stock trader and talk show host, plans to challenge Renee Ellmers in next May’s GOP primary in the 2nd Congressional District. Roche has scheduled "a digital town hall” for Oct. 23 to talk about debt, deficits, immigration, the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 race. He is soliciting volunteers to challenge Ellmers, a two-term congresswoman from Dunn. "If you’re a self-starter, have a passion for politics, or are concerned and frustrated by RINO’s or faux conservatives in DC, come get involved,” Roche wrote in an email to potential supporters. Roche unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for state treasurer in 2012 and the 4th District GOP nomination in 2010.

GAY MARRIAGE

Mountain Xpress: Reisinger will seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses
Here’s the press release from Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger:
Asheville, North Carolina. Monday, October 14, 2013
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger will be the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. Reisinger will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Roy Cooper. “I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval," Reisinger said. "I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.

Citizen Times: AG Roy Cooper supports gay marriage
Attorney General Roy Cooper has revealed that he supports same-sex marriage, and he says his personal views won’t prevent him from vigorously defending North Carolina’s constitutional amendment against such marriages in a lawsuit. When Cooper opposed passage of the May 2012 amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages, which passed by a comfortable margin, he spoke mostly about the lack of clarity in its language, and had never addressed publicly his views on the issue itself. But when asked whether he’d like to see the amendment repealed or a law passed to sanction same-sex marriage, Cooper said: “I support marriage equality.” Cooper is named as a defendant and is the state’s lead designated attorney in a lawsuit filed by several same-sex couples that was recently expanded to challenge the constitutionality of the amendment in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision over the summer.

Buzzfeed: North Carolina Official Pushing State Attorney General On Marriage Equality

On the heels of the news that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper supports marriage equality, a local official in the state plans to ask Cooper whether his office believes the state’s marriage laws unconstitutionally ban same-sex couples from marrying. “I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger said in a statement Tuesday. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision. In an ongoing lawsuit against the state, Cooper, a Democrat, told the Associated Press that, despite his support for marriage equality, he will continue to defend the state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marrying in the lawsuit. Voters in the state passed an amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying in May 2012.
Reisinger’s response to the campaign will press Cooper on another front — directly facing him with the question of whether he believes the law is constitutional. Although his office could try to sidestep the question — saying that it isn’t his role to determine the constitutionality of the law, particularly when the question has been raised in other litigation — it is a sign that, even in the South, there are officials like Reisinger who are willing to push the envelope in support of marriage equality.

ROY COOPER

Daily Tarheel: Attorney General Roy Cooper motivates underprivileged children
Baseball, a campus tour and a speech from N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper were some of the events giving young students from around the state their first taste of UNC Saturday. The events were part of the 2013 College Day Experience, a program held at schools nationwide by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation that aims to expose underprivileged kids to campus life and encourage them to pursue higher education. Cooper, who said in an interview that he might consider a gubernatorial run in the state in 2016, spoke to the 71 elementary and middle school students in attendance, underscoring the importance of staying away from crime, working hard and getting good grades. Part of Saturday’s event was a baseball program held jointly by the foundation and the N.C. Department of Justice called Badges for Baseball, played between the kids and law enforcement. Cooper, who played in the game, said he feels the program helps encourage kids to become more comfortable with police and make positive life decisions. “We want kids running to police cars instead of from police cars,” said Cooper.

SCOTT WALKER

Political Wire: Walker Used Phantom Jobs to Give Raises
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) administration "used phantom job transfers this year to give double-digit pay raises to two employees and a smaller raise to a third, quickly switching them from one post to as many as three others and then back to their original jobs," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

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Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
MBeasley
Twitter: @Micah4NC

Paid for by North Carolina Democratic Party. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.