Gov. Pat McCrory says he’s not interested in bringing North Carolina legislators back to Raleigh to consider expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul law. McCrory said Monday that calling a special session on the topic was "out of the question." He made the comment after some Democratic lawmakers and liberal-leaning groups requested he do so to cover more people.
Gov. Pat McCrory and three living former governors are coming together to support an effort to encourage discussions on economic development named in the memory of a 19th-century North Carolina chief executive. The organizers of the Governor Morehead Forum for Economic Development say McCrory and former Govs Jim Hunt, Jim Martin and Beverly Perdue were expected to attend a reception Tuesday night in Greensboro. The event was slated for Blandwood, the former home of Gov. John Motley Morehead. He was governor in the early 1840s and known for his interest in industrial development, particularly the North Carolina Railroad.
Gov. Pat McCrory and three living former governors are coming together to support an effort to encourage discussions on economic development named in the memory of a 19th-century North Carolina chief executive. The organizers of the Governor Morehead Forum for Economic Development say McCrory and former Govs. Jim Hunt, Jim Martin and Beverly Perdue were expected to attend a reception Tuesday night in Greensboro. The event was slated for Blandwood, the former home of Gov. John Motley Morehead. He was governor in the early 1840s and known for his interest in industrial development, particularly the North Carolina Railroad.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is stepping on toes and he knows it. "I’m not doing it to cause pain, I’m doing it to let people know we’ve got some serious issues we need to confront, and we’ve got to some long term solutions," said Governor Pat McCrory. McCrory says he was elected to make tough decisions and sometimes that means saying ‘no’. Most recently, he’s axed the idea for a special session to expand Medicaid. "I learned a long time ago – before you expand something, you fix what you have first and I’ve got to if the delivery system for the women, children, elderly that are currently on Medicaid and are frankly not giving theservices that they need to have," explained McCrory.
Like a lot of 21st Century North Carolinians, Gov. Pat McCrory is a not a native of the state. He was actually born in Ohio and moved here as a kid. And while it’s hard to imagine him ever discussing this matter much in public, here’s at least one instance in which he might do well to highlight that connection and, indeed, follow the lead of his native state and its conservative Republican governor. As Talking Points Memo pointed out this morning, the challenges of actually governing appear to be having a positive impact on John Kasich — the one-time fire-breathing conservative congressman and now, suddenly, reasonable Governor of the Buckeye state.
Sen. Kay Hagan said Tuesday that she has reintroduced a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans. The Hire A Hero Act provides businesses with a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring a long-term unemployed veteran and $9,600 for hiring a long-term unemployed veteran with a service-connected disability. The 2011 law is due to expire at the end of the year. "We have seen the veteran’s unemployment situation improve over the last few years,” Hagan said on a teleconference. "But the fact really remains that too many of our veterans are struggling to find work today.” The overall unemployment rate for vets is 7.2 percent across the country, although it is higher in North Carolina, she said. Among returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the rate is 10.1 percent.
Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit group – or more correctly, a pair of nonprofit groups – that has become a familiar player on North Carolina’s political scene, has launched the first of what figures to be many ads by outside groups hoping to influence the 2014 U.S. Senate election in North Carolina. Is it true? It is certainly true that Hagan has continued to push for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As to whether that constitutes not listening to North Carolina depends on how you read the polls. However, public opinion surveys do suggest that Hagan’s votes may run counter to public sentiment toward the health care law. Is it true? No. Neither claim has been substantiated by prior fact checks.
Officials with Americans for Prosperity are launching a new ad criticizing U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan for supporting the Affordable Care Act that analysts say amounts to an opening salvo in her 2014 re-election campaign."We want to make sure that North Carolina citizens talk to Sen. Hagan, tell her that there is still an opportunity, and the opportunity is to repeal this law. That’s the goal of this ad," said Tim Phillips, national president for the conservative group. "We want to make sure the focus is on the impact of Obamacare." "It’s designed to make her look bad," said Kyle Condik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a project of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. "For tax purposes, you can call it whatever you want. It’s a campaign ad."
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan last week called on the Administration to extend the enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act by two months: “The problems surrounding the federal exchange for the Affordable Care Act are absolutely unacceptable,” said Hagan. “North Carolinians are frustrated that they haven’t been able to enroll in health insurance plans, and I am just as frustrated. Today I am asking the Administration to extend the open enrollment period by two months, and waive the penalty for the individual mandate for the same period of time, to make up for time that is being lost while the website for the federal exchange is not functioning.
The N.C. Democratic Party announced it hired Marjorie Fields Harris as its constituency outreach coordinator. Harris started her political career at the Democratic National Committee in the 1980s and ran Yvonne Lewis Holley’s successful bid for the N.C. House in 2012, according to the party. “Marjorie will work hand in hand with our eight statewide caucuses to build an effective, organized auxiliary operation that will help re-elect Senator Kay Hagan and Democrats up and down the ballot in 2014,” said Robert Dempsey, the party’s executive director.
Count Labor Secretary Thomas Perez among the many admirers of Costco. In a speech in the nation’s capital on poverty Tuesday, Perez singled out the big-box retailer as one chain that’s managing to pay decent wages in a service industry that employs millions of the working poor. "There’s this notion out there — and it’s a categorically false notion — that the only business model in the service industry is the minimum-wage business model. I say phooey to that," Perez said at the event, which was hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. "You go to a Costco store and you see people there who’ve been working there for years and years. They’re making $15, $20 an hour, plus health benefits." Perez went on to praise Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal, saying the former CEO’s business philosophy valued workers as much as investors. Sinegal, Perez argued, "debunked" the notion that retail wages need to be rock-bottom in order for companies to turn a profit.
The women of the Supreme Court are the subjects of a new painting unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday. The portrait features the high court’s current female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, as well as Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired from the bench in 2005. O’Connor made history in 1981 when she became the first woman ever named to the Supreme Court. “The scale of this painting speaks to the grand accomplishments made by these four women and the example they set for future generations,” museum director Kim Sajet said of the portrait. “I imagine this portrait will spark a conversation among young people, particularly young women, about breaking barriers.” Artist Nelson Shanks was commissioned by collectors Ian and Annette Cumming to paint the portrait. According to the Smithsonian, the painting is on loan to the museum for three years.
When it comes to license plates, North Carolina drivers have plenty of choices to display their special interests – more than 100 with which they can cheer for their alma mater, honor veterans and promote charitable causes. If state lawmakers have their way, drivers can even advocate a position or belief they fervently hold — renouncing the constitutionally protected right of abortion, for example, by purchasing a “Choose Life” plate. What they won’t be able to do, though, is express the opposing view. That’s because when the General Assembly approved more than 70 new plates near the end of the 2011 session – including the “Choose Life” plate – they rejected plates conveying a pro-choice theme, such as “Respect Choice” or “Trust Women. Respect Choice.”
A federal appeals court in Virginia is set to hear arguments on whether North Carolina can offer anti-abortion license plates without making plates available to people who hold the opposite view. U.S. District Judge James Fox ruled last December that offering just the “Choose Life” license plate violates the First Amendment. The state appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear arguments from both sides Wednesday. North Carolina lawmakers approved the “Choose Life” plate in 2011. They rejected proposals to also offer plates with the messages “Trust Women” and “Respect Choice.”
Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt is urging business, political and civic leaders to invest in early childhood education, saying children should start school ready to learn. Hunt urged the leaders to understand the first 2,000 days of a child’s life are critical to shaping who they will be. He called investing in early childhood education, "morally important and economically the smartest thing we could do." David Lawrence Jr., president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation in Florida, cited data showing more than one in three Guilford County third graders can’t read with a minimum proficiency — and that many children will not catch up.
Voter ID legislation seems like a sneaky way to disenfranchise liberal and minority voters, but it’s a ploy that’s getting less sneaky over time… specifically because Republicans are no longer even trying to hide their motivations. That’s right, a number of conservatives are now openly stating what the real purpose of these voting regulations are.
The new book with all the buzz is "Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House," by Peter Baker. It is a magisterial study of the way these men influenced each other, waxing and then waning, during the fateful eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, does not miss much about Bush in 653 pages, down to his dog Spot’s death. Bush took it hard. Baker paints a nuanced and sympathetic portrait of the 43rd president, which I came to appreciate as I turned the pages. At least, I said to myself, Bush was whole-heartedly wrong on just about everything, principally the Iraq War. There’s another president that reminds me of the younger Bush: Andrew Jackson, a rough-hewn character who could be defiantly wrongheaded. But the American people liked the rugged simplicity and masculine confidence they saw in each.
USA Today: 14 political races to watch in 2014
In the 2014 elections, Republicans need to net a six-seat pickup to retake control of the U.S. Senate. They have high hopes, but there is little room for error. In the House, Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats next year to gain majority control and return Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to the speaker’s chair. Here are seven key races to watch in each chamber:
At first, the sound of Mitch McConnell attacking Matt Bevin last week hit the ears like the start of a train wreck with the potential to consume the Senate Minority Leader. Turns out, it was a battle cry. McConnell caused widespread whiplash last week when he unleashed a blistering attack on Bevin, his Republican primary challenger, just days after the Kentucky senator had signaled he was looking past Bevin to likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. Instead, several allies of McConnell and other Senate Republicans say the senator is now planning a two-front war: one against Grimes and the other against the fundraising groups that are supporting Bevin. McConnell’s real targets are the Senate Conservatives Fund, which announced its endorsement of Bevin on Oct. 18, Heritage Action for America, Madison Project, Freedom Works and other outside groups.
“We’re going to stick with the founders,” said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. “We need people to know that Nov. 5 in Virginia is a referendum on Obamacare!” The place: A conference center nestled in the unending concrete yawn of Fairfax County, Va. The audience: At least 300 cheering Republican voters, there to sign up for the final stretch of Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign and to see special guest Sen. Rand Paul. The message: The last way that national Republicans want this race to be perceived. If these are the final days of Ken Cuccinelli’s political career, as the polls suggest them to be, the wider Republican Party wants to say a safe, spinnable distance away from the smoldering wreckage.
A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia shows Terry McAuliffe (D) with just a four point lead over Ken Cuccinelli (R), 45% to 41%, with Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 9%. Said pollster Peter Brown: "Cuccinelli is nipping at McAuliffe’s heels as the race to be Virginia’s next governor enters the final week of the campaign. It goes without saying that turnout is the key to this race and the harshly negative tone of the campaign is the kind that often turns off voters."Meanwhile, a new Newsmax/Zogby poll finds McAuliffe ahead 36% to 30%, with Sarvis at 9%.
Roll Call: DSCC Spreads Wealth to State Parties for 2014
Senate Democrats have quietly started implementing their plan to keep the majority by transferring funds to state parties with top races in 2014. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has begun making monthly transfers to these organizations to help construct first-rate, on-the-ground affiliates ahead of the midterms. Democrats must defend a large number of seats — nine of the cycle’s 11 most competitive Senate races — to retain their majority. Democratic incumbents are running in five of these races, providing the party a prime opportunity to coordinate at the state level early in the cycle. Battle-tested communications operatives have already been sent to state parties in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina — homes of some of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election. Including those three states — but not counting the Massachusetts special election earlier this year — the DSCC has transferred a total of $84,000 to state parties as of Sept. 30, according to figures compiled by Political MoneyLine. Committee funds were also sent to state parties in Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Montana and West Virginia. Funds often arrived in increments of $3,000 per month, although the DSCC would not confirm the exact purpose of these or any other transfers. “We have a real advantage over Republicans in this area,” DSCC Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter said. “Because we’ve avoided primaries in competitive states and are unified behind our candidate, we’re now already building strong field and message operations for the general just as we’ve done in previous cycles.”
Florida’s former chief financial officer and Democratic gubernatorial nominee on Tuesday confirmed exclusively to the Tampa Bay Times that she is jumping into the race to succeed late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in a district covering much of Pinellas County. Sink, 65, has begun looking for a Pinellas home and said she will move "imminently" into the district from her east Hillsborough home 45 minutes away. "Washington’s broken. And I, like everybody else I know, is angry and mad about the logjam, about shutting down the government, about not understanding the impact it was going to have on small businesses and people. The people up there just don’t seem to be able to work together," said Sink, who had considered running for governor again but ruled that out in late September. "I’m somebody who’s solved problems, has a long history of working with Republicans and Democrats to get things done," said Sink, who used to run Bank of America’s Florida operations and was the state’s CFO from 2007-11. "I believe I can be an effective advocate for the people of Pinellas County and get to Washington and make a difference."
Political Wire: Bonus Quote of the Day
"Republicans need to ask what’s wrong with our business model here. This should have been a slam dunk. Virginia almost always votes against the president’s party … All we needed was a mammal up there." — Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), quoted by National Journal, on the Virginia governor’s race.
During a Monday rally for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Rand Paul took to the stage and dropped some 1990s movie knowledge, using the plot of Gattaca to paint a bleak future where a combination of abortion and scientific breakthroughs lead to the practice of eugenics. One problem (other than the obvious issue that he doesn’t seem to have mentioned how awesome that movie is!): The Kentucky senator appears to have lifted his description almost verbatim from the movie’s Wikipedia page. MNSBC’s Rachel Maddow flagged the apparent plagiarism last night. Here are the relevant passages: 1) Rand Paul: “In the movie Gattaca––in the not-too-distant future, eugenics is common. And DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.” Wikipedia: “In the not-too-distant future, liberal eugenics is common and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class.”
A new Winthrop poll in South Carolina shows Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has seen his approval rating drop from 72% in February to just 45% today among Republicans and those independents who lean toward the GOP. Among all registered voters, his approval rating is just 37%. A new Harper Polling survey confirms Graham’s 37% overall approval rating but finds he still holds a commanding lead in a GOP primary, with 51% of the vote, just above the threshold he’d need to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher. His closest competition is Lee Bright (R), who pulls in just 15%.
In a statement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slammed the ads and charged that Hagan and Landrieu don’t face serious opponents. “The fact is Republicans in North Carolina and Louisiana are faced with bruising primary battles between insider candidates and the tea party and lackluster campaigns that haven’t gotten off the ground,” the statement read. “No amount of special interest smears will change the fact that both Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan have strong records of working across the aisle and fighting for middle class families and small businesses in their states.”
Mike Whitson, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Indian Trail, is hosting a luncheon for Mark Harris during the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). Whitson hopes 300 pastors will gather for the free luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Imperial Room D of the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. Currently serving as pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte and BSC president, Harris is running for one of North Carolina’s two seats in the U.S. Senate as a Republican. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, currently holds the office. Although the luncheon will be during the BSC annual meeting, Whitson said the state convention is not promoting or sponsoring the event. The luncheon is privately organized and supported.
Consider U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan as part of the effort to draft Hillary Clinton into the 2016 presidential race. The state’s Democratic U.S. senator revved a crowd eager for a woman president Monday in New York. “All of the Senate Democratic women have written her a letter encouraging her to run,” Hagan told an EMILY’s List crowd, according to local reports. When asked if she supported a potential Clinton’s presidential bid, Hagan answered: "Add me to the ‘Yes’ list.” Hagan stayed out of the fray in 2008 when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton waged a pitched battle for delegates in North Carolina. And the early endorsement may make for an awkward situation when Vice President Joe Biden comes to North Carolina next month to help Hagan raise money for her re-election bid. Biden, too, is reportedly exploring a possible presidential bid. Hagan was a featured guest at the EMILY’s List event, which raised money to help elect Democratic women to political office. The organization ponied up big money to help elect her in 2008 and is expected to do so again.
Two longtime Clinton donors, Sandy Robertson and Susie Tompkins Buell, will host a high-dollar fundraiser in San Francisco next week for “Ready for Hillary,” the leading super PAC supporting a second Hillary Clinton bid for the White House. Buell, a major Democratic donor and a close friend of the former secretary of state, serves as a co-chair of the PAC’s national finance council. She will co-host the fundraiser at Robertson’s home in San Francisco on Monday, Nov. 4, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the event.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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