NCDP Clips for Thursday, April 14th, 2016
N.C. SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS ABOUT RETENTION ELECTIONS (Raleigh News & Observer) — Justices of the NC Supreme Court were in an unusual position Wednesday when they asked the lawyers before them about a case that will have an impact on how sitting justices and others seeking a seat on the state’s highest court stand for election.
DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER ROSS LEADS GOP BURR IN Q1 CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING (Winston-Salem Journal) — The latest U.S. Senate campaign fundraising results made available Wednesday by Republican incumbent Richard Burr of Winston-Salem and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross of Raleigh show that donors dug deeper for Ross but Burr still has a lot more money. Ross raised $1.3 million during the three months ending March 31 while Burr raised $1.1 million, according to aides with both campaigns.
BURR TO STEER CLEAR OF GOP CONVENTION THIS SUMMER (LA Times) — The GOP convention in Cleveland will have its share of cajoling and tensions and perhaps even dissolve into unrest, as Donald Trump has suggested — all of which has some high-profile Republicans likely to skip out. "I’m up for reelection," Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C), told CNN in explaining his plans to skip the convention. "I’m more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland."
SCIENCE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL (WUNC-FM) — The presidential election campaign is littered with claims from candidates about the economy, health care and immigration. Claims on topics like climate change continue to be politicized, yet candidates are talking about these issues more. But with an increase in discussion comes a need to check facts.
#MCCRORY’S POTTY POLITICS
‘BATHROOM LAW’ PUTS N.C. GOVERNOR IN CROSSFIRE OF GOP CIVIL WAR (Washington Post) – Gov, Pat McCrory is still trying to find the right political balance. The governor does not want evangelicals to think he caved to pressure from big business, but he also wants to convince his friends in the country-club wing of the Republican Party that he understands the law overreached.
COMPANIES CONTINUE HB2 PUSHBACK FOLLOWING MCCRORY’S EXECUTIVE ORDER (Charlotte Observer) — Major corporations remain concerned about NC’s controversial LGBT law; BofA, American Airlines see some reason for optimism after governor’s action; Bipartisan group of six U.S. senators wants NBA to move 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte
CHARLOTTE LAUNCHES ‘ALWAYS WELCOME’ INCLUSION CAMPAIGN (Charlotte Observer) — Three weeks after Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a controversial LGBT measure that many are calling bad for business, Charlotte’s civic and business leaders are launching a campaign that touts the city as a welcoming place.
WHAT DID IT COST TO PASS HB2? $567.5 MILLION OVER NEXT 2 YEARS (Center for American Progress) — Based on publicly available estimates of the economic impact of lost or at-risk business activity or events, the North Carolina economy could potentially lose out on more than $567.5 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018.
PRO-LGBT REPUBLICAN GROUP LAUNCHES ‘CONSERVATIVES AGAINST HB2’ WEBSITE (Raleigh News & Observer) — A national conservative organization that backs LGBT rights is entering the debate over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 with a new website, conservativesagainsthb2.com.
LAWMAKERS: BATHROOM PROVISION STAYS, OTHER SECTIONS OF HB2 COULD CHANGE (WRAL-TV) — Lawmakers said Wednesday that there’s no chance they will repeal a provision of a new law that requires people to use the public bathroom that matches their birth gender, but they said other portions of the law could be tweaked.
HB2 OPPONENTS ‘GIVE MCCRORY WAKE-UP CALL’ WITH AIR HORN PROTEST (WRAL-TV) — An ear-piercing protest against House Bill 2 took place outside the Executive Mansion Wednesday night as demonstrators came armed with air horns.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS GATHER IN RESPONSE TO MCCRORY’S TAX HIKES (WNCT)- Some taxpayers in the area are unhappy with Governor Pat McCrory’s policies. A group of small business owners along with progress NC shared their opinions about McCrory’s tax hikes.They stood outside the Pitt County courthouse this afternoon. A number of people spoke and shared their personal stories.
LAWS DECRIED AS LGBT DISCRIMINATION PROPOSED ACROSS COUNTRY (AP) — Legislation has been proposed in states across the country to protect those who — due to religious beliefs — decline to employ or serve certain people. Critics say the laws are aimed at the LGBT community and are discriminatory. Recent laws denounced as discriminatory in North Carolina and Mississippi has prompted a growing backlash from opponents. Here’s a look at legislation around the country:
RINGO CANCELS CARY SHOW OVER HB2 (Raleigh News & Observer) — The hits just keep on coming. Ringo Starr announced Wednesday that he is canceling his June 18 concert at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre in protest of North Carolina’s law that precludes protections for some LGBT people.
PASTOR SPEAKING OUT AFTER GAY PRIDE FLAGS BURNED ON CHURCH PROPERTY (TWCN-TV) — The Hillsborough United Christ of Church prides itself on the inclusion of everyone regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. The church’s pastor says that won’t change despite vandals burning two entry way, rainbow flags over the weekend.
POLICY & POLITICS
FAITH GROUP ADVOCATES FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION (Greenville Daily Reflector) – -A faith-based advocacy group says implementing Medicaid expansion will not only improve medical care for North Carolinians but bolster the ability of medical providers to deliver that care.
FBI VIDEOS SHOW PATRICK CANNON POCKETING THOUSANDS IN BRIBES (Charlotte Observer) — In an uncharacteristic move Wednesday, the FBI released footage from its two-year investigation of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, exposing the Democrat’s role in the city’s worst-ever case of public corruption.
BURR: ENCRYPTION SHOULD NOT BE ‘ABOVE THE LAW’ (WRAL-TV) — North Carolina Senator Richard Burr along with California’s Dianne Feinstein unveiled proposed legislation that would require companies to help the government break encryption on devices, but it already has generated opposition from Silicon Valley and privacy groups.
MCCRORY NOMINATES RETIRED CHARLOTTE OFFICER TO LEAD SBI (WRAL-TV) — Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday morning announced that a retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer would be his nominee for director of the State Bureau of Investigation.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
UNC SCRAPPED LOANS FOR TOP STUDENTS IN NEED AND BECAME POLICY LEADER (Hechinger Report) — October 2003 James Moeser, then the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced a plan to eliminate loans from the financial aid packages of undergraduates from low-income families. The new policy, known as the Carolina Covenant, turned Carolina into a national leader in efforts to address a limited but significant aspect of the diversity issue in U.S. higher education: helping academically gifted low-income students to enroll in elite public universities and, once there, to persist and graduate. Data show that the Carolina Covenant has succeeded in raising retention and graduation rates among low-income undergraduates and narrowed chronic gaps between low-income and middle-class students, especially with respect to African-American males.
TAKEOVER OF LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS UP FOR SHORT SESSION DEBATE (Raleigh News & Observer) — A state House special committee kept alive for the short legislative session a proposal that would allow a state takeover of up to five low-performing schools.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
DUKE ENERGY CLIMBS ANNUAL UTILITY SOLAR RANKINGS (Charlotte Business Journal) — Duke Energy Progress ranked third in the nation for solar power added to its grid in 2015. The Solar Electric Power Alliance says Duke Progress finished the year with 461 megawatts of new solar capacity. California utilities held the top two places in the association’s top 10.
MCCRORY’S HB2 TWEAKS WON’T STOP THE DAMAGE (Fayetteville Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory may have discovered that he’s in a deep hole. He’s digging a little slower, anyway.
LACK OF ENFORCEMENT PLAN SHOWS HB2 IS A COSTLY FARCE (Winston-Salem Journal) — House Bill 2, the “bathroom bill” rushed through by the state legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory, is having the desired effect of rallying the troops before the November election even as it drains economic-development efforts. McCrory started trying to walk the measure back Tuesday with an executive order that does too little too late.
IS MEDICAID BROKEN OR MISREPRESENTED? (Wilson Times) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services should do its job and put an end to mistaken Medicaid overpayments to doctors and hospitals, provide more thorough tracking and reporting
LOW CEILING FOR SOME (Greensboro News & Record) — For most poor North Carolina residents, upward mobility has a low ceiling. It’s harder in this state than in most others for people to climb the economic ladder, according to a depressing new report.
IN CANCELING NC SHOW, THE BOSS HITS ALL THE RIGHT NOTES OF SUPPORT (Raleigh News & Observer column) — The one thing we cannot afford is for anyone with an avowed commitment to equality to turn a blind eye to this moment; Our state is lucky that Bruce Springsteen’s unique place at the intersection of art, celebrity and privilege reaffirmed a sense of social responsibility rather than decimated it; If we cannot win this fight solely by appealing to equality and justice, then those who can speak with their wallets must