NCDP Clips for Thursday, February 14, 2013


ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES – Obama talks with workers at Linamar in Asheville
For Valerie Blackburn, President Barack Obama’s Wednesday visit to an auto parts plant couldn’t have come at a better time for her family.
After years of struggling financially, her husband, Doug Blackburn, 48, was hired by Linamar Corp. in November.
“This job has been a blessing,’ said Valerie, 48, of Dana.
Her husband nodded. “This was like a saving grace,” he said softly.
One day after his State of the Union address, the president toured the Linamar factory before speaking to workers like Blackburn who lined the factory floor.

USA TODAY – Obama takes State of the Union message to N.C
President Obama traveled to North Carolina on Wednesday to kick off a three-day, post-State of the Union push for his plan to revitalize the U.S. economy.
Obama chose a Canadian auto-parts manufacturer, The Linamar Corp., in Asheville, N.C., as a backdrop to reinforce his call for Congress to pour money into bolstering America’s manufacturing and high-tech sectors.
"I believe in manufacturing," he said. "That is what makes our country strong."

THE WASHINGTON POST – In N.C., Obama starts his policy campaign by pledging to shore up manufacturing
President Obama chose a factory in economically distressed Appalachia on Wednesday as the stage set to showcase his State of the Union proposals to strengthen American manufacturing, telling employees that “we still have a lot of work to do.”
“And this is a job for everybody,” Obama told the audience of workers and guests at the Linamar engine factory here. “It’s not a Republican job or a Democratic job. It’s all of our jobs.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES – Extending a Theme, Obama Promotes Resurgence in U.S. Manufacturing
The day after President Obama charted an expansive new view of the government’s role in society, it seemed less and less likely that many of his proposals would survive the political riptide on Capitol Hill.
On Wednesday, as Mr. Obama took to the road and visited a Canadian engine-parts factory near here to sell his vision, Republicans and even some Democrats expressed doubt about whether plans to raise the minimum wage or provide universal access to prekindergarten would ever be enacted — especially on top of ambitious White House efforts on gun violence and immigration.


NEWS & OBSERVER – Bill leaves thousands with few options for health insurance
The thousands of low-income North Carolinians denied health insurance in a Republican-drafted measure that passed the House on Wednesday are left with few options for coverage.
It’s a reality that Chiyanna Henry knows all too well. The Selma mother of three, the youngest of which is 22 months old, is among the 1.5 million uninsured in the state. Her husband receives health coverage through his IT job at a community college, but can’t afford to cover the whole family at $900 a month. “I’m just praying,” said Henry, 41.

WRAL – McCrory’s first two bills
Gov. Pat McCrory will have a chance to sign the first two bills of his administration in the coming days.
The state Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill remaking North Carolina’s unemployment insurance program. The much-discussed bill will temporarily raise taxes on employers and permanently lower the duration and weekly value of benefits for those who lose their jobs. McCrory has said that paying down $2.5 billion borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment claims is a high priority and he has vocally backed the bill. The changes will go into effect July 1.
Also headed McCrory’s way is a bill that creates technical and college track endorsements for North Carolina high school diplomas. This is an issue upon which McCrory campaigned and he has supported this legislation.

WRAL – House sends technical education bill to the governor
High school diplomas would bear endorsements marking students as ready for technical careers, college or both under a bill that the state House passed 110-1 Wednesday night.
Senate Bill 14 bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory, who has been a supporter of the concept. It will be one of the first two bills to come to the governor for his signature.
Officials with the state Department of Public Instruction told House members earlier in the day that school officials also backed the bill.

WILMINGTON STAR NEWS – N.C. bill on regulation reform targets 22,500 administrative rules
The N.C. House is considering a bill that would mandate an official review of every state rule with an eye toward eliminating redundant or burdensome regulations.
The new House Regulatory Reform Committee discussed House Bill 78 on Wednesday, a first step as the legislature begins to tackle the issue. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, and Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg.
"This is a broad, sweeping bill," Murry said during Wednesday’s committee morning. "The bill was drafted so that it could be amended."


NEWS & OBSERVER – An effective State of the Union speech
Expectations are always high when President Barack Obama steps to the stage in the U.S. House of Representatives for an address to a joint session of Congress. In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, he met those expectations with specific, positive and what should be bipartisan ideas.
The president’s ideas as pushed before members of the House and Senate, with Republicans at times sitting on their hands and at other times reluctantly joining in applause (an improvement on behavior past), contained some renewed ones such as passing some of his job creation strategies contained in a jobs bill that Republicans rejected in part.

THE WASHINGTON POST – Obama embraces the audacity of freedom
President Obama is a freer man than he has been at any point in his presidency. He is free from the need to save an economy close to collapse, from illusions that Republicans in Congress would work with him readily, from the threat of a rising tea party movement and from the need to win reelection.
This sense of freedom gave his State of the Union address an energy, an ease and a specificity that were lacking in earlier speeches written with an eye toward immediate political needs. It was his most Democratic State of the Union, unapologetic in channeling the love Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson had for placing long lists of initiatives on the nation’s agenda. Obama sees his second term not as a time of consolidation but as an occasion for decisively changing the direction of our politics.


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