NCDP Clips for Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
FUELED BY ISLAMOPHOBIA, TRUMP GETS STRONGER IN N.C. (Public Policy Polling) — Donald Trump is at his highest level of support in North Carolina yet., according to the latest statewide voter survey by Public Policy Polling. Among Republican voters, he’s at 33% to 16% for Ted Cruz, 14% each for Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, 5% for Jeb Bush, 4% for Chris Christie, 3% for John Kasich, 2% each for Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul, 1% each for Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum, and less than 1% each for Jim Gilmore and George Pataki. The candidate most headed in the wrong direction is Ben Carson. He’s dropped 9 points from 23% and a clear second place to 14% and a tie for third place. On the Democratic side, things are stable. Hillary Clinton leads with 60% to 21% for Bernie Sanders and 10% for Martin O’Malley. Clinton led by a similar61/24 margin on our last poll in the state. If there’s a momentum candidate it’s O’Malley, whose support has doubled from 5% to 10%.
COOPER CANDIDACY OFFICIAL, URGING ‘STATE THAT WORKS FOR EVERYBODY’ (Greensboro News & Record) — N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper asked the people behind one of the state’s most bedrock of industries Tuesday to support his effort to turn state government around. The Democratic candidate for governor told an audience of farm families and others from the agricultural industry that North Carolina “has fallen too far off the cliff” in the last several years.
MOORESVILLE’S BRAWLEY WILL CHALLENGE McCRORY IN GOP PRIMARY (Statesville Record & Landmark) — Driven by his opposition to the toll lanes plan for I-77, longtime Mooresville insurance agent and state Rep. Robert Brawley said he will become a candidate for governor today, filing the necessary paperwork to oppose incumbent Pat McCrory in the March 15 Republican primary.
SUPER PAC SUPPORTING N.C. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR (WRAL-TV) — “Truth and Prosperity”, a political action committee that can take unlimited contributions from donors, has been formed with the primary goal of helping Republican Dan Forest get re-elected as North Carolina’s lieutenant governor in 2016.
SBE OPINION LIMITS WHO CAN BE IN ADS FOR BOND PROPOSAL (TWCN-TV) — A new advisory opinion by the State Board of Elections might sideline one of the bond’s biggest cheerleaders- sort of.
LOCAL MUSLIMS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS REJECT TRUMP’S COMMENTS (Winston-Salem Journal) — On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stood by his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
POLICY & POLITICS
ATTORNEYS CHALLENGE LAW ALLOWING MAGISTRATES TO AVOID SAME-SEX MARRIAGES (Charlotte Observer) — Complaint expected to be filed Wednesday says North Carolina law is unconstitutional
DEMS URGE LEGISLATURE TO STOP THOSE ON WATCH LIST FROM BUYING GUNS (TWCN-TV) — During a press conference outside the Capitol building Tuesday afternoon, state Democratic leaders called on the legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory to prevent those on the federal terror watch and no-fly lists from purchasing a firearm in North Carolina.
COOPER’S TERRORISM GUN-CONTROL PROPOSAL DRAWS FIRE (Raleigh News & Observer) — Attorney General Roy Cooper’s proposal to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms in North Carolina continued to attract political reaction for a second day on Tuesday.
BURR WANTS FACEBOOK, GOOGLE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPY ON USERS (San Jose Mercury-News) — Silicon Valley tech firms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, are facing more political heat from U.S. lawmakers who are pressing these companies to do more to combat terrorist activity on social networks in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings. On Tuesday, pressure mounted after Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reintroduced a bill that would require technology companies to report online terrorist activity to law enforcement.
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES ACT: NC AHEAD OF OF CURVE (Public News Service) — The holidays may be a little easier for at least some of the 10,000 children in North Carolina’s foster care system. The federal Strengthening Families Act, signed into law last year, requires states to make changes to help normalize the lives of children in the system.
SUPREME COURT HEARS TWO DISPUTES ON POLITICAL MAPS (Wall Street Journal) — The Supreme Court confronted a fundamental question underlying American democracy in two cases argued Tuesday: Deciding who counts when dividing the seats in state and local legislatures.
OBAMA SIGNS LEGISLATION DESIGNATING AREA HIGHWAYS AS ‘FUTURE INTERSTATES’ (New Bern Sun Journal) — President Obama has signed into law two bills authored by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., that designate several highways in Eastern North Carolina
N.C. 2016 ECONOMIC FORECAST PROJECTS 111,000 NEW JOBS, ‘STABLE’ GROWTH (WRAL-TV) — In one of the most closely economic forecasts focusing on N.C., UNC Charlotte Economist John Connaughton foresees "modest growth" and a "stable new year" for 2016.
INCUBATOR FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL VETERANS LAUNCHES LOCAL BRANCH (Durham Herald-Sun) — A new incubator aimed at providing resources and networking for entrepreneurs who are veterans launched Tuesday at Research Triangle Park’s The Frontier.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
STUDY: GOOD SCHOOLS GOOD FOR LOCAL ECONOMY (WRAL-TV) — The investment in public education is directly benefiting the local economy, according to a new study commissioned by the Wake County Public School System and WakeEd Partnership.
LOSING ITS LUSTER: LOW PAY, LACK OF RESPECT PROMPT TEACHERS TO RETHINK CHOSEN PROFESSION (N.C. Policy Watch) — By any measure, Asheville Middle School’s Chris Gable was a teaching star. Gable outperformed all of his colleagues as measured by his students’ test scores, and he had a gift for engaging his students. He coached young writers and was always finding innovative ways to make language arts interesting. But a salary low enough to qualify him and his family for Medicaid and food assistance, combined with a lack of other professional support, forced him to leave his beloved town and state in search of a living wage.
DECEMBER CHARTER SCHOOL ADVISORY BOARD MEETING (EdNC) — Two schools did not have their charters renewed during the first day of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board meeting in Raleigh. The Board voted not to recommend renewal to the State Board of Education for Charlotte’s Kennedy Public Charter School and Crossroads Charter High School. In voting against the schools’ charter renewals, committee members cited both institutions’ struggles with academic achievement and institutional finances.
LEADING NC A&T, A TOP HBCU IN THE COUNTRY (WUNC-FM) — Harold Martin is the first former student of North Carolina A&T State University to lead his alma mater. During Martin’s tenure, the school gained the distinction as one of the top universities for land grant scholarships in the country and third in the UNC system in sponsored research funding.
WAKE SCHOOLS SEEING FEWER NEW STUDENTS THAN EXPECTED (Raleigh News & Observer) — Growth in the Wake County school system is slowing down as more families are choosing charter schools, private schools and home schools as alternatives for educating their children.
FIGHT CONTINUES TO KEEP COAL ASH OUT OF LEE AND CHATHAM COUNTIES (WNCN-TV) — The fight continues to keep coal ash from being permanently stored in Lee and Chatham counties. Local environmental groups are challenging the State’s issuance of permits allowing ash to be dumped in open-pit clay mines. http://wncn.com/2015/12/08/environmental-groups-oppose-nc-coal-ash-plan-in-court/
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
ELON BOARD DENIES SOLAR FARM (Burlington Times-News) — The Elon Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday night to deny the rezoning of 40 acres just outside of town so a California company could build a solar farm there, saying the proposal is not consistent with the town’s growth plan. The vote comes several months after Ecoplexus first approached the town about building the solar farm.
DUKE ENERGY RENEWABLES OFFERS BATTERY STORAGE TO COMMERCIAL-SCALE USERS (Charlotte Business Journal) — Duke Energy Renewables will offer commercial, industrial and government customers energy storage to complement solar installations developed by its REC Solar subsidiary. REC Solar will work with Green Charge Network to pair lithium ion batteries and software to operate them with solar projects built by REC. Both companies are based in California. Green Charge is an independent company.
MEETING EXPLORES OFFSHORE DRILLING ISSUE (WITN-TV) — Economic developers, elected officials and business leaders gathered Tuesday in Greenville to hear from advocates about the possibility of offshore oil drilling along our state’s coast. State Commerce Secretary John Skvarla, as well as several oil industry experts and advocates, addressed potential economic and environmental impacts of offshore drilling in the Carolinas. The North Carolina East Alliance hosted the event.
STATE WORKERS RECEIVE LAPEL PINS INSTEAD OF RAISES (Women AdvaNCe) — In November, North Carolina state employees received some unexpected swag in their employee mailboxes: a genuine North Carolina logo lapel pin. The pin serves as “a token of appreciation for all that you do to make North Carolina a place where we are all inspired to do, see, create, experience, and achieve more.” Heads were being scratched all over the state. We have real problems in North Carolina, problems that won’t be fixed by spending $1.5 million of taxpayer money on lapel pins and rebranding the state logo.
ANOTHER STEP ON THE PATH TO TRUE EQUALITY (Charlotte Observer) — It should be undisputed that equality under the law is a desirable characteristic of society. The fight for it, alas, seems never-ending. The quest continues Wednesday with the filing of a complaint in federal court against North Carolina’s Senate Bill 2, known by many as the magistrates’ bill.
COMMUNITY HOUSING FOR THE MENTALLY ILL STILL SCARCE DESPITE NC PLEDGE (Raleigh News & Observer column) — After three years the state has successfully relocated only 400 people from adult care homes to ‘supported housing’
ONE SMALL STEP WE WON’T TAKE TO STOP TERRORISTS (Fayetteville Observer) — We don’t know if it’s a workable idea. We may never find out. But the political posturing and badmouthing ought to embarrass the politicians who are failing to serve us. President Obama suggested this week that people whose names are on the anti-terror no-fly list should be barred from buying guns. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper made a similar suggestion for a change in state law. In essence, it makes sense – if they’re too dangerous to get on an airplane, then they shouldn’t be able to buy guns, should they?