NCDP Clips for Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
BURR, MCCRORY MUM ON TRUMP WHILE SOME IN GOP BLAST HIM (Winston-Salem Journal) — Any other presidential election cycle, it might seem odd to ask candidates running for federal or state office whether they would support their party’s presidential front-runner if he or she wins enough delegates to clinch the nomination. But this is not like other presidential cycles.
CLINTON, TRUMP BOLSTER FRONT-RUNNER POSITIONS THROUGH VA. PRIMARY WINS (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) — New York businessman Donald Trump won Virginia’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday with little or no help from the state’s GOP establishment. At the same time, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won a decisive victory in the Democratic contest with the aggressive backing of top state Democrats.
FOR THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT, A NIGHTMARISH SUPER TUESDAY (Washington Post) — The window to stop Donald Trump has closed almost entirely, and the only candidate who has been able to beat him more than once so far is Ted Cruz, the nemesis of Republican congressional leaders.
DONALD TRUMP TO HOLD A MARCH 9 RALLY IN FAYETTEVILLE (Fayetteville Observer) — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump plans to stump in Fayetteville next week.
BERNIE SANDERS OPENS 5 CAMPAIGN OFFICES IN N.C. (Raleigh News & Observer) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has opened five offices in North Carolina in recent weeks.
NEW NC CONGRESSIONAL MAPS CHALLENGED IN FEDERAL COURT (Raleigh News & Observer) — The voters who convinced a three-judge panel that two of North Carolina’s congressional districts were racial gerrymanders contend in a court document filed late Monday that new maps drawn in February are no better.
COOPER INJECTS CAMPAIGN INTO VISIT (Greenville Daily Reflector) — While in Greenville on Monday promoting a program aimed at teen drug abuse, Attorney General Roy Cooper slipped in a comment about one of his campaign platforms. Cooper, who is running for governor of North Carolina, mentioned his belief that teachers need pay raises.
POLICY & POLITICS
#MCCRORY’SPOTTYPOLITICS: AG SAYS NO NEED TO OVERTURN TRANSGENDER RESTROOM RULE (AP) — North Carolina’s attorney general says he sees no need for the state legislature to overturn a provision in Charlotte’s new nondiscrimination ordinance designed to ensure transgender people can use the restroom of their gender identity.
POLITICIANS SPAR OVER NEW NC SALES TAX ON SERVICES (Raleigh News & Observer) — On the first day of a new North Carolina sales tax on car repairs and other services, Republicans tried to focus instead on income tax cuts, while Democrats used the expanded sales tax to blast the majority party and Gov. Pat McCrory.
NC MEDICAID REMAKE HITS BENCHMARK (WRAL-TV) — Department of Health and Human Services officials met a Tuesday deadline for detailing changes to the state’s insurance program for the poor and disabled. Patients would be able to pick from a menu of up to five different health plans under the proposed system.
NAACP URGES CALM, HONESTY IN WAKE OF RALEIGH POLICE SHOOTING (Raleigh News & Observer) — The state NAACP urged Raleigh residents to remain calm and nonviolent Tuesday but also demanded an “honest and forthright” investigation of the police shooting just south of downtown Monday that left a black man dead and a neighborhood shaken.
NC GETS FEDERAL HELP WITH FOOD STAMP EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (Raleigh News & Observer) – North Carolina is one of 10 states being offered federal help to get job training and work for more food stamp recipients.
N.C. POLICE LOOK INTO EXCESSIVE-FORCE CLAIM (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s largest city say they are investigating allegations of excessive force after a videotape surfaced showing an officer apparently punching a man repeatedly.
HEARINGS ON NC BLACK HISTORY MONUMENT BEGIN IN GREENSBORO (Greensboro News & Record) – Other forums will take place in Charlotte, Rocky Mount and Fayetteville, and elsewhere if response is great enough
9 HOUSE REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST NAMING A POST OFFICE FOR MAYA ANGELOU (Washington Post) — Several cited her support for Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
TINY PRIVATE SCHOOL WITH FEW TEACHERS GETS $75,000 IN STATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS (EdNC) — Star Christian Academy, a K-12 private school, occupies two rooms in the back of New Generation Christian Church in Smithfield. It has three teachers for the 13 grades, and they provide minimal active instruction. The school is run by a husband-and-wife team with a long history of personal bankruptcies and failure to pay state and federal taxes. Nonetheless, Star Christian has received more than $75,000 in state funds since 2014 through the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarships program, created by the GOP-led legislature in 2013. It provides low-income families with vouchers worth $4,200 per year that can be applied to tuition at private schools.
SPELLINGS’ FIST DAY AS UNC PRESIDENT INCITES PROTESTS (AP) — Margaret Spellings has started her job as University of North Carolina system president, and students at six campuses walked out of class to protest.
UNC PRESIDENT SPELLINGS OUTLINES AGENDA ON DAY ONE (WUNC-FM) — Four months after her controversial selection, Margaret Spellings takes the helm of the UNC system. The former U.S. Secretary of Education faces a broad range of competing priorities. The Board of Governors hired Spellings on the heels of the forced resignation of her predecessor Tom Ross. As the new leader of the system, she will address issues ranging from budget matters to concerns about academic freedom.
WAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD CRITICIZES STATE’S NEW MAPS FOR DISTRICT (Raleigh News & Observer) — New maps not as contiguous or compact; More feeder patterns split between districts; Wake redrawing membership for board advisory councils
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
TOP ENERGY MESSAGING AND OPINIONS (Clear Path) – 83 Percent of North Carolinians support taking action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy in the United States.
N.C. AND GEORGIA AMONG LEADING STATES FOR UTILITY SCALE SOLAR IN 2016 (Green Tech Media) — More than half of new U.S. utility-scale solar in 2016 will be built outside of obligations to meet state-mandated renewable energy requirements, according to a new report, The Next Wave of U.S. Utility Solar: Procurement Beyond the RPS by GTM Research. The report names California, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Utah as the leading state markets for non-RPS projects.
ENERGY PLANT COULD BRING 200 JOBS (Robesonian) — A coal-fired electrical station in Lumberton has been reopened as a renewable energy plant that could create as many as 200 jobs. Georgia Renewable Power LLC is producing energy at the generating station on Hestertown Road formerly owned by Cogentrix.
SPOKESMAN: VIDEO DOESN’T ALTER MCAULIFFE’S ‘PRO’ VIEW OF OFFSHORE DRILLING (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) — At Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally in Norfolk Monday, a Greenpeace employee asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe a simple question. His answer, caught on video, seemed to suggest he no longer supports oil and gas drilling off the Virginia coast.
N.C. SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES RANK LOW ON ENVIRONMENT (Raleigh News & Observer) — The majority of North Carolina’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation has earned a 0 percent ranking from the League of Conservation Voters.
ANSWERS NEEDED – QUICKLY – ON RALEIGH POLICE SHOOTING (Raleigh News & Observer) – -The public needs to be patient, but authorities also need to be swift in explaining what happened in the Bragg Street shooting
BIG BROTHER RALEIGH IS WATCHING (MOUNT AIRY NEWS COLUMN) — What Gov. Pat McCrory is planning to do defies local authority and is an abuse of state governmental authority. McCrory, a Charlotte resident, should write a letter to his councilman if he doesn’t like the new law. If they don’t like the law, Charlotte residents can vote council members out of office. That’s the way a representative democracy like ours is supposed to work. I think it’s ridiculous for state officials to believe they can make decisions for Charlotte better than those in Charlotte can. Big Brother Raleigh should shut his mouth and figure out how to appropriately fund education in this state or pass a budget in the allotted amount of time.
IN EASTERN NC DISTRICT, 10 YEARS OF WAITING FOR A JUDGE (Raleigh News & Observer column) — In the wake of the recent death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, politicians and the public have been debating the timing of a Supreme Court nomination and the potential effects of leaving the seat empty for over a year. Sadly, there has been no similar public discussion of the 76 vacant judgeships on the 94 federal district courts and 13 federal appellate courts that hear the thousands of cases each year that never reach the Supreme Court. Far too often, the process of filling judicial vacancies is also marked by the same political motivations currently on display.
CONNECT NC SUPPORT BLOSSOMS ACROSS PARTY LINES (Fayetteville Observer) — If anyone wants to see how to sell a bond proposal (Fayetteville officials take note), it’s hard to find a better job than Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration has done with the $2 billion Connect NC bond.
FOR ELECTORAL EXCITEMENT, NC IS NOT YOUR PRIMARY SOURCE (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Shhhhhh. Quiet please. We don’t want to wake up any of the voters.
ABORTION ACCESS AT STAKE AT SUPREME COURT (Charlotte Observer) — Justices on Wednesday hear case over Texas restrictions; North Carolina’s legislators are surely watching closely; The court should follow its own clear precedent.