NCDP Clips July 15, 2013

Can #NCGA leaders Berger and Tillis get along? McCrory breaks word, will sign anti-choice legislation, under GOP NC loses competitive edge with attracting business, Sen. Hagan raises over $2 million for re-election bid, Roy Cooper will not oppose challenge to state’s gay marriage ban, food assistance gutted in Republican farm bill, robust opinion section spanning education, NC economy and immigration


News & Observer: Nagging question for NC GOP: Can its leaders get along?
The GOP legislative leaders came into power in 2011 with bold examples of cooperation, holding joint news conferences and working together on major legislation. The fissures began to emerge a year later, though Berger and Tillis sought to quash any suggestion of a divide at the time. They insisted they be interviewed together and spoke of their mutual respect and said their working relationship was stronger than ever. Now, the tone is much different, lawmakers and political observers said. The House and Senate appear constantly at odds, refusing to compromise on a major bill about political appointments and delaying budget negotiations for weeks.

ABC 11: Immigrant driving, detention bill before North Carolina House
Legislation to give driving privileges to more immigrants living in the country illegally is poised for debate in the North Carolina House. The bill called the "Reclaim NC" Act scheduled for discussion Monday evening also would give law enforcement officers authority to detain anyone suspected of lacking documentation for up to 24 hours to verify legal status.


ABC 11: McCrory says he meets critics, but not protestors
Gov. Pat McCrory backed away from a statement that left the impression he frequently waded into crowds of protesters angry with Republican legislative initiatives, saying Friday he often interacts while walking near the demonstrations though he doesn’t mingle among his critics. McCrory created the impression during an interview with The Wilson Times on Wednesday, when he was asked when he would meet with people gathering for near-weekly demonstrations opposing GOP polices. The governor indicated he’d already done so. On Friday, McCrory and his top spokeswoman said the governor hears from critics while he walks around the state’s government complex in Raleigh.


Charlotte Observer: McCrory breaks his promise on abortion
On Friday, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory reneged on his promise not to allow further restrictions on abortions in the state. Yes, he did some fancy footwork, dancing around his broken promise, telling reporters that a “recent House version (of proposed legislation) allows the medical professionals at the Department of Health and Human Services to write the rules which will ensure women’s safety.” And he added that he would still veto a Senate version that opponents said would close virtually all abortion clinics in the state. But McCrory isn’t fooling anyone but himself with this parsing. The House bill varies little from the Senate version other than making a couple of concessions.

Huffington Post: Pat McCrory Would Sign Motorcycle Abortion Bill, Despite 2012 Campaign Promise
The bill would bar so-called sex-selective abortions and impose additional regulations on abortion clinics. Public employees, as well as individuals who obtain insurance through the federal health care law’s new public exchanges, would also not be able to have a plan that includes abortion coverage — making it harder for them to access to the procedure. During a gubernatorial campaign debate in October 2012, McCrory was asked, "If you’re elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?" McCrory had a one-word response: "None."

Charlotte Observer: McCrory says he will sign House abortion bill
Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday said he would sign the House version of the abortion bill if it comes to his desk, but that he would still veto the Senate’s version if that’s what passes the General Assembly. McCrory said he doesn’t consider the provisions in the House bill that increase regulation of abortion clinics to be in conflict with his campaign promise because the regulations simply need updating to ensure patient safety. “Women across North Carolina are learning the hard way that Pat McCrory would have said just about anything to become governor,” Senate Democratic Leader Martin Nesbitt of Asheville said in a statement. “If you’re going to make a promise in a campaign, you’d better keep it – because nobody’s going to forget.

WRAL: ‘Moral Monday’ crows to rally for women’s rights
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP says Monday’s protest at the state legislative building will focus on the rights and leadership of women. "These attacks on women’s health are dangerous and are deeply unpopular, and that is why we are here," said Melissa Reed, of Planned Parenthood.


Triangle Business Journal: N.C. falls out of top 10 on CNBC’s best states for business
Last year, North Carolina ranked No. 4 on CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business feature, but it’s a different story this year. In the 2013 version of the list, North Carolina dropped eight spots to No. 12, the first time the Tar Heel State has failed to make the top 10.

Wilmington Star News: Film industry has spent $250 million in N.C. so far in 2013
Halfway through 2013 the film industry has already spent more than half of what it did last year in North Carolina. The N.C. Film Office reported $250 million in direct in-state spending, as well as 25,000 job opportunities, just six months into the year, according to a release issued Thursday.


WWAY: Sen. Hagan frustrated with indecision on student loan interest rates
North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) said she’s frustrated because Wednesday a bill to restore low federal student loan interest rates could not get enough votes to be debated. The rate doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent July 1 when Congress failed to agree on a plan. Since then, lawmakers haven’t done much to address the issue.

Politico: Kay Hagan raises over $2 million
Hagan ended the month of June with $4.2 million in the bank. The first-term senator is one of a number of Democratic incumbents facing competitive 2014 elections, who have made the most this year of the fundraising head start they have over potential challengers. She previously raised $1.6 million between January and March.

Dome: Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign war chest is filling up
The Democrat’s war chest gives her a significant advantage in her 2014 re-election bid against Republican challengers who are just now beginning to raise money. The campaign announced the numbers Thursday, but disclosure reports won’t be available for another week. The most prominent GOP contender is House Speaker Thom Tillis. He announced his campaign at the end of May and raised $300,000 in a month, leaving $250,000 on hand.


News & Observer: Cooper ‘will not oppose’ expanding lawsuit to include NC marriage ban
The ACLU asked Cooper to allow the change on Tuesday. The existing lawsuit, filed against the state in federal court in Greensboro last year, challenges the state ban on second-parent adoption and involves six same-sex couples. Second-parent adoption occurs when one partner in an unmarried couple – gay or straight – adopts the other partner’s biological or adoptive child. The amendment sought by the ACLU would expand the scope of the lawsuit to seek to overturn the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, approved by voters last year. A federal judge must approve the expansion of the lawsuit.


Pew Research Center: Chart of the Week: The landscape of food assistance
Nearly 45 million Americans in 21.1 million households — 83% of them below the poverty line — received food stamps in any given month, according to a November 2012 report by the Agriculture Department. The average monthly benefit per household was $284. This map, created by Calvin Metcalf, Kyle Box and Laura Evans from American Community Survey data, shades each county by the percentage of its population that relies on food stamps.

Addicting Info (blog): House Republicans Punish Their Own States By Eliminating Food Stamp Program
As anyone can clearly see, the states affected the most by a loss of food stamps are run by Republican. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Maine, and Arkansas are all currently controlled by the GOP and their conservative economic policies. These policies have swept more and more people into poverty, thus increasing the need for food assistance. By killing SNAP, Republicans are denying their own constituents the food they need to keep from starving.

VIDEO: Pelosi Floor Speech on House GOP Farm Bill
“Poverty in America, poverty. I’m saying the word on the floor of the House: poverty, poverty, poverty, poverty. Poverty in America seems to be a word that people get nervous about. Poverty in America among our children is something shameful. But it is a reality. And it has an impact on children, to have the uncertainty in their lives that poverty brings. And when that poverty says to those children, ‘one in four of you are going to sleep hungry tonight,’ that’s just wrong. It is wrong for America, it is not consistent with our values, it does not represent the sense of community that makes America strong and that makes America great.”


Politico: Poll: Democrats right on immigration
More Americans say the Democratic Party better represents their feelings on immigration than Republicans do, according to a new poll Monday. In the Gallup Survey , 48 percent of adults polled picked the Democrats’ policies on immigration reform as resembling their own; 36 percent picked the GOP.


Teaching Speaks Volumes (blog): Vol. #34: “Thank God for North Carolina”
But whether you believe in merit based pay or a system that many with experience in education would consider more equitable, you should want teachers to make a living wage. From the 2001-02 to the 2011-12 school years, the national average of teachers’ salaries fell -2.8%. One can assume the cost of living didn’t also fall during that decade in anyplace, USA, so that’s really unfortunate, especially considering how underpaid we were already.

NYT: The House’s Immigration Dilemma
Instead, as the Democrats have come to march in lock step on the issue — dropping the old union-populist skepticism of low-wage immigration in favor of liberal cosmopolitanism and Hispanic interest-group pandering — many of the country’s varying, conflicting opinions have ended up crowded inside the Republican Party’s tent.

Washington Post: The third Koch ‘brother’ hits North Carolina
There’s something rotten in the state of North Carolina — and it smells like money. Specifically, Art Pope’s money. In fact, Pope and his cash are responsible for North Carolina’s recent meteoric rise as the poster child for regressive, conservative politics. As the head of Variety Wholesalers (a family-run discount store holding company) and the $150 million Pope Family Foundation, he has invested in an array of think tanks and advocacy groups dedicated to aggressively aligning the state’s political terrain with his business interests. Gov. Pat McCrory, whose campaign he bankrolled, recently named Pope to the powerful post of state budget director.

NYT: North Carolinians Are Struggling
The state struggles with the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., especially in rural areas, contrasted with growth in and around cities. Republicans, elected in 2010 and 2012 after promising to create jobs, have spent little time on the topic. North Carolinians will need more time to sift through this session’s clutter of legislation, before citizens can pay attention to the state operating budget – and its ramifications.


Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @Micah4NC