NCDP Clips July 16, 2013

McCrory’s approval rating tumbles, #NCGA tax deal reached, defamation suit dismissed against NCDP & David Parker, #NCGOP cuts to unemployment benefits doesn’t comply with federal law, McAuliffe up in VA Governor’s race, Nate Silver finds U.S. Senate control in 2014 a ‘tossup,’ Rep. McIntyre boasts strong fundraising numbers and Sen. Patty Murray pens op-ed slamming Republicans for stalling on budget


Politico: North Carolina abortion bill hurts Gov. Pat McCrory, poll finds
PPP tied disapproval for the abortion measure to the Republican governor’s first negative approval ratings since assuming office in January. Only 40 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 49 percent who disapprove. That’s down a net 15 points from June, when he was at 45 percent approval and 39 percent disapproval. North Carolina voters think McCrory should veto the abortion bill 48 percent to 33 percent.

Huffington Post: Pat McCrory Approval Ratings Tumble After Abortion Bill: Poll
A Public Policy Polling survey gave McCrory a 40 percent approval rating with 49 percent disapproving, 15 points down from June. Despite a 2012 campaign promise that he would not sign further restrictions on abortion services, McCrory said that he will sign the motorcycle safety and abortion bill, which would bar so-called sex-selective abortions and impose additional regulations on clinics. By a 34 to 47 percent margin, voters disapprove of the proposal, and 48 percent think that McCrory should veto it.

Dome: Morning Memo: McCrory’s approval rating sinks, questions remain in tax deal
For the first time in his term, more voters disapprove of Gov. Pat McCrory than support him, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey. The Democratic firm found 40 percent approve of the job McCrory is doing and 49 percent disapprove. It’s a significant shift from a month ago when PPP put the Republican governor’s approval rating at 45 percent with 39 percent disapproval.

WRAL: McCrory appoints executives, campaign donors to economic development board
Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed a slate of 22 business executives, most of who are also campaign donors, to the North Carolina Economic Development Board. The 37-member board, which will hold a meeting on Wednesday, "oversees state economic development research and planning and makes policy recommendations to the secretary of commerce, the governor and the General Assembly."


WRAL: House, Senate, governor reach tax deal
Lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory struck a deal on tax reform Monday, ending a weeks-long impasse over how to rewrite a tax code that hasn’t been significantly overhauled since the 1930s. Republicans in the House and Senate signed off on the deal during closed-door caucus meetings Monday afternoon. The package will reduce both personal and corporate income taxes. It also eliminates the estate tax and preserves the ability of most nonprofits to get refunds of what they pay in sales taxes.

ABC 11: McCrory, legislative leaders announce tax cut deal
A tax deal opens the door for other negotiators to work out differences on a two-year state government budget that was supposed to be finalized before July 1. The agreement sets in place how much money the budget writers have to spend.

Dome: Apodaca: Voter ID this week
A proposal to require voters show identification at the polls has taken the backseat lately to abortion bills, but voter ID still on the legislative to-do list. Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca says voter ID and elections changes will come up in his committee this week, though he can’t say yet which day.

Dome: Next up, budget
The legislature still has a lot to do before it adjourns, but now that Republicans have agreed on a tax plan, the legislature can now move to finalize the other big money bill, the budget.


WRAL: Defamation suit against NC Democratic Party dismissed
Ortega was represented by the law firm of Kieran Shanahan, who has since become secretary of the Department of Public Safety. Shanahan argued last year that Ortega had been maligned so the Democrats could hold their party together through the scandal.

Dome: Suit against David Parker and Democratic Party dismissed
A defamation suit brought against former state Democratic Chairman David Parker and the state Democratic Party has been dismissed. The suit had been brought by Adriadn Ortega, a former Democratic Party staffer, in June 2012, who claimed he had been defamed by public comments regarding his allegations that he had been sexually harassed. Superior Court Judge Howard Manning dismissed Ortega’s defamation claims against all defendants on June 5 and give Ortega 30 days to appeal. Instead, Ortega’s counsel filed a voluntary notice of dismissal on July 2. The dismissal was filed "without prejudice" which means that Ortega and re-filed the suit within a year.

ABC11: Lawsuit against North Carolina Democratic Party, chair tossed
A Superior Court judge dismissed last month causes of action filed by Adriadn Ortega. His attorney also filed a motion two weeks ago to dismiss the case voluntarily in such a way so the lawsuit could be refiled in a year.


WRAL: Providers complain about new Medicaid claims system
North Carolina’s new system for handling Medicaid claims is causing problems for providers, who say filing claims is more cumbersome and they often aren’t paid in a timely manner. The $480 million NCTracks system launched two weeks ago, replacing a 35-year-old computer system in what has been described as the largest information technology project in state history.


Winston-Salem Journal: New state law on unemployment benefits doesn’t comply with federal law
State legislators will have to make changes to the recently signed law that cuts state unemployment benefits after the U.S. Labor Department said some parts are not in compliance with federal law.


MSNBC: Republicans hand first hearing on Voting Rights Act to opponent of Voting Rights Act
The move suggests that Republican leaders, who mostly offered evasive statements after the Shelby decision, have decided they should engage some kind of legislative process to discuss the ruling. In fact, the hearing will come just one day after the Senate Democrats’ first hearing on the VRA. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the VRA’s history from strong backers of the legislation, Rep. John Lewis and Rep. James Sensenbrenner. The move also shows, however, that some House Republicans are aiming to kill any voting rights reform. That’s because Republicans handed the hearing to Trent Franks, one of just 33 Republicans who voted against the last VRA re-authorization in 2006. (A total of 390 House members voted for it.)


Politico: Kirsten Gillibrand’s slow climb to 51 votes
For weeks, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s staff has been keeping a large whiteboard whip chart to tally her uphill fight for a military sexual assault measure. On Friday, her staff made a big change to the chart – and to Gillibrand’s momentum: They moved Sen. Rand Paul’s name from the “maybe” category into the “yes” column.


Politico: PPP poll: Terry McAuliffe up 4 on Ken Cuccinelli
Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 4-point lead over Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a poll out Tuesday morning. The survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling has McAuliffe at 41 percent, compared with 37 percent for Cuccinelli and 7 percent for libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. Fifteen percent said they’re undecided.


FiveThirtyEight: Senate Control in 2014 Increasingly Looks Like a Tossup
North Carolina is the closest thing to the tipping point state in the Senate battle. If Republicans avoid losing any of their own seats (other than New Jersey), and win the races that favor them in Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota and the tossup races in Louisiana and Arkansas, then North Carolina would represent their best option to go from a 50-50 tie to a 51-49 Senate majority.

RCP: Republicans’ Senate Chances Improve Dramatically
Kay Hagan is a freshman Democrat running in one of just two states that Barack Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012 (Indiana is the other). Its Cook PVI in presidential years is R+3, which makes it roughly analogous to Wisconsin or New Mexico on the Democratic side. Moreover, in 2010 there was a substantial drop-off in Democratic performance. Republicans won control of the statehouse for the first time in over a century, while freshman Republican Sen. Richard Burr, initially targeted by Democrats, won his race by the largest margin of any Senate candidate in North Carolina since 1974.

Roll Call: Monday Fundraising Roundup: Deadline Day
Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre raised $236,000 and will report more than $383,000 in cash on hand, according to a campaign release. His GOP rival, former state Sen. David Rouzer, raised $182,000 and will report $168,000 in cash on hand, according to his FEC report. Of that sum, about $45,000 came in the form of loans and in-kind donations from the candidate.

Dome: Ellmers raises only a congressional-level money
If Rep. Renee Ellmers gets into the U.S. Senate race, she would have to play catch up on fund raising. Ellmers, a second term Republican from Dunn, reported raising $158,000 in the second quarter, not a large amount for a candidate who is considering a U.S. Senate bid.


News & Record: Congress puts students in a bind
Yet another deadline has come and gone with Congress failing to act. This time, the fallout from the political paralysis in Washington will land squarely on students and middle-class families who rely on federal Stafford loans to afford college. Because Congress did not act, 176,000 North Carolina students and 7.4 million students nationwide will see interest rates on their federal Stafford loans double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. This effectively sticks our students with nearly $1,000 a year in additional student loan costs.

Politico: GOP’s stall tactic on the budget
Unfortunately, we’ve been swerving around trees for the past two years when it comes to the federal budget, with serious consequences for families and our economic recovery. We have had a few months of economic growth, and there was optimism that we could go back to an orderly, responsible budget process. But now, if we can’t get a budget deal in the next three weeks, we are almost certain to hurtle toward the next completely avoidable crisis.


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