#NCGA Senate Republicans unveil massive voting restrictions legislation today, teachers mount legal challenge to GOP budget assault, USA Today remarks on ‘severe’ unemployment benefit cuts by NC Republicans, Sen. Reid dings U.S. House Republicans on ‘doing nothing,’ Fox News panel remarks on ‘weak candidate’ Tillis, Dems land top recruit in GA Senate race, Mitch McConnell gets a primary challenge from the right and an in-depth look at Putin’s anti-gay crackdown
Charlotte Observer: N.C. voter ID, other changes unnecessary
We’ve said all along that GOP lawmakers’ push for voter ID in North Carolina was more about suppressing the votes of Democrats than tackling fraud. The restrictive N.C. Senate bill unveiled last week that some legislators are trying to ram through in the waning days of the legislative session this week proves the point.
New Republic: Voter ID: North Carolina Law Hurts Democrats
The North Carolina data confirms what many suspected: Voter ID laws have a disparate impact on non-white and Democratic voters. According to the North Carolina Secretary of State, 46 percent of unmatched voters in the 2012 general election were non-white, compared to 30 percent of all registered voters. Similarly, 36 percent were black, compared to 23 percent of registered voters. And 58 percent of voters without a state-issued ID were Democrats, compared to 43 percent of all registered voters.
The Nation: North Carolina Republicans Push Extreme Voter Suppression Measures
This week, the North Carolina legislature will almost certainly pass a strict new voter ID law that could disenfranchise 318,000 registered voters who don’t have the narrow forms of accepted state-issued ID. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the bill has since been amended by Republicans to include a slew of appalling voter suppression measures. They include cutting a week of early voting, ending same-day registration during the early voting period and making it easier for vigilante poll-watchers to challenge eligible voters.
News & Observer: Senate Republicans craft last-minute election bill that trims early voting, limits registration
Hours before a Senate panel considers a bill redefining how people vote, advocacy groups planted pink flamingos in the statehouse’s front lawn to suggest the rewrite will lead to the same long voting lines and problems that plagued the 2012 election in Florida. Senate Republican leaders are planning to take a voter ID bill and add provisions that cut early voting by a week, repeal same-day registration, allow counties to limit Sunday voting, end pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds and end straight-ticket voting.
WRAL: Teachers group to mount legal challenge to budget proposal
A little more than 12 hours after House and Senate negotiators announced a budget deal, the North Carolina Association of Educators announced plans Monday to try to block key provisions in the $20.6 billion spending plan. "You are placing a sign on each school’s door that says, ‘Quality educators need not apply,’" association President Rodney Ellis wrote in a two-page letter sent to lawmakers criticizing the budget.
News & Observer: Teachers say NC lawmakers are forsaking education
Teachers on Monday said cuts in the state budget released Sunday amount to the legislators forsaking public education. Teacher pay will remain near the bottom of national rankings. More than 3,850 teacher assistant positions will be gone. The extra pay for teachers who earn master’s degrees will be phased out, though teachers who already make the extra money will be able to keep it. The budget also phases out tenure so that teachers who don’t already have it won’t be able to earn it, and it will be gone for all teachers in 2018.
News & Record: N.C. budget ends K-12 teacher tenure
The compromise budget announced last night by House and Senate leaders adopts major chunks of the Senate education plan, phasing out "career status" for K-12 teachers, commonly called tenure, in favor of a tiered contract system.
USA Today: N.C. unemployment fight being watched across the U.S.
What makes North Carolina’s situation different, though, is the fact that the state government also reduced the maximum amount of money that unemployed people can get each week from $535 to $350. It’s this change that cuts off North Carolina from the federal unemployment funds: states that change the average weekly benefit can’t get this money. About 70,000 North Carolinians have already felt the impact of the change, effective July 1, and an estimated 100,000 more are expected to face cuts in the next few months.
News & Observer: Politicians, advocates react strongly to GOP budget plan
House Democratic Leader Larry D. Hall: “This budget proves that for the Republicans, the most extreme view always wins. The Republicans are on a power-craze, attacking communities to grow government in Raleigh. They’re making it harder for students to afford higher education and forcing thousands of public school teachers out of the classroom. And they’re hurting small businesses and rural areas’ ability to create jobs – all so they can afford massive handouts to the wealthiest 1% and corporations. The Republicans are determined to impose their extreme ideological agenda on North Carolina – at the expense of middle class and working families”
WRAL: House approves ‘fracking,’ offshore drilling changes
The state House has approved a bill that would both direct the governor to pursue an offshore drilling compact with other states and make changes to the state’s gas drilling laws.
News & Observer: Moral Monday demonstrators focus on voter rights, education cuts
Though voter rights was the theme of the demonstration, many of the protesters rallied against the $20.6 billion spending plan released by Senate and House budget writers on Sunday night. The budget proposal takes a giant step toward the privatization of education, sets aside money for a Voter ID program, cuts government jobs in some places and adds them in others and sets a path for reorganization of state Commerce Department functions under a public-private partnership.
News & Record: Authorities: 73 arrests at NC legislative protests
More than 70 protesters were taken to jail during the weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the legislative session to 925.
Politico: House Republican budget strategy collapses
Like an army that’s outrun its supply line, the Republican budget strategy in Congress shows almost daily signs of coming apart. The central premise, as sold by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, was that Washington could wipe out deficits in 10 years and protect defense spending, all while embracing the lower appropriations caps dictated by sequestration. Four months later, it’s proving to be a bridge too far.
Politico: Harry Reid: House is ‘doing nothing’
“House Republicans are failing even by their own metric. They’ve replaced virtually nothing. So by the speaker’s own admission, they’re not getting anything passed and by his own analysis, they’re getting nothing repealed,” Reid said. “So they’re doing nothing.”
Dome: In U.S. Senate race, analyst says Tillis ‘very weak candidate so far’
National Republicans are trumpeting their chances at taking control of the U.S. Senate in a new political memo outlining the 2014 elections at the same time a political analyst questions whether House Speaker Thom Tillis is a strong enough candidate to beat North Carolina’s Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
Politico: Georgia Senate race 2014: Michelle Nunn to announce run
Nunn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that she was joining the race, saying that “this seems like a way for me to contribute.”
Huffington Post: Legislative Democrats in Strong Position Heading Into 2014
From fighting for working families to ensuring that Americans have access to equal rights, Democrats are on the right side of voters and the right side of history, and we are in a solid position moving into the elections later this year, in 2014, and for elections to come.
Courier-Journal: Louisville businessman Matt Bevin to announce plans for U.S. Senate primary race against Mitch McConnell
For McConnell, who has been been campaigning against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for weeks, a challenge from Bevin would mean having to campaign and spend some of his sizable war chest in the primary.
New York Times: Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown
On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form. A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.
News & Observer: Is turnout for ‘Thankful Tuesday’ too tiny?
About 200 conservative supporters of the Republican turn-back-the-clock policies in the General Assembly arrived to answer the “Moral Monday” protests of the past several weeks. That’s compared with the crowds of 1,500 to 3,000 or so citizens who have been coming on Mondays before the legislature convenes to protest a series of ill-conceived decisions by Republican lawmakers.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party