Public, Democrats slam Republicans for voter suppression measures, major GOP donors get plush appointments by Tillis, McCrory, #NCGA Republicans slam through sweeping gun legislation, McCrory signs tax bill, McConnell & Boehner lose control of their caucuses, U.S. House Dems may have a trick up their sleeve to force immigration vote, female voters are ‘key’ to U.S. Senate control in 2014, USA Today blasts attacks on Clinton’s age, the failure of austerity in one chart and a DREAMer speaks out
WRAL: Election changes advance in Senate
After close to two hours of debate and discussion, during which lawmakers were roundly criticized by members of the public, a Senate committee passed a raft of elections reforms Tuesday. House Bill 589 sat idle for three months since the House approved it before undergoing an extreme makeover in recent days to add changes to voter registration, early voting and campaign financing to the initial proposal requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls.
News & Record: Bill Breakdown: Voter ID and Early Voting
Below is my rundown of the new House Bill 589, the voter ID bill, which also shrinks North Carolina’s early voting period, and ends same day registration.
The bill itself is 57 pages long, and the legislative summary is 16 pages.
Dome: Republicans blasted for last-minute election bill
The Senate Rules Committee approved the measure, with some amendments, sending it to the floor for a vote. House Speaker Thom Tillis also told reporters he supports the bill — meaning it is likely to become law if Gov. Pat McCrory doesn’t object. McCrory didn’t answer questions Tuesday. Senate Republican leaders are planning to take a voter ID bill and add provision that cut early voting by a week, repeal same-day registration, allows counties to limit Sunday voting, ends pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds and ends straight-ticket voting.
WRAL: (VIDEO) Legislative Black Caucus discusses voter ID changes
The Legislative Black Caucus holds a press conference to discuss voter ID laws Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
News 14 Carolina: What will Tillis do on early voting?
As you have probably heard by now the state Senate has added a number of big changes to the latest voter ID bill. Two big ones are shortening early voting by a week and ending same-day registration during early voting. While the Senate will likely pass the bill with the changes, the question remains how the House will respond. “I think that as long as we do not really restrict the number of days,” Tillis said. “There are some inconsistencies around counties, but I think that early voting is a good thing…”
WNCN: Political donors score GOP appointments, but is the practice ethical
Campaign finance records uncovered last week show three men recently appointed by the GOP-controlled General Assembly to the UNC Board of Governors were donors to speaker Thom Tillis’s Super PAC, which is trying to get him a seat in the U.S. Senate. Two of the appointees were longtime donors to his House campaigns. Tillis’ staff denied the House speaker had any influence over their appointments, but Democrats still cried foul. "Speaker Tillis is using the House agenda to finance his U.S. Senate campaign," said Ben Ray, with the North Carolina Democratic Party.
Dome: Tillis backing Senate’s rewrite of House gun bill
Looks like House Speaker Thom Tillis supports the House gun bill that the Senate rewrote. In a tweet over the weekend, Tillis directed followers to a National Rifle Association website that urges members to contact legislators to support HB937. “Those like me who want HB937 passed: Check out this link from the NRA and help us get it done,” Tillis’ tweet said.
WRAL: Lawmakers approve sweeping gun measure
The compromise passed by by both chambers Tuesday keeps the current handgun permit system in place but give local sheriffs less latitude in issuing the permits. Sheriffs will no longer be able restrict the number of handgun permits an individual can obtain in a year, something that some sheriffs do now. Also, sheriffs will have to keep a record and show cause when they reject a handgun permit application.
Winston-Salem Journal: North Carolina budget would change environmental commissions
The terms of all 16 of the 19-member Environmental Management Commission would expire July 31. That commission sets the limits for air and water pollutants and also makes rules for protecting groundwater, managing storm water and guiding development in environmentally sensitive areas.
WRAL: McCrory signs tax bill
Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the 2013 tax bill into law. The measure lowers corporate and personal income taxes, but falls short of the more sweeping reform some legislative leaders envisioned at the beginning of the year. Critics, mainly Democrats and liberal policy groups, have lambasted the tax bill as draining resources from state government. They point to a state budget poised to be passed this week that contains no raises for state employees or teachers as a consequence of the tax measure.
Charlotte Observer: D.C. group lists McCrory among worst governors in America
In its report, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics highlights McCrory’s appointment of Art Pope, a retail industry millionaire and a former state legislator, to “the most powerful appointed position in state government” – budget director. During the 2012 election, the group notes, Pope and his family members heavily backed McCrory, giving at least $20,000 directly to his campaign, besides $125,000 to the state Republican Party.
The Daily Beast: Mitch McConnell and John Boehner Lose Their Grip on the Republican Party
According to stereotype, the Republican Party runs like a corporation. Lines of authority are clear; leaders are respected and feared. GOP reformers, explained a National Journal article earlier this year, must “come to terms with the hierarchical nature of the party.” I bet Mitch McConnell chuckles when he hears things like that. Last week, the Senate minority leader came under ferocious conservative attack for allowing a deal that permitted votes on several long-stalled Obama-administration nominees. So at a meeting of Senate Republicans, McConnell said he had not been party to the agreement—a remarkable admission for the man who supposedly leads the Senate GOP. But most remarkable was what happened next: Tennessee’s Bob Corker, one of the senators who hatched the deal, interrupted McConnell’s remarks by yelling “bullsh-t”.
Politico: The new power triangle
Barack Obama, to hear his advisers tell it, has finally found The One he has been looking for: John McCain.“We have been looking literally for years for someone we can cut deals with, and finally someone has stepped up,” a White House official said. West Wing aides say they now talk with McCain roughly every other day. McCain, to hear fellow Republicans tell it, has finally found The Two he has needed to make such conversations worth the bother: Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who can actually get things done in the Senate, and Denis McDonough, a White House chief of staff who actually cares what senators say and think and do.
The Hill: Pelosi: Dems may try to force House vote on Senate immigration reform bill
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told donors at an Organizing for Action (OFA) event Monday night that Democratic leadership in the House was weighing a discharge petition that would bring the Senate immigration bill directly to the floor for a vote. Pelosi was asked about the legislative strategy during a dinner with about 70 supporters of the advocacy group, which grew out of the president’s reelection campaign. She said leadership was still deciding whether to press forward with the legislative maneuver, noting that doing so would take 30 legislative days. With a discharge petition, Pelosi could force a House vote on the Senate bill by gathering 218 signatures — meaning she’d need just 18 Republicans to sign on.
Huffington Post: The Complete Failure Of Austerity, In 1 Chart
It feels like forever since we checked in on just how badly austerity is failing, so let’s take a quick tour around Europe to see all the different reasons austerians should feel ashamed of themselves today. In the U.K., austerity has shaved 6 percent from that country’s gross domestic product over the past three years, estimates Oxford economist Simon Wren-Lewis. This amounts to $143.5 billion in lost income during that time, or nearly $5,400 per U.K. household. "Although all governments like to give the impression that they can have a big impact on people’s prosperity, few actually do," Wren-Lewis writes. "These numbers suggest that the current U.K. government has managed to do so, but unfortunately by making us all poorer." Surprise, surprise: it turns out that slashing government spending and raising taxes in the midst of a recession/depression actually lowers tax revenue and raises the cost of government services for the poor and unemployed, which makes government finances even worse.
The Guardian: Female voters have the key to Democrats holding the US Senate
Will Republicans win control of the US Senate in 2014? Election analysts now think the GOP has even odds of picking up the six seats needed to win the majority. No sweat! All Republicans have to do is defeat an incumbent woman Democrat in North Carolina, land of omnibus motorcycle-and-abortion bills, where the GOP governor and legislature are less popular than pro- abortion rights protesters. Republicans just have to hold Georgia, where one candidate thinks Todd Akin was “partially right”. In polarized America, everything depends on who votes and who doesn’t. Midterm elections are low participation affairs, especially among members of the rising American electorate of unmarried women, African Americans, Latinos, and the young. The new political demographic leans Democratic– but what will take to get women to the polls in 2014? Anger, for one. A tsunami of anti-women’s rights legislation has provoked a full-blown national backlash against the GOP.
National Journal: Both Parties Need to Keep an Eye on Older Voters for 2014 Elections
The possibility of a shift among older voters is something to be watched carefully. Exit polls show that in the 2010 GOP wave election, seniors voted by a 21-point margin in favor of Republicans for Congress, 59 percent to 38 percent; in 2012, a better year for Democrats, seniors voted Republican by just a 12-point margin, 56 percent to 44 percent. A January poll by Greenberg’s firm showed a similar 11-point Republican margin, but a survey in March indicated the GOP advantage had dropped to only 6 points, 47 percent to 41 percent. This new survey pegged it at 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent. It is far too early to point to some seismic shift among older voters, but this is something that should be watched over the next 15 months.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Michelle Nunn declares herself a U.S. Senate candidate
Shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, Michelle Nunn declared herself a Democratic candidate in the 2014 race for U.S. Senate, the very seat once held by her father. The formal announce will come Tuesday, when she files the official paperwork. “I’m excited about it," Nunn said in an exclusive interview. "I’ve learned that you can’t wait for somebody else to do it. Everybody has an individual role and a responsibility to contribute where they can. This seems like a way for me to contribute.”
Real Clear Politics: Dem Pollster: Running Against Obamacare Won’t Work for GOP in 2014
Republicans of all stripes are united around a shared hostility toward "Obamacare," but a prominent Democratic pollster said Tuesday that new data makes him doubt that victory is assured next year for opponents of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. "They’re likely to run this election on it, and they may run the presidential election on it," Stan Greenberg told reporters as he unpacked the results of a national survey designed to help Democrats in "exposing, monitoring and confronting the Republican Party."
Huffington Post: Mitch McConnell Allies Allegedly Threatened Matt Bevin Over Primary Challenge: Report
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign supporters reportedly attempted to coerce Matt Bevin (R) into not mounting a primary challenge against the senator, the National Review Reported Tuesday. According to the report, McConnell allies pressed Bevin to stay out of the 2014 race, allegedly offering the Kentucky businessman "political prizes" if he agreed to not run. Team McConnell’s alleged threats apparently did little to dissuade Bevin. The tea party-backed businessman, who has publicly mulled a bid for months, is set to announce his Senate candidacy on Wednesday during a tour of the Bluegrass State.
National Review: Marco Rubio’s Iowa Slide
A week after the 2012 election, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida flew here to headline a birthday party for Republican governor Terry Branstad. The venue was packed and the speech was a success. Charming and warmly received, he netted the governor more than $600,000. Since then, though, Rubio hasn’t been back, and his popularity among Iowa conservatives has dipped. A growing number of tea-party activists are irate about his efforts on immigration reform. Instead of being cheered at rubber-chicken dinners, he’s being slammed — and some Republicans say a run for the caucuses would be doomed.
USA Today: Hilary Not Too Old for 2016
I don’t know how old Clinton will look in three years, but I do know this: She owes it to the women of America to seek and win the Democratic nomination, not only because she’s a woman but also because she’s a pragmatist with more experience and political savvy than any candidate either party is likely to offer up.
Politico: Don’t end my American DREAM
It’s anyone’s guess what Speaker Boehner will do next. But what’s clear is that if real, comprehensive immigration reform does not pass the House, it will be because Boehner and Republicans killed it. That is all that will matter to millions of Latino and Asian voters with friends, family and lovers trapped in our broken yet eminently fixable immigration system.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party