NCDP Clips July 3, 2013

In late night session, N.C. Senate slams through anti-choice legislation, VIDEO: N.C. House Democratic Leader Hall on MSNBC’s "All in with Chris Hayes,” U.S. House Republicans not feeling the heat to pass immigration reform, Roy Cooper fights energy rate hikes, Anthony Foxx sworn in as DOT secretary, all eyes on #NCSEN GOP Senate Primary


Huffington Post: North Carolina Abortion Bill: State Senate Votes on Restrictive Measure
North Carolina’s state Senate voted Tuesday to pass a second reading of a measure placing tougher restrictions on abortion after Republicans in the legislature tacked the abortion regulations on to a bill targeting Sharia law. The state Senate passed the second reading of the omnibus bill by 27-14. A final vote will be held Wednesday.

Dome: Morning Memo: Abortion bill stirs opposition, puts McCrory, Tillis in tough spot
The Senate’s blind-sided rush to push a far-reaching measure to limit access to abortions Tuesday evening is stirring opposition groups. A bill restricting abortions that popped up in the state Senate without public notice Tuesday evening and received swift approval would force clinics to meet expensive license requirements and make it more difficult for doctors to perform the procedures.

WRAL: Senate tacks sweeping abortion legislation onto Sharia law bill
Senators on Tuesday tacked a suite of new restrictions and regulations pertaining to abortion clinics onto a bill dealing with the application of foreign laws in North Carolina family courts. The measure was unveiled unexpectedly during an unusual late-day committee meeting. It combines several bills in different stages of the legislative process into one omnibus measure.

The Atlantic Wire: North Carolina’s Anti-Sharia Bill Is Now Also Anti-Abortion
The North Carolina Senate is not only considering an anti-Sharia (or Islamic law) bill passed in the state’s House earlier this year, they’ve tricked it out with a whole new issue. House Bill 695, which began as a cookie-cutter ban on the use of foreign law in family law and custody cases, now would implement several restrictions on abortion services in the state. The newly dual-issue bill would restrict health care coverage for abortions on plans offered through an Exchange, ban sex-selective abortions, require physicians to be present during a chemical (pill) abortion, and require clinics performing abortions to meet the requirements of an ambulatory surgical center.

WRAL: NC’s new abortion bill follows Texas, Ohio
The anti-abortion omnibus that emerged without warning late Tuesday, House Bill 695, has much in common with anti-abortion laws and proposals in other states, including the bill in Texas that has mobilized thousands to protest in Austin this week. Senate Republicans passed the legislation Tuesday evening after only 90 minutes’ public notice. The revamped bill, which started as a Sharia Law ban sent over from the House, wasn’t even available to the public online until just before the floor debate started.


Charlotte Observer: Senate approves latest tax plan
Once again, the state Senate approved a measure Tuesday to trim income taxes and limit government spending. And once again, it may not matter.Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis remain hesitant about the legislation crafted by their Republican brethren, with neither willing to endorse what the Senate calls its final offer in the months-long tax negotiations on a key legislative issue.

Dome: "Ag-gag" bill still being tweaked; would outlaw lawsuit loan industry
Tuesday’s version of the bill clarifies that making false representations on a job application for the purpose of conducting an undercover investigation at a business would be a criminal offense. So would failing to turn over to law enforcement within 48 hours any recordings or records obtained in such a probe. Although it would apply to any business or industry, the legislation has its roots in “ag-gag” bills seen in other states states aimed at preventing animal-welfare groups and journalists from exposing cruelty in livestock operations.

Dome: Well drilling bill tweaked, but concerns persist
Senators O.K.’d the bill in Tuesday’s Commerce committee meeting. It added an exemption to current law, making it unnecessary for well contractors to obtain electrical licenses before running electrical wires from well pumps to pressure switches. Concerns about the training necessary to perform this task led several senators to vote against it. Opponents said that the lack of licensing could be unsafe, and that the bill didn’t provide any limitations on the amount of voltage involved.


MSNBC: (Video) The New Southern Tragedy
“North Carolina freed from the Voting Rights Acts preclearance provision will in addition to working on a Voter ID bill work to end early voting which 2 million people, mostly democrats, took advantage of in the last election.”

Huffington Post: North Carolina Republicans, Freed By Supreme Court Voting Rights Act Ruling, Push Voter ID, Other Laws
Republicans in North Carolina are wasting no time moving on a controversial slate of voting laws that just a week ago would have first required approval from the federal government. The Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend that state Republicans have announced plans to push a voter ID law, eliminate early voting days and restrict same-day registration in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.


The Hill: No pressure on House Republicans to tackle immigration
House Republicans aren’t feeling pressure to tackle comprehensive immigration reform — not from the Senate, not from the business and religious communities and not from the many GOP-aligned groups backing the effort. From Karl Rove to Jeb Bush to Grover Norquist, an array of Republican heavyweights have called on the House GOP to embrace immigration reform.


WRAL: Cooper reserves judgment on ‘home leave’ program
The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys has spoken out against the program, asking McCrory to end it. Cooper was more circumspect. "Clearly, we want to work on ways people who are going to be released can re-integrate into society in ways so they don’t commit more crimes," Cooper said. However, he said, the home leave program needed to be "looked at" and some assurances made. For example, he said the prison system should ensure that victims or their families are notified when a prisoner is going to be granted home visitation rights.

News & Observer: Attorney General Cooper appeals Duke’s rate hike
In the appeal filed Monday, Cooper alleges that the Utilities Commission didn’t take into account the higher rate’s effect on Progress customers, many of whom are struggling in a weak economy. “Many people are already hard pressed to pay their bills, and now isn’t the time to ask them to pay more so utilities can make a bigger profit,” Cooper said in a statement. Cooper’s court challenge is similar to one he filed last year to block a 7.2 percent rate hike for Duke Energy. The N.C. Supreme Court agreed with Cooper and ordered the Utilities Commission to recalculate Duke’s rate.


News & Record: Federal public defenders warn of dire budget cuts
The lawyers who represent poor people charged with federal crimes across the country say they already face an unfair fight when they head into court against the resources of the Justice Department – and that’s only going to get worse if draconian budget cuts occur as planned next year. Because the right to counsel is a constitutional guarantee, the federal defenders have no control over their workloads. When someone is charged and needs a lawyer, they’re appointed. If public defenders have to take fewer cases due to staffing cuts that work will fall to the private lawyers – who cost substantially more than full-time federal defenders, studies have shown.

New York Times: Three Justices Bound by Beliefs, Not Just Gender
The top three spots were all taken by pairs of women. However you matched them up, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan voted together at least 93 percent of the time. In past years, it was often the conservative justices who voted together the most: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., say, or Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. This year, the right was more fractured. The three female justices also dominated Supreme Court arguments in the last term. Justice Ginsburg asked the first question 37 percent of the time. Justice Sotomayor asked the most questions, averaging more than 21 in each hourlong argument.


Charlotte Observer: Anthony Foxx sworn in as DOT secretary
Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Secretary of Transportation in a private ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Washington D.C. Foxx resigned as Charlotte mayor Monday afternoon, and the City Council appoint fellow Democrat Patsy Kinsey to replace him. The ceremony, held at the U.S. Department of Transportation, was attended by Foxx’s wife, Samara, and their two children, Hillary and Zachary, according to a news release from the DOT.


Real Clear Politics: In Africa, First Ladies Find Common Ground
They described White House life as a bit of a hothouse, but Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, appearing together a world away from Washington, sounded light on their feet Tuesday during warm banter about deploying the power of first spouse.Paired at an event in Tanzania for Africa’s first ladies, the two women told their listeners to recognize the power they possess to tug public attention toward causes that need champions.


Roll Call: GOP Primary Looms in North Carolina Senate Race
Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is a critical target on the GOP’s road map to capture the Senate in 2014, but Republicans’ first major hurdle in North Carolina could come from within their own ranks. A primary looms for the national GOP’s top recruit, state Speaker Thom Tillis, as a handful of other Tar Heel conservatives consider bids. The result could hurt the GOP nominee’s chances of ousting Hagan in the general election, even if Tillis eventually wins the nod.

SALON: Red-state women will transform America
Even as women’s votes were credited with reelecting President Obama on the national level, statehouse Republicans are restricting their rights. We know that eventually, Texas will be a blue state. That day will arrive sooner if Latino voter turnout rises. Texas women’s groups are paying a lot of attention to the Latina vote, since Latinas are less likely than other groups to go to the polls. Young Latinas are also more likely to be pro-choice, so this is an opportunity to use this battle to make more of them voters. At any rate, I find it encouraging to see national Democrats paying attention to Texas, with projects like Battleground Texas driven by Obama campaign veterans, most notably Jeremy Bird.

Huffington Post: Mitch McConnell Urged By Tea Party To Step Aside In 2014
A tea party-affiliated group is urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bow out of his reelection bid next year against Democratic rival Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, citing concerns with the longtime senator’s electability.

Politico: Poll: Colleen Hanabusa leads Hawaii Senate primary
The 2014 Hawaii Senate primary launched an early polling war Tuesday, as allies of both Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz moved to define perceptions of who has the advantage in the race. In the EMILY’s List survey, which was taken by the Democratic firm Clarity Campaigns, Hanabusa was 11 points ahead of Schatz and drawing 46 percent of the vote — making her a clear favorite, at least at this opening stage of the cycle. A source familiar with the survey said the full poll data showed Hanabusa “leading in every county except Honolulu where she’s running close to even.”


Fayetteville Observer: Op-ed: Etheridge – McCrory and lawmakers tear down North Carolina schools’ gains
When I read the newspaper about what’s going on in Raleigh, it makes my head spin. Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers are moving fast to dismantle all the progress North Carolina has made over the last 100 years in public education. Those folks need a history lesson. They have no idea where we came from or how we got here. The politicians in Raleigh today are betraying North Carolina’s legacy and our historic commitment to public education.


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