McCrory attempts to appease women’s rights protestors with cookies, an in-depth look at NC Republicans’ vice-grip on NC political landscape, Kay Hagan fights to keep military families tax credit in place, Moral Monday hits the road, President Obama renews push for jobs, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers declines to challenge Hagan and Mitch Daniels gift to academic freedom
News & Observer: McCrory delivers cookies, protestors don’t like the message
Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t been willing to meet with the women (and a few men) protesting an abortion bill that opponents say restricts access to safe abortions. But he did stop by this afternoon with a plate of chocolate chip cookies.
WRAL: Dancing and wagging
A couple of videos are making the rounds in North Carolina political circles today. The first came from a CNN iReport feature which lets users upload their own videos and stories. The “report,” posted anonymously, suggests that lawmakers were dancing to celebrate their accomplishments. Not really. While there might be an argument over whether this was proper decorum, it is far from the zaniest antic to arise toward the end of session. Prior session have included at least one lawmaker singing a cappella through the microphone usually used for debates.
Washington Post (The Root): How North Carolina Became Red Again
The Tar Heel State’s move to the political left has ended as quickly as it started. Here are five reasons. The reason Republicans scaled back early voting: It provided the decisive victory margins for Obama and the Democratic candidates for governor and Senate in 2008. Early voting also paved the way for other measures, such as same-day registration and Sunday voting, that have helped increase minority turnout, often in favor of Democratic candidates.
Dome: Common Cause asks Eric Holder to step in to N.C. voting rights controversy
Common Cause on Tuesday called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek a court order overturning the voting laws the General Assembly approved last week, and requiring the Justice Department approve future election law changes in advance. The request follows Holder’s announcement on Thursday that his department has filed a federal court challenge to force Texas to obtain advance approval before implementing future changes to its elections laws. Holder said that wouldn’t be the end of it — that nearly two dozen new voting laws passed last year in a dozen states impeded voters from casting ballots.
WRAL: Power struggle develops over defending NC laws
In the wee hours last Friday morning, lawmakers approved a surprise measure as they were leaving town to give House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger the same authority as the attorney general to speak for the state in court. Critics of the move say it violates separation of powers between the different branches of government. “Standing is something that’s traditionally decided and granted by the courts. So, it really is unprecedented for lawmakers to simply give themselves standing,” said Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU in North Carolina, which is suing the state over its same-sex marriage ban. Cooper said North Carolina law doesn’t allow him to choose not to defend a law, even if he doesn’t agree with it. “It’s the job of the attorney general to defend the state, particularly when the state’s laws are constitutionally challenged,” he said.
Dome: Morning Memo: Petition calls on McCrory to veto voter ID law
More than 10,000 NC residents have signed a petition asking Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the voter ID bill that passed the legislature last week. At a press conference Friday, McCrory indicated he would sign the bill although he also admitted he was unfamiliar with a part of it. The bill morphed from one focused on having voters show a photo ID at the polls to one that includes changes to early voting, campaign finance and the state’s presidential primary. It also lets any registered voter challenge another’s vote on Election Day and repeals Stand By Your Ad and other provisions.
Dome: Hagan pushes to keep tax credits for military families
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has urged the Senate Finance Committee to keep the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit as it decides which tax breaks to eliminate. Hagan wrote to committee leaders to draw attention to how the tax credits help military families. “I want to see them preserved for all families, but because there are so many current and former military families in North Carolina, I really wanted to raise this particular issue with (Senate Finance Committee) chairman (Max) Baucus and (senior Republican Sen. Orrin) Hatch,” Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, said in an interview on Tuesday.. “I’ve looked at what these military families have gone through. In the last 10 years we’ve asked more and more of our soldiers and their families.”
Dome: Moral Mondays begin dispersing throughout state
Now that the Legislature is out of session and a final “Moral Monday” protest drew a record number of participants this week, organizers plan to spread the even to local communities. On Aug. 5, a coalition of advocacy groups — representing environmental, voting rights, health, the elderly, labor, religion and poverty interests — plan to gather in a downtown Asheville park to keep the party going. A familiar face at the Raleigh protests, Rev. William Barber II, president of the NAACP state chapter, will speak.
NYT: Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate as Part of Jobs Deal
President Obama, in a bid to break a stalemate with the Republican-controlled House, revived on Tuesday his proposal to cut corporate tax rates in return for a commitment from Republicans to invest more in programs spurring middle-class jobs.
RealClearPolitics: Obama Seeks Business Tax Cuts – and New Spending
President Obama, seeking to vault ahead of budget discussions with congressional Republicans this fall, proposed Tuesday to marry corporate tax reform elements with Democrats’ aims to “invest” new revenues in the economy. By attempting to rewrite the definition of “grand bargain” as it relates to the upcoming budget negotiations with lawmakers, the president sought to soften congressional resistance to his domestic agenda while crafting simple messaging that casts the White House and Democrats as the champions of jobs for the middle class, and Republicans as defenders of corporate tax benefits and loopholes.
The Hill: New Democratic Coalition girds for 2014
Members of the New Democratic Coalition are rallying to protect vulnerable lawmakers who Republicans have in their 2014 crosshairs. Eighteen of the 26 House members included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) incumbent-protecting “Frontline” program are members of the fiscally centrist group’s caucus. Many represent swing suburban districts where less ideologically driven centrist and independent voters — many of whom are unhappy with both parties — often decide the election. “There’s going to be a priority on the current members — to do everything we can to help them position on their reelections,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), who took over as chairman of the New Democratic Coalition after the 2012 election.
Dome: Ellmers says she won’t run for U.S. Senate
U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers said today she will not run for the U.S. Senate. Ellmers, a Dunn Republican in her second term, had been mentioned as a possible challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen Kay Hagan. Ellmers said earlier she was thinking about entering the Senate race. Instead, she said in an statement Tuesday, she intends to run for re-election to the House.
The Washington Post: Renee Ellmers won’t run for Senate
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) will run for reelection next year, passing up an opportunity to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D). Her decision is bad news for Republicans who hope the party can win Hagan’s seat and take back the Senate. House Speaker Thom Tillis is already in the race, but he hasn’t raised much money and has faced some negative press. Senate President Phil Berger is considering a bid.
WPRO News Talk: Alison Lundergan Grimes Launches Senate Bid in Kentucky
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes officially launched her Senate campaign Tuesday against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., playing off his campaign’s nickname of Team Mitch and urging the crowd to join “Team Switch.” “There is a disease of dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and after nearly 30 years Mitch McConnell is at the center of it,” Grimes said at her campaign kickoff in Louisville. “Where once congressmen and senators would actually come together to find a common ground, to work for the better good, we now have Sen. McConnell the proud guardian of gridlock grinding our government to a halt.”
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party
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