Hunt, Hagan honor the late-Governor Jim Holshouser, McCrory and NC legislature approval plunge, NCDP unifies, sets sights on GOP, Sen. Hagan stands against student loan interest rate hike, more on the coming U.S. Supreme Court decisions
WRAL: Holshouser recalled as statesman
Former Gov. Jim Hunt, who served as Holshouser’s lieutenant governor, remembered him as a man who always answered the call. He said his former boss was a champion of education who pushed to increase teacher pay and worked with Democrats to include kindergarten in the public school system. “Some people are builders,” Hunt said. “They build the state, they build the people, they build the schools, they build the economy.”
Charlotte Observer: NC leaders praise former Gov. Jim Holshouser’s leadership, kindness
“Jim was such a good man, and I’ve long admired his ability to work with Democrats and Republicans. His moderate, consensus-building approach made him an effective leader who brought health clinics to underserved areas, bolstered our public education system and backed important legislation to protect our environment. Jim served during a time of great change in our nation. As our state and our country worked to fulfill our ideals as a land of opportunity for all, he appointed African-Americans to key positions and named the first woman to a cabinet-level position. Jim leaves behind many contributions to North Carolina, and my thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family during this difficult time.” – U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan
Public Policy Polling: Even Republicans unhappy with NC legislature
Pat McCrory’s approval numbers are their lowest since he took office with 45% of voters approving of him to 39% who disapprove. McCrory’s numbers have been slowly trickling down. He started out in January with a +26 spread that went to +14 in February, stabilized at +14 in March and +13 in April, dropped to +10 in May, and has now dropped further to +6. A big reason why McCrory won so easily last fall was a lot of crossover support from Democrats but that’s dissipating- in April he was at 31/53 with them, now it’s 24/60.
The Voter Update: Voters oppose N.C. legislature’s budget proposals
The Republican-controlled legislature also suffers in the court of public opinion, with 56 percent of voters disapproving of the job being done by state lawmakers. Democratic voters are especially displeased with the General Assembly, with just 10 percent giving that body a positive rating, while 20 percent of independents approve of the legislature. Slightly more Republican voters – 40 percent – disapprove of the legislature than the 36 percent who approve.
Greensboro News & Record: Last-minute budget flurry begins at state legislature
If you planned to wait until the last moments of this legislative session to pay attention or make your wishes known — wait no longer. State leaders are about to agree on a long list of issues they’ve battled over for six months. The state’s nearly $50 billion budget is about to be final. Tax reforms. Looser gun controls. Teacher pay. Fracking. It’s decision time on all these things, and quite a few more.
WRAL: House strikes political party checkoff
State House lawmakers voted Monday night to do away with the checkoff on state tax forms that lets taxpayers direct money to a political party. The state’s D-400 form allows an individual to direct $3 of his or her tax payment (or $6 for a couple) to the Democratic, Libertarian or Republican parties. That money comes out of what the taxpayer is already paying to the state, not out of his or her refund.
Dome: Dems launch anti-Tillis website
Even though Tillis isn’t polling well yet, Democrats are focusing their attention on him. The N.C. Democratic Party will launch a website today — SpecialInterestThom.com as part of its attempt to link him to special interests and lobbyists. The main page features a photo of the House speaker deep in mud pit (he recently competed in a Tough Mudder race) with the tagline: "Thom Tillis: Neck deep in dirty special interests."
WRAL: Dems seek truce with deal
The petitioners agree that Voller is the "duly elected chairman" and say they will support him. "All Democrats should focus their attention and efforts not on internecine disputes within the party structure but rather on re-electing Senator Kay Hagan and electing Democrats across the board to elected offices." Voller agrees to terminate the party’s contracts with Neal and Carmichael by the end of the month and to limit his voting appointees to the Executive Council to no more than three. One of his council appointees, William Franklin, will step down.
Daily Tar Heel: The new face of an underdog part: Q&A with Robert Dempsey
“We’re a family, and I myself, being from a large family, clearly understand that you don’t always necessarily get along with your brothers and sisters, but at the end of the day … we’re going to come together as a unified party, stronger than ever.”
Winston-Salem Journal: Hagan: ‘Our students can’t afford any more debt’
Congress is riding another stalemate toward the brink, with interest rates on federally subsidized student loans slated to double July 1 and no consensus on how to proceed. The increase would affect 176,000 students in North Carolina, according to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s office. The students would go from carrying loans with 3.4 percent interest to paying 6.8 percent.
National Journal: Will North Carolina Shape the Future of the Senate?
Democrats are confident that campaign mechanics will give Hagan, who has had nearly five years to prepare for reelection, an edge. So far, no Republican has emerged as a clear-cut favorite in a still-forming primary field, although state House Speaker Thom Tillis is the early favorite of the GOP establishment. Hagan’s backers also contend that controversy stirred this year by the GOP-controlled state Legislature (the NAACP has been staging protests against its actions on education, tax policy, and other issues) and a potentially bitter Republican primary will alienate moderate voters before the general-election campaign even begins.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
CNN: A summary of major upcoming Supreme Court decisions
Here are summaries of five of the biggest cases awaiting rulings by the Supreme Court. Decisions will be released between now and the end of June.
Washington Post: Conservatives likely to write most remaining decisions in Supreme Court’s term
As the court heads into the crucial final weeks of the term, it is apparent that the great majority of remaining decisions will be authored by the court’s most consistent conservatives.
LA Times: Supreme Court to hear case on housing discrimination law
The Supreme Court, rejecting the advice of the Obama administration, will consider whether to limit the federal housing discrimination law to cases of actual and proven bias against blacks or Latinos.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party