More dissent in Thom Tillis’ ranks, N.C. Court of Appeals judges urge legislature to keep public financing, Susan Rice to be named National Security Adviser
N.C. TAX REFORM
NEWS & OBSERVER: House GOP caucus revolt blocks tax overhaul efforts
A revolt in the House Republican Caucus exploded into the open Wednesday morning, throwing the major tax bill into further jeopardy. House Republican leaders, led by Speaker Thom Tillis, sought to strip a provision added to the bill a day earlier that added $500 million in cost. But a cadre of Republicans and Democrats joined forces in the Appropriations Committee to block a proposed substitute bill from even being considered.
WRAL: Dispute over mortgage interest, deductions stalls tax reform bill
Moving a bill before the committee to begin debate is usually just a formality of parliamentary procedure. But some members of the Republican caucus have been chafing at the leadership’s fast-track handling of the massive overhaul. The voice vote was clearly against the motion, but Dollar ruled it had passed, resulting in calls for division – a counted vote – from Republicans and Democrats across the room.
NEWS & OBSERVER: Watt, NC lawmakers testify at redistricting trial
Republican legislative leaders weren’t justified in drawing majority-black political districts in areas where African-American voters already had proved to elect their favored candidates in coalitions with whites, U.S. Rep. Mel Watt and other Democratic elected officials said at a redistricting trial Tuesday. Watt, who has represented North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District for more than 20 years, testified in court on behalf of Democratic voters and civil rights and election advocacy groups who sued over the congressional and General Assembly maps approved by the Republican-led legislature in 2011.
DOME: Appeals court asks legislature to continue election public financing
Most of the N.C. Court of Appeals, including judges of both parties, has signed a letter urging retention of the current system of elections including non-partisan elections and public financing. Fourteen of the 15 appeals court judges signed a letter to Senate leader Phil Berger asking them to keep the current system. http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/appeals_court_asks_legislature_to_continue_public_financing_non_partisan_elections
RACIAL JUSTICE ACT
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Legislators close in on Racial Justice Act repeal
The legislature took another step Tuesday toward wiping out a signature law that allows convicted killers to be spared the death penalty if they can show court decisions tainted by racial bias.
WRAL: Obama steps into NC Pre-K fray
Two days before President Barack Obama visits a Mooresville school, the White House said Tuesday that North Carolina is eligible for $102.2 million in federal funding to help expand pre-kindergarten classes statewide. The federal Preschool for All program proposed by Obama would require a state match of $10.2 million to provide pre-kindergarten seats to nearly 12,500 children from low-income families next year.
NEWS & OBSERVER: AP source: Donilon to resign, Rice to take over
President Barack Obama’s top national security adviser Tom Donilon is resigning and will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
POLITICO: Susan Rice to be new NSA, Samantha Power to replace her at U.N.
National Security Adviser Tom Donilon is stepping down after four years on the job and will be replaced by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice — the latest in a series of defiant appointments likely to rile the GOP and fire up the Democratic base.
The Hill: Democrats open fire on Hagan opponent Tillis
“Thom Tillis has created disaster in Raleigh, leading the ultra right wing North Carolina legislature and becoming a favorite of the special interests — the same special interests who now fund a super-PAC to elect Tillis to the U.S. Senate, ” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, in a release obtained first by The Hill.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party