NEWS & OBSERVER: Could Bill Clinton help Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign?

WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton was on the campaign trail for Democrats last week, raising the question of whether one of the country’s most popular leaders will bring his political skills to North Carolina on behalf of embattled U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.
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FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Inside Politics: GOP operatives’ new poll shows Hagan leading challengers
A new Raleigh-based polling firm founded by Republican operatives announced last week that Democrat Kay Hagan is leading her top Republican challengers. The pollster, American Insights, shows Hagan leading state House Speaker Thom Tillis 38 to 35 percent; Mark Harris 39 to 35 percent; and Greg Brannon 38 to 36 percent. The pollster said this was the first time in 2014 that Hagan polled ahead of Tillis in any published survey.

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WRAL: Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin
RALEIGH, N.C. — For 12 state Senate candidates and 44 aspiring state House members, this year’s election began and all but ended Friday because they were the only ones who filed to run in their legislative districts. More broadly, nearly half of all state Senate and House districts will be decided by the primary because only candidates from one party filed to run in each of the districts. "This is where gerrymandering hurts people. They don’t get real choices," said North Carolina State University political science professor Steve Greene, referring to the practice of drawing legislative districts to heavily favor one of the two major parties.
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NEWS & OBSERVER: Panel prepares jury trial amendment for NC ballots
RALEIGH, N.C. — A proposed change to North Carolina’s Constitution involving jury trials is on the ballot in November, so a state panel is meeting to write an explanation for voters. The Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission planned to meet Monday in Raleigh. It’s preparing a background document explaining the question for voters that can be accessed at county election offices. The actual language that will appear on the ballot was finalized by the General Assembly last summer.

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NEWS & OBSERVER: Republican uses NAACP head as foil in TV ads

A series of four advertisements for a Republican’s state Senate campaign feature an unlikely star: the outspoken Rev. William Barber, president of the N.C. NAACP. The 30-second spots for Rep. Andy Wells of Hickory, who is running for Senate in Catawba and Alexander counties, are all similar. The ads begin with a calm Wells, saying, “You know, once the political rant starts, civil debate ends.” (See one ad below.) Then, each ad moves to different video of Barber speaking exuberantly at a Moral Monday rally last year.

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NEW YORK TIMES: Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged

RALEIGH, N.C. — Last June, state employees in charge of stopping water pollution were given updated marching orders on behalf of North Carolina’s new Republican governor and conservative lawmakers. “The General Assembly doesn’t like you,” an official in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told supervisors called to a drab meeting room here. “They cut your budget, but you didn’t get the message. And they cut your budget again, and you still didn’t get the message.”
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Women’s History Month is special to me not just as a woman but as a mother, as a daughter and as a wife. It is inspiring to think how far we’ve come thanks to the women of previous generations on whose shoulders we stand. The suffragists fought for the right to vote and they won it in 1920. Another generation secured the passage of Title IX.
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Attorneys Elizabeth Haddix, who is representing the N.C. NAACP with the UNC Center of Civil Rights, and Jessica Holmes from the North Carolina Association of Educators, a co-plaintiff in the suit, spoke about the temporary injunction issued on Feb. 21 to halt any further implementation of the voucher program. Also on Feb. 21, a federal magistrate judge held a hearing on the state legislators’ attempts to claim immunity for themselves and any documents they created around the voter ID bill.

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