NCDP Frontline News Report — June 3, 2016

Our latest edition of the NCDP Frontline News Report features stories about records requests we’ve made to Governor McCrory’s office to learn more about coal ash ponds and his travel on his private plane.

Last week, the North Carolina Democratic Party requested records of communication among McCrory press person Josh Ellis, officials at Duke Energy and the Departments of Health and Human Services and Environmental Quality, in an effort to determine why and how Ellis and Duke were able to override environmental experts regarding safe drinking water standards near coal ash ponds.

And just this week we asked for more information on the Governor’s use of his private, taxpayer-funded airplane to fly to campaign fundraisers.

Take a look below for all of our news coverage.

Dave Miranda
Communications Director
North Carolina Democratic Party

p.s.: Take a look at our Facebook post of the week, about the NCDP’s support of HBCUs and our fight against any legislation that may jeopardize their rich history. Click here to like, share and comment:



News & Observer

Democratic Party joins fray over safe wells

By Craig Jarvis

Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever announced the records request at a news conference at party headquarters in Raleigh. “Sworn testimony suggests the governor’s press staff pressured state water experts to lift ‘do not drink’ orders for families living near coal ash ponds,” she said.

WTVD-ABC Raleigh

Democrats go after McCrory on coal ash water safety

By Jon Camp

"We deserve a better understanding of the actions the governor’s office has taken so far," said Patsy Keever, Chairwoman of the State Democratic Party. "Recent depositions have indicated that the McCrory administration lifted ‘do not drink’ orders for families living on well water near Duke Energy coal ash ponds despite serious reservations from top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Environmental Quality."


N.C. Dems Want McCrory Press Staffer’s Communications Regarding Coal Ash

by Jane Porter

"Why in the world is the governor’s press person commenting on state water standards at all, much less overruling the state water experts," she asked. "Now the governor’s office is seeking more authority with less oversight in cleaning up these toxic coal ash ponds. Families deserve to know what’s in their drinking water."

Time Warner Cable News

TWC 14 clip aired on May 26th, which featured comments from Patsy Keever’s press conference regarding the McCrory administration’s handling of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds


The Charlotte Post

African American NC lawmakers criticize tuition-slashing bill

by Herbert L. White

“The North Carolina Democratic Party fully supports our state’s historically black colleges and universities and our entire university system,” North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever said. “The UNC system is one of our greatest resources, an economic driver for the region and one of the things that makes our state great. Our HBCUs are a special resource as well, educating our students, creating economic opportunities and producing leaders for North Carolina. We will continue to support North Carolina’s HBCUs and fight against any legislative effort to jeopardize their rich history, legacy and tradition.”


The East Carolinian

HB2 more than just a ‘bathroom bill’

by Melissa Glen

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever added, “Anyone who works 40 hours a week should be able to raise a family without living in poverty. But here in North Carolina, Governor McCrory’s law HB2 actually prohibits cities from raising their local minimum wage.”

News & Observer

NC Democrats want to raise minimum wage to $12 an hour

by Colin Campbell

“While everyone is talking about bathrooms and discrimination, we’ve got a large part of our community that is struggling,” Waddell said. “We must do better. We’re going to push that bill forward until it gets some attention.”

WTVD-ABC Raleigh

Clip aired on May 25th that featured Senator Angela Bryant’s comments regarding HB2’s impact on the minimum wage


Wilmington Star-News

NC governor race nation’s ‘marquee’ matchup

by Tim Buckland

"Add in the fact that at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump is likely the most unpopular presidential candidate in modern times and it’s no wonder that most pundits agree that the governor is in trouble," she said.

Governing magazine

LGBT Battle Underscores the Powerlessness of being Governor in North Carolina

by Alan Greenblatt

"The Democratic vote in North Carolina is both increasingly urban and increasingly liberal. Cooper is seeking to be the candidate of the emergent cities that feel themselves under attack by the leaders of their own state. He’s hoping not only to win, but to carry in at least a handful of additional Democratic legislators to sustain his vetoes and give him a fighting chance against the legislature."


The Mountaineer

Haywood Democrats wrap up a busy spring

"On April 16, Democrats gathered for the annual County Convention and saw another good turnout. A message was read from N.C. Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever, highlighting her work to increase the party’s digital presence and to initiate new programs to ensure voters get to the polls and are able to vote when they get there."


WBTV-CBS Charlotte

Democratic Party requests McCrory records following WBTV investigation

By WBTV Web Staff

“North Carolina taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for Pat McCrory jetting around to re-election fundraisers. We know from recent reports that Governor McCrory has billed taxpayers for over a hundred unnecessary flights,” said NCDP Chair Patsy Keever. "This is about basic transparency: the governor needs to release these records and show North Carolina families if they are funding his campaign travel."

WNCN-CBS Raleigh

NC Democrats request McCrory’s travel records

"We want to know what the governor is doing and how taxpayer money is being spent," said Patsy Keever, North Carolina Democratic Party chair.


N.C. Democrats Request More of McCrory’s Travel Records

by Jane Porter

"North Carolina taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for Pat McCrory jetting around to re-election fundraisers," said Patsy Keever, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "We know from recent reports that Governor McCrory has billed taxpayers for over a hundred unnecessary flights. This is about basic transparency: the governor needs to release these records and show North Carolina families if they are funding his campaign travel."



JUDGES REJECT CHALLENGES TO NEW NC CONGRESSIONAL MAP (WRAL-TV) — A panel of three federal judges on Thursday rejected complaints over a new congressional district map that state lawmakers drew in February after the judges ruled the previous map was unconstitutional.

JUDGES WON’T STOP USE OF N.C. CONGRESSIONAL LINES AP) — Federal judges declined Thursday to strike down the latest edition of North Carolina congressional district boundaries being used in next week’s primary elections. The panel included Appeals Court Judge Roger Gregorg – appointed by President George W. Bush, District Court Judge William Osteen, appointed by President Bush and District Court Judge Max Cogburn, appointed by President Barack Obama.

FEDERAL JUDGES UPHOLD N.C. CONGRESSIONAL MAPS (Raleigh News & Observer) – -A panel of federal judges Thursday rejected the most recent challenge of North Carolina’s newly drawn congressional districts.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TEA PARTY DARLING BECOMES MOVEMENT’S ENEMY (Washington post) — When she ran six years ago, Ellmers joined the bus tour hosted by the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity that traveled the country railing against Obamacare. Now, AFP and other conservative groups are trying to oust her on Tuesday.

HOW AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY GETS OUT THE VOTE (Washington Post) — Typically, one out of every five houses results in a real conversation.

AG STILL OPPOSES LGBT LAW (AP) — Representatives of North Carolina’s attorney general said Thursday that he remains opposed to a law requiring transgender students to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates even though his office sought an extension for the state to respond to a federal lawsuit.

MCCRORY TWISTS ROUTINE COURT FILING INTO POLITICAL SHOT AT COOPER (Raleigh News & Observer) — Attorney General Roy Cooper sought an extension to gain extra time to respond to a federal lawsuit against North Carolina over House Bill 2.

HOME IS WHERE THE HAT IS? TV REPORT REVIVES QUESTION OF ADAMS’ RESIDENCY (Charlotte Observer) — TV crew found Rep. Alma Adams at home she owns in Greensboro; Footage fuels Mecklenburg rivals; Adams explains why, confronted by camera, she drove away.


SENATE GIVES FINAL APPROVAL TO $22.2B SPENDING PLAN (WRAL-TV) – Senators voted 26-13 shortly after midnight Friday to give final approval to their 2016-17 spending proposal. Unlike Thursday morning, when the debate was contentious on several points before senators voted along party lines to give preliminary approval to the $22.2 billion budget proposal, there was no debate early Friday.

SENATE BUDGET INCLUDES TAX BREAKS, CLARIFICATIONS (WRAL-TV) — The Senate tax bill would give income tax filers a break but would collect more in sales taxes for some services.

SENATE GIVES FINAL OK TO BUDGET BILL; TALKS WITH HOUSE NEXT (AP) — Senators have completed their work on proposed adjustments to the current North Carolina government budget.

UNLIKE HOUSE VOTE, BUDGET DIVIDES SENATE (AP) — The state Senate gave initial approval Thursday to Republican-proposed budget adjustments that capped a sometimes tense debate about worker pay, water quality and university tuition.

DEMOCRATS BLAST SENATE BUDGET’S EMPLOYEE PAY, SCHOOL VOUCHERS BEFORE 33-15 VOTE (Raleigh News & Observer) — Democrats sought unsuccessfully Thursday to add bigger raises for state employees and retirees and to cut private school vouchers from the Senate budget before it passed 33-15 along party lines.

HBCU TUITION CUT STRUCK FROM BUDGET PLAN (WRAL-TV) — After a heated, emotional debate, senators voted Thursday to remove three historically black colleges and universities from a list of five UNC campuses slated for a tuition discount program.

HOUSE APPROVES LIMITED CHARTER COMPANY TAKEOVERS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS (WRAL-TV) — Up to five public schools at a time could be run under an "achievement school district" model, which turns public schools over to charter school management for three years.

POLICY CHANGES PART OF N.C. SENATE BUDGET (Coastal Review) — A comprehensive reworking of water quality protections and a major set of studies of beach re-nourishment are among dozens of special provisions in the state Senate’s version of the state budget that passed today.

ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS BILL PASSES HOUSE (EdNC) — After a contentious debate, the Achievement School District bill passed its second and third reading in the House yesterday. It will now move onto the Senate. The vote on second reading was 60-49. The third reading was a simple voice vote.

PROPOSED TAKEOVER OF 5 LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS PASSES HOUSE (Raleigh News & Observer) — Controversial bill setting up charter-run district of low-performing schools goes to NC Senate

HOUSE TELLS I-77 TOLL ROAD CONTRACTOR TO HIT THE ROAD (AP) — The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to rescind a $650 million contract to build toll lanes on Interstate 77 near Charlotte.

HOUSE WANTS I-77 TOLL LANE PROJECT CANCELED (AP) — The North Carolina House wants the Department of Transportation to cancel an agreement with a private builder to construct special toll lanes on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte.

SENATORS SKIRMISH OVER SHELLFISH (WRAL-TV) — A proposal to rewrite long-standing environmental rules and spend half a million dollars on a questionable shellfish experiment is moving forward in the Senate budget, despite Democrats’ efforts to derail it.

HOUSE BACKS NEW SAFETY RULES FOR BIKES WHILE LETTING CARS PASS THEM (Raleigh News & Observer) — The N.C. House voted 104-4 Thursday to add new safety requirements for bicyclists traveling at night, while making it easier for vehicles to legally pass bikes and mopeds in no-passing zones.

CONTROVERSIAL FORMER STATE REP. MOFFITT PICKED FOR BUNCOMBE COUNTY POST (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Former N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt has been selected by local Republican officials to fill the District 3 seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners left vacant by Miranda DeBruhl, who resigned last month.