MAY 9, 2014
10 Maps That Explain the 2014 Midterms: What the Democrats wouldn’t give to swap this year’s Senate map for the one coming up in 2016. This year’s Senate class, filled with Democratic incumbents in hostile territory, would be difficult to defend any year—it’s especially so when there’s an unpopular Democratic president in the White House. But the next Senate map, coming in 2016, is filled with Democratic targets and Republican vulnerabilities. Simply switch them—leaving all else the same—and the 2014 midterm takes on a completely different character. Read more here.
Koch brothers’ American for Prosperity plans $125 million spending spree: The group has already spent more than $35 million on ads attacking vulnerable Democrats in key Senate and House races, according to sources, including Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The $125 million projection comes from a memo obtained by POLITICO labeled as a “Confidential Investor Update” provided to major donors in March, but a source familiar with AFP called the figure a “very conservative estimate. We’re on track for more than that.” Read more here.
Hagan gives strong support to Affordable Care Act: During the confirmation hearing of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who has been nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and later in an interview, Hagan spoke out in favor of the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, saying it would provide health coverage for 500,000 people in the state who need it. Read more here.
Court filings: Too many NC children aren’t receiving adequate education: In a new filing, attorneys in a landmark school quality lawsuit call for a hearing in August and a detailed plan from the state, with timetables, for complying with the basic education mandate from two previous Supreme Court rulings. They say North Carolina has discarded many of the planned remedies to the problem, leaving 800,000 poor students – 56 percent of all school children – at risk of academic failure. Read more here.
Will Dark Money Reshape North Carolina Political Landscape from Senate Race to State Supreme Court?: In one of the first closely watched races of the 2014 primary season, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has won the Republican Senate nomination. Tillis will face Democratic Senator Kay Hagan in November in a race that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. The North Carolina primary drew national attention pitting Tillis, backed by much of the Republican establishment, against candidates with close ties to the tea party and religious right. As speaker of the North Carolina House, Tillis was a frequent target of the Moral Monday protests over the past two years. Primaries were also held Tuesday to determine who will sit on the state’s Supreme Court. The races have gained national attention because millions of dollars from outside groups have poured in to the state to back conservative candidates. One TV ad bought by a secretive outside group accused state Supreme Court Judge Robin Hudson of being "not tough on child molesters." North Carolina is one of 22 states where judges on higher courts are elected rather than appointed. Read more here.
This is what America would look like without gerrymandering: Partisan gerrymandering occurs when this map-drawing process is intentionally used to benefit a particular political party — to help that party win more seats in the legislature, or more easily protect the ones it has. The goal is to create many districts that will elect members of one party, and only a few that will elect members of the opposite party. Read more here.
NC marks 2nd anniversary of same-sex marriage ban: The second anniversary of the passage of North Carolina’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage was marked Thursday with same-sex couples unsuccessfully seeking licenses to wed, and amendment supporters rallying to preserve the ban. Read more here.
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