McCrory is less creepy than Tillis, but they both have the same baggage

It's not surprising that Tillis wants to cozy up to somebody, anybody, who could possible help burnish his miserable personality. But Pat McCrory? Seriously?

Chris Fitzsimon has a good take on the very odd couple:

But there’s somebody else who is surely watching the Senate battle carefully— Governor Pat McCrory—and not just because of his own political affiliation or his close relationship with Speaker Tillis. The race is in many ways a preview of what McCrory will face in 2016 when he presumably will be running for reelection. Despite his efforts to claim independence from the powerful leaders of the General Assembly—most notably his incessant claim that he is “stepping on the toes of the right and the left”—he has been a willing if not enthusiastic partner of the hard-right agenda of the legislative leadership that is so unpopular.

Daily dose

CAMPAIGN 2014
Polls show Hagan building a lead over Tillis (Greensboro News & Record) -- Republican challenger Thom Tillis lags behind U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan as their race moves into its final leg, according to two polls released Monday.
http://www.news-record.com/news/polls-show-hagan-building-a-lead-over-tillis/article_da0bec26-3d48-1...

New polls show Hagan widening lead (WRAL-TV) -- Two polls released Monday show Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan opening up a lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis.
http://www.wral.com/new-polls-show-hagan-widening-lead/13982381/

NC survey shows Hagan with narrow US Senate lead (AP) -- A survey of North Carolina likely voters shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan holding a narrow lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis roughly two months from Election Day.
http://www.wral.com/nc-survey-shows-hagan-with-narrow-us-senate-lead/13983967/

Elon Poll gives Hagan lead, shows gender gap -- Results (Elon Poll) Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has opened a four-point lead over her challenger in the November elections, according to the latest Elon University Poll. Hagan leads Thom Tillis, the Republican speaker of North Carolina’s House of Representatives, by a 45-41 margin among likely voters. Nine percent of likely voters said they plan to support another candidate, and 5 percent are undecided on their vote. FULL RESULTS:
http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/elonpoll/091514_ElonPollExecutiveReport.pdf

Rural Wifi investment

For some time I have pointed out that the best way to ensure economic development in our rural counties is to provide broadband wifi services to those areas. Free access would be ideal, but fees for service will most likely be necessary.

A letter to the editor in Saturday's News and Observer demonstrates a need for some kind of program in North Carolina that would bring wifi service to our countryside. The letter writer feels she is "sealed off from the digital age, because broadband service has not been extended to our homes."

We live in an area of Chatham County where there is no DSL or cable and weak cell signals. The best service one can get is satellite or a trip of 10-15 miles to a library when it is open…

Another straw on the camel's back: Moral Monday appeal successful

The first Moral Monday arrest case to make it to Superior Court has resulted in the trumped-up charges being dismissed.

A Wake County Superior Court judge has dismissed a trespassing case against a protester arrested at the N.C. Legislative Building in the summer of 2013 in a ruling that could have broader effect on cases still in the judicial pipeline.

Judge Donald Stephens, the chief resident Superior Court judge of Wake County, ruled the constitutional rights of Leonard Beeghley were violated when he was arrested on June 17, 2013, demonstrating against the General Assembly's new agenda.

As in recent District Court cases, the judge cited the recent US Supreme Court ruling about protests on public property.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June has had an impact on the cases in recent weeks.

Tillis in a tailspin

A number of polls show Speaker Tillis falling behind Senator Hagan. To turn things around, Tillis needs to climb a treacherous mountain. He needs to paint the Senator as a radical socialist who does nothing but support Obama's agenda. He needs to convince people that she's lazy, disengaged, and out-of-step with North Carolina values. That's not going to happen. None of that stuff is even remotely true, and people know it. The more Tillis beats the drum, the sillier he seems. He tried this approach in the first debate and came away looking like a schmuck.

This is exactly what happened in the State Supreme Court primary when Republican liars went after Robin Hudson with attack ads that didn't pass the smell test:

Republican oxymorons: Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr

If that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will:

The North Carolina Republican would have to choose between two possible chairmanships: Intelligence, for which he’s next in line behind retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, and Veterans’ Affairs, where he’s already at the top of the GOP ranks. Burr tells POLITICO he hasn’t made up his mind what he would do under a GOP majority: “I’ll wait and see if it happens.” As Intelligence chairman, Burr would be likely to take a close look at the ISIL threat, which he says he’s concerned with because intelligence agencies don’t know how many of those terrorists might hold U.S. passports. If he doesn’t take the Intelligence chairmanship, James Risch of Idaho would be next in line.

We also don't know who their favorite Disney characters are (Jafar from Aladdin comes to mind), but that may be equally inconsequential. ISIL is radically different from Al-Qaeda and other groups who try to erode the fabric of a society; they're mainly focused on taking over territory to create a (future) Islamic state in the region. An attack on US soil, while not out of the question, would be counterproductive to its goals, by bringing the full wrath of the US military might down on its head. The biggest threat right now to the American people is the possible takeover of the US Senate by the GOP.

Daily dose: Monday madness edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Independent groups aim to help Democratic legislative candidates (AP) — Groups in the shadow of traditional campaigns are poised to once again attempt to influence North Carolina General Assembly races through ads and mailers bought with millions of dollars largely from companies and politically-minded organizations.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/groups-aiming-help-nc-legislative-democrats-2650835

New poll shows Hagan widening to 9 point lead (WRAL-TV) -- Raleigh polling firm American Insights is rolling out a new poll Monday that shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has a 9 percentage point lead among likely voters over Republican challenger Thom Tillis. This poll is the latest in a string showing Hagan gaining ground in the campaign. Of likely voters surveyed, 43 percent said they would back Hagan, 34 percent said they backed Tillis, the current state House speaker, and 5 percent backed Libertarian Sean Haugh. "The race has unmistakably shifted towards Sen. Hagan in recent days," said Pearce Godwin, insights director for American Insights. "This poll is a continuation and affirmation of the recent trend in her direction. But there is still a lot of time left on the clock, and I would not be surprised if this volatile race shifts back to a jump ball between now and November."
http://www.wral.com/new-poll-shows-hagan-widening-lead/13982381/

Jane's political salon: Gerry Cohen

Gerry Cohen is in our salon tonight to talk about local politics. If you have questions, drop them below.

Gerry, Jane and I go way back. Jane and Gerry met in 1977 when he was running for mayor of Chapel Hill. I eventually joined the town council and knew about Gerry's legendary service. We met eight years ago at a blogger conference. This is the first time we've had the chance to reconnect.

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