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Creative response to a created crisis:

All the world's a poet: Laureate flap inspires more verse (Raleigh News & Observer) -- We asked readers to send poems responding to the uproar that ensued when Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t go through established channels, chose a relatively unknown poet from Fuquay-Varina as the state’s poet laureate. Valerie Macon has since stepped down. Here is a sampling of those poems: PAT IN THE HAT -- There once was a governor named Pat/ Who put on his own stupid hat/ When appointing a poet/ He didn’t quite know it/ The state has a system for that. WARM EMBRACE -- When art’s left to our politicians,/ It’s subject to noxious conditions./ The state’s warm embrace/ Can become a disgrace/ And displeasing to academicians.

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And that was all she wrote:

9:15 p.m. Secretary Susan Kluttz Comments on Resignation of Valerie Macon as Poet Laurearte (N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Release) -- Valerie Macon, recently appointed North Carolina's poet laureate, resigned from the position today stating in her letter that she does not want, "the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of Poet Laureate." "I am saddened by this entire situation," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources. "I met with Valerie Macon and was very impressed with her passion to use her talent to combat homelessness. I am sorry that she became the focus of disingenuous comments that she did not deserve. I pledge to her and to all artists, both new and experienced, that this department will do all we can to support their creativity."

Daily Dose

A runoff election, particularly in a congressional or legislative district, is neatly defined and should be simple for the candidates. There’s little guessing about who is likely to vote – they’ve already identified themselves – down to the household – by voting in the initial primary. And, there aren’t so many people, or such an extensive geographic spread, that there is difficulty in reaching out personally to nearly every voter. Decent polling and get-out-the-vote efforts can identify just who voted for which candidate. And, these efforts can also identify which voters who may not have voted for the candidates in the runoff, would be likely to shift.

Daily Dose

NC raising water standards; critics say not enough (AP) — After years of delays, North Carolina regulators are moving to strengthen state water-quality standards to include tougher limits on toxic metals like those at issue following the recent coal ash spill into the Dan River.

EPA says Dan River back to pre-coal ash spill quality (Danville Register Bee) -- Water quality in the Dan River has returned to “normal,” according to Myles Bartos of the Environmental Protection Agency.

UPSET! Walker beats Berger Jr. in bitter race for GOP nod (AP) — A harsh Republican Party fight for a shot at an open North Carolina congressional seat goes to Mark Walker.

Daily Dose

If you have a run-off in your district, don't forget to vote today.

Senate nixes House coal ash bill, negotiating next (AP) — Legislation designed to clean up coal ash ponds at Duke Energy power plants in North Carolina is now heading to final negotiations after the Senate rejected the House version of the bill.

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"We're going to go in. We're going to have a short session. It's going to be focused. It's going to be disciplined. We're going to get in and out.,"
-- House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, WRAL-TV 05/10/2014

“All indications point toward a session that will be short, with a continued focus on economic growth, job creation, and wise investments.”
-- Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation, 05/09/2014

“We will probably be more assertive than in our first year, which I frankly thought was extremely assertive. … “We had a heck of a good first year, but now I think we can take even more initiatives. … I anticipate that we’ll be together 80 to 90 percent of the time. “We’re having very good dialogue and, in almost all cases, good cooperation.”
-- Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

“Hopefully (Gov. McCrory) has learned that we have to work together to get things done. I don’t know if he’s there yet. Hopefully this session will tell us that.”
-- Senate Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

Daily Dose

Some NC voters face 2nd round of primary elections (AP) — It's a sign of how much is at stake in next week's runoff election and how narrow the expected margin of success is that a Republican congressional election has devolved into one candidate claiming his Facebook page was hacked to make it look like he was fibbing about his education.

Caustic battle in 6th District race wears on GOP (Greensboro News & Record) -- Will bitterness of race hurt party in November, political observers wonder.


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