NC REPUBLICANS SLING PORK TO FEED AT-RISK LEGISLATORS: In the state budget this year, legislators handed out millions of dollars in grants to towns, individual schools, county fairs, local libraries, little museums, nonprofit groups, and for-profit companies. These grants are called “member money” in the halls of the legislature. They're also known as pork. Sen. Dan Blue of Raleigh, the Senate's Democratic leader, said budget pork is meant to help Republican legislators vulnerable in the 2018 election. Pork projects "go excessively in areas where their incumbents are at risk," he said. The marquee example of helping endangered Republicans was the $200,000 aimed at 35 schools in Sen. Jeff Tarte's Mecklenburg County district. The money was to be funneled through the charity DonorsChoose, but the earmark was erased after the group said accepting the money would violate its principles.