Rick Perry Compared N.C. Barbecue to 'Roadkill’ (LA Times) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is learning all kinds of ways that words can come back to haunt a guy. … Perry’s in hot water in North Carolina for a remark he made all the way back in 1992, when he was Texas agriculture commissioner and Houston was hosting the Republican National Convention. According to "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue," in 1992 he tried some Eastern North Carolina barbecue from King's of Kinston, which was served at the Republican National Convention in Houston. "I've had road kill that tasted better than that," Perry was quoted as saying. … “People across North Carolina are outraged over a presidential candidate's comments on ENC [Eastern North Carolina] barbecue,” said a story on the website of WCTI-TV, the region's ABC affiliate. ENC barbecue is known for smoking the whole hog and dousing it with a vinegar-based sauce. (Western North Carolina is known for using pork shoulders with a tomato-based sauce. In South Carolina, the preference for a mustard-based sauce makes North Carolinians crazy.)
EARLY VOTING THROUGH SAT. OCT 25 – TOTAL 283,758; 49% Democrats; 30% Republicans; 20% Libertarians and Unaffiliated. The early vote total is 82% of where 2010 was on the same day. But, remember in 2010 there were 7 additional extra days of in-person early voting.
North Carolina Hagan And Tillis Tied (Marist Poll) -- In the contest for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, 43%, and her Republican challenger and state legislator Thom Tillis, 43%, are in a dead heat among North Carolina likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early. Six percent are undecided, and 6% of likely voters with a candidate preference say they might vote differently. Tillis leads Hagan among independents likely to vote. A gender gap also exists. Hagan has a 10 point advantage among women likely to go to the polls while Tillis is up 11 among men. Among independents likely to cast a ballot, Tillis, 41%, has a 10 point advantage over Hagan, 31%, an increase from the 4 point edge he previously had. Haugh receives the support of 17% of independents, up slightly from 12%.
Republicans, Democrats Launch Broad Push for Early Voting (Wall Street Journal) -- Political campaigns and parties are deploying new voter-identification tools and large corps of volunteers to persuade people to vote early in states that will decide control of the Senate next year.
Parties Compete To Build The Best Voter-Turnout Machine (NPR) -- A week ahead of Election Day, both parties are still scrambling to identify and turn out every one of their voters. These get-out-the-vote operations are as expensive and high-tech as every other bit of modern campaigning.
Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight (Center for Public Integrity) -- The days of candidates dominating their own political campaigns are over. In the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year, big-money special interests that proliferated after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision are routinely out-muscling and out-messaging the candidates themselves. This power shift is most prominent on television, where super PACs and politically active nonprofits — both may accept unlimited contributions — routinely account for nearly one out of every two ads run in a U.S. Senate race. Most of the ads are decidedly negative, and they’ve collectively cost hundreds of millions of dollars with Election Day still 10 days away. … Take North Carolina where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis have raised a combined $30 million through the end of September. Non-party, outside groups there have already reported spending about $50 million on political ads to the FEC — and millions more have been spent on issue ads that need not be reported to the nation’s top elections regulator.
Thom Tillis talks record, Obama in Hagan challenge (AP) -- Promises, promises. They've been the touchstone for Thom Tillis' North Carolina U.S. Senate campaign since he officially filed as a candidate eight months ago. In debates and on the stump, Tillis contrasts legislative and fiscal policies he says he promised to complete when Republicans took over the legislature following the 2010 elections with what he considers Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's empty resume since being elected in 2008. "Fulfilling your promises is the easiest way to get elected, and breaking your promises is the easiest way to get fired," Tillis said while visiting state Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh this month to rally GOP volunteers making calls and ringing doorbells for him. "And that's why Sen. Hagan is going to get fired."
'Souls to Polls' sought in only Sunday voting day (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Oct. 26 was the only day Sunday voting was allowed under the changed North Carolina voting laws. A group of organizations tried to make the most of that with a “Souls to the Polls” rally Sunday afternoon. During the nonpartisan march, a group of about 100 made the nearly one-mile walk from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens to the Chavis Heights Community Center to cast their vote along with many others. Candidates, including incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, greeted voters. “There’s been too many that died, too many that shed blood, too many that were hung, too many that were beaten and broken down for us to stay home and be lazy,” said Portia Rochelle, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP chapter, which co-sponsored the event.
NAACP plans voting rallies in eastern NC (AP) -- A coalition led by North Carolina’s NAACP is holding voting-rights rallies in eastern North Carolina. The Rev. William Barber II said he’s planning a “March to the Polls” event in Elizabeth City today. An event was held Sunday in Nags Head.
Fjeld accuses Walker of breaking promise on PAC money (Greensboro News & Record) -- Congressional candidate Mark Walker said his promise was to not accept PAC money in the primary, a promise he kept. Campaign finance reports filed with the FEC show that Walker did not accept PAC money until after the July 15 runoff.
10 Moments That Won or Lost Senate Control (Roll Call) -- Tillis Shows Up to the State House to Preside as Speaker (May 14, 2014) Republicans are scrambling to push Thom Tillis over the edge in the race to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. Many Republicans privately attribute that state of affairs to Tillis’ decision not to step down as speaker of the state House when he won the nomination. One week after the primary, Tillis reported to Raleigh to preside over the “short session” of the general assembly. When he emerged three months later, after the contentious session finally came to a close, a poor second quarter fundraising haul and a barrage of Democratic ads had him back on his heels.
Voters Expect Republican Wins, in Kansas and Elsewhere (New York Times) -- Historically, polls that ask whom voters expect to win have offered a better preview of election results than those that ask whom they want to win
Why Trayvon Martin is a campaign issue in North Carolina (Bloomberg News) -- A radio ad by Senate Majority PAC blasts Republican Thom Tillis for supporting stand your ground laws.
Crawford and Barefoot in tight Senate battle (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Sarah Crawford and Chad Barefoot, the two opponents for the 18th District Senate seat disagree on economic and tax philosophy as well as the current state of the state and its heading.
House District 44: Incumbent Glazier faces familiar opponent, Button (Fayetteville Observer) -- It's deja vu for Rick Glazier, who is running for a seventh consecutive term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
POLICY & POLITICS
More hospital consolidation expected in near future (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Shrinking revenue streams, particularly the squeeze on federal and state reimbursement rates, are compelling more health-care systems to enter some form of merger or cost-savings partnership, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
NC governor's mansion purple for cancer awareness (AP) — The governor's mansion in Raleigh is going purple for pancreatic cancer awareness. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said the lights at the mansion will be purple Sunday night after a 5:30 p.m. event at the capitol for survivors of pancreatic cancer and their families and friends. Health officials estimate about 1,200 people will die in North Carolina this year of pancreatic cancer. McCrory says he and his wife want to do all they can to raise awareness and money for research into Pancreatic cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of any type of cancer.
Officials talk Medicare (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Van Braxton, Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program director, said they were relieved to see a room packed with seniors citizens asking questions about Medicare. “What you don’t know about Medicare prescription drug plans can cost you a lot,” Braxton said.
Upside of Affordable Care Act: Health Care Costs Down (public News Service) -- Not long ago, the airwaves were filled with predictions that health-care reform would be a disaster for taxpayers and consumers. That hasn't happened. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, will cut the federal budget deficit
Thousands expected for Baptist convention (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Baptists in Greenville are expecting thousands to attend the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Annual Session beginning today.
Durham woman offers tours of city chicken coops (AP) — In the middle of a quiet, suburban neighborhood live three chickens. Their owner, Danielle Michaels, is able to keep them in her backyard thanks to a relatively new city ordinance and the support of her homeowners' association.
Novartis' Holly Springs plant sold to Australian firm in $275M deal (WRAL-TV) -- Drug giant Novartis is selling its $1-billion vaccine production plant in Holly Springs to Australia-based CSL as part of a deal valued at $275 million. Novartis is disposing its entire influenza-related vaccine business through this transaction that was announced Sunday night. Some 550 people work at the Holly Springs facility.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
The States' 'Great Retreat' (Inside Higher Ed) -- Documenting state disinvestment in public higher ed (and especially community colleges), think tank report urges new federal-state "compact." A new report from the Center for American Progress details -- on a state-by-state basis -- the extent to which recession-driven reductions in public college financing since 2008 have sent tuitions soaring, and how disproportionately low- and middle-income students and the institutions that serve them have been affected. And the report cites that evidence in arguing for a new partnership in which the federal government would -- with investments of its own -- encourage states to spend more of their own funds to boost college-going and graduation, particularly by those traditionally underserved by higher education.
Group provides information on higher learning (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- On many occasions those living in minority and underprivileged communities believe obtaining a college degree and having a professional career is more a dream than a reality.
Historic school for blacks to be restored in Grier Heights (Charlotte Observer) -- One of Charlotte’s most notoriously troubled neighborhoods will unveil plans Tuesday to restore and put back into use an 87-year-old schoolhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Big Tech May Determine Fate Of Renewable Energy In NC (WUNC-FM) -- When Apple makes an announcement – any announcement – the world stops and listens. And while it wasn’t a new product launch, when Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke last month ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, it was a big deal. “We have a huge data center in Maiden North Carolina,” Cook said. “There were no options to buy renewable energy. Our only way to do that, was to build it.”
Dominion pursues property surveys for pipeline (AP) — Dominion Resources is seeking permission to survey properties along the path of a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Solar farm plans detailed (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- Pasquotank County should have a second solar farm up and running in eight months, if all goes according to Invenergy’s plans.
Comments sought on estuarine plan (Jacksonville Daily News) -- The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve will hold public meetings and local advisory committee meetings in the coming weeks to receive comments on a five-year update of the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve’s management plan as required by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
U.S. offers $53 million to support solar power research Solar Daily) -- Solar energy in the United States is becoming a major part of the nation's power sector as installation costs decline, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. Moniz announced more than $53 million in funding for more than three dozen research and development projects aimed at driving down the cost of solar energy.
Greens grow into powerhouse (Politico) -- Green groups become more professional and more organized in their election efforts.
Casey Sokolovic is saving sea turtles with cookies, coffee and kayaks (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Casey Sokolovic has raised more than $500,000 for a sea turtle hospital and started a camp that has introduced hundreds of disadvanted youths to beaches, turtles and science.
Trip down the Lumber River shows the natural beauty of Robeson County (Fayetteville Observer) -- The Lumber River is both the blade that slices Robeson County in half and the thread that ties it together. Flowing across the county from east to west, the river brings life to the communities that dot its banks.
The Insect Assassin Sends Poachers to Prison (Coastal Review) -- Soon it will be a felony to poach Venus flytraps from the wild in North Carolina. This strange plant that lures, attacks and eats bugs only grows naturally in one place in the world: a 90-mile radius around Wilmington.
The Daily Tar Heel endorses Kay Hagan (Daily Tar Heel) -- Sen. Kay Hagan is neither the perfect senator nor the perfect candidate. But the combination of her record and the dangerous ideas of her opponent is enough for this board to lend her our endorsement. We believe poverty and economic inequality are the gravest problems afflicting both North Carolina and the country. Hagan’s anti-austerity policies are far better suited to addressing poverty and its attendant problems than those of Rep. Thom Tillis. We view her support of a higher minimum wage as indicative of a real desire to address the needs of the poor.
Hillary Clinton, politician & grandmom, plays to Hagan’s base in N.C. (Washington Post column) -- In a close race, a gender gap is helping the incumbent Democrat on issues from health care to equal pay, but on a day when a party star took the spotlight, some had a different view.
Local Food for the Military (New York Times column) -- IN big cities and small towns around the United States, people are embracing local agriculture, flocking to farmers’ markets and flocking to “locavore” restaurants, reaping a wide range of nutritional, environmental and economic benefits. Yet one segment of the population is largely missing out on this bounty: the millions of members of the American military and their families. While some service members live off base and buy their food in local stores, most get their food through the military, either directly, by eating at mess halls, or through on-base commissaries. The military maintains a multibillion-dollar system to keep its larders stocked. And almost all that food is bought in vast quantities from enormous agribusiness operations, with little attention paid to where and how it was grown, or how fresh it is.
Playing games with home insurance in NC (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Let’s hold the line on rates and ask NC lawmakers to close a loophole. The insurance business involves risks that must be covered. But if it wasn’t already profitable, these companies wouldn’t be doing business here.
Ben Bradlee lifted a paper and served the nation (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Ben Bradlee, the famed Washington Post editor who died last Tuesday, was the most glamorous, and competent, editor of his time.
GOP's welcome change of heart on Medicaid (Fayetteville Observer) -- The Affordable Care Act remains among President Barack Obama's most polarizing policy measures.