GOP CLAIMS WHITE SUPREMACIST PRIMARY WINNER CONCEALED HIS BIGOTRY FROM VOTERS: Current and former party officials say Russ Walker's rhetoric on race, religion and white supremacy wasn't part of the campaign. That came out later, when a website called christdescendedfromjoseph.com was tied back to him. Walker's pitch during his one joint appearance with fellow candidate John Imbaratto had more to do with the lawsuits he's filed over the years and the health effects of canned soda, Imbaratto said. He didn't mentioned God being a racist or Jews being the "children of Satan," themes he hits heavily online. There were signs, though. Literally. Walker protested The News-Journal, a local newspaper in Raeford, in January with a sign that said "God is a Racist." He had sued the paper over its refusal to print his letters, the newspaper reported Tuesday. Walker's campaign website, walkerforhouse48.com, is long and text heavy. It runs about 1,200 words before mentioning "the Jews."
GOP CRIES FOUL OVER JUDICIAL CANDIDATE WHO SWITCHED PARTIES: North Carolina Republicans are crying foul over a candidate who could change the balance of the state Supreme Court. And that candidate is a Republican. Raleigh attorney Chris Anglin filed at the last minute last week. He joined incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson, a Republican, and Democrat Anita Earls in the race. But until June 7, Anglin was a registered Democrat. Republicans worry that by siphoning votes from Jackson, he could open the door for Democrat Earls. GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse made it clear whom the party supports. Last month, in an apparent attempt to siphon votes for Democratic candidates, a group linked to Republican consultants sent mailers "recruiting Democratic lawyers to run for judge."
NATIONAL GROUP BEHIND BILLBOARDS CALLING FOR REMOVAL OF SILENT SAM: The Make It Right Project, which aims to take down Confederate monuments around the country, is paying for the ads. The project is part of the Independent Media Institute, a nonprofit, left-leaning organization that sponsors reporting on voting rights, drug policies and other issues. The billboards are meant to support the UNC-Chapel Hill students and community activists who have worked for years to get Silent Sam removed, said Kali Holloway, Make it Right project director. "There's already a really strong student movement," she said. "Our goal is not to take away any of their thunder. We exist to elevate the work that they're already doing." Silent Sam is one of 10 Confederate monuments around the country the project is targeting for removal.
WITH KENNEDY LEAVING, ABORTION MOVES TO THE FOREFRONT IN MID-TERM ELECTIONS: Democratic senators have urged Trump and Senate Republicans to wait until after the midterm elections to move ahead with Kennedy's successor, though the Republicans have shown no appetite for delaying the confirmation process. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the GOP's tack "the height of hypocrisy," in light of the GOP-controlled Senate's refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama's nominee before the presidential election in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But confirmation of a Trump nominee before the election could mollify those devout conservatives who might have been motivated to vote if a court pick were on the line, said Harstad, the Democratic pollster who also advised Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012. "It's not a certainty. But I think, once a justice is confirmed, the evangelicals will feel safer and it may actually inhibit their turnout," Harstad said.
PROTESTER CLIMBS BASE OF STATUE OF LIBERTY AFTER "ABOLISH I.C.E." BANNER UNFURLED: Several people who hung a banner from the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal calling for abolishing the federal government’s chief immigration enforcement agency were arrested on July Fourth shortly before a person scaled the statue’s base, forcing its evacuation. About 100 feet aboveground, the climber alternately sat and lay by the bottom edge of the statue’s robes for more than two hours on Wednesday, news helicopter video showed. Police, standing on a ladder and a ledge nearby, tried to talk the climber into descending. The climber made about a 25-foot ascent from the monument’s observation point, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said. Visitors were forced to leave Liberty Island hours before its normal 6:15 p.m. closing time, he said. Earlier and farther below, at least six people were taken into custody after unfurling a banner that read “Abolish I.C.E.,” Willis said. The message referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a part of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE officers arrest and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, among other duties.