Daily dose

Daily dose: You don't have Ebola, part deux

Fear of Ebola Closes Schools and Shapes Politics (New York Times) -- In the month since a Liberian man infected with Ebola traveled to Dallas, where he later died, the nation has marinated in a murky soup of understandable concern, wild misinformation, political opportunism and garden-variety panic. Within the escalating debate over how to manage potential threats to public health — muddled by what is widely viewed as a bungled effort by government officials and the Dallas hospital that managed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States — the line between vigilance and hysteria can be as blurry as the edges of a watercolor painting. … “If this was one incidence where people thought the government wasn’t doing what the government was supposed to do, it would be much less of a reaction than we see now, where there’s this long list of the government being one step behind, whether it’s the border, the IRS, the Secret Service,” Senator Roy D. Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Now this health concern is more real than it would be if there wasn’t a sense that the government is just not being managed in a way that people would want it to be managed.” With fear riding high, Democrats, particularly those running for office, have supported a travel ban. “Although stopping the spread of this virus overseas will require a large, coordinated effort with the international community,” said Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, a Democrat in a tight race, “a temporary travel ban is a prudent step the president can take to protect the American people.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/us/fear-of-ebola-closes-schools-and-shapes-politics.html

Daily dose: Here comes Hillary edition

Hillary Clinton to campaign for Hagan (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will campaign for Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan at an early vote event in Charlotte. Hagan's campaign said Saturday that Clinton will participate in the early vote event Oct. 25 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Early voting begins two days earlier, on Thursday, Oct. 23. Tickets are required and are free. They're available at various campaign offices in the Charlotte region.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/hillary-rodham-clinton-campaign-hagan-2685879

Hillary Clinton to Join Hagan at Charlotte Early Voting Event (TWCN-TV) -- Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will join Sen. Kay Hagan in Charlotte for an early voting event Oct. 25, the Hagan campaign announced Saturday.
http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/all_nc_news/712999/hillary-clinton-to-join-hagan-at-charlo...

Daily dose: NC #1 in outside influence edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
At $55.7 million, N.C. Senate race now No. 1 all-time in outside spending (Center for Responsive Politics) -- Thursday evening, the Koch-affiliated Freedom Partners Action Fund reported making a seven-figure ad buy attacking Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). With that buy, the North Carolina race passed 2012′s Virginia Senate election to claim the dubious honor of attracting the most-ever outside spending. The $55.7 million spent on the showdown between Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis is even more remarkable in context. By this date in 2012, the Virginia race between now-Sen. Tim Kaine and former Sen. George Allen had seen just $30.4 million of its eventual $52.4 million in outside spending. If the North Carolina election follows the same path, it would top $90 million by Election Day. The Senate contests in Colorado and Iowa are also on pace to handily surpass the Kaine-Allen race. Tillis likely knows all too well how thoroughly super PACs have blanketed North Carolina with advertising this year: Outside groups have spent more money ($17.6 million) attacking him this cycle than any other candidate. Only $7.5 million has been spent opposing Hagan, but that excludes spending that isn’t reported to the FEC — such as the barrage of ads earlier in the cycle by Americans for Prosperity, another Koch-funded group, attacking her for supporting “Obamacare” without explicitly saying to vote against her.
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/10/north-carolina-senate-race-now-no-1-all-time-in-outside-spen...

Daily dose: AFP blames Arkansas edition

Americans for Prosperity says NC voter misinformation came from Arkansas (Facing South) -- Under investigation for mailing out misinformation about voter registration in North Carolina, Americans for Prosperity says the errors came from a similar mailer distributed in Arkansas that staff failed to properly vet. In a Sept. 29 letter to elections board executive director Kim Strach, AFP Vice President and General Counsel Victor Bernson Jr. said his group drew from materials it produced for Arkansas, another U.S. Senate battleground state, and failed to fact-check them for accuracy in North Carolina. … Bernson sent his letter before receiving notice from the board that a formal complaint had been filed over the mailer by the North Carolina Democratic Party, according to an Oct. 7letter to Strach from Roger W. Knight, a North Carolina attorney who represents the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF). Knight reiterated that staff error was to blame.
http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/10/americans-for-prosperity-says-nc-voter-misinformat.html

Daily dose: Charter school oops version

Oops, never mind: Why major university retracted report on charter schools (Washington Post) -- Tulane University released a report this month which said that high schools in charter-heavy New Orleans were “beating the odds” with test scores and graduation rates higher than expected for most students. The report got some attention in education circles because New Orleans is the poster city for charter schools. Furthermore, Tulane is a well-regarded research university so one could rightly assume that the research it publishes is sound. Not, apparently, always. In what one New Orleans newspaper called a “high-profile embarrassment,” Tulane effectively said, “Oops, never mind,” and retracted the report on charter schools that had been released just days earlier. What happened? The initial report, titled “Beating-the-Odds: Academic Performance and Vulnerable Student Populations in New Orleans Public High Schools and published by Tulane’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, was viewed as proof that charter schools in the city were achieving better than predicted results for high-needs students. … Not long after the report was posted on line, it was taken down. Why? According to The Times-Picyaune, top officials at the institute realized the research was bad. It quoted institute Executive Director John Ayers as saying, “Officials determined the report’s methodology was flawed, making its conclusions inaccurate. The report will not be reissued.” The institute plans to “thoroughly examine and strengthen its internal protocols” to ensure its future reports are accurate and have been appropriately reviewed, he said, adding, “We apologize for this mistake.” Ayers did not explain what the “mistake” actually was, the newspaper reported. But the controversial method that was used to come up with the predictions is known as VAM (value-added methodology), which purports to be able to take various data points, plug them into complicated formulas and “predict” performance.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/16/oops-never-mind-why-a-major-universit...

Daily dose: McCrory declares war on France

’FREEDOM CIGS?’ McCrory blasts France for smoking crackdown (The Local .fr) -- France’s ambitious bid to cut smoking rates in the country has not been welcomed by the governor of the state of North Carolina, Pat McCrory. The Republican wrote an angry letter this week to Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the US, to “formally oppose the project of his government”, Le Figaro reported on Wednesday. McCrory, who is in charge of America’s biggest tobacco producing state, has taken issue with Paris’s pledge to end branding on cigarette packages, a move that proved a success in cutting cigarette use in Australia. He then hints at possible reprisals against France from across the pond. "Imagine if the United States demanded standard packaging on alcoholic drinks. Noteworthy French companies would be outraged, and they would be right to be," McCrory wrote possible referring to the likes of LVMH, Pernod Ricard, Rémy Cointreau.
http://www.thelocal.fr/20141015/us-governor-blasts-france-for-smoking-crackdown

Daily dose: "Yes, students have Constitutional rights, too." edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Judge orders Appalachian State early voting site (AP) — A North Carolina trial court judge said Monday that state election officials must retool Watauga County's early voting plan to include at least one center at Appalachian State University for later this month.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/judge-orders-appalachian-state-early-voting-site-2680905

Wake Judge Orders Early Voting on ASU Campus (High Country Press) -- On Monday morning, Wake County Judge Donald Stephens ruled that the State Board of Elections (SBOE) must approve of an early-voting plan for Watauga County that includes a one-stop site on the campus of Appalachian State University for the general election in November, according to Bill Gilkeson of the law firm Bailey & Dixon. Gilkeson’s firm was hired by the Watauga County Voting Rights Task, an arm of the Watauga County Democratic Party and is representing local Democrat petitioners who filed a lawsuit against the Republican-led SBOE. Stephens ruled that the decision to deny a one-stop site on the college campus was “arbitrary and capricious “ and remanded the early-voting plan back to the SBOE and instructed the state board to include an early-voting site on the campus of ASU.
http://www.hcpress.com/news/wake-judge-orders-state-board-of-elections-to-include-one-stop-site-on-a...

Daily dose: Lt. Governor is a little crazy edition

Lt. Governor Dan Forest on Friday's Court Decision (News Release) -- Friday, an unelected federal judge violated the foundational principles of this great nation. … The courts have essentially stated that a man “marrying" another man, or a woman another woman, is rooted in our nation’s traditions and history, inferring that states have no interest in the preservation of marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman. This strains credulity. Our people will either submit themselves fully to a federal oligarchy of unelected judges or stand up and proclaim that federalism is alive and well. I hope that you will join me in standing against judicial tyranny, and fight to restore the balance of power intended in the Constitution of the United States.
http://www.ltgov.nc.gov/Newsroom/tabid/3116/EntryId/636/Lt-Governor-Dan-Forest-on-Fridays-Court-Deci...

Lt. Gov. Forest Hosting Town Hall Meetings To Discuss Convention Of States (N.C. Political News) — Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will be joined by constitutional scholar Michael Farris at two upcoming townhall style events to discuss the many arguments for and against the Convention of States Project. Michael Farris is the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He was the founding president of each organization. Farris is a constitutional appellate litigator who has served as lead counsel in arguments before the United States Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and the appellate courts of 13 states. He has been a leader on Capitol Hill for over 30 years and is widely known for his leadership on homeschooling, religious freedom, and the preservation of American sovereignty.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=11239

Daily dose: Dallas blames Kay, forgets Burr and other Republicans

JUDGE COGBURN MAY BE HARD FIT FOR ‘JUDICIAL ACTIVIST’ POSTER BOY – In the wake of Friday’s court action to strike down as unconstitutional, North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, those who don’t like it have focused on the U.S. district court judge who issued the order -- Max Cogburn of Asheville. “It nationalizes the election and focuses it on federal issues that deal with the U.S. Senate: One key role is confirming or not confirming the president’s judges,” Dallas Woodhouse told reporters on Saturday. Woodhouse runs Carolina Rising, a conservative nonprofit organization based in Raleigh. “If you don’t like this ruling, it is appropriate to take it out on Kay Hagan.” It may also be appropriate to take it out on North Carolina’s other U.S. senator, Republican Richard Burr – and 94 other U.S. senators.

Daily dose: Freedom to marry edition

‘We do (Greensboro News & Record) -- The grooms stood in front of a minister in a corner of the Guilford County Register of Deeds office shortly before 7 p.m. and affirmed during their vows that there was no legal reason they couldn’t be wed — hours after a judge struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages. And just like that, history was made.
http://www.news-record.com/news/videos-we-do/article_e3d7c636-50c0-11e4-b540-001a4bcf6878.html

Gay Marriages Allowed to Proceed in Idaho (New York Times) -- In two terse sentences, the court denied Idaho officials’ request to block the Ninth Circuit’s decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage. … Those ripples reached Colorado and West Virginia this week, where same-sex marriages have already started, and North Carolina, where a federal judge on Friday struck down the state’s ban based on one of the appeals court decisions that the Supreme Court had let stand on Monday.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/us/politics/supreme-court-lifts-stay-on-same-sex-marriages-in-idah...

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