Daily dose

Republicans Beat Democrats at Their Own Ground Game (New York Times) -- Republicans — determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2012, when their ground game and digital strategy became a political punch line — were well on their way to overhauling their operation this election cycle when the Democrats announced their “Bannock Street project,” an ambitious voter mobilization program. Though the Republicans were already building a national ground game — spanning both House and Senate races, as well as a few governors’ contests — they decided to leverage the Democrats’ $60 million get-out-the-vote effort to their own advantage. They devoured news media reports about the project and scoured Federal Election Commission filings to learn as much as they could about how their rivals were structuring their turnout operations in battleground states. … in states where Senate Democrats invested heavily in targeting and turnout operations, like Colorado and North Carolina, they succeeded in their original goal of making the electorate more favorable for them than it was in 2010. It simply was not enough to win. … In North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent, needed to turn out African-American voters to have a shot at victory, black voters represented a larger share of the electorate than they did in 2010, according to an analysis of exit polls and voter turnout data available from the State Board of Elections.

GOP: Midterms show party mastered ground game (Washington Post) -- Voter outreach akin to the Democrats’ became a goal of the GOP after it failed to win the White House in 2012.

Victory Followed in States Where G.O.P. Groups Spent Big (New York Times) -- Republican outside groups spent more money than their Democratic counterparts in seven of the nine top Senate races. In Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana and New Hampshire, general election spending by outside groups supporting the Republican candidates exceeded spending on behalf of Democrats. Republicans won in five of those races and are well positioned to win a sixth, in Louisiana, after a runoff. … Democratic groups narrowly outspent Republican ones in North Carolina, where Thom Tillis edged out Senator Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent.

Why GOP won: Shifting white votes hurt Democrats (AP) — White voters of all ages were less likely to back Democrats this year than in elections past, helping Republicans nationwide but most acutely in the South — and overpowering Democratic efforts to turn out their core supporters among blacks and Hispanics.

Has the Tea Party been tamed? (The Hill) -- Establishment Republicans crow that resounding wins on Tuesday repudiated conservatives.

NAACP: Tillis won because of voter law, not policies (WRAL-TV) -- Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis was elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday not because North Carolinians support his policies but because of changes to state voting laws that affected who cast ballots, the NAACP said Thursday.

Voter 'Drop-Off' Was Down in This Year's N.C. Supreme Court Contests (Voter Update Magazine) -- Voters who turned out at the polls in 2014 were more likely to cast a ballot for the state's highest court than in years past.

N.C. Congressional Contests Were All Blowouts (Voter Update Magazine) -- While North Carolina's U.S. Senate race was a barn burner this year, decided by a thin 1.5 percent of the vote, none of the state's 13 congressional contests were even close.

Who North Carolinians want to run for president in 2016 (Elon Poll) -- The Elon University Poll examines responses to the open-ended question “Who would you most like to see run for president in 2016?” and focuses on the responses from the 996 respondents who were identified as registered voters. Before diving into these numbers, keep in mind that many voters have thought very little about 2016. We do not expect 1% of North Carolina registered voters to seriously want Adam Sandler as president, to name just one example from our findings. Nonetheless, we share these fun results because they suggest that Romney, Clinton, Paul, Carson and Warren are names to watch over the next few months. Key Findings: 1. An overwhelming 52.9% of Democrats favor Hillary Clinton in 2016. Clinton’s name was mentioned 24 times more often than Elizabeth Warren. 2. Romney leads the Republican field with 18.6% of registered Republicans.

Ex-Mayor Voted, and Now He’s on House Arrest (New York Times) -- Patrick D. Cannon, awaiting prison on wire fraud charges, said that his only explanation for voting was “the light simply did not go off.”

Former NC mayor gets house arrest for illegal vote (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the former mayor of North Carolina's largest city under house arrest until he begins serving time for taking bribes because the ex-politician cast an illegal ballot in Tuesday's election.

'Dear Koch Brothers: We Aren't Going Anywhere' (Politico) -- Democrats are doubling down on their attacks against the Koch brothers. Prompted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats spent millions of dollars spotlighting Republican ties to the billionaire conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. But despite Republicans — and some Democrats — publicly decrying the strategy after Tuesday’s GOP wave as an ineffective waste of money, Reid told allies on election night that he planned to continue hammering the brothers, according to an operative close to him. And big-money liberal groups ranging from the Democrats’ Senate campaign arm and House super PAC to the outfits run by billionaire Tom Steyer and conservative-turned-liberal enforcer David Brock all signaled that they intended to pursue anti-Koch spending and oppo tactics headed into the 2016 election. … Yet continuing the anti-Koch crusade is sure to irk some Democratic politicians and consultants, who grumbled – mostly privately – that money spent on the strategy was a waste of valuable resources. “It’s utterly ineffective. Elections have to be about voters and what candidates will do for them,” said Thomas Mills, a North Carolina-based Democratic strategist who has worked on Senate campaigns. “And this strategy is more about the candidates. It says, ‘Look at me! Help me – they are spending money against me.’ There’s no connection between that and voters.” Mills, who called the strategists behind the strategy “fools,” had a front row seat to one of the highest profile examples of it — the costly ad campaigns to tar the state’s GOP Senate nominee Thom Tillis as a pawn of the brothers. Koch-backed groups had in fact spent millions attacking Tillis’s opponent, Hagan. While she accused the Kochs of trying to “buy this seat,” there’s not much evidence that her attacks or those of her big-money allies worked, and Tillis prevailed narrowly on Tuesday.

Esquire Network to air series on Clay Aiken campaign (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Esquire Network announced on Wednesday that they plan to air a 4-hour documentary series looking behind the scenes of Clay Aiken's congressional campaign.

Official: NC magistrates duty-bound to marry gays (AP) — The chief administrator of North Carolina's courts told a top legislator that magistrates are duty-bound to marry gay couples and he's seen no federal law or rulings exempting them based on religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage.

NC courts director says magistrates cannot refuse to perform gay marriages (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Magistrates might have been “misled” to think otherwise, said John Smith, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, in a three-page letter to Phil Berger, president pro tem of the N.C. Senate.

Courts director says magistrates bound to perform same-sex marriages (WRAL-TV) -- Magistrates are bound by court rulings in exercising their powers, says the director of North Carolina's Administrative Office of the Courts. His letter responds to statements by Republican leaders saying magistrates can opt out of performing marriages.

Court upholds gay marriage bans in 4 states (Washington Post) -- The appeals court decision overturning rulings in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky almost surely means the Supreme Court must take up the issue.

Court Upholds Marriage Bans in Four States (New York Times) -- Setting up a Supreme Court case, the decision overturned lower court rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that were in favor of same-sex marriage.

Gay marriage ruling means high court review likely (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The expanding legal acceptance of same-sex marriage in the United States hit a roadblock on Thursday when a federal appeals court panel upheld anti-gay marriage laws in four states, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will take up the issue

Prison system short on psychologists, long on mentally ill inmates (Independent Weekly) -- wo years ago, the North Carolina prison system promised change after blaming staff shortfalls for the problem of mentally ill prisoners left isolated in cells splattered with human waste. Now, mental health advocates say they are still waiting for prison officials to deliver on that promise.

3 charged in presidential helicopter scheme (AP) — Three men face charges in a fraud scheme involving a helicopter fleet that transports the president and vice president, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

N.C. teen charged with felony securities fraud (AP) -- North Carolina authorities have charged a teenager from Oak Island with securities fraud, alleging he bilked victims out of more than $100,000. A release from the Secretary of State's Elaine Marshall's office also says that 19-year-old David Alan Topping is charged with obtaining property by false pretense and solicitation to obtain property by false pretense.

NC breaks ground on military cemetery (WRAL-TV) -- The state Division of Veterans Affairs broke ground Thursday on its fourth military cemetery.

Boone, The most 'unequal' town in N.C. (Triangle Business Journal) -- Using U.S. Census information on income disparity, Business Insider identified the most unequal town in every state. In North Carolina, it’s Boone.

McCrory makes appointments to boards (Voter Update Magazine) – Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday announced appointments to the state’s battleship commission, along with boards on parks, barbers, veterinarians and electrical contractors.

N.C. Launched 'AgBiosphere' Development Brand (WUNC-FM) -- North Carolina’s Agriculture and Biotechnology communities have launched a new global economic development platform. Doug Edgeton is President and CEO of the N.C. Biotechnology Center. He said Wednesday's announcement brings Agriculture, Biotechnology, company growth and jobs together. We have the companies, we have the research, we have the workforce, what we have lacked is something to call it," said Edgeton. "So without further adieu, I’d like to officially unveil “AgBiosphere.” Edgeton says the new “AgBiosphere” branding will better present what the state has to offer to the world. Right now there are more than 80 Ag Biotech companies in the state.

N.C. launches major agbio marketing push (WRAL-TV) -- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center branded the state’s globally leading agricultural biotechnology hub on Wednesday as the AgBio[sphere]. Nearly 100 leaders of agriculture, academia, business and economic development gathered at the NCBiotech headquarters in Research Triangle Park to applaud the brand’s announcement by NCBiotech President and CEO Doug Edgeton. Several state ag leaders made commitments during the rollout event to use the brand as a global recognition tool in corporate recruitment and other promotional activities.

N.C. lines up for auto expansion (Charlotte Business Journal) -- North Carolina missed out on the Southeast's automotive plant boom over the past three decades. Now economic developers in the state think it has a second chance.

Lee Smith, Terrance Mann to receive NC awards (AP) -- The state Literary and Historical Association is presenting the North Carolina Book Awards this year to novelist Lee Smith of Hillsborough, Broadway veteran Terrance Mann and others during its annual meeting in New Bern.

Ex UNC and NFL center Jason Brown shares massive potato harvest (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Jason Brown, a former standout in the National Football League and at UNC, bought a farm because he wanted to give food to hungry people. Last week, he gave away 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes.

N.C. small businesses relying less on SBA loans (Triad Business Journal) -- Small businesses in North Carolina requested less loan money from the SBA this year due to a strengthening economy.

With Cadmium in Their Blood, Durham Women At Risk of Lower-Weight Babies (N.C. Health News) -- Researchers have linked cadmium to low birth weights, but they’re not sure why nonsmoking mothers have high blood levels of the heavy metal.

Helicopter motor plant closing in Monroe; 112 jobs (AP) — A French company is closing its helicopter engine plant in Monroe, eliminating the jobs of 112 people.

AT&T to hire more than 160 in N.C. (AP) — AT&T says it is hiring worker for more than 160 jobs in North Carolina as part of its effort to enhance and expand its wireless and wireline networks.

N.C. New Schools chosen for $20 million federal grant (Raleigh News & Observer) -- N.C. New Schools is in line to receive a $20 million federal grant to expand early college high schools in North Carolina and other states. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the grant Thursday in Greensboro.

Grant to fund program aimed at rural N.C. teens (Greensboro News & Record) Education secretary lauds effort to help rural students get to college.

Board of Ed places Charter Day on 'financial probationary status' (Wilmington Star-News) -- The State Board of Education placed Charter Day School Inc. on "financial probationary status" Thursday for failing to turn over salary information about employees from a private management company who work at its four schools in Southeastern North Carolina. The move comes after a more than month-long back and forth between the charter school operator and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) over whether the salaries of Roger Bacon Academy employees, including school headmasters and assistant headmasters, should be considered public or private information.

Charter school firm in southeast NC on probation (AP) -- A company that operates four charter schools in southeastern North Carolina has been placed on financial probation by the State Board of Education.

THEY’RE BACK! Recruiters return to NC to lure teachers to Texas (WGHP-TV) -- A school district in Texas is once again hoping to lure local NC teachers to their area. Recruiters with the Houston Independent school district, one of the largest in the country, are planning a trip to Greensboro Nov. 18 with an offer some teachers may find hard to resist. The starting salary for a first-year teacher is $49,100 — which will be offered to qualified teachers willing to move to Texas. The district is hoping to fill much needed positions in Houston. Some may even be offered jobs on the spot.

2 NC schools among 26 noted for innovation grant (AP) — A North Carolina school program and a county school system are among 26 applicants in line to receive grants from a program aimed at developing innovative approaches to improve student achievement.

New CFCC technology center moves another step forward (Wilmington Star-News) -- Board of Trustees committee votes 3-2 in support of awarding a bid for the project.

McCrory Attends NCBCE Meeting, Highlights Fayetteville Tech Program (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory met with members of the N.C. Business Committee for Education the Governor’s Mansion. During the meeting, McCrory stressed initiatives like NCWorks, a program that creates a stronger alignment of services and resources to meet the workforce needs of businesses in order to get more people in jobs, the “1000 in 100” statewide listening tour, and unique partnerships between community colleges and businesses.

Granville school leaders tighten spending guidelines (WRAL-TV) -- A day after a WRAL Investigates story unveiled questionable spending by a former Granville County Schools superintendent and other employees, school leaders approved new procedures to tighten spending checks and balances during their regular school board meeting Thursday night.

Board accepts superintendent's 'resignation' (AP) — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board has voted to accept Superintendent Heath Morrison's "voluntary resignation." Multiple media outlets report the board voted 6-3 on Thursday to accept Superintendent Heath Morrison's resignation.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg board accepts Morrison’s resignation (Charlotte Observer) The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board formally ended Superintendent Heath Morrison’s tenure with the district Thursday with a split vote to accept his resignation.

What CEOs Don't Know (Inside Higher Ed) -- Big-time colleges were rushing to hire executives as athletics directors a few years ago -- but the results have some questioning the trend.

North Alabama picks NC administrator as president (AP) — A North Carolina college administrator, Ken Kitts the provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, will become the new president at the University of North Alabama.

Wake teacher uses crowdsourcing to put iPads in students' hands (WRAL-TV) -- A Wake County schoolteacher harnessed the power of social media to bring more learning technology to her classroom.

School board results raise questions (Rocky Mount Telegram editorial) -- Among the messages sent by voters in the mid-term elections this year came this one from constituents in three Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education districts: We want change.

McCrory talks offshore drilling after barring public from meeting (WRAL-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory says he told a gathering of state and federal officials Thursday, where the public was forbidden entry, it was time to figure out what kind of oil and gas resources might lie off the North Carolina coast.

McCrory host secret meeting in public building with oil and gas industry on offshore drilling (AP) — Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately Thursday with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast. A coalition of environmental groups sought to be allowed inside the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Five-Year Program meeting, which is being held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Reporters were allowed to attend the end of the session only to hear closing remarks by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, but only after a police officer posted at the door checked their credentials. By then, many of the 60 people on the list of invited attendees had left, leaving behind empty chairs.

McCrory welcomes industry to secret offshore energy meeting but excludes environmentalists (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State and federal government officials met in a private workshop to talk about the potential for offshore energy development off the North Carolina coast. The reason Gov. Pat McCrory refused to open it to the public was ostensibly to prevent the appearance of influence on permit application reviews currently underway by the federal government. So, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources explained at the time. The truth is that representatives of three associations whose membership includes the oil and gas industry were included on the agenda and attended. Six environmental advocacy organizations who were barred from the session, in a letter objected that the Center for Offshore Safety, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Energy Alliance were allowed to attend.

State tells Duke Energy to redo groundwater plans (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina’s environment agency has told Duke Energy to redo its plans for assessing groundwater contamination at 14 coal-fired power plants where ash is stored.

NC orders Duke to redo coal ash monitoring plans (AP) — North Carolina regulators have ordered Duke Energy to resubmit its proposal for assessing the extent of groundwater contamination leaking from 33 coal ash dumps across the state after deeming the company's current plans "inadequate." The N.C. Division of Water Resources has given Duke 30 days to resubmit the plans with a list of proposed changes.

DENR says Duke's coal ash testing plans insufficient (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State environmental regulators have rejected Duke Energy’s plans to test groundwater at its 14 coal ash plants and told the company to try again, the agency reported Thursday. The utility said it would comply. The plans Duke submitted on Sept. 26, which was the deadline the state set for submitting them, were not detailed enough, according to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The utility must come up with better models for collecting data about groundwater contamination, according to a letter from regulators dated Tuesday. The plans don’t have sufficient detail about surface water and bed sediment sampling, either, according to the letter.

McCrory talks offshore drilling after barring public from meeting (WRAL-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory says he told a gathering of state and federal officials Thursday, where the public was forbidden entry, it was time to figure out what kind of oil and gas resources might lie off the North Carolina coast.

N.C. officials meet in secret on oil drilling (Denver Post) -- Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately Thursday with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast. Requests by a coalition of environmental groups to attend the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Five-Year Program meeting were rebuffed.

NC panel discusses revisions to fracking rules (AP) — The North Carolina panel developing rules on hydraulic fracturing agreed Thursday that regulators should have the explicit ability to halt work if there are violations at a drilling operation. John Filostrat, spokesman for the federal Ocean Energy Management bureau, denied his agency asked that the meeting be closed to the public. Asked about Filostrat's remarks, state Environment Secretary John E. Skvarla repeated the assertion that it was a "collective decision" made with federal officials, though he refused to discuss specifically with whom those discussions had occurred.


N.C. officials host closed meeting on oil drilling (Fuel Fix) -- Among those in attendance will be top officials from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which regulates drilling operations and handles the sale and lease of off-shore drilling rights in federal waters.

Texas Tea in the Sand Dunes (Coastal Review) -- That's what the residents of the Outer Banks thought they had when the oilmen came calling after World War II. Some thought their fortunes were just a gusher away.

Republicans urged to reject wind tax credit in lame duck (Fuel Fix) -- Fiscal conservatives want Republican leaders to hold firm against proposals to extend a wind energy tax credit this year.

Dept. of Energy taps GE Hitachi to lead advanced nuclear reactor project (Wilmington Business Journal) -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to lead a research and development project to support advanced reactor technology development

GE Hitachi Receives Fed Funds To Assess Nuclear Technology (Wilmington Business Journal) -- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) will perform a comprehensive safety assessment of its PRISM sodium-cooled fast nuclear reactor, thanks to a multi-million-dollar federal investment

Duke Energy is playing a growing role in economic development across the Carolinas (Charlotte Business journal) -- Economic developers across the Carolinas emphasize that attracting new industry is always a team effort. But Duke Energy has become an increasingly active member of that team in recent years.

Money from dirt: NC soil lab uses fee to help spread the load (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina's Department of Agriculture established a new fee last year aimed at getting farmers to send in their soil samples earlier, and it appears to have worked.

Online mapping tool shows US storm surge risks (AP) — A new online mapping tool from the National Hurricane Center shows the risks of storm surge from Texas to Maine.

Can McCrory bring a different approach to governing? (Wilmington Star-News) -- Fresh from watching his Republican Party emerge victorious in Tuesday's state and national elections, Gov. Pat McCrory sounded like a seasoned coach warning his players against letting the win go to their heads. In urging them during an interview with WRAL in Raleigh not to "spike the ball" and to "govern with humility," he resembled the popular mayor who led Charlotte as a pragmatic moderate. And he's right. The winner-take-all mentality has soured large blocs of the American public on their government.

GOP should chart a middle course for the NC legislature (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Republicans can soften their image and show a sure grip on governing after retaining control of the legislature.

What if all that money had gone to really help? (Wilson Times) -- Just about three hours after Election Day ended and winners had long been declared here, violence once again reared its ugly head on Wilson’s streets.

On marriages and magistrates (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Same-sex marriage has come to North Carolina. But no one has a right to be married by a particular magistrate, so the solution is simple: Arrange for gay marriages to be performed by magistrates who don't object.

In N.C., time for a deep breath (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- People are uneasy, worried about the stability of their jobs, how to pay for college tuition and the threats from everything from ISIS to Ebola. It doesn’t matter in politics if the threats are real; it matters if people are anxious or afraid, and many people clearly are




A must read

This pretty much sums up what I've been thinking about where the country is headed - we're in a demographic mess designed for gridlock. And it's not going away anytime soon.

NC is a kind of microcosm of that demographic problem.


That's right, Teddy

Seems the gridlock will be going on for a long time, and when it ends, the tilt to the right will be a toxic crush. I'm hoping to be dead by then.