Daily dose

Daily dose: AWOL Tata version

As winter storm snarls N.C. traffic, DOT chief promotes book (WRAL-TV) -- A winter storm that dumped inches of snow across North Carolina Tuesday caught state transportation crews by surprise . But when state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata appeared on CNN Tuesday afternoon, it was to talk about his new military thriller, not problems on the roadways.
http://www.wral.com/as-winter-storm-snarls-traffic-transportation-chief-promotes-new-book/14467992/

Daily dose: McCrory can't hide edition

Bad budgets hurt 2016 hopefuls (Politico) -- At the National Governors Association meeting in Washington this weekend, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said he knows what his counterparts are going through as they put the finishing touches on their budget plans. “You can’t hide as a governor,” he said. “There’s nowhere to hide in a crisis, there’s nowhere to hide during a legislative session, and there’s nowhere to hide regarding just basic leadership skills. You’re in a bubble that’s extremely visible and people are expecting results. “But that’s why we all love the job,” he added. “You hear congressmen and senators go, ‘I hate it.’ I’ve yet to hear a governor say they hate their job … It’s much more difficult … but you can see the results.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/2016-elections-governors-bad-state-budgets-115411.html

Daily dose: Keystone Veto edition

Obama’s Expected Keystone Veto Likely to Be First in Wave (New York Times) -- Wielding the weapon of his pen, President Obama this week is expected to formally reject a Republican attempt to force construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But in stopping the transit of petroleum from the forests of Alberta to the Gulf Coast, Mr. Obama will be opening the veto era of his presidency. The expected Keystone veto, the third and most significant of Mr. Obama’s six years in office, would most likely be followed by presidential vetoes of bills that could emerge to make changes in the Affordable Care Act, impose new sanctions on Iran and roll back child nutrition standards, among others. Rep. David E. Price, a North Carolina Democrat, said Mr. Obama had little choice: “I don’t think, in this divided government, there’s much doubt he will have to use it.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/us/politics/with-expected-keystone-veto-obama-to-open-new-era-of-p...

Daily dose: Main Street craziness edition

Main Street Democrats group wants to restore voters’ confidence (Fayetteville Observer) -- Twelve Democrats in the General Assembly say they're different from their colleagues who raised taxes during the Great Recession, an action that helped propel the Republicans to power in the 2010 elections. In January, they formed the NC Main Street Democrat Caucus. It's an effort to save a fading species in the political jungle: the moderate N.C. Democrat. That's who ran the state for much of the 20th century before the many Democrats followed their party to the left and the Republicans shifted right.
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/capital-affairs-main-street-democrats-group-wants-to-restore-v...

Daily dose: Another auto plant to woo and lose

Jaguar Land Rover reportedly eying U.S. plant; N.C. wants in (Triad Business Journal) -- Add this name to the list of automobile manufacturers that might be considering North Carolina for a new manufacturing plant: Jaguar Land Rover. In fact, you might want to move it toward the top. The British car company, based near Coventry but actually owned by India's Tata Motors, is in a big-time growth mode. It has recently opened plants in Brazil and China and reportedly is actively looking for a site in the southern United States. Throw in this tidbit for what it's worth: Gov. Pat McCrory's first overseas trade mission, in January, was to England.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2015/02/20/jaguar-land-rover-reportedly-eying-u-s-plant-n-c.html

Daily dose: VP comes to town version

Biden in NC: America must rebuild its infrastructure (AP) — In a visit to Charlotte, where local leaders say prosperity is linked to infrastructure investments, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday reiterated the administration's call to invest billions in highways, bridges and passenger rail service to promote long-term economic growth.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/biden-in-nc-america-must-rebuild-its-infrastructur...

Daily dose: Token Lt. Governor edition

Token payments won't close teacher pay gap (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Lt. Gov. Dan Forest wants to give new meaning to the term “teacher’s license.” He wants the state to issue special “I-support-teachers” license plates with the proceeds going to boost teacher salaries. What’s next? A cake sale at the legislative cafeteria? Maybe a car wash at the Governor’s Mansion? Forest no doubt means well, but his proposal serves only to illustrate how clueless conservatives like himself are about teacher pay.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/18/4565855_token-payments-wont-close-teacher.html?rh=1

Daily dose: More like him, please

Jeff Jackson’s wonderful, terrific, very good and definitely not bad day in the N.C. Senate (Charlotte Observer) -- Sen. Jeff Jackson had a busy day. He’s expanded Medicaid, restored university funding, approved nonpartisan redistricting, made investments in wind and solar energy, outlawed puppy mills and enacted broad-based economic development. And he may just be getting started. On a day when icy roads and a curtailed schedule kept most lawmakers home, Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat, showed up at his legislative office for a morning meeting. When his appointment failed to show, he went to work. “I thought I would fix the state,” he said in a phone interview.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/17/5520757/sen-jeff-jackson-has-senate-to.html

Daily dose: People's Grand Jury edition

'People's Grand Jury' begins proceedings to indict McCrory (Fayetteville Observer) -- Progressive activists began a symbolic "People's Grand Jury" proceeding on Monday to indict Gov. Pat McCrory and other state leaders for their decision to reject federal Medicaid for an estimated half-million lower-income North Carolinians. Four witnesses testified about their personal struggles to pay for health care - one with cancer said she has to go without because she has no insurance - before a jury of 14 people in a meeting room at the N.C. Legislative Office Building.

Daily dose: The continued shrinking of DENR

Proposed move of state parks causes jitters (Coastal Review) -- Although not as many headlines about sweeping changes in state government are expected during the current legislative session, one major proposal is already in the works. Officials with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or DENR, and the Department of Cultural Resources say they are hammering out the details for transferring the state park system, the zoo, natural science museums, aquariums and Jennette’s Pier from DENR to Cultural Resources.

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