Daily dose

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...

Daily dose: Today's the final day for voter registration

Time to call it: NC voting law a dishonest, unjust and racist attack on rights (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- The Supreme Court's disappointing ruling against reinstating same-day registration and counting out-of-precinct votes serves as a stark reminder that it is time for everyone outraged by the ongoing war against voting in North Carolina to call this coordinated attack for what it is:
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/09/4220150/time-to-call-it-nc-voting-law.html

Daily dose: Voter merry-go-round edition

U.S. SUPREME COURT ORDERS ON VOTING LAW
Supreme Court upholds North Carolina's new limits on voting (LA Times) -- North Carolina can enforce new, strict voting restrictions adopted by the state's Republican leaders and opposed by civil rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday. The justices lifted a lower court order by a 7-2 vote. The state can end same-day registration for new voters and bar the counting of ballots cast in the wrong precinct, even if they involve statewide races. A third provision of the law, which was not under challenge this week, will reduce the days for early voting from 17 to 10. In dissent, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said these measures are likely to have a discriminatory effect on black voters. Ginsburg said the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had "worked to safeguard long-obstructed access to the ballot by African Americans" by blocking such election-law changes in the South. But the court voided that "pre-clearance" rule" last year in a 5-4 decision. North Carolina's GOP-controlled Legislature had adopted a series of changes to the election rules, but until Wednesday it was unclear whether they would take effect this fall.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-supreme-court-upholds-north-carolina-voting-20141008-story.html

Daily dose: Post-debate punditry version

THE DEBATE: ROUND 2
Hagan, Emboldened By Small Lead, Goes After Senate Challenger in Debate (Huffington Post) -- Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) came out swinging against Republican challenger Thom Tillis in their second debate Tuesday, perhaps encouraged by her small but consistent leads in polls. During the debate, moderated by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Hagan repeatedly pointed out that Tillis, the state House speaker, had dodged questions on the Islamic State, federal education standards and bucking the Republican Party's leadership. Hagan was more assertive about Tillis' answers than during their first debate on Sept. 3. Tillis, for his part, continued his strategy of tying Hagan to President Barack Obama, using the president's comment from last week that his policies would be on the ballot in November.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/07/kay-hagan-thom-tillis-_n_5949238.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Thom Tillis Burdens Kay Hagan with Presidential Baggage (TIME) -- Thom Tillis, the Republican senate candidate in North Carolina, kept to a simple message about his opponent Sen. Kay Hagan in the contest’s second debate Tuesday: “A vote for Senator Hagan is a vote for President Obama’s failed policies,” Tillis said. With the trap set, Sen. Kay Hagan seemed to stumble into it. Asked to name an instance where she regretted a Congressional vote, after Tillis noted the Democrat has voted with Obama “96% of the time,” Hagan failed to come up with one. Tillis said this was proof that she was “proud” of voting with the President.
https://time.com/3479837/thom-tillis-kay-hagan-north-carolina-senate-debate/

Daily dose: Trailer park Thom edition

Thom Tillis Trailer Park Deal Shows 'What Conflict Of Interest Is All About’ (Huffington Post) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate and state House Speaker Thom Tillis bought a trailer park in early 2007 -- an investment he hoped would increase in value while providing him rental income. But now, as he presses his run for the Senate, the story of that trailer park may cause voters to question whether Tillis used the trappings of his office as a state legislator for personal gain. That's because in the months after he bought the trailer park, Tillis introduced state legislation and sought political compromises that likely would have increased the value of his property. … Tillis' involvement in legislation with the potential to affect his personal portfolio complicates Republican attacks against his opponent, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who has been accused of profiting from federal stimulus funds. That Tillis wasn't forthcoming about his potential conflict at the time -- he would disclose the property a year later when he was required to by law as part of his ethics disclosure forms -- also has raised concerns from government watchdogs. "The problem is that as Tillis was advocating a bill that would impact his property value, he should have disclosed his ownership," said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a good-government advocacy group with a history of calling out both Democrats and Republicans on ethical lapses. Tillis' actions may not have violated North Carolina's lax ethics laws, but Hall said his conduct nevertheless left a bad impression.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/thom-tillis-real-estate-conflict_n_5929934.html

Daily dose: Tillis has no base edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Tillis struggles for conservative support in N.C. (Washington Times) -- North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan was supposed to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year but she has managed to consistently lead in the polls, as Republican challenger Thom Tillis struggles to muster the support of tea party voters he needs to win in November. Mrs. Hagan meanwhile is energizing her base by accusing Mr. Tillis, speaker of North Carolina’s House, of being a right-wing extremist who she characterizes as anti-woman and anti-education. … From his career in corporate America to his support of toll roads to his comment that legal gay marriage is likely inevitable, Mr. Tillis has alienated much of the state’s conservative base, said Thomas Mills, a Democratic political analyst in North Carolina. “If you’re living in a town of 2,000 people in rural North Carolina that’s the base,” he said. “He culturally can’t connect with those people. He’s not a tea party guy and they never accepted that he is.”
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/5/thom-tillis-struggles-for-conservative-support-in-/

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