Daily dose

Daily Dose: Debate week edition

CAMPAIGN 2014

Candidates WIll Likely "Play It Safe" in First Senate Debate (WFDD-FM) -- Caution may be the key word in the upcoming first debate between incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis. At this point, the race is too close to call, with most polls showing that it is a dead heat. Kenneth Fernandez directs polling at Elon University. He says he’s expecting the candidates to play it safe to avoid making gaffes that could make the rounds on social media and in political ads. “With the Internet and with the TV ads, that one kind of foot-in-the-mouth can be played over and over again,” he says. Fernandez says that unlike a national presidential debate, the effects of senate debates are harder to measure because so few people watch them. But with a race this close, there may be a chance for the candidates to gain some ground.
http://wfdd.org/post/candidates-will-likely-play-it-safe-first-senate-debate

Banks reliable source of campaign cash for Hagan (McClatchy Newspapers) -- U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has received $962,000 since 2008 from employees and political action committees of industries that are under the jurisdiction of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where she has served for a large portion of her first term in Congress. The industries are some of the biggest sources of money for both Democrats and Republicans. Historically they’ve been particularly generous to members of the committee and its House of Representatives counterpart, the Financial Services Committee. An examination of the financial sector’s campaign contributions in this year’s highly competitive North Carolina Senate race, tallied and analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, shows that Hagan’s Republican opponent, Thom Tillis, also has collected large sums from some of the same industries. The sector’s political action committees, however, have given more to Hagan.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/01/238275_banks-have-been-a-reliable-source.html

Daily Dose: Labor Day edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Moral Monday movement looks to show its clout at the polls (MSNBC) -- Despite the Moral Monday movement’s righteous rhetoric and grassroots enthusiasm, as November approaches, it faces its toughest test yet: Can it turn the progressive energy that it has generated into actual votes?
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/moral-monday-movement-looks-show-its-clout-the-polls

In N.C. and 5 other states, ‘Citizens United’ gives GOP 10-point advantage (Washington Post) -- The Supreme Court ruling on political spending has given Republicans an advantage.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/08/28/study-citizens-united-elected-more-republi...

Daily dose: AFP full of baloney edition

AFP highlights a big study by the American Energy Alliance and (surprise) it finds that people LOVE pollution, climate change, and more profits for Duke Energy!

AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Proposed EPA standards to hurt N.C. (Burlington Times-News column) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is on a cross-country roadshow this summer to sell its newest mandate, which will cut the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. The agency’s and the Obama Administration’s sales pitch is simple: This will usher in a “cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future.” The slick marketing campaign isn’t working. The more people learn about the mandate, the more they oppose it — especially here in North Carolina. That’s the conclusion of a new survey of registered voters in North Carolina commissioned by the American Energy Alliance. According to the survey, 59 percent of our state supports the regulations when hearing about them for the first time — who doesn’t love Mother Earth? When they hear both the pros and the cons, however, support evaporates. The first thing to know is that the mandate forces North Carolina to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent — 10 points higher than the national average. Although the national target is 30 percent, the Obama administration has assigned different reduction targets to each state. Ours is one of the highest in the country. This will unavoidably hurt North Carolina’s ability to compete for jobs.
http://www.thetimesnews.com/opinion/opinion-columns/proposed-epa-standards-would-penalize-north-caro...

Daily Dose: $51 billion giveaway edition

FIVE THINGS TO BE GLAD YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT:

The sour, critical commentaries that are populating the editorial pages this weekend aren’t the only things causing some heartburn around the McCrory camp. In the coming days and weeks there are even bigger concerns looming.. Here are five questions that Gov. Pat McCrory, his brain trust, top DENR officials and his legal/communications team might be, are, or should be, pondering:

News reporters don’t wake up on sunny late spring morning and say to themselves: “We think we’ll toddle on down to the Ethics Commission and check out Ol’ Pat’s latest financial disclosure statement.” Someone, somewhere, made sure the news reporters knew what to look for and where.

Daily dose

PHIL BERGER, MILK CARTON MAN? -- A new television advertising blitz Republican backers of Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis is aimed at boosting the lagging images of two of the three top leaders in North Carolina. For the immediate future, it is particularly critical for Tillis who is in a very tight battle with incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, for her seat. The effort to inflate the images of Tillis and McCrory, both Mecklenburg County Republicans, isn’t an easy task. First, they’ve been unable to bring the contentious legislative session, marked by infighting among the GOP leaders at a time when they promised in their campaigns and at the opening of the session church choir-like harmony. The General Assembly appears to be headed to a finish, shuffling out of Raleigh with more a whimper than a bang. Attempts to complete work are marked by failure on addressing the Duke Energy coal ash spill disaster and no action on the promised fix to Medicaid.

Daily dose: whine with that sleaze

McCRORY ETHICS QUAGMIRE

McCrory: 'We Haven't Broken Any Rules' (WUNC-FM) – Gov. Pat McCrory is responding to charges that he misstated when he sold his stock in Duke Energy. McCrory worked for the company for almost 30 years. Speaking to reporters after an education conference held by the North Carolina Chamber, the Governor faced a series of questions about when he sold the Duke stock that was part of his 401k. "We haven’t broken any rules or ethics violations or anything," McCrory said. "And I was very transparent that I did own it. I was 29 years, and I’m proud of that experience and I had a 401k retirement account, like many of you may have had, or still have.”
http://wunc.org/post/mccrory-we-havent-broken-any-rules

As ethics scandal erupts, Carolina Rising launches $1.5M NC pro-McCrory ad blitz (AP) — A group promoting policies implemented by North Carolina Republicans is running a television ad before most public schools open to praise Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis – GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate -- for education legislation.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/carolina-rising-begins-m-nc-ad-campaign/article_2a...

Daily dose: You can't believe anything Tillis and McCrory say. Not one damn word.

POLICY & POLITICS
LAWYER’S ROLE? McCrory ‘misstated’ Duke holdings, sold stock after coal-ash spill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The governor’s previous disclosures had not revealed that he owned Duke stock at the end of 2013. McCrory’s lawyer, Bob Stephens, says the content of the form was his mistake.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/13/4070158/mccrory-changes-financial-disclosure.html

Conflict of interest statements for NC officials now online (WRAL-TV) -- A new website launched quietly last month by the State Ethics Commission allows users to look up state officials' potential conflicts of interest.
http://www.wral.com/conflict-of-interest-statements-for-nc-officials-now-online/13889394/

NC education budget change worries some districts (AP) — The General Assembly removed a requirement in North Carolina law that said the recipe to build the two-year state budget begins with projected public school enrollment among its first ingredients.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-education-budget-change-worries-some-districts-2623143

Daily dose

THE SPILL
Duke Energy takes coal ash message to public (Greensboro News & Record) -- Newspaper ads from the energy company pledge to manage coal ash, despite legislators’ failure to regulate it.
http://www.news-record.com/news/dan_river/article_8f9c97ec-1c57-11e4-a853-0017a43b2370.html

State closes Brunswick ball field after coal ash found (Wilmington Star-News) -- The district's softball field is the only known case of the hazardous material within the county
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140804/ARTICLES/140809909/1017/news01?Title=State-closes-Bru...

Daily dose

GERRY COHEN: Celebrated as the Legislature’s ‘Consummate Professional' (WUNC-FM) -- One of the most respected and beloved figures at the General Assembly is about to retire. Gerry Cohen will soon finish his current job as the special counsel for the state legislature, where he was first hired as a staff attorney back in 1977. Later, he became head of the bill drafting division, where his encyclopedic memory and reputation for fairness made him a favorite among Democrats and Republicans alike. … "We have a non-partisan central staff, which is the model in like 40-plus states, where central staff works for both parties and both houses," said Cohen. "That was a really good experience, I liked doing that. Some states have separate House and Senate staffs, some states have separate Democratic and Republican staffs."
http://wunc.org/post/consummate-professional-lawmakers-celebrate-retiring-special-counsel-gerry-cohen

Daily dose

Just don't undercook the fish:

THE SPILL
Health officials OK recreational use of Dan River (Greensboro News & Record) -- People can fish and swim in the river without fear of skin irritation or other potential health problems linked to coal ash, N.C. health officials said.
http://www.news-record.com/news/article_dbfd143e-11d7-11e4-aa1a-001a4bcf6878.html

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