Rob Christensen

Tillis promises NC delegates voter ID will become law if GOP wins

rchristensen@newsobserver.comAugust 28, 2012 

— If things go well for Republicans this fall, a voter ID bill likely will become law next year, House Speaker Thom Tillis told the North Carolina delegation to the Republican National Convention.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed a voter ID bill last year, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. But Tillis said if Republican Pat McCrory is elected governor and the GOP has 72 votes in the House, “we will have voter ID in North Carolina.’’

Religious conservatives plan to get out the vote

Religious conservatives have in recent days begun a major grassroots voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort in North Carolina and other key swing states that they believe can more than match those of President Barack Obama’s campaign.

Ralph Reed, the leader of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, shared a bit of news with N.C. delegates at breakfast Tuesday: Conservative religious households in the state will start getting mail this week urging them to register to vote.

The mailings will be followed by automated telephone calls from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The mailings say, “Get off the bench, and get in the game,” Reed told delegates.

“In 2008, there were 17 million born-again evangelical Christians who didn’t even bother to vote,” Reed said. His group has sent the mailing to 1.97 million conservative Christians in North Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, Florida and Virginia.

He said other conservative groups, such as National Right to Life and Focus on the Family have similar campaigns.

“Just what we are doing, we estimate that we are going to register between 100,000 and 200,000 new voters in just those seven states,” Reed said. “We are going to register more voters than the Obama campaign in those same states.’’

“Four years ago we got out-hustled,” Reed said. “But in 2012, we are going to out-hustle them.’’

Reed is a veteran of the 1984 re-election campaign of Sen. Jesse Helms, where a strong turnout of Christian conservatives proved crucial. That is also where he met his wife, JoAnne, of Cary. Reed is best known as the former head of the Christian Coalition.

Candidates get spotlight; delegates get brunch

David Rouzer, Richard Hudson and Mark Meadows – who are running in contested congressional races – got a chance to speak to convention-goers Tuesday afternoon.

It didn’t really matter that their two minutes was largely to an empty arena. What does matter is that there will be video footage of them speaking about their beliefs, bashing their opponents and President Barack Obama.

Rouzer, a state senator, is challenging 7th District Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre, Hudson is challenging 8th District Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell, and Meadows is running for an open seat previously held by 11th District Democrat Heath Shuler.

Apparently 13th District GOP candidate George Holding is such a favorite to win, that he wasn’t invited to speak. (Party officials said they weren’t sure if he was invited, but he is not speaking.)

The three were originally scheduled to speak Monday, but because the convention was delayed their speech was pushed back a day. How many N.C. delegates were there to cheer them on was unclear; many went to a brunch on a yacht being hosted by AREVA, a nuclear power and energy company.

Cain: ‘stupid Americans are running America’

Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain fired up delegates saying nearly everything had gotten worse during the last four years under the Obama administration.

Cain said unemployment was up, welfare was up, food stamps were up and the national debt was up.

“I have never seen an administration in my life which is so arrogant in trying to deceive the American people,” Cain told a delegation breakfast sponsored by McGuireWoods Consulting, a lobbying firm.

“You have to stay informed and stay involved because stupid Americans are running America,” Cain said.

He repeated the Republican talking point that Obama had “gutted” Medicare, the federal health insurance programs for seniors by cutting future increases by $716 billion over the next decade – mainly through reimbursements to providers. He didn’t mention that the House Republican budget would have included similar reductions.

In September, Cain will embark on a tour of mostly battleground states. He is scheduled to visit Raleigh on Sept. 12 speaking at a business lunch at the North Raleigh Hilton and another on Sept. 13 at the Charlotte Marriott City Center. He said he also plans to meet with black ministers and student groups while he is in both towns.

Staff writer Rob Christensen

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