Under the Dome

Dome: Insko’s Medicaid idea plays in Florida, not N.C.

From Staff ReportsFebruary 21, 2013 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who first entered politics to fight the federal health care law, is proposing to take the money for Medicaid expansion for the first three years when Washington will pay the full cost.

State Rep. Verla Insko, a Chapel Hill Democrat, proposed the same thing in North Carolina, but Republican lawmakers shot it down repeatedly. “That’s just completely nonsensical and doesn’t work,” Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar said of Inkso’s idea.

Creating jobs one opossum at a time

Here’s one job the General Assembly has created: They’ve put the Brasstown opossum back to work.

On Thursday the Senate passed the infamous opossum bill. The House bill, which would allow a live opossum to be lowered in a cage for the popular New Year’s Eve “possum drop” in Brasstown, now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The bill has the mundane title of “Captivity License and Permit Amendments,” but the duplicate Senate version had been titled the “Opposum Right-to-Work Act.”

The House approved the bill on Feb. 13, after amending it to require that any wild animal captured for display in a cultural event must be returned to the wild at or near where it was captured.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took legal action to stop the opossum drop on the grounds that state law prohibits possession of live wildlife without a permit. The Wildlife Resources Commission had given the Brasstown event permission, but a state administrative law judge ruled it didn’t have that authority.

The bill would allow wild animals to be held for display by licensed sportsmen. It also says that any legal action taken under this chapter, should it become law, could only be filed in the county where the alleged violation occurred.

NRA ads target Democrats

The National Rifle Association ran a full-page ad in Thursday’s The News & Observer.

The national group is also targeting three other Republican-leaning states where Democratic senators are up for re-election next year, The Hill newspaper reports.

“Will Obama’s own gun control proposals actually work? His own experts say no,” the ad reads. It tells readers: “Call Sen. Kay Hagan today. Tell her to oppose Obama’s gun control proposals and to fix our broken mental health system.”

Also in the NRA’s sights: Sen. Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Sen. Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) and the West Virginia seat being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller who is retiring.

The Hill says the NRA’s big ad buy also includes a full-page ad in Maine, where Republican Sen. Susan Collins is up for re-election, and in regional editions of USA Today, plus a YouTube video that’s been viewed 275,000 times.

Hagan rides the middle

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan ranks in the ideological middle, according to the latest rankings from the National Journal. The Democrat from Greensboro, who faces re-election in 2014, ranks the 48th most liberal of the 100 senators, or 52 most conservative, depending on how you look at it.

Her Republican counterpart U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of Winston-Salem is the 23rd most conservative member in the chamber, the nonpartisan national political magazine found. National Journal ranked the lawmakers on 116 votes that showed differences in ideological viewpoint in the 112th Congress.

Among Democrats in the House, Rep. David Price is the most liberal at No. 32, followed by Mel Watt (45), former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (83) and G.K. Butterfield (121). On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick was the 32nd most conservative, followed by Reps. Renee Ellmers (43), Virginia Foxx (55), Patrick McHenry (62), Howard Coble (153) and Walter Jones (242).

Jones even ranked as more liberal than Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre at No. 182. McIntyre used his right-leaning tendencies to help defeat a close Republican challenger in the 2012 elections.

Former Democratic Reps. Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler ranked Nos. 177 and 179, respectively. Kissell lost a re-election bid and Shuler retired.

Staff writers

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service