Under the Dome

Dome: Charlotte businessman to run for NC GOP chair

From Staff ReportsMarch 21, 2013 

Jack Brosch, a Charlotte businessman who ran for Congress as a tea party candidate last year, calls himself a "New Republican" in the mold of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Now he wants to bring that outsider mentality to North Carolina’s Republican Party.

Brosch hopes to get elected state chairman when the GOP meets for its state convention in Charlotte in June. He was prepared to challenge current Chairman Robin Hayes, before Hayes announced he wouldn’t run.

Now he expects to face Claude Pope, a former chair of the Wake County GOP and cousin of conservative financier, and now state budget director, Art Pope. Claude Pope’s campaign manager is a former executive director of the state party. His spokesman is Gov. Pat McCrory’s nephew.

To Brosch, who lost to 12th District Democrat Mel Watt last fall, the choice is clear. "These things add up to kind of an establishment candidate," he says.

Says Pope: "I see myself very much as an outsider." If elected, he says he would pull together tea party and other conservatives. "We want to work with all of those organizations to put together the kind of ground work it takes to build a majority," he said.

Bill would track mental health patients applying for gun permits

A trio of Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill aimed at better tracking people with mental health problems who apply for concealed handgun permits.

House Bill 344 would set a deadline of 48 hours – not including weekends or holidays – for superior court clerks to report to the national background check system records of in- and out-patient involuntary commitments for mental health treatment, and involuntary commitment for substance abuse for those determined to be a danger to themselves or others. Also reported would be records of people found not guilty by reason of insanity or those who are found mentally incapable to stand trial in a criminal case.

The bill would also require clerks to report if someone has successfully petitioned to remove a previous legal barrier to purchasing, possessing or transferring a firearm.

Primary sponsors are Rep. Verla Insko of Chapel Hill, Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham and Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville.

The federal background check system reportedly misses a large number of mental health records from the states.

U.S. Senate restores Tuition Assistance for service members

The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed a measure co-sponsored by Sen. Kay Hagan restoring Tuition Assistance for service members.

The amendment, sponsored by Hagan and Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, makes sure that service members do not lose tuition as a result of sequestration. The Hagan amendment was part of a six-month continuing resolution passed by the Senate. It is expected to be considered by the House shortly, perhaps on Thursday.

“I’m so proud to have worked with Senator Inhofe to restore Tuition Assistance for our service members who sacrifice so much for our country day in and day out,” Hagan said in a statement.

“We cannot balance our budget on the backs of our service members, and this amendment to restore Tuition Assistance will help us keep the promises we’ve made to them.’’

Staff writers Craig Jarvis, Rob Christensen and Charlotte Observer staff writer Jim Morrill

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