Under the Dome

Dome: Burr’s vote to allow gun debate draws protest

April 15, 2013 

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s vote to allow debate on the gun bill has drawn a protest from the pro-gun group Grass Roots North Carolina, which will demonstrate outside Burr’s Winston-Salem office Tuesday morning.

Grass Roots North Carolina labels Burr a “sellout” for voting for the motion to allow debate on the bill that will expand background checks for gun purchases. Burr had threatened to vote against the motion but changed his mind. He was one of 16 Republican senators who joined 50 Democrats and two independents in the 68-31 vote last week.

Burr has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.

Meanwhile Roll Call notes that the NRA needs to win over “the red state five” – Democratic senators running for re-election next year. Sen. Kay Hagan makes that list.

‘Go big’ on tax changes

Americans for Prosperity is preparing a campaign to sell the public on the legislature’s plan to change the tax code.

AFP representatives and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will detail its planned efforts at a Tuesday news conference, said AFP state executive director Dallas Woodhouse. The legislature has not presented a detailed plan, though legislators have outlined general principles.

“Part of our job is to encourage them to go big and go bold, “ Woodhouse said. “The opportunity for reform will never be better than it is right now.”

AFP will fuel the campaign with a “significant amount of money,” Woodhouse said, with the effort to include community meetings and advertising.

A role for Forest has not been defined, Woodhouse said, but “we do think he is going to agree to help us out on that. Right now, it’s a broad vision rather than specific actions.”

Hardball in DC

As Rep. Renee Ellmers considers whether to run for Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat next year, she has more on her mind than fundraising. She’s thinking baseball.

The Dunn Republican is going to play on the Congressional Women’s Softball team this summer, according to Roll Call. That’s the very same team that Kay Hagan has played on for years – though Roll Call notes she has not officially said she’s playing this year.

The bipartisan team annually takes on the female capitol press corps in a game played for charity.

Roll Call asks: Will GOP team members campaign against Hagan, and likewise will Democratic players go after Ellmers? Dome thinks the team should throw its support behind who’s got the best curve ball.

A new path for funding roads

Gov. Pat McCrory could reveal his plan to change the way new roads are funded in North Carolina as soon as later this week, reports Patrick Gannon of The Insider.

Lawmakers and lobbyists have been talking about a McCrory plan for weeks, but a spokeswoman for the governor declined to say when the plan will be released or give details of it. Gannon reports: “The plan is expected to include changes to the formulas that determine how funding is distributed to various parts of the state, as well as changes to the state’s transportation districts. Such changes likely would be opposed by certain parts of the state that see funding decreased or don’t believe they receive their fair share of available dollars. Other regions would be happy with the changes.”

Staff writers Lynn Bonner and Mary Cornatzer

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