Under the Dome

Dome: McCrory takes turn at GOP weekly radio address

May 4, 2013 

Gov. Pat McCrory gave the GOP’s weekly radio address on Saturday morning, raise the newly elected North Carolina governor’s national profile a notch.

McCrory repeated the gist of his campaign themes and remarks he has made since taking office in January, saying North Carolina is working on reforms in the economy, education and efficiency.

“Like you, when I look to Washington, I see entrenched gridlock and an immediate need for executive leadership,” McCrory said. “Fortunately, Washington bears no resemblance to states where strong Republican governors are using their leadership skills to improve the daily lives of their citizens.”

McCrory included his favorite philosophy of government: It should be customer-friendly, like a business. He said government can become more efficient through innovative thinking, such as the kind of creativity that turned the early mobile phone into today’s smartphone.

“There is no reason why government can’t be as customer friendly and cost effective as a smartphone,” he said. “Ultimately, interacting with government should be as easy as checking the latest scores on the internet or shopping online.”

The governor said states need the flexibility to tackle issues like health care, energy and Medicaid on their own terms. He added that he has asked President Barack Obama to speed up energy exploration off the shores of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina as a way to increase jobs.

McCrory is scheduled to be in Houston on Monday to participate in a panel of Outer Continental Shelf governors on expanding offshore energy exploration.

Brown, Watt to attend caucus

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown will being among the attractions at the state GOP convention in Charlotte on June 7-9.

Brown will be a guest at the Governor’s Reception to be held June 7, along with former Congressman J.C. Watt of Oklahoma. Brown won a special election to fill out the term of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy but lost the seat in November to Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.

UNC faculty decry gun laws

The UNC faculty on Friday approved a resolution opposing two bills pending in the state legislature that would allow guns on campuses.

The resolution is a statement of support for UNC President Tom Ross’ public statement against HB937. It notes the campuses are visited by children of all ages and other visitors, that the university’s mission is to provide a safe environment, and that law enforcement officers already offer protection.

The resolution also opposes SB190. The bills would allow gun owners with permits to carry concealed weapons to keep their firearms locked in their vehicles, except for defensive measures. SB190 hasn’t moved out of committee, but HB937 is scheduled to be voted on by the full House on Monday night.

East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard and UNC Wilmington Chancellor Gary L. Miller have both come out against 937.

Paul Valone, president of the gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina, last week issued a response to Moss’ statement.

“Perhaps your view from the Ivory Tower is obstructed, Mr. Ross, so allow me to describe the landscape: The University of North Carolina is doing a woefully inadequate job of protecting its students, staff, faculty and visitors,” Valone wrote.

NAACP protests at legislature

Is North Carolina becoming the new Wisconsin? After two rounds of arrests at the Legislative Building last week, the NAACP has announced another round of protests this week.

The NAACP has announced Monday a “nonviolent civil disobedience” at the legislature at 5:30 p.m. Monday. There will be a candlelight vigil outside the Legislative Building at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The daily protests and civil disobedience is reminiscent of the tens thousands who protested budget cuts at the Wisconsin Capitol and helped make GOP Gov. Scott Walker a hero in conservative circles.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen

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