Under the Dome

Dome: Wake judge issues restraining order over Asheville water

May 14, 2013 

Wake County Superior Court Judge Don Stephens issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon preventing the City of Asheville’s water system from being transferred to a regional water system.

The city had sued the state after the Republican-led legislature passed a bill transferring its water system.

Last week, GOP Gov. Pat McCrory let the bill become law without signing it.

The judge said he would hold a hearing on the preliminary injunction within 10 days. The transfer of the water system was to have taken place Wednesday.

Watt’s nomination criticized

Americans For Prosperity is opposing U.S. Rep. Mel Watt’s Senate confirmation to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A statement from the national group calls the Charlotte Democrat’s nomination by President Barack Obama troubling “because he actively supports the idea that government should subsidize home ownership.”

The group adds, “Watt worked closely with former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank to keep Fannie and Freddie over-exposed in the subprime mortgage market. He also helped pilot a program called ‘Pathways to Homeownership’ that targeted low-income individuals with subprime loans. … He has little regard for the concerns of taxpayers and their already-exorbitant tax bill. This is not the attitude that Americans should desire from any potential nominee for any political position.”

Political observers have noted that Democrats will need to win over some Republicans to get Watt approved. But the Washington Post has reported that some Democrats are unhappy with what it called Watt’s “coziness with the financial industry.”

Hagan asks Hagel for action

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking for a report on the steps he has taken to implement new laws to prevent sexual assault in the military.

“We must take swift and meaningful action to address the military sexual assault crisis, and the National Defense Authorization Act directives passed by Congress last year are a good start,” said Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Sexual assault cannot be accepted as part of the military culture.”

The provisions the Senate passed include establishing a special victim support unit, enhanced training and education for sexual assault prevention, and two independent panels to review the systems used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate sexual assaults.

McCrory in New Orleans

Gov. Pat McCrory is attending a Republican Governor’s Association meeting in New Orleans.

McCrory is attending the RGA’s Corporate Policy Summit. His office sent notice of the event Tuesday morning but did not release any other details. On Monday night, his office released a schedule without public events – and said it wouldn’t issue a daily calendar anymore.

McCrory was critical of his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, for taking an unannounced trip to Pennsylvania later discovered by The News & Observer.

Kim Genardo, a McCrory spokeswoman, said the governor would speak at two workshops on workforce development and technology in education. It’s unclear when he would return. Genardo said McCrory’s schedule is in flux because of the General Assembly’s work this week.

Staff writers Rob Christensen and John Frank

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