Under the Dome

Dome: McCrory stays out of dog house; supports wife's puppy mill bill

rchristensen@newsobserver.comJune 27, 2013 

Gov. Pat McCrory has been trying to back his wife’s support of puppy mill legislation, but someone in his shop forgot to do some basic fact-checking.

First, the governor wrote a letter to Senate leader Phil Berger urging a Senate hearing and vote on House Bill 930, the puppy mill legislation, before the end of the legislative session.

Patrick Gannon of The Insider reported earlier this week that in that missive, the governor wrote: “Ann McCrory has made passing the legislation her first public project as first lady and held a news conference recently to urge the Senate to pass the legislation, which would establish standards for commercial dog breeders, such as adequate food, water, shelter, exercise and veterinary care.”

In that same letter, Gannon said McCrory addressed concerns from the N.C. Pork Council that such regulations could be extended to the food industry by writing: “That’s a stretch in logic. As Ann said at the executive residence event, ‘Even Moe (our Labrador) can tell the difference between a dog and a hog.’ ”

McCrory has now followed up that letter with another, Gannon reports, to point out an he made a slight mistake about the N.C. Pork Council.

The council has remained neutral on the measure.

“It’s our mistake,” McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo told Gannon. “They have remained neutral.” The Pork Council confirmed that position.

The bill has been in a Senate committee since mid-May.

Woodhouse leaving party

Raleigh native Brad Woodhouse is leaving his post as chief spokesman for the national Democratic Party.

Woodhouse has worked for five years as communications director of the Democratic National Committee, senior adviser to three party chairs and the two Obama campaigns. His last day is Friday.

He will begin work as president of Americans United for Change, a post he held before joining the party.

Woodhouse is a veteran of Democratic politics, having worked for former Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge and Senate candidate Erskine Bowles.

His brother, Dallas Woodhouse, works the conservative side, serving as head of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Burr brokers student loan deal

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of Winston-Salem has put together a bipartisan deal on student loan rates, but Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid said it will not pass, The Hill is reporting.

Burr said that under the emerging deal, undergraduates would pay a loan rate equal to 1.85 percent above the 10-year Treasury rate.

Graduate students would pay 3.4 percent above the 10-year Treasury rate, and the parents of students who take out PLUS loans would pay 4.4 percent above the 10-year treasury rate.

Burr negotiated the deal with Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Angus King, I-Maine.

A bill will be introduced Friday.

A spokesman for Reid said the deal would not be supported by the broader Democratic conference.

“I am pleased we were able to find a permanent, market-based solution to addressing our nation’s student loan problem,” Burr said in a statement.

“This agreement lowers rates for 100 percent of America’s students and families, and gives them the certainty they need to plan for college and beyond, all while reducing the deficit.”

Staff writer Rob Christensen

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