Let’s start this frosty day with a tweet and a soundbite – both of which are sure to warm you up.
From Newt Gingrich @ newtgingrich earlier this week: “Had great meeting with North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, really understands the country’s challenges, strong Senate candidate.”
And then there’s this from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, talking Wednesday at a Republican National Committee meeting in Washington: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”
Huckabee has endorsed, Mark Harris, another Republican who wants Sen. Kay Hagan’s job. Read more here.
*** Welcome to Dome Morning Memo.***
TODAY IN POLITICS: Gov. Pat McCrory is holding a working lunch today apparently with an economic development board meeting at the Executive Mansion at noon. It’s the only event listed on his schedule for the day.
Elsewhere those who aren’t happy – or perhaps those who are – can weigh in on a proposed insurance rate increase for home owners. The public comment session is from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Jim Long Hearing Room of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
IDOLATRY: Is he or isn’t he? First the rumor mill had Clay Aiken running for Congress (NC’s 2nd District). Then he wasn’t. Then he was. The former American Idol is mum on the subject. But the NC GOP is not. Todd Poole, executive director of the NC Republican Party, didn’t wait for the rumors to be confirmed, issuing this statement: “ Clay Aiken, who was the runner-up on American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice is running for Congress? Seriously?” Read more here.
30 AND COUNTING: Women Organizing for Wilmington is holding its 30th consecutive protest noon Monday, Jan. 27. The grassroots organization is protesting voter suppression. The group says 64 percent of women in North Carolina will be disenfranchised the state’s new voter ID law. Organizers say they have have identified 6,000 women – the majority senior citizens – who are active voters but who do not have a valid ID by cross-referencing Board of Elections’ database with DMV’s database.
PERSONNEL FILE: Americans for Prosperity has hired John Dudley to be the organization’s new state director. Previously Dudley was chief development officer for the Greater Carolinas American Red Cross in Charlotte. Before that he led the merger team that brought together GTE and Bell Atlantic to form Verizon Communications, which at the time was the largest merger in telecom history.
“John Dudley is an experienced businessman who has seen the havoc that overregulation and out of control spending has on the economy," said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity in a statement announcing Dudley’s hire. “While we face big challenges ahead, like passing a state constitutional amendment on private property rights, we know John and the entire North Carolina team will be a capable and effective force for economic freedom.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A NY Times story earlier this work about the impact of extended federal unemployment benefits focused on North Carolina and offered this from the governor: “Employers were telling me they had vacant jobs, but people would say, ‘Hold that job until my unemployment benefits end.’ I heard that time and time again. Now, employers are telling us that people are coming in and filling out applications to accept jobs, not to meet the requirements of unemployment.”