The federal shutdown continues to trickle down to North Carolina’s workers and some of its neediest resident. We were one of the first state to furlough state workers whose jobs depend on some federal funding; on Tuesday we became what is believed to be the first state to stop enrolling families in WIC, the program that helps mothers buy food for their children; and on Wednesday it was the disableds’ turn. Those disabled people who are training for a job or work with the help of assistants had to stay home in many instances because the federal funds that pay for the program has dried up and the state isn’t stepping in with funds to keep the program. Read the full story here.
*** Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo. It’s going to be a busy Thursday for the state’s politicians and activists. ***
WWMD?: What would Mark Harris do about the mess in D.C.? If you’ve been asking yourself if a man of the cloth could bring a little sanity to the U.S. Congress, we might find out today. Mark Harris, who is running in the GOP primary for a chance to displace incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan, is holding a press conference at 2 p.m. to give us his views on the kind of leadership needed. Dome will be there.
I IS FOR INNOVATION: Fresh off celebrating Nationwide Insurance’s anniversary, Mayor, uh, Gov. Pat McCrory will be cutting the ribbon on the state’s new Innovation Center, which is being dubbed the iCenter at 2 p.m. today. The center is designed to be “a working lab where state employees, students, Chief Information Officers, private industry, and citizens will collaborate on information technology solutions.” The idea is that the state will be able to test technology before they buy it.
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GOOLSBY VULNERABLE?: The Wilmington Star-News is reporting that at least three Democrats are considering a challenge to Republican Sen. Thom Goolsby, including Julie Boseman, who held the seat before him and Deborah Butler, who ran against him in the last election. Read the full story here.
NEW FEES FOR PRISON $: If you’re sending money to loved ones in NC prisons, you’ll have new ways to get it there but it will cost you. The state has contracted with a private company to handle the transactions. Read the full story here.
GIVE US BACK OUR PARTY: That is what some business people appear to be saying about the GOP, according to The New York Times. The paper reports that business groups, upset that their campaign donations aren’t carrying any sway, may wage their own primary campaigns to defeat tea partiers. Here’s a bit of their reasoning:
“Joe Echevarria, the chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, said, “I’m a Republican by definition and by registration, but the party seems to have split into two factions.”
While both parties have extreme elements, he suggested, only in the G.O.P. did the extreme element exercise real power. “The extreme right has 90 seats in the House,” Mr. Echevarria said. “Occupy Wall Street has no seats.” Read the full story here.
COMPLAINT WANTS WATAUGA ELECTION BOARD MEMBERS REMOVED: From the High Country Press – “A formal complaint for the removal of two Republican board members from the Watauga County Board of Elections was filed with the State Board of Elections on Tuesday afternoon by three local Democrats: Stella Anderson, Jesse Presnell and Ian O’Keefe.
“The complaint, which was obtained from Don Wright, general counsel with the State Board of Elections in a routine public records request, charges Luke Eggers and Bill Aceto with “official misconduct, participation in intentional irregularities, unethical actions, and incapacity and incompetency to discharge the duties of their offices.”
“According to N.C. General Statutes 163-22(c) the State Board of Elections has full power and authority to remove from office any member of a county board of elections for “incompetency, neglect or failure to perform duties, fraud or any other satisfactory cause.” Read more here.
McINTYRE RAISES LESS THIS QUARTER: From Roll Call – “Rep. Mike McIntyre, one of the most vulnerable House incumbents, raised $189,000 in the third quarter of 2013, according to his most recent fundraising report. The North Carolina Democrat’s most recent haul is about 20 percent less than the $236,000 he raised in the previous fundraising quarter. He reported $524,000 in cash on hand.” Read more here.
THE ART POPE MONEY FIGHT: A recent op-ed in The News & Observer about the role of outside money in North Carolina politics sparked a response from Art Pope, the governor’s budget director. The Institute of Southern Studies wraps up the back-and-forth, saying Pope’s disputes about the op-ed represent in Bob Hall’s words, a “distinction without a difference.” Read more here.
EVEN BURR SAYS DEFAULT ‘MANAGEABLE’: In case you missed The New York Times story earlier this week, the North Carolina senator who called shutting down the government to block Obamacare the “dumbest idea” ever is now saying a U.S. government default is not the end of the world.
From the story: “Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, a reliable friend of business on Capitol Hill and no one’s idea of a bomb thrower, isn’t buying the apocalyptic warnings that a default on United States government debt would lead to a global economic cataclysm.
“We always have enough money to pay our debt service,” said Mr. Burr, who pointed to a stream of tax revenue flowing into the Treasury as he shrugged off fears of a cascading financial crisis. “You’ve had the federal government out of work for close to two weeks; that’s about $24 billion a month. Every month, you have enough saved in salaries alone that you’re covering three-fifths, four-fifths of the total debt service, about $35 billion a month. That’s manageable for some time.” Read more here.
WANT TO FIND VOTER FRAUD? PAY $20 FOR EXPERT TRAINING: Jay Delancy, a Wake County man who considers himself an expert at uncovering voter fraud, is now taking his show on the road. For the low, low price of $20 anyone can learn the intricacies of making disputable claims about dead voters at a new “Voter Integrity Boot Camp.” The Asheville Tea Party is hosting an all-day forum (lunch included in the price of admission) about voter fraud featuring Delancy, whose claims of fraud are often dismissed, and conservative columnist Tim Daughtry.
IN WAKE ELECTIONS, DEMOCRATS SEE HOPE: N.C. Democrats are hoping the Wake County election results Tuesday are a sign of good things to come in 2014. Party Chairman Randy Voller issued this statement: “Wake County voters overwhelmingly approved investment in public education by expanding Democratic majorities on the Wake County Board of Education and passing the school construction bond last night,” Voller said in the statement. “In 2011, in a tough run-off, Democrats were able to wrestle control of the Wake County Board of Education from a Republican majority prone to short-sightedness and overreach.
“Wake is a bellwether county and last night was the first referendum on the fringe policies of Gov. McCrory and Republican legislative majorities, who have meddled in local government affairs and turned their backs on public education since coming into power. North Carolinians know we can do better and sent a clear signal last night that they’re ready to reclaim our state for our teachers, students and citizens.”
STUDENT WHO WON FIGHT TO GET ON BALLOT WINS COUNCIL SEAT: From the Daily Advance: Montravias King became the first Elizabeth City State University student and one of the youngest candidates in city history to win a city council seat on Tuesday. Read more here.
NEW STATE SENATOR SCHEDULES TOWN HALLS: State Sen. Valerie Foushee, who was recently appointed to fill the remaining term of Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, is meeting her new constituents in a series of town halls. Here are the details:
• Hillsborough – Oct. 22, 7 p.m. Orange County Public Library (137 W Margaret Lane, Hillsborough)
• Pittsboro – Oct. 29, 7 p.m. Chatham Community Library (197 NC 87 N, Pittsboro)
• Chapel Hill – Nov. 6, 7PM. Chapel Hill Public Library (100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill)
• Siler City – Nov. 14, 1PM. West Chatham Senior Center (112 Village Lake Road, Siler City)
• Carrboro – Nov. 18, 7PM. Orange Water and Sewer Authority (400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro)
KINNAIRD TO BE HONORED: Former Sen. Ellie Kinnaird will be the guest of honor at a reception Oct. 25 hosted by the People of Faith Against the Death Penalty. Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton and Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt are co-chairmen of the event, which is expected to draw more than two dozen local elected officials to the Chapel Hill home of James Crow.
“Sen. Kinnaird’s years of advocacy in the legislature paired with PFADP’s mobilizing of tens of thousands of concerned citizens statewide helped stop executions here. We are a safer state without executions thanks to her work and the efforts of many advocates and litigators,” said Stephen Dear, PFADP’s executive director, in a statement.
MORAL MONDAY RECOGNITION: Those arrested during the Moral Monday protests at the legislature this year will be recognized tonight by the NAACP during the first day of their annual state convention. Speakers at the convention — the group’s 70th — include Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP and Carolyn Coleman, the 1st Vice President of the NC NAACP. The keynote address will be given by Rev. Dr. John Mendez, Senior Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. The convention is being held at the Morning Star Church of Christ in Rocky Mount.