The Democrats’ screeching headline said the government shutdown cost North Carolina's economy up to $340 million. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee pointed the finger at Thom Tillis, Mark Harris, Greg Brannon and Heather Grant, all Republican candidates for U.S. Senate who supported the shutdown.
But Jim Morrill at the Observer reports that the $340 million isn't right. According to John Mousseau of Moody's Analytics, the real figure is $95 million.
Why the discrepancy? According to DSCC spokesman Matt Canter, the larger figure was based on national information provided by Moody's, based on figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and used by Pew researchers and published by outlets such as USA Today.
But Mousseau at Moody's told Morrill that said the shutdown cost North Carolina $95 million. Still a lot of money, certainly, but not $340 million. Apparently that state information wasn't available to the DSCC at the time it sent its release, which was reported on at least one N.C. media site. "What both numbers show is that the GOP shutdown caused unnecessary damage to North Carolina's economy and should never have happened," Canter said.
***A federal appeals court hears a major North Carolina case and the U.S. Senate race heats up -- all below in the Dome Morning Memo .***
Gov. Pat McCrory will attend a state economic development board meeting at noon and convene an his education cabinet at 1 p.m. (An earlier version incorrectly stated that he didn’t issue a public calendar.)
U.S. District Judge James Fox ruled last December that offering just the “Choose Life” license plate violates the First Amendment. The state appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear arguments from both sides Wednesday.
North Carolina lawmakers approved the “Choose Life” plate in 2011. They rejected proposals to also offer plates with the messages “Trust Women” and “Respect Choice.”In 2004, the Richmond-based appeals court upheld a South Carolina judge's ruling that the “Choose Life” plates in that state were unconstitutional.
“This is a Senate seat that Republicans really do need to win to have any chance of getting back a majority in the Senate,” said Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at N.C. State University. “North Carolina was for a while viewed as very competitive. I think there is a sense that it has slipped away a bit from the Republicans over the past few months.'”
“Here is kind of a lifeline, a real opportunity to change the momentum,” Taylor said. “It works particularly well in North Carolina because the Obamacare numbers are not that great here.”
“I am not concerned with what outside special interests have to say, where outside money is coming into North Carolina,” Hagan said. “I am talking every day to people in North Carolina about the issues that are important to them, and I am going to continue focusing on my number one priority and their number one priority, which is jobs and the economy and getting this economy on the rebound.” Read more here.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports Hunt spoke Tuesday at a breakfast focusing on how to improve early childhood education in Guilford County.
Hunt urged the leaders to understand the first 2,000 days of a child's life are critical to shaping who they will be. He called investing in early childhood education, "morally important and economically the smartest thing we could do."
David Lawrence Jr., president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation in Florida, cited data showing more than one in three Guilford County third graders can't read with a minimum proficiency — and that many children will not catch up. Read more here.
A legislative panel signed off Tuesday on plans from McCrory and the University of North Carolina system to spend $150 million on scores of building renovations. Read more here.
Labor Department spokeswoman Dolores Quesenberry said Tuesday that sheriff's investigators served the agency with a court order to turn over all files related to its safety inspections and investigation of the "Vortex" ride. Labor staff kept no copies of the records, she said.
The order signed by Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul G. Gessner was issued the day after The Associated Press filed a public records request for the Labor Department's files related to the Vortex. Those files are supposed to be open to public inspection under the state's public records law.
Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison said he sought the order as part of his investigation and that it had nothing to do with denying news media efforts to review the files. Read more here.
“We’ll do four or five times as much business this weekend as we do in a normal weekend,” said Roddey Player, CEO of Queen City Audio, Video & Appliances. “It’s a big, big deal.”
The N.C. Department of Revenue estimates the appliance program resulted in $1.6 million worth of lost tax revenue statewide last year. ... (The) programs are ending as a result of tax changes this year passed by the N.C. General Assembly. Opponents said the tax-exempt weekends cost the state revenue and just shifted consumers’ purchases from other times to those weeks. South Carolina doesn’t offer an equivalent weekend for appliances. Read more here.
It’s likely to be the last, best effort to convince Congress to vote on immigration legislation before lawmakers are consumed by the re-election campaign next year.
The massive effort comprises more than 600 conservatives from across the country who spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill meeting with about 150 members of Congress, primarily Republicans, and urging them to press their leaders to act on immigration this year.
With remnants of the partisan government-shutdown battle lingering, tackling immigration could be a chance for lawmakers to do something positive, said Bruce Josten, the head of government affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Mona Moon, the plan administrator, said the state expects its members to wait 30 seconds or less when calling for enrollment assistance, but some are waiting for more than an hour.
“From our perspective, that’s completely unacceptable,” she said in a recent interview. “We wanted to make sure we are providing the best level of service.” Read more here.
Republican McCrory noticed, asked his Democratic predecessor if he could help and tossed the keys to an aide who parked the car for the former governor: Bipartisanship at its best. Read more here.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has begun making monthly transfers to these organizations to help construct first-rate, on-the-ground affiliates ahead of the midterms. ... Battle-tested communications operatives have already been sent to state parties in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina — homes of some of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election. Including those three states ... the DSCC has transferred a total of $84,000 to state parties as of Sept. 30, according to figures compiled by Political MoneyLine. Read more here.
Barber, whose district President Obama lost in the 2012 election, is among a small number of House Democrats who at times have aligned with Republicans as they project political independence ahead of potentially difficult re-election campaigns next year.
Jones and a handful of Republican colleagues, meanwhile, exemplify party members with libertarian views who have complicated Boehner's management of the House by pushing him to take a harder line against Obama on fiscal policy and showing a willingness to break with the speaker.
Barber, who's serving his first full term, sided with Boehner on 10 of the 16 votes by the speaker. That's the most among the House's 200 Democratic members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Twelve other Democrats, including Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah, voted the same as Boehner at least half of those times. Read more here.