Jack Hawke, the veteran political strategist who helped build the modern North Carolina Republican Party, died Monday night after an extended illness. Hawke, who was 72, was the leading architect of the campaign for GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, and for previous Republican governor Jim Martin, as well. He also played an important role in countless other Republican campaigns. He was particularly close to former Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner, a three-time candidate for governor.
A cheerful political warrior who loved the game, Hawke was state Republican Party chairman from 1987-95, which was believed to make him the longest serving chairman in state history. “The North Carolina Republican Party extends our deepest condolences to Jack’s family and the many friends he made throughout his life,” party chairman Claude Pope said in a statement. “Jack’s tremendous devotion to North Carolina, his sheer political brilliance, and his legendary sense of humor will be sorely missed.”
Hawke also ran for Congress in 1968, losing a close race. More recently, he served as president of the Civitas Institute, a conservative advocacy group in Raleigh.
McCrory called Hawke “a trusted mentor, friend and father figure.”
The spot focuses on President Barack Obama’s broken pledge that Americans can keep their current insurance policies under the new federal law. It says “Obama lied” and “Hagan lied.” It ends with a photo of Hagan and Obama embracing. Watch it here.
Rove is supporting Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis’ bid and Tillis has reached out to Crossroads for support. Read more on the ads later on Dome.
Here’s a breakdown of 5 races to watch:
Expect others to try to spin the win, too. Politico reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will attempt to draw connections between Cuccinelli and the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in North Carolina.
At events held at schools, educators charged that decisions such as not giving a teacher pay raise and ending tenure are making them less likely to stay in the profession. Some Republican leaders voiced sympathy while others charged the walk-ins were a media stunt.
“We need to be heard,” said Tamiko Williams, a sixth-grade teacher at West Lake Middle School near Apex. “We know what’s best for the kids. We’re the ones in the trenches.”
Williams was among 130 teachers, parents, students and community members who wore red and marched Monday afternoon to a town hall meeting at West Lake Middle School. Similar teacher walk-in events were held before and after classes at several schools in Wake, Durham, Guilford, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties.
McCrory, who earned an education degree from Catawba College, formed a teacher advisory council Monday that is scheduled to meet Tuesday. “We need to come up with some legitimate and long-term solutions to a very difficult problem, which has been around a lot longer than my term in office,” he said.
Declining to provide specifics, McCrory promised new education proposals to support students and teachers soon. He said his administration is looking at teacher salaries and performance pay, but didn’t mention adjustments to per-pupil spending. Read more here.
These nonprofit volunteers, part-timers, legal assistants and social workers have unexpectedly seen themselves recast from a supporting to a starring role in the controversial federal health program, taking over duties for a malfunctioning insurance website that had been designed for the public to use without assistance.
To keep the public momentum going on subsidized insurance, navigators have come up with creative workarounds – patching together a combination of paper forms, federal phone banks and insurance company web sites – to keep the uninsured on track with the nation’s new insurance mandate.
With the federal website expected to be down for at least several weeks, the public is dependent on alternative sources of information about the insurance mandate: navigators, insurance agents, counselors and the government’s phone-in customer service reps, as well as a growing list of online resources. Read more here.
The Associated Press reviewed public records of 2013 spending at the historic Raleigh manor after the Republican governor was forced to scuttle plans last month for $230,000 in bathroom remodeling following public outcry.
Department of Administration spokesman Chris Mears said he could not discuss whether a specific threat prompted the March addition of laminated ballistic glass to windows on the mansion’s lower floors, citing concern about disclosing precautions taken to ensure the governor’s safety. “Terrorism is a real and active threat,” Mears said.
A notation in documents obtained through a public records request indicate that the old windows were “not operable” and presented “a safety hazard to (the) first family, employees and guests.” The windows and repairs to woodwork on the mansion’s balconies cost at least $72,000, according to records. ...
In addition to the windows, public records show about $43,000 in taxpayer money was spent this year to convert the mansion’s fireplaces to use gas logs and add an outdoor fire pit. A second fire pit valued at $500 was provided by a private donor, Mears said. The administration has refused repeated requests to disclose the donor’s identity. Read more here.
North Carolina was ranked third among site selectors, trailing Texas and South Carolina. The state was second in that category in 2012. Read more here.
An internal memo sent Oct. 24 by communications Director Ricky Diaz listed its staff at 24, including six vacancies that are expected to be filled.
The expansion was first reported Friday by N.C. Policy Watch, a left-leaning advocacy group that made a public-records request for the memo.
There has been no formal announcement of the changes. When contacted Monday, Diaz declined to answer questions about the cost of the salaries to fill the six vacant jobs and the communications office’s overall payroll. Read more here.
The state’s Child Fatality Task Force received reports Monday based on government statistics showing the 2012 rates of infant mortality and child deaths were slightly higher compared to last year. The increases weren’t statistically significant – essentially flat compared to 2011 – and don’t reverse marked declines in these rates since the late 1980s, according to presenters. Read more here.