Let’s take a look at the Greg Brannon coalition announced so far: Rand Paul and Ann Coulter. And let’s consider the new Public Policy Polling numbers that put Brannon as the only Republican candidate besting Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan right now.
All GOP candidates – including the more prominent challengers, Thom Tillis and Mark Harris – are within the margin of Hagan. But the idea that Brannon may have the “best” chance of beating Hagan is intriguing, especially given the unanswered questions hanging over his plagiarism controversy.
The question is whether his support will last as his views become more well known. In an interview last week, Brannon told Dome that he believed the federal government has only two roles: protect free trade and provide national defense. It should do nothing else; the rest is for the states. His position fits with tea party credo but how it plays with mainstream Republicans and then independents (if he gets to the general election) is unclear. Plenty of questions remain. In a speech, Brannon also suggested a change in the hearts and minds of the American people led to the end of slavery and made no mention of the Civil War. His views are sure to get more attention in coming weeks and the poll numbers may change as a result.
But for now, the Democratic Party sounds downright gleeful that Brannon is getting so much attention, calling him a fringe candidate. “The Republican field has been spoiling for a fight for months, and more and more it looks like they’re going to have one with each other,” said Ben Ray, a Democratic Party spokesman.
*** More North Carolina political analysis and headlines below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
OFA’s North Carolina chapter will hold an event at noon to promote the federal health care exchanges it calls Obamacare. The event at the Wake County Health Clinic on Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh is designed to get more people to sign up for health insurance. Later in the day, an advocacy group will look at the topic of redistricting in its push to get political maps drawn by an independent board. The redistricting forum is schedule for 7 p.m. at Martin Street Baptist Church.
“But that does not diminish the mistake’s significance or relieve Brannon from a burden created by it. Plagiarism is a serious problem in our society, especially with politicians.
“The public must know where politicians stand, their true beliefs, and that’s hard enough to determine when candidates write their own material. It’s nearly impossible when material is just handed to them by outside powerbrokers or, worse, copied from them. Read more here.
Outgoing Cornelius Mayor Lynette Rinker said she’ll run for the seat held by House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius. Tillis is running for the U.S. Senate. “I’ve always focused on solving problems and delivering results for the people of Cornelius,” she said in a statement. “That’s the same approach I’ll take to Raleigh.”
And former two-term county commissioner Dan Bishop plans to run for the District 104 seat now held by Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who is stepping down. In 2004, Bishop was elected to succeed Samuelson on the board of county commissioners from District 5, which largely overlaps with Samuelson’s district. “I’m known to people in that House district,” he said. “They know who I am. They know me to be conservative. They know me not to be a bomb-thrower, to be an effective advocate.”
In the Charlotte area, insurance agents and specially trained navigators say the website has improved since enrollment started Oct. 1. More people have been able to get through to compare plans and find out about eligibility for premium subsidies. But there are still only spotty reports of people who have actually purchased insurance at Healthcare.gov.
Many people have experienced technical difficulties and encountered higher premiums stemming from the new healthcare law. Still, some people have been pleased with their online experience. Although not representative of the overall rollout, click here to read a few success stories.
Lawyers and politicians aren’t in the business of providing that kind of lukewarm response, though. They certainly weren’t going to start when the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its latest ruling in the long-running, court-mediated dispute over educational funding in North Carolina known as Leandro. Read more here.
Eugene Boyce will talk Wednesday at a brown bag lunch at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. He'll talk about his experiences as assistant chief counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. Boyce worked closely with Sen. Sam Ervin during the televised hearings about crimes committed during the 1972 presidential campaign.
The museum also is hosting an exhibit titled "Watergate: Political Scandal & the Presidency." The exhibit runs through Aug. 10, 2014, one day after the 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation. Visitors should bring their own lunch; the museum will provide beverages. Admission is free.