Vice President Joe Biden will visit Chapel Hill on Friday to help Democrat Kay Hagan raise money for her 2014 re-election bid but the timing isn’t great.
The event puts Hagan standing next to the Obama administration as both face heat for the federal health care law in which they pledged to let people keep their insurance plans if they wanted. The law meant 473,000 North Carolinians lost their existing plans, according to the state Department of Insurance, because the coverage didn’t meet the tougher standards established in the Afffordable Care Act.
With the timing, Hagan can’t catch a break. The original Oct. 21 fundraiser was canceled because it came right after the government shutdown ended. And Republicans are pouncing on this new date, even as Hagan pushes back against the White House on the health care law. “It’s no surprise the Obama administration is proudly endorsing Kay Hagan because she’s been such a reliable vote for their agenda,” said Daniel Keylin, a state GOP spokesman. “The only question remaining is when will Kay Hagan invite President Obama to North Carolina to campaign for her?”
The event is scheduled for the Carolina Club inside the alumni center on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. The top ticket costs $10,000 and includes a photo and special host reception. The lowest priced ticket is $500 for the reception. The money will go to Hagan’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has higher donation limits than her campaign committee.
Biden is also appearing at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Charlotte before the Chapel Hill event.
***More on the U.S. Senate race and the fallout from President Obama’s announcement on the health care law below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
But Obama’s much-delayed attempt to make good on his promise that Americans could keep their insurance plans if they liked them faces strong opposition from insurance companies, which warn that rates might spike, and it risks undermining the basic premise of his law, which requires quality, affordable insurance. “We fumbled the rollout on this health care law,” a contrite Obama said in an hourlong news conference Thursday at the White House. “We should have done a better job getting that right on day one – not on day 28 or on day 40.” Read more here.
It could take several days for the N.C. Department of Insurance and insurance companies to agree if thousands of lapsed polices can be offered next year at prices acceptable to regulators and insurance companies. ...
George Schwab of Charlotte said he’d like to keep his current policy as long as he needs it. “I want it back not just for a year, not just until after the election,” he said. “He promised everybody unequivocally they could stick with their policy.” Read more here.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted more than 40 times to repeal Obamacare, with Ellmers on board each time. But those bills went nowhere in the Senate. Republican demands to defund the law triggered the 16-day government shutdown. But since the shaky beginning of the online insurance website, “We’re in a different position,” Ellmers said. “We have this factual, verifiable data that’s showing that those who had a health care plan that they liked can’t keep it,” she said in an interview this week about what’s ahead for the opposition to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic law. Read more here.
In an amended complaint filed in federal court this week, the historically African-American churches in Merry Hill, Brevard, Durham, Hickory and Chapel Hill complained that cuts to the number of days for early voting and the ban on same-day registration and voting would have a negative impact on them.
The churches contended they would have to divert money for food banks, computer classes and other social-service programs to help get members who need assistance to the polls and proper locations for IDs and supporting documentation. Read more here.
“If the Tea Party recruits candidates like Ken Cuccinelli in North Carolina in 2014, those who believe that it is more important to ‘Stick to Positions’ than ‘Compromise’ at a time in our nation’s history when solutions to great problems are desperately need, then they will suffer the same fate. They will drive away financial support, they will drive away women, young people and independent voters, they will weaken the Republican brand and the GOP’s chances of winning races for Congress, the legislature and the appellate courts in North Carolina.”
The reason Tillis wants it is obvious – a spliced clip from the interview is perfect fodder for a radio or TV ad attacking Hagan. But her opponent begging her to release it, and do his political homework for him, well that’s a little unusual. RELATED: The News & Record’s Travis Fain on what the call was like. Read here.
The governor said he’s also considering greater emphasis on performance-based pay and higher salaries for teachers in high-demand fields such as math and science. Traditional across-the-board pay increases also are possible, he said. “Several options are on the plate,” he said outside the Executive Mansion before lunch with the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a group of education-minded business leaders. Read more here.
In 2009, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ordered an expansive state intervention in Halifax, a rural, low-wealth county near the Virginia border where failure rates on state tests were high. Manning is charged with monitoring state progress in meeting the constitutional mandate to offer students a sound basic education and holds a public status review each year.
He did not issue a ruling Thursday but expressed disappointment with test results in Halifax, where reading scores remain low. “It’s from the bottom to the middle bottom,” Manning said. “These children are not reading at grade level.” Read more here.
A spokesman for the buyer, Hofmann Forest LLC, said the prospectus was created earlier this year, and that its plans for the 79,000-acre forest have changed. Read more here.