Expect to see a new onslaught of outside political advertising in North Carolina next month focused on the Senate race.
In a much-anticipated move, American Crossroads reserved time for a $1.1 million ad blitz aimed at the Raleigh and Charlotte media markets in April, a number of Washington publications reported.
The Republican political committee is aligned with strategist Karl Rove, who is supporting House Speaker Thom Tillis’ Senate bid.
The link is leading most to speculate that Crossroads will run advertising supporting Tillis as he tries to fend off seven GOP challengers. The ads could also hit Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, providing Republicans cover while they battle for the nomination. Or it’s a bluff, a show of force that may not be necessary if Tillis continues to climb in the polls.
Hagan’s campaign is marking Crossroads entry into North Carolina with fanfare – saying it “passes the unprecedented mark of $10 million” spent on the Senate race by “outside, special interest money.”
The campaign specifically noted the roughly $8.3 million already spent by Americans for Prosperity. What it left out is the millions spent by Democratic-aligned groups to boost Hagan, whether the Senate Majority PAC, Patriot Majority USA or others.
So in reality: North Carolina probably hit the $10 million mark a while ago, just another indication Republicans and Democrats are focusing on the race as a key indicator of which party controls the U.S. Senate.
A helpful chart here from the Cook Political Report summarizes the advertising to date.
*** The action goes well beyond the Senate campaign. Get a primer on the top seven races to watch in North Carolina below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
The committee meetings mentioned in yesterday’s Morning Memo are actually today. (Apologies for the confusion.) The child fatality taskforce’s perinatal health committee meets at 10 a.m. in room 1027 at the legislature.
The legislative oversight committee studying health and human services meets at the same time in room 643 of the legislative office building. The House committee on funeral and cemetery regulations was canceled.
“We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone,” Health and Human Services spokesman Aaron Albright said.
The White House is scrambling to meet a goal of 6 million signed up through new online markets that offer subsidized private health insurance to people without access to coverage on the job. The HealthCare.gov website got more that 1 million visitors Monday, and the administration also wants to prevent a repeat of website problems that soured consumers last fall. Read more here.
The must-know lunch intel: After 76 years, this is the last week to dine at the original Davie Street location of Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque, a downtown Raleigh landmark of slow-cooked pork shoulders, crunchy pig skins and thick, tangy Brunswick stew. Read more here.
Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley said “the letters speak for themselves” and that her office “doesn’t do criminal defense work.”
In an email Tuesday, Stephens said Cooper made a choice to assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh with the grand jury investigation “over his elected duty of representing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”
He was referring to the State Bureau of Investigation which was helping in the investigation. The agency is division of the state Justice Department, which is under Cooper’s direction. Read more here.
He worked for one of his party’s most liberal presidential candidates but later voted to override the veto of a Democratic governor.
Brandon, 39, is a second-term lawmaker and political consultant from High Point. He calls himself “a pragmatic progressive” and has a record of being both. Read more here.