In the final days of the GOP primary, Republican Thom Tillis is leveling new attacks on U.S. Senate rival Greg Brannon in a mailer that calls him “the Democrats’ candidate of choice.”
The mailer, first reported by the (Greensboro) News & Record, hits Brannon for a nearly $500,000 civil judgment after a jury found he misled two investors in a technology company he helped launch. The mailer includes a clip of the court papers from the case. Brannon is appealing.
“Greg Brannon talks a lot about honor and values and core principles. But while his opponents were filing to run for U.S. Senate he was sitting in a courtroom for defrauding investors in one of his failed businesses,” it says. “Greg Brannon doesn’t share our values, shouldn’t be trusted and he sure can’t defeat Kay Hagan in November.”
The bold language reads like the attacks Tillis and Democrats are trading in the race – not what Tillis is saying about his opponent in public. In fact, Tillis didn’t mention Brannon’s civil judgment once in three televised debates. (Rival Mark Harris brought it up in the Monday debate but didn’t name names.)
But it amplifies the first attacks Tillis launched a week earlier about Brannon in a mailer mentioning his property taxes.
Pulling it out now, at the 11th hour in the primary, suggests to Brannon’s camp that Tillis isn’t as confident about his lead as polls suggest. Brannon has attacked Tillis for months now and so have Democrats, who are airing attack ads on Tillis about the $20,000 taxpayer-funded severance package he gave two top legislative aides who resigned after admitting romantic affairs with lobbyists.
*** Get a glimpse at the Brannon campaign’s strategy and more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.
Also, start thinking about your primary election predictions – the Dome Election Pool is making a return. Look for it this weekend. ***
On the campaign trail, Mark Harris will visit early voting locations in Lillington and Fayetteville on Friday, as well as a private fundraiser. Neither of the other two main candidates, Thom Tillis or Greg Brannon, announced public events.
Enrollments here represent a third of the state population eligible for health insurance, and are expected to take a significant chunk out of North Carolina’s uninsured population, which was 17 percent in 2012. Almost all of North Carolina’s enrollments came with federal subsidies for the applicants, suggesting that many of those signing up had been unable to afford coverage in the past. ...
Nationwide, more than 8 million have signed up for insurance under the new law, with several states doubling their enrollment totals in the last weeks of the open enrollment period.
North Carolina’s surge boosted enrollments from about 200,000 in February to 357,584. The total represents the number of people who have selected a plan but haven’t necessarily taken the final step of submitting a payment.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s biggest health insurer, next week plans to announce the total who have paid and are insured. The company in past months said some enrollees never make a payment, and their applications lapse. Read more here.
“He’s a conservative,” she said outside the Cary polling location. “And I think we as a country need to go back to the conservative principles our country was founded on. We’ve gotten too far away from the Constitution, and that’s why we are seeing a decline in the country.”
More than the other GOP challengers, Brannon’s campaign is relying on activists and volunteers like McKown. From a dozen offices across the state, the campaign says hundreds are working polling locations and phone banks to turn out supporters.
FreedomWorks, a national tea party organizer based in Washington that endorsed Brannon, is helping to coordinate hundreds more who have distributed 70,000 door hangers, 22,000 yard signs and 4,000 bumper stickers to boost the campaign, spokeswoman Jackie Bodnar said.
In his campaign, Brannon appeared to do little to reach beyond his base to the business community or even evangelical conservatives. “His message is very limited to tea partyers,” McLennan said. “This is not a winning strategy for him.” Read more here.
The couple cast their votes for Republican Greg Brannon at South Regional library Thursday, moments before Tillis walked in to cast his. “We feel that Tillis is the only one that can beat that gal,” said John Ayers, 83, referring to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
“But today,” added his wife, “We want to show support for Greg Brannon.” Read more here.
From Tuesday to June 3, Republican primaries in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho and Mississippi will provide clues as to whether the grass-roots movement can regain the momentum that made it a major national force at the start of the decade. Read more here.
A runoff could be problematic for Tillis because he would be leading the state House of Representatives during a potentially contentious summer special session that starts in mid-May. Read more here.
Drivers take their written exams on computers and can retrieve, via computer, any insurance or other document they may have forgotten to bring with them.
The building, which opened on April 7, includes driver’s-license, vehicle-registration and administrative-hearing areas. “It’s one-stop shopping,” McCrory said. “That’s exactly what we wanted.”
McCrory said his goal is for DMV offices statewide to resemble the Huntersville office, which also is one of 11 statewide with expanded weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
DMV also soon plans to offer kiosks in grocery stores and malls as part of the governor’s push for more customer service. Read more here.
“This is an isolated incident,” said Dolores Quesenberry, a department spokeswoman. “The inspectors did what they were supposed to be doing.”
The Labor Department’s report on the accident, released last week, shows that extra inspectors were on hand to scrutinize the Vortex, a ride that was making its first appearance on the State Fair midway. They paid attention to hydraulics, welding and mechanics while operators assembled the ride before the fair opened on Oct. 17.
But the inspectors did not scrutinize the electrical wiring inside control cabinets and a junction box. That’s where the tampering took place, according to the Labor Department report. Read more here.
Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he’s appointed Linda Morrison Combs as state controller. Combs will succeed David McCoy, who retired at the end of March following a state government career that included jobs as budget director and transportation secretary. Read more here.
Charlotte Motor Speedway may ask for state money for upgrades. Read more here.
Malcolm Graham targeted in 12th District race. Read more here.
Workers call for higher minimum wage in May Day protest. Read more here.
Watchdogs say two N.C. TV stations failed to follow political ad rules. Read more here.
2 N.C. schools on federal list of those under investigation for sexual assaults. Read more here.
N.C. Zoo wants state bond package to raise money. Read more here.