Republicans and Democrats will rally their teams this weekend as the political parties host annual conventions that will showcase different story lines.
The Republican convention, which starts Friday, is sure to receive more attention, given its location at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in western North Carolina and the speaker lineup.
The party is expected to maintain its opposition to gambling as part of its platform, creating the first of a few awkward moments. The next is the keynote speaker at the big Saturday dinner, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The 2016 presidential contender endorsed Mark Harris in the GOP primary, picking against the party’s nominee, House Speaker Thom Tillis, not to mention he’s a Baptist preacher speaking at a casino convention.
Republicans will sing together when it comes to Tillis’ nomination and likely on the convention itself, though some Republican lawmakers are not attending, whether for distance or the gambling factor.
On the Democratic side, the confab begins Saturday at the Raleigh Convention Center and it’s sure to generate its own headlines. The party’s resolutions alone includes provisions to endorse the Moral Monday movement, label the “Obamacare“ roll out a “successful launch” and support Palestine statehood.
Oh, and this mouthful: a “resolution in Support of Governmental, Science-Based Policies that Protect and Improve the Earth’s Life Support Systems of Clean Water, Clean Air and Healthy Food, that Protect Our Forests, Rivers, Streams and Ocean and that Address the Consequences of Global Climate Change.”
Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will not attend the convention as originally planned, opting instead to attend the memorial servies for the late Maya Angelou in Winston-Salem. But Hagan will speak at the party’s Saturday Jefferson Jackson dinner, a party spokeswoman said.
Gov. Pat McCrory will make an economic development announcement at 10 a.m. in Research Triangle Park, according to his calendar. He will later visit Appalachian Care, a U.S. Department of Defense program in Cherokee County.
The House and Senate have recessed until Monday. No committee meetings are scheduled for today.
The 3 p.m. Sunday fundraiser costs $2,600 from the top level with a minimum $100 donation to attend. The invitation lists a number of familiar names for Hagan, whose maiden name is Ruthven.
On the list of hosts: Rosemary Armstrong and Sandy Weinberg, Justin Day, Ben Diamond, Vevie Dimmitt, Sherida Ferguson, Carrie and Bob Henriquez, Karen and Joe L. Ruthven, Kim and Greg Ruthven and Judy and Joe P. Ruthven.
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is also expected to attend. See the invitation here.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla insisted that Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposal was based on science and engineering, not special interests.
“The state of North Carolina is in charge of this process – no one else,” Skvarla said.
Reaction from members of the Senate agriculture committee and environmentalists who spoke at the meeting was polite, but lawmakers made it clear they intend to write their own plan. Read more here. And for the Charlotte perspective, read here.
The House voted 73-41 in favor of a bill that would create a nonprofit that the Commerce Department would hire to help it recruit jobs and promote international trade and tourism. Thursday’s vote followed the second reading of the bill on the House floor; a third and final reading is expected Tuesday. The Senate has its own version of the bill and it includes the provision to replace the state’s current film incentives with grants. Read more here.
The unemployment bill would require jobless workers to contact five potential employers each week in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits. Currently, jobless workers are required to contact two potential employers weekly.
The bill, which must be voted on again before it can move to the Senate, passed by a 77-39 margin. Read more here.
While NC looks to revamp its Medicaid system, Arkansas wants to be more like us, Triangle Business Journal reports. From TBJ: Community Care of North Carolina, the nonprofit group that helps manage the Medicaid population in North Carolina, was selected to implement its program in Arkansas. CCC will receive a $750,000 grant for start-up costs and share in savings after the first year. Read more here.
The committee is considering stripping a bill of requirements that the schools comply with open meeting and public records laws.
Read more here.
• Grandson of U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx charged with selling narcotics at high school.Read more here .
• GOP Senate candidates grope for safe position on climate change.Read more here