N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller is apologizing after he made remarks at the party convention and fundraising dinner that referred to Attorney General Roy Cooper as the state’s “next governor.”
Durham Democrat Ken Spaulding, another contender for the party’s 2016 nomination, complained in a letter to Voller that it appeared he was endorsing Cooper at the June 7 events. The party’s African-American Caucus expressed similar concern.
Voller, a controversial chairman who has faced challenges in the post, said he is not supporting Cooper and suggested it was a mistake “in the excitement of the moment” at the party events.
“There was no offense meant and I’m sorry if any offense was taken,” Voller said Monday evening. “We are taking appropriate measures to not create that mistake in the future.”
The issue of political parties taking sides in primaries is a sensitive one. Republican activists fought about it at their party convention earlier this month after Gov. Pat McCrory announced his support for House Speaker Thom Tillis in the U.S. Senate race. As governor, McCrory is widely seen as the de facto head of the state GOP.
In his letter, Spaulding wrote to “express our displeasure” on behalf of his supporters about the “perceived endorsement” of Cooper.
“The people of this state have not had the opportunity to have their voices heard as to whom they choose to be their party’s nominee for governor,” the letter reads. “The ignoring of the people’s voices and choices are the very reason why so many of our citizens are fed up with partisan politics and politicians.”
Spaulding didn’t attend the party’s convention.
The Senate budget subcommittees all meet at 8:30 a.m. to scrutinize the House budget, even though they didn’t meet in public to look at their own spending plan.
A Senate environmental committee will take a vote on the coal ash bill at 11 a.m.
Both chambers convene at 3 p.m.
Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association, which backed Tillis in the Republican primary campaign. Schlapp is a former lobbyist at Koch Industries, the company owned by Charles and David Koch, billionaire conservative donors whose various political allies are spending big money to help get Tillis elected.
Democrat Kay Hagan is attacking Tillis for his ties to the Koch brothers, even though she is also getting a boost from outside money in the race.
The bill would close all 33 coal ash storage ponds in the state within 15 years – twice as fast as Duke Energy says it would be able to – set up an appointed commission to oversee closure plans, impose additional safeguards, and encourage the exploration of alternate uses of coal ash in construction as a way to dispose of the more than 100 million tons of the material – far more than can be buried in landfills in North Carolina or nearby.
Republican senators and the head of North Carolina’s environmental protection agency were cautiously receptive to the bill, which was presented to them in a committee on Monday by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville.
Duke Energy called the proposed closure timeline an “aggressive” plan that would present “significant challenges” for the company. The biggest challenge would be finding a place to safely store the coal ash. Read more here for a comparison of the plans from the Senate and governor.
As the demonstrators tested the breadth of the order signed Monday by Judge Carl Fox about the overly broad definition of “disturbing behavior,” General Assembly police checked with their attorneys on the depth of their authority to remove the noisemakers from the state building.
About 20 minutes after the N.C. Senate went into session, law enforcement officers began wrapping plastic cuffs around the wrists of 20 demonstrators who had continued singing, chanting and speechmaking after being asked to quietly leave the rotunda area outside the General Assembly chambers.
The scene was reminiscent of last summer, when more than 900 demonstrators were arrested for similar actions. Read more here.
As House and Senate lawmakers negotiate their differing state budgets one of the line items they’ll be looking at is the Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program, which provides a 20 percent to 30 percent tax credit to those who restore historic homes and buildings. The credit is set to expire at the end of this year. House lawmakers want to extend the credit, but their counterparts in the Senate do not. Read more here.
Rep. Brandon may run for mayor of High Point. Read more here.
Foxx, McHenry won’t seek House GOP posts. Read more here.
Obama to sign order extending LGBT protections. Read more here.
Religion rules at school approved by N.C. lawmakers. Read more here.
Three companies bring at least 3,900 jobs to South Carolina, just across the N.C. border. Read more here.
N.C. charter officials voice optimism about August opening of 25 schools. Read more here.