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The Source: Ebola talk spreads to NC campaign trail

Viral politics

Ebola contagion has spread to the campaign trail.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis has criticized President Barack Obama for not doing more to prevent the spread of Ebola, which this month claimed a life in Dallas.

In his second debate against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan this month, he called for what he described as “a common sense travel ban from affected West African countries.” Hagan described Tillis’ prescription as “a scare tactic.”

At a news conference in Charlotte on Wednesday, she repeated what she said in another debate: A travel ban should be part of a broader strategy to contain the disease.

“That is not going to help solve this problem,” she continued Wednesday. “That’s not going to contain the epidemic that we see happening in Africa.”

But on Friday, Hagan issued a statement calling for the administration to “temporarily ban the travel of non-U.S. citizens from the affected countries in West Africa.”

While stopping the disease from spreading “will require a large, coordinated effort with the international community,” she said, “a temporary travel ban is a prudent step the President can take and I believe he should do so immediately.”

The Tillis campaign accused Hagan of flip-flopping.

“This should not be a partisan issue,” the campaign said in a statement. “Most Americans, in both parties, support a travel ban to keep us safe and Senator Hagan should listen to the people instead of the President.” Jim Morrill

Happier times

Last week, former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon stood in U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney’s courtroom as he was sentenced to 44 months in prison on federal bribery charges.

Ten months earlier, they were together for a happier occasion.

Cannon and Whitney were among the guests at former City Council member Lynn Wheeler’s annual holiday party. The two mingled with other guests and maybe each other.

“Frank Whitney is a friend of mine, Patrick Cannon is a friend of mine,” Wheeler said.

“They had no idea they would be meeting again in a federal courtroom. I just thought it was kind of stunning.” Jim Morrill

One ad you won’t see

One ad that won’t be showing in North Carolina – or anywhere else – is an online commercial pulled last week.

The ad, by a group called Secure America Now, showed journalist James Foley kneeling in an orange jumpsuit moments before he was beheaded by Islamic State militants. It aired in campaigns against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and three other Democratic incumbents.

“It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son’s death for their own political purposes,” Diane Foley told TV station NECN.

Secure America Now President Allen Roth told the network his group didn’t intend to upset Foley’s family. In a statement he said they “apologize for any pain we inadvertently caused.” Jim Morrill