Daily dose

Daily dose: Voters score a victory version

Appeals court blocks part of NC voting law. (Christian Science Monitor) -- With five weeks left before the mid-term elections, a divided federal appeals court panel on Wednesday ordered a federal judge to block implementation of two provisions in North Carolina’s new voting law. The appeals court panel ruled 2 to 1 that North Carolina voters must be allowed to register to vote on the same day they cast their ballots. The panel also ruled that voters in the state must be allowed to cast a ballot – and have it counted – regardless of whether they vote in their assigned precinct. … The new law also calls for a gradual phase-in of a statewide voter ID requirement and a reduction to ten days for early voting. The appeals court declined to issue an injunction blocking those and other provisions of the new law. … Writing for the majority, Judge James Wynn said that same-day registration had been a feature of North Carolina elections since 2007. Wynn, who was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama, was joined by Judge Henry F. Floyd, who was initially nominated by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court, and by President Obama to the Appeals Court. … Wynn said experts had presented unrebutted testimony that African Americans in North Carolina used same-day registration at a higher rate than whites in the three federal elections held since 2007. … In a dissent, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the plaintiffs had failed to meet the high burden necessary to obtain an injunction. In addition, she said, issuing an injunction and changing the rules so soon before an election was a recipe for confusion.

Daily dose: Tea Party Tillis edition

Tea party activists remain wary of Thom Tillis (Charlotte Observer) -- Tea Party champion Rand Paul will campaign with Thom Tillis in Raleigh on Wednesday, trying to shore up a base that could threaten North Carolina’s GOP Senate hopeful.

With a month to go, Tillis still seeking to secure GOP base, brings in Rand Paul (AP) -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is helping N.C. Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis even after supporting Tillis' chief rival in the GOP primary.

Daily Dose: You can't trust a thing Thom Tillis says edition

Did accident cause Tillis’ college detour? Lawsuit raises question (Daily Beast) -- Kay Hagan’s Senate challenger is known as a fan of extreme sports and tort reform. But when Tillis was 17, he sued over a car accident that left him with a ‘35% permanent partial disability.’ Long before Thom Tillis was a mountain-biking crusader for tort reform, the North Carolina GOP Senate nominee was a badly injured 17-year-old plaintiff in a lawsuit over a car accident. Just before 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, 1978, Tillis was driving his then-girlfriend and future ex-wife down a street in Nashville, Tennessee, when 16-year-old Patricia Duncan took a left turn into his 1978 Ford. … The accident left Tillis, according to court documents, with a “35% permanent partial disability.” said Tillis’ lawyer John Hollins, who noted that the disability ratings came from doctors, “I can’t remember if he limped at all, but he got a pretty severe injury.” Tillis had a very good case, Hollins said, pointing out that fewer cases were settled then and that, knowing the defendant’s lawyer, “he would have tried the case if he had a damn chance to win it.” Tillis, despite the prognosis, was able to make a full recovery. Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for the Republican’s campaign, told The Daily Beast: “The injuries were serious, requiring surgery on Tillis’s hand and a lengthy recovery for full range of motion in his back. Now more than 35 years later, he has made a full recovery, but at the time it was feared—and expected—the injuries would leave lasting effects.” … Tillis’s 1978 lawsuit wasn’t just about his injuries, however. Much of his case for damages hinged on the claim that the resulting injury left him unable to take advantage of an Air Force scholarship to attend college. In his complaint, Tillis alleged that while he “still desires to go to college, having lost his scholarship, he has been without the funds to do so.” Keylin echoed that argument, saying: “The injuries sustained in the accident prevented him from pursuing his path to the Air Force, which obviously impacted the trajectory of his life. Instead he immediately entered the private sector, where he worked hard and enjoyed early success in emerging technology sectors.” That doesn’t entirely jibe with a statement by Tillis to the Charlotte Observer in 2011, when he said he wasn’t “wired to go to college.” Eventually, the Republican graduated from college in his 30s via a long-distance program run by the University of Maryland’s University College and built a successful career in business as a consultant for IBM and PriceWaterhouseCooper.

Daily dose: Culture war edition

The Tide of the Culture War Shifts (New York Times) Changes in public opinion on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are apparent in this year’s Senate races. … Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, continually reminds voters that her opponent, Thom Tillis, has worked to make contraception less accessible. As speaker of the State House, Mr. Tillis also made it far more difficult to get an abortion. Similar campaigns are going on in Michigan and Montana. The decision to go on the offensive is in part designed to incite the anger of women and draw support in the November elections, particularly that of single women, who tend to vote in small numbers in midterms. But it is also a reflection of the growing obsolescence of traditional Republican wedge issues in state after state. For a younger generation of voters, the old right-wing nostrums about the “sanctity of life” and the “sanctity of marriage” have lost their power, revealed as intrusions on human freedom. Democrats “did win the culture war,” Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist, admitted to The New York Times recently. … The shift in public opinion might not be enough for Democrats to keep the Senate this year. But over time, it may help spell an end to the politics of cultural division.

Daily Dose: Voter fraud edition

Appeals court hears NC voter suppression case (AP) — With Election Day just weeks away, a federal appeals court heard arguments Thursday in a case challenging a new North Carolina voting law that critics say will suppress minority voter turnout in November.

Daily Dose: All eyes on the SBOE edition

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State Board Of Elections Fields Complaints About AFP Mailings (WUNC-FM) -- The N.C. Board of Elections got thousands of calls about wrong voter registration info sent by the N.C. Americans For Prosperity. The head of the state Democratic Party suggests the letters were an attempt to conjure voter fraud charges. The state Board spokesman Josh Lawson, said: "We even had an individual receive one and call our office 'cause it was for her cat." The mailings got the deadline for voter registration wrong. The correct date is Oct. 10. An AFP news release claims it prompted thousands of new voters.

A Conservative Group Sent Wrong Voter Registration Information to Cat (TIME) -- Oh, for the coveted feline vote. In a bid to register conservative North Carolinians to vote, the political group Americans For Prosperity mistakenly sent voter registration forms with incorrect information to hundreds of men, women—and at least one cat. The faulty forms went out along with hundreds of thousands of normal voter registration mailers, AFP said. Some of those forms, numbering in the hundreds, included inaccurate information, like the wrong date of the deadline to register or the wrong location for where to send the completed form. And at least one such form was addressed to a woman’s cat.

Daily dose: We need fewer McCrorys edition

McCrory: We need fewer lawyers, fewer journalists. more truck drivers (Triad Business Journal) -- Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday said that North Carolina needs fewer journalists and lawyers and more truck drivers and technical workers as he unveiled his “1,000 in 100” work force development initiative in Greensboro as part of a three-city tour. “We've frankly got enough psychologists and sociologists and political science majors and journalists. With all due respect to journalism, we've got enough. We have way too many," McCrory said to laughter from the audience. He said we have too many lawyers too, adding that some mechanics are making more than lawyers. "And journalists, did I say journalists?" he said for emphasis.

Daily dose: Jeb Bush? Really?

Jeb Bush Returns to Fray and Finds Going Rough -- (New York Times) -- In one of his first public appearances of the 2014 campaign, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida had a vivid preview Wednesday of the challenges he would face with his party’s conservative base should he seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Standing alongside Thom Tillis, the North Carolina House speaker and Republican Senate candidate, Mr. Bush outlined his views on two of the issues he cares most passionately about: immigration policy and education standards. But as Mr. Bush made the case for an immigration overhaul and the Common Core standards, Mr. Tillis gently put distance between himself and his guest of honor, who had flown here from Florida on a dreary day to offer his endorsement in a race that could decide which party controls the Senate. “You have to make it clear that amnesty shouldn’t be on the table,” Mr. Tillis said, referring to how to address those immigrants currently in the country illegally. “That doesn’t negate any opportunity to provide some with legal status and other things, but you only do that after you seal the borders and you make the problem no longer grow.” Mr. Bush supports a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants and complained that not addressing the immigration system had “done us harm economically.” Speaking to a group of business owners in a lighting company’s warehouse, he said, “Fixing a system that doesn’t work is a big thing that I think will restore and sustain economic growth for this country.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/us/politics/jeb-bush-returns-to-fray-and-finds-going-rough.html

Daily Dose: Duke Energy edition

DUKE PROGRESS MOVE ILLUMINATES RECOVERY ACT EFFECTIVENESS IN N.C.: Duke Energy Progress will be spending a little to save a lot. And it can thank the federal Recovery Act for financing the demonstration projects that showed the company the way. This week the state’s major investor-owned power company announced it was launching an initiative to modernize outdoor lighting across its service area.

Daily Dose: Tholl Road Thom edition

Tillis donors could make millions from toll lanes (WCNC-TV) -- Toll lanes on I-77 – the DOT says they're coming – but many voters don't like them. A group of big time campaign contributors to Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis stands to make millions from your tax dollars tied to the toll lanes. There have been protests and organized opposition from a group called Widen I-77 as well as from some local elected officials in Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville. Thom Tillis supports the toll lanes. He has for years. In a May 2011 televised interview on Carolina Business Review, Tillis told interviewer Steve Crump, "I think we have to take a serious look at toll roads…we don't have enough money coming in for the needs we have." Now the NBC Charlotte I-Team has documented that a group of big time Tillis campaign contributors stands to make millions from your tax dollars tied to the toll lanes. This story all starts with a prime piece of Cornelius real estate called Augustalee.


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