BISHOP WINS 9TH DISTRICT REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY: Bishop will face Democrat Dan McCready and two third-party candidates on Sept. 10 in what’s expected to be the nation’s most closely watched special election. With 93% of votes in, Bishop defeated Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing 48% to 20%. Among 10 candidates, former Mecklenburg County Commissioer Matthew Ridenhour was the only other one in double figures, with 17%. As he had throughout the campaign, Bishop decried the “liberal crazy clowns” in Washington. He described their agenda as “socialism, open borders (and) infanticide.” In a statement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee signaled its own attacks against Bishop: As the architect of House Bill 2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” and the heir to what it called Republican election fraud.
NC SENATE MOVES FORWARD WITH CUTS TO BUSINESS FRANCHISE TAX: The Senate Finance committee approved the cuts Tuesday, and they could be on the Senate floor later this week. The largest cut would be for businesses, dropping the franchise tax by 30 percent over two years. That would mean $232 million less coming into the state treasury by 2020, but sponsor Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, said Republican lawmakers wanted to phase out the franchise tax altogether. "You know what that amounts to?" Tillman said of the franchise tax. "It's North Carolina saying we're going to tax you on your capital investment, on your property, on everything you own, for the privilege of doing business in North Carolina. Now, that's some way to say our doors are open, folks."
SOCIAL WORKER WHO REMOVED CHEROKEE CHILDREN FACING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CHARGES: Dozens of children in Cherokee County faced unlawful removal from their families until the state stepped in late in 2017, according to state officials and a federal lawsuit from affected families. Now, the state Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Cindy Palmer, the Cherokee County Department of Social Service’s former director, and possibly others. At the same time, the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the federal suit are seeking class-action status, alleging a series of rights violations against a potentially substantial number of families who were not identified in the State Bureau of Investigation’s probe of the situation. Two parents interviewed by Carolina Public Press this week said DSS workers threatened to take their children and place them into foster care unless they signed the CVAs, allegations that also appear in the lawsuit. Once parents signed the CVA, the county closed their cases and ceased all services to the parents and children — even in a case where a baby was born with drug addiction, the workers told the court.
ALABAMA PASSES OUTRIGHT BAN ON ABORTIONS AT ALL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT: The Alabama Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, setting up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the case that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy. The legislation bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison. It includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest — a subject of fierce debate among lawmakers in recent days. Democrats and abortion-rights advocates say that the Alabama measure would drive the procedure underground, endangering the lives of women and girls and disproportionately affecting poor and minority Alabamians. “We want abortions to be safe, and we want them to be few, but it should be legal, because there will be abortions,” said Senator Linda Coleman-Madison, a Democrat and one of the four women in the 35-member Senate.
SENATE REPUBLICANS (FINALLY) PUSH BACK ON TRUMP TRADE WAR WITH CHINA: “I’m not sure if you talk to him face to face, he hears everything you say,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who has emerged as one of Trump’s chief critics on trade and who said he planned to write to the president to explain farmers’ concerns. But faced with the prospect that Trump will continue with his adversarial approach, Republican lawmakers are also looking for ways to provide a taxpayer bailout to farmers, perhaps adding billions of dollars to a disaster bill that has languished in Congress for weeks. Fueling the concerns on Capitol Hill was the impression that Trump may not have a clear endgame. “Ultimately, nobody wins a trade war unless there is an agreement at the end, after which tariffs go away,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The president last week more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, provoking China to retaliate with tariffs on U.S. agricultural and other products. Then Trump expanded the trade war further still this week, taking the first steps to putting roughly $300 billion in additional Chinese goods under import levies.