Copy
Today's daily clips from the NCDP
View this email in your browser
    HURRICANE FLORENCE 
 
Future Planning

Flooded Again: Long-Term Fixes Needed
Coastal Review // Kirk Ross // October 1, 2018

Summary: At some point in the recovery phase of nearly every major storm in North Carolina, there’s a shift from a flood response to a housing crisis. In the short term, there is emergency funding for temporary housing as flooded-out homes and businesses are gutted and, if possible, made livable again. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides funds for hotels and short-term rentals, but despite talk of resilience, in the long run there is little in place to break the cycle of residents returning to areas that are proven vulnerable to flooding time and again. Grady McCallie, policy director at the North Carolina Conservation Network, said that as environmental organizations craft their proposals for policy changes and what to fund, there’s a recognition that there needs to be a comprehensive vision for dealing with increased flooding and more severe storms in the state’s coastal plain.

Environmental Impact
 
Hurricane Florence plus man-made policies leave a toxic legacy
USA Today // Editorial Board // September 30, 2018
Summary: The nation's attention has moved on from Hurricane Florence, but the storm has left a toxic legacy in the Carolinas, where lax environmental laws and a warming planet are proving to be a bad combination.  For a troubling glimpse into a future where storms bloated by climate change not only cause widespread destruction but also rinse poisons into drinking water, look no further than the aerial footage of gray muck flowing from a flooded coal ash dump into the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, North Carolina. The ash problem is a reminder that coal is doubly destructive when it comes to the environment. Burning it is a potent source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and the resulting powdery residue is a mix of toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Education Impact

Teachers in schools hit hard by Hurricane Florence should get paid, NC lawmakers say
N&O // T. Keung Hui // October 1, 2018

Summary: More than two weeks after Hurricane Florence tore through North Carolina, thousands of students are still not back in class and many schools need repairs. On Tuesday, state lawmakers will return to Raleigh for a special session to provide storm relief, with schools among the top items to be addressed. Legislative leaders said they’ll move this week to provide money for school employees in the disaster areas who have been out of work since the storm hit and to give school districts flexibility on making up the instructional time that’s been lost. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat also thew his support Monday behind providing school calendar flexibility for making up lost time and making sure school employees don’t lose pay due to the disaster. But he urged lawmakers to consider other ways to help schools. “The Governor also believes legislators should consider school damage, assist schools with repairs and budget shortfalls and ensure that students in impacted communities have access to counselors and social workers as their friends and families recover from the storm,” Cooper’s office said in a statement.
 
    MIDTERMS 
 
Former President Obama Endorsements 

Obama endorses Linda Coleman for Congress, 3 candidates for NC legislature
N&O // Brian Murphy // October 1, 2018

Summary: Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Democrat Linda Coleman in her race against Republican Rep. George Holding in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Obama made a first round of endorsements in August. That list included six Democrats running for the North Carolina General Assembly. In addition to Coleman, Obama included three Democratic statehouse candidates in his latest round of 260 endorsements. The full list was released Monday. Obama is backing John Campbell for the state Senate in District 13, Natasha Marcus for the state Senate in District 41 and Brandon Lofton for the state House in District 104. Campbell is running against Republican Danny Britt in the district, which includes Columbus and Robeson counties. Marcus is running against incumbent Jeff Tarte in a district in Mecklenberg County’s north and west. Lofton is running against Andy Dulin in southeast Charlotte. Coleman, a former Wake County commissioner and state lawmaker, is tied with Holding in several polls. The campaign has attracted outside spending on both sides. The 2nd district includes all or parts of Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Wake and Wilson counties.

Constitutional Amendments 

Editorial: A change NC does not need
Salisbury Post // Post Opinion // September 30, 2018

Summary: There’s room for improvement in the way this country applies justice, but giving the North Carolina legislature more power over judicial appointments would hardly be a change for the better. Under the state Constitution, the governor has the power to fill judgeships that come open between elections. A constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature sets up a process by which lawmakers would narrow a field of nominees to two, and the governor would have to appoint one as judge — even if he or she had no confidence in either nominee. When a panel of legislators and party officials gathered in Salisbury last week to debate the amendment, Republicans argued that the proposed new method would improve the diversity of the courts and make the process less partisan. These were surprising arguments, considering the Republican majority voted to put party labels back on the ballot for judicial candidates this year. And while it’s nice to hear people advocate for diversity, their actions mean more. The current legislature’s track record in this regard is not strong, unless by diversity they simply mean more Republicans.

Political Ads 

‘We Promise’ low tuition — that’s the UNC system’s vow in new ad campaign
N&O // Jane Stancill // October 1, 2018
Summary: If you haven’t heard about the UNC system’s new, more affordable educational opportunities, you’re about to. On Monday, the university system will launch a $1 million marketing campaign to inform North Carolina about two initiatives — a tuition break at three campuses and a fixed tuition plan for all UNC system students who stay enrolled continuously for four years at a UNC campus. The “We Promise” campaign touts the N.C. Promise plan funded by the Republican-led legislature, which guarantees $1,000-a-year tuition for in-state students and $5,000 annually for out-of-state students at three campuses — Elizabeth City State University, UNC Pembroke and Western Carolina University. The lower-cost program was passed in 2016 and started this fall. A Gallup poll conducted recently showed that awareness of the affordability strategies was low among North Carolina residents. Fourteen percent knew about NC Promise and 18 percent knew that tuition will remain flat for a student’s four years, according to the survey. The campaign will feature video and internet ads and radio spots throughout the state. It touts the Republican-led legislature’s $51 million in funding for NC Promise, and gets under way in the height of election season. The marketing push was funded by the legislature. “It’s pretty darn close to meeting our constitutional mandate of ‘as free as practicable,’” UNC President Margaret Spellings said, referring to the state constitution’s stated guarantee of low tuition. “It’s a great deal for North Carolinians and it’s a great deal for folks in the bordering states that have availed themselves of our outstanding university system. Enrollment is up at the three places we have [NC Promise], but we want more people to know about it.” The program is good for the campuses, families and North Carolina, Spellings said. “We need more college-educated students in our state,” she said. Many people aren’t aware of the fixed tuition, which gives students certainty on the price of a UNC education and an incentive to stay in school, she said.

Kavanaugh Impact 

Here’s Why White Women Are Abandoning the GOP
The Atlantic // Neil J. Young // October 1, 2018

Summary: Shortly after the 2016 election, Tina Fey took to task the white women who had helped elect Donald Trump, providing him with 52 percent of their support. Fey particularly focused her remarks on college-educated white women, 44 percent of whom voted for Trump, chastising them for wanting to “go back to watching HGTV” and forget about the election. “You can’t look away,” Fey implored. “Because it doesn’t affect you this minute, but it’s going to affect you eventually.” New evidence suggests many of these women may now agree with Fey. In the wake of sexual-assault allegations against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that President Trump’s net support among Republican women had dropped by 19 points.
    GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEWS 


3rd Special Session

Florence disaster session could stretch on for weeks
WRAL // Laura Leslie // October 1, 2018
Summary: State lawmakers will meet Tuesday for a special session on disaster relief for Hurricane Florence. With 28 of the state’s 100 counties under a federal disaster declaration, the need will be extensive. However, just two and a half weeks after the storm made landfall, it’s not clear yet what form those needs will take, or how much the state will need to add to disaster funding from the federal government. House and Senate leaders say they expect to take action Tuesday on at least two bills. President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s spokesman Pat Ryan said they're working closely with Democrats and Gov. Roy Cooper, and “have pretty universal buy-in” on the following provisions:
  • Giving school districts in storm-affected areas a waiver on the required number of instructional days this school year.
  • Arranging for compensation of teachers and school personnel in affected areas who were unable to work because schools were closed.
  • Appropriating money required as a state match to draw down federal disaster relief assistance.
  • Waiving DMV fees in storm-affected areas for people who need duplicate documents, like titles, to file insurance claims.
  • Allocating additional money to the State Elections Board for outreach to voters from affected areas who may be displaced to other counties.
  • Extending the voter registration deadline from October 12th to at least October 15th to help voters in counties where offices were closed due to the storm and subsequent flooding.

HB-142

LGBT North Carolinians can challengeban on cities’ pro-transgender bathroom laws
N&O // Paul Specht, Will Doran // October 1, 2018
Summary: Civil rights groups on Monday celebrated developments in a lawsuit that challenges North Carolina’s ban on local nondiscrimination ordinances and questions the state’s stance on transgender people’s bathroom use. A federal judge partially dismissed an attempt by six LGBT North Carolinians and their attorneys to overturn the law that replaced HB2 — but allowed them to keep challenging the part of that law that bans cities and counties from passing transgender-friendly bathroom rules and other anti-discrimination measures. That was a blow to state Republican legislative leaders, who had been trying to stop any such challenge.

COURT SAYS N.C. LAW DOES NOT BAR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE FROM PUBLIC FACILITIES
ACLU // Press Release // October 1, 2018
Summary: A federal court last night said that House Bill 142, the 2017 law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBT measure, House Bill 2, does not bar transgender people from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder also said that he would allow a challenge to the law’s ban on local LGBT nondiscrimination policies to go forward. The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal are representing six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina in the lawsuit challenging the replacement law, H.B. 142. The Court held that H.B. 142 partially returned North Carolina to the pre-H.B. 2 “status quo” by repealing language that restricted restroom access for transgender people. “Nothing in the language of Section 2 [of H.B. 142] can be construed to prevent transgender individuals from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity,” Judge Schroeder wrote. “I am relieved to finally have the court unequivocally say that there is no law in North Carolina that can be used to bar transgender people from using restrooms that match who we are,” said Joaquin Carcaño, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. “For the past two and a half years, I have been unable to use restrooms in my home state without worrying that I will be subject to discrimination, harassment, or even arrest. Our community has faced so much discrimination because of H.B. 2 and H.B. 142, and this decision will give us more support to defend the rights and basic humanity of our community members across the state.”
 
  GOV. COOPER NEWS  
 
NC Museum of Art names new director
Triangle Biz Journal // Marc DeRoberts // October 1, 2018

Summary: The N.C. Museum of Art has named its replacement for longtime director Larry Wheeler, who is retiring this month after 24 years. On Monday, NCMA revealed Valerie Hillings will take the helm Nov. 1. Hillings is a Duke University graduate and served on the board of advisers from 2014-2017 for the school’s Nasher Museum of Art. For the last 14 years, she has worked on the Guggenheim’s team of curators, playing a key role on international projects – including the planning of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which is currently under development. Among Hillings’ new responsibilities as director are overseeing the museum’s art collections, Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, education programming and events. “Valerie Hillings brings expertise and vision to her new role as director of the North Carolina Museum of Art,” Gov. Roy Cooper stated. “I’m confident that her leadership will help take the Museum to the next level for the people of North Carolina and visitors from around the globe.”
 
 NCDP NEWS & MENTIONS  

State’s governors are relatively weak
Carolina Journal // John Hood // October 1, 2018

Summary: At the debate I attended — held at Salisbury’s historic Meroney Theater by the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, the Rowan Chamber of Commerce, and the statewide cable channel Spectrum News — Woodcox argued that this new system, by involving all three branches of government as well as the public at large, would be a major improvement over governors filling vacancies unilaterally. The other amendment supporter on the IOPL panel, Sen. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, also urged a focus on the future rather than short-term partisan assumptions. “What we’ve got to build here is a framework that best serves North Carolina’s interests,” Newton said. “We’ve got to look long-term, and this is a very good way to strengthen our bench.” The opposing panelists, Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, and state Democratic Party head Wayne Goodwin, were having none of it. “This whole merit selection process is completely devoid of merit,” McKissick said. “It was a political grab from the outset.” McKissick and Goodwin repeatedly made the point that, as far as institutional powers are concerned, North Carolina governors are relatively weak by national standards. They’re right. According to the latest edition of Politics in the American States, a standard text, North Carolina’s governors are the second-weakest in the United States (Oregon’s are the weakest).

NC Dems Attack GOP Candidates Over Kavanaugh
WUNC // Rusty Jacobs // September 28, 2018

Summary: North Carolina Democrats want to capitalize on anger over the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process and allegations he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when the two were high school students in the 1980s. A set of ads posted on the state Democratic Party's Facebook page attacks six Republican lawmakers seeking reelection in state legislative districts believed to be up for grabs. Each candidate appears in a doctored image shaking hands with the Supreme Court nominee. Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County is one of them, he's also one of many GOP legislators who signed a letter urging support for Kavanaugh. Tarte said in a telephone interview that such ads are to be expected in what he called "silly season." Tarte said Democrats desperately want to break the GOP veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.
 OTHER 

Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking

North Carolina Launches Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System
WFAE // Alex Olgin // October 1, 2018
Summary: The North Carolina sexual assault tracking system launches Monday. It allows victims of sexual assaults who get a forensic exam to track where their evidence is and if it’s been tested. Idaho, Arkansas and a few other states have similar systems.   It’s been somewhat of a mystery for sexual assault survivors to find out what happened to their sexual assault evidence kits and where they ended up. The shoe box size container full of DNA evidence can take hours to collect, and in some cases, can be vital to identifying a perpetrator. The North Carolina Attorney General found earlier this year there were more than 15,000 untested kits sitting on shelves in local law enforcement agencies across the state. Now, victims will be able to use and access the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Tracking Inventory Management System, or STIMS for short. In the Attorney General’s Office YouTube video, the narrator explained how it’s supposed to work. 

Kavanaugh Nomination 

The Latest: McConnell promises Kavanaugh vote this week
AP // Staff // October 1, 2018

Summary: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote this week on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Kentucky Republican has used a Senate floor speech to accuse Democrats of constantly delaying and resisting Kavanaugh’s nomination. He says, “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close.” McConnell is suggesting a parallel between Democrats’ actions and the McCarthy era of the 1940s and 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy used unfounded allegations to accuse people of being communists without firm evidence, ruining their reputations. McConnell’s remarks come as the two parties battle over the FBI’s investigation of allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women when he was a teenager in the 1980s. That investigation is supposed to be completed by Friday. 

On Sex Assault, Women Share Pain but Not Politics
Politico // Jeremy Markovich // September 28, 2018
Summary: At the Polished Nail Bar on Tuesday afternoon, the Cabernet was flowing and the TVs were on. A few women were inside in various stages of relaxation. Feet dipped in tubs. Nails painted in pastel colors. Above the bar itself, the television screens were full of tension. One showed Bill Cosby, hands shackled at the waist, not long after he was sentenced to three to 10 years for drugging and raping a woman. But before long, the news focused in on one story: whether the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would survive allegations that he drunkenly groped a 15-year-old girl when he was a high school student more than 30 years ago. Still, on this day, not quite 48 hours before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was scheduled to testify in Washington, the talk in the salon was casual and directionless. The news was on mute. And then, someone asked the women in the room whether they believed Kavanaugh’s accuser.

Federal News  

Immigration Policy

Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City
NY Times //  Caitlin Dickerson // September 30, 2018

Summary: In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas. Until now, most undocumented children being held by federal immigration authorities had been housed in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room. They received formal schooling and regular visits with legal representatives assigned to their immigration cases. But in the rows of sand-colored tents in Tornillo, Tex., children in groups of 20, separated by gender, sleep lined up in bunks. There is no school: The children are given workbooks that they have no obligation to complete. Access to legal services is limited. These midnight voyages are playing out across the country, as the federal government struggles to find room for more than 13,000 detained migrant children — the largest population ever — whose numbers have increased more than fivefold since last year.

Trade Deal

Trump Just Ripped Up Nafta. Here’s What’s in the New Deal
NY Times // Jim Tankersley // October 1, 2018

Summary: There’s a lot to digest in the new trade agreement that the United States, Mexico and Canada finalized in deadline-beating fashion on Sunday, starting with a name change: If the new deal is adopted by all three countries, the North American Free Trade Agreement will give way to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or U.S.M.C.A.

Kavanaugh Nomination 

The Latest: McConnell promises Kavanaugh vote this week
AP // Staff // October 1, 2018

Summary: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote this week on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Kentucky Republican has used a Senate floor speech to accuse Democrats of constantly delaying and resisting Kavanaugh’s nomination. He says, “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close.” McConnell is suggesting a parallel between Democrats’ actions and the McCarthy era of the 1940s and 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy used unfounded allegations to accuse people of being communists without firm evidence, ruining their reputations. McConnell’s remarks come as the two parties battle over the FBI’s investigation of allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women when he was a teenager in the 1980s. That investigation is supposed to be completed by Friday. 

On Sex Assault, Women Share Pain but Not Politics
Politico // Jeremy Markovich // September 28, 2018
Summary: At the Polished Nail Bar on Tuesday afternoon, the Cabernet was flowing and the TVs were on. A few women were inside in various stages of relaxation. Feet dipped in tubs. Nails painted in pastel colors. Above the bar itself, the television screens were full of tension. One showed Bill Cosby, hands shackled at the waist, not long after he was sentenced to three to 10 years for drugging and raping a woman. But before long, the news focused in on one story: whether the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would survive allegations that he drunkenly groped a 15-year-old girl when he was a high school student more than 30 years ago. Still, on this day, not quite 48 hours before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was scheduled to testify in Washington, the talk in the salon was casual and directionless. The news was on mute. And then, someone asked the women in the room whether they believed Kavanaugh’s accuser.

Ivanka Trump Visit

Ivanka Trump to visit North Carolina this week, including Florence recovery area
N&O // Brian Murphy // October 1, 2018

Summary: Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior adviser to him, will visit North Carolina on Wednesday, according to the White House. She is scheduled to visit Mooresville for two events and then travel to eastern North Carolina to see how the region is recovering from Hurricane Florence and thank volunteers. Trump will meet with NASCAR drivers and officials at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville. The institute, which opened in 2002, “combines a complete automotive technology program with NASCAR-specific motorsports training.” Trump’s visit is part of the administration’s push for vocational and skills training.
Copyright © 2018 NCDP Press, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.