Under the Dome

Morning Memo: McCrory-Cooper face off on immigrant driver's licenses

UPDATED: McCRORY-COOPER SHOWDOWN: Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's Division of Motor Vehicles is refusing to issue immigrants in the deferred action program driver's licenses but Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper says they must.

The state Attorney General’s office said Thursday that young illegal immigrants participating in an Obama administration program blocking deportation for two years should be eligible for driving privileges in North Carolina, but by day’s end it wasn’t clear whether the DMV would issue them. But by late Thursday, more than five hours after the opinion was released, acting DMV Commissioner J. Eric Boyette said DMV officials had not formulated their response. “We have just received the ruling from the Attorney General’s office regarding driver’s licenses for people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program today and we are in the process of reviewing it,” Boyette said by email.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo, a roundup of political news and analysis in North Carolina.

THE POLITICAL OPTICS:The politics of the showdown are dynamic. Cooper, a Democrat and potential governor candidate, is essentially the de facto head of the state Democratic Party and his advocacy on behalf of the Latino community is important to consider for person and party. McCrory, the newly minted governor, is bound by the law -- and his interpretation and whether he agrees with Cooper in the end is something to watch. It's safe to say that GOP activists will push against giving illegal immigrants any kind of government documentation. The story played on A1 of The News & Observer in Raleigh and News & Record in Greensboro.

THE POTENTIAL IMPACT:A spokeswoman said DMV had issued licenses to only 13 DACA participants, but immigration-rights advocates said they thought hundreds of licenses had been granted to deferred-action participants across the state.An estimated 180,000 young men and women in the state qualify for the DACA program, which postpones the deportation of people who entered the United States illegally when they were children. The DACA program grants two-year work permits for those who immigrated before they turned 16, are not yet older than 30, and have served in the military or are high school graduates or college students.

McCRORY'S SCHEDULE TODAY includes a visit to the state employee Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at 11:55 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Raleigh.

N.C.'s WEALTHY LAWMAKERS: Three of North Carolina’s newest members of Congress have another distinction – they’re the state’s richest. The three – Republicans Robert Pittenger of the 9th District, Mark Meadows of the 11th and George Holding of the 13th – have the highest average net incomes in the state’s U.S. House delegation, according to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Pittenger, a Charlotte real estate investor, tops the list of all North Carolina lawmakers with an average net worth of $33.6 million, according to the center. That ranks him 19th wealthiest in the 435-member House.

HOUSE GOP leader loses red-light lawsuit: A Wake County judge ruled Thursday that drivers who challenged Cary’s red-light camera program are not entitled to refunds of their $50 tickets. The verdict from Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ended a class-action lawsuit filed in 2010 by Brian Ceccarelli, an Apex computer consultant. Ceccarelli argued that Isaac Newton’s laws of motion had made it impossible for him to obey North Carolina’s red-light law. After two years of depositions and four days of courtroom testimony steeped in the jargon of physics and traffic engineering, Ridgeway announced that Ceccarelli had failed to prove his case. His attorney, Republican state Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, the House Speaker Pro Tem.

FEDERAL JUDGE REJECTS MEDICARE FRAUD SETTLEMENT:WakeMed officials and federal prosecutors spent two years hammering out an $8 million proposal to settle a Medicare fraud investigation. A federal judge shredded the 116-page agreement in less than 30 minutes on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle ticked off a list of his grievances about the proposal, forcing federal prosecutors into the unusual position of defending the defendants. The agreement, Boyle said, appeared to be a “slap on the hand” for a “too big to fail” corporate giant. Only the day before, Boyle told the lawyers, he sentenced a woman to a year in prison in a $235,000 insurance fraud case.

PRAYER TO FIGHT OBAMACARE: The president of Hobby Lobby, which is fighting the government’s requirement to cover all contraceptives, asked Charlotte business owners to pray for his company Thursday.

BUDGET REQUESTS BEGIN: The UNC system on Thursday rolled out financial estimates for the cost of its proposed five-year strategic priorities, which include boosting North Carolina’s degree attainment rate and pushing research areas aimed toward the state’s economic development.
The price tag over a five-year period: nearly $266 million. That’s a 7.5 percent increase by the fifth year compared with this year’s budget.

*Editors note: Post updated to include missing words.


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FINALLY North Carolina has a voice of reason. Thank God for you Mr. Pat McCrory. After Sleaszley and Bev The Air Head, tried so very hard to ruin our state, we finally have someone who has a good head on his shoulders and WILL do what is right. This man is heading on up to the White House. Thank you Sir.

Cooper and Boyette need to guage the outrage

from the FED UP citizens of NC who lived thru this kind of BS with our former felonius governor Sleazely, who OUGHT to be in PRISON NOW!

Where's all the good ole boys that ought to be voicing their
dares for the DOJ to pull this crap???

STRIVE to be SMARTER than ANY EVIL NC democrackkk wants you to BE !!! We've had enough of these criminals!


His job is to represent the State of NC. If by chance ol' Pat decides to tell his DMV Commish NOT to do what Roy says, we are setting ourselves up for civil rights violations and a potentially nasty investigation from the US DOJ. I would welcome it. If Pat and his DMV cronies violate the rights of these people, let DOJ throw the book at them.


Let’s face it, this driver's license thing is just one aspect of a much larger 20th century issue that has slopped over into the 21st century and the time has come to finally resolve it. A new worldwide book/ebook explains the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities: "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language and more." Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it paints a revealing picture of America on numerous subjects for those who will benefit from a better understanding.

Immigrants and the children they bear account for 60 percent of our nation's population growth and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans. It identifies "foreigners" who became successful in the US and contributed to our society. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance if they are to contribute. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House-Congress cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a helping hand to those in need.

California and other states are now increasingly devising their own solutions to immigration reform, which has stalled in Washington. A poll shows Californians are overwhelmingly in favor of President Obama's new program granting work permits and a two-year reprieve from deportation to some young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Respondents also favor granting driver's licenses to the same group. It found that most Californians want increased border enforcement and think that local police and sheriffs should have a role in apprehending suspected illegal immigrants. However, Californians seem to be sending a message to the federal government that we should be able to find a solution to this problem, somewhere in between amnesty and deportation.

Here's a closing quote from the book's Intro: "With all of our cultural differences though, you'll be surprised to learn how much our countries—and we as human beings—have in common on this little third rock from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the world is 'It's A Small World After All.' Peace."

Wait, you say that Roy

Wait, you say that Roy Cooper previously ran for governor? He did? When?

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