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Blueprint NC director to step down

The leader of a Raleigh nonprofit embroiled earlier this year in a controversial political memo to attack Gov. Pat McCrory is stepping down.

In an email to friends, Sean Kosofsky, the executive director of Blueprint North Carolina, did not offer a reason for his departure from the organization later this summer, according to a copy obtained by Dome. But he does not have another job lined up. The organization has not announced a replacement.

Blueprint is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is limited to issue-advocacy but it was linked to a political memo that outlined a plan to “eviscerate the (Republican) leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”

Morning Memo: GOP battle on boards, voter ID effort headline the week

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: The action at the legislature will resume full-speed this week with more intra-party fighting among the GOP on a bill to sweep clean state boards. An amended version is before the House for final approval and then goes to a reluctant Senate, setting up negotiations in conference committee. House Speaker Thom Tillis will hold a news conference Tuesday to outline plans for a voter ID bill, despite mixed messages that such a measure would not require a photo ID. Gov. Pat McCrory will make an economic development announcement Monday in Charlotte and Tuesday will host metropolitan mayors at the governor's mansion, a group close to his heart as the former Charlotte mayor. On Friday the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission meets amid legislative changes to speed the fracking timetable in North Carolina.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. This is Severe Weather Awareness Week, so declared by the governor, so go get a disaster kit. Send tips and items to***

Morning Memo: Memo-gate fallout continues, McCrory's 'life of a governor'

FLORIDA GOP JOINS MEMO-GATE: A secret strategy memo designed to weaken Republicans in North Carolina is also getting attention in Florida, where elements of the plan were derived. Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry issued a memo to tie Florida Democrats to the plan: "In short, this document is as disgusting as it is alarming, and shows that Democrats do not want to reach across the aisle to find common sense solutions. Instead, they seek to divide and conquer. But this strategy is not just limited to North Carolina. These tactics actually have their roots right here in Florida, as the leaked document, public records and news reports make abundantly clear." (More on Florida memo below.)

TODAY IN POLTICS: Gov. Pat McCrory visits western North Carolina on Friday. He will read "Oh, The Places You'll Go," as part of Dr. Seuss day. (Gov. Bev Perdue read "Cat in the Hat" last year.) And later McCrory will visit Black Mountain's Main Street.

***Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- more North Carolina politics and analysis below.***

Morning Memo: McCrory concerned about payday lending, GOP activist hired as lobbyist

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The GOP kerfuffle about sweeping clean state board appointees continues in a House Rules Committee meeting this morning (read more about it below). Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development Life Science Conference. Senate convenes at 11 a.m. and a controversial measure about control of the Charlotte airport is on the calendar. The House starts at 1 p.m. to consider a bill about using lottery funds for digital education, as the governor pitched in his State of the State address.

McCRORY VOICES CONCERN ABOUT PAYDAY LENDING BILL: The Republican governor is expressing skepticism about a bill to legalize payday lending -- one of the most moneyed efforts this legislative session. From AP: "McCrory spokeswoman Crystal Feldman said Wednesday the governor has objections to a Senate bill that would reinstitute a class of loans of up to $500 for which lenders could charge fees reaching $75. Industry representatives say the government-regulated loans provide a needed credit option for people with nowhere else to go. Feldman says this and similar legislation don't align with McCrory's objective to lessen the financial burden of families. She says high-risk loans put families in danger of incurring debt."

***Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- the tipsheet for N.C. politics. Send tips and news to And read much more below.***

America Votes claims ownership of strategy memo linked to Blueprint

The leader of a political nonprofit group came forward Wednesday as the author of a leaked strategy memo on how to attack Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican leaders.

Jessica Laurenz, the North Carolina director for America Votes, said she wrote and distributed the draft memo – not Blueprint North Carolina, a Raleigh group being blamed for crafting the plan to “eviscerate the (Republican) leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”

In an interview, Laurenz defended the memo saying “America Votes has not done anything wrong or out of the ordinary” and didn’t regret “strongly urging my colleagues to fight for what we believe in.”

The memo, leaked to reporters last week as a document originating from Blueprint, was first reported by The Charlotte Observer – an article which ran in this newspaper. The story was quickly pounced upon by Republicans. McCrory called the memo shameful.” House Speaker Thom Tillis used it as a fundraising appeal. The N.C. Republican Party registered complaints with the Internal Revenue Service and the state elections board, asking both to investigate Blueprint for political activity outside its charitable status.

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