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Carter Wrenn: Teacher raises may not buy GOP lawmakers love

Carter Wrenn, the veteran GOP strategist, writes that raising teacher salaries, won't necessarily by the Republican legislature love in his blog post Talking About Politics.

"After Democrats ran an ad in State House Districts, something akin to a shockwave rippled down the hallways of the General Assembly, unsettling the less stouthearted Republican legislators.

"Last fall, after the last election House Republicans, riding high, assumed, We won. People love us. We can do what we want. They did. Then their poll numbers dropped. Then that ad hit. Then a cry went up from the unsettled, If we just give teachers raises – people will love us again.

"But are pay raises actually the reason for House Republicans’ shrinking poll numbers?"

Read the entire post here.

Carter Wrenn: Free markets vs the hospitals, how power works in the legislature

"Republican legislators, for years, have stood up and spoken up for free markets," writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog, Talking About Politics.

"It’s part of their creed. They don’t like government picking ‘winners and losers.’ But when a group of Republican legislators in Raleigh decided to sponsor a bill to break the hospitals’ monopoly on outpatient surgeries and put the free market to work – it didn’t appeal to the Hospital Association at all.

"Right now, before, say, an orthopedic surgeon can do outpatient surgeries in his office instead of in a hospital, he has to get a permit called a ‘Certificate of Need’ from the state. And his chances of getting that certificate are slim to none."

Carter Wrenn: Democrats show some life

"In the world of Raleigh politics being appointed a Cabinet Secretary is somewhat akin to being a Grand Duke or a Marquis – you get power and respectability and folks you never heard of start singing your praises,'' writes veteran GOP consultant Carter Wrenn, in his blog, Talking About Politics.

"But then, usually, just when a new Secretary is getting comfortably settled into his new office, other folks he never heard of start calling him a scoundrel."

Carter Wrenn: The political education of Aldona Wos

"The same day the Democrats tore into Crime Control Secretary Kieran Shanahan they also let fly at Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Aldana Wos,'' writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog, Talking About Politics.

"Now doctors are a complex group of highly intelligent people who labor under a singular handicap: They’ve mastered one incredibly complex subject (say, neurosurgery) no one else can fathom so naturally, after that, they figure whatever else comes along they’re more than a match for it – they can just put their ‘little grey cells’ to work and figure it out too. But neurosurgery is no preparation for politics.

"Dr. Wos is an interesting lady – born in Warsaw, she earned her medical degree in Poland then practiced medicine in New York, married, moved to Greensboro, helped Liddy Dole and George Bush in their campaigns, and then President Bush appointed her Ambassador to Estonia."

Carter Wrenn: Berger is a rare politician -- one with courage

"There’re a lot of clever politicians and smart politicians but there’re not many politicians with the courage to take a stand they know is unpopular," writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn on his blog, Talking About Politics.

"The other day, baffled by the raft of tax reform plans floating around the State Legislature, I asked an economist to explain the virtues of ‘consumption taxes’ to me – and he did in a simple way even an economic illiterate like me can understand: He said, Income is good, investment is good, saving is good – so tax them less; spending (consumption) is not so good – so tax it more.

"Senate Leader Phil Berger sees eye to eye with that economist and he means to reform North Carolina’s tax code to base it on ‘consumption taxes.’ "

Carter Wrenn on the politics of Internet sweepstakes poker

Carter Wrenn, a Republican political consultant, muses on his blog, Talking About Politics, about Internet sweepstakes.

"Who’d have thought it was possible – the Internet sweepstakes poker parlor folks have offered ‘to put $500 million’ in the state treasury – if the legislators will just see the light and let them stay in business.

"Whoever heard of anybody volunteering to pay half a billion dollars in taxes? You have to wonder how much people in North Carolina are spending while sitting in Internet sweepstakes parlors? A billion? $2 billion? $5 billion?

Carter Wrenn: Democrats reaping the whirlwind for their own election misdeeds

"Last week Gary(Pearce) thoughtfully wrote a squib (below) urging people to visit young Thomas Mills’ new website PoliticsNC – so I did," writes Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog Talking about politics. "And got a surprise. Young Mr. Mills was – genially – taking me to task for writing how the Democrats passing voter laws (over the years) to elect Democrats, had led to Republicans (once they had power) doing the same thing to elect Republicans, which, taken altogether, was a pretty good example of how one sin begets another – the political version of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth with no remorse anywhere."

Carter Wrenn: Democrats are getting payback on voting bills

Years ago some crafty Democratic gnome sitting cloistered in a cell pouring over reams of demographics (trying to figure out the political inclinations of people who didn’t vote) had a revelation: If those folks did vote, a lot more Democrats were going to get elected," writes veteran GOP consultant Carter Wrenn on his blog, Talking about Politics:

Now, in a way, that sounds odd (after all, How could he know?) but as far as political theory goes he was standing on rock-solid ground. Demographics seldom lie.

Carter Wrenn on Art Pope & "pay to play"

Here's Carter Wrenn's take on the crowning of Art Pope as Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's budget chief. This from Friday's post in the Talking About Politics blog he shares with Gary Pearce:

The "influencers"

Campaigns & Elections, a trade magazine for politicos, named the top "political influencers" in its latest edition. Ten from each state made it to the list.

Five Republicans and five Democrats, a mix of North Carolina lobbyists and campaign consultants, got the nod.

The five Republicans: John Davis of John Davis Consulting; Tom Fetzer, lobbyist and former Raleigh mayor and state GOP chairman; lobbyist Dana Simpson; political consultant Carter Wrenn; and political consultant Chris Sinclair. Davis is actually unaffiliated.

The five Democrats: Political consultant Brad Crone; consultant Mike Davis; strategist Scott Falmlen, a former state Democratic Party executive director; lobbyist Bruce Thompson; and Andrew Whalen, consultant for the Blue Dog Coalition and a former state Democratic Party executive director.

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