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Woodhouse leaving Americans for Prosperity

Dallas Woodhouse is leaving his job as state director for Americans for Prosperity to "pursue business opportunities in the political arena," according to the organization.

Woodhouse has been with APF since 2006 and has been state director since 2007.

The group saw a number of its priorities realized this legislation session, including a new voucher program, a change in the tax code, and looser regulations.

Politicians, advocates react strongly to GOP budget plan

The Republican-crafted $20.6 billion state budget is eliciting strong reactions from across the North Carolina political spectrum. Much of it focuses on the education funding changes. One person yet to respond: Gov. Pat McCrory. But in the meantime, check out a roundup of statements below.

--Senate Democratic Leader Martin Nesbitt: “With this budget and last week’s tax bill, we can clearly see the Republican agenda: hoarding power in Raleigh and cutting vital services to the middle class in order to pay for massive handouts to the wealthiest 1% and out-of-state corporations. This is ‘big-government’ conservatism that prioritizes power over people and special interests and the super-wealthy over middle class families."

AFP launches radio ad backing Senate tax plan

As the House and Senate hammer out a tax plan, Americans for Prosperity is taking to the radio airwaves to try to influence the negotiations.

The tea party group's state chapter announced Thursday that it is putting about $100,000 behind a new statewide radio ad campaign (Listen Here.) to encourage residents to support the Senate version. The minute-long radio spot touts the flat 5.25 percent personal income tax in the Senate bill compared to the 5.9 percent in the House plan. It uses a sports metaphor to warn that "some leaders are about to fumble" the tax ball with "only a few seconds left in the game."

Dallas Woodhouse, the state director, said it's part of AFP's pledge to spend $500,000 to push tax reform.

Tea party group picks sides, backs Senate tax bill

An influential tea party group is picking sides in the ongoing tax debate in Raleigh. Americans for Prosperity is urging state lawmakers to back the Senate's plan -- instead of a competing House bill.

The Senate will take a final vote Tuesday on its tax overhaul and send it back to the House. AFP wants the House to concur and abandon its own plan, which the Senate mostly discarded.

“The quickest way to achieve the strongest possible tax relief and reform is for the House to concur to the Senate changes to House Bill 998," said Dallas Woodhouse, the group's North Carolina director, in a prepared statement. "We encourage the House to take this bold step to pass significant tax relief and reform that will get North Carolina back in the game for jobs and business.”

AFP ad touts 'new day' of GOP leadership, tax efforts

Americans for Prosperity launched the first phase of its campaign to support Republican lawmakers efforts to rewrite the state's tax code. In a new TV ad, it describes "a new day " in North Carolina politics, urging viewers to "encourage our new leaders to keep going" and sign a petition supporting a tax overhaul.

Dallas Woodhouse, the AFP state director, declined to provide additional details on the TV buy for the ad, titled "Back in the Game." But he said it is appearing on cable channels across the state and some broadcast channels. AFP has promised to put $500,000 into supporting the plan -- and public polling and anecdotal interviews suggest a skeptical public needs a good bit of convincing.

Morning Memo: Expect a late night at legislature as bills fly fast

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The action starts early Tuesday and will likely stretch past 10 p.m. again. The House and Senate plan to convene a skeletal session just before 10 a.m. to read in committee reports, then recess until 2 p.m. House Speaker Thom Tillis said the session will go until 5:15 p.m. or so before a dinner recess for committee meetings. The chamber will reconvene at 7 p.m. and go late. The Senate isn't expected to stay as long but its calendar is getting crowded. Gov. Pat McCrory lists no public events.

McCRORY'S OFFICE WON'T RELEASE DAILY SCHEDULE ANYMORE: The governor's Communications Director Kim Genardo is changing the office's policy of releasing a daily calendar. Genardo said if there is no event scheduled, she won't send out a notice stating as much, meaning some days will have no notice to the governor's schedule. McCrory pledged to release a daily schedule during the gubernatorial campaign as he bashed his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, for taking a "secret" trip to Pennsylvania to study fracking rigs. Republicans jumped on McCrory's Democratic opponent for not pledging to do the same. “Everyone knew where I was as mayor,” McCrory said a year ago. “My records were open."

***A busy week means lots of news below in the Dome Morning Memo. Send more news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. ****

AFP poll finds support for broad tax changes

Americans for Prosperity has released a poll showing broad support in North Carolina for tax reform.

The survey, conducted by the Tarrance Group of Alexandria, found that 68 percent of voters says the state's tax system needs to be reformed.

The poll found that 49 percent favor a tax proposal that lowers personal and corporate income taxes to a flat 5 percent, lowers the sales tax rate while broadening it to include services not now taxes, and eliminating all state income tax deductions.

The spin: "North Carolinians recognize that it's time to reform our outdated, depression-era tax code," said Dallas Woodhouse, state AFP director.

The poll of 500 registered likely voters was conducted April 8-10 and had a margin of error of plus or minus April 8-10.

Grover Norquist to NC to promote tax changes

Fox News regular Grover Norquist will headline a rally on the lawn behind the Legislative Building on May 16 to promote changes in the state tax code.

Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, is working with Americans for Prosperity in promoting tax changes. His North Carolina trip will include stops in Greensboro, Huntersville and Kings Mountain over several days. The tour is part of AFP's campaign to promote a new tax code that AFP says will "tax less, tax fair, and tax simple."

State Senate leader Phil Berger released a plan Tuesday that puts a sales tax on more goods and services -such as prescription drugs, food, doctors' and lawyers' bills - and gradually cuts personal and corporate income taxes.

Dallas Woodhouse, AFP North Carolina state director, said his group has not yet endorsed the Senate plan, but probably will.

Morning Memo: More arrests expected at legislature, McCrory to Texas

MORE ARRESTS EXPECTED AT LEGISLATURE: Activists fighting the Republican legislative agenda say they will return to the Legislative Building on Monday and more plan to be arrested. The civil disobiendence, led by the N.C. NAACP and other groups, is design to raise the public's awareness of the policies GOP-lawmakers are pushing this session. A demonstration a week ago led to 17 arrests.

McCRORY TO TOUT DRILLING IN TEXAS: From AP -- Gov. Pat McCrory is visiting an offshore energy trade conference in Texas to try to help build momentum for drilling off the coast of North Carolina and other states. McCrory says he'll participate Monday in a panel discussion with other governors at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. McCrory says the energy industry could create thousands of jobs and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and generate state revenues.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. More North Carolina politics below. Send tips and news to dome@newsobserver.com. ***

Hager's bill to end state's renewables standard refuses to die

Rep. Mike Hager's bill to rid the state of its renewables energy mandate refuses to die.

The bill was voted down in Hager's own committee last week 18-13, but he's got it scheduled to be taken up again in the House Committee on Public Utilities and Energy on Wednesday.

Hager was unavailable for comment but Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina director for the Arlington, Va.-based Americans for Prosperity, which has supported Hager's bill, offered his opinion: “While there was not the right mix in the committee on that day, some of them may need more education.”

That presumably includes Rep. Tim Moore of Cleveland County, chair of the House Rules Committee; Conference Leader Ruth Samuelson of Mecklenburg County; and Wake County’s Nelson Dollar, senior chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. All three voted against the bill. Read the full story here.

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