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Two NC university leaders appointed to Homeland Security panel

Two higher education leaders from North Carolina are among 19 appointed to an academic advisory panel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

They are Dianne Boardley Suber, president of St. Augustine's College, and Holden Thorp, chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.

The appointments were announced today by Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano.

“The formation of this Council represents an important milestone towards engaging the academic community in our homeland security efforts,” Napolitano said in a news release. “Their collective expertise will be a critical asset to the Department, and I look forward to working with them.”

The Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council will advise Napolitano on a range of issues including: student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research; campus resiliency, security and preparedness; and faculty exchanges.

The council will have its first meeting in Washington on March 20.

Napolitano: Our borders have never been more secure

Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, said the country's immigration law is badly in need of reform, but that it is her responsibility to enforce the rule of law as it now exists.

She said told a Duke University audience Thursday night that her department deports more than 400,000 illegal immigrants a year and places a priority on those who commit crimes, who are on terrorism watch lists and who are repeat offenders, according to an account in Duke Today.

“I have never seen the borders more secure,” because of increased manpower, she told about 400 people at the Sanford School's Fleishman Commons, where she was introduced by Congressman David Price.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, said she was a “strong believer” in the Dream Act because it would provide a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought here as children.

Napolitano coming to Duke

U.S. Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is scheduled to speak at Duke University next week.

She will appear at the university's Sanford School of Public Policy on Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Napolitano, the former Arizona governor, is the third secretary for Homeland Security. She leads the U.S. government's efforts to safeguard the country from terror threats, natural disasters and border troubles.

She will be introduced by U.S. Rep. David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat and former Duke professor. Napolitano is expected to discuss how to secure the nation while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Bazan named to border task force

Andrea BazanAndrea Bazán has beennamed to a federal border task force.

The Durham resident, who currently serves as president of the Triangle Community Foundation and chair of the board of the National Council of La Raza, will serve on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Southwest Border Taskforce. 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the initiative last month as a way to support Mexico's campaign against violent drug cartels.

The task force will work to reduce the flow of guns and cash from the U.S. to Mexico, reduce the transfer of contraband across the border in both directions and improve enforcement of immigration laws.

Other members of the task force include law enforcement from border areas, the mayor of San Diego and the preisdent of the California Endowment.

The group will hold its first meeting on June 4 in Albuquerque, N.M. 

Perdue's night at the White House

It wasn't the Oscars, but it was a close second.

Gov. Beverly Perdue hobnobbed with other governors in the State Dining Room of the White House Sunday. Instead of Sean Penn and Kate Winslet, they heard from President Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

Perdue, who skipped the president's inauguration to focus on work, said it was "a real privilege" to represent North Carolina.

"I don't have a bar to compare it to," she said. "It was very inviting — very beautiful, wonderful food, wonderful music, and the president spoke so eloquently. Everybody was dolled up, so it was a real special night."

Perdue sat with Govs. Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming, Brad Henry of Oklahoma and Jon Huntsman of Utah under a seating arrangement designed to bridge partisan and geographic boundaries.

She also met with other female Democratic governors, including potential Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Price meets with Napolitano

U.S. Rep. David Price is meeting this afternoon with new Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Price holds the purse strings for the Homeland Security agency as chairman of the spending subcommittee with jurisdiction over the department. He plans to talk with her today about his priorities within the department, said his spokesman, Paul Cox.

Those include focusing enforcement efforts on criminal illegal immigrants, and ensuring that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has a strong connection with local and state governments.

The meeting also could be helpful to Napolitano as she shapes her budget request for next fiscal year. She will go before Price’s panel this spring to ask for funding for the agency.

Member's admission

Say What?
"This club is much too exclusive."
— Gov. Beverly Perdue, half-jokingly saying that she had joined the "Girls' Governors Club" alongside such women as Arizona's Janet Napolitano and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen, at an EMILY's List luncheon in Washington on Jan. 18, 2009.

Perdue joins the Girls' Governors Club

Gov. Beverly Perdue said she belongs to a too-exclusive club.

Speaking at a pro-choice women's luncheon in Washington Sunday, North Carolina's first female governor half-joked that she had joined the "Girls' Governors Club" alongside "lifetime members" such as Arizona's Janet Napolitano and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen.

"They're the lifetime members and I'm the newbie," she said. "There's only one little problem for those of us in America: This club is much too exclusive. In the history of this great country, there now have been only 30 elected (female) governors."

Perdue thanked the members and leaders of EMILY's List, which sponsored the luncheon, for their support of her campaign, noting that she had raised a record $18 million — more than three times her Republican opponent, Pat McCrory.

"You all, that's what it takes to win if you're a woman in America," she said. "You have to work harder and you have to be smarter."

She also spoke strongly in favor of abortion rights, an issue that flared up briefly during the Democratic primary, but not come up much during the general election.

"We are one of a few Southern states — just a very few — where choice has been saved," she said. "I've spent a lot of my years with a lot of other people making that possible for all those little girls who will follow after me, and let me tell you, that will not change with me as governor."


Perdue at Emily's List

Hagan, Perdue to attend luncheon

Sen. Kay Hagan and Gov. Beverly Perdue will join Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton and a handful of other high-powered women at a Democratic pro-choice luncheon Sunday in Washington.

The EMILY's List luncheon is among dozens of events going on this holiday weekend to honor the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and a slate of women who favor abortion rights. Tickets for the luncheon, at the Hilton Washington, sold at a range of $150 to $5,000.

The luncheon also features Obama Cabinet nominees Janet Napolitano and Hilda Solis; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who was just elected in New Hampshire.

The political organization works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.

EMILY's List was Hagan's No. 2 contributor in her recent campaign, donating nearly $270,000 to her effort to defeat former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The group also supported Perdue, running an ad in last May’s primary campaign touting her record on child predators.

The man who (could) matter (someday)

Walter DaltonHere's a takeaway from Illinois: Lieutenant governors matter.

Sometimes.

As Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces corruption charges and possible impeachment, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn stands to become the chief executive of the Land of Lincoln.

To the east, former New York Lt. Gov. David Paterson now heads the Empire State. In Arizona, Secretary of State Jan Brewer may replace Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has been nominated for U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. (The state has no lieutenant governor.)

In Arkansas, Bill Clinton's election as president bumped up Lt. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, whose later conviction made Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee governor.

In North Carolina, the lieutenant governor's office has little power. It has the smallest budget of any Council of State or Cabinet office, the smallest staff and the fewest responsibilities.

With the blessing of Gov. Mike Easley and Senate leader Marc Basnight, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue built up a decent portfolio on military and health issues, but none of those perks came with the office. Her only vote was to break a tie on the state lottery.

In recent years, the office has been seen as a placeholder for a future gubernatorial run, although until Perdue that hadn't been a very good strategy.

But history has a way of following its own path, and sometimes the No. 2 — soon-to-be Walter Dalton — becomes a very important person overnight.

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