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Morning Memo: Hagan gets opponent; Records show deeper DHHS troubles

KAY HAGAN GETS A FEISTY CHALLENGER: All the attention is focused on the Republicans vying to replace Democrat Kay Hagan in the U.S. Senate. But Hagan, too, will face a primary challenger. The Fayetteville Observer reports that Fred Westphal, a retired educator from outside Fayetteville, plans to make a bid. And he’s mighty sure of his chances. "She doesn’t have a chance against me," Westphal, 76, told The Fayetteville Observer. "She won’t get the party nomination."

INTERNAL EMAILS SHED MORE LIGHT ON DHHS TROUBLES: The state agency overseeing the new computer system that sends money to health professionals treating poor patients downplayed problems with the software even as complaints rolled in to Gov. Pat McCrory’s office from doctors, dentists and medical equipment companies.

Correspondence obtained by The News & Observer from McCrory’s office show that complaints were flowing in from frustrated health care providers, with some appealing directly to his chief of staff and his lawyer, by the end of July. Those complaints were passed on to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the system. On Aug. 5, DHHS sent out the news release "NCTracks is on Track."

***Read more from the DHHS records and get a full political news roundup below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: Veto session scheduled; Rachel Maddow live from North Carolina

LAWMAKERS TO RETURN FOR VEOT SESSION: Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday called for a veto override session of the legislature for Sept. 3, to consider two bills dealing with the drug testing of welfare recipients and immigration. It was not immediately clear whether House Speaker Thom Tillis would ask the House to attempt to override the governor’s veto. But one of his lieutenants, Rep. Mike Hager said there were enough votes in the House to override the veto if Tillis wanted to move in that direction. Both bills passed with more than the three-fifths needed to override a veto.

“We got pretty good last year at overriding vetoes,” he added. “I think we got it down pat by now.” Last year, the Republican legislature voted to override three vetoes by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

RACHEL MADDOW PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON N.C. IN LIVE BROADCAST FROM ELIZABETH CITY: The MSNBC host broadcast from the docks at Groupers and put a focus on North Carolina’s new voting law. She also went on to discuss Art Pope’s role in the 2010 election See her entire segment here.

***More on the pending veto session and a N.C. political news roundup below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: Pray-in targets lawmakers, Foxx to join Obama administration

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AT LEGISLATURE: Clergy and students will participate in an act of civil disobedience Monday at the Legislative Building "in response to the collective acts of the legislature," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP. The action, from 5 p.m.- 6 p.m., will be a "form of a pray-in," Barber said. The House convenes at 4 p.m., the Senate at 7 p.m. The NAACP has opposed the legislative actions reducing unemployment benefits, state House approval of photo voter ID, and other legislative measures.

FOXX TO TAKE OBAMA POST: President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Mayor Anthony Foxx to be secretary of transportation, a White House official said Sunday on the condition of anonymity. The nomination of Foxx, whose city hosted last year’s Democratic National Convention, would make him the only African-American selected for a Cabinet opening in Obama’s second term. (More below.)

***Good morning. Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- a full roundup of North Carolina political news and analysis below. ***

Tillis says expired licenses and college IDs may be included in voter bill

House Speaker Thom Tillis said that the new voter photo ID bill may include provisions that would allow seniors to use expired driver's licenses, allow college ID's to be used, and also allow other forms of government-issued photo Ids.

Although no voter ID bill has yet been introduced yet, the House Elections Committee has begun holding hearings on the concept.

In an interview with Craig Melton with MSNBC over the weekend, Tillis suggested that a voter photo ID law would not be an impediment for most people to vote. He also said that people could could continue to vote by mail using an absentee ballot which does not require a photo ID.

When asked about reports showing little voter fraud, Tillis said, “there is some evidence of voter fraud, that is that not the primary reason for doing this.''

“We call this restoring confidence in elections,” Tillis said. “There are a lot of people people are just concerned with the potential risk of fraud. This is a measure that makes three-quarters of the public more confident when they go the polls.''

He said this would benefit provide free Ids to citizens of North Carolina, which would benefit many people.

McCrory worried about sequestration cuts on North Carolina

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Gov. Pat McCrory started his trip to Washington with an interview on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd, saying he is concerned about the affect of the federal budget sequestration on the state's military bases.

"We don't know what the real impact is going to be right now," he said.

Fake Gov. Perdue tweets show up on TV

MSNBC fell for the fake Gov. Bev Perdue on Twitter, more than once, a tweet-curating website reports.

The TV news program is trailing political tweets across the bottom of the screen during some of its coverage of the Democratic National Convention, as it did with the Republican convention last week.

During host Chris Matthews’ show one trailer attributed to “@GOVBEVPERDUE” remarked: “Welcome to North Carolina, Democrats! Can’t wait to tell everyone about NC’s great economy, low unemployment and my high approval.”

On MSNBC, Perdue says she opposes amendment -- and gay marriage?

On the day voters go to the polls to cast ballots on the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions, Gov. Bev Perdue acknowledged she opposes gay marriage.

Pressed by MSNBC's Chuck Todd, Perdue danced around the issue but eventually said he supported the state law banning gay marriage. At the same time, she said she voted against the amendment. Todd suggested her position is walking a thin line, much like President Barack Obama, who faced a day of questions Monday about his position on the issue after Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday he supports gay marriage.

MSNBC: North Carolina will help decide the next president

One year before the presidential election, MSNBC's First Read has North Carolina as one of 11 “toss up states” that will decide the election.

MSNBC predicts it will come down to five Mid-West/Rust Belt states – Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; three "New South" States – Florida, North Carolina and Virginia; and three western states – Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

MSNBC will release presidential polling later this evening.

Burr takes heat on liberal show

A liberal talk show host took aim at Sen. Richard Burr last night.

The Winston-Salem Republican was once again harshly criticized by MSNBC liberal talk host Rachel Maddow — a sign of his increased visibility as he runs for re-election.

Maddow, who previously criticized the senator for holding up President Obama's veterans appointee, called him "bank-run Burr" for having told his wife to take money out of an ATM during the banking crisis last fall.

Her guest, N.C. Democratic Party chairman David Young, said Burr "helped frame our case" for the 2010 Senate race, which has no announced Democratic candidate yet.

"I was shocked ... at the selfishness of somebody who would use insider information ... that he got in Washington ... to enrich himself," he told the host.

If Burr wasn't on notice before yesterday, he is now.

HuffPo goes after Burr's words

The 2010 Senate race is heating up.

Drawing on recent remarks made by Sen. Richard Burr, the left-leaning Web site Huffington Post has posted a banner headline on its home page: "The senator who wants a run on banks."

It also features a less-than-complimentary photo of Burr, though it does not mention his name, party affiliation or state.

Update: N.C. Democratic Party chairman David Young will appear on "The Rachel Maddow Show," a liberal talk show on MSNBC, to talk about the flap.

Producers had also tried to book former Gov. Mike Easley.

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