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Morning Memo: Dems eager to replace Kinnaird; GOP's barbs in Senate fight

FOUR CANDIDATES SEEKING KINNAIRD SENATE SEAT: State Rep. Valerie Foushee and three others announced Wednesday their intent to seek state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird’s District 23 seat. The other candidates for Kinnaird’s seat that emerged Wednesday were retiring Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton; author and educator Amy Tiemann, and former Alamance County Rep. Alice Bordsen. Read more on the candidates here.

TODAY IN POLITICS: The country's former top military officer and the head of an Internet giant are the main attractions at a gathering of North Carolina business executives that will draw Gov. Pat McCrory. The CEO Forum is scheduled for Thursday at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh. Former U.S. Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell is speaking along with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers. McCrory will attend the event at 8 a.m.

***More North Carolina political news from the U.S. Senate race below in the Dome Morning Memo. Send news and tips to capitol@newsobserver.com.***

Morning Memo: New poll gives Hagan the edge; Hillary Clinton bashes NC voter law

U.S. SENATE POLL: Politico is offering a sneak peek at the latest U.S. Senate poll numbers in North Carolina this morning. Public Policy Polling shows Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan with an eight-point edge in hypothetical matchups against Republicans Thom Tillis and Phil Berger. Both legislative leaders, along with other possible candidates, have negative approval ratings with many voters still not sure what to think. The margin of error is 4 percentage points. Look for more numbers from PPP when the poll is released later today.

VOTER ID, ELECTIONS BILL SIGNED: The implications of Gov. Pat McCrory's signature on the elections bill that requires a voter ID at the polls is far-reaching -- and so is the coverage. Get a round up below -- including Hillary Clinton's comments on the bill, a new PPP poll showing it unfavorable and more. Also, a story from Boone shows Republicans taking over local elections boards will likewise mean major changes.

***The Dome Morning Memo continues below. Thanks for reading.***

Morning Memo: GOP fundraising, Rural Center face major questions

GOP ABANDONS PLEDGE FOR TAX REFORM: From Rob Christensen's column: Tax reform in North Carolina died last week. RIP. …The House has rolled out its plan, and the Senate has rolled out an alternative plan. Those plans focus almost exclusively on cutting corporate and personal income taxes, rather than revamping the 1930s tax code. So tax reform is dead. In its place, we have large tax cuts, the size and shape of which will be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee. Cutting taxes is in the Republican comfort zone. Reforming the tax code is not. Full story.

LOBBYING FIRM ACTED AS TILLIS, McCRORY FUNDRAISING CONDUIT: The giving by the sweepstakes industry also puts a spotlight on fundraising efforts organized by McGuireWoods. Multiple contributions from sweepstakes operators were often recorded on the same days, with the largest group coming on May 16, 2012, when the Tillis campaign tallied a total of $60,002 from 19 individuals. Days earlier, on May 10, McGuireWoods held a fundraiser at its Raleigh office attended by Payne and lobbyists from other organizations. Harry Kaplan, a McGuireWoods lobbyist, said he invited clients who were interested in meeting with Tillis to talk about the issues they represented. They could also make campaign contributions, which some did, he said.

***More on Tillis, McCrory campaign fundraising, the sweepstakes industry and questions clouding the N.C. Rural Center and top Republicans below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: McCrory to White House; more details from strategy memo

MEMO STIRS THE N.C. POLITICAL POT: The political strategy memo from a cadre of groups aligned with Democratic causes is getting a good bit of attention for its tactics. One overlooked in all the coverage: a staff of video trackers to follow the every move of the "targets" (Pat McCrory, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger) and hiring private investigators.

McCRORY VISITING THE WHITE HOUSE: Pat McCrory is visiting Washington Friday through Monday for a series of meetings with the National Governors Association and Republican Governors Association. On Sunday, along with all governors, he will dine at the White House with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, followed by a meeting at the White House the next morning with the president.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- more N.C. political news and analysis below, including more details from the anti-Republican strategy memo.

Morning Memo: New analysis shows voter ID may impact nearly 1 in 10 voters

VOTER ID BILL COULD AFFECT 613,000 N.C. VOTERS. A Dome Morning Memo exclusive: A new report from the State Board of Elections found as many as 613,000 voters, or 9.25 percent of the North Carolina's voters, may not have a state issued driver's licensed or identification card -- raising the stakes ahead of Republican efforts to push for voter ID legislation in the upcoming session.

The new analysis, which compared Division of Motor Vehicles records to state voter lists, discovered that 53 percent of the voters in question are Democrats and a quarter are over age 65. A disproportionate share -- about 30 percent -- are black.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. This is a daily tipsheet for N.C. politics that breaks news, offers analysis that drives the agenda and digests the latest political news. It's a new product so send send tips, ideas, thoughts or even a better name to dome@newsobserver.com. And thanks for reading. Click link below for more.***

Who pays Hoo? GOP counters with the mascot treatment

UPDATED: Republicans gave a liberal group taunting GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory a taste of their own medicine Wednesday.

The mascot treatment.

Progress North Carolina Action has traveled the campaign trail with a staffer wearing an owl costume carrying a sign that says "Hoo Pays Pat?" -- a reference to McCrory's refusal to release his tax returns or list of clients from his law firm that lobbies state government.

At a protest at N.C. Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh, the Progress owl was met by another owl -- this one from the GOP who carried a sign that says "Who Pays Hootie?"

N.C. GOP files IRS complaint against cadre of liberal groups for electioneering

The N.C. Republican Party sent a complaint Wednesday to the IRS alleging five liberal-leaning nonprofits are violating federal tax law by advocating for political candidates.

The named groups: Democracy North Carolina, the Institute for Southern Studies, N.C. Justice Center, Progress North Carolina and Project Ricochet Inc. of North Carolina. All are 501(c)3 charities that can accept tax-exempt donations under the law but are not allowed to voice support for or against a particular candidate.

"The groups that you see listed ... have clearly broken the letter and the spirit of the law by directly injecting themselves in a political campaign," said GOP Chairman Robin Hayes in a press conference. (See complaint below.)



Document(s):
GOPcomplaint.pdf
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