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Morning Memo: McCrory administration slanted Medicaid report

McCRORY BOOED IN HIS HOMETOWN: For his 69th birthday party, Charlotte attorney Bill Diehl rented out The Fillmore at the N.C. Music Factory, hired rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and invited around 400 of his closest friends, Jim Morrill reports. Among them: Gov. Pat McCrory.

When the band took a break, Diehl grabbed a mic and introduced McCrory, who was greeted with a loud smattering of boos. It wasn't the first time the former Charlotte mayor -- elected and re-elected seven times -- has heard boo birds in his hometown. In Charlotte, at least, the popular mayor has been a less popular governor. This summer he appeared at a concert at the Bechtler Museum. When he was formally introduced, many in the audience booed.

MUST-READ: For months, members of the McCrory administration have maintained that the state’s Medicaid program is "broken." But in the first of a two-part investigation, North Carolina Health News shows McCrory officials sat on information that would have depicted the state’s much-lauded Medicaid program in a better light. Read it here.

***More from the N.C. Health News story and an important notice to readers below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: Cooper's unofficial debut; peek inside GOP voters' minds

ROY COOPER'S DEBUT: Attorney General Roy Cooper is the featured speaker Saturday morning at the N.C. Democratic Party's Western Gala. The speech at the women's breakfast will serve as his unofficial debut in the 2016 governor's race. In recent weeks, Cooper has made his intentions to run clear and the event will give him a platform to begin gathering Democratic support as other party challengers emerge. Later in the evening, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and R.T. Rybak, the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will speak at the party fundraiser.

***A must-read analysis of Republicans and its potential impact on the N.C. Senate race below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Some North Carolina lawmakers defer pay, Renee Ellmers refuses

UPDATE: Renee Ellmers reversed course and will decline her salary during shutdown. Read the latest here.

As some North Carolina congressional lawmakers defer pay during the shutdown, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers is refusing to do so -- and her remarks are drawing the attention of an advocacy group.

"The thing of it is, I need my paycheck. That is the bottom line," Ellmers told WTVD, the Raleigh ABC station, Wednesday.

More than 70 congressional lawmakers are voluntarily not taking a salary during the partial government shutdown. Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill is donating his check to charity and Republican Robert Pittenger is returning it to the U.S. Treasury. Republicans George Holding, Virginia Foxx and Mark Meadows are not accepting their pay.

Morning Memo: Harris stakes his ground; GOP lawmaker presses McCrory

HARRIS DECLARES HE'S THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE IN THE RACE: The Rev. Mark Harris, a leading social conservative, entered the North Carolina Senate race Wednesday, setting up a potential insider/outsider GOP primary showdown next May with House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Harris, the outgoing president of the state Baptist Convention, said he would campaign as a staunch advocate for lowering taxes, reducing government, ending Obamacare and protecting gun rights, that he would back measures that he believes would improve “traditional moral values.” Read more here.

GOP SENATOR SAYS McCRORY ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING THE LAW: A high-ranking Republican state senator said Wednesday that Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration is flouting the law. Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, complained that McCrory hasn’t named an independent Unemployment Review Board to review decisions on unemployment benefits made by the state Division of Employment Security. Rucho’s remarks came during a legislative committee meeting where lawmakers were questioning Dale Folwell, the agency’s head. Read more here.

***Read more on the Harris announcement and a North Carolina political roundup below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

McIntyre one of two Democrats voting to defund Obamacare

North Carolina U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre was one of only two Democrats who joined House Republicans in voting to defund Obamacare on Friday.

Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah was the other.

Their votes allowed Republican leaders to declare it a bipartisan effort. OK….

Meanwhile, North Carolina Republicans Renee Ellmers, Robert Pittenger and Robert McHenry – despite earlier objections – went along with the GOP strategy to risk shutting down the federal government in a stalemate with the Senate.

McIntyre is once again in what will be an expensive and close battle against challenger David Rouzer, a former Republican state senator whom he defeated last time around.

Pittenger, Hagan among richest members of Congress

CORRECTED: This item has been corrected to more accurately reflect Rep. Robert Pittenger's relationship to his former company and the source of his assets.

Two members of North Carolina’s delegation made it onto Roll Call’s list of the 50 Richest Members of Congress: Rep. Robert Pittenger and Sen. Kay Hagan.

Pittenger, a Republican who lives in Charlotte and represents the 9th District, ranked No. 13 with a net worth of $27.68 million. Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, ranked No. 45, with a net worth of $8.06 million.

Pittenger warns of blowback from Syria

Congressman Robert Pittenger, the Charlotte Republican, was on FOX News Wednesday urging caution in using military force against Syria. Pittenger had just returned from a NATO meeting in Brussels and a round of meetings in the Middle East with Crown Prince in Abu Dhabi, the Emir in Qatar and the president of Egypt.

"While the use of weapons of mass destruction by President Bashar Assad is ruthless and an act of barbarism, there are outcomes even more horrific,'' Pittenger said. "The real threat before the west, Israel and the other Arab states is: Who has the ultimate possession of weapons of mass destruction following the civil war?''

"The fall of Assad could well result in those deadly chemical and biological weapons falling into the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, al Queda or Muslim Brotherhood.''

Back from Brussels, Pittenger urges caution in Syria

Congressman Robert Pittenger of Charlotte was on FOX News Wedneday where he questioned the wisdom of military action in Syria. Pittenger had just returned from a meeting in Burssels where he met with the NATO ambassador and others.

"While the use of weapons of mass destruction by President Bashar Assad is ruthless and act of barbarism, there are outcomes even more horrific,'' Pittenger, a Republican said.

"The real threat before the west, Israel and other Arab states is: Who has the ultimate possession of weapons of mass destruction following the civil war? The fall of Assad could well result in those deadly chemical and biological weapons falling into the hands of Hams, Hezbolla, al Queda or Muslim Brotherhood.''

Morning Memo: Amid controversy, political hire further fans DHHS flames

ANOTHER POLITICAL HIRE IN AGENCY UNDER FIRE: Former McCrory campaign filmmaker will work on DHHS 'brand' A lobbyist and filmmaker who made an election-night video for Gov. Pat McCrory is the new brand and marketing manager at the state Department of Health and Human Services. Aaron Mullins, 38, started the job Sept. 4. He makes $68,000 a year.

Mullins is one of several new staff members at state agencies with political connections. Ricky Diaz, who worked on McCrory’s campaign, is a spokesman at DHHS making $85,000. Heather Jeffreys, finance director for McCrory’s campaign, has a communications job at the N.C. Department of Transportation making $58,879. Read more here.

***Get a statewide political news roundup below in the Dome Morning Memo -- and look for more polling numbers on the govenror later today.***

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.***

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