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Environmental TV ad thanks U.S. Sen. Hagan

A TV ad will run in North Carolina thanking U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan for voting to confirm the new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator.

The U.S. Senate delayed a vote to approve Gina McCarthy as the leader of the EPA. But after she was finally confirmed, the Environmental Defense Fund decided to launch an ad campaign showing appreciation for senators in six states, including North Carolina.

The Hagan ad rotates through shots of various children smiling, while a narrator says that her vote for McCarthy was a vote for “clean air.” Now parents of children with asthma – and those children – can “breathe a little easier.”

Cain coy on Senate run

Former ambassador to Denmark Jim Cain would not confirm or deny his rumored candidacy for the 2014 Senate GOP primary after a speech Monday to the Rotary Club of Raleigh.

Cain, also a former president and CEO of the Carolina Hurricanes, first answered with a “no comment,” but continued: “At some point in life I will get back into public service, but whether the Senate race in 2014 is the right time and opportunity or not at this point, I don’t know. I’ll just say there are many who are encouraging us to run.”

Jim Cain also looking at Hagan race

Raleigh’s Jim Cain, former ambassador to Denmark and one-time president of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, tells Roll Call he is taking a serious look at running in the Republican primary next year to challenge U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

“The race is indeed something that I am considering,” Cain told the Washington, D.C. publication. “Many friends and supporters around the state are encouraging me to challenge Senator Hagan.”

Cain was ambassador under President George W. Bush. A corporate attorney by profession, he works with Kilpatrick Townsend.

That race is getting crowded quickly.

NC Senators told students dropping out of college for lack of money

Presidents and chancellors of most of North Carolina’s 11 historically black colleges and universities said in a meeting in Washington with Sen. Kay Hagan Tuesday morning that their schools are in danger of losing students because so many of the young people have run out of money.

Chancellor Donald Reaves of Winston-Salem State University told Hagan that the school lost about a 750 students this year. Of those more than 600 were academically eligible. Two hundred of those who left were seniors. But they were short of funds — by an average of $2,700, Reaves said.

Hagan calls for approval of Keystone pipeline

Approve the Keystone XL pipeline in the next month, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and 19 other senators are saying in a letter to the new secretary of state, their former Senate colleague John Kerry.

The pipeline would carry oil from the tarsands of Alberta, Canada, to ports on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline because of the heat-trapping emissions from producing and using the oil, and because of threats of spills along the line.

The bipartisan group of senators told Kerry to approve the pipeline quickly. “Further delay will continue to hurt job creation and may damage our relationship with Canada,” they write.

It’s not the first time Hagan has written in favor of Keystone XL. She signed on to another bipartisan letter making that case to President Barack Obama in November.

The State Department’s approval is required because the pipeline crosses the international border. The latest letter said the administration should make a decision in the first quarter of this year. — Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers

Hagan: long-term, bipartisan approach needed on spending cuts

Sen. Kay Hagan says she’s meeting with a group of nine other Democrats and 10 Republicans to look for an alternative to the automatic federal spending cuts (also known as sequestration) that go into effect on Friday.

Hagan told reporters in a conference call Tuesday morning that the group of 20 is looking at a new proposal from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The two have said start with $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and later go on to more cuts and tax and entitlement reforms.

Hagan has her own app

Sen. Kay Hagan has an app.

The application for iPads, iPhones and Androids will help the folks back home keep track of what she’s doing, according to her office.

The free app is supposed to make it easier to contact her office and provide videos, photos and updates. Her office says she’s only one of a handful of senators with their own app.

To download, search “Senator Hagan.”

NRA ad targets Kay Hagan's seat

The National Rifle Association has a full-page ad in Thursday's The News & Observer. The national group is targeting North Carolina and three other Republican-leaning states where Democratic senators are up for re-election next year, The Hill newspaper reports.

"Will Obama's own gun control proposals actually work? His own experts say no," the ad reads. It tells readers: “Call Sen. Kay Hagan today. Tell her to oppose Obama’s gun control proposals and to fix our broken mental health system.”

Also in their sights: Sen. Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Sen. Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) and the West Virginia seat being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller who is retiring.

The Hill says the NRA's big ad buy also includes a full-page ad in Maine, where Republican Sen. Susan Collins is up for re-election, and in regional editions of USA Today, plus a YouTube video that's been viewed 275,000 times.

Hagan gets new role on HELP Committee

Sen. Kay Hagan has a new leadership role on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

She'll be the chair of the subcommittee on children and families.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the committee chairman, announced the new subcommittee assignments today.

Sen. Richard Burr, who's also a member of the HELP Committee, will be the Republican leader (ranking member) of the Primary Health and Aging subcommittee.

McCrory, Hagan faring well in latest poll

Nearly half of the people asked in a recent survey weren’t sure what to make of new Gov. Pat McCrory yet. The Civitas Poll found 48 percent were either undecided or didn’t know.

But almost as many – 41 percent – approved of the job he is doing, according to the poll of voters taken Jan. 14 and 15. Eleven percent disapproved of the Republican governor, according to the poll by the conservative group.

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