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Morning Memo: Vice President Biden to raise money for Kay Hagan

VICE PRESIDENT TO HEADLINE HAGAN FUNDRAISER: Vice President Joe Biden will visit North Carolina on Oct. 21 to help Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan raise campaign cash for her re-election bid in 2014. Biden will speak at a luncheon at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Dome.

The top ticket costs $10,000 and includes a photo and special host reception. The lowest priced ticket is $500 for the reception. The money will go to Hagan’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has higher donation limits.

A day earlier, Hagan will hold another fundraiser in Durham at the Deer Chase Gardens hosted by Marcia Angle and Mark Trustin, the property’s owners. The more than two-dozen hosts for the reception are paying $1,000 each. The top ticket is the maximum federal contribution to a candidate, $2,600. The host list includes big local Democratic donors, such as John Replogle, John Sall and Amy Tiemann. The minimum ticket costs $150.

***Read more about the 2014 Senate race and more below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

State workers may feel effects from federal shutdown

The federal government shut down could effect as many as 6,000 state government workers whose jobs are fully or partially federally funded, North Carolina officials said Tuesday.

Art Pope, the state budget director, said state officials would not know exactly how many state employees would be affected until guidelines were issued by federal agencies about what jobs were deemed as critical.

Morning Memo: Let the shutdown politics begin

THEN SHUT IT DOWN: The U.S. government started shutting down early Tuesday after a bitter fight over the new health care law deadlocked the Congress and stymied every attempt to keep money flowing after the federal fiscal year ended at midnight. It was the first such collapse of the government in nearly two decades and there was no immediate way to know how long it would last or how it would end. Read more here.

NOW BLAME GAME BEGINS: Hours after the partial shutdown, the blame game started, with Democrats and Republicans trying to say the other party was responsible. North Carolina congressmen are in the crosshairs.

***Read more shutdown politics and a look at what Gov. Pat McCrory did as the impasse and a federal lawsuit against the state loomed -- it's all below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Burr explains vote on continuing resolution, Obamacare

Republican Sen. Richard Burr voted Friday to allow a plan to keep the federal government open past Tuesday to go forward, while maintaining Obamacare.

Burr was one of 25 Republicans who voted to shut down debate in a 79-19 vote.

“I have voted 56 times to defeat, dismantle, and defund Obamacare,'' Burr said in a statement. "When Obamacare was first brought before the Senate in 2009, my fellow Republicans and I on the HELP Committee did everything in our power to stop this bill from moving forward. After Democrats rammed it through committee on a straight party-line vote, Senator Coburn and I spent countless hours on the Senate floor to rally against the bill and used every procedural tactic at our disposal to block its passage. Unfortunately, the 2008 elections gave Democrats an overwhelming majority in Washington, which they used to force Obamacare into law.''

Morning Memo: Rove to raise money for Tillis; Harris plans statewide tour

GOP strategist Karl Rove will headline a series of fundraising events for U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis in mid-November, an aide to the former Bush administration official confirmed to Dome. The details are still being finalized but Rove and Tillis are likely to hit events across the state, Tillis allies said.

Next week, Tillis will attend a reception hosted by Rove’s political action committee, Crossroads GPS, which spent big money in the 2012 election. Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan used Rove as a foil in one of her recent fundraising pitches -- showing Rove’s close link to Tillis may help both sides.

As Tillis focuses on raising money his latest rival Mark Harris begins a high-flying announcement tour for next week. Read about it and more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

U.S. Senate as polarized as the early 1900s

The recent debates in Washington about budget cuts and guns show increasing evidence of polarization, a new study highlights.

Researchers at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill visualized the divide going back to 1the start of the 20th century. “We have not seen the current level of partisanship since the early 1900s,” professors James Moody of Duke and Peter Mucha of UNC-CH found. (Maybe this is why some in the U.S. Senate don't think so highly of political science research.)

Burr, Hagan vote against U.S. Senate's budget -- for different reasons

North Carolina's two U.S. senators voted against the federal budget bill approved in the wee hours Saturday morning -- but for very different reasons.

Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, voted against the spending plan put forth by her party because she was concerned about the cuts to the military. But Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, cast a dissenting ballot because the federal spending cuts didn't go far enough to reduce the nation's debt.

Morning Memo: McCrory to talk higher ed, lawmakers to approve Medicaid bill

GOV. McCRORY TO TALK HIGHER ED: Weeks after he stuck his foot in his mouth, Gov. Pat McCrory will make a speech about higher education and the role of innovation in the university economic growth. The Republican governor made controversial comments about changing the higher education funding formula to reflect job output from colleges, not how many students enroll, and he also suggested the state shouldn't subsidize liberal arts classes like gender studies. The noon speech is at N.C. State.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: House and Senate leaders appear ready to agree on a bill to block the expansion of Medcaid to 500,000 North Carolinians. The conference report is on the calendar for concurrence and then would go to the governor. But the topless bill is no longer on the calendar. On Monday, Republicans sent it back to committee. Buncombe Rep. Tim Moffitt told AP the delay would give time for consultations with Senate lawmakers. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will hold a call this morning to discuss the ramifications of the federal budget impasse on North Carolina.

***Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo, get more political news and analysis below.***

Ahead of cliff, U.S. Sen. Burr begins pointing the finger of blame

As the negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff enter the final hours, the political positioning among Republicans and Democrats will become increasingly interesting -- especially if there is no deal and the blame game begins.

Here's a look at what U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is saying -- and how he's predictably casting all the fault on President Barack Obama as Senate leaders look to negotiate a deal.

From a Burr statement issued Sunday evening: "Negotiations on how to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff have been ongoing since the President was reelected in November.

Hagan says parties need to get to work in Washington

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday negotiators from both parties need to get to work in Washington to reach a budget settlement that includes revenue increases and spending cuts.

The alternative -- the automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as sequestration -- would be "extremely damaging to North Carolina," Hagan said on a conference call with reporters.

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