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Morning Memo: Bill Maher's screed rips North Carolina GOP

BILL MAHER RIPS NORTH CAROLINA A NEW ONE: Comedian and liberal commenter Bill Maher spent five minutes recapping North Carolina's rightward political shift concluding: "North Carolina is going ape $*!# in a way no other state has."

Maher introduces the clip comparing the state to a third world country "where Democracy itself hangs in the balance." He later blames Art Pope for the circumstances and suggested his guest Jay-Z ought to buy the state. See the clip above.

McCRORY WATCH: Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t signed any bills in a week and there are 38 of them on his desk. Deadline to sign them is a minute before midnight on Sunday, Aug. 25. He signed a spate of legislation July 29.

***The biggest bill on his desk -- read about it below. Along with more North Carolina political news in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: Emails show Tata's troubles as former Wake education chief

TATA'S TUMULTOUS TENURE AS SCHOOLS CHIEF REVEALED: Newly released email shows that former Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata -- and now state Transportation Secretary -- spent his final month in office surrounded by growing distress and concern from school board members and parents over his handling of the school bus problems and student assignment. More than 3,400 pages of email released this week as part of a public records request by news media organizations, including The News & Observer, show how much the bus fiasco affecting thousands of families was a daily concern during the first month of school. (More on this story below.)

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: A bill to limit local governments from requiring inspections of homes in some instances -- a measure that is opposed by environmental groups -- is on the House calendar. The House will also consider legislation to make it a felony for a parent to fail to report a missing child, dubbed Caylee's Law after the Caylee Anthony case, in which the 2-year-old was found dead and her mother didn't report her missing for a month. At 10 a.m., Senate committee will consider (for discussion only) a midwife bill and a measure to put teeth in the state's public records law. On the Senate floor later in the day, the "red route" bill gets a final vote with toll road language attached. Gov. Pat McCrory is making an economic development announcement in Raleigh at 1 p.m.

***Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Click below more more North Carolina political news and analysis. Send tips and news to dome@newsobserver.com.***

Hagan ranks in Senate's ideological middle; Ellmers among most conservative

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan ranks in the ideological middle, according to the latest rankings from the National Journal. The Democrat, who faces re-election in 2014, ranks the 48th most liberal of the 100 senators, or 52 most conservative, depending on how you look at it.

Her Republican counterpart U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is the 23rd most conservative member in the chamber, the nonpartisan national political magazine found. National Journal ranked the lawmakers on 116 votes that showed differences in ideological viewpoint in the 112th Congress.

Among Democrats in the House, Congressman David Price is the most liberal at No. 32, followed by Mel Watt (45), former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (83), G.K. Butterfield (121). On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick was the 32nd most conservative, followed by Reps. Renee Ellmers (43), Virginia Foxx (55), Patrick McHenry (62), Howard Coble (153) and Walter Jones (242).

Morning Memo: GOP flirts with Charlotte for 2016 convention

GOP FLIRTS WITH CHARLOTTE: Could Charlotte do for Republicans in 2016 what it did for Democrats in 2012? The Republican National Committee’s meeting in Charlotte this week has fueled speculation that the GOP might return for its national convention in four years. “It’s always a possibility,” GOP Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday at the Westin hotel. “North Carolina was good to us. And it’s a red state – all the more reason to look at Charlotte.”

AFP TOUTS GOP REIGN IN NORTH CAROLINA: Tim Phillis, the national president of Americans for Prosperity, writes in a Politico op-ed that North Carolina is a state where the GOP plans to make a difference. It starts: "In Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 11, a new free-market Republican governor celebrated his gubernatorial win at the inaugural balls. The occasion was historic for North Carolina: the first time since Reconstruction that a conservative GOP governor will be joined by free-market GOP state legislative majorities in both state legislative chambers." Read full piece here.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo a digest of important N.C. political news. Click below for more.***

Morning Memo: McCrory gets campaign cash from indicted donor, Hudson on the rise

GOP GOV REPORTS CAMPAIGN CASH WELL AFTER ELECTION DAY: Pat McCrory won the governor's race Nov. 6 but campaign donors kept filling his coffers through the end of the year, according to new campaign finance reports. The Republican reported raising more than $42,000 after Election Day putting his total haul for the entire campaign at $12.3 million -- nearly three times as much as Democratic rival Walter Dalton, who raised $4.3 million.

McCRORY REPORTS DONATION FROM INDICTED DONOR:One more donation listed after the election: Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs. He gave McCrory $1,000 in a check reported Nov. 27.

Stubbs was indicted in 2012 for his political donations to Gov. Bev Perdue in the 2008 race involving a plane he allowed the Democrat to use in the campaign. He is charged with obstruction of justice and causing the campaign to file false reports. After his indictment, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, then just a candidate, returned the $250 donation Stubbs gave his campaign. The case is still pending and Stubbs is challenging the charges.

This is the Dome Morning Memo, a political tipsheet covering North Carolina politics. Read more campaign finance exclusive and a news roundup below.

Morning Roundup: Are you willing to you help payoff the nation's debt?

The nation's $16 trillion-plus debt has some Americans so worried that they've donated nearly $8 million outside of federal taxes - to help pay it off. Yes, it's less than a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, which annually accepts such "gifts." Read the article here.

More political headlines you may have missed over the long weekend:

--State legislators say their upcoming proposal to deal with the unprecedented $2.8 billion unemployment insurance won’t eliminate the issue that has outraged the business community – the higher taxes being imposed on employers to pay down the debt.

Morning Roundup: How can Congress move forward?

How can a Congress with such wide political differences move forward together for the good of the nation? That’s the question the inaugural Solving It Together forum, presented by The Charlotte Observer and PNC Bank, will tackle.

Former N.C. Gov. Jim Martin, former U.S. Rep. John Spratt  and Congressmen Mel Watt, Patrick McHenry and Mick Mulvaney will participate. More details here.

More political headlines:

--The state Attorney General put on its public case Tuesday charging that a 7.2 percent rate increase approved for Duke Energy should be thrown out on the grounds that it’s causing a public hardship in the midst of a prolonged economic downturn.

McIntyre-Rouzer race ranks among most expensive in nation

The 7th District congressional race between Democrat Mike McIntyre and Republican David Rouzer ranks No. 5 among the most expensive House races in the nation.

As detailed in a Politico report, the outside spending from GOP groups to unseat the incumbent is running up the tab, bringing total spending in the race to $3 million.

Marco Rubio to headline fundraiser for Robert Pittenger

GOP darling Marco Rubio is the headliner at a fundraiser next week for congressional candidate Robert Pittenger.

The Sept. 26 fundraiser at the Charlotte City Club includes a private photo reception for those who gives $1,000 or more. Individual tickets cost $250. The hosts include Frank Dowd IV, Johnny Harris, Rick Hendrick and Felix Sabates.

Rubio is the Republican senator from Florida and a vice presidential short-lister. Pittenger, the former state senator and lieutenant governor candidate, is running in the 9th Congressional District.



Document(s):
Rubio Email Invitation.pdf

Mike McIntyre is here -- and so are most N.C. Democratic officials

Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre knows the question before it's asked. "Yes, I'm here. I'm Mike McIntyre."

"Here" is the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. A question entering the convention was whether moderate Democrats -- particularly electorally endangered ones -- would appear at event. To appear allows opponents to paint them with the broad brush of the party, when candidates like McIntyre often distance themselves.

U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell is not attending. But the other other major Democrat not scheduled to make an appearance in Charlotte is Attorney General Roy Cooper, statye officials said. Cooper is running unopposed this year.

McIntyre, who will speak to the state delegation Tuesday morning, is also hosting a fundraiser at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He called the convention "a great way to showcase North Carolina. It's also a great way to boost theeconomy."

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