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Morning Memo: Another gambling bust with N.C. ties; Hagan remains against gay marriage

ANOTHER GAMBLING BUST WITH N.C. TIES: On the same day Florida prosecutors busted a gambling operation that snared a company with major North Carolina political ties, an Ohio prosecutor leveled a new indictment against another sweepstakes company with Tar Heel ties.

The March 13 superseding indictment updated charges filed in May against VS2 Worldwide Communications, a company that operated illegal Internet sweepstakes gaming software, according to local news reports. The company's owners, Phillip Cornick of New Jersey and Richard Upchurch of Ramseur, face charges in Ohio of money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The two men and their wives contributed more than $45,000 to North Carolina political candidates -- including Gov. Pat McCrory -- with more than half coming after their initial May indictments.

HAGAN ONE OF 11 SENATE DEMOCRATS NOT TO ENDORSE GAY MARRIAGE: North Carolina's Kay Hagan remains opposed to gay marriage, even though three prominent Democrats colleagues recently shifted their stances. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday (California's Proposition 8) and Wednesday (the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA) about same-sex marriage.

**More on the VS2's campaign contributions and Hagan's stance on gay marriage below in today's Dome Morning Memo. Sends news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. Thanks for reading.***

Alert the color police! It's fuchsia, not pink, on immigrant driver's licenses

The "pink stripe" is the new buzz word in North Carolina politics. But we learned from Transportation Secretary Tony Tata that it's not actually pink -- it's fuchsia.

The color -- defined in the dictionary as "vivid reddish purple" -- is getting all sorts of attention because it will appear on the driver's licenses issued to illegal immigrants under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Democrats are calling it a "scarlet letter" for immigrants.

McCrory reiterated this support for the stripe, saying "we have many different stripes for many different driver's licenses."

"I'm not even sure its pink," McCrory said. "What color is the real color?"

Tata told him the color is actually fuchsia. To justify the stripe, the secretary said state law requires markings on the front for different types of licenses and it matches the color of federal documents these individuals received under the program.

Morning Memo: McCrory-Cooper face off on immigrant driver's licenses

UPDATED: McCRORY-COOPER SHOWDOWN: Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's Division of Motor Vehicles is refusing to issue immigrants in the deferred action program driver's licenses but Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper says they must.

The state Attorney General’s office said Thursday that young illegal immigrants participating in an Obama administration program blocking deportation for two years should be eligible for driving privileges in North Carolina, but by day’s end it wasn’t clear whether the DMV would issue them. But by late Thursday, more than five hours after the opinion was released, acting DMV Commissioner J. Eric Boyette said DMV officials had not formulated their response. “We have just received the ruling from the Attorney General’s office regarding driver’s licenses for people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program today and we are in the process of reviewing it,” Boyette said by email.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo, a roundup of political news and analysis in North Carolina.

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