'MORAL MONDAY' RALLY DRAWS ABOUT 200: Nearly 200 demonstrators were part of the procession that moved slowly from the First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh to the Executive Mansion. The event, touted as the 18th “Moral Monday,” was led by Youth and College NAACP groups from across North Carolina.
Gov. Pat McCrory was attending a Republic Governors Association meeting in Charleston, S.C., his staff told the media, and not at the Blount Street mansion while the young and old walked the perimeter of the property. “We’re going to make one circle around the governor’s mansion to let him know we plan to go all around this state,” the Rev. William Barber II, head of the state NAACP, told the demonstrators,
On Monday, it was the youth doing most of the rallying, though. “Just because the governor is gone doesn’t mean the issue is gone,” said Isaiah Daniels, a Shaw University student at the event. Read more here.
***Read a firebrand GOP response to the Democrats and get more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
SEN. TILLMAN SAYS 'LET 'EM YELL': Consider this a Republican response to the demonstrations. Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican recently sent a newsletter to his constiutents about the sharp reactions to the legislative session. In a piece titled "Let 'Em Yell," he writes: "Democrats and left-wingers are yelling and screaming. Let 'em yell....If they don't like our conservative legislation, that's ok with me. Tax reform led the way. Education reform was not far behind. Election law changes caused the most screaming. Reverend Barber, the New York Times, Senators Martin Nesbitt and Josh Stein (both are left of left and mired deep in worn-out clichés) are all yelling.
"Let me tell you this: if they were not yelling - I'd be worried. We've got their attention. We are moving North Carolina back to a center-right state where its people have almost always been. The liberals have never been friends of ours - never will. Reverend Barber, the New York Times, Martin Nesbitt and Josh Stein don't speak for me, nor for those who elected me and whom I represent. If they are not happy, that's a good sign. You will see...Let 'em yell...
"Real tax reform, as well as real education reform, takes leadership. Government will not reform itself. Election law changes we made are changes my constituents have been asking for for decades. We now have photo Voter ID and a host of other common-sense election law changes. They will make elections fair for everyone. They will ensure every vote that should count will count - any others will be turned away. Voter participation will increase. Wait and see…"
"Check this out: A New York Times editorial called North Carolina's voter laws mean-spirited. Really? New York's election laws are more restrictive than ours. Check it out...
"One hundred and forty years of Democrat control is not dying easily. I hate to say it, but I have yet to shed a tear over it. As Hank Williams, Jr. once said, "Old habits are hard to break." GOP leadership is slowly but surely bringing a new dynamic to North Carolina and dismantling a Democrat machine more than a century in the making."
TODAY IN POLITICS: Gov. Pat McCrory spends another day in Charleston, S.C., attending the Republican Governors Association event. Since he's staying a while, here's a craft beer guide to the city he might find helpful.
High Point University will release more polling numbers today about Syria, the voting laws and other political touch-points.
BURR LENDS NAME TO TILLIS FUNDRAISER: House Speaker Thom Tillis' U.S. Senate campaign is reminiscent of Richard Burr's successful win two years ago, and now the Republican U.S. senator is lending his name to a Tillis fundraiser, The Hill reports.
From the article: "Burr will join Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) for the Sept. 24 fundraiser in Washington, D.C., a sign establishment Republicans are rallying around Tillis even as others get into the primary against him. Burr's support is especially important; along with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), he's the state's highest-profile Republican. A source close to Burr, however, says the fundraiser is "not an official endorsement" of Tillis." Read more here.
COMMERCE NONPROFIT FORMED: Gov. Pat McCrory's administration has created a private nonprofit corporation that he wants to ultimately take over many of state government's economic development duties. The Commerce Department helped file paperwork for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina last week with the Secretary of State's Office. Filings with the Internal Revenue Service also are needed. Read more here.
A DIFFERENT TAKE ON McCRORY'S PATRONAGE PROBLEM: From Asheville columnist John Boyle: "It’s not political favoritism that riles me, it’s the amateurism. Clearly, our new governor, a Republican, needs a little advice on how to dole out the jobs without creating a media frenzy." Read more here.
SHELBY PAPER BLASTS McCRORY'S CASINO STANCE: From The Star -- which favors a huge new Catawba casino (it calls the project a "resort") because of the jobs it would bring -- responding to the governor saying there is no argument to justify the casino. "No argument to justify it? No argument to justify creating thousands of new jobs for his constituents, many of whom have been without steady work for years? Is that arrogance or ignorance? Shouldn't the governor be looking to make it easier to find a job, not harder? It should be noted that the Cherokee gave McCrory $4,000 in campaign contributions in 2012 alone.
"…Apparently our governor isn't interested in weighing the options, or understanding how vital this project could be to Cleveland County's future. He just wants to protect his investment and make sure you or your neighbor can't get a job with the Catawba.
"Yet he'll still find a way to tout "his" success should the project be approved and the jobs come pouring in. Gov. McCrory, thanks for looking out for Cleveland County. We'll remember this in 2016." Read more here.
FEDERAL JUDGE REJECTS CHALLENGE TO N.C. 12 BRIDGE: Environmental groups have lost their bid in federal court to block the state’s plan to replace the deteriorating N.C. 12 bridge over Oregon Inlet, but the Outer Banks project will remain in limbo until a similar lawsuit is settled by a state administrative law judge.
The state Department of Transportation wants to replace the 2.5-mile Bonner Bridge, built in 1962, which links Bodie and Hatteras islands. The proposed new bridge is part of a long-range plan to shore up a 12-mile stretch of N.C. 12 that is frequently damaged by coastal storms, from Oregon Inlet through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, to the village of Rodanthe. Read more here.
ACTIVISTS CONTINUE CHALLENGING GAY MARRIAGE BAN: Activists seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples in North Carolina continued their search Monday for an official willing to flout state law and issue licenses as an act of conscience, as such officials have done this summer in New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Two lesbian couples requested and were denied marriage licenses by Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen. He said he’d be honored to do it but was barred by North Carolina law. “I want you to know that I’m truly sorry I have to do this today,” Thigpen told Cheryl Bridges and Tracey Bridges of Greensboro, who spent $800 in legal bills to change their names to the one they share. Read more here.
STATE LAWMAKER ASKS HOLDER TO INTERVENE: Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate North Carolina's new voter law. Read more here.
NORTH CAROLINA SEES NO. 6 BIGGEST DROP IN FORECLOSURES: From USA Today -- 6. North Carolina 1-yr. change foreclosure starts: -56.0% August foreclosure starts: 711 (23rd most) Median home price: $149,000 (15th lowest)
While house prices in North Carolina increased only modestly in the past year, the state also did not experience the double-digit home price declines other states did during the housing crash. Between the beginning of 2008 and the start of this year, prices fell by just 8.8%, compared to a national decline of more than 14%. Unlike many of the states with large declines in foreclosure starts this year, North Carolina has a relatively low foreclosure rate, with just one in every 1,816 units in the process, compared to a national rate of roughly one out of every 1,000 units. Read more here.