Under the Dome

Morning Memo: What Pat McCrory and Bev Perdue have in common

SENATE OVERRIDE VOTE EXPECTED: The state House on Tuesday took little more than half an hour to override the governor’s vetoes of two bills, on immigration and drug-testing welfare recipients. The resurrected legislation now passes to the Senate, which will vote Wednesday morning and is expected to easily override. Gov. Pat McCrory lobbied House members to sustain the vetoes to little success -- but he didn't try a similiar effort with lawmakers in the Senate, a chamber that he has been at odds with for most of the legislative session.

HOW PAT McCRORY AND BEV PERDUE ARE ALIKE: From Catawba College political expert Michael Bitzer: "What appears to be constant between the two governors is the distaste by independent voters. While (former Gov. Bev) Perdue faired worse earlier than (Gov. Pat) McCrory has, they both have reached a similar point of nearly 50 percent disapproval among independent voters. While the Perdue-McCrory gap is pretty noticeable among independents expressing their disapproval, the convergence in August, after the dust of the legislative sessions had settled, is pretty striking." See his analysis of polling results and the one chart that tells the McCrory story.

***Read more on the override votes in the House and where the N.C. delegation stands on Syria below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

TODAY IN POLTICS: The Senate convenes at 9 a.m. Wednesday and is expected to take quick votes to override the governor's vetoes before adjourning for the year. At the time, Gov. Pat McCrory will be cutting a ribbon at BASF Chemical in Research Triangle Park before attending the State Board of Education meeting at 10:30 a.m. (Meeting starts at 9 a.m.) U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, will also attend the BASF event.

McCrory is also expected to attend the Cary Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet Wednesday evening at the Prestonwood County Club in the evening. McCrory will join state Sen. Tamara Barringer for a discussion. (Wonder how Barringer will vote on the overrides?) The governor's office did not include the event on McCrory's limited public schedule, but the chamber announced the event.

TILLIS TRIES TO LET McCRORY DOWN GENTLY: Immediately after the votes, House Speaker Thom Tillis issued a statement downplaying the split, stressing that these were the only two vetoes among hundreds of bills passed this year. “I believe that is a reflection of the close working relationship we enjoy with Gov. McCrory,” Tillis said. “… Though we disagreed with the governor on these two issues, we appreciate his leadership and continue to have great confidence in his administration.” Tillis, who as speaker doesn’t have to vote, did in this case. He sided with overrides of both vetoes. Read more here.

NORTH CAROLINA GOP DELEGATION SPLIT ON SYRIA STRIKES: The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives declared support on Tuesday for air strikes on Syria, but some Republicans in the North Carolina delegation expressed serious reservations and several said they’d vote against military retaliation.

Those saying they’d vote no were Republicans Renee Ellmers of Dunn and Walter Jones of Greenville. Rep. Howard Coble, a Republican from Greensboro, said he was leaning to no. Rep. George Holding, a Republican from Raleigh, didn’t say how he’d vote, but said in a statement that even a limited military action could have unknown consequences and may not deter the Syrian regime. Read more here.

STORY TO WATCH -- Southern Democrats distance themselves from President Obama: From AP -- COLUMBIA, S.C. As Democrats try to curtail GOP dominance in the South, the party's top recruits for 2014 elections are trying to sell themselves as problem solvers above Washington's partisan gridlock. They're casting the Republicans' anti-government mantra and emphasis on social issues like abortion and gay marriage as ideological obstacles to progress on "bread-and-butter" issues like public education, infrastructure and health care.

That goes beyond their usual effort to distance themselves from President Barack Obama and national Democrats, and it's the closest thing the Democratic Party has to a unified strategy in the region beyond simply waiting for demographics to shift in the long term to ensure they can compete with Republicans. Read more here.

CAMPAIGNS IN THE AGE OF TWITTER: A North Carolina case study The New York Times recently wrote about CNN political reporter Peter Hamby's study of campaigns in the age of digital media. And one of the prime examples of how Twitter can consume a politician's message comes from North Carolina. Hamby writes about Gov. Bev Perdue's "get over it" remark regarding reporters' questions about the sexual harassment scandal at the N.C. Democratic Party. Find it on page 29-30 of Hamby's paper for the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University. (Editor's note: Hamby, a friend of the show, writes that the N&O picked up on the story after TV reported it. The N&O uploaded the video before the TV station, whose reporter asked the damning question. Again, another way the media landscape is changing.)

STATE ELECTIONS BOARD SPLITS APPEALS: Under the glare of a national media spotlight, the North Carolina Board of Elections ruled on two cases Tuesday that offered a glimpse of where the five members appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory stand on the changed electoral landscape. The board members unanimously agreed that an Elizabeth City State University student can run for local office, reversing a decision by the Republican-controlled Pasquotank County elections board.

DEMOCRATS SPLIT, ONE SIDES WITH GOP MAJORITY: But in a 4-1 vote, the state board (3 Republicans and 2 Democrats) brushed aside an attempt to overturn a Watauga County elections board decision to close an early-voting site on the Appalachian State University campus for the coming municipal election. The decisions came amid extensive state and national attention to rulings and proposals by new Republican-controlled county boards that critics describe as attempts to squelch the under-30 vote. “They’re not leaning in favor of access for voters when they have discretion,” said Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, an election advocacy group. “But in the cases where the law’s very clear and there’s case-law precedent, they don’t want to look extreme so they don’t go beyond that.” Read more here.

YOUNG DEMOCRATS HIT THE ROAD: In what they are calling a statewide "Bootstraps Tour," the Young Democrats of North Carolina plan to travel Saturday to highlight solutions to fighting poverty and creating jobs -- pushing a message about what Republican state lawmakers and the governor aren't doing to help. YDNC National Committeeman Justin Conley: “North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly has ‘cut off the bootstraps’ of the working-class and the poor by passing bills to kill jobs and rip holes in the social safety net. Public education – the most important path out of poverty – is on the chopping block."

ICYMI: McCrory sit-down interview: The governor talked to News 14 about vetoes, elections board politics, voter ID, high staff salaries at DHHS and his comment about reporters not being smart enough to cover his policies. He says it was taken out of context and aimed at one N&O editorial writer.

Here's what he said, you judge whether he was talking about one editorial writer: “This is too complex for the journalists,” McCrory said to businessmen during a speech in Asheville. “They don’t have economics degrees; they’ve not been in business. I respect them greatly, but you get it.” Watch the full News 14 interview here.

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