House Speaker Thom Tillis said he heard rumors about an affair his former chief of staff had with a state lobbyist but Charles Thomas denied the relationship. Tillis, who bunks with Thomas in Raleigh, answered questions about the affair for the first time Tuesday after Thomas' resignation last week for an affair with a homebuilders association lobbyist. Tillis also acknowledged a second staffer, Amy Hobbs, had a romantic relationship with a different lobbyist, Dean Plunkett, and would resign. Read the full story here.
Lots more political news:
-- A Charlotte area man is being questioned for firing a shotgun at an anti-amendment sign, which he recorded in a YouTube video that received widespread attention a week before the May 8 primary on the marriage referendum.
--Jurors at the John Edwards trial saw video on Tuesday afternoon of the house outside Chapel Hill where Edwards’ pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, lived for several months while hiding from National Enquirer reporters. Cheri Young, the wife of Edwards’ political aide Andrew Young, made the video in September 2008 while going through the two-story house in the Governors Club, a gated community near Chapel Hill. Day 7 Trial coverage here.
--Several people climbed on the side of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte at daybreak Wednesday and hung a 70-foot banner, in a protest aimed at Bank of America and the Obama administration. Three arrests were apparently made.
--State regulators Tuesday issued a long-awaited analysis of fracking, reiterating that the mining method can be done safely in North Carolina, despite overwhelming public opposition to the natural gas extraction technique. The 484-page report on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, tweaks an earlier agency recommendation issued in March that became the focus of heated debate during public hearings attended by hundreds of people.
--Calling North Carolina "ground zero" in the presidential campaign, Republican national chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday that his party's grass-roots effort will beat Democrats "across the board" in the state. Priebus spoke at the opening of a Charlotte “Victory headquarters,” one of four such offices opening across the state.
--House leaders released proposals Tuesday to delay collection of new ferry tolls, cap the state gas tax and eliminate the safety and emissions inspections requirement for cars from the three most recent model years.
--In Charlotte, a community conversation on the marriage amendment broke along familiar lines Tuesday night as a panel and an audience of 100 debated the necessity, the wisdom and the legal implications of the May 8 vote.
And after hours of debate Tuesday night, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners voted 5-4 to adopt a resolution opposing a proposed statewide marriage amendment.