Civitas Poll Shows Slim Lead For Tillis

CivitasRALEIGH, N.C. – The newest Civitas Poll showed state House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, with a slight edge over Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in voters’ views of the U.S. Senate candidates.

When we asked 600 North Carolina registered voters who they’d vote for if the election were today, 40 percent picked Tillis, 39 percent Hagan and 5 percent Libertarian Sean Haugh. Fourteen percent were undecided. Asked about their choices without Haugh, Tillis again led Hagan by 1 point, 42 to 41, with 15 percent undecided.

Opinion: Hagan Lawyers Have Trouble With The Dictionary

RickHendersonby Rick Henderson

In recent weeks, Carolina Journal has followed up several times on a story first reported at the Washington, D.C., news service Politico, noting that JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband Chip received some $390,000 in benefits from the 2009 federal stimulus law: a $250,644 grant to install more efficient lighting and furnaces and place solar panels at its building in Reidsville, and roughly $137,000 in federal tax credits resulting from the solar installation.

The Hagan team has responded — primarily through its attorneys and other paid operatives — by claiming initially that the family and later that JDC never profited from the federal handouts.

State Attorney: NAACP May Try To Disrupt Election

BarrySmithby Barry Smith

RALEIGH — As early voting opens for the 2014 general election, an attorney representing the state in the lawsuit fighting state election law reforms is seeking further information regarding statements made earlier this month by the Rev. William Barber at the state NAACP convention.

The statements, according to a memo by Butch Bowers, indicate that Barber urged those attending the convention to take people who have not registered to vote to early voting sites and transport registered voters to their wrong precincts on election day. Both practices — same-day registration at early voting locations and out-of-precinct voting — were prohibited by the General Assembly’s 2013 election law.

Mecklenburg County Social Worker Pleads Guilty in Connection with Medicaid Fraud Schem

FBICHARLOTTE, NC—A social worker with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) appeared in federal court today and pleaded guilty to federal charges for her role in a healthcare fraud scheme involving the stolen identities of clients enrolled with the Medicaid program, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Ieshia Hicks Watkins, 33, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer to one count of health care fraud conspiracy and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte.

Troxler announces availability of farmland preservation grants; application deadline is Dec. 19

SteveTroxlerRALEIGH, N.C. – County governments and nonprofit groups pursuing farmland preservation projects have until Dec. 19 to apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. This year’s request for proposals includes statewide general appropriations and $1 million for military base and training buffers.

The statewide general appropriations are anticipated future appropriations in the 2015-2017 biennium budget. The military buffer funds are from the 2014-2015 budget and must be contracted and encumbered by June 15, 2015. The military buffer funds must be matched with federal dollars on an equal or greater basis.

Opinion: Some Say Paying the Doctor Directly Makes Sense

KatherineRestrepoby Katherine Restrepo

A massive government overhaul of our health care delivery system continues to unfold, and the nation is embarking upon uncharted territory. Providers are fed up with reduced payments, spending more time wading through convoluted third-party paperwork, and not being reimbursed in a timely fashion. (Can someone say NC Tracks?)

However, an increasing number of medical providers are taking on a business model that avoids Obamacare’s additional unhealthy layers of regulation. By cutting out the middleman insurer, more doctors are delivering primary-care services to patients in exchange for direct payment. Also known as “concierge care,” direct primary care has been a niche market for years.

$1.9 million to fund clean water projects in NC, AG Cooper says

RoyCooperRALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s waterways, wildlife habitat and water quality will get a boost thanks to $1.9 million in environmental grants, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

“These grants will fund projects that protect and improve our state’s natural resources from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Pamlico Sound,” Cooper said. “Protecting these treasures is vital to our health and our economy.”

The grants are the twelfth in a series awarded to environmental projects under an agreement reached in 2000 between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer. Under the agreement, Smithfield agreed to provide $50 million over 25 years to improve the environment and $15 million to North Carolina State University to fund development of new technologies for the processing and treatment of hog waste.

Early Voting Begins Today

vote buttonRALEIGH, N.C. — One-stop early voting begins today at 367 sites across North Carolina, the most sites ever offered during a midterm election. Registered voters may participate at any early voting site in their county of residence from October 23 through November 1.  Voters choosing to vote on Election Day must do so in their proper precinct.

“We encourage voters to take advantage of the early voting options within their county,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, Director of the State Board of Elections.

Poll: Voters Stand Up for Religious Leaders Defending Their Faith

RasmussenHouston Mayor Annise Parker, who is openly gay, recently subpoenaed sermons, speeches and private communications by pastors in the city opposed to a proposed gay rights ordinance. This has prompted an angry response from advocates of religious freedom nationwide, and voters strongly agree that religious leaders standing up for the beliefs of their faith should not be subject to prosecution.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 77% of likely U.S. voters do not believe the government should be allowed to prosecute religious leaders for comments that criticize government and social policies that violate the basic beliefs of their religion. Just 14% think the government should be able to prosecute religious leaders on these grounds.

NCDMV, NCSBOE Partner to Validate Voter Registration Applications in Advance of Election

RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is supporting the N.C. State Board of Elections in its efforts to confirm the validity of voter registration applications. NCDMV is using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security database to assist in this proactive process.

“This is an example of the continued partnership between NCDMV and the State Board of Elections,” said NCDMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas. “Through this team approach, we will do all we can to help the Board of Elections ensure the security and accuracy of voter registration applications.”