Rouzer, Tillis, Burr file bill to reunite Brunswick County with Wilmington MSA

county sealWASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), along with Representative David Rouzer (R- N.C. 7), introduced legislation to correct a mistake by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) that is adversely affecting eastern North Carolina. Two years ago, OMB issued new delineations for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) that arbitrarily separated Brunswick County from the Wilmington metropolitan area.  MSAs are commonly used by businesses to determine the size of new markets and to analyze the workforce. Separating Brunswick County from Wilmington has led to an understatement of the size of the state’s economy in the region and hurt economic development.

Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr

Senator Richard Burr

Senator Richard Burr

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) distributed the following legislative update to his email list on Friday:

This week, in response to the horrible news that an illegal immigrant killed four in North Carolina, Senators Tillis, Grassley and I introduced legislation prohibiting people with gang ties from receiving deferred deportation and other immigration benefits. The circumstances around this bill are incredibly sad and preventable. 

If the President can’t take steps to ensure that Americans are safe from criminal gang members, then Congress must take preventative action. I hope that Congress will pass this law to ensure criminals cannot stay in this country, even under this President’s edict. You can read the Charlotte Observer’s report on this bill here.

McHenry Applauds House Passage of Congressional 10-Year Balanced Budget Resolution

PatrickMcHenryWASHINGTON, D.C. — Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10) released the following statement after House passage of the joint 10-year Congressional balanced budget resolution:

This evening the new Republican majority took another important step in our efforts to get Congress working again by passing the first joint ten-year balanced budget resolution in nearly fifteen years. The joint resolution reflects the Conservative principles of our Conference¬ fully repealing Obamacare, strengthening our national defense, and achieving balance, all without raising taxes.

Ellmers Praises Budget

ReneeEllmersWASHINGTON – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) released the following statement after voting on the FY16 Budget Conference Report:

“Tonight marks a historic moment. For the first time since 2001, the House has passed a balanced budget—and we’ve done so without raising taxes. Unlike the president’s budget proposal, this budget achieves the notion of fiscal responsibility – most importantly, it puts an end to Obama’s motto of “more spending, more taxes, more debt.”

Got to Be NC Festival offers food, entertainment, education May 15-17 at State Fairgrounds

Got To Be NC 2014RALEIGH – The Got to Be NC Festival returns to the N.C. State Fairgrounds with a full lineup of food, entertainment and family fun May 15-17.

“The Got to Be NC Festival continues to get better and better each year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Last year more than 70,000 people attended, and I hope to see even more join us this May as we celebrate the best of North Carolina agriculture.”

Polling Report: April 25 – May 1

RedDomeGroupby Jacob Cole

North Carolina Up for Grabs in 2016
In a new statewide poll in North Carolina, Jeb Bush fares the best against Hillary Clinton, losing to the former Secretary of State 45-43, within the margin of error. While he has the best numbers, Jeb is not the only one within striking distance of Hillary, with Paul, Rubio, and Cruz all behind her by just 4, 5, and 6 points, respectively. Perhaps the most interesting part of this poll is Scott Walker’s relatively poor performance, losing 48-39 despite recent polls showing him to be the frontrunner in the NC primary. Rather than the product of one constituency, Walker simply underperforms his rivals in nearly every demographic, falling behind all four in support from young people, Hispanics, and conservatives. While Walker’s performance may be an outlier, it is worth noting that a generic Republican is only 2 percentage points behind Hillary, meaning the margin could easily be reversed once the party rallies behind a nominee. (via SurveyUSA)
Carson Leads as Millennials Drift From Democrats
Voters aged 18-29, known as millennials, said they would vote for a Democrat in 2016 by a 55-40 margin, showing some inroads for the GOP since young people went 60-37 for Obama in 2012. However, the Democrats still have significant support among young women and young minorities, with young Hispanics supporting Democrats 68-27 and young women breaking Democratic by 59-36. The GOP choice among young people is wide open, with 10% supporting Ben Carson, compared to 8% for Rand Paul and 7% each for Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. 47% of young Democrats support Hillary Clinton, which is about 10% below her numbers in national polls, suggesting these voters might be up for grabs. As 40% of millennials overall do not identify with either party, if the GOP can reach these voters now, they could pay dividends for the party for years to come. (via McClatchy DC)
The Shrinking Middle Class
51% of Americans describe themselves as middle or upper-middle class, a 12% decline from 2008. The percentage of Americans identifying as lower or working class has correspondingly risen to 48%, well north of its low of 33% in 2000. Those most likely to have fallen out of the middle class are those without a college education. While 76% of college graduates still consider themselves middle class (compared to 82% in 2008), only 38% of high school graduates see themselves the same way, when nearly half did so in 2008. Politically, this poll shows that the weak economic recovery and income inequality could each resonate with voters on both sides of the aisle. As Republicans have recently done well with working class voters, a pervading feeling of economic decline during the Obama administration could drive high GOP turnout in Rust Belt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania come 2016. (via Gallup)
Jacob Cole is with Red Dome Group, a political consulting firm based in North Carolina.  For more information, visit

Wildlife Commission Offers Fishing Skills Events at Pechmann Center

NC WildlifeFAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering three free fishing skills events in May at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville.

A Surf Fishing Seminar, scheduled for May 5 from 6:30-9 p.m., is for participants who want to learn the basics of fishing from the surf. Topics will include selecting baits and equipment, reading the water, rigging and casting. Participants also will practice casting a 5-ounce weight, using a 10, 12 or 13-foot surf rod with both spinning and baitcasting surf reels.

Thirteen Current and Former Law Enforcement Officers and Two Others Indicted for Their Alleged Participation in a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

WASHINGTON—Thirteen current and former law enforcement officers and two other individuals have been indicted and arrested for allegedly protecting narcotics shipments and cash proceeds during transit along the east coast for what they believed was a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was actually an undercover operation by the FBI.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte, North Carolina, Division made the announcement.

Opinion: Poverty Center’s Demise Is UNC’s Gain

AndyTaylorby Dr. Andy Taylor

On Feb. 27, the UNC Board of Governors voted to close the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at its Chapel Hill campus. Many on the left and faculty within the UNC system argued the board’s decision was political and an attack on academic freedom. 

The center is directed by professor Gene Nichol of the UNC Law School, a frequent critic of Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican majorities in the General Assembly. Those opposing the decision saw it as revenge for Nichol’s vitriolic commentaries on conservative policymakers published in The News and Observer. 

Battleship May 2015 Programming

BattleshipNCWILMINGTON, N.C. – The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announces the programming schedule for May, 2015.

Showboat—Systems & Design
May 16, 2015
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$40* per person. $35* for Friends members or active military.
*plus tax

As the first of the 10 fast battleships which served in WWII, NORTH CAROLINA paved the way for those battleships that followed. Hampered by treaty restrictions, naval architects still managed to weave the various ship systems together into an efficient and elegant naval weapons system – the first battleship constructed in sixteen years. LtCol Ken Rittenmeyer, USAF (Ret) will provide participants with an insightful afternoon program explaining these various shipboard systems – armor, fuel, propulsion, electrical, etc. – that make NORTH CAROLINA an effective warship and how they are skillfully incorporated into this engineering wonder. A one-hour presentation followed by a two-hour shipboard exploration comprise this engaging program.