Opinion: State Raised School Spending

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

Just before Labor Day, the publicly available polls of likely voters had incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan roughly tied with her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis. Since Labor Day, the polling average has shifted about three points in Hagan’s direction.

How come? The main cause, it seems, is that Hagan and her allies have vastly outspent Tillis and his allies on TV ads since Labor Day — and the claims in those ads, on education funding, have both pulled some swing voters into Hagan’s column and pushed some Tillis voters into the undecided column.

PPP poll shows Hagan with slight lead over Tillis

PPPRALEIGH, N.C. – A new poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm in Raleigh, shows incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan with a slight lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis.

The poll shows Hagan with 44%, Tillis with 4% and Libertarian Sean Haugh with 5%. In their blog post, PPP says that Haugh’s impact on the race “is waning,” pointing out that his support has dropped from 11% in June. Additionally, when Haugh’s supporters are reallocated to who they would choose between Hagan and Tillis, Hagan continues to hold a 4 point lead at 46%-42%.

Other tidbits from the poll:

Gov. Christie Campaigns With Tillis In Wilmington

ThomTillisWILMINGTON, N.C. —  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined Thom Tillis on the campaign trail Tuesday at The Dixie Grill in Wilmington.

Gov. Christie praised Tillis’ record of balancing budgets, controlling spending, cutting taxes, and generating opportunities for North Carolina middle-class families and small businesses. Christie also took note of the clear choice North Carolina voters have in November, with Sen. Kay Hagan representing six more years of President Obama’s failed policies, and Tillis offering proven independent leadership and a much-needed check and balance on the President’s liberal agenda.

Hagan Questions Military Leaders on Plans to Defeat ISIS

Hagan, Kay 010809-18418-rb 0014WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, Chair of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, questioned Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey about their plans to deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“I am pleased that the strategy the Administration has developed for defeating ISIS includes training and equipping the moderate Syrian opposition,” Hagan said. “This is something I have pushed for for over a year, in part to prevent a power vacuum among the rebels that would allow a group like ISIS to gain strength. Airpower alone, while important, does not win a conflict like this.”

Tillis: Why Has Emerging Threats Chair Kay Hagan Held Zero Hearings On ISIS?

RALEIGH, N.C. – Although Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is the chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, which specifically deals with terrorist threats, a press release from Republican challenger Thom Tillis’ campaign says she has never called for a single public hearing that focuses on ISIS.

According to a release from Tillis’ campaign, The Washington Examiner recently reported on Sen. Hagan’s “newfound criticism” of Obama on ISIS, noting that Hagan herself has rarely made public comments about ISIS, and failed to call for a single hearing to discuss the rising threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  In a Sept. 10 article, the Examiner said “A review of Hagan’s public statements, Senate website and transcripts of committee hearings shows she has raised the topic of the Islamic State only a few times, even as the chairwoman of a relevant subcommittee on emerging national security threats.”

Hagan Stands With North Carolina Tire Workers, Supports Investigations Into Chinese Imports

Hagan, Kay 010809-18418-rb 0014WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (NC) led a group of 31 Senators in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker yesterday supporting the Department’s decision to initiate investigations into Chinese tire imports and urging them to act to restore fair trade conditions. The investigations are in response to petitions filed by the United Steelworkers (USW), on behalf of U.S. tire workers, who allege that Chinese tire companies are illegally subsidizing the manufacture of tires and dumping them on the U.S. market, undercutting U.S. tire producers and workers. If allowed to continue, these unfair trade practices could severely damage the domestic tire industry, including the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville.

Hagan Applauds $222K Grant for City of Durham’s Duke Belt Line Trail

Hagan, Kay 010809-18418-rb 0014WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday U.S. Senator Kay Hagan applauded a grant that the City of Durham has received for $222,700 in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to continue construction on the Duke Belt Line Trail Plan.

“Innovative projects like the Duke Belt Line Trail will bring economic development to the Triangle and put more North Carolinians back to work,” said Hagan. “Investments like these in our infrastructure will ensure North Carolina continues to grow and create good-paying jobs.”

Hagan Comments on President’s Address Outlining America’s Response to ISIS

Hagan, Kay 010809-18418-rb 0014WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Hagan (NC ) issued the following statement after the President’s address on America’s response to ISIS:

“ISIS presents a severe threat to our national security, and their murder of two American journalists is an attack on America and our values. We must respond, and we will respond, by taking immediate, sustained, and decisive action to destroy ISIS.

“The President and our military leadership have now developed a plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels and defeat ISIS with a sustained campaign of airstrikes. As long ago as the spring of last year, I pressed the Administration to arm and empower moderate Syrian rebels and I am glad that effort will be accelerated.

Separation Of Powers Clash Unlikely Electoral Issue

Dan Way Carolina Journalby Dan Way

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory’s coal ash clash with the General Assembly to determine the framework of North Carolina government is an important fight, but is unlikely to influence voters’ decisions in the Nov. 4 general election, political analysts say.

Despite his constitutional separation-of-powers concerns over who appoints members to a new Coal Ash Commission that is stacked in the General Assembly’s favor 6-3, McCrory announced by video late Tuesday that he would not veto the cleanup bill, and will allow the legislation to pass without his signature so that cleanup can move forward.