Opinion: Hunt-Helms and Helms-Gantt Will Remain Costliest N.C. Races

BarrySmithBy Barry Smith

The U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis looks like it’s about to become the most expensive statewide race in North Carolina history. Or will it?

While a Charlotte Observer analysis shows that total spending in the race, including that from independent groups, is expected to top out at around $103 million, that’s actually less in inflation-adjusted expenditures per registered voter than has been spent in the two most expensive U.S. Senate races in North Carolina.

Tillis Campaign Statement On Final Debate and Hagan’s Absence

ThomTillisRALEIGH – Following the final debate of the N.C. Senate campaign, which Sen. Kay Hagan skipped, Thom Tillis for U.S. Senate campaign manager Jordan Shaw issued the following statement:

“At tonight’s debate, Thom discussed his solutions for turning our economy around, keeping America safe and secure, and rejecting politics as usual in Washington. Thom also talked about his working-class values and how he knows firsthand what it’s like to raise a family while attending school at night and struggling to make ends meet. Thom is running to protect the American Dream for future generations and create opportunities for middle-class families.

Polls show close race between Tillis & Hagan

Recent polls continue to show a tight race between incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis.

Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll Monday showing Hagan with a 47%-44% lead, within the 3.5% margin of error.

According to RealClearPolitics, most recent polls have shown Hagan with a slight lead, nearly all within the margin of error.  Talking Points Memo says its TPM Polltracker average gives Hagan a 0.8 point lead over Tillis.

Tillis Campaign Statement On Kay Hagan’s “Flip-Flop” On Ebola Travel Ban

RALEIGH, N.C. – A press release from Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Thom Tillis’ campaign says that “less than 48 hours after Sen. Kay Hagan claimed Thom Tillis’ support for a travel ban from Ebola-inflicted nations was ‘not going to help solve this problem,’ she flip-flopped.” The release quotes Hagan as saying the following about the ban in a press conference on Oct. 15: “That’s not going to help solve this problem. That’s not going to contain the epidemic we see happening in Africa.”

According to the release Tillis originally called for a travel ban on October 2.

Hagan Statement on Response to the Ebola Crisis

GREENSBORO, N.C. – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan issued the following statement about the ongoing Ebola crisis:

“I have said for weeks that travel restrictions should be one part of a broad strategy to prevent Ebola from spreading in the U.S. and fighting it in Africa. I am calling on the Administration to temporarily ban the travel of non-U.S. citizens from the affected countries in West Africa. Although stopping the spread of this virus overseas will require a large, coordinated effort with the international community, a temporary travel ban is a prudent step the President can take to protect the American people, and I believe he should do so immediately.”

USDA Office Blocks Access To Hagan Grant Records

by Don Carrington

RALEIGH — After first agreeing to allow Carolina Journal to inspect the documents relating to a taxpayer-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture energy grant to a company owned by family members of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the USDA Rural Development office in Raleigh later said the matter was being handled in Washington — implying the USDA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

Hagan Firm Received Second Federal Solar Grant

by Don Carrington

RALEIGH — JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband Charles “Chip” Hagan, received a $50,000 renewable energy grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in July 2011, less than a year after it got a $250,444 stimulus grant for a related project.

The two grants were used for the installation of rooftop solar panels on a 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville owned by JDC, and leased to Plastic Revolutions, a recycling company also owned by the Hagan family. Both solar installations were done by Green State Power, a solar energy contractor owned and managed by Chip Hagan, his son Tilden, and son-in-law William Stewart.

High Point Poll: Obama at 40% Approval in NC, Hagan at 35%, Tillis at 32%

High PointHIGH POINT, N.C. — A new HPU poll finds that 40 percent of North Carolina likely voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance. The poll, the second of the semester, places Sen. Kay Hagan’s job performance at 35 percent approval, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis at 32 percent, and the U.S. Congress at 12 percent.

A majority (55 percent) of the likely voters interviewed for the survey disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Hagan received a 54 percent disapproval rating, while Tillis received 46 percent disapproval. Eighty-one percent of likely voters disapprove of the performance of the U.S. Congress.

Opinion: Hagan Stimulus Story Reveals Much

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

In the homestretch of the Senate race between incumbent Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tillis, the disclosure that Hagan’s family profited from the 2009 stimulus package she voted for has drawn a great deal of attention.

Well, let me clarify that statement. It has drawn lots of attention from out-of-state media outlets and from Carolina Journal, the newspaper published by my organization. It has thus far drawn scant attention from the North Carolina press corps. That’s too bad. The story is an instructive illustration of how easy it is for noble-sounding government initiatives to devolve into crass raids on the public treasury.

Hagan Firm Keeps Stimulus Project Savings, Sends None to Taxpayers

by Don Carrington

REIDSVILLE — JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband Charles “Chip” Hagan, lowered the total cost of a 2010 stimulus-funded energy project but kept all of the savings, sending none back to taxpayers who had funded the stimulus grant.

The company’s original application stated the total project would cost $438,627, and said JDC would contribute “leveraged funds” amounting to $187,983, or 43 percent of the total. As the project reached completion, however, JDC revised the total budget downward by $114,519 and applied all the savings to its share, keeping all the taxpayer funding.