Ruh roh:


John Rhodes, the former legislator ousted by Thom Tillis, blasted Tillis Friday and called upon him to resign. He indicated he is filing formal complaints with the State Board of Elections, the Attorney General and the legislative ethics committee. Rhodes included documentation of his complaints and allegations. You can read his statement by clicking here:


That link also contains the documentation supporting Rhodes complaints.

Much of what is included in Rhodes' statement has already been reported. But to our knowledge there has been no compilation in one place of the complaints against Tillis, such as Rhodes has done.

The issue now becomes two-fold: Will the various oversight entities investigate the complaint and how will the Democrats use the information if Tillis wins the Republican nomination and goes up against Kay Hagan in November. Stay tuned. We're confident you will be hearing more about this. - Beaufort Observer, 3/24/14

This doesn't look for Tillis, especially since he is in one tough primary fight.  Dr. Greg Brannon (R. NC) has been working on winning over the Tea Party voters:


Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon got a warm reception from the local Tea Party group, Alamance Conservative.

Brannon is one of eight Republicans vying to run against Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in November.

He has pulled even with presumptive front runner Thom Tillis, now speaker of the state house, according to Public Policy Polling.

Brannon had a few barbs for Tillis in his speech to the local Tea Party group, Thursday night in the private dining room at the K&W Cafeteria. About 40 people were in attendance.

“We’re attacking issues,” Brannon said. “Mr. Tillis allowed Common Core. Mr. Tillis said Obamacare is a good idea you can’t pay for.”

Mostly, though, Brannon talked about his constitutional philosophy at a mile a minute.

“I will never compromise on two things: life, and the constitutional rule of law,” Brannon said in the question and answer period after his stump speech. - The Times News, 3/22/14

And Rev. Mark Harris (R. NC) is working on winning over the Evangelical GOP voters:


The Rev. Mark Harris says he's the only one in the U.S. Senate Republican primary field that can unite the three streams of the GOP in North Carolina and ultimately put Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on the political ropes heading to November.

"I wholeheartedly believe that I am the bridge candidate in this race," Harris told a small gathering listening to the Charlotte pastor at Acorn Ridge Baptist Church in Moore County one recent afternoon. "We're going to draw from the tea party. We're going to draw from the establishment — the business community. And we're going to draw from the evangelicals."

But it's clear the 25-year Southern Baptist minister from Charlotte won't reach any runoff in the eight-candidate May 6 primary, let alone win it outright, unless he gets to the polls enough like-minded people disturbed about the country's direction on gay marriage, abortion and what they consider Christianity's removal from the public square.

Political liberals are "trying to replace the foundation that this country was founded on, and that is the Bible," said Dwight Creech, principal of Calvary Christian School in Southern Pines and a Harris supporter.

Harris, who turns 48 in April, has a strong connection to this part of the electorate. The former Baptist State Convention president successfully energized social conservatives two years ago to approve an amendment to North Carolina's constitution affirming the state's ban on gay marriage.

"Christian conservatives have to get out of the pews," said Kevin Shinault, 56, of Pilot Mountain, one of more than 150 people attending a Harris rally and volunteer meeting in the parking lot of a north Raleigh hotel. Shinault is a social conservative and tea party member.

The evening's big draw, wasn't Harris, but the Duggars, whose cable reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting" and vocal commitment to faith make them heroes within the Christian conservative movement. Harris highlights the Duggars, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also a Baptist minister, among his endorsements. - Huffington Post, 3/22/14

And Senator Kay Hagan (D. NC) has been focusing her attacks towards Tillis:


In an interview Friday with the Associated Press, she said her campaign will continue to focus on the House speaker and try to link him to the conservative backers of Americans for Prosperity, which supported most of the Republican legislative agenda.

The focus on the Koch brothers is nothing new – Democrats have pressed the issue for weeks now. And the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic outside political group, is preparing to reinforce her push with a new TV ad campaign.

But Hagan’s unilateral focus on Tillis – one of eight candidates – is interesting. A telling line from the story: “Hagan said she’d leave it to Republicans to decide her challenger but voluntarily critiqued Tillis at nearly every turn in a wide-ranging interview.”

Obviously Hagan can read a poll; Tillis leads in most of them. But as she attacks Tillis, how much of it helps Greg Brannon, a tea party candidate with views further outside the state’s center of political thought? Democrats would surely salivate for a Hagan-Brannon matchup in November, but it remains unclear if Brannon can bust his 15 percent ceiling in the race. - News Observer, 3/24/14

It's clear the the North Carolina GOP primary is all over the place because everyone has a horse in this race:


It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Republicans in Washington wanted North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to quickly win the party’s Senate nomination and focus entirely on vulnerable Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

Instead, Tillis faces a May 6 primary that’s so crowded it may be hard for any candidate to muster the 40 percent needed to avoid a mid-July runoff. The race also pits two leaders -- Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul -- against each other in a proxy battle over the party’s future.

Tillis must balance support from national Republicans against the Tea Party’s anti-Washington instincts. Fundraisers he held late last year with Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s key political adviser, turned off activists in the limited-government movement.

“When he brought in Karl Rove, that knocked him out of the running for me,” said Ann Hilburn, a retired U.S. customs worker from Wilmington, North Carolina. “Karl Rove is a moderate and he doesn’t like the Tea Party.”

The party infighting unnerves some Republicans who worry it could weaken the nominee in a state that may be central to the party winning a majority in the U.S. Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington lists North Carolina as a “tossup.” - Businessweek, 3/24/14

Whoever wins the GOP nominee will be getting Art Pope and the Koch Brothers funding.  But Hagan's scoring some big funding for her campaign:


Environmental groups are launching a multi-million dollar television advertising blitz to defend vulnerable members of Congress in four states.

Five environmental groups are pitching in for ads in North Carolina, Iowa, Michigan and Maine, beginning Monday, that back House members and senators who have supported key environmental measures. The groups are paying separately for the ads, which cost a combined $4.95 million, according to a source familiar with the campaign.

In North Carolina, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is running an ad supporting Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, praising her for "holding corporate polluters accountable."

"Who's behind the attacks on Kay Hagan? Oil industry billionaires, that's who," says the ad. "They want to undermine the air safety standards that protect us, and Sen. Kay Hagan is working to stop them." The ad is running in the Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro-Winston-Salem markets. - Huffington Post, 3/24/14

And unlike some Democrats running in tough races, Hagan's not afraid to bee seen with the President:


Hagan didn't attend President Barack Obama's appearance in Raleigh in January — she said she had work to do in the Senate. But the senator kept open Friday to the possibility of the president campaigning for her later this year.

"The president is always welcome to come to North Carolina and campaign with me," she said.

Hagan, who is seeking her second six-year term, has been attacked by Republicans for repeating the promise similarly made by Obama that the 2010 health care overhaul law would allow consumers to keep their current health plans.

Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina residents received termination notices last fall that their policies that didn't meet standards of the Affordable Care Act and would be canceled. Obama announced that insurance companies could keep offering those substandard policies temporarily.

Hagan reiterated again Friday she wasn't aware of potential problems associated with widespread cancelled policies until last fall, when she heard directly from her constituents.

"We established a three-year transition period so that the insurance companies could begin offering plans that met the requirements of the law," she said, but "I didn't know that some companies would use that transition period to sell outdated plans without fully notifying consumers that they wouldn't be available in 2014."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state's largest health insurer, said last month that it kept Hagan and her staff up to date with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and potential cancellations.

Hagan acknowledged Friday her office had been in contact with the Blue Cross. She didn't provide details about those discussions.

In hindsight, Hagan said, "maybe we could have done more to force companies to be specific" in providing to consumers information about the transition to qualifying plans. In the meantime, she has co-sponsored a bill that would allow consumers to permanently keep their 2013 health plans. - The Gazette, 3/21/14

If you would like to donate or get involved with Hagan's re-election campaign, you can do so here:
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., hosts  

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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