Politics & Government

Political news

The deadline approaches for victims of Hurricane Irene to file flood insurance claims. Residents who experienced damage have until Wednesday to send a damage report to insurers that issued a National Flood Insurance Policy. This week's deadline is a 30-day extension of the original October cutoff. FEMA spokesman Jeff Welsh says that was in response to residents who were not satisfied with inspections immediately after Hurricane Irene.

A report from the state auditor says North Carolina does not have an accurate list of state property. State officials started an investigation this summer to determine whether the state could save money on insurance for its property. But the report says the State Property Office has more than 400 buildings on its list that are not on a list from the Department of Insurance. State Property Office spokeswoman Jill Lucas says they rely on individual agencies to report their inventory.

Voters in Greensboro have elected a new mayor.

Voters go to the polls today for municipal elections across the state. In Durham and Orange Counties, they will decide on sales tax measures in addition to picking candidates.

Voters are casting ballots in local elections across the state today. Greensboro voters will pick a mayor and City Council.

State lawmakers have voted to restore omissions in redistricting maps that left out about half a million voters.

Lawmakers voted mostly along party lines yesterday to pass bills that restored the missing census blocks. A software problem in the program used to draw the maps caused the issues. Republican representative David Lewis said debating these bills is completely unlike the heated discussions over drawing the maps earlier this year.

North Carolina's Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is calling on Congress to pass another piece of President Obama's jobs bill. The president divided his first proposal into pieces after it failed to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate. The first piece was also voted down last month. Mr. Obama urged lawmakers to pass the second part earlier today. It's a $50 billion proposal that would go toward infrastructure projects. Hagan says the investment would support businesses in North Carolina.

On Tuesday, Durham County voters will decide whether to approve a sales tax increase that would help fund big improvements to public transit. Public transportation advocates across the Triangle have been working for years to plan a comprehensive network of buses and trains to make the area more commuter-friendly.

Jim Forrester
NC General Assembly

A state senator who led the fight against gay marriage has died. Republican Jim Forrester of Gaston County suffered health problems before checking in to a hospital this weekend.

The North Carolina N-double-A-C-P has submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking it not to pre-clear the proposed redistricting maps drawn earlier this year in the General Assembly. Reverend William Barber heads the state's N-double-A-C-P. He says the maps pack black voters into a small number of districts to dilute their statewide influence.

President Obama continues a bus tour through North Carolina today. Will Michaels reports.

Mr. Obama speaks today at Guilford Technical Community College near Greensboro. His three-day bus tour started yesterday in Asheville. It's the third time the president has visited North Carolina since June. He spoke at a high school in Wilkesboro before making other stops in Marion and Boone. Mr. Obama again touted his jobs bill. He said he would break up the legislation into smaller parts and ask Congress to approve them individually.

Raleigh voters have elected the city's first new mayor in a decade-- City Council member Nancy McFarlane.

McFarlane beat Billie Redmond and Randall Williams with 61 percent of the vote. She says she's thrilled to be the city's next leader.

Nancy McFarlane:" It's a huge honor and it's very humbling to know that that many people have faith in you. It's also very exciting to know that that many people share a vision of Raleigh and where we're going to go. "

Voters in Raleigh approved transportation and affordable housing bonds by about two-thirds of the vote.

Voters in Raleigh will help choose a new mayor at the polls tomorrow.

Next Tuesday, voters will go to the polls in Raleigh to choose a new mayor. For the first time in a decade, they will pick someone who is not Charles Meeker. Billie Redmond, Nancy McFarlane, and Randall Williams are all running to replace him. And if history is any guide, it will be the last elected position any of them will ever run for. Becoming mayor in the state’s capitol city is hardly a stepping stone to a long political career.

North Carolinians are split over President Obama's jobs bill. A new Elon University poll finds 36 percent opposed, 35 percent in support, and more than a quarter of those surveyed are unsure about it. Other numbers from the poll indicate the president's popularity is waning in the state. 42 percent approve of the job he's doing. 51 percent disapprove. Assistant poll director Mileah Kromer says those are bad numbers for a president trying to win North Carolina again in 2012.

Outgoing Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has made an endorsement for his successor.
 

Meeker has thrown his support behind Nancy McFarlane, who served on the City Council for four of Meeker’s ten years in office. Meeker made the announcement this afternoon.

McFarlane is running as an unaffiliated candidate. Meeker is a democrat.

A new poll shows a majority of North Carolinians are opposed to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The data out of Elon University shows 56 percent of state residents opposed to an amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions. Assistant poll director Mileah Kromer says support for same-sex couples in North Carolina is now widespread.

Congressman David Price
price.house.gov

Congressman David Price represents North Carolina's 4th District, which covers Durham, Chapel Hill, and parts of Raleigh and Cary.  The North Carolina Democrat spoke from Cairo, Egypt.  He's there as part of a bipartisan group working with the fledgling governments in Tunisia and Egypt to help set up democratic governments. 

Voters in several communities will begin casting ballots today ahead of local elections on October 11th. Durham voters will be selecting their choices for mayor and city council.

Early voting for local elections starts in many communities today. In Raleigh, voters will pick a new mayor and members of the city council and school board. But they will also vote on two bond measures dedicated to housing and transportation.

The two bonds total $56 million dollars. Of that, about $40 million would go toward building bike lanes, greenways, and new sidewalks. It is the first bond ever proposed in Raleigh for these types of projects.

John Edwards
citizensforethics.org

A government watchdog group wants the charges against former North Carolina Senator John Edwards dropped. Edwards is accused of conspiring to pay the expenses of his mistress using campaign donations. Those payments were made by two of his close friends. Melanie Sloan is Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

President Obama rallies the crowd at Reynolds Coliseum
NC State

President Barack Obama was in campaign-mode during his stop at N-C State University yesterday.   His jobs speech was more like a re-election campaign speech.   There was chanting, cheering and waving – and Mr. Obama didn’t mind the attention at all.  

The mood in Reynolds Coliseum was patriotic.

State lawmakers have wrapped up their short legislative session this week.

President Barack Obama spoke to thousands of people on the North Carolina State Campus this afternoon. The president is promoting his 450-billion dollar jobs bill. He told the crowd the bill would provide money for important infrastructure projects.

President Obama:  "In North Carolina alone there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be prepared. Four of them are near here, on the belt-line. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"

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