Kay Hagan

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis skipped out on a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about ISIS last week and instead met privately with former Vice President Dick Cheney. This follows Tillis’ loud campaign criticism of former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan for her attendance record at meetings related to ISIS.

Meanwhile, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a bill that widely protects Confederate monuments in the state. 

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr raised $1.7 million over the last three months, and has $3.8 million in cash for his re-election campaign next year, according to the Associated Press.

The shooting of Michael Brown set off a series of protest nationwide and had Americans questioning the role of police in their communities.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2014_Ferguson_and_Beyond_Rally_12.jpg

  From the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress, 2014 saw many pivotal moments in the country's narrative. 

Flickr user Jeffrey Cohen

More North Carolina voters cast their ballots early this year than did in the last mid-term elections, according to State Board of Elections figures released Sunday. A new election law limited the number of early voting days but increased the total hours.

Roughly 1.1 million people voted by mail or in person at polling stations by the end of early voting on Saturday, up 20 percent from 961,000 in 2010, the board of elections said.

Here are three possible causes for the increased turn-out:
 

Photo from the Renee Ellmers and Clay Aiken debate.
Jessica Jones

As we inch closer toward election day, healthcare remains an important issue for the campaigns. 

Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis shake hands after the debate at UNC-TV Wednesday night.
Mike Oniffrey / UNC-TV

  Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to be a topic of discussion on the North Carolina campaign trails. 

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Friday was the deadline to register to vote in North Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the state's new voting law to be in place, eliminating same-day registration in the days before the election. In response, some groups increased their voter registration efforts. The Durham Board of Elections has been getting so many registrations that they doubled their staff from six to 12.

Judy Harwood usually works at the front desk, but the other day she was typing up names and addresses in an overflow room in the back of the building.

Senate Majority PAC
Senate Majority PAC/YouTube

Education is a central theme in the race between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis. Both U.S. Senate candidates have highlighted the issue as they try to gain an advantage in what has been a tight contest. 

Hagan has argued that Tillis is not prioritizing public schools and education. She claims that he cut about $500 million in education spending.

“His priorities even speak louder than his words,” Hagan said during her first debate with Tillis. “...The fact that he gave tax cuts to the millionaires. He cut education by $500 million.”

Kay Hagan 7.18.14
Katelyn Ferral

Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan was in Raleigh Friday afternoon to discuss a bill she and others have introduced in the U.S. Senate that seeks to restore womens' access to employer-covered contraception. The bill was defeated this week but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he plans to bring it up later this year.

When Hagan was asked what she thinks of the North Carolina General Assembly's late efforts to put together a budget for this fiscal year, she was quick to bring up her own record as a former state senator:

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

It’s been a busy week for North Carolina politics.

The race for North Carolina’s congressional seat in the 2nd District is set. Former American Idol star Clay Aiken will face incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers in November.

State lawmakers also returned to Raleigh this week. They got started with new rules about protesting at the General Assembly.

Host Frank Stasio talks with the Political Junkie, Ken Rudin about North Carolina politics.

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

Kay Hagan is urging the US Attorney General to review NC's Voter ID law.
Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, Creative Commons

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she's joining other Democrats who are calling for health insurers to reinstate recently canceled policies. 

Hagan says she supports a bill that was introduced after it became clear that not everyone could keep their plans when the Affordable Care Act took effect. 

"I think we knew with a bill this large that there would be fixes that need to be made to make it work better, and this is one of those items now that needs to be changed.  People need to be able to keep their plans," Hagan says.

Kay Hagan
politico.com

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan can be added to the list of Obama allies who is also critical of healthcare.gov, the federal government's health care exchange website.

Senator Kay Hagan has not been afraid to speak her mind about the rocky roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.  She’s voiced her concerns on Twitter and during a visit to N.C. State yesterday.

“You know, I’m just as frustrated as my constituents are.  We’ve got to be assured that we get a website that works," said Hagan.

The weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says the Veterans Affairs office in Winston-Salem is cutting down on its backlog of claims. 

The Democrat from North Carolina says the office has processed all claims that have been waiting for two years or more.  Hagan says the average claim now takes 200 days, compared to more than 300 days a year ago.  The Winston-Salem VA processes nearly all claims filed in North Carolina. 

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Several of North Carolina’s members of Congress have issued statements about  U.S. involvement in Syria. The statements follow a chemical weapons attack which the U.S. says was carried out by the Assad regime in Damascus on August 21. More than 1,400 people were reported killed in the attack.

Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, as well as several Representatives have made the following statements. We'll update this post with additional statements as they come in.

Kay Hagan is urging the US Attorney General to review NC's Voter ID law.
Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says she's asked the nation's Attorney General to look into the state's new Voter ID law.  The North Carolina Democrat says she wanted Eric Holder to examine the legislation signed this month by Republican Governor Pat McCrory.  Hagan says the law enacts restrictions that could suppress voter turnout among minorities, as well as younger and older voters.  Supporters say it's intended to prevent fraud at the polls.  Hagan told WUNC's Frank Stasio those instances barely exist.

US Dept. of Defense

Aspiring defense contractors are in Fayetteville for this year's annual Defense and Economic Development Trade Show.  Companies will be at Fayetteville Technical Community College to network with military and political figures and to see demonstrations of advances in combat equipment.

This year, federal sequestration cuts have brought questions from vendors about the level of military participation.  Scott Dorney is executive director of the North Carolina Military Business Center.  He says business are coming to this year's show looking to partner up.

Kay Hagan is co-sponsoring a new housing bill in the US Senate.
Kay Hagan

Some members of Congress from North Carolina are getting behind proposals to dismantle mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Virginia Foxx
Office of Representative Virginia Foxx

The issue of rising interest rates on government subsidized student loans wasn’t a topic on most people’s minds until about a year ago. That’s when President Barack Obama stepped onto the stage at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Auditorium and “slow-jammed the news” with late show host Jimmy Fallon.

Kay Hagan
hagan.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan was among the supporters helping to pass an immigration reform plan proposed by a bipartisan group of her colleagues.  The Senate voted 68-32 in favor of the bill introduced by the Senate's so-called 'Gang of Eight' as a way to provide a path to citizenship for more than 11 million people who entered the country illegally. 

Hagan says she spoke with many North Carolinians who urged her to support the bill and said it will benefit the nation on several fronts.

The weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have been waiting months - sometimes years - for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Recently, piled up claims threatened to buckle the floor at the Winston-Salem office. 

Thom Tillis
NCGA

A high-profile potential challenger for Kay Hagan's U.S. Senate seat is on the verge of getting some major financial support. 

Backers of North Carolina's House Speaker Thom Tillis have put together an independent committee that would support a potential bid for Hagan's seat in Congress.  Organizers of the group "Grow NC Strong" say they have filed paperwork with federal officials to create a political action committee. It would be a "super-pac" which would have no limits on raising and spending money to support Tillis, but would operate separately from any campaign Tillis organizes.

Strickland Farms tobacco and house
Leoneda Inge

Farmers in North Carolina and around the country are keeping their eyes on Washington, where Congress is crafting a new Farm Bill

The Senate's version cuts more than $2 billion in agricultural spending per year, but includes about $100 billion in subsides over the next five years.  President Obama has asked Senators to find more ways to save money, including cuts to a farm insurance program.

Kay Hagan
hagan.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) announced Wednesday morning on facebook that she supports gay marriage.  The announcement comes on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court hears the opening arguments for the Defense Of Marriage Act.

“I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue,” she says.  “After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.”

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
U.S. Senate

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she's co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit colleges from using federal grants for their advertising budgets. 

Sen. Hagan and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) presented the proposal Tuesday.  They say higher education institutes need more financial oversight to ensure responsible spending.  Sen. Hagan said the measure will prevent for-profit colleges in particular from recruiting people who might end up deep in debt.

"Use your taxpayer dollars on education, improving education outcomes for students," Hagan said.

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