Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper announces his bid for governor before a crowd in Rocky Mount.
Jess Clark

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced his run for the democratic nomination for governor last night in Rocky Mount.

Cooper’s announcement was no surprise. The attorney general has been open about his desire to run since at least 2013. He took the stage at Nash County Community College near his hometown of Nashville, in eastern North Carolina.

“It is time for our state to work for everyone, not just the few," Cooper told the crowd. "That’s why today I am announcing that I am a candidate for governor of North Carolina.”

Coal fired power plant in Wyoming
Greg Goebel / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this week the Obama Administration announced its EPA Clean Power Plan that directs states to lower greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants by around 32 percent by 2030.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

Attorney General Roy Cooper says he'll continue to criticize Republican policies during the legislative session that begins Wednesday, hinting once again hinting that he might run for governor in 2016.  
 

At a luncheon held by the women’s group Lillian's List, Cooper told a few hundred Democrats that he supports issues such as abortion rights and expanding Medicaid in North Carolina.

He hasn't announced his candidacy for governor, but he’s widely seen as the most likely Democrat to try to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Jane Blackburn and Lyn McCoy speak at an ACLU news conference.
Carol Jackson

ACLU attorneys challenging the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in North Carolina plan to ask a U.S. District Court judge in Greensboro for swift resolution of the issue. This comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck down Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Monday. Since that court has jurisdiction over North Carolina, supporters of same-sex marriage here say it’s only a matter of time before this state’s ban crumbles as well.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

  Attorney General Roy Cooper finds himself in a unique position. He is the first Democratic Attorney General to serve in an all-GOP government since reconstruction.

The governor’s mansion and both chambers of the General Assembly are in Republican control. So he finds himself having to defend the legality of laws he disagrees with.

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

  

Attorney General Roy Cooper is challenging a rate hike by Duke Energy. The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the increase of 4.5 percent by Duke Energy last week.

Duke Energy's Cliffside Steam Station
Duke Energy

State Attorney General Roy Cooper says he will appeal Duke Energy's latest rate hike. The North Carolina Utilities Commission  approved a plan this week allowing the nation's largest utility a to increase consumer rates by 4.5 percent for the first two years and by 5.1 percent in the third year. 

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that registered sex offenders can use social media websites. The ruling invalidates a portion of a North Carolina law passed in 2008 called the Protect Children From Sexual Predators Act.

Lester Packingham, Jr. brought the case. He's a registered sex offender who lives in Durham. In 2012, Packingham, Jr. was convicted of accessing a commercial social networking site. He had been using Facebook.

McCrory spoke about his decision to sign HB 589 in a video.
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill today that requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls, despite opposition from Attorney General Roy Cooper. In addition to requiring a form of photo ID for voters, the bill also shortens early voting by one week. Hours after he signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the bill.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

North Carolina's Attorney General, Roy Cooper, is taking a very public stance to urge Governor Pat McCrory to veto a recently passed elections law bill.

Among other things, the bill would shorten early voting by one week and require residents to show approved photo identification at the polls.

Cooper's campaign has sent out a mass email to ask people to sign an online petition requesting the governor veto House Bill 589. He says if passed, the legislation would cause expensive litigation and potential confusion.

Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen respond to a devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., May 20, 2013.
Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James, OK National Guard

North Carolina's Attorney General is warning state residents to not be swindled in the wake of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy.  Roy Cooper says he understands that there are many North Carolinians who want to help the people of Oklahoma, but he urges people to do their homework because there are scammers who see the Midwestern tragedy as an opportunity to take your money.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Lawmakers in the State Senate have presented a $20.6 billion budget proposal. It would spend slightly less than Governor McCrory’s plan and offers no raises for state employees.  The plan would also increase state Medicaid spending by about $300 million and make big changes to the State Bureau of Investigation.
 
Republican budget writer Senator Pete Brunstetter told reporters earlier today that he knows this is a tough budget plan. He says its purpose is to make sure the state lives within its means.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

State Attorney General Roy Cooper says he's concerned about an increase in domestic violence deaths in North Carolina last year. 

State law requires police agencies to report domestic violence deaths to the SBI.  Cooper says the 122 deaths last year are 16 more than in 2011.  He called the increase "disturbing" and urged the state to do more to stop these crimes before they happen. Wake County had the highest number of domestic violence deaths at 11, followed by Mecklenburg and Guilford counties with eight and six respectively. 

North Carolina officials are seeking answers from an Alabama-based bank that is offering payday loans in the state. Such short-term, high-interest loans are illegal in North Carolina. But Regions Bank, which has several branches here, is offering the loans online. Attorney General Roy Cooper says his office has written Regions Bank to see if any North Carolina customers have taken out the loans.

North Carolina Law Enforcement officials plan to crack down on methamphetamine labs in 2012. Jeff Tiberii has more.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year there were 331 illegal methamphetamine lab busts in North Carolina, an all-time high. The main ingredient in the drug is pseudoephedrine, which is found in Sudafed. Beginning this week all retailers will be hooked into a tracking system tracing pseudoephedrine purchases. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper:

Attorney General Roy Cooper
governor.state.nc.us

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today what he calls the "first wave" of ramped up efforts to fight Medicaid fraud in the state. Cooper says 18 people in 10 counties have been arrested in the past week. He says the total monetary loss to the Medicaid program from these cases is more than half a million dollars.

North Carolina's crime level has dropped to its lowest level since 1977.

Attorney General Roy Cooper objects to the part of the North Carolina Senate's budget proposal that includes an overhaul of the State Bureau of Investigation. The spending plan released this week directs the SBI to move out from under the Attorney General's supervision. A cabinet-level secretary would oversee the bureau and the state crime lab. Some lawmakers have called for the move in light of more than 200 mishandled cases at the SBI's blood unit. Cooper says moving the SBI to another law enforcement agency would not satisfy critics.

Methamphetamine labs are on the rise in North Carolina. That's according to state officials who say drug makers are finding new ways to produce it. The number of meth labs had dropped dramatically in 2007, when state lawmakers passed a bill limiting sales of decongestant medicines containing pseudoephedrine. That's a key ingredient in methamphetamine.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says meth producers are now making the drug in smaller batches to get around the law and avoid detection:

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