Pouring it on

I am not a big fan of the Civitas organization, but this vote tracker they have is pretty good if you’re looking for clues on early voting. You can drill things down to the precinct level. Take a look at the top cities – Durham, Asheville, Chapel Hill. The residents of these places are showing what concentrations of motivated voters can do in a statewide race.

Here’s a screencap of what I’m talking about.

Totals after the first full week of early voting

Since the only thing that can be tracked is who shows up and votes and not how they actually voted, the clues are in the demographics. Look at the average voting age and you can tell that there is at least some evidence that all those stories about young people not showing up are tripe.
The top precinct is in Durham, natch, around Duke University. The average age of the people who voted there is 23. The Orange County precincts that are turning out big are the same way.
This is backed up by reports around the state about the campuses getting energized over rejecting Amendment 1.

We don’t know that it is enough to counter what will happen Tuesday, May 8 when the rest of the state checks in, but consider that right now Durham (city) plus Chapel Hill is nearly 10 percent of the statewide total. In the 2010 election, Durham and Orange counties combined for about 4.6 percent of the vote statewide.

Trying to gauge this election by any other is going to end up apples to oranges, but this smells like teen spirit. Well, 18-24 spirit.

So pour it on young people. Seize your future or at least knock it out of the hands of the haters.
I really want to wake up on May 9 and write these words:

And they would have gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.

NC DOJ recommends protections for water supply and landowners on fracking

Interesting meeting this morning of the Environmental Review Commission.

The Consumer Protection section of the NC Department of Justice recommends the state adopt a Surface Damages Act to protect landowners from damages from fracking operations. The act would include strong protections for water supplies.

DOJ representatives also suggested the state adopt strong anti-fraud protection for landowners and a “cooling off period” when involved in oil and gas lease negotiations to prevent pressure sales and better understanding of rights.

Another key point: recording the leases. Right now, there’s no state law that says a lease has to be recorded in local register of deeds offices.

Check out RAFI’s project on fracking leases for a good look at this issue.
The Indy has been all over the lease issue.

Club for Growth drops $209K in NC-8

Club for Growth adds to its TV time purchase for Scott Keadle in NC-8

Via the FEC:

Committee: CLUB FOR GROWTH ACTION
Club for Growth
2001 L St., NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20036

Purpose of Expenditure: additional tv ad production costs (from advance line 21)
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: SCOTT KEADLE
Candidate ID: H0NC10151
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 08
Date Expended = 04/24/2012
Person Completing Form: Chris Chocola
Date Signed = 04/25/2012
Amount Expended = $42.23
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $209292.23
Red Sea, LLC
4550 Montgomery Ave.
#906
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Purpose of Expenditure: add to existing tv ad air buy
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: SCOTT KEADLE
Candidate ID: H0NC10151
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 08
Date Expended = 04/24/2012
Person Completing Form: Chris Chocola
Date Signed = 04/25/2012
Amount Expended = $209250.00
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $209250.00
Subtotal of Itemized Independent Expenditures = $209292.23
Subtotal of Unitemized Independent Expenditures = $0.00
Total Expenditures This Period = $209292.23

Serious guy

Here’s the RNC’s response to President Obama’s appearance at UNC-Chapel Hill yesterday.
The idea seems to be that Mitt Romney is serious and the president is not funny (thus the hashtag at the end).
The whole thing falls terribly flat and if it is an attempt to reach young people, well, it sure seems like some old dude dreamed it up.
We expect to quickly see serious ads about why it’s important to stay off of lawns or avoid dancing to that devil music. And if you kids don’t turn down that Walkman you’ll ruin your hearing.

American Foundations spends another $93K against Coble

Technically it’s about half for George Holding and half anti-Paul Coble. Still, it’s getting to be a regular thing.
Courtesy of the FEC:

Committee: AMERICAN FOUNDATIONS COMMITTEE INC; THE
Chris Mattola Consulting Inc
1382 Lafayette Street
Cape May, New Jersey 08204

Purpose of Expenditure: Media Production
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: PAUL COBLE
Candidate ID: H2NC13128
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 13
Date Expended = 04/23/2012
Person Completing Form: David Satterfield
Date Signed = 04/24/2012
Amount Expended = $15223.75
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $460083.00
Chris Mattola Consulting Inc
1382 Lafayette Street
Cape May, New Jersey 08204

Purpose of Expenditure: Media Production
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: GEORGE E B HOLDING
Candidate ID: H2NC13110
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 13
Date Expended = 04/23/2012
Person Completing Form: David Satterfield
Date Signed = 04/24/2012
Amount Expended = $8144.25
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $460083.00
Red Sea LLC
4550 Montgomery Ave #906N
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Purpose of Expenditure: Media Purchase
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: PAUL COBLE
Candidate ID: H2NC13128
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 13
Date Expended = 04/23/2012
Person Completing Form: David Satterfield
Date Signed = 04/24/2012
Amount Expended = $70000.00
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $460083.00
Subtotal of Itemized Independent Expenditures = $93368.00
Subtotal of Unitemized Independent Expenditures = $0.00
Total Expenditures This Period = $93368.00

Previously. And this month’s column in the Indy, which highlights the race.

Text of S795 Senate education plan

Here’s the link and here’s the text:

Short Title: Excellent Public Schools Act.

Sponsors: Senators Apodaca, P. Berger, and Tillman (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to make changes to improve K‑3 literacy; provide literacy volunteer leave time; assign school performance grades; MAXIMIZE INSTRUCTIONAL TIME; adjust school calendar START and end dates; fund five additional INSTRUCTIONAL days within the EXISTING school calendar; establish an NC teacher corps; strengthen teacher licensure requirements; PROVIDE PROOF OF STATE-FUNDED LIABILITY INSURANCE; establish plans for pay FOR EXCELLENCE; END TENURE; AND eliminate public FINANCING for the office of superintendent of public instruction.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

PART I. IMPROVE K‑3 LITERACY

SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 115C‑81.2 is repealed.

SECTION 1.(b) Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Part to read:

“Part 1A. North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.

“§ 115C‑83.1A. State goal.

The goal of the State is to ensure that every student read at or above grade level by the end of third grade and continue to progress in reading proficiency so that he or she can read, comprehend, integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education and career success.

“§ 115C‑83.1B. Purposes.

(a) The purposes of this Part are to ensure that (i) difficulty with reading development is identified as early as possible; (ii) students receive appropriate instructional and support services to address difficulty with reading development and to remediate reading deficiencies; and (iii) each student and his or her parent or guardian be continuously informed of the student’s academic needs and progress.

(b) In addition to the purposes listed in subsection (a) of this section, the purpose of this Part is to determine that progression from one grade to another be based, in part, upon proficiency in reading.

Several dozen pages after the jump

Read more

NC State Senate plan would end teacher tenure, social promotion

North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger announced a sweeping education plan introduced in the Senate today. Berger said the plan closely mirrors programs in Florida. The bill will be taken up in the legislature’s short session which starts on May 16.

The bill includes additional funds for reading programs in Grades 1-3. It would end teacher tenure and institute a merit pay system. It would also put an end to social promotion, Berger said.

Berger said he did not talk with teacher groups but did talk with individual teachers, superintendents and legislators in other states.

Naturally, the move has political implications. Teacher organizations are likely to fight the bill, but some aspects of it resonate strongly with independent voters and Democrats so it could turn into a wedge issue. President Obama is known to advocate positions that give the NEA heartburn.

The A-F grading system was a pretty smart move IMHO. As a former K-12 reporter who had to cover the implementation of the current School of Excellence/ School of Distinction system, it all seemed a bit too too. Most people probably have no idea what they mean. The A-F system is understandable.

It would be terrific if this thing could be a true starting point for reforming the state’s education system, but right now it looks like a purely partisan move. It’ll be interesting if some of the reporters covering this can get into who all Berger has been talking to about the bill. House Speaker, Thom Tillis for instance, wasn’t even in town. Neither was Pat McCrory.

Fascinating.

Links to follow.

WRAL – NC Senate wants merit pay, end to teacher tenure

Newt backers buy some radio time

Newt’s Super PAC has made a media buy in NC – 61K for radio and some bucks thrown in email.
Via the FEC:

WINNING OUR FUTURE – C00507525
View Download FEC-779482 Form F24A – filed 04/19/2012 – 24 HOUR NOTICE

1. Supports Candidate: NEWT GINGRICH (P60003654)
Office Sought: President, North Carolina District
Payee: Cicero Media LLC
Date Expended = 02/16/2012 Amount Expended = $348.83
Purpose: Media Production

2. Supports Candidate: NEWT GINGRICH (P60003654)
Office Sought: President, North Carolina District
Payee: Marketel Media, Inc.
Date Expended = 02/16/2012 Amount Expended = $61700.00
Purpose: Radio Advertising; also opposes Mitt Romney

3. Supports Candidate: NEWT GINGRICH (P60003654)
Office Sought: President, North Carolina District
Payee: Marketel Media, Inc.
Date Expended = 02/16/2012 Amount Expended = $190.69
Purpose: Media Production; also opposes Mitt Romney

4. Supports Candidate: NEWT GINGRICH (P60003654)
Office Sought: President, North Carolina District
Payee: Marketel Media, Inc.
Date Expended = 02/16/2012 Amount Expended = $1514.16
Purpose: Radio and Email Advertising; also opposes Mitt Romney

And Scott Keadle, running in the NC-8 primary is getting lots of love from Club for Growth (mostly in mailings). He also has a new friend, the American Dental Association Independent Expenditures Committee. They’re doing a phone survey in NC8.

Committee: AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES COMMITTEE
American Viewpoint, Inc.
300 North Lee Street
Suite 400
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Purpose of Expenditure: Phone Survey NC-08 Primary Election
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: Scott Keadle
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is North Carolina in District 08
Date Expended = 04/20/2012
Person Completing Form: Dr. Richard Huot
Date Signed = 04/20/2012
Amount Expended = $11000.00
Calendar YTD Per Election for Office Sought = $11000.00
Subtotal of Itemized Independent Expenditures = $11000.00
Subtotal of Unitemized Independent Expenditures = $0.00
Total Expenditures This Period = $11000.00