• The Hill names Sen.-elect Thom Tillis, R-N.C., as one of the five newcomers in the upper chamber who could be deal-makers.

• At Forbes, Patrick Gleason cites the Tillis race against outgoing Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan as a prime example of why tax policy continues to resonate with voters.

• The National Law Journal (subscription may be required) says North Carolina ranked second nationally in outside spending on state judicial contests, with $2.9 million. Michigan topped the list at $5.6 million.

• Some of the financial backers of Democrat Clay Aiken’s unsuccessful bid for the 2nd Congressional District are steamed that they are set to appear in a reality show, filmed by the BBC and airing on Esquire TV, chronicling the “American Idol” runner-up’s campaign.