by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• A new ad from state Rep. Tom Murry, R-41st District, says he’s not afraid to stand up to other Republicans, particularly on spending cuts.
• The State Board of Elections announced there will be more early voting sites available and more evening early voting hours than in previous off-year election cycles. Early voting starts Oct. 23.
• Politico reports that both major party U.S. Senate candidates, incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis, cashed in on federal stimulus funding. A company owned by Hagan’s husband benefited a lot, and a bank in which Tillis has invested gained a little.
• The next time Hagan complains about outside groups trying to buy the election, consider this: The Associated Press reports that North Carolina will be the beneficiary of nearly one-fourth of the $80 million that independent groups plan to spend on political ads in the final weeks of the Senate campaign — the most in the nation. Groups supporting Hagan plan to outspend those supporting Tillis by a 2-to-1 margin.
• Roll Call reports that those ads from outside groups are likely to continue focusing on education spending, because uncommitted voters have made the issue a priority. Even so, it’s unclear what will sway them more: attack ads misstating the General Assembly’s spending record or the continuing slide in President Obama’s popularity.
• Make that four likely GOP presidential candidates offering Tillis a boost in recent days. Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will be in the Carolinas Tuesday and Wednesday to stump for the state House speaker. Paul also will campaign for 3rd District GOP Rep. Walter Jones Jr. and make a stop in South Carolina, which holds a key early presidential primary.
• Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-1st District, is in line to become the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus in the session of Congress that convenes in January.
• The U.S. Chamber’s political committee endorses 7th District Republican candidate David Rouzer.