by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• In case you missed it, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District, winner of the John Locke Foundation’s James K. Polk Award for Leadership in Public Office, last week paid tribute to JLF on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
• State Democrats have a new leader. The N.C. Democratic Party on Saturday elevated Vice Chair Patsy Keever of Asheville, a former state House member and congressional candidate, to the top spot in the party.
• Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-1st District, will be one of several prominent Democrats boycotting the March 5 address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was invited to speak by House Speaker John Boehner rather than President Obama. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, says he made the decision on his own, though the British newspaper Daily Mail reports that the White House asked Butterfield and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., not to attend.
• Ousted U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan already has become fodder in campaign pitches — for the 2018 election cycle. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., mentioned Hagan and defeated Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas in a recent fundraising letter urging financial support so that he can fend off “an avalanche of cash” from “a shadowy group of billionaires” (last name rhymes with “oak”) who “bought” the 2014 election. Nelson is up for re-election in 2018, when he would be 76 and the 45th president would be completing his second year of office.
• Football, beer, and politics intersected during the Super Bowl, when a Budweiser ad took a shot at craft brewing. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-10th District, who chairs the House Small Brewing Caucus (and has 25 small breweries in his district), called the ad “insane.” A Senate bill would reduce the federal tax burden for craft brewers.