by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper (at right), who’s running against incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, used a stop at Central Piedmont Community College to claim that recent tax cuts and reforms passed by the General Assembly show that the GOP is robbing from the working class.
• The African-American Caucus of the state Democratic Party has passed a resolution calling for primary debates between Cooper and Durham attorney Ken Spaulding, who is black. Spaulding has requested a series of debates, but Cooper has refused, so far.
• Meantime, the governor suggested that even if the $2 billion bond package voters will consider March 15 passes, the state needs to borrow another $1 billion or so for transportation projects. The plan McCrory originally proposed was close to $3 billion, but the General Assembly chose to fund transportation measures using current revenues.
• Embattled 9th District U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican, has asked the House Ethics Committee to launch its own investigation of the land investment company Pittenger once owned and turned over to his wife when he was elected to Congress. The FBI is investigating irregularities in the company, possibly including allegations that Pittenger maintained an active role in the business while in Congress.
• The list of contenders for the 6th U.S. Congressional District seat held by freshman Republican Mark Walker continues to grow, as Democrat Pete Glidewell, former chairman of the Alamance County Democratic Party, said he’ll face off against Bruce Davis in his party’s primary. Glidewell, a former textile executive, says Walker has scant ties to the district and lacks relevant experience.
• No surprise here: Freshman U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, R-7th District, has announced he’ll seek a second term. Rouzer, from Johnston County, barely lost the 2012 election to longtime Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre before winning in 2014. UPDATE, Nov. 19: New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, who ran against Rouzer in the 2014 GOP primary, tweeted earlier this week that he may challenge Rouzer again.
• The skirmish over high-occupancy-toll lanes along Interstate 77 north of Charlotte continues, as four Mecklenburg County Republican lawmakers and 20 other local leaders have written McCrory, asking him to cancel the deal. The governor continues saying it’s too late, and that voiding the state’s contract with Cintra would cost taxpayers $100 million. You can read Carolina Journal’s coverage of the I-77 tolling project here.