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Kay Hagan and the Single Woman

Sen. Kay Hagan’s heels on the ground strategy in her tough Senate campaign against state House Speaker Thom Tillis:

Nowhere is the courtship of unmarried women as intense as in North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat struggling for a second term, recently has shown gains even in a Republican poll. Midway through a recent Saturday of campaigning, she described her mobilization strategy: “Heels on the ground.”

Among those ground troops is Emma Akpan, an unmarried 28-year-old graduate of Duke Divinity School, who works to register voters but said she understood why so many single women are hard to reach. In an election without presidential candidates and the news media attention they draw, Ms. Akpan said, many women busy with jobs and perhaps children see no point in voting.

“If I wasn’t doing this work,” she conceded, “I probably wouldn’t pay attention either.”

Hey dudes, try an experiment —when you’re making the scene this long Fun 4th weekend chat up the ladies on the Senate race and see where the conversation goes.

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Chief James Hinson?

The Rhino’s John Hammer speculates Deputy Chief James Hinson — he of Cops in Black and White infamy—could take control of the Greensboro Police Department when Chief Ken Miller retires given the fact that it stands now Miller tosses Hinson the keys whenever he leaves town.

Miller more than likely will be out of town on Monday when the finalists for the Greenville S.C. police chief job are announced. Hard to believe Miller would bail out of Greensboro so suddenly if he didn’t think he had a real shot at the Greenville job.

At any rate something’s not right because it was all set up that Miller would take a raise over retirement money to stick around for a good while because he liked Gboro. Wonder what changed.

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Anybody know their Medicaid numbers?

N&R columnist Doug Clark’s column on some recent Medicaid numbers:

A report released today by the White House Council on Economic Advisers should be welcomed by opponents of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina for one reason:

It discredits the number 500,000. So let’s get rid of it.

Proponents of Medicaid expansion have used that number to quantify how many North Carolinians would gain health-care coverage through expansion, which Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislature denied last year.

The number seemed to have been produced from thin air.

As you can probably imagine, Clark believes whether the number of potential benficiaries is 500,000 or 377,000, Medicaid should still be expanded in North Carolina.

But the bigger issue here is apparently nobody knows the Medicaid numbers —including DHHS–and that’s why the General Assembly still hasn’t passed a budget:

Berger remains steadfast that no final deal can happen without budget certainty on Medicaid. Senate leaders do not want to be blindsided if Medicaid spending outpaces current projections by tens of millions of dollars, as it has in recent years.

“If it takes us a while to do that, then we’re prepared to take the time that’s necessary,” Berger said. But, he noted, both sides “may be closer to trying to figure out the number” on Medicaid.

“[House leaders] at this point are not willing to go with our number. We are not willing to go with their number. And the question is, is there a number in between … that we can settle on,” Berger said.

Not even the hosiptals know their Medicaid numbers. So the question is whether it makes sense to expand Medicaid until there’s more certainty. I would argue no —and so should Thom Tillis during the upcoming Senate campaign. Hopeful he’ll support his argument as well as explaining why it hasn’t been fixed

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Gboro police chief retiring

N&R reports Greensboro Police Chief Ken Miller will retire Sept. 1.

This is particularly interesting news because just last fall rumors were swirling that Miller was on his way out before he received a $27,000 raise. Then-City Manager Denise Turner Roth spun it as a win-win, especially since Miller was forfeiting $38,000 in separation pay if he retired in March:

Roth said she and the City Council wanted to keep Miller, whose work in Greensboro has impressed them.

She also didn’t want to put the city in a position to be paying Miller a separation allowance until he turns 62 while still having to find and pay for a new police chief.

“What it came down to for me is we need a police chief either way,” Roth said. “And we would have to pay him $38,000 if he left. It makes sense to keep the continuity.”

Somehow that sense of continuity has been lost —Turner-Roth fled for the Obama administration earlier this year and now the police chief–far as I can tell— is leaving $38,000 on the table on the way out.

Stay tuned.


Talking to you, Foster Douglas

Inside Scoop reports Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill sponsored by sponsored by Guilford County Republicans John Faircloth and Jon Hardister that “allows cities or counties to attach and garnish the wages of a government official if the municipality has been granted a money judgement against the elected person that he has not paid.”

And where would our representatives get an idea for a such a law? Down the road in High Point, where City Council member Foster Douglas owed the city $30,0000 after he came out on the losing end of a lawsuit he filed several years ago.

But —as Inside Scoop reported —the chances of the city ever recovering a dime of Foster’s debt ‘plummeted’ back in March.

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DOJ v. Terry Johnson going to trial

Latest filings in the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson.

DOJ claims Johnson’s office “changed its booking procedures in order to facilitate its targeting of Latinos shortly after entering into a 287(g) memorandum of agreement in 2007,” while Johnson’s lawyer claims DOJ has not made potential witnesses available to the defense.

The DOJ’s investigation has been going for four years now, and after two mediation conferences failed to provide a settlement, it appears as though the case will go to trial Aug. 4.

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Promising until they’re blue in the face

The truth about Guilford County’s proposed quarter-cent sales tax hike, which commissioners voted 7-2 to put on the ballot in November:

The truth, however, is this: The current Board of Commissioners and the advocates for raising the sales tax can offer no guarantees whatsoever as to how the money will be spent. The current commissioners can make promises until they are blue in the face and the cows come home, but, if the tax increase passes, even the very first Board of Commissioners that decides what to do with the money will be a much different board than the board making the promises. In December, the nine-member board will have at least three new members and possibly four. Those commissioners would have made no promises whatsoever about the new revenues.

Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne said it’s common for boards of commissioners to adopt resolutions stating the intent for new sales tax increase proceeds whenever a tax increase is put on the ballot, but he said that, in the end, that commitment is not legally binding on boards of commissioners.

“It is true that, as the years go by, different boards can change their minds,” Payne said.

But don’t worry, that won’t happen –the estimated $14 million in additional revenue would go toward —you guessed it —education.

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Who reads reviews anyway?

Former editor John Robinson on the N&R’s pay for play deal with ArtsGreensboro:

I’m sure that arts organizations and patrons want more coverage. I don’t doubt that the readers of the newspaper want 70 more stories about the arts. (Readers of newspapers tend to want more of everything, from business to comics.) I doubt, though, that arts coverage is in the top five in the “give-us-more” category.

Walk up to people in Gboro and ask them if they read the review of a play or an art exhibit and see what they say. I personally use reviews to try to save some money, but a friend of mine said he ignores reviews— if he wants to see a movie he sees it, and if it suck then he gambled $10 and lost.

The important thing here is Gboro has a downtown performing arts center on line, and Arts Greensboro, the Community Foundation and the city can’t advertise it enough to a public who’s already paying half the cost— maybe more if private donors don’t come through with pledges.

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Another Art Pope plot ….

…And who better to have the inside scoop than JLF president John Hood, who exposes the shady dealings involving Sen. Phil Berger, a bundle secret commands and —you guessed it —- the Greensboro Roses store.

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Uber coming to Triad

“Ubered” all over Boston and Toronto during the Big Northeast Road Trip, but it will remain to be seen if the Triad has the density to support the app-based rideshare service, which is worth between $6 and $17 billion, depending on the source.

One thing’s for sure —cab companies hate Uber.

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