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The Campaign Trail
Former 9-term North Carolina Congressman Cass Ballenger Dies at 88 PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Friday, 20 February 2015 06:26

HICKORY, (AP) — Cass Ballenger, a nine-term congressman who also served more than a decade in the North Carolina Legislature, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Ballenger, who authored a state law to protect scenic vistas in the North Carolina mountains, died at a local hospice in his hometown of Hickory after an extended illness, said Tommy Luckadoo, a long-time Ballenger aide.

Ballenger, a Republican, served in the North Carolina House from 1975-77 and in the state Senate from 1977-86. He also served on the Catawba County Board of Commissioners from 1966-74.

While in the General Assembly, Ballenger introduced the Government In the Sunshine Act of 1976, the first substantive open meetings law enacted in North Carolina.

"Cass was wholly dedicated to serving the people of North Carolina and I often look to the example he set in his sincere attention to his constituents," Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis described Ballenger as a leader in efforts to control the growing size and scope of the federal government and limit its burden on hardworking families and small businesses.

In the U.S. House, Ballenger made headlines in 2001 when then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez showed up at Ballenger's home in Hickory with most of his Cabinet for a barbecue. Ballenger and Chavez met often while Ballenger was a House international subcommittee chairman.

Near the end of his tenure in Washington, Ballenger became a magnet for controversy. He cast a key vote in December 2001 that helped pass hotly contested legislation giving President George W. Bush authority to negotiate global trade agreements and submit them to Congress for a yes or no vote. Waiting until time had expired on the roll call, Ballenger was one of a small number of Republicans who stepped forward to assure a one-vote majority for the measure.

Ballenger called the Council on American-Islamic Relations a "fundraising arm" for terrorist groups and said he reported the group to the FBI and CIA. He also said Cynthia McKinney, at the time a black congresswoman from Georgia known for her abrasive style, had stirred in him "a little bit of a segregationist feeling." He later apologized for what he called "pretty stupid remarks."

Democrat Linda Coleman Announces Second Run For Lt. Governor PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 19 February 2015 06:48

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - She lost to Republican Dan Forest in 2012, but Democrat Linda Coleman says she will challenge the Lt. Governor for his seat in 2016.

Coleman, a former state senator and county commissioner, will have to secure the nomination of her party before taking on Forest, who says he will run for re-election.

In a statement, Coleman went after Forest.

"My opponent has eagerly cheered on an ideological agenda that has hurt middle-class families, rendered public education unrecognizable and gutted women's access to health care," the statement said.

Forest is known for conducting a robust grassroots campaign in 2012. He says education is one of his top priorities.

Poll: Roy Cooper "Favorable" Rating At Just 29% PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 06:59

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper will have to work hard to gain the approval of North Carolina voters, should he declare his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Public Policy Polling reports that just 29 percent of registered votes have a favorable view of the Attorney General. Nearly the same percentage -- 28 percent -- have an unfavorable view, while a full 43 percent are unsure.

The same poll shows that current Republican Gov. Pat McCrory would defeat Cooper if the election were held today, 44 to 39 percent.

Full results are available at publicpolicypolling.com.

North Carolina Democrats Overwhelmingly Support Hillary Clinton PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 08:00

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - North Carolina Democrats know who they want to see as their nominee in the 2016 presidential race. Public Policy Polling data shows Hillary Clinton is the choice of 54 percent of Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden pulls 18 percent.

Next comes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 12 percent, with 3 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and 2 percent each for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.

"Clinton is over 50% with liberals, moderates, women, whites, African Americans, and voters within every age group falling short of that mark only with men," according to the polling firm's website.


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