Morning News Briefs: Thursday, November 7th, 2019
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NC Governor Vetoes Voter Roll Bill, Signs Absentee Changes
Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed one bill that addressed potential voting in North Carolina by non-citizens but signed another that strengthens mail-in absentee balloting rules following evidence of fraud in a congressional race.
The measure Cooper vetoed on Wednesday would require North Carolina courts to send information about potential jurors being disqualified because they aren't U.S. citizens to election officials to remove them from voter rolls. Cooper says these changes increase the risk that legitimate citizens will be denied the right to vote due to bad information.
The signed absentee ballot bill increases punishments for absentee ballot rule violators and restores permanently early in-person voting on the last Saturday before elections.
North Carolina Senate Leader Says Lease Transactions Lawful
A powerful North Carolina legislator has been spending campaign money toward leasing a house he and his wife own in Raleigh, but state election officials have told Senate leader Phil Berger such transactions are lawful.
A Berger campaign spokesman provided emails supporting the practice on Wednesday when a retired campaign reform group leader announced he wants a State Board of Elections investigation and ruling over the Berger committee's activities.
Bob Hall's complaint says the house was purchased in 2016. Berger's campaign has been making $1,500 monthly payments to a firm that Phil Berger manages.
Berger's campaign said then-board Executive Director Kim Strach approved the practice in 2016 and it was reaffirmed in the spring.
NC Senate Hopeful Cunningham Unveils Anti-Corruption Plan
A Democratic challenger to U.S. Senator Thom Tills has unveiled a plan to battle political corruption. Cal Cunningham released a list of campaign specifics on Wednesday.
Cunningham says he'll fight for fair and secure elections and scaling back the influence of corporate political donations if he wins next year.
The former state legislator and Iraq War veteran unveiled reforms that jibe with his priority to fight "rampant corruption" in Washington.
Cunningham wants greater disclosure by super PACs and other independent expenditure groups. He supports a five-year waiting period before outgoing members of Congress and presidential Cabinets can be lobbyists. And Cunningham wants to reinstate U.S. Justice Department reviews of election law changes in areas with histories of discrimination.
Warren Holding First Campaign Events In North Carolina
North Carolina voters will get their first in-person look at Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren with events in the Triangle and Triad.
The Massachusetts senator is holding a town hall-style meeting Thursday evening at Raleigh's Broughton High School. Earlier in the day, the public can attend a Warren interview on the North Carolina A&T State University campus in Greensboro. On Friday morning, she'll participate in a Raleigh forum assembled by groups focused on issues important to the Latino community.
Winston-Salem Teacher Indicted On Charge Of Storing Student's Gun
A Winston-Salem teacher accused of storing a student's gun in her classroom has now been indicted on a related charge.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports 25-year-old Sarah Melissa Wilson was indicted Monday on a charge of helping a minor possess a firearm on educational property.
The indictment says the language arts teacher kept a 14-year-old's .25-caliber handgun in her Paisley Magnet School classroom sometime between April and May. City police say she also allowed the student to pick up the gun at the end of the school day.