Cripes! It’s been two weeks since the last Hit List—strap in for a whirlwind recap of the happenings in local and state politics.
Same-sex marriage approved
The U.S. Supreme Court members paved the road for same-sex marriage last week by declining to hear appeals from states seeking to ban unions between gay couples. Expectation for a ruling was high across the state, with Asheville city leaders draping a two-story flag from City Hall. A ruling finally came down just after 5 p.m. Friday, setting off a wave of celebrations and keeping Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger busy preparing marriage licenses, and local clergy busy performing ceremonies.
State of the Asheville
The state of the city is “lucky.” That was at least part of the line delivered by Mayor Esther Manheimer last week, as she gave her first state of the city address. In her speech, the mayor said a challenge going forward would be “building on our success,” and emphasized the creation of “innovation zones” on Charlotte Street, the South Slope and the River Arts District. Manheimer added her desire to make the city a “palette ready for private investment.” Watch the complete address here, and for coverage, check these reports at the Citizen-Times, Mountain Xpress, andCarolina Public Press. It’s also worth noting the speech elicited some worthwhile online discussion, with Asheville Blade reporter David Forbes offering locals a place to comment on “The state of our Asheville.”
Local candidates John Ager and state Rep. Tim Moffitt are set to get some help from the big dogs of their respective parties next week. Ager, a Democrat who is challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Nathan Ramsey, will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser attended by former Gov. Jim Hunt, while Moffitt will be alongside current Gov. Pat McCrory for a GOP fundraiser held at the Biltmore Park Hilton a few days later. Both races are competitive—with anew poll this week showing Ager leading the incumbent Ramsey by 13 points, and Moffitt’s Democratic opponentBrian Turner releasing the second ad for his campaign Thursday. Here’s a Mountain Xpress recap of Thursday’s debate between Ager and Ramsey—according to the Citizen-Times most GOP candidates didn’t bother to attend.
Voting laws change, un-change
One week after a federal appeals court granted a temporary order that would have allowed same-day voter registration in next month’s elections—a U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck the decision down. Little insight was offered by the seven members of the court who opted to uphold the law, which also prohibits voters from casting ballots outside their precincts on Election Day. While opponents of the changes expressed disappointment, Republican leaders across the state applauded the decision allowing the changes to remain intact this year.
A for McCrory
Who got the highest grade on the Cato Institute’s fiscal report card? Gov. Pat McCrory, that’s who. Forbes magazine hosted a guest post from a budget analyst at the libertarian think-tank, who championed the governor’s work with state lawmakers to improve the state’s economy, particularly with tax reform.
Media Master Meadows
It was hard to miss U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows on cable news last week, if you’re into those kinds of shows. The congressman was ready and willing to appear on a number of news programs, to slam the Secret Service over last month’s White House intruder. Meadows also appeared on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper. In other Meadows news, the congressman introduced a bill to prohibit government employees from viewing pornography on federal computers.
The battle for our time
Not one, but two debates between U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis this week! Did they determine anything? Decide for yourself by reading recaps from the News & Observer, here and here. Meanwhile, you’re not going to believe this—a new poll shows the race between Hagan and Tillis is still tight. And finally, who’s to blame for last week’s security breach at the White House? If you asked Tillis, somehow, it’s Hagan. The rise of ISIS? Yep, wrong on that too. The latest round of ads from Tillis prompted a straight-talk reply form Hagan—watch it here.
Ready to vote?
Chances are if you’ve read this far in the Hit List, the answer is yes. Today’s the last day to register—if you haven’t gotten on that, do it here. And finally, here’s a list of the early voting locations for Buncombe County. Early voting begins Oct. 23—Nov. 1, Election Day is Nov. 4. Now get out there and make a difference!