PINEHURST, N.C. — The North Carolina Republican Senate primary, less than a month away, has been an unusually low-key affair, with state House Speaker Thom Tillis working aggressively to avoid a runoff against seven lesser-known challengers.
But one of his leading challengers, Rev. Mark Harris, is hoping to stir things up and is planning to repeatedly criticize Tillis’s decision to remain as House Republican leader while running for the Senate. Tillis is able to raise money for his Senate campaign from lobbyists with interests before the state’s General Assembly, but it’s illegal to raise such funds for his state legislative campaigns.
Framing the speaker’s conduct as “pay to play,” Harris suggested the activity was unethical.
“It would have been better judgment for him to step down as speaker. It opens the door for questions of ethics to be raised,” Harris told National Journal, arguing that it could become a glaring vulnerability if Tillis wins the GOP nomination against Sen. Kay Hagan. “If I had one thing to do differently [in the campaign], I would have demanded he step down as speaker in October.”
Tillis has been touting himself as the most electable candidate at Republican events, including a Monday forum at the Pinehurst Resort — home of the 2014 U.S. Open — sponsored by the Moore (County) Republican Women. At the forum, Tillis announced his support today from National Right to Life, a major rebuke to Harris, who is running as the race’s leading social conservative.
If Tillis doesn’t win 40 percent of the vote in the May 6 primary, he will be forced into a runoff, one that would coincide with the next session of the General Assembly, which begins May 14.
“It’s disappointing that instead of uniting conservatives, some campaigns are trying to use desperate and divisive tactics against other Republicans,” said Tillis campaign manager Jordan Shaw. “Thom Tillis will remain focused on uniting conservatives and defeating Kay Hagan, and we are confident that that message will resonate with voters across North Carolina.”
Harris also confirmed to NJ that his campaign would start airing ads this week — his first major ad buy of the campaign.
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Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."
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In a statement released on Sunday, President and Mrs. Obama revealed that their oldest daughter, Malia, will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. She will take a year off before beginning school.
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”