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NC – Senate 2014 Tag

We will be covering the main contested Senate elections (all poll closing times in Eastern time): By popular demand (WARNING -- Flashing lights) And Yes, for those of you late to the game, we did set off the Fireworks and Music: Fireworks November 2014 Election Night

American Commitment president Phil Kerpen recently caught The Charlotte Observer dumping an article laying out North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan's connection to potentially serious mishandling of stimulus funds. From the cached version of the article:
State officials say a stimulus grant given to a company run by Kay Hagan's husband needs "further legal review." WBTV obtained a memo written by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources which includes a letter to the state's auditor from last month. The memo states that NCDENR is looking into potential conflict of interest claims involving Senator Kay Hagan. NCDENR says they have reviewed grant records and found conflict of issue claims warranted further legal review. Kay Hagan's husband manages one of the companies in question, who received an energy efficiency grant money in 2010. According to the NC Department of Energy and Natural Resources, the grant agreement included provisions prohibiting family members from receiving incentive payments, “these rules require, among other things, that no one with direct lineal relations may receive incentive payment. For example, the mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter or a contractor working in this Program cannot receive Awards, contracts and subcontracts.” The federal Department of Energy Assistance grant agreement had similar regulations that included members of the immediate family, partners, or people who has a financial interest in the firm selected for the grant.
The current version of the same page offers a 404 error, and the Observer has not offered an explanation for the article's removal. Real Clear Politics currently has Senate incumbent Hagan up by a razor thin margin over challenger Thom Tillis, which may or may not explain why the Observer chose to jettison the damaging article---and why the paper had previously failed to give the story any real attention.

What happened in North Carolina Tuesday night? I think that blogger CAC at Ace's hits the nail on the head in this post, and points out a problem that GOP conservatives had better figure out a solution to or they'll be griping even more about the vast-RINO-conspiracy against them:
I've seen a lot of hemming and hawing about how the villainous Karl Rove and his band of toads flooded the zone and dragged "their guy" Tillis across the finish line in yesterday's North Carolina primary... ...[But] over 54% of Republican primary voters did not vote for Tillis. Had these other voters consolidated behind a single candidate, as the establishment always does even if they have to switch gears to do so (see the maneuvering to push Christie out and test Bush), Brannon or Harris would be the one facing Senator Hagan. Conservatives jump from candidate to candidate in a lot of these races, and the more who throw their hat into the ring, the further it dilutes their voice in the primary.
CAC calls it the Baskin-Robbins problem. But whatever you want to call it, it consists of the fact that the Tea Party, a group of individualists, must somehow coalesce behind the best conservative candidate in each race if it is going to both maximize its power and choose an individual who actually has a chance of winning in the general, although it's not at all clear that either Brannon or Harris would have been that person in this particular race.