Dispatches from the campaign trail, May 30, 2014

• A conservative veterans group runs an online ad attacking Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan for doing “nothing” to hold the Obama administration accountable in the VA hospital scandal. The day the ad was released, Hagan said she supports the House bill (mentioned in the ad) giving the Veterans Affairs secretary more power to fire employees.

• It’s not too early to talk about candidate debates for the fall U.S. Senate campaign. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan has agreed to at least one with Republican rival Thom Tillis and suggests she’d be open to several. The Tillis camp says it has OK’d three and would like as many as 10. It’s unclear whether Libertarian Party nominee Sean Haugh will be invited to participate in any of them.

• Meantime, Hagan declined to join a bipartisan group of 45 senators who wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency, asking it to extend the public comment period on new rules that would pile additional regulations on coal-fired energy plants. She wrote a separate letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy, asking for a similar delay, that was not released publicly.

• Showing how much of a national story North Carolina’s Senate race has become, Boston public radio affiliate WBUR profiles the contest.

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