Hello, friends. Your Wednesday news:

1. McCrory and Cooper debate again. The News & Observerreports that things got a bit “testy”:

One of the testiest exchanges came when Cooper claimed McCrory is under an FBI investigation for helping a contributor.

“As attorney general you should resign immediately for saying that,” McCrory shot back, staring at Cooper.

The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported in 2015 that McCrory had brokered a meeting between Graeme Keith on a contract for prison maintenance. The paper reported that the matter had “caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Keith, of Charlotte, was a McCrory donor.

After the debate, McCrory told reporters that the FBI had told him that the investigation had concluded.

Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil was also on hand at the debate. In other news, McCrory appears to have been talking out of both sides of his mouth regarding HB 2, according to emails obtained yesterday by the Charlotte Observer.

2. Pence in Hillsborough. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence came to the Orange County GOP headquarters yesterday to see if he could scare up some political goodwill on the firebombing that occurred there over the weekend. From WRAL:

Minutes after he walked through the burned-out offices of the Orange County Republican Party, GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence called Tuesday for extensive poll-watching nationwide during the upcoming election.

…”An attack on our political system is an attack on us all,” he told reporters outside the offices, adding party workers “will not be intimidated.”

“Donald Trump and I are encouraging all of our supporters around the country and, frankly, every American whatever their politics to take the opportunity to be involved in a respectful way in providing accountability at our polling places,” he said. “The one-person, one-vote principle is the very bedrock of our democracy, and ensuring through participation in the process of assembling the vote between now and Nov. 8 is a certain way that the American people can ensure the integrity of this election.”

Pence also said the media would have reacted much differently if the Democratic Party headquarters had been vandalized. Uhhhhh.

3. Murder on Wiggins Street. A man was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Durham late Tuesday night, and the suspect is on the loose. From WNCN:

The victim was shot just after 9 p.m. in the 3600 block of Wiggins Street, according to Durham Police.

The victim was hit in the chest during the shooting and died, officials said.

Police found the man dead at the scene, according to authorities.

Police did not release any suspect information.

Anyone with information should contact Investigator Hines at (919) 560-4440 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

4. Report on Koch activity in North Carolina. The Koch brothers’ involvement in North Carolina politics has been well-documented. A new report from a Democratic Super PAC details the Kansas bros’ more recent activities here. From the N&O:

The report, compiled from news accounts and advocacy group research, says the brothers have spent heavily in the state to re-elect Republicans Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, and helped support the controversial House Bill 2 LGBT legislation.

“From local school board races to a takeover of the state legislature and the governorship, the Kochs have made clear that they intend to completely remake North Carolina to better suit their businesses’ bottom line,” the report says. “While the Kochs enrich themselves, it’s North Carolina’s families that suffer the consequences of their economic and environmental harm.”

The report, which you can read here, also found that Art Pope’s family foundation has contributed nearly $1.5 million to anti-LGBT organizations since 1997. What a guy.

5. News and Observer loses libel suit. The newspaper must pay $1.5 million after a jury found the N&O and reporter Mandy Locke published materially false statements in a 2010 investigative series. From the paper of record:

The jury took about a day to decide that the N&O libeled State Bureau of Investigation agent Beth Desmond in six statements the paper published in 2010 in an investigative article. The jury’s award represents damages to Desmond to compensate her for suffering, humiliation, lost wages and medical expenses she incurred as a result of the N&O coverage.

The jury will now return to Wake County Superior Court on Wednesday to hear additional arguments in the punitive phase of the trial, at which point the 12 county residents will be asked by Desmond to award additional financial damages against the newspaper.

Enjoy your Wednesday.