Thursday, September 18, 2008

NCGOP E-Letter - September 18, 2008


By Sue Book
New Bern Sun Journal
September 15, 2008

A bus carrying campaigning Republicans arrived later than planned but in time to please a larger-than-expected crowd at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center on Monday.

Traffic delays near Goldsboro and Kinston slowed the Victory 2008 bus, which started the day in Wilmington and traveled to Fayetteville before stopping in New Bern. Among those on bus were U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole; Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party chairman; Buddy Roemer, former Louisiana governor who is campaigning for John McCain; state Sen. Robert Pittenger, candidate for lieutenant governor; and Jack Sawyer, candidate for N.C. secretary of state.

More than 550 people came out for the 15th annual God and Country Banquet sponsored by the Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition. The group recognized candidates attending from parties, but the dinner was highlighted by speeches from Roemer, Dole and Pittenger….

Hurricane Ike provided Roemer a platform for warm-up stories of Hurricane Katrina, from which he escaped to come home to his house still standing untouched by seven of his eight trees felled by the storm.

But he was clearly stumping for his longtime friend and told the story of McCain's faith during his prisoner-of-war experience.

"Being a hero doesn't make you a good president," he said. "But being a Christian and a hero is a good start where I come from."…

Dole said: "I think Sarah Palin is just a brilliant choice. She is a feisty person willing to stand up for what she thinks is right. I think we have taken the issue of change from our opponents and there is certainly reform needed in Washington, D.C."…

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September 18, 2008 - Today, McCain-Palin 2008 released its latest television ad, entitled "Dome." The ad highlights Barack Obama's support for increased federal spending that will only lead to an expansion in the size of government. To pay for it, Barack Obama will have to, and promises to, raise taxes that American families just cannot afford. The ad will be televised nationally.


By Whitney Woodward
Associated Press
September 17, 2008

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — North Carolina's major party candidates for lieutenant governor hammered each other on their records in the state Senate in a debate Wednesday evening.

Republican Robert Pittenger, who resigned from his third term in the Senate in May to campaign, criticized Democrat Sen. Walter Dalton for voting to increase the state budget and debt during an hour-long televised debate.

Pittenger pegged himself as a reformer who will stop the "incredible waste of our tax dollars" — a clear knock on Dalton, who is one of the Democrats' lead budget-writers in the Senate.

"State government's gotten too big, spends too much, doesn't give taxpayers what they really deserve," Pittenger said….

Dalton is a six-term senator from Rutherfordton who became co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2003. …

"I voted against budget-busting budgets," Pittenger said….

Although the position carries limited powers, the lieutenant governor presides over the Senate and serves on state education panels, including the State Board of Community Colleges. In August, the board voted to keep an existing policy which prohibits illegal immigrants from being admitted to the schools while experts study other states' policies. …

But Pittenger accused Dalton of backing legislation which would help illegal immigrants have access to state services — a charge Dalton denied.

Pittenger also said Democrats who control both chambers of the General Assembly have made North Carolina an attractive home for illegal immigrants because they have failed to restrict their access to state services.

"These are all issues we need to address and the leadership in Raleigh, the Democrats in charge, have been silent on it," Pittenger said….

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Click here to watch the debate…


By Gary D. Robertson
Associated Press
September 16, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C. — The two leading candidates for North Carolina governor called Tuesday for more restrictions or transparency on attempts to influence state government and elections, with each lamenting the recent string of corruption convictions….

At least eight state officials or lobbyists - including four state lawmakers - have been convicted, pleaded guilty to or accepted punishment for a crime in state or federal court since 2006, a roster that includes former Speaker Jim Black.

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the GOP candidate, believes there remains an unacceptable "culture of intimidation" within state government that is reducing the trust of Raleigh by citizens and local governments.

"I'm here to bring it out into the open," he said.

McCrory said his mayoral colleagues worry about complaining about shortcomings in state government for fear state officials will punish their city or town by withholding public money.

"I've been told, 'Mayor, don't complain anymore about the DOT and a lack of roads ... because you'll not only not get what you need, but you'll lose what you have. Keep it down,'" McCrory said, saying later that some messages come through intermediaries.

After the luncheon, he said other mayors fear reprisals, so he could provide no additional proof of his accusation. He also said state employees have told him they will vote for them but can't register as a Republican for fear of retribution from their superiors.

The candidates, who appeared separately at the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform event in Raleigh, said they would take different tacks to reduce the influence of money in campaigns. …

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RALEIGH—In a speech at a gubernatorial forum on ethics yesterday, Bev Perdue unveiled her plan for "[a]n endowment, funded by nonprofits, that would finance the campaigns of candidates for governor, reining in both spending and negative campaigning. Perdue halted her negative ads during the primary but has used them so far in the general election." ("The candidate's ideas on reform," News & Observer, September 17, 2008)

Bev Perdue has previously used members of the Board of Transportation in order to do her fundraising for her campaigns, including Thomas Betts who resigned from the board amidst scandal.

Earlier this year, one of Bev Perdue's aides was granted access to Perdue's financial disclosure statements at the State Ethics Commission and allowed to examine them alone in an office with the door closed in a clear violation of policy. The incident is currently being investigated.

Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:

"Negative Bev wants to lecture others about the use of negative ads in campaigns even while she uses them in her own campaign to attack and distort the record and positions of Pat McCrory. Is there no limit to her hypocrisy? Over the last eight years, we have seen countless examples of the powerful elite in state government who want to make the rules but not live by them. This is not acceptable. When it comes to reforming ethics in state government, Bev Perdue is part of the problem and not part of the solution. In her eight years as Lieutenant Governor, she has done nothing to challenge the status quo on ethics reform. During the course of this campaign, one of her aides set off a firestorm requiring an investigation of the State Ethics Commission. Only Bev Perdue would be involved with ethics violations at the Ethics commission and then claim to be able to solve the state's ethics woes. Bev Perdue has zero credibility on this issue and represents only more of the same failures of the past."


Click here to view the video…