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Hagan: long-term, bipartisan approach needed on spending cuts

Sen. Kay Hagan says she’s meeting with a group of nine other Democrats and 10 Republicans to look for an alternative to the automatic federal spending cuts (also known as sequestration) that go into effect on Friday.

Hagan told reporters in a conference call Tuesday morning that the group of 20 is looking at a new proposal from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The two have said start with $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and later go on to more cuts and tax and entitlement reforms.

National debt debate comes to North Carolina

A couple of former governors, a mayor and business executives will be on hand Tuesday when The Campaign to Fix the Debt comes to Raleigh.

Erskine Bowles and former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson started the national, bipartisan campaign to bring public pressure to lower the national debt.

Former governors Jim Hunt and Jim Holshouser, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Bob Ingram, and Clear Defense CEO Tonya Cockman will be at the campaign's North Carolina launch.

Bowles related group raises $25 million for debt reduction campaign

An organization founded by Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson announced Tuesday that it has raised more than $25 million to launch a national campaign to encourage policy makers to pass debt legislation in the coming months.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt has collected contributions from corporate CEOs and others for a national media campaign and advertising campaign to urge lawmakers reach a solution to the debt crisis.

Two top Perdue strategists leaving for new jobs

Stephen Neuman, senior adviser to Gov. Bev Perdue, is leaving that post Friday to work for a federal PAC started by the governor of Maryland.

The Washington Post reported that Neuman will be senior adviser to the O Say Can You See PAC that Gov. Martin O'Malley started. O'Malley is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. Politicians often start federal PACs when they're considering runs for national office.

Neuman was North Carolina chief of staff for Barack Obama's winning North Carolina campaign in 2008.

Jon Romano, Perdue's communications director, is leaving to work for the "Fix the Debt" campaign founded by Erskine Bowles and former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson.

Bowles-Simpson show coming to Wake Forest U

At the height of election season, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are bringing their frank talk about the nation's multitrillion dollar debt to Wake Forest University.

They'll speak about solutions to the nation's deficit at Wait Chapel on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Bowles, the former UNC president and White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, and Simpson, the former Wyoming senator, co-chaired 2010's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan group appointed by President Barack Obama. Bowles is a Democrat; Simpson is a Republican.

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson tout deficit plan -- at a cost

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson brought their deficit reduction road show to Duke University on Wednesday night. The two leaders of President Barack Obama's debt reduction commission are touring the country trying to generate support for their plan, which Congress and the president rejected. Their appearance comes at a cost -- and not just a political one. (Read more about the Duke event here. It airs on WUNC TV at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday.)

Bowles, the former UNC president and two-time U.S. Senate candidate, and Simpson, a former U.S. senator from Wyoming, are earning significant speaking fees. Duke University refused to disclose the amount the two speakers made from the event.

But at a similar UNC-Charlotte event in November, Bowles declined a speaking fee but Simpson earned $15,000 for the two-hour event, university officials said. The honorarium was paid with private funds, a university spokeswoman emphasized.

It's a deal, actually. As clients of the Washington Speakers Bureau, it costs at least $40,000 each to hire Bowles and Simpson to speak, according to the company's website. It puts them in the same category as former presidents like George W. Bush, Madeline Albright and other heads of state -- and more expensive than prominent former governors like Florida's Jeb Bush.

Bowles, Simpson show coming to Duke

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who led the bipartisan deficit commission, will speak at Duke University on Jan. 18.

The event, "Decision Time: Bowles, Simpson and the Federal Budget," is part of Duke's Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture series. The talk, at Page Auditorium, is free to the public but tickets are required. Go to or call 684-4444.

Expect some frank talk by Bowles and Simpson, whose recommendations on budget reforms and deficit reduction did not gain traction in Congress. Subsequently, Congress' own super committee failed to reach agreement.

Bowles, of course, is former White House chief of staff and former UNC system president. Simpson is a former U.S. senator from Wyoming.

Bowles, Simpson to 'tell it like it is'

Fresh from their appearance before the super committee, former UNC President Erksine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson will speak at an invitation-only event next week in Charlotte.

The two co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform will be at UNC Charlotte on Wednesday. The event is billed as “Telling it Like it is: an Evening with Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.”

The gathering celebrates UNC Charlotte's new Center City building, an 11-story, $50 million building in downtown, er, Uptown Charlotte.

Marshall: Simpson should resign from deficit panel

Speaking in Charlotte, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elaine Marshall called for the ouster of former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson as co-chair of the president’s deficit reduction commission.

In an e-mail to a female critic, Simpson said Social Security has become “like a milk cow with 310 million t*ts! Call when you get honest work!”

“His remarks were disrespectful to women, they were disrespectful to Social Security recipients,” Marshall told a luncheon of Uptown Democrats on Women’s Equality Day, reports Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer. “He should resign immediately.”

Simpson, who co-chairs the commission with UNC President Erskine Bowles, has since apologized.

Marshall reserved most of her remarks for her race, which she called “absolutely, unequivocally winnable.”

She faces Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Libertarian Michael Beitler in November.

Trust with Edwards ties buys house

A private trust fund with apparent ties to John Edwards bought a house in Charlotte last month, fueling speculation that it was for his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Some Eastover residents and real estate agents — as well as tabloids — have been buzzing about the possibility that Hunter and her daughter Frances could be moving into the house at 1611 Providence Road, reports Jim Morrill of The Charlotte Observer.

According to the deed, Alan Simpson sold the house to The Providence Road Trust for $535,000.

"The buyer wanted to remain anonymous," Simpson said today. "I have heard speculation (about Hunter). I could not tell you who was buying the house."

The trustee listed on the deed could not be reached. The trust's mailing address is a Raleigh post office box registered to the law firm Lynch & Eatman. Lawyer Maria Lynch is treasurer of the Wade Edwards Foundation, according to the 2008 tax return of the organization founded by John and Elizabeth Edwards to honor their late son. Lynch has not returned several calls.

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