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McCrory to join other GOP governors in Aspen next week

Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to attend a forum with other Republican governors next week in Aspen, Colo.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are all expected to attend. The Aspen Institute's event July 25 is titled "What's working at the state level?"

The first thing McCrory will have to tell the crowd is what state he governs. The program lists him as the governor of South Carolina -- a slip that will delight Democrats who contend McCrory and GOP legislative leaders are transforming the state into its more conservatively strident southern neighbor.

Morning Memo: GOP 'stupid party,' lawmakers may restrict access to gun records

JINDAL TO GOP: STOP BEING THE STUPID PARTY: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday night challenged fellow Republicans to “go after every voter” and cautioned them to “stop being the stupid party.”

“It’s no secret we had a number of Republicans who damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments,” he told around 200 members and guests of the Republican National Committee at the Westin hotel. Jindal, considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate, said Republicans can beat Democrats on their ideas while appealing to all Americans – beyond Washington.

***Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- the source for N.C. politics. Click "Read More" below for more news.***

Jindal tells McCrory to be prepared for natural disaster

Gov-elect Pat McCrory had just returned from the Republican Governor's Association Meeting in Las Vegas where he spent time with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listening to the pitfalls of a new administration.

Among the pieces of advise was from Jindal, who warned him to make sure the emergency management office was in place and in shape in case a natural disaster struck early.

Haslam continues the GOP parade of governors

The parade of Republican governors into North Carolina this political season continues Wednesday when Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam stumps in Western North Carolina.

Haslam is scheduled today to speak at the Asheville Victory Office, hold a round table discussion at the Apple Wedge Packers and Growers in Hendersonville, before dropping off aat the Sylva GOP Victory office.

He is at at least the sixth Republican governor to campaign in North Carolina.

NC becoming audition stage for veep

North Carolina has become an audition stage for potential vice presidential contenders, Reid Wilson of The National Journal writes.

It notes that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell have been in the state in May for the Republican Governors Association – and also to stump for GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have stumped for Gov Mitt Romney. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is tentatively scheduled to campaign for Romney in Winston-Salem on Friday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will be in Raleigh at Quail Ridge Books on July 5th to promote his autobiography.
    That is pretty much the A-list of veep candidates that are being mentioned as Romney running mates. The only possible missing candidate, is Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. If he shows up in the state, it may mean his name is moving up the list.

(Some long-shot names have also been here including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Chris Christie.) And whatever happened to the long-shot talk about North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.

Inside McCrory and Perdue's campaign finance reports: expensive flights, consultants and lawyers

The best details in a campaign finance report are found in the expenses. Here's a few interesting nuggets:

--Pat McCrory spent about $500,000 since July, with a large portion paying consulting fees to political advisers and fundraisers. He also acquired a campaign vehicle.

--The campaign paid $15,842 to the Republican Governors Association to cover the cost of renting a private jet to fly Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, to Charlotte for a Dec. 7 fundraiser. The campaign said it was a last minute arrangement. The event raised about $100,000, aides said. By comparison, the Christie fundraiser brought in about $275,000 and cost nothing. The New Jersey governor stopped on his way to a different RGA fundraiser in Florida and didn't charge the campaign.

-- Perdue spent more than $255,000 going to consultants and pollsters, far more than McCrory. She also paid about $46,000 to four different law firms for what is listed as “professional services.” (The campaign has yet to respond to questions seeking more details.)

--Perdue’s travel appears minimal since July. She reimbursed the state about $56,000, paying half the cost of her official state travel when the trip included a campaign event, per state law.

--One Perdue trip in particular cost thousands: on Sept. 30 Perdue flew on a state helicopter to tour areas damaged by Hurricane Irene a month earlier and then flew to a campaign fundraiser. Perdue aides say the fundraiser was scheduled before the trip to Hatteras Island was on the calendar. The trip, along with travel on three days in October, cost $22,143, records show.

1328044893 Inside McCrory and Perdue's campaign finance reports: expensive flights, consultants and lawyers The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Add $100,000 to McCrory's bank and thank Louisiana's Bobby Jindal

Big name Republicans continue to deliver for Pat McCrory. 

The likely GOP nominee raised more than $100,000 at a fundraiser with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal earlier this week in Charlotte.

Just a week prior, McCrory banked $275,000 from a fundraiser with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

McCrory is looking to close the fundraising gap between his campaign and Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, who outspent him in the 2008 race he lost.

Jindal to campaign for McCrory

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will be the second big-name Republican governor to campaign for Pat McCrory.

Jindal will be the star attraction at a Charlotte fund raiser on Dec. 7th for McCrory, a likely GOP candidate for governor next year. The event will be held at the home of Barbara and Joe Hallow with tickets costing between $1,000 and $4,000 per person.

A week earlier, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear at a Greensboro fund raiser for McCrory, on November 28th. The big-name governors are an indication that the national party is getting behind McCrory, who has consistently been leading in the polls over Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

Perdue stepped back because of son

Gov. Bev Perdue sat out the recruitment of a Louisiana company to the Research Triangle because her son was involved in efforts to get the company to move its headquarters here.

As a result, Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco made all the decisions in the recruitment of IEM, a risk management firm, including the promise of as much as $9 million in tax incentives and grants, according to Chrissy Pearson, the governor's spokeswoman.

The governor recused herself because her son, Garrett Perdue, was involved in recruiting IEM as part of his job with the law firm of Womble Carlyle, Rob Christensen reports.

"Because Garrett represented the company in some way," Pearson said, "the governor recused herself early on in the process. What that means is Commerce just carried the lion's share of the recruiting, which is what they do anyway. But the governor can be good motivating or icing on the cake."

Jindal, Booker to speak tonight

Two rising political stars are speaking in the Triangle tonight.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will be the featured speaker at the John Locke Foundation's annual dinner in Raleigh tonight.

And Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker will speak at Duke University this evening.

Jindal, 37, became the youngest governor in the nation when he was sworn in last January. He made ethics reform and reducing business taxes his top priorities. He'll speak after a 6:30 p.m. dinner at the Marriott Crabtree Valley hotel. Tickets are $60.

A Rhodes Scholar who studied at Stanford and Yale, Booker moved to Newark's most notorious housing project to work as a community organizer before being elected mayor. He'll speak at 5:30 p.m. in Fleishman Commons at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy. The talk is free.

More information on the speeches is available here

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