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In surprise vote, House defeats Wake schools bill

Wake County schools’ multi-billion-dollar real estate portfolio will remain under the control of Wake County school board, barring renewed reconsideration of a bill that would have given control to the county commission. It failed to pass the House Wednesday afternoon, on a 54-62 vote.

D’oh-me: The not-so top 5 moments from Dome in 2012

The political year included its share of odd stories and not-so-flattering headlines. Here's a look at the top 5:

1. @GovBevPerdue makes a splash: A Twitter parody account for Gov. Bev Perdue (real handle: @ncgovoffice) caught a number of national media outlets looking silly. MSNBC and Huffington Post were among those fooled by the account that has steadily mocked all things Perdue. The account is labeled as the “first female governor of North Carolina, and probably the last.” The background image, and often point of discussion, is Bojangles’ Bo-Berry Biscuits. Nonetheless, HuffPo in May quoted the faux Perdue as apologizing to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for a quip the real governor made after the state approved an amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. During the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC was caught sleeping when they aired some of the fake Tweets on live TV.

New GOP lawmakers begins term with an apology for his conduct

Wake County school board member Chris Malone, who had told police he was in a relationship with colleague Debra Goldman, issued an apology Friday to unspecified people whom he said he may have “disappointed.”

Malone won a close race earlier this month for the state House 35 seat. He dealt during the last few weeks of the campaign with disclosures that he had told Cary police in 2010 that he had a romantic relationship with Goldman. Goldman had denied they had a relationship.

Malone had said he would discuss the police report after the election. But he didn’t directly mention it in a written statement issued Friday. “I am mindful that we all have an obligation to live up to the highest standards of personal conduct,” Malone said. “To those I have disappointed, I would like to extend a heartfelt apology.”

Malone gave no specific reason for the apology. Malone also said in the statement he planned to resign his seat on the school board Dec. 31. He’ll be sworn into legislative office next month. Read more here.

Seeking distraction, GOP state auditor candidates launches last-minute attack

The Republican candidate for state auditor launched a last-minute attack on her Democratic opponent as she desperately tried to distract from a controversy that is hurting her campaign.

From the office of her attorney, Debra Goldman, a Wake County school board member, played audio tapes she secretly recorded about discussions of the districts assignment plan. She also dredged up dirt on Beth Wood from four years ago, rehashing issues from the Democrat's successful 2008 campaign.

Progress NC Action launches website saying Chris Malone "failed our schools"

Wake County school board member Chris Malone is getting the Heather Losurdo treatment from Progress NC Action in his run as the Republican candidate for the state House District 35 seat.

Progress NC Action, a liberal advocacy group, has created this website charging that Malone has "failed our schools." The website includes links to media reports about his relationship with fellow school board member Debra Goldman, the bus problems at the start of the school year and how budget cuts led to parents helping out with janitorial duties at schools.  "We need a legislator that will put kids first, not their dating life," says the website.

Amid Goldman controversy, McCrory praises Democratic state auditor

At Wednesday's debate, Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory sounded more like he was backing Beth Wood, the Democratic incumbent state auditor, than Debra Goldman, the GOP nominee.

When asked if he still supported Goldman, McCrory said "it's extremely unfair to make a final decision based upon allegations which I don't have much information on."

Unsolicited, McCrory went on to praise Wood, saying "she's done a good job." McCrory also said Wood "was the only member of the Council of State who did stand up to the broken government of both the Easley and Perdue administrations."

Morning Roundup: State GOP leaders knew about Goldman-Malone troubles

N.C. Republican Party leaders were aware of a reported relationship between Wake County school board members Debra Goldman and Chris Malone, yet they still discouraged other potential GOP candidates from opposing Goldman in her run for state auditor, a former opponent said Tuesday. After voting Tuesday, Pat McCrory wouldn't say whether he supported Goldman. Read the full story here.

More political headlines:

--The state employees association unveiled a website Tuesday that highlights the GOP lieutenant governor candidate Dan Forest's thoughts on  “Islamic extremists” who want to impose Shariah law and a United Nations plan for sustainable development called Agenda 21. “He is probably the most radical candidate who’s ever run for North Carolina office,” said Dana Cope, the group's leader.

GOP House candidate Malone hit with robocall in Goldman controversy

Wake County school board member Chris Malone's alleged affair with fellow school board member Debra Goldman is being used against him in his bid for the state House 35 seat.

In a new robocall today from the liberal Common Sense Matters, the group brings up the allegations raised in the 2010 police report about whether they had a romantic relationship and that Goldman named Malone as a suspect in the reported burglary of $130,000 from her home.

"With these kinds of distractions, it’s no wonder the schools screwed up student assignment plans and the bus schedule," says the robocall. "Don’t reward Malone’s unprofessional behavior by sending him to the state legislature."

Morning Roundup: GOP defends Goldman but begins to distance themselves

Debra Goldman began getting questions Friday about a police report in which a Republican state legislative candidate and fellow married school board member detailed a romantic relationship. The next day, she stood next to gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, Party Chairman Robin Hayes and other GOP candidates in Wilkesboro at a campaign event. She apparently didn't tell anyone about the news that would break Sunday.

On Monday, Republicans moved publicly  to defend their candidate for state auditor but at the same time made behind-the-scenes moves to distance themselves from her candidacy. Read the full story here.

More political headlines:

--President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney spent their final debate Monday circling the globe’s hot spots as they clashed over the merits of diplomacy and brinkmanship in Libya, Israel, Iran, the Middle East and other volatile areas.

Goldman calls report 'politically motivated,' doesn't deny accusations

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman today dismissed as “politically motivated” recent accounts that she reported a 2010 break-in at her Cary home and implicated fellow school board member Chris Malone as a possible suspect.

According to a police investigative report, Malone said he and Goldman had a “very heated” physical relationship. Goldman told police she rebuffed his romantic advances.

Goldman is the Republican nominee for state auditor. “I am continuing my campaign for state auditor, and I am saddened that I have to even dignify these reports with a response. This is all I will say regarding this issue, and I consider the matter closed.”

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