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Morning Memo: McCrory's approval slides, Congressman Price prominent on guns

MORNING MEMO EXCLUSIVE: GOV. McCRORY'S POLL NUMBERS SLIP. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds the new Republican governor's approval ratings at 45 percent to start his first term, down eight points from a month ago. The new poll -- set for release later Wednesday -- suggests his cabinet picks may have pulled his popularity downward. Among those who know, 31 percent approve of his cabinet and 24 percent disapprove. Likewise, more people disapprove of McCrory's controversial picks Art Pope and Tony Tata than approve, though most people aren't sure about the two.

MORE PEOPLE UNSURE: The Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm found Republicans approve 73 percent to 6 percent, independents split 43 to 23 and Democrats even at 26 percent. All the numbers are lower than the previous month, with those people unsure what to think about McCrory on the rise. The falling numbers put his approval rate at the start of his term in the neighborhood of his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Bev Perdue. Four years ago, she started with an approval rating at 43 percent.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo -- the source for breaking news, analysis and a daily news digest for North Carolina politics.

Morning Memo: McCrory gets campaign cash from indicted donor, Hudson on the rise

GOP GOV REPORTS CAMPAIGN CASH WELL AFTER ELECTION DAY: Pat McCrory won the governor's race Nov. 6 but campaign donors kept filling his coffers through the end of the year, according to new campaign finance reports. The Republican reported raising more than $42,000 after Election Day putting his total haul for the entire campaign at $12.3 million -- nearly three times as much as Democratic rival Walter Dalton, who raised $4.3 million.

McCRORY REPORTS DONATION FROM INDICTED DONOR:One more donation listed after the election: Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs. He gave McCrory $1,000 in a check reported Nov. 27.

Stubbs was indicted in 2012 for his political donations to Gov. Bev Perdue in the 2008 race involving a plane he allowed the Democrat to use in the campaign. He is charged with obstruction of justice and causing the campaign to file false reports. After his indictment, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, then just a candidate, returned the $250 donation Stubbs gave his campaign. The case is still pending and Stubbs is challenging the charges.

This is the Dome Morning Memo, a political tipsheet covering North Carolina politics. Read more campaign finance exclusive and a news roundup below.

David Rouzer considering another Congressional bid that would start soon

The 2014 talk is starting and it's not just focused on which Republican will challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

Republican David Rouzer is looking at another run at U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre's seat in the 7th Congressional District. Rouzer lost by 650 votes in a prolonged recount in November, the closest race in the nation, he said. McIntyre was the only Democrat to win a highly contested seat that received national attention.

Morning Roundup: A N.C. company touted by President Obama closes abrubtly

A North Carolina furniture company closed abruptly Thursday just one year after it was hailed by President Barack Obama as an example of the recovering U.S. economy. Lincolnton Furniture Company operations stopped indefinitely and only a few people will remain employed moving forward, company financial officer Ben Causey said. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--North Carolina's congressional delegation is now firmly Republican after GOP redistricting redrew the political favor. Here's a look at Raleigh Republican George Holding's outlook as a freshman. He has one priority: cutting spending.

--For Raleigh-based state government workers who endured four years without a pay raise, the free bus pass was a nice benefit while it lasted. The state ended its funding.

NC congress members buck party leaders on House Vote

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones was one of nine Republicans who bucked party leadership and voted for other GOP members instead of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner. The Farmville Republican instead voted for David Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office.

Boehner, R-Ohio, was reelected Speaker of the House for the 113th Congress with 220 votes over Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who received 192 votes.

The vote against Boehner was likely part backlash after Boehner pulled Jones off the prestigious Financial Services Committee.

Jones was not the only N.C. member to buck his party. Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre of Lumberton voted for fellow Blue Dog Jim Cooper, D-Tenn, instead of Pelosi.

Boehner needed 218 votes to win reelection. Fourteen members voted for other candidates or present.

Kay Hagan expresses hope for woman nominee in 2016

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is featured in an ABC News broadcast airing Thursday evening about the record number of female senators that take office today. The Democrat joined 19 of the 20 women for an interview with Diane Sawyer.

Hagan gets far less airtime than some of her colleagues, according to a transcript, but at one point expressed hope there will be a woman nominee for president in 2016.

Morning Roundup: N.C. congressional delegation splits on fiscal cliff vote

North Carolina's congressional delegation split along unusual lines when it came to the fiscal cliff legislation. U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan voted to approve. In the House, five Democrats and one Republican voted in favor and two Democrats and five Republicans voted against. See the breakdown here and more on the vote here.

More political headlines below.

Sen. Burr voices support for Helms name on post office

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is voicing his support for naming the historic Century Post Office in downtown Raleigh after the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers recently introduced legislation to name it the Jesse Helms Federal Building and United States Courthouse but encountered opposition from some who called it "morally wrong to reward intolerance," a reference to the senator's record.

"Jesse Helms was a transformative figure in our state’s history who placed service to his constituents above all other priorities in his public life," Burr said in a statement issued by his office Thursday. "Whether they agreed with him on political issues or not, North Carolinians had a dedicated advocate in Washington in Jesse Helms, and this bill will help to commemorate his legacy and his service to our state."

Congresswoman Foxx 'chews out' staffer for riding members-only elevator

North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx "chewed out" a House staffer for riding on an elevator reserved for lawmakers, according to The Hill, though Foxx's office is disputing the story.

It apparently happened Tuesday when the elevators at the Longworth House Office Building were clogged. A staffer and the publication's tipster stepped into the members-only elevator; Foxx and an aide stepped in on the next floor.

From The Hill: "The lawmaker, who was recently elected to a House GOP leadership post, asked for whom the pair worked. Then she turned to the female staffer, who had no clue she was on board what was soon to be the elevator ride of doom.

Foxx said to the staffer, “This is a ‘members-only’ elevator; can you read?” She then demanded the staffer’s name before the elevator stopped after going just one more floor up. “Get out here,” Foxx supposedly commanded.

Hagan says parties need to get to work in Washington

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday negotiators from both parties need to get to work in Washington to reach a budget settlement that includes revenue increases and spending cuts.

The alternative -- the automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as sequestration -- would be "extremely damaging to North Carolina," Hagan said on a conference call with reporters.

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