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GOP alleges irregularities with Progress NC

The state Republican Party Tuesday asked the Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to investigate a Democratic group's fund raising practices.

The state GOP is questioning whether Progress NC, a 501 © (3)Democratic leaning group that has been highly critical of the Republican legislature, is acting properly.

State GOP Chairman Claude Pope said Progress is claiming to be tax deductible organization, even though it has not been granted tax exempt status by the IRS and its state charitable license expired May 15th.

"Progress NC doesn't pay taxes because they claim to be a tax exempt organization," Claude Pope, the state GOP chairman said in a statement. "The problem is, they have not been granted federal tax except status.''

Michael Weisel, an attorney for Progress NC said the group, which was started about a year ago, has applied for tax exempt status from the IRS, a process that typically takes 12-36 months. He noted that Renew North Carolina Foundation, the 501(© (4) non profit that is running TV ads boosting Republican Gov. Pat McCrory also has not received tax exempt status from the IRS.

Weisel said that Progress Action, a 501© (4) organization, has been granted tax status by the IRS.

He said GOP asserts that Progress NC's charitable license has expired is incorrect.

Wiesel said the "charitable solicitation license is current in and place.''

Marshall: Legislature making NC the nation's laughing stock

While Gov. Pat McCrory has talked about rebranding the state, the Republican legislature has already succeeded – and it's not good, said Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

Marshall said the GOP legislature has rebranded North Carolina from a progressive, pro education, pro growth New South state to one that has become the butt of jokes of late night comedians.

“The General Assembly has rebranded us into the laughing stock of the country if not the world,” Marshall told a Democratic women's breakfast at the North Raleigh Hilton Saturday morning. “Just ask Jon Stewart, Colbert, Letterman, Leno and others.''

Marshall, the 2010 Democratic Senate nominee, said GOP lawmakers have tried to “start a state religion,” say that federal courts don't apply in the US, that federal officers enforcing gun laws would be guilty of a state crime, and of printing its own currency, requiring drug testing before public benefits.

Even if such bills don't pass, Marshall said, they damage the state's image and ability to attract industry and business executives to the state.

“The branding is already taking place,” Marshall said.

Morning Roundup: Democrats struggle to pay $10 million in convention debts

How do you pay the bills when the party’s over and the guests have gone? Democratic National Convention organizers are about to find out.

After struggling for more than a year to raise money – and ultimately coming up short – they face $10 million in debts and unpaid obligations, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. “This is a difficult debt to retire,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics. “If (President) Obama loses on Nov. 6, then very few people are going to want to give to this lingering debt from the convention.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--As Mitt Romney's campaign shifts a staffer to Ohio, saying North Carolina is confidently red, the Obama campaign said rather than downsizing, it had in recent weeks added organizers. “This signals to North Carolina voters that the Romney campaign is taking their votes for granted,” said Cameron French, the chief spokesman for the state Obama campaign.

Democratic candidates to converge in Orange County

Orange County Democrats are hosting a Saturday afternoon rally featuring all Democratic candidates in statewide, contested races -- that would be candidate for governor Walter Dalton and most of the rest of the Council of State candidates.

The Piedmont Rally is from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in Chapel Hill High School. Democrats from seven surrounding counties were invited.

Video: Secretary of State forum ends with an Occupy attack

In case you missed the Secretary of State candidates forum, watch above. There's a few interesting exchanges -- including one on lobbying law where Democrat Elaine Marshall wants lobbyists compensation made public but Republican Ed Goodwin says the laws are fine now.

Another interesting bit: toward the end (minute 50) Goodwin drops a bomb against Democrat Elaine Marshall about the Occupy movement. Marshall didn't get to respond -- but read more about it here.

Goodwin, Marshall face off at Raleigh forum

Voters got a glimpse of the candidates for Secretary of State -- Republican Ed Goodwin and Democrat Elaine Marshall -- at a Thursday night forum in Raleigh.

The League of Women Voters and the NC Center for Voter Education put on the event to turn attention to the down-ballot race and to help people better understand the state office tasked with spurring economic development.

Many questions were simple and focused on the office, but emotions flared at the mention of Occupy Raleigh.

Secretary of State forum set for Thursday - Israel and China not on the agenda

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and her Republican challenger Ed Goodwin will answer questions about their qualifications in a form that will be held Thursday in Raleigh.

The forum, which will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, on Wade Avenue at 7 pm, is being presented by the N.C. Center for Education and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

“North Carolina's secretary of sate can have a significant impact on economic development and government transparency,'' said Brent Laurenz, executive director of the voter education center. “With an election year dominated by campaigns for the White House and governor's mansion, we hope this forum will allow voters to cast an informed ballot in the important race for secretary of state.”

Groups to host forum featuring secretary of state candidates

The candidate in the Secretary of State race will face off in a forum next week in Raleigh.

The Aug. 23 event is hosted by the N.C. Center for Voter Education and the League of Women Voters. The audience can ask questions and others will come through Facebook and email. It will take place at the Unitarian Universalist church on Wade Avenue.

Democratic incumbent Elaine Marshall faces Republican newcomer Ed Goodwin in the campaign.

Linda Coleman welcomes Forest to LG race with blistering attack

Moments after it became clear Dan Forest won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, his Democratic rival welcomed him to the race with a blistering attack.

"It is clear that Dan Forest will be nothing more than a rubber-stamp for the divisive, job-killing agenda pushed by the current GOP-majority," Democrat Linda Coleman said in a press release.

Her campaign also tweeted: "If women aren't at the table, they are on the menu."

GOP secretary of state candidates promote George Soros conspiracy

The Republicans vying for the secretary of state's office is sounding the alarm on the campaign trail: George Soros is trying to buy the office.

Ed Goodwin, a Chowan County commissioner, recently told a voter forum that Soros, a billionaire financier who donates prolifically to liberal causes, is trying to elect Democrats to the post so he can exert control on the state's elections. "We have to be very careful of that," he said. 

His rival in the July runoff election, Kenn Gardner, chimed in: "I have no doubts that he had money that goes to Elaine Marshall," the incumbent Democrat.

In PolitiFact parlance, the candidates would get a Pants On Fire ruling from the Truth-O-Meter.

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