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Planned Parenthood starts two-day protest across from governor's mansion

Planned Parenthood supporters will stand opposite Gov. Pat McCrory’s Blount Street mansion Monday and Tuesday to protest his intent to sign a restrictive abortion bill.

In a press conference on Friday, McCrory said he would sign House Bill 353, which would limit insurance coverage for abortion and place stricter regulations on clinics providing the procedure. Planned Parenthood – a nationwide sexual and reproductive health care provider – and other abortion-rights groups and activists have demonstrated against the bill for the past several weeks, reminding the governor that he promised while campaigning not to sign any legislation further restricting abortion.

“I think it’s probably highly unlikely he will keep his word (and veto the bill), but I want him to know women are going to hold him accountable,” said Melissa Reed, the vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood.

People who claim McCrory would be restricting access by signing the bill "are more interested in the politics of abortion than the health and safety of North Carolina’s women," said Kim Genardo, the governor’s communications director.

Perdue's plans for the Executive Mansion

Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue is also attending to housekeeping.

An article in Raleigh-based Metro magazine says Perdue plans to bring her Tibetan terriers, Dosie and Zipper, to the governor's mansion in Raleigh.

"By nature, they are a bit boisterous — 'watch dogs and barkers,' as the governor described them — and already the governor is thinking about how to contain their enthusiasm in their new digs," writes columnist Carol Leggett.

Perdue told Metro she intends to make the mansion "a hub of activity," unlike the Easleys, who entertained infrequently, and the Hunts, who were more closely tied to Wilson.

She'll start by opening the 1891 Queen Anne-style mansion to the public on inauguration day, offering hot cider and cookies to the guests.

Perdue also said that she'll spend time at the Western Governor's Residence and use her family's house on Trent River in New Bern as a getaway. She also hopes to hold a Council of State meeting out west.

Easleys saving water

Water use at the Governor's Mansion is down.

As Gov. Mike Easley has called on North Carolinians to conserve, he's been doing the same at home. 

Water bills released Thursday show that he, his wife, and some 40 people who work at the Governor's Mansion have used less water since he began advocating conservation measures.

Average daily use from July through September fell nearly 29 percent. Figures for October were not yet available.

The mansion cut down dramatically on lawn watering. Still, washing employee uniforms and providing for a security detail and other staff led to an average daily use of 1,423 gallons.

The governor's staff declined to release water bills for his private home in Southport. (N&O

Easley's 2007 lunch dates

Gov. Mike Easley had one lunch in 2007.

Continuing a trend since his re-election in 2004, the governor had just one visitor to the Governor's Mansion from January to May of this year, according to his weekly schedule.

On Jan. 18, Easley ate lunch with Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina system.

It was not his only lunch, though. On March 20, Easley dropped by the Outback Steakhouse in Cary for a "Goodluck Lunch" for the N.C. State women's basketball team, which was heading to the NCAA's regional semifinals.

But he was only scheduled to be there from 3:45 to 3:55 p.m. — barely enough time for a Bloomin' Onion.

Hat Tip: Andy Curliss

Easley's 2005 lunch dates

Gov. Mike Easley didn't have many lunch dates in 2005.

In contrast to the previous year, when he was running for re-election, the governor only had two lunch meetings, according to his daily schedule. 

As before, the lunches may have been canceled, and Easley may have had impromptu meetings not on the daily schedule.

According to the 2005 records, Easley lunched with Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight and Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand on Wednesday, April 13. No location was given.

The previous day, Basnight named Rand to head the Senate's work on the newly created lottery.

On Wednesday, April 27, Easley ate lunch with retired drug company executive Dr. Charles Sanders at the Governor's Mansion.

In October, Easley named Sanders, an opponent of the state lottery who once ran for the U.S. Senate nomination, the first chairman of the N.C. Lottery Commission. 

Hat Tip: Andy Curliss 

Easley's 2004 lunch dates

Gov. Mike Easley had some notable lunch dates in 2004.

According to the governor's daily schedules from that year, Easley dined with such notables as then Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik and former Sen. Lauch Faircloth.

With one exception, the lunches were held on Wednesdays at the Governor's Mansion. (Easley held a lunch with his top staffers on a Tuesday before the holidays.)

The schedules are for planning purposes only, so some of the lunches may have been canceled. They were obtained by Dome after a public records request.

Still, they show an interesting cross-section of North Carolina's power players in business, government and political advocacy.

After the jump, a complete list of the 2004 lunches.

Hat Tip: Andy Curliss

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