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Morning Memo: GOP in power, today's big vote and a new political show

BIG VOTE TODAY: North Carolina children as young as 5 may soon be able to receive their public school education online from for-profit companies. The State Board of Education plans to vote Thursday on a special application for virtual schools that want to run public charters and receive taxpayer money. Full story here.

INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES GET UNDERWAY: Thursday marks the beginning of the traditional inauguration festivities. Council of State officials will get feted at a reception at 6 p.m. at the Progress Energy Center. The event is hosted by the Junior League of Raleigh and five companies with business before the state will sponsor: Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Cisco Systems, Duke Energy, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and the Hendrick Companies. It's just one of the few opportunities special interests will get to lobby the state's top officials this week.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo, a digest of the state's big political news with analysis the reads between the lines. Thanks for reading. Click below for more.***

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Faison in fender bender

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Faison was in a minor automobile accident Friday night in Wake County, according to campaign manager Jeanne Miliken Bonds.

Neither Faison nor Bonds were hurt, in what Bonds called a “fender bender” that occurred on Highway 264 near Hodge Road.. She said they were returning from a campaign event in Greenville and had stopped by a relative's house in Knightdale to pick up campaign material.

He was issued a moving violation.

Personnel file: Faison names campaign team for governor's race

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Faison recently announced his campaign team.

The campaign is being led by chief strategist Jeanne Milliken Bonds, the former Knightdale mayor who helped elect state Supreme Court Justice Burley Mitchell. She is managing her first campaign for governor.

Neil Kammerman, a veteran Democratic operative with Wild Bunch Media, is the campaign's media consultant. Scott Dworkin is the finance director. His previous experience includes Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell's 2010 campaign. The fundraising team includes Brad Kennedy, Rob Sherwood and Tess Williams. The firm NGP VAN (created by the 2010 merger of NGP Software and Voter Activation Network) is leading the campaign's online and new media strategy.

“Our campaign team is taking shape and I am proud to have their expertise with me in my run for governor,” said Faison, an Orange County state lawmaker, in a statement.

More campaign staffers are expected to be named in coming days. For more details about the team and to see the campaign logo, click here for the formal announcement.

Bill Faison for Governor team.pdf

Snippiness flies in state House race

The race for the Democratic nomination for House District 39, which includes eastern and southern Wake County is getting a bit snippy.

Incumbent Democrat Darren Jackson and his challenger, former Knightdale mayor and Democrat Jeanne Bonds traded some chippy remarks in an e-mail exchange over the last couple days. The fuss began when Jackson declined an invitation to appear at a public forum organized by the Bonds campaign, Johnny Whitfield reports on the Eastern Wake Buzz blog. 

In his RSVP e-mail to Bond supporter Chris Church sent Wednesday, Jackson said he would be unable to attend because of another meeting of the Wake County legislative delegation planned for the same time.

Jackson went on to say that he has hosted a series of town hall meetings throughout the district in the past year and that voters had plenty of opportunities to raise questions or concerns. Then he criticized the plans for the event.

"The fact that you did not contact (me) prior to unilaterally setting a date, which coincidentally is in conflict with our publicized Delegation meeting, and that you waited until two weeks out  from our primary to first contact me is disappointing."

Bonds fired back in an e-mail this morning.

"Quite a few people have written and called and asked for all three candidates to appear together to take questions so this was an effort to provide a forum that voters requested. I am sorry if you have not received requests but I have for the past several weeks," Bonds wrote.

Dems consider Coleman's replacement

Linda ColemanWake County Democrats will decide on a new representative next week.

The District 39 Executive Committee will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, at the N.C. Democratic Party headquarters on Hillsborough Street.

Their job is to recommend a replacement for Rep. Linda Coleman, an Eastern Wake Democrat who was appointed head of the Office of State Personnel by Gov. Beverly Perdue last week.

"Any person that is interested in taking her seat is welcome to come and speak," said county chair Doris Weaver. "The committee may also have recommendations that they bring up."

The committee will vote that night on its recommendation, which then heads to state party chairman Jerry Meek and then Perdue, who makes the appointment.

Weaver said she's heard informally from a few people who are interested in the position, but she declined to identify them.

Former Knightdale Mayor Jeanne Bonds, Wake County commissioner Lindy Brown, one-time commissioner candidate Don Mial, Zebulon lawyer Darren Jackson and Knightdale Town Council member James Roberson are rumored to be up for consideration.

The legislature convenes Jan. 28.

Coleman's successor in House

A former Wake County commissioner candidate may be appointed to the state House.

The Independent Weekly reports on its Triangulator blog that Don Mial, who ran unsuccessfully for the county board in 2006 and currently serves as vice chair of the Wake County Democratic Party, may be appointed to replace Rep. Linda Coleman.

Gov. Beverly Perdue recently appointed Coleman head of the Office of State Personnel.

Party officials in Coleman's district will nominate Coleman's successor.

The alternative weekly also named former Knightdale Mayor Jeanne Bonds, mental health activist Ann Akland and advocate Bridgette Burge as possible nominees, although Akland and Burge said they're not candidates.

Bonds out

Jeanne Bonds is no longer working for ElectriCities.

The nonprofit, which advocates for municipal utilities, confirmed this afternoon that Bonds is no longer working as their legislative liaison, Andy Curliss reports.

Bonds was in the news last year for testifying before a grand jury investigating then Speaker of the House Jim Black.

She had hired Black's political director, Meredith Norris, to work for ElectriCities.

Norris was later found guilty of failing to register as a lobbyist while working for lottery vendor Scientific Games.

Bonds could not be reached for comment.

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