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Sanford, Weiner, Spitzer -- Edwards, not so much

Reborn politicians have been all the rage lately, with South Carolina’s Mark Sanford returning to office as a U.S. Congressman, and former Congressman Anthony Weiner and ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York venturing back in the fray.

Don’t think that means the path to John Edwards’ return has been cleared.

Only 15 percent of North Carolina voters have a favorable opinion of him, according to the latest PPP survey, and 67 percent have a negative view. Those are close to the same numbers he had a year ago.

Morning Memo: Tax plan takeaways, full day at legislature

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The sausage machine is churning fast these days. A House regulatory reform committee will consider a number of measures to streamline government oversight, a major Republican agenda item, and the House Elections Committee will hear bills to repeal the state's antiquated literacy test and make judicial elections partisan contests. A Senate education committee will vote on a bill to regulate student prayers at school and athletic events and a Senate health care care committee takes up another abortion-related bill. The full House will take votes on a bill to impose term limits on House and Senate leaders and a proposal to repeal the estate tax. The full Senate will hear a measure to ban e-cigarette sales to minors. Gov. Pat McCrory will make an economic development announcement at 3 p.m. in Raleigh.

***More political intelligence below in the Dome Morning Memo including analysis of the Senate's tax plan and a roundup of the fast and furious legislative action. Send news and tips to dome Thanks.***

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.

Ballots, bottles and book

ELEPHANTS, NOT SHARKS: But North Carolina Republicans smell blood in the water and are eager to launch their campaigns. (Charlotte O)

HITTIN' THE BOTTLES: The state's plastic bottle ban is harder to abide by for rural communities. (W-S Journal)

AND THERE’S NO VIDEOTAPE: South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford is being a regular mom, though one with a new book. (The State)

Governors in league on coast

Gov. Beverly Perdue has signed a pact with her counterparts in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The South Atlantic Alliance will help each state protect its coastal resources and help communities react to disasters such as hurricanes. The states would pool resources to help with economic development, environmental protection and disaster preparedness.

The alliance was Perdue, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

"All four governors realize that we are facing considerable challenges to sustain our coastal resources for future generations," Beverly Perdue said in a news release. "This alliance will enable us to work together to protect our ocean environment and the health and economic well-being of the people dependent on those resources. 

McIntyre has ties to Christian group

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre has acknowledged his association with a secretive Christian group in Washington that seeks to influence national and international political figures.

The group, alternately known as The Family, The Foundation or The Fellowship maintains a three-story house called The C Street House that hosts prayer meetings and receptions and is where several Washington lawmakers live, The Wilmington Star-News reports.

The house is registered with the IRS as a church.

McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat, was responding to press queries following a article that named 23 senators, representatives and previous political leaders who have been associated with the C Street House or counseled by the organization.

Though the group says it exists to help lawmakers better understand the teachings of Christ, recently the group has been associated with the sex scandals of three elected officials - Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss.

McIntyre's Washington office sent an email statement about his association with the C Street House: "For several years, I have attended a one-hour weekly Bible study lunch at the C Street House with other Members of Congress who do not live there. This time has always been an opportunity to share our faith and discuss Scripture over a meal. I have never sought counsel from any group associated with or that happens to meet at the house, nor have I been lobbied by any such group."

Not even John Edwards

Carter Wrenn says South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford easily tops any politician in North Carolina for sheer moxie.

Even John Edwards.

Wrenn, a longtime Republican political consultant, writes on his Talking About Politics blog that Sanford should get this year's Academy Award for political scandals. He recounts the whole sordid tale of the South Carolina governor's trip to Argentina to see his mistress - and Sanford's claim that it has not prevented him from doing his job, and doing it well.

"There's not a politician in sight in North Carolina who can match that," Wrenn writes. "Not even John Edwards."

Privacy flights

Say What?
"It wasn't Argentina."
- Chrissy Pearson, press secretary to Gov. Beverly Perdue, on June 25 regarding Perdue's February vacation destination, which Perdue has refused to disclose to the public but was known to her husband (who went along), staff, security and the lieutenant governor, in contrast to S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford's secret trip to Argentina to see his mistress.

One less possibility

The tale of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford leaving the state and not saying where he was going should have sounded a tiny bit familiar to Dome readers.

Gov. Beverly Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves left for a few days vacation in February and refused to tell the pesky news media where she was going.

That may be about the only similarity. Unlike Sanford, Perdue: went on the trip with her spouse, told her staff where she actually was going, told her security detail and told Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who was officially in charge during Perdue's absence.

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson still won't reveal the specific "somewhere warm" to which Perdue traveled but did on Thursday eliminate one possibility: "It wasn't Argentina."

Polls confirm Perdue unpopularity

Maybe North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue should consider joining South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in Argentina.

Her polling numbers have already headed South, Rob Christensen reports.

A new poll conducted for the Civitas Institute show Perdue has an approval rating of 36 percent of those surveyed, compared with 38 percent who have an unfavorable opinion and 22 percent who have no opinion.

"For a sitting governor to have their personal approval rating turn negative this quickly, indicates serious voter discontent with the current administration," said Francis De Luca, the executive director of the conservative think tank.

The survey of 600 voters was conducted June 15-18 by Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. Perdue announced she was supporting $1.5 billion in new taxes to meet the state’s budget shortfall June 17.

Perdue fared even worse in a poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning poling firm. It showed Perdue with 30 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval, and 17 percent not certain.

The Insider/Advantage Poll conducted by the Atlanta-based Majority Opinion Research shows Perdue with a 36 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval rating, with 8 percent not sure.

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