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Cooper starts voter ID petition campaign

Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is circulating a petition urging Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the voter ID bill.

The petition effort by one high-ranking state official is unusual and it is likely to spark speculation that Cooper is thinking about a potential challenge to McCrory in 2016.

"It's wrong to make it more difficult for North Carolinians to register and vote," Cooper writes. "I've asked Governor McCrory to veto this bill and I hope you will too.''

Cooper complains that the bill would cut short early voting leading to longer lines on Election day, stop preregistration for young voters, prohibit people who vote in the wrong precinct from casting a provisional ballot, and enforcing a voter ID bill that is so restrictive that a college ID can not be used.

McCrory campaigned last fall in support of a voter ID bill and is considered a near certainty that he will sign the bill passed by the GOP legislature -- possibly next week.

Morning Memo: Perdue closes her campaign for good, leave Democratic party hanging

PERDUE CLOSES CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT: From AP: Former N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue has closed her campaign accounts, distributing the more than $1.2 million political war chest raised for her derailed 2012 re-election bid. Nearly $800,000 went to the Democrat and her husband to repay personal loans made to her political campaigns between 2000 and 2008, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed last week with the N.C. Board of Elections.

Another $200,000 went to a pair of writers assisting Perdue with her autobiography and about $120,000 went to a charity. Most of the remainder was paid to lawyers and campaign staff.

***Find out who Perdue left off her campaign spending list below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: McCrory's earnings disclosed; Chairman's mortgage under fire

PAT McCRORY MADE $175,000 ON CORPORATE BOARDS: Gov. Pat McCrory’s state financial disclosure form offers little insight into his wealth. But newly filed corporate records show the Republican made more than $175,000 in 2012 as a board member for two publicly traded companies. According to federal Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed in May, McCrory made $138,204 in total compensation (salary and stock awards) as a director at Tree.com, an online mortgage lender, through Dec. 31, 2012. SEC records filed in late July show he earned another $38,555 in total compensation as a Kewaunee Scientific director from April 2012 to the end of the year. The company paid his health insurance, which accounts for about $9,000 of the total.

McCrory resigned both boards just before he became governor. What still remains unknown: how much he made as a consultant for his brother’s firm and his previous salary at Moore & Van Allen, a Charlotte law firm that does lobbying work. (Not to mention his clients for each.) And his total wealth.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN FACES CRITICS AGAIN: N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller is facing heat from his naysayers again. Democratic operative Frank Eaton recently posted new court documents online showing Voller's home subject to foreclosure for delinquent payments.

But Voller refutes the suggestions that his finances -- which previously became a liability for Democrats -- are once again poised to embarrass the party. A day after the July 25 filing from Wells Fargo, Voller was accepted in a mortgage modification program, according to documents he provided to Dome. He said the court filing was merely part of the modification process.

***Read more from Voller and get a roundup of North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.

McCrory says he won't act on bills until next week

Gov. Pat McCrory said he won't act on any 38 bills sitting on his desk before next week.

"I have reviewed in detail each of the 38 bills," McCrory told a meeting of the Council of State Tuesday morning. "Some time starting next week, I will either sign, veto or not sign the remainder of the 38 bills. That process will begin next week.''

The governor did not take questions after the meeting from reporters on how he felt about high profile pieces of legislation such as the voter ID bill, which was expanded to include a broad range of voter issues such as ending Sunday voting and shortening the early voting period by a week.

Morning Memo: Daily Show says North Carolina trumps South Carolina in crazy

VOTING BILL TARGET OF LAUGHS: Another day, another national television show puts North Carolina at the butt of the jokes. The Daily Show on Comedy Central took aim at the recently approved elections bill that puts restrictions on voting. Host John Oliver joked that the state election bill would place “all voting booths on buoys that are only accessible by yacht." The segment lumped North Carolina together with Texas and Florida but the Tar Heel state (starting at 2:30) received particular attention and Senate leader Phil Berger make an appearance from a TV clip. Oliver says the voting bill is just the “tip of the true $h*!-berg of a legislative session" and concludes: “Your move South Carolina. Oh, you thought you had crazy Carolina all sown up, didn’t you?”

***The state's system to deliver food assistance is troubled and ALEC is targeted ahead of this week's meeting. Read more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Todd Poole named N.C. GOP executive director

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's former chief of staff is taking the helm at the N.C. Republican Party.

Todd Poole will serve as executive director, managing the day-to-day party activities and staff for GOP Chairman Claude Pope.

Poole is a Hickory native who recently opened his own political consulting firm, Red Dome Group. Most recently her served on Foxx's staff and previously worked as an aide to then-Congressman Richard Burr. He also worked in North Carolina on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.

Morning Memo: Bill Maher's screed rips North Carolina GOP

BILL MAHER RIPS NORTH CAROLINA A NEW ONE: Comedian and liberal commenter Bill Maher spent five minutes recapping North Carolina's rightward political shift concluding: "North Carolina is going ape $*!# in a way no other state has."

Maher introduces the clip comparing the state to a third world country "where Democracy itself hangs in the balance." He later blames Art Pope for the circumstances and suggested his guest Jay-Z ought to buy the state. See the clip above.

McCRORY WATCH: Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t signed any bills in a week and there are 38 of them on his desk. Deadline to sign them is a minute before midnight on Sunday, Aug. 25. He signed a spate of legislation July 29.

***The biggest bill on his desk -- read about it below. Along with more North Carolina political news in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Morning Memo: Education takes center stage

State Reps. Larry Hall of Durham and Rick Glazier of Fayetteville, both Democrats, called on the State Board of Education Thursday to protect the master's pay supplement for the graduating class of 2014.

The State Board imposes an April 1 deadline for completing the paperwork for teachers to get a pay supplement for having received their Master's degree. The new state budget gets rid of the pay supplement but grandfathers in those teachers who already receive it. Hall and Glazier think those teachers who went back to school to receive their masters under the impression that they'd get the pay raise (which would theoretically help pay for the cost of the degree) should be entitled to the supplement.

They've asked Superintendent June Atkinson to request that the State Board of Education extend the deadline to June 30, 2014.

TGIF and welcome to Dome's Morning Memo.

Morning Memo:Petition calls on McCrory to veto voter ID law

More than 10,000 NC residents have signed a petition asking Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the voter ID bill that passed the legislature last week. At a press conference Friday, McCrory indicated he would sign the bill although he also admitted he was unfamiliar with a part of it. The bill morphed from one focused on having voters show a photo ID at the polls to one that includes changes to early voting, campaign finance and the state's presidential primary. It also lets any registered voter challenge another's vote on election day and repeals Stand By Your Ad and other provisions. See the list here. Welcome to Dome's Morning Memo on this Wednesday.

New York Times editorial page blog on voting/elections bill

There's no love lost between the state's Republican leadership and the New York Times editorial board, especially after its "Decline of North Carolina" editorial of July 9. Gov. Pat McCrory wrote a letter to the paper objecting. Sen. Tom Apodaca declared that he didn't read the Times.

But that isn't stopping the paper's editorial board, which posted an item on its blog declaring "North Carolina: First in Voter Suppression."

The legislature last week passed a giant package of voting and elections changes which will require photo ID at the polls, won't allow college students to use their school ID cards, will ban pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, among other changes.

McCrory said Friday he will sign the bill even though he wasn't familiar with some of the details.

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