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Morning Memo: National gun debate to hit North Carolina TV screens

UPDATED: BLOOMBERG TO TARGET N.C. IN GUN DEBATE: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to launch a major TV ad campaign aimed at U.S. senators in swing states -- including Democrat Kay Hagan. From the NYT: "Determined to persuade Congress to act in response to that shooting, Mr. Bloomberg on Monday will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators who he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence. The ads, in 13 states, will blanket those senators’ districts during an Easter Congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation."

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The Dix lease to the city of Raleigh hits the chopping block. The Senate convenes at 7 p.m. but won't consider the bill until Tuesday. The House convenes at 4 p.m. but no votes are expected. The Wake County delegation at 4 p.m. in room 643 of the legislative office building. (More on the meeting below.) Gov. Pat McCrory lists no public events on his schedule today.

***Good Monday morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- a daily tipsheet for N.C. political news. Send tips and news to dome@newsobserver.com. Read more below.***

Sen. Hunt will co-chair budget committee

The Triangle will have a state senator on one of the most important committees in the General Assembly next session. Sen. Neal Hunt, a four-term Republican from Raleigh, will be one of three co-chairmen of the Senate Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget.

Morning Roundup: Constitutional amendment on marriage takes center stage

The campaigns for and against the marriage amendment are taking center stage just days before the primary. The efforts are fueled by big national money. The debate is playing out in community forums, Facebook and websites far outside the traditional media. And even hair stylists are being enlisted to fight the referendum.

In Charlotte, a top Republican lawmaker said the amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions is "for the greater good." Rev. Billy Graham issued a statement favoring the ban. The wife of another GOP lawmaker is denying that she said the amendment is important to protecting the white race, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. 

In other political headlines:

--Elizabeth Edwards emerged as a central figure in Day 8 of the John Edwards trial, forcing daughter Cate Edwards to leave in tears at one point. The world is watching the trial. John Edwards was called "political roadkill" on Al Jazeera recently. And columnist Barry Saunders says the testimony of Andrew and Cheri Young makes them look as bad as Edwards.

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