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Ellmers receives award from American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union has named U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn one of its 2012 ACU Conservatives.

A whopping 91 percent of Ellmers' votes made the ACU happy, but she still fell short of its Defender of Liberty title which requires every vote on certain bills picked by ACU to match the organization's desires. ACU looks at votes on bills that "serve as a clear litmus test separating those representatives who defend liberty and liberal members who have turned their backs on our founding principles."

The ACU argues for limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and traditional values.

Other N.C. representatives who scored above 80 percent included Howard Coble of Greensboro, Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk, Patrick McHenry of Cherryville and Sue Myrick of Charlotte, who is now retired.

The ACU award comes the day after the Club for Growth — which supports limited growth and low taxes — tagged Ellmers as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and put her on a a list of Republicans that scored below 70 percent on the club's scorecard.

Forest imports mom's staff

Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Forest didn't have to look far for office staff. He announced Friday that two people who worked for his mother, former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, will join him in Raleigh.

Hal Weatherman, a former Myrick chief of staff, will do the same job for Forest. Weatherman started with Myrick in 1995 and left her office in early 2011 to become national communications director for the Florida-based ACT! for America, which describes itself as "combating the threat of radical Islam." Weatherman managed Forest's campaign.

Falkenbury, Myrick's former office manager, will be Forest's director of operations. Before he went to work for Myrick, he was a trade assistant with the South Carolina World Trade Center.

Kelsey Crum, a recent graduate of Appalachian State University, will be director of constituent service. She is the former head of Appalachian State College Republicans and Young Americans for Romney at the campus.

Forest is taking the oath of office at a private ceremony Monday in the Old Senate Chambers.

Morning Roundup: Rob Christensen's political predictions for 2013

N&O political prognosticator Rob Christensen makes predictions about what to expect in 2013: voter ID, limited tax reform, gun laws, tracking and a Thom Tillis run for U.S. Senate. See them all here and comment on what you think will happen.

More political headlines below:

--Sue Myrick's term in Congress is coming to an end. Franco Ordonez takes a look: In the public arena, she has been at the center of heated debates on controversial issues including immigration and terrorism. But the image of her working on behalf of vulnerable North Carolina families is exactly what friends and colleagues say defines her the best.

PPP: Foxx an early GOP favorite to challenge Hagan

While conservative groups are starting to drop money in an effort to push Sen. Kay Hagan out of office in 2014, the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling on Tuesday released a poll that gives an early look at who the GOP is most likely to line up against the first-term Democrat.

Rep. Virginia Foxx tops Republicans' wish list at 17 percent. 14 percent prefer Sue Myrick, 13 percent want Patrick McHenry and 11 percent Renee Ellmers.

Super PAC forms to boost Republican Dan Forest in lieutenant governor's race

In the lieutenant governor’s race, a super PAC funded by a supporter of U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick is sponsoring TV ads on behalf of her son, Republican Dan Forest.

Citizens for Accountability started just this month with $75,000 from Charlotte businessman David Longo. This week the PAC spent $61,800 on cable TV ads for Forest, who faces Democrat Linda Coleman.

Even the safe congressmen keep raising money

Here is what some North Carolina congressman representing safe politically districts had raised this year, according to the latest reports filed by the Federal Election Commission.

Democrat G.K. Butterfield of the 1st district had raised $168,826,826 and had $211,416 on hand. Republican Virginia Foxx of the 5th district had raised $207,065 and had $1.3 million on hand; 6th district Republican Howard Coble has raised $89,552 and had $171,051 on hand.

Republican Sue Myrick of the 9th district raised $193,594 and had $193,934 on hand. Republican Patrick McHenry of the 10th district raised $300,603 and had $127,916 on hand. Democrat Mel Watt of the 12th district raised $141,765 and had $187,970 on hand. Republican Walter of the 3rd district had raised $135,279 and had $127,699 on hand.

Ellmers, Myrick and Foxx on Fox

North Carolina will be well represented on Fox News tonight with U.S. Reps. Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx and Sue Myrick participating in a Congressional women's focus group during a segment of the Sean Hannity show, according to Ellmers' office. 

The show is on at 9, with the roundtable segment at about 9:40, according to Ellmers' office. Hannity repeats at midnight.

Update: Ellmers double-header

She'll appear Lou Dobbs on the Fox Business Channel at 7 tonight, discussing negotiations on the debt ceiling and the economy. 

Myrick staffer Weatherman now helping her son

Hal Weatherman, longtime chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte, is managing her son’s campaign for lieutenant governor, Charlotte Observer staff writer Jim Morrill reports.

Weatherman joined Raleigh Republican Dan Forest today making the rounds of the General Assembly.

Forest, 43, is expected to speak at Saturday’s state GOP convention in Wilmington. He’s one of at least two Republicans who have announced for the post.

Weatherman had been with Myrick since her first year in Congress in 1995 and served the last 12 years as her chief of staff.

He left in February to become national communications and marketing director for Act! for America, a nonprofit group focused on national security and what it calls “the assault of radical Islam.” He has since left that job.

Myrick's son eyes Lt. Governor's seat

Sue Myrick's son, Dan Forest, is campaigning to be North Carolina's next lieutenant governor, reports Jim Morrill of The Charlotte Observer.

Morrill reports that although the race has stayed far below the radar, Forrest has been speaking to GOP groups around the state.

Morrill writes: "Forest, 43, is the son of Myrick and her first husband, the late Jim Forest. He attended East Mecklenburg High School before transferring to a school in Columbia. He practiced architecture for 23 years before stepping down in late 2009 to start a political advocacy group. He left in March to start his campaign."

Forest was a student at UNC Charlotte when his mother was elected mayor of Charlotte. He told Morrill that  his mother, a member of Congress since 1995, may campaign with him before it's over.

"I think she will be very willing to once the time comes," he said. "She'll be in campaign mode, too."

Myrick aide to fight radical Islam

Hal Weatherman, the long-time chief of staff of Republican Congressman Sue Myrick of Charlotte is taking a new job with an advocacy group devoted to publicizing terrorism activity, particularly radical Islam.

Weatherman will become the national communications and marketing director for ACT! for America. He has been with Myrick for 16 years, including serving as her chief of staff for the past 12 years.

Myrick has become particularly vocal in recent years in denouncing the threat of radical groups, as a founder and co-chair of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

ACT! for America is a Pensacola-based group founded by Brigitte Gabriel, author of the books Because They Hate and They Must Be Stopped.

"Hal is a rare find -- a talented, articulate, experienced and savvy professional, who understands the media, legislative affairs, the grassroots, and who is well-versed on the threat of radical Islam," said Gabriel.

With Weatherman's departure, Myrick named Sarah Hale as chief of staff.

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