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Unlike politicians, Real Jobs acted quickly to return sweepstakes money

It didn't take long for Real Jobs NC, a political committee focused on electing Republican lawmakers, to relinquish money from an indicted sweepstakes company owner. VS2 donated $4,000 to the committee Oct. 1 and an owners of the company, Phillip Cornick, gave another $20,000 on the same date.

But unlike lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory, the committee quickly returned the contribution because Real Jobs officials realized the company and Cornick were indicted six months earlier in Ohio. The return checks were sent Oct. 18 and 19, according to Roger Knight, the committee's attorney.

Earlier this week, McCrory gave back the $2,000 check he received from the wife of a VS2 official. Other state lawmakers have yet to say what they will do.

Morning Memo: Another gambling bust with N.C. ties; Hagan remains against gay marriage

ANOTHER GAMBLING BUST WITH N.C. TIES: On the same day Florida prosecutors busted a gambling operation that snared a company with major North Carolina political ties, an Ohio prosecutor leveled a new indictment against another sweepstakes company with Tar Heel ties.

The March 13 superseding indictment updated charges filed in May against VS2 Worldwide Communications, a company that operated illegal Internet sweepstakes gaming software, according to local news reports. The company's owners, Phillip Cornick of New Jersey and Richard Upchurch of Ramseur, face charges in Ohio of money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The two men and their wives contributed more than $45,000 to North Carolina political candidates -- including Gov. Pat McCrory -- with more than half coming after their initial May indictments.

HAGAN ONE OF 11 SENATE DEMOCRATS NOT TO ENDORSE GAY MARRIAGE: North Carolina's Kay Hagan remains opposed to gay marriage, even though three prominent Democrats colleagues recently shifted their stances. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday (California's Proposition 8) and Wednesday (the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA) about same-sex marriage.

**More on the VS2's campaign contributions and Hagan's stance on gay marriage below in today's Dome Morning Memo. Sends news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. Thanks for reading.***

Sweepstakes ban enforcement begins; company says its games are legal

The N.C. Sheriff's Association sent a reminder to all sheriffs today reminding them that they can begin enforcing the ban on sweepstakes games today.

The memo includes a recommendation to ask for legal advice if sheriffs have questions about the legality of certain machines.

The state Supreme Court upheld a 2010 law banning video sweepstakes. An industry representative said when the decision was announced last month that businesses would change their software or businesses models, as they had in the past, to stay within the law.

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