The Wake County Republican Party will hold its annual county convention on Tuesday, March 26th at the Kerr Scott Building at the State Fairgrounds. Event registration and payment is required. Visit www.WakeGOP.org to register. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. With business beginning at 6 p.m.
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MAN AT CENTER OF GAMBLING INVESTIGATION HAS N.C. TIES: An Oklahoma technology company owner who is caught up in a massive investigation into illegal gambling has been a key player in North Carolina’s elusive video sweepstakes games, and has been a generous political contributor. Chase Egan Burns, 37, faces charges in Florida that include racketeering and conspiracy, according to The Associated Press. Burns was arrested Tuesday. Court documents say Burns claimed money put into his gambling machines would be donated to Allied Veterans, but the group received less than 1 percent of the proceeds, The AP reported.
Burns is the owner of International Internet Technologies, which reportedly has more than 100 licensees in North Carolina that employ about 1,100 people. Burns has made $154,000 in campaign contributions in recent years to state political candidates of both parties -- including Gov. Pat McCrory -- and to the state Republican Party.
THOM TILLIS JOINS ALEC BOARD: House Speaker Thom Tillis recently joined the American Legislative Exchange Council's board of directors. "I've been a member for several years and it's a great organziation. I think it's a great colaboration between legislators and businesses. They asked me if I would serve I told them I would happy to," he said in an interview. ALEC is a free-market organization that crafts "model legislation" (such as the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law) by putting corporate representatives and state legislators together. Critics - object to the secrecy of the process and say big business is buying access. Tillis dismissed any concerns about the group, comparing it to the National Conference on State Legislatures. "If you look at most the legialtion that moves through ALEC, a lot of it has it's roots in some other legislative body," he said.
***Good morning. Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- a one-stop-shop for North Carolina political news to start the day. Send news and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Much more below. ***
One political cycle ends and the next one begins.
The Wake County Republican Party has set their precinct meetings for Tuesday Feb., 19th at the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds. Doors open at 5 p.m. With precinct business beginning at 6 p.m. No speaker has yet been announced.
Meanwhile, the Wake County Democratic Party has scheduled their annual Valentine's Day Fundraiser for Friday Feb. 15 at The Royal Banquet and Conference Center at 3801 Hillsborough St.
Claude E. Pope Jr. has stepped down as chairman of the Wake County Republican Party, saying he plans to focus on new business opportunities.
“I have postponed pursuing career plans until after the Nov. 2 election so I could focus all my energies on leading a vigorous organization of volunteers and candidates,” Pope said Monday night at a meeting of the party's executive committee, according to a media release. “The recent successful election results culminate my 20 months as party chairman, and I am thrilled to have been associated with such a group of committed Republicans.”
Pope will be replaced by Susan Bryant, a Wake Forest Republican who has previously served as the committee's first vice chair.
A distant cousin of GOP benefactor Art Pope, Claude Pope served as chairman for 20 months during which the party enjoyed success at the ballot box, capturing a majority on the Wake School Board in 2009 and a majority in both houses of the state legislature earlier this month.
"I’d say that overall, we’ve had a great run,” Pope said, according to the statement. "This was a tough decision for my wife, Melissa and me to make, but we believe this is a time when we leave the organization in strong hands for the next elections.”
The Wake County Republican Party will begin airing a radio commercial Monday touting their candidates as being for low taxes.
The ad urges voters to back Joe Bryan, Tony Gurley, Phil Matthews, and Paul Coble, repeatedly mentioning their name.
“If you want conservatives who will keep spending down and won't raise taxes that will be Tony Gurley, Paul Coble, Joe Bryan and Phil Matthews. That is Gurley, Coble Bryan and Matthews.....Otherwise liberals will be in charges just like they are in Congress and the state legislature.”
The ad was played at the GOP rally Saturday night at Five County Stadium.
The Wake County Republican Party wanted to let voters know which nonpartisan judicial candidates were Republican.
On Tuesday, voters at the polls in Wake County were handed cards that identified the Court of Appeals candidates and the District Court candidates by their political party, Jane Stancill reports.
The cards, labeled "Conservatives and Liberals in Judicial Races," said they were paid for by the county Republican Party.
"North Carolina Ballots do NOT show the party affiliations of candidates for Judge," the cards said. "Here is that information for your convenience."
Parties often try to help voters cut through all that nonpartisan stuff. The N.C. Democratic Party's website lists its recommendations for statewide judicial races.
The headliner at a Wake GOP fund raiser Saturday night is Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is scheduled to speak at a dinner at the State Fairgrounds, Rob Christensen reports. McDonnell, a Republican who was elected last November, made headlines in recent weeks when he declared Confederate History Month in Virginia without mentioning slavery.
That drew so much criticism that McDonnell issued a statement saying "the failure to include any reference to to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed."
The Wake County Republican Party played a major role in the election of a new majority of the Wake County school board last fall. The new board has adopted a reassignment plan that emphasizes neighborhood schools over busing to achieve racial or economic diversity. Critics have said it will lead to resegregation of the schools.
The 7 p.m. dinner is designed to raise money for the county party. Tickets cost $100 per person, $180 per couple, with special sponsorships ranging up to $1,000.
The school board races are nonpartisan, although the Wake County Republican Party endorsed the three candidates who won in those races.
Veteran Democratic consultant Gary Pearce wonders if the strong showing of the "bad guys" is a sign of things to come in next year's Congressional and state legislative election. He said Monday on his Talking About Politics blog that in 1993 Republican Tom Fetzer won the Raleigh mayoral race, the vanguard of what became a big Republican rout.
In 1993, like this year, Democrats had just won the presidential election. They were still celebrating, and they were complacent.
Just like this year, Republicans were angry and motivated. Fetzer (with Carter’s help) found a perfect issue in the downtown civic center. Fetzer ran a modern TV campaign while Democrats ran the familiar old handshake campaign.
It was a sign of worse to come in 1994. And tomorrow may be the canary in the coal mine for 2010.
Wake County Republicans don't want there to be any confusion about a "town hall rally" they are hosting next month.
The rally is a fundraiser for the Wake County GOP, said John Byrnes, a spokesman for the county party. People will not be able to attend for free, like they might expect for a town hall rally, he said.
Tickets to the event will cost $50 per person. For $250 per person, pepole can get into a "VIP Reception" with U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the featured speaker at the event.
The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, is expected to be the featured speaker at a rally Sept. 1 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
GOP candidates for school board and municipal races in Wake County are also expected to attend.