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Morning Memo: McCrory to talk higher ed, lawmakers to approve Medicaid bill

GOV. McCRORY TO TALK HIGHER ED: Weeks after he stuck his foot in his mouth, Gov. Pat McCrory will make a speech about higher education and the role of innovation in the university economic growth. The Republican governor made controversial comments about changing the higher education funding formula to reflect job output from colleges, not how many students enroll, and he also suggested the state shouldn't subsidize liberal arts classes like gender studies. The noon speech is at N.C. State.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: House and Senate leaders appear ready to agree on a bill to block the expansion of Medcaid to 500,000 North Carolinians. The conference report is on the calendar for concurrence and then would go to the governor. But the topless bill is no longer on the calendar. On Monday, Republicans sent it back to committee. Buncombe Rep. Tim Moffitt told AP the delay would give time for consultations with Senate lawmakers. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will hold a call this morning to discuss the ramifications of the federal budget impasse on North Carolina.

***Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo, get more political news and analysis below.***

Obama radio ad on Ryan military spending votes

The Obama campaign is releasing a series of radio ads in seven states today.

The ad in North Carolina, "Big Decisions,"  focuses on GOP candidate Mitt Romney's VP pick, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, and two of Ryan's votes on military health spending.

Obama campaign hits a singing Romney with another outsourcing ad

Not to be outdone by Republicans airing three ads in North Carolina, the Obama campaign said it is launching its second spot this week aimed at Mitt Romney.

The 30-second ad features Romney singing America the Beautiful" as headlines flash on screen about offshore bank accounts and outsourcing. The kicker: "Mitt Romney's not the solution. He's the problem."

Romney hits TVs with second commercial this week

Mitt Romney's campaign says it is airing a second TV ad in North Carolina this week, trying to counter President Barack Obama's attacks.

The 30-second commercial means three anti-Obama ads are airing at once, another sign of the state's battleground status. Romney's campaign debuted an ad Thursday to counter an Obama spot and Crossroads GPS, a conservative Super PAC, is also on TV.

Say Tony Gurley 16 times fast

If it worked for Walter Dalton -- first as a lieutenant governor candidate and so far in his gubernatorial race -- then Tony Gurley hopes it works for him. 

Gurley, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, continues to riff on Dalton's name-repetitive ad (and many other ads before) to boost his own recognition among voters. The minute-long Gurley ad mentions his name 16 times -- averaging once every four seconds, much like his TV ad earlier this year. Listen below.

More volleys in the amendment ad war

The campaign opposing the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions has another television ad focused on domestic violence, this one featuring Wake assistant district attorney Amily McCool.

The anti-amendment campaign says that the amendment could weaken legal protections for domestic violence victims who are not married to their abusers.

The pro-amendment campaign, Vote for Marriage NC,  calls the domestic violence claim a "myth," and released its own ad last week to counter the claim.

In the Protect All NC Families ad, McCool is seen with stacks of files and pictures of bruised bodies. She says Amendment One could "take away protections for domestic violence victims."


Another Protect All NC Families ad that is running online only features a New Bern woman, Andrea Tillett McConnell, whose sister was murdered in 2009. Cindi Tillett Knighten was killed by her boyfriend.

Vernon Robinson's hits Obama and Romney in new TV ad

Need an early indication of what to expect this election season in North Carolina? Watch Vernon Robinson's new television advertisement airing tonight on Fox during the Republican presidential primary debate.

Robinson -- who is known for his shock politic -- calls Mitt Romney a "cowardly sell out" and says the only thing he has in commmon with President Barack Obama is "a good tan."

Robinson is running as a Republican in the crowded race to challenge U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell in the 8th Congressional District. Kissell is one of the most endangered Democrats in the nation. Robinson has run for Congress twice in the past and fashions himself "the black Jesse Helms."

National Journal's Hotline has more details on the one-minute ad. The campaign wouldn't disclose the cost of the buy.

Beitler ad ties his campaign to Pat McCrory

Mike Beitler challenged Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and won 2 percent of the vote as a libertarian candidate in the 2010 race.

Now he's running as a Republican candidate for secretary of state -- and tucking himself deep in the GOP fold with a new Facebook ad that ties himself to gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory.

The text of the paid advertisement: "Pat cannot do it alone, he needs principled counsels of state. If you support Pat, you should support Mike. Let's get NC working again!"

Tom Murry debuts bumper billboard campaign sign

State Rep. Tom Murry, a Morrisville Republican, is trying an inventive way to get his face in front of voters: an illuminated billboard attached to a car bumper. 

One of the Murry's signs sat outside the legislative office building this week, attached to a Land Rover trailer hitch and shining like a beacon on the road.

Steve Donohoe is the Bumper Signs ambassador. He parked the car outside the statehouse Monday evening to get the attention of lawmaker as the left at the end of the day. For now, Murry is his only client.

"It looks great," said Rep. David Lewis, the House elections committee chairman, as he stopped to check out the sign.

Donohoe says the sign meets all transportation rules -- the main one being the brightness allowed for taillights. "It's just under the DOT size rules for being a nuisance," he said. When parked, the sign also swings out to face multiple directions.

Murry said he's excited to try it it out. "Pretty cool, huh?" he said Tuesday as he handed out Donohoe's business card from a pile he kept in his pocket.

Dome readers: Obama wants you!











President Barack Obama's campaign is taking out some serious real estate on Dome. See the picture above from earlier this morning. 

The Web ads don't appear every time you click on Dome but rotate through with those from other advertisers. The campaign is obviously looking for politically minded folks, given what we produce on this blog -- which is no surprise.

Even with the election a year away, not everyone is thinking 2012. At a recent Obama voter registration drive outside a North Carolina football game in Chapel Hill, most folks didn't even acknowledge the organizers -- apparently too much Carolina on the mind.

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