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Civitas deletes story questioning cronyism in McCrory administration

The president of the Civitas Institute removed his story from the conservative-leaning think tank website last week that was critical about "cronyism" in Gov. Pat McCrory's administration and hit hard at his chief-of-staff.

Francis De Luca's story (cached by Google here) criticized the Republican governor for failing to change "the culture of cronyism and insider dealing in Raleigh" by pointing to his appearance at the Sept. 5 inaugural Minority Enterprise Development celebration. De Luca wrote that the event featured two speakers of a group tied to the coalition behind the "Moral Monday" protests and was hosted by the N.C. Women and Business Enterprise Coordinators Network.

The story noted that network is a client of Capitol Access, a lobbying firm led by Yolanda Stith, the wife of McCrory's chief of staff, Thomas Stith. It went further to say that it "may be that Thursday was not the first time that Ms. Stith’s clients benefited from a cooperative governor," highlighting how her clients budget cuts received only small budget cuts in McCrory's proposed budget.

McCrory picks his former teacher to lead Indian Affairs Commission

Gov. Pat McCrory's high school teacher, who starred in his campaign TV ads, is now the chairwoman of the N.C. Commission on Indian Affairs.

Ruth Revels, a member of the Lumbee tribe, taught at Ragsdale High School. Former Gov. Mike Easley appointed her to the commission in 2003. She was sworn in Friday as the new chairwoman.

Phyllis Schlafly embraces N.C. voter law

National conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly cheered the state new law limiting the early voting period because the Obama campaign used early voting to its advantage.

In a WND column published today, Schlafly wrote: "The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

Schlafy also praises stricter abortion clinic regulations, the end to teacher tenure, the new cursive writing requirement, and the cut to unemployment benefits.

Alma Adams' campaign gets boost from national organization

An organization that supports female candidates is boosting state Rep. Alma Adams' campaign to replace Congressman Mel Watt in the 12th District.

EMILY's List announced Monday it is putting Adams, a Democrat, "on the list," which is a step short of an endorsement. But the designation gives Adams access to the national group's members for fundraising and campaign support.

Americans for Prosperity will spend $500,000 on tax code campaign

Americans for Prosperity will spend $500,000 on a campaign to promote a new state tax code, the organization announced Tuesday.

AFP, a political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, has been prominent in issues advertising on the state and national levels. In North Carolina, it ran an ad campaign supporting the legislative Republicans' budget.

Legislators have not presented a specific tax proposal, but they've discussed taxing more services such as hair cuts and lawyers' fees, while eliminating or reducing corporate and personal income taxes.

About a dozen people at the news conference sported green football jerseys with the campaign slogan "back in the game," meaning that the state is competing effectively for jobs.

AFP has spent about $500,000 in Indiana on a campaign supporting tax code restructuring, said AFP national president Tim Phillips, who was in Raleigh on Tuesday.

"One of our goals is to let legislators know they will have someone who will have their back if they just do the right thing," Phillips said.

The ads will run in specific districts and identify legislators by name. In a later phase of the campaign, AFP will run ads in national and international publications promoting the state, said Dallas Woodhouse, AFP state director.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who spoke at the news conference, said he had not talked in detail with AFP about more extensive participation in its campaign, but said he would be willing to participate in its community meetings and appear in ads.

GOP campaign finance complaint against Dalton, Perdue dismissed

State officials dismissed a Republican campaign finance complaint filed days before the November election that alleged illegal collusion between Democrats Walter Dalton and Bev Perdue.

The state Republican Party said it identified 65 donors who received refunds from Perdue's campaign committee who later made contributions to Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor. But in a letter dated Tuesday, the State Board of Elections said all 65 donations identified as suspect were legitimate.

"Our office found no campaign finance violations ... for these contributions and as such this matter is considered resolved," the letter states.

Michelle Obama campaigns in Durham, Greenville next week

First Lady Michelle Obama will be in North Carolina on Wednesday for campaign stops in Greenville and Durham.

The Obama campaign said more details will be provided later today. Michelle Obama is a familiar presence in the state, appearing at campaign events and fundraisers in 2008 and this year. 

She was in North Carolina just two weeks ago, delivering a televised speech on the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and speaking to smaller convention gatherings.

Dalton has convention stadium speech

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton will be taking the big stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week.

His campaign has confirmed that the Democratic candidate for governor will speak at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, the last day of the convention.

Dalton will also speak at the Labor Day celebration CarolinaFest, and talk to North Carolina delegates at their breakfest Wednesday.

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.

Pro-Romney Super PAC ad pictures debate

Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has an ad focusing on the economy that depicts a debate with President Barack Obama.

The PAC says it is spending $10.5 million to run the ad in 11 states, including North Carolina, in the week running up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

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