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McCrory's cabinet doesn't meet his bipartisan claims

Naming his final picks for cabinet last week, Republican Gov.-elect Pat McCrory said he met his campaign pledge to assemble a bipartisan team.

“We have filled all eight of my cabinet secretary positions with a diverse bipartisan group representing all portions of North Carolina,” he said. “Half of which are Republican and half which are either Democrats or Independent.”

A spokesman for McCrory said the new governor was referring to their voter registration.

Here’s the partisan cabinet breakdown provided by McCrory’s team. Four Republicans: Aldona Wos, Kieran Shanahan, Bill Daughtridge and Lyons Gray. One Democrat: Susan Kluttz. And three independents: Tony Tata, Sharon Decker and John Skvarla.

But a review of campaign finance records and public statements suggests his cabinet is far from bipartisan.

Carter Wrenn on Art Pope & "pay to play"

Here's Carter Wrenn's take on the crowning of Art Pope as Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's budget chief. This from Friday's post in the Talking About Politics blog he shares with Gary Pearce:

More about corporations that funded N.C.'s Supreme Court race for Newby

Federal campaign finance reports that came out this week provide a closer look at who the corporations were behind the national GOP group that pumped more than $1 million into one of the super PACs that backed state Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby’s re-election.

The Republican State Leadership Committee reports spending $13.3 million on campaigns around the country. It sent $1,165,000 million to Justice for All N.C., which in turn contributed heavily to the N.C. Judicial Coalition. Reports for those super PACs aren’t in yet.

Morning Roundup: Competing galas, Dix property

After 20 inaugural balls, the Junior League of Raleigh has some competition -- from the governor.

Raleigh city councilman says he like the idea of turning Dix into a park. So why did he vote against it?

And here's a profile of Keith Sutton, the new chairman of the Wake County school board.


Morning Roundup: McCrory keeps ties to private firms amid transition

A month after his election, Gov.-elect Pat McCrory remains employed at a law firm that lobbies state government even as he establishes his administration and controls a $660,000 pot of taxpayer money.

His dual role creates a potential conflict that makes government watchdogs uncomfortable. Another ethical move McCrory should consider, they suggest, is putting his assets in a blind trust. Read full story here.

More political headlines:

--Legislators seeking to eliminate $2.4 billion the state of North Carolina owes the federal government to help pay jobless benefits are prepared to unveil a proposal they also say would put the state unemployment insurance program on firmer financial footing.

Morning Roundup: State debt, McCrory jobs, Stand By Your Ad

The $2.4 billion that North Carolina owes the federal government for jobless payments could lead to an overhaul of the state's unemployment insurance system. "It's not going to be fluffy and kind," Rep. Julia Howard says about spreading the pain around.

If you're looking for a job, the new governor is hiring. Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's website offers a trove of job listings, if you can figure out what they are. Here's that story.

The N.C.  Court of Appeals has thrown out a lawsuit brought by Democrats challenging a Republican campaign tactic of buying TV and radio ads directly rather than through a campaign committee. But the court widened the definition of whose financial support must be included in ad disclaimers.

Morning Roundup: Big money defined state races in 2012

In North Carolina, big money mattered. It fueled million-dollar legislative campaigns and lifted Republicans to record majorities in the state House and Senate. Political parties, especially Republicans, unleashed their firepower. And outside spending topped $14 million, according to the Institute for Southern Studies. More than $12 million was spent on just 10 races. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--The 2012 presidential election will be remembered as the year of the pollster. And Raleigh’s Public Policy Polling finished at the top of the list. Read a Q-and-A with pollster Tom Jensen about the firm's secrets.

Lawyer winners & losers in the post-election haze

Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday’s election, what’s it all mean for the legal community? N.C. Lawyers Weekly has come up with a list of winners and losers. Here’s a sampling:

Outside spending in state races approaches $14 million, report says

Outside spending this campaign season on state races is nearly $14 million, according to the latest numbers. 

The governor's race and N.C. Supreme Court races are attracting the most attention, with about 90 percent of the money influencing voters in those two races, according the Institute for Southern Studies, which is tracking the spending.

Newby attack ad not coordinated with campaign, both sides say

Dome obtained a production copy of the pro-Justice Paul Newby attack ad on Saturday, and noted that in a title page before the ad begins the company, Innovative Advertising (which also produced the infamous “banjo ad”) lists the client as “Paul Newby for Supreme Court” and not Justice for All N.C.

Independent expenditure committees aren’t allowed to coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.

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