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GOP superintendent candidate's video puts him in the 'Eye of the Tiger'

The leading Republican candidate for state superintendent, John Tedesco, is promoting a campaign video unlike any other this election season.

The two-and-a-half-minute Web production -- set to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" -- is equal parts humorous and questionable. Tedesco, a controversial Wake County school board member, uses unsourced quotes about his tenure to promote himself as a fighter as a photo slideshow rotates in the background. More than once Tedesco juxtaposes himself against state NAACP President Rev. William Barber.

He also prominently shows a headline from a News & Observer story that apparently says "Tedesco's the one." The problem is he cropped the photo to cut the first half of the headline, which reads in full "It takes forever: Tedesco's the one."

The story actually is far from glamorous. It discusses the 56 rounds of voting it took for the Wake County school board to approve him as vice chairman, a move that showed great discord among the Republican majority. 

Superintendent candidate skips school board meeting for election forum

UPDATED: Wake County school board member John Tedesco is skipping today's board meeting to attend a debate for his bid for state schools superintendent.

At the start of today's work session, school board chairman Kevin Hill said Tedesco expressed his regrets that he couldn't come because of a prior commitment. That prior commitment is a Council of State debate for Republican Primary candidates in Winston-Salem sponsored by the Forsyth County Republican Men’s Club, NC Tea Party and Wake Forest College.

Glazier forms committee to run for superintendent

UPDATED: Democratic state Superintendent June Atkinson won't say whether she's seeking re-election in 2012 -- but one Democrat isn't waiting for an answer.

State Rep. Rick Glazier, a Fayetteville Democrat, formed an official campaign committee earlier this month, the first step in a possible bid for the state's top education post. The Glazier for Superintendent committee formed Dec. 6 with John G Buie Jr. as treasurer.

Democratic state lawmaker Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County is also looking at running for superintendent of public instruction. But she has not made a formal announcement. Atkinson has said she will decide about another term after the New Year.

Cotham said she will run if Atkinson doesn't. "However, unlike others," she said, "I support my friend June Atkinson and intend to announce my candidacy only if and when she decides that she will not seek re-election."

Guv's non-hug: Snub or flub?

It's the Zapruder film of hugs.

A brief snippet of video from UNC-TV has been watched by political observers around North Carolina today who want to know if Gov. Beverly Perdue snubbed Superintendent June Atkinson on Monday.

Perdue and Atkinson have been engaged in a battle royale of late over which of them should have control over state education.

So when Perdue made her way to the podium in the House chamber to give her biennial State of the State address to the legislature, her behavior toward Atkinson was watched.

As seen in the video, Perdue shook hands and hugged several state politicians, including Rep. Garland Pierce, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and state Auditor Beth Wood.

But between Marshall and Wood, she bypassed Atkinson, who was standing less than two feet away.

Was it intentional, or just an oversight in a busy evening? Watch the video for yourself and decide.

Atkinson: Congratulations, but...

June AtkinsonJune Atkinson is airing her displeasure.

In a congratulatory statement to new State Board of Education chairman Bill Harrison, the schools superintendent again repeated her belief that he is treading on her turf.

"I believe this action violates the Constitution of North Carolina and usurps the will of the voters who granted me the privilege to serve as State Superintendent of Public Instruction," she said in a statement.

She went on to repeat her belief that the legislature should resolve the tug-of-war between the positions of governor and superintendent on education, adding that it may end up being resolved in court.

"I will not abdicate my constitutional and statutory responsibilities," she said.

After the jump, the full statement.

State bills that poll poorly

What state bills have the most opposition?

Recent surveys by the Elon University Poll, the conservative Civitas Institute and the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling have shown broad agreement on a number of issues.

Below, the percentage in opposition and the corresponding bill:

H.B. 362: Access to Higher Education (75 percent, 74 percent, PPP)

H.B. 120: Public Municipal Campaigns (73 percent, Civitas)

S.B. 20: Voter-Owned Election for Treasurer (73 percent, Civitas)

H.B. 71: Four-Year Terms (59 percent, Civitas)

S.B. 7: Allow Hunting on Sunday (58 percent, Civitas)

H.B. 154/H.B. 155: Appoint State Superintendent (51 percent, Civitas; 65 percent PPP)

Update: A poll by the N.C. Center for Voter Education found support for publicly financed municipal campaigns.

What North Carolina thinks: PPP

What does North Carolina think?

Recent polls by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling show significant agreement on a number of issues that are before the legislature.

Below, the percentage who agreed with a sentiment:

75: Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend state colleges and universities.

74: Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend community college.

69: Parents should have the choice of abstinence-only or comprehensive sex ed.

65: Schools superintendent and state commissioners should be elected, not appointed.

64: Smoking should be banned in restaurants and public places.

The automated polls of North Carolina voters were conducted in January and February. The margins of error were around 3 percentage points.

What North Carolina thinks: Civitas

What does North Carolina think?

Recent polls by the conservative Civitas Institute show significant agreement on a number of issues that are before the legislature.

Below, the percentage who agreed with a sentiment:

76: Support a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

75: The legislature should be broadcast live on TV, like C-SPAN.

73: Political candidates should fund their own campaigns instead of using public financing.

59: Members of the legislature should stick with two-year terms.

58: Hunting should not be allowed on Sundays in North Carolina.

55: The state should set up an independent redistricting commission.

51: Oppose a constitutional amendment to let the governor appoint the schools superintendent.

The poll of 600 registered voters was conducted Feb. 16-19 by TelOpinion Research of Alexandria, Va. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Quick Hits

* WUNC reporter Laura Leslie defends N&O ombudsman taking job at state agency, arguing that he's an "excellent communicator" in a tough industry.

* Schools Superintendent June Atkinson tells Fayetteville Observer she has no plans to sue the state over her job description.

* Conservative activist Francis De Luca argues that Rev. William Barber of the state chapter of the NAACP should have to register as a lobbyist.

* The president of the state Bankers Association is pushing to rename Raleigh-Durham International Airport after the Wright Brothers.

Quick Hits

* U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler could face trouble in a Senate primary over his vote on the stimulus and his views on abortion, some say.

* Gov. Beverly Perdue says the final stimulus package leaves the state about $150 million short of covering its $2 billion shortfall.

* Independent Weekly's Fiona Morgan wonders what it says when an ombudsman takes a job with "one of the most egregiously mismanaged and obfuscating agencies."

* Democratic firm Public Policy Polling finds 65 percent of those surveyed want to keep the schools superintendent an elected post.

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