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D’oh-me: The not-so top 5 moments from Dome in 2012

The political year included its share of odd stories and not-so-flattering headlines. Here's a look at the top 5:

1. @GovBevPerdue makes a splash: A Twitter parody account for Gov. Bev Perdue (real handle: @ncgovoffice) caught a number of national media outlets looking silly. MSNBC and Huffington Post were among those fooled by the account that has steadily mocked all things Perdue. The account is labeled as the “first female governor of North Carolina, and probably the last.” The background image, and often point of discussion, is Bojangles’ Bo-Berry Biscuits. Nonetheless, HuffPo in May quoted the faux Perdue as apologizing to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for a quip the real governor made after the state approved an amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. During the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC was caught sleeping when they aired some of the fake Tweets on live TV.

Morning Roundup: New fracking board raises ethical issues

Members of the new state board overseeing drilling and fracking in North Carolina is not required required to disclose whether they could potentially profit from the practice they oversee. The board chairman Ray Covington and his family own more than 1,000 acres of timberland in Lee County, considered to be a natural gas-rich pay zone and prime fracking territory.

Such issues are not specifically mentioned on the state’s ethics disclosure form, unforeseen by North Carolina’s ethics rules because for the simple reason that there is no history of oil and gas exploration here. Read more here.

More political headlines below.

Morning Roundup: GOP defends Goldman but begins to distance themselves

Debra Goldman began getting questions Friday about a police report in which a Republican state legislative candidate and fellow married school board member detailed a romantic relationship. The next day, she stood next to gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, Party Chairman Robin Hayes and other GOP candidates in Wilkesboro at a campaign event. She apparently didn't tell anyone about the news that would break Sunday.

On Monday, Republicans moved publicly  to defend their candidate for state auditor but at the same time made behind-the-scenes moves to distance themselves from her candidacy. Read the full story here.

More political headlines:

--President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney spent their final debate Monday circling the globe’s hot spots as they clashed over the merits of diplomacy and brinkmanship in Libya, Israel, Iran, the Middle East and other volatile areas.

Weekend Roundup: Questions to debate in the governor's race

On Wednesday, the first of three televised gubernatorial debates will be held between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory. This is a key moment in particular for Dalton, the lieutenant governor, who trails the former Charlotte mayor in all the polls. The one-hour debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast across the state. Rob Christensen gives his 10 questions for the candidates.

More political headlines:

--North Carolina’s next governor could determine whether the broad changes that are remaking the state’s environmental landscape – both political and natural – continue or are reined in. But both candidates are mostly silent on the issue.

--Five weeks before Election Day, the best place to get a snapshot of the presidential race in North Carolina might well be up here in the mountain towns of Watauga County. Unlike the Republican-red counties surrounding it, Watauga has turned purple in its politics – just like North Carolina, still one of nine battleground states in the 2012 contest between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Morning Roundup: Obama camp says it's not leaving North Carolina

Democrats on Monday dismissed a suggestion by the top pollster for Republican Mitt Romney that President Barack Obama’s campaign is “laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal” from North Carolina.

The dueling claims came four days after the Democratic convention in Charlotte – and 56 before Election Day – as both sides jockeyed for the upper hand in North Carolina, a state Politico called Monday one of nine remaining presidential battlegrounds. Read more here.

Other political headlines this morning:

--Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton on Monday offered a jobs plan that he said avoids “rigid ideology” but includes a series of practical ideas that he said would help address North Carolina’s high unemployment rate.

Morning Roundup DNC edition: Obama's challenges entering big speech

CHARLOTTE -- Republicans were so certain of carrying the Tar Heel State last time, that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina famously boasted: “I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina."

As Obama accepts the nomination Thursday night in a state that he improbably carried four years ago, Republicans are once again certain that the state will go red. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the state’s ranking Republican, doesn’t even think North Carolina should be considered a presidential battleground. Read Rob Christensen's column about Obama's challenges in North Carolina.

More political headlines below:

--This is a critical week for Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who lags behind his governor’s race opponent, Republican Pat McCrory, in voter polls and campaign donations.

N.C. voters don't seem to like the state legislature

Days after the legislative session ended, the majority of North Carolina voters disapprove of the General Assembly.

A new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows 52 percent disapprove and 22 percent approve of the state legislature's job. Another one in four voters are unsure.

Weekend Roundup: Fracking in North Carolina could carry extra risks

North Carolina’s flirtation with fracking is increasingly looking like the real thing, with Republican lawmakers poised to pass sweeping legislation this summer that would lead to drilling for natural gas.The state may have just a fraction of the enormous natural gas reserves found in Texas and Pennsylvania. But fracking here will likely entail greater risks to drinking water supplies and may require special measures not used in other states. Full story here.

More political headlines from the weekend:

--Columnist Rob Christensen: If you turned on your TV last week, you could have seen political ads touting Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or tearing down Walter Dalton or Pat McCory. In recent days, Romney toured a Charlotte factory floor, and first lady Michelle Obama gave a commencement speech at a Greensboro college campus. The South Carolina GOP pledged to send in 1,000 volunteers into the state. All sides were hiring political operatives and opening offices. In a battleground state, politics is a growth business.

McCrory strikes cautious tone on economy, critcizes Perdue's fracking trip

Pat McCrory touted his private sector experience and tried to reassure a ballroom of commercial real estate developers Wednesday about the economy, saying that "hopefully you've seen the worst and things are starting to come back."

"Right now, North Carolina is going through a very tough time," McCrory said.

McCrory, the presumptive GOP nominee for governor, struck a less definitive tone than Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, who recently declared "North Carolina is coming out of the recession; you can take it to the bank.”

Perdue gets plenty of national TV time in Washington

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called North Carolina's Bev Perdue "one of the best governor's in the country" on MSNBC this morning.

Perdue appeared on "Morning Joe" to talk politics from Washington, where she is attending National Governors Association meetings. Rendell, a pundit on the program, made his remarks as he asked Perdue about President Barack Obama's chances in North Carolina this election season. "I think he can win the state," she replied. "He's resonating with middle class voters. ... They have a good shop on the ground. ... And there's just this sense of optimism about what his message is." 

Despite her lame duck status, Perdue was a hot commodity during her trip, appearing on at least three national cable TV news programs in four days. (Pictured with Republican Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno.) She appeared as chief Obama trumpeter and explain again and again her decision not to seek re-election. 

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