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Morning Roundup: The N.C. political year in review

While North Carolina experienced a predicted blockbuster political year in 2012, the details weren't as anticipated by some.

Charlotte hosted North Carolina's first-ever major party national convention. A proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in North Carolina passed by a whopping 22 percentage points. And although it wasn't shocking that former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory was elected governor, the ease of his victory was surprising, as was his Democratic rival - Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, not Gov. Beverly Perdue. Read AP's political year in review here.

More political headlines below:

--North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which has spent nearly $1 billion to clean up polluted waters and protect untainted ones, will face a dicey future as legislators convene in January.

--The N.C. House’s new Republican majority whip believes he has the votes to stop North Carolina’s green-energy mandate – the first in the Southeast when it was enacted in 2007 – in its tracks. Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County views the mandate as the government unfairly “picking winners and losers” in the marketplace. As chairman of the Public Utilities committee, Hager would like to freeze it at the current 3 percent level.

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.

Post-election, redistricting reform effort hits the road

The Republican-led redistricting effort left a clear mark on the 2012 elections and it's drawing attention to an effort to make the process nonpartisan.

The N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform will begin a statewide tour this week to pitch their idea for redistricting reform to business leaders with the local chamber of commerce in six cities, said director Jane Pinsky. The group -- backed by members of both political parties -- wants to an independent panel to redraw political district boundaries every 10 years instead of the state legislature.

Morning Roundup: N.C. Democrats lost in wilderness, Parker may seek to stay

For the first time in more than a century, the once-proud party of Jim Hunt and Terry Sanford, Luther Hodges and O. Max Gardner has been banished to the back benches of North Carolina state government.

The state Democratic Party also has been in turmoil since last spring, after allegations of sexual harassment. State Party chairman David Parker was criticized for his handling of the affair, but ignored pressure to resign. As a result, he became a liability as a spokesman and fundraiser.

Still, Parker has privately told some he may seek another term, and party leaders fear he may have the committee votes to keep the job. Read more here.

More political headlines:

Weekend Roundup: Can Pat McCrory keep his word? And more takeaways

Like all political candidates, Pat McCrory made many promises in his campaign. Now comes the hard part. Can his keep his promises? Read more here and check out a feasibility study for his top goals.

More political headlines:

--Read Rob Christensen's six takeaways from Tuesday's election. See a huge graphic breakdown of the vote. And geek out on a precinct-level analysis.

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: Republicans win big in North Carolina

Election Night revealed major victories for Republicans in North Carolina. Republicans won the presidential, congressional delegation, governor, lieutenant governor, N.C. Supreme Court races -- as well as took a supermajority in the state House and Senate. All together it represents a conservative shift in N.C. politics, writes Rob Christensen.

Here's a wrap on the coverage:

--President Barack Obama wins re-election. Democrats keep U.S. Senate, House remains GOP. The challenge awaiting Obama.

--Mitt Romney won North Carolina. N.C.'s congressional delegation turns deep red. Congressman Mike McIntyre holds narrow edge, recount next. U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers wins easy. Election photo gallery.

Morning Roundup: Campaigns prime for final push, First Lady in Charlotte

After the nearly $1 billion worth of TV ads, three presidential debates and all the speeches, John White will use a bullhorn Tuesday to shout a message to voters: “This is your final call!” Election Day is a day away and the final ground war for Campaign 2012 is making its last push. A look at the campaigns' final operations.

More political stories:

--The race for North Carolina hurtles toward the finish Monday as First lady Michelle Obama, joined by singer Mariah Carey, will headline an airport rally in Charlotte on Monday afternoon. The visit comes a day after former President Bill Clinton spoke to 4,000 supporters in Raleigh. Clinton photo gallery.

--State legislators last summer ignored research that shows sea-level rise will accelerate its creep up North Carolina’s coastline this century. This week, waves of science will say they were wrong. Some researchers said the 39-inch rise a state science panel expects by year 2100 may be far too low.

Seven burning questions in North Carolina on Election Day

The 2012 Election will answer many questions about North Carolina politics. Does Pat McCrory have coattails? Just how red with the state's congressional delegation get? Will the "banjo ad" work?

Read below about seven burning questions for Tuesday below from the Observer's Tim Funk.

Morning Roundup: Election officials seeing more voting complaints this year

After two weeks of early voting, there have been almost daily complaints about intimidation, aggressive campaigning and attempts to misinform voters.

While every presidential election has its share of discord, State Elections director Gary Bartlett said long lines and partisan tensions have led to an increased number of complaints to his office and to county election officials. Election officials are spending much of their debunking rumors. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Democratic lawmaker Martha Alexander's race has become a magnet for money – not only from the Republican Party, but from outside groups. Now, it’s one of Mecklenburg’s two contested House races and one of about a dozen in the state that Republicans are targeting – and bankrolling – in hopes of increasing their House majority.

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