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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.

Seeking distraction, GOP state auditor candidates launches last-minute attack

The Republican candidate for state auditor launched a last-minute attack on her Democratic opponent as she desperately tried to distract from a controversy that is hurting her campaign.

From the office of her attorney, Debra Goldman, a Wake County school board member, played audio tapes she secretly recorded about discussions of the districts assignment plan. She also dredged up dirt on Beth Wood from four years ago, rehashing issues from the Democrat's successful 2008 campaign.

Morning Roundup: McCrory cruising on campaign trail, Dalton cash-strapped

North Carolina’s two candidates for governor began the final week of the campaign a study in contrasts.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the state’s lieutenant governor, was on the attack and raising money, hoping a final surge would allow him to close what the polls suggest is a wide gap with his GOP opponent. Meanwhile, a buoyant Republican Pat McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor, hit a diner and a local GOP headquarters and warned his supporters against overconfidence. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Gov. Bev Perdue is sitting on $1.2 million as Democrat Walter Dalton faces a 6-to-1 cash deficit to Republican Pat McCrory

Morning Roundup: McCrory goes moderate, a new Goldman police report

Republican Pat McCrory continued his moderate transformation during Wednesday's debate, shedding his tea party and conservative cape as he said legislation restricting abortions and cracking down on illegal immigration won't appear on his agenda if elected. At the same time, Democrat Walter Dalton made a bold pledge to lower the employment rate as much as 3 percent in his first year. Pundits say the debate isn't the game changer Dalton needed. Read more here and see four fact checks from the debate.

More political headlines:

--In a new development that raises questions about Debra Goldman's judgment, another police report surfaced showing that the GOP state auditor candidate called 911 after a fellow board member yelled at her during a heated Wake school board meeting.

Morning Roundup: State GOP leaders knew about Goldman-Malone troubles

N.C. Republican Party leaders were aware of a reported relationship between Wake County school board members Debra Goldman and Chris Malone, yet they still discouraged other potential GOP candidates from opposing Goldman in her run for state auditor, a former opponent said Tuesday. After voting Tuesday, Pat McCrory wouldn't say whether he supported Goldman. Read the full story here.

More political headlines:

--The state employees association unveiled a website Tuesday that highlights the GOP lieutenant governor candidate Dan Forest's thoughts on  “Islamic extremists” who want to impose Shariah law and a United Nations plan for sustainable development called Agenda 21. “He is probably the most radical candidate who’s ever run for North Carolina office,” said Dana Cope, the group's leader.

McCrory faces criticism from rival for his response to Goldman controversy

Pat McCrory, who campaigned Saturday with Republican state auditor candidate Debra Goldman, is now facing criticism from Democrats about his response to the controversy engulfing her candidacy.

“Pat believes that the timing of this story, coming after voting has already started, and its basis from a stolen police report, to be troubling,” Brian Nick, McCrory’s spokesman said Monday. “If the allegations are based on facts, Pat hopes that the folks involved are able to tend to these matters, and his prayers are with the families impacted.”

In essence, McCrory -- who highlights Democratic scandals in Raleigh at every opportunity in his campaign to "clean up" Raleigh -- seemed to criticize the media but avoid commenting on the substance in the allegations. His campaign didn't answer a question about whether he would vote for Goldman.

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.

Goldman calls report 'politically motivated,' doesn't deny accusations

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman today dismissed as “politically motivated” recent accounts that she reported a 2010 break-in at her Cary home and implicated fellow school board member Chris Malone as a possible suspect.

According to a police investigative report, Malone said he and Goldman had a “very heated” physical relationship. Goldman told police she rebuffed his romantic advances.

Goldman is the Republican nominee for state auditor. “I am continuing my campaign for state auditor, and I am saddened that I have to even dignify these reports with a response. This is all I will say regarding this issue, and I consider the matter closed.”

Despite Goldman affair, Malone says 'there's no reason to drop out'

Wake County school board member Chris Malone says he has no intention to withdraw from the race for the state House District 35 seat after a police report surfaced over the weekend in which he acknowledged having a relationship with fellow board member Debra Goldman in 2010.

Speaking about the police report for the first time, Malone said his attorneys had advised him not to comment on a Sunday News & Observer story about the report or the details in the document.

“There’s no reason to drop out,” Malone said. “I’ve already moved past it. I have faith that my constituents know who I am and why I’m running, so I’m just going to keep campaigning.”

Morning Roundup: Goldman-Malone entanglement may impact election

Fallout from the entanglement of Wake County school board members Debra Goldman and Chris Malone will likely affect both this fall’s elections and the work of the panel, analysts and public figures said Sunday.

Malone said he and Goldman had a “very heated” physical relationship. Goldman said she rebuffed his romantic advances. Andy Taylor, an N.C. State University political expert, said it will hurt both Goldman’s and Malone’s campaigns, but especially Goldman’s. “The auditor is supposed to be keeping people in government honest, trying to protect the public’s interests and promoting transparency,” Taylor said. Read more here and another story about the repeated police calls to Goldman's home.

More political headlines:

--Middle class couples like Sarah and Stephen Geis of Charlotte see the presidential election's impact on children.

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