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Morning Memo: McCrory gets campaign cash from indicted donor, Hudson on the rise

GOP GOV REPORTS CAMPAIGN CASH WELL AFTER ELECTION DAY: Pat McCrory won the governor's race Nov. 6 but campaign donors kept filling his coffers through the end of the year, according to new campaign finance reports. The Republican reported raising more than $42,000 after Election Day putting his total haul for the entire campaign at $12.3 million -- nearly three times as much as Democratic rival Walter Dalton, who raised $4.3 million.

McCRORY REPORTS DONATION FROM INDICTED DONOR:One more donation listed after the election: Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs. He gave McCrory $1,000 in a check reported Nov. 27.

Stubbs was indicted in 2012 for his political donations to Gov. Bev Perdue in the 2008 race involving a plane he allowed the Democrat to use in the campaign. He is charged with obstruction of justice and causing the campaign to file false reports. After his indictment, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, then just a candidate, returned the $250 donation Stubbs gave his campaign. The case is still pending and Stubbs is challenging the charges.

This is the Dome Morning Memo, a political tipsheet covering North Carolina politics. Read more campaign finance exclusive and a news roundup below.

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.

The most-clicked Dome posts of 2012 show N.C. in national spotlight

What made the biggest splash on Dome in 2012? The top 5 stories -- in terms of reader clicks --reflect how North Carolina played a major role in the national political scene and the Washington-driven penchant for little news bits that speak to a larger narrative. It doesn't necessarily reflect the biggest news of the political year, but what generated interest in the blogosphere.

Click below to see the top 5.

Pat McCrory's election reflects single-party trend

Bloomberg News took note of Gov.-elect Pat McCrory in a story today that notes big question facing the Republican: “The big questions now are how far to the right will the Republicans in power go, and will he go with them," political expert Michael Bitzer told the news service.

As the article noted: "The 2012 election produced the most states with single- party governments since 1952, reflecting growing polarization, according to a tally on the National Conference of State Legislatures website. Only 12 have divided governments, while Nebraska’s single-house legislature is nonpartisan. Fourteen have Democratic governors and Democratic majorities in their legislatures, while 23 are unified Republican."

Read the full piece here.

Brad Woodhouse is a bald-headed Democrat

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse saw his manicured locks fall to the floor Sunday in a moment of bipartisanship with his Republican counterpart Sean Spicer. (In case you missed it, video above.)

The two politicos shaved their heads on ABC's "This Week." As we've reported, it began as a political bet -- emulating Joe Scarborough and David Axelrod's bet about North Carolina in the presidential election. Whoever's candidate won the election would shave the loser's head on national television. But in the end, both agreed as part of a charity drive for St. Baldrick's cancer research foundation.

Woodhouse, a Raleigh native, raised more than $6,700 for the cause.

Morning Roundup: McCrory guarded about his stance on healthcare exchanges

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory remains guarded about what he intends to do after Gov. Bev Perdue's decision to set up a state-federal health exchange. In a statement Thursday, he said Perdue's decision gives him flexibility. Other Republican leaders blasted Perdue's decision. 

McCrory said he would talk to other Republican governors Friday. His campaign buddy S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley rejected a state exchange Thursday. More details here.

More political headlines:

--Erskine Bowles is reportedly saying -- again -- he would turn down any offer to become the next U.S. Treasury secretary, according to at least two media reports Thursday.

Gov. Perdue says election results aren't repudiation of N.C. Democratic Party

UPDATED: Gov. Bev Perdue said the Republican victories that defined the 2012 election in North Carolina are not a reflection on the state of the N.C. Democratic Party.

In her first comments about the election, the Democratic chief executive said the election showed larger forces at work in the state. "It's just the times. It's absolutely the times," she said. "What happened in the country was great: President Obama was re-elected, we gained Senate seats across the country. North Carolina is at an interesting time. Our population is changing."

Asked how long it would take Democrats to return to the governor's mansion, Perdue dodged.

Chris Christie says McCrory win is a silver lining to election

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described Pat McCrory's victory as a silver lining to last week's election.

From The Record: “The only bit of good news for the Republican Party on Tuesday night was provided by the governors,” Christie told the newspaper Monday. “We didn’t lose any incumbents, any incumbent governors and we added Pat McCrory in North Carolina – first time in 24 years North Carolina has had a Republican governor. So we’re not at 30 out of 50, that’s the highest for either party in a very long time. So I’m really pleased that Pat won.”

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.

Duke University forum to explore media's role in 2012 election

The dust is never settled on the 2012 election. A Duke University forum Saturday will take a look at media coverage of the campaign season with a panel of national journalists.

John Dickerson, a media critic with Slate and CBS News, Ben Smith, the founder of BuzzFeed, and Nia-Malika Henderson, a Washington Post reporter, will serve on the panel. Duke professor James Hamilton will moderate. 

The forum is 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Fleishman Commons of the Sanford Building. It is free and open to the public.

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