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Crank up the political money machine

With summer coming to an end, members of Congress are cranking up their fund raising machines with events in D.C. at golf courses, in the mountains and at the beach.

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk will hold a fund raiser on September 14th at the Associated General Contractors of America Townhouse in Washington. Cost is $1,000 for a political action committee.

On September 15, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro, will hold her monthly Women's Senate Network Lunch in Washington. Hagan is network chair, which is part of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which raises money for women Democratic senators and Senate candidates. donors can give as much as $30,800 to the events.

Republican Rep. Walter Jones of Farmville, will hold a two-day “fall fling” at The Sanderling Resort in Duck on Sept. 16th. Cost of the event for two days is $2,500 or one day is $1,000.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr will hold a fund raising golf outing for his Next Century Fund at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines Sept. 16-17th. The cost is $2,000 for a political action committee and $1,500 for an individual. The fund allows Burr to contribute money to other candidates.

Democratic Rep. Health Shuler of Bryson City will hold a Biltmore Estate Weekend Oct 21-23 in Asheville. Cost is $5,000.

Hat tip: The Sunlight Foundation.

Even the safe congressmen keep raising money

Here is what some North Carolina congressman representing safe politically districts had raised this year, according to the latest reports filed by the Federal Election Commission.

Democrat G.K. Butterfield of the 1st district had raised $168,826,826 and had $211,416 on hand. Republican Virginia Foxx of the 5th district had raised $207,065 and had $1.3 million on hand; 6th district Republican Howard Coble has raised $89,552 and had $171,051 on hand.

Republican Sue Myrick of the 9th district raised $193,594 and had $193,934 on hand. Republican Patrick McHenry of the 10th district raised $300,603 and had $127,916 on hand. Democrat Mel Watt of the 12th district raised $141,765 and had $187,970 on hand. Republican Walter of the 3rd district had raised $135,279 and had $127,699 on hand.

The two parties gird for mid-term elections with Saturday rallies

With the election closing fast, the Republican Party is planning a major rally at Five County Stadium Saturday night in Zebulon.

The rally features not only Republican Sen. Richard Burr, but Congressmen Virginia Foxx and Walter Jones, and Congressional candidates Renee Ellmers, Bill Randall, B.J. Lawson, Ilario Pantano, Greg Dority and Ashley Woolard.

Also attending will be former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the GOP's 2008 nominee for governor and a likely candidate again in 2012, as well as Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell and local candidates.

The rally, sponsored by the Wake County Republican Party, will be held between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  The event is free.

The Democrats are planning a smaller affair Saturday morning, a fund raising breakfast at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill, sponsored by the Orange County Democratic Party that morning.

That event is expected to attract Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall, House Speaker Joe Hackney, Congressman David Price,  Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Orange County Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass and many local officials and candidates.

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $75 at the door and $40 in advance and will be used for get-out-the vote efforts.

NC not featured on must-read Tweet list

If having a must-read Twitter feed is a sign of influence, then North Carolina is lacking.

Al Eisele, editor-at-large of The Hill, compiled a list for The Huffington Post of 25 political Twitter feeds you have to follow. Not a one was from North Carolina.

Sure, there's Republican House whip Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. And there's Sen. Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who helpfully notifies readers of which Tweets he personally wrote versus those that were by staff members. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gets the nod, as does Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

There's no mention of feeds by our own Republican U.S. Reps. Walter Jones, Patrick McHenry, Sue Myrick or Virginia Foxx. Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is left out as well. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican of Winston-Salem, has a feed for his campaign.

So it sounds like our good elected representatives need to start burning up the Tweet-verse.

Hat Tip: Bill Krueger

GOP politicians to Cooper: sue federal government

Every Republican member of Congress from North Carolina thinks the new health reform law is unconstitutional.

And they want N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, to join a lawsuit calling for its repeal, reports Barb Barrett.

In a letter to Cooper, the five GOP House members said the law is "an imposition on North Carolinians’ freedom and will do real harm to the people of our state."

The letter is signed by U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry, Howard Coble, Virginia Foxx, Sue Myrick and Walter Jones. Also calling for a lawsuit is state Sen. Phil Berger, leader of the N.C. General Assembly’s Senate Republicans.

So far, 14 state attorneys general – all but one Republican - have filed suit to overturn the law. They say the requirement that nearly all citizens have health insurance by 2014 violates the Constitution by requiring an individual mandate.

The individual mandate concept began years ago largely as a Republican idea, and it has been supported in the past by Sen. John McCain, by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and by Bush-era Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. Many law experts say the lawsuit doesn't have much of a chance, pointing out that Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce.

The letters to Cooper come as another prominent Republican, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, has said he will make repealing the health reform law a central platform in his re-election campaign.

Watt most liberal, McHenry among most conservative House members

An annual list of how members of Congress stack up, ideologically speaking, has U.S. Rep. Mel Watt as the most liberal member of the state's House delegation while U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry is the most conservative.

National Journal studied 97 roll-call votes that it used to establish where House members ranked in terms of how liberal or conservative they were.

Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, was among eight House members who were tied for the most liberal in the chamber. Watt was the 423rd most conservative House member.

McHenry, a Cherryville Republican, was the 17th most conservative member of the chamber and the 413th most liberal. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, was the 19th most conservative member and the 411th most liberal. 

No other members of the state's delegation cracked the top 20 as either conservative or liberal.

N.C. Reps. join DC marriage fight

U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones and Patrick McHenry joined 36 other Republicans in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in a same-sex marriage lawsuit in the District of Columbia.

The brief argues for holding a referendum on whether the District should allow same-sex marriage, Barb Barrett reports.

The city elections board recently declared that under D.C.’s anti-discrimination law, such a referendum would be illegal because it discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

A local church leader, Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, has filed suit in D.C. Superior Court to force the public referendum, and the Republicans’ amicus brief sides with Jackson.

Foxx is the richest

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx is the richest member of the state's U.S. House delegation.

Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, has a minimum net worth of $2.4 million, according to an analysis of disclosure forms by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, a Waynesville Democrat is the second richest with $2.3 million in assets. U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a Biscoe Democrat, has a negative net worth of $2,000. Numbers reflect a minimum because members of Congress report a range of net worth.

Foxx: $2.4 million

Shuler: $2.3 million

Howard Coble, a Greensboro Republican: $945,000

David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat: $896,000

G.K. Butterfield, a Wilson Democrat: $786,000

Bob Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat: $418,000

Mel Watt, a Charlotte Democrat: $330,000

Patrick McHenry, a Cherryville Republican: $217,000

Sue Myrick, a Charlotte Republican: $167,000

Walter Jones, a Farmville Republican: $125,000

Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat: $65,000

Mike McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat: $18,000

Kissell: -$2,000

Hat tip: RTB

Update: Post now clarifies that the Roll Call analysis looked at members of the U.S. House and did not include the Senate. 

Campaign cash: Congress

Here's a summary of what members of Congress had in their campaign accounts through September 2009. The remaining members of the state's delegation will be added to the list.

G.K. Butterfield: $231,000.

Howard Coble: $525,000.

Bob Etheridge: $1 million.

Virginia Foxx: $1.1 million.

Walter Jones: $127,766.

Larry Kissell: $244,000. Businessman Lou Huddleston has raised $57,641 from individuals and loaned himself $45,125. Tim D'Annunzio, who owns a skydiving business, has loaned himself $303,000 and raised $8,400. Hamlet resident Darrell Day has raised $30 and loaned himself $3,000. Republican Thomas Sweeney has not reported raising any money.

Patrick McHenry: $158,000. Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle has loaned himself $250,000 to challenge McHenry for the Republican nomination.

Mike McIntyre: $824,917. Republican Will Breazeale has received $3,800 in individual contributions and has $400 in his campaign account.

Brad Miller: $148,000. Challenger William Randall II has not reported raising any money.

Sue Myrick: $236,305.

David Price: $218,000. Republican challenger Frank Roche has raised $10,879, mostly through individual contributions. Republican George Hutchins has loaned himself $5,000.

Heath Shuler: $1.1 million.

Mel Watt: $140,000.

Four sign letter decrying official

Four U.S. House members from North Carolina signed a letter calling for the firing of an education official charged with advocating school safety.

The letter to President Barack Obama was signed by 53 Republicans who say that Kevin Jennings is unfit because he has been "promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America’s schools," according to a copy of the Oct. 15 letter published by The Hill.

Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students. The totality of Mr. Jennings’ career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.

The signers from the state delegation are Sue Myrick (R-Charlotte), Walter Jones (R-Farmville), Patrick McHenry (R-Cherryville) and Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk).

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