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Bob Etheridge to report $310,000 in contributions, $110,000 in the bank

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge will report raising more than $310,000 in contributions since he entered the race Feb. 29.

The total is far less than desired, given that his main rival Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton entered 2012 with $600,000 in the bank. Dalton's head start came from his re-election bid, which was underway when Gov. Bev Perdue exited the race at the 11th hour. Dalton's campaign has yet to report its first quarter numbers. Reports are due Monday.

Etheridge is airing TV ads in five markets, draining his coffers. He will report about $110,000 in the bank as of April 21 with another $20,000 in donations coming in earlier this week, campaign finance reports show.

Both Democrats are likely to report far less than Republican Pat McCrory who is sitting on $3 million in the bank. But in 2008 McCrory had about $330,000 in the bank at this point amid his competitive primary.

Notebook: Bob Etheridge takes campaign to Clayton but few notice

Former Congressman Bob Etheridge, a Democratic candidate for governor, stopped in Clayton Tuesday morning, stopping to greet folks at Jones Lunch downtown. For a reporter's notebook, Eastern Wake News editor Johnny Whitfield sends along this:

The crowd included people who came to eat breakfast and others who had been called by the Etheridge campaign. Etheridge mostly spent his time talking to people who had been called and virtually no time talking to the "regular" people in the restaurant. Two operatives sat nearby at a table collecting checks from donors.

When Etheridge tried to make formal comments, the only people who listened were those who came specifically to see him -- about 12 to 15 people. All the rest of the folks in the restaurant ignored him and continued their own conversations, sometimes laughing so loud you couldn't even hear Etheridge.

Congressman Etheridge gives $4,000 to candidate Etheridge

Bob Etheridge's congressional campaign committee donated $4,000 to his gubernatorial campaign. It's the maximum contribution because state law prohibits transferring federal campaign funds to state races, negating the approximately $140,000 still sitting in Etheridge's congressional account.

The donation is part of $5,200 in contributions that the former congressman reported in his new committee's organizational papers posted to the State Board of Elections website earlier this week.

Other donations to Etheridge's bid for the governor's mansion included $1,000 from Democratic Congressman David Price and two $100 contributions. 

Etheridge has yet to file official candidacy papers.

Morning Roundup: N.C. money fuels presidential race, Etheridge starts campaign

For more on the North Carolina money in the presidential race, take a look at this detailed Charlotte Observer breakdown. And this interactive map lets you search donation totals by zip code. 

If you missed it, Rob Christensen explores how Gov. Bev Perdue' decision to leave the race may have been affected by the boo-ing at the North Carolina basketball game last month. Read story here.

And Democrat Bob Etheridge gave his first speech of his nascent bid for governor. Read a Fayetteville Observer piece here.

And The Charlotte Observer profiles Mary Tribble, the even planner behind the Democratic National Convention.

Dome Memo: Effective ethics

RACE TO ETHICS: Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue unveiled a package of proposed ethics reforms and Republicans were quick to claim they were the party of ethics. With both parties running on ethics, might we actually see meaningful reforms this year?

FOR EFFECT: The Senate is losing some of its most effective Democrats, according to the biennial legislative effectiveness survey by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research. Over in the House, Republicans were mostly shut out of the top spots for effectiveness. '

THANK HIM LATER: Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge says he's not worried about how his vote on the Democratic health care law will affect his chances of keeping his seat in Congress. The bill was not popular in his district, but Etheridge said that he believes voters will change their minds.

IN OTHER NEWS: Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says he has $5.3 million in his campaign account. Ruffin Poole, an aide to former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley has pleaded not guilty to 57 corruption-related charges. Republicans are keeping up the pressure on Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law.

Dome Memo: Holiday wish list

ANYTHING WILL DO: Gov. Bev Perdue had to amend her campaign finance reports because of more undisclosed flights, a fact Republicans compared to the transgressions of embattled former Gov. Mike Easley. Later in the week, Perdue had a spokeswoman explain that Perdue stayed completely out of recruiting a business that was represented by her son. And her approval rating dipped back into the 20s. Perdue may want to add "good news" to her Christmas list.

JUST WHAT WE WANTED: Campaigns for Congress got livelier this week when Renee Ellmers, a registered nurse and political newcomer, entered the Republican primary to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge of Lillington. Bernie Reeves, a Raleigh publisher known for his brash conservative commentary, is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat. Other candidates in other races lined up key consultants. Dome may get what we want for Christmas: lively political campaigns.

THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING: A trust with apparent ties to former presidential candidate John Edwards purchased a Charlotte-area house, which set off speculation and reports that Edwards was trying to find a home for Rielle Hunter. Meanwhile, Edwards tops the list of disappointing public figures in a new poll. If anyone is looking for last-minute gift ideas for Edwards, he does not want any copies of former aide Andrew Young's tell-all book. Maybe just a gift card.

IN OTHER NEWS: U.S. Rep. David Price worries about the growing federal deficit. Easley has hired famed criminal defense attorney Joeseph B. Cheshire V. The battle continues over whether the state has to free a group of inmates serving life sentences.

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.

Shuler, Foxx in lead in money race

If money is the mother’s milk of politics, then Congressmen Health Shuler, a Democrat, and Virginia Foxx, a Republican, are the two members of the Tar Heel delegation who are well provisioned at the moment.

Both have over $1 million in their campaign war chests as of June 30, according to campaign reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Rob Christensen reports.

Shuler, a Bryson City Democrat whose name had been bandied about at one time as a potential U.S. Senate candidate, had $1.1 million in his campaign committee. Foxx, a Republican from Banner Elk had $1,006,121.

The middle weights in campaign war chests were Democrat Bob Etheridge of Lillington ($895,137), Democrat Mike McIntyre of Lumberton ($696,540), Republican Howard Coble of Greensboro ($505,759), Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill ($271,619), Democrat G.K. Butterfield ($225,204), Democrat Larry Kissell of Bisco ($214,051) and Republican Sue Myrick of Charlotte ($160,751).

The light wallet crowd included Democrat Mel Watt of Charlotte ($123,767) Republican Patrick McHenry of Cherryville ($119,270), Republican Walter Jones of Farmville ($85,424) and Democrat Brad Miller of Raleigh ($70,654).

As far as fundraising during the past three months, the big three are Etheridge ($326,561), Kissell ($322,631) and Shuler ($314,753).

Money flows to Etheridge

Among Triangle Congressmen, Rep. Bob Etheridge has the deepest pockets.

Etheridge, a Democrat from Lillington, has $895,137 on hand, according to the latest report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Etheridge had raised $326,561 during the first six months of the year, including $212,164 from political committees, reports Rob Christensen.

Among Etheridge’s major donors are the International Union of Operating Engineers, Smithfield Foods, the trial lawyers, Farm Credit association, Wyrick Robbins Yates law firm, McGuire Wood law firm, Progress Energy, beer wholesalers, Committee for Rural Electrification, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Committee for the Advancement of Southeast Cotton, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers, and Becton Dickenson.

Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat from Raleigh, reported having $70,654 on hand. During the past six months he raised $119,704 including $62,700 from PACs. Among his larger donors was the American Association for Justice, Farm Credit Association, the United Auto Workers, United Association (building tradesmen) Raytheon Corp, National Community Pharmacists and the Airline Pilots.

Rep. David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, reported having $271,619 on hand. He reported raising $59,631 during the first months including $52,000 from PACs. Those included United Parcel, John Deere, Airline Pilots Association, the trial lawyers, Honeywell International, Motorola, Deloitte & Touche and CSX Transportation.

Burr has $1.6m war chest

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr had $1.6 million in cash at the end of March.

The Winston-Salem Republican raised $702,600 during the first quarter of this year and spent only $110,712, according to campaign finance reports.

Here's how some of his potential competitors stack up:

Rep. Heath Shuler: $1.1 million

Rep. Bob Etheridge: $772,489

Rep. Mike McIntyre: $633,090

State Sen. Malcolm Graham: $46,841

State Sen. Dan Blue: $44,824

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton: $32,305

Cal Cunningham: $8,567*

Kenneth Lewis: n/a

* Campaign account closed in 2007.

Note: As Dome regular lefaim notes below, only the three members of Congress could transfer their cash on hand to a Senate race.

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