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Liberal group wants McCrory to call for Hartsell's resignation

A liberal advocacy group is trying to pin down Gov. Pat McCrory on state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell's campaign finance troubles.

Progress North Carolina is calling on McCrory to ask Hartsell, a Concord Republican, to resign after he spent nearly $100,000 from his campaign account to pay personal credit cards. The state election agency is investigating the spending. "Gov. McCrory has a chance to make a clear statement against government corruption," said Gerrick Brenner of Progress NC. "But if he says nothing, McCrory proves he's all talk and no substance."

A McCrory spokesman declined to comment.

Morning Memo: 'Gov. Pay Raise', Sen. Hartsell face tough questions

GOV. PAY RAISE: The salary hikes Gov. Pay McCrory gave to his cabinet are stricking a chord. From N&O columnist Barry Saunders: If you saw our new governor live or on television banging away on a drum set with a band at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre last week, you already know Ringo has nothing to worry about.

For further evidence that the governor is tone deaf, all you had to do was read the newspaper the next day and see that Gov. Pat, henceforth known as Gov. Pay Raise, McCrory bestowed sizable raises on the people closest to him while sprinkling a pittance upon those outside his inner circle – you know, the ones who do the actual work.

You are reading the Dome Morning Memo, an analysis of the day's political headlines. Read much more below. Thanks.

AHEAD THIS WEEK: The UNC system committee considering a new five-year plan meets Monday. The NAACP holds is own legislative briefing -- sure to be much different from the one Republicans will hold -- Tuesday to talk about poverty and economic justice.

SEANC gave $194k in '08 races

SEANC gave $194,800 in North Carolina races this year.

The State Employees Association of North Carolina gave $89,300 to 53 state House candidates, $79,000 to 28 Senate candidates an $16,000 to four statewide candidates. Seventy-six recipients were Democrats, and nine were Republicans.

The largest donations went to House challenger Jimmy Garner and Sen. Floyd McKissick, who each received $8,000; and House challenger Betty Mangum and Sens. Fletcher Hartsell, Steve Goss, Ellie Kinnaird, who received $5,000 apiece.

Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, Lt. Gov.-elect Walter Dalton, agriculture commissioner candidate Ronnie Ansley and labor commissioner candidate Mary Fant Donnan, all Democrats, each received $4,000.

Fifty-five of the candidates were incumbents, 19 were challenging an incumbent and 11 were running for open seats. 

The state workers group also gave $4,000 to the state House Republican committee, $1,000 to the Senate Democratic committee and $500 to the House Democratic committee.

In addition, SEANC gave $5,000 to the Alliance for North Carolina

SEIU spent $410k on state races

The SEIU PAC spent $410,569 on North Carolina races in 2008.

The political action committee of the Service Employees International Union, which is affiliated with the State Employees Association of North Carolina, spent $323,069 on independent expenditures, including mailers and phone banks, and gave $83,500 to candidates, according to campaign finance reports.

The biggest expense was $147,279 spent on mailers opposing Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory. The union did not spend on any other statewide races.

The group also spent $100,568 on unsuccessful candidate Chuck Stone, who came in fourth out of five Democratic primary candidates for Democratic Sen. John Kerr's seat in May.

And it spent $40,510 opposing Republican Rep. Curtis Blackwood and supporting a primary challenger and $34,711 on opposing incumbent Republican Rep. Leo Daughtry and supporting a Democratic challenger.

Among direct contributions, the union gave to 33 Democratic candidates and three Republicans and donated another $4,000 to the N.C. Democratic Party.

SEIU donated to a dozen Democratic incumbents who were unopposed in either the primary or general elections, including $4,000 apiece to Senate president Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney.

More after the jump.

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