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Morning Memo: Vice President Biden to raise money for Kay Hagan

VICE PRESIDENT TO HEADLINE HAGAN FUNDRAISER: Vice President Joe Biden will visit North Carolina on Oct. 21 to help Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan raise campaign cash for her re-election bid in 2014. Biden will speak at a luncheon at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Dome.

The top ticket costs $10,000 and includes a photo and special host reception. The lowest priced ticket is $500 for the reception. The money will go to Hagan’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has higher donation limits.

A day earlier, Hagan will hold another fundraiser in Durham at the Deer Chase Gardens hosted by Marcia Angle and Mark Trustin, the property’s owners. The more than two-dozen hosts for the reception are paying $1,000 each. The top ticket is the maximum federal contribution to a candidate, $2,600. The host list includes big local Democratic donors, such as John Replogle, John Sall and Amy Tiemann. The minimum ticket costs $150.

***Read more about the 2014 Senate race and more below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Kay Hagan campaign announces $2 million haul with $4.2 million in bank

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's campaign announced Thursday that it raised more than $2 million since April 1, ending June with $4.2 million in the bank.

The Democrat's war chest gives her a significant advantage against Republican challengers who are just now beginning to raise money. The campaign announced the numbers Thursday but disclosure reports won't be available for another week.

The most prominent GOP contender is House Speaker Thom Tillis. He announced his campaign at the end of May and raised $300,000 in a month, leaving $250,000 on hand.

Hagan's average monthly haul more than doubled Tillis, a statistic reflecting her status as an incumbent as much as her fundraising ability.

Rouzer raising money at D.C. lobbying firm

UPDATED: Former state Sen. David Rouzer is hitting the donor circuit again in his second bid for Congress.

Rouzer traveled to Washington for a fundraiser Wednesday featuring Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and the GOP members of the N.C. congressional delegation, according to an invite.

The noon fundraiser is at the offices of lobbying firm Meyers & Associates. It costs hosts $2,500 to attend with the minimum contribution at $250. A Rouzer spokesman said the space is being rented from the lobbying firm by the campaign.

Rouzer is trying again to beat Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre. He narrowly lost in the 2012 election and announced a second bid just a few months later.

Thom Tillis raising more campaign cash

House Speaker Thom Tillis is a lame-duck lawmaker but he's busy raising money, which surely fuels speculation that he is getting closer to a possible U.S. Senate run.

Tillis, a Republican, is holding a fundraiser May 6 at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is the special guest for the lunch-time event. Hosts are asked to donate $2,000 with individual tickets at $250, according to a copy of the invite. The money goes to the Committee to Elect Thom Tillis.

Hosts include John Kane, J. Patrick Gavaghan, Gene Minton and Harry Smith. Sponsors (at the $1,000 level) are Elbert Boyd, Dean Proctor and John Stone.

Gov. Pat McCrory helped the speaker raise money earlier this year. Tillis, whose self-imposed term limits make this his final two-year session, said he is considering a bid against Democrat Kay Hagan in 2014.

State lawmakers can raise money during session but can't accept contributions from political action committees.

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.

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

Super PAC forms to boost Republican Dan Forest in lieutenant governor's race

In the lieutenant governor’s race, a super PAC funded by a supporter of U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick is sponsoring TV ads on behalf of her son, Republican Dan Forest.

Citizens for Accountability started just this month with $75,000 from Charlotte businessman David Longo. This week the PAC spent $61,800 on cable TV ads for Forest, who faces Democrat Linda Coleman.

Inside the money reports: Dalton finished primary with no cash in the tank

A look inside the campaign finance reports filed this week shows why Republican Pat McCrory is dominating the money race: Walter Dalton started the general election with nothing in the bank.

The Democratic candidate's primary contest with Bob Etheridge and Bill Faison cost him just about everything in his campaign account. Dalton entered 2012 with $590,000 in the bank and raised $887,000 in the primary. But he spent roughly $1.5 million to win his party's nomination.

At the end, Dalton's campaign spent what it took to win, including about $670,000 for a television commercial and another approximately $70,000 for direct mailings to voters. In the same amount of time, he raised just $230,000.

Pat McCrory boasts $1.7 million haul with $3.1 million in war chest

Pat McCrory will report he raised about $1.7 million for his gubernatorial campaign in the first fundraising period this year, his campaign announced.

The presumptive Republican nominee is building a solid war chest as his Democratic rivals battle ahead of the May 8 primary. He has $3.14 million cash on hand.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and former Congressman Bob Etheridge have not yet released their numbers. Campaign finance reports from Jan. 1 through April 20 are due Monday.

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