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Morning Memo: McCrory closes Latino outreach office

North Carolina’s Latino advocates are voicing alarm following the governor’s decision to eliminate the state’s office for Latino affairs. The closing of the Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs was sudden and caught many by surprise. The move appears to have exacerbated the already tense relationship between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Latino community, including criticism over a driver’s license plan for young immigrants.

Advocates says it sends a message that McCrory and Raleigh conservatives are less concerned with the needs of the Latino community. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when issues of deep concerns, like immigration, are at the political forefront and Republicans nationally are trying to appear more welcoming to Latinos.

***Thanks for reading the Good Friday edition of the Dome Morning Memo. Send tips and news to dome@newsobserver.com. More on the Latino office and other big headlines below.***

GOP campaign finance complaint against Dalton, Perdue dismissed

State officials dismissed a Republican campaign finance complaint filed days before the November election that alleged illegal collusion between Democrats Walter Dalton and Bev Perdue.

The state Republican Party said it identified 65 donors who received refunds from Perdue's campaign committee who later made contributions to Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor. But in a letter dated Tuesday, the State Board of Elections said all 65 donations identified as suspect were legitimate.

"Our office found no campaign finance violations ... for these contributions and as such this matter is considered resolved," the letter states.

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.

Walter Dalton spent $4.3 million in his losing bid for governor

Democrat Walter Dalton spent $4.3 million in his losing bid for governor, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

Dalton, who lost by 11 points, just couldn't match GOP rival Pat McCrory's spending. He raised $4.28 million and left only $12,192.60 in the bank, as of Dec. 31. (McCrory has yet to file his final report, but led Dalton 6-to-1 in campaign cash days ahead of the election.)

In the final two weeks, Dalton raised $385,000 and spent $641,000 -- decent numbers but not enough. He spent about a third of the money on media advertising in the final days but none of it moved the needle. He lost by about the same margin as polls indicated weeks ahead of time.

Dalton files complaint against McCrory; Republican rejects 'desperate' charges

Democrat Walter Dalton's campaign filed a campaign finance complaint Wednesday alleging Pat McCrory didn't properly pay for campaign flights and whether it amounted to an illegal corporate contribution.

The Republican's campaign outright rejected the claims and provided documentation that it believes supports its claim. State elections chief Gary Bartlett said his agency received the complaint but the agency doesn't have time to investigate until after next week's election.

The Dalton complaint focuses on private flights for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to North Carolina for separate McCrory campaign events. 

Gov. Perdue refunds donors, gives $250K to party; $1.26 million remains

As noted in today's story, Gov. Bev Perdue is still sitting on $1.26 million as her would-be Democratic successor struggled to raise money. More details from her report:

Perdue started the year with $2 million. Since July, she directed $250,000 to the state Democratic Party and refunded $243,000 to individual donors. A campaign aide said she also gave $4,000 to Dalton, but the donation is not reflected in the records.

Inside the money reports: Gov. Christie's expensive flight, Dalton's meager haul

Inside the cash reports for Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton, the extent of the Republican's money advantage is readily apparent. A breakdown of the numbers:

McCrory raised most his money this campaign cycle from Mecklenburg County -- $2 million, more than double any other county. He also raised more than $730,000 from out-of-state donors, a total that exceeded his haul from most North Carolina counties combined.

It came in bunches with more than $1 million generated in just one three day period at the end of September.

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

Walter Dalton raises a third as much money as his Republican rival

Democratic candidate Walter Dalton raised $1.4 million in the third quarter, far less than his Republican rival's $5 million.

He started the general election with $714,000 in the bank after a primary race depleted his coffers. All together, Dalton's total receipts this election cycle -- $3.9 million -- don't even match Pat McCrory's final three and a half months. McCrory's total this election: $11.6 million.

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