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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.***

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.

Morning Roundup: Congressman Kissell refuses to debate GOP rival Hudson

Citing scheduling conflicts, U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., has declined to commit to a locally televised debate with Republican challenger Richard Hudson.

Hudson, in a statement released by his campaign, called on the Democratic congressman “to come out of hiding.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Get a rundown on the feisty second presidential debate and see a fact check on the candidates' statements. Students at Queens College gave the win to the president.

--Emulating President Barack Obama, Walter Dalton also took an aggressive stance while Pat McCrory bobbed and weaved in the governor's race debate. And see an excerpt from a key exchange.

N&O columnist did not give to McCrory

Rob ChristensenThe N&O's political columnist did not give money to a gubernatorial candidate.

A recent campaign finance report for Republican Pat McCrory mistakenly lists longtime columnist and author Rob Christensen as having contributed $100 on Oct. 9.

The McCrory campaign said the listing is an error. The contribution came from a Robert James Christensen of Sherrills Ford, N.C.

When the other Christensen failed to include his employer and occupation, a McCrory staffer called the house in Sherrills Ford. Failing to reach the contributor, they Googled "Rob Christensen" and found the columnist instead.

"Who knew there was more than one Rob Christensen in the world?" said McCrory campaign manager Richard Hudson. "We had hoped there was only one."

Hudson said the campaign finance report will be amended.

If at first you don’t succeed...

No one wants A. Stephen Pierce’s money. But he keeps trying to give.

In February, Pierce gave Richard Moore, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, a $500 check. One month later, Moore returned the check. That’s because Pierce pleaded guilty in 1999 to illegally funnelling campaign contributions to candidates. Pierce a rest-home operator, was accused of having relatives and employees give Pierce’s money in their names in a scheme to get around the $4,000 limit on individual campaign contributions.

One of the candidates who received some of that earlier money: Beverly Perdue, who was then a state senator.

A prosecutor found no evidence that Perdue knew of Pierce’s scheme.

Moore attacked Perdue over her association with Pierce this year in the Democratic primary for governor. And Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican candidate for governor, has repeated those attacks.

So it was bad news for McCrory that he received a $2,000 check from A. Steve Pierce of Kernersville.

Richard Hudson, McCrory’s campaign manager, said he vets the names of donors. While he was familiar with the events surrounding Pierce, he wasn’t familiar with the name.

"If it’s the same guy, we’ll give the $2,000 back," Hudson said.

A. Steve Pierce did not return a phone message Tuesday.

GOP group sets up PAC for McCrory

A Republican group has moved quickly to take advantage of a change in election laws to raise money from well-heeled contributors across the country to help elect Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory as North Carolina's next governor.

The Republican Governors Association has set up a North Carolina political action committee and raised nearly $390,000 for the "RGA North Carolina PAC" in less than three months, Dan Kane reports.

Most of it has come from a handful of contributors who have shown little or no interest in North Carolina politics in the past. Contributors include top executives of the Coors Brewing Co. in Colorado and the Curves fitness center chain based in Waco, Tex.

The PAC's biggest contributor is James L. Barksdale of Ridgeland, Miss., the former chief executive officer of Netscape. He gave $100,000.

McCrory has made a centerpiece of his campaign changing the culture of state government, which he says is controlled by big-money special interests. But his campaign is welcoming the association's help.

"We certainly aren't concerned if business people from around the country are interested in this race," said Richard Hudson, McCrory's campaign manager. "Especially given the fact that labor union money and special interest money is going to be flowing into the Democratic party to support our opponent."

Democratic rival Beverly Perdue's campaign spokesman, David Kochman, said the McCrory campaign's acceptance of the PAC shows McCrory is not serious about campaign finance reform.

"I think it's ironic that a guy who claims he wants to change the political culture would be welcoming this type of activity," Kochman said.

Charlotte strip club owner had given before

A Charlotte strip club owner has given to Pat McCrory before.

Sammy Tillman, owner of the Paper Doll Lounge (NSFW), has given a total of $2,200 to the Republican gubernatorial nominee's campaigns for local office in the past 15 years.

The donations were all between $200 and $400, beginning in July of 1993 when McCrory ran for a third term on the Charlotte City Council, according to campaign finance reports.

That year, Tillman gave a total of $600. In 1995, he gave McCrory's mayoral bid a total of $700. In 1999, he contributed $400 to his re-election bids; in 2001, $250; and in 2003, another $250.

As noted previously, Tillman also gave $200 to McCrory's gubernatorial campaign this year.

Campaign Manager Richard Hudson said that he was not aware of the earlier donations.

The campaign declined to comment further.

McCrory fires back on Bush video

Pat McCrory says Democrats are trying to change the subject.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign says a video by the N.C. Democratic Party that ties him to President Bush is not relevant to his race against Beverly Perdue.

"The Democrats are going through all kinds of theatrics to change the subject from Perdue's failed record as lieutenant governor and the fact that there's a culture of arrogance and corruption in state government," said spokesman Richard Hudson. 

For his part, McCrory told David Ingram he disagrees with Bush on federal spending levels, immigration, reliance on foreign oil and the president's rhetoric on the economy. He did not answer directly when asked if he still thought Bush was a "great president," as he said in a 2004 speech quoted in the video.

McCrory, who is holding a fundraiser with Bush in Raleigh tomorrow, said he asked for the president's help the day after winning the May 6 primary. Bush called to congratulate McCrory.

"He offered his help, and I said, 'Well, I hope you come visit,'" McCrory said.

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