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NC Republicans sign name to immigration overhaul effort

A handful of prominent North Carolina business leaders and lawmakers are joining a national effort to urge the Republican Congress to support an immigration overhaul.

The letter -- sent by major Republican donors such as Vice President Dan Quayle, Carlos Gutierrez, the commerce secretary under President George W. Bush, and Karl Rove -- calls for "legal status" to those living in the country illegally.

In North Carolina, developer Judd Ammons, prominent farmer John Barnes, agribusiness leader Frank Granger and homebuilder Tim Minton joined Republican state Reps. Tom Murry of Morrisville and Tim Moffitt of Asheville in signing their names to the effort.

Document(s):
immigrationletter.pdf

Morning Memo: Another gambling bust with N.C. ties; Hagan remains against gay marriage

ANOTHER GAMBLING BUST WITH N.C. TIES: On the same day Florida prosecutors busted a gambling operation that snared a company with major North Carolina political ties, an Ohio prosecutor leveled a new indictment against another sweepstakes company with Tar Heel ties.

The March 13 superseding indictment updated charges filed in May against VS2 Worldwide Communications, a company that operated illegal Internet sweepstakes gaming software, according to local news reports. The company's owners, Phillip Cornick of New Jersey and Richard Upchurch of Ramseur, face charges in Ohio of money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The two men and their wives contributed more than $45,000 to North Carolina political candidates -- including Gov. Pat McCrory -- with more than half coming after their initial May indictments.

HAGAN ONE OF 11 SENATE DEMOCRATS NOT TO ENDORSE GAY MARRIAGE: North Carolina's Kay Hagan remains opposed to gay marriage, even though three prominent Democrats colleagues recently shifted their stances. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday (California's Proposition 8) and Wednesday (the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA) about same-sex marriage.

**More on the VS2's campaign contributions and Hagan's stance on gay marriage below in today's Dome Morning Memo. Sends news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. Thanks for reading.***

House immigration committee dissolves without draft legislation

A special House committee punted immigration reform to the full chamber, declining to draft any legislation at its final meeting Thursday.

The House Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy essential ended confounded by the politics of the issue and couldn't come to an agreement on the best way to proceed. 

Lawmakers spent less than one minute discussing its brief final report and adjourned without any discussion of the issue. The meeting stood in stark contrast to a previous public hearing with heated language and passionate pleas from groups pushing for stricter laws and those warning against taking any action.

Committee co-chairman Frank Iler, a Oak Island Republican, said lawmakers can introduce their own legislation next year. He plans to do so but refused to discuss what it would say.

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