In profiles of the candidates for governor, two distinct men emerge:
On the stump, Walter Dalton invoked the names of famous Democratic governors: Jim Hunt, Terry Sanford and O. Max Gardner. But as he tries to call up the ghosts of Gardner, Sanford and Hunt, he is shackled by the more recent past. After 20 straight years of Democratic governors, his party’s brand has been tarnished by controversies and scandals. Full profile here.
Pat McCrory's second run for governor looks and feels different than his first. “What happened in between 2008 and 2012 was the tea party insurgency,” says Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, McCrory’s alma mater. “McCrory has had to make some philosophical adjustments.” McCrory insists he hasn’t “moved a bit” in his positions or beliefs. But he and his party have made mutual accommodations. Full profile here.
Many more political headlines here:
--The candidates for governor tout their respective “jobs plans,” which promise to remedy the state’s flagging economy, even though neither can say how many jobs their plans would create. Dalton’s platform includes an assortment of tax credits and programs to stimulate the economy in the short term, such as a tax break for companies that hire long-term unemployed workers. McCrory’s proposal is more broad but preaches Republican economic orthodoxy with tax cuts and less regulation, a build-it-and-jobs-will-come approach. Read more from the final installment of the issues series and see experts' thoughts on the plans.
--Rob Christensen: Some photo ops matter, and that was the case last week when Mitt Romney was photographed with the Rev. Billy Graham in Montreat, who delivered his blessing if not his formal endorsement to the Republican presidential candidate.
--With shades of Clint Eastwood, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton debated an empty chair at a state NAACP forum Saturday. With two chairs set in front of the audience – one labeled Pat McCrory – Dalton, frequently criticized his opponent as “this empty chair.”
-- North Carolina had the look of a battleground state this weekend as the wife of the vice president, the House Speaker from Ohio, a Hollywood actress, a corporate CEO from Silicon Valley and a governor from Massachusetts all stumped the state. (Read two more reports on Jill Biden and Speaker John Boehner in Charlotte.)
--A new report released Saturday charges that efforts to require North Carolina voters to show identification are part of a partisan effort by Tea Party activists to suppress minority voter turnout.
--North Carolina's largest industry agriculture is having a banner year.
--Occupy Raleigh observed its anniversary with a small, but festive, gathering Saturday on the state Capitol grounds.
--North Carolina's highest court is about to decide whether video sweepstakes cafes that often mimic small, electronic casinos and are found everywhere from big-city strip malls to country crossroads will disappear or multiply.