An item in Thursday's Under the Dome column misstated the source of a YouTube video featuring Linda McMahon, a North Carolina native and former WWE wrestling executive who is running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut. The video featuring clips of McMahon's appearances in the ring was a parody and not produced by McMahon's campaign.
****** A political tip: If you're going to send something to the governor's office, you'd better know what's in it.
Like, say, a check.
Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger showed off a wheelbarrow full of "Conservative Voter Surveys" Tuesday that he said reflected lots of anger and frustration with Democrats.
As Dome noted Wednesday, the survey questions were written to stir up anger and possible Republican campaign contributions. We're guessing Berger never imagined the governor's staff would bother to read them. He was wrong.
Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson, responding to a request from Dome, said she had skimmed about a third of the 3,000 or so surveys. She noted comments written to the Republican Party included:
"I am embarrassed to be associated with this organization. Your tactics are disgusting and you're going to lose a generation of voters."
And then there was the check. A staff member found a $50 campaign contribution made out to Berger tucked in the surveys, which were, after all, a fundraising ploy.
That brings us to political tip No. 2: If you get a check, cash it.
"I was surprised to find a check," Pearson said, noting that one woman wrote to the party, "Don't just throw this away, read it."
Pearson said the office intended to forward the check to its intended recipient.
Another comment: "Stop wording questions so geared up to get the answers you want and start wording them to actually find out the people's opinion, not just confirm your own. There are probably only three questions on here that are legitimate."
On Dome's own sample survey, a Harrisburg woman wrote in the box for including a credit card contribution: "Not sending you any more money."
Jim Blaine, director of the N.C. Republican Senate Committee, said both parties need to pay attention to the surveys.
"We're glad her staff has looked at the surveys," Blaine said. "We hope she takes to heart the responses that are critical of her programs as we take to heart the responses that are critical of our programs."
Perdue's staff might just want to get its own wheelbarrow and deliver the surveys, which are now public records, back to Berger.
Linda McMahon, an Eastern North Carolina native who became a major pro wrestling executive, is challenging Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut.
McMahon, 61, grew up in New Bern and graduated from East Carolina University.
She recently stepped down as chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, the largest wrestling promoter in the world, an organization that she ran with her husband, Vince.
McMahon, a Republican, was recently appointed by Gov. Jodi Rell to the Connecticut State Board of Education.
She is running as a fiscal conservative who plans to control spending, hold down taxes and not take contributions of more than $100.
Other Republicans considering challenging Dodd, who has been beset with ethics charges, include former Rep. Rob Simmons, economist Peter Schiff and former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.
In one ad, McMahon notes that her wrestling background gives her a different perspective.
The ad shows old footage of her taking a slap in the face and kicking a man in the groin. The ad ends with McMahon being subjected to a pile driver.
Take that, Washington.
Friday Night Burr
Any visitor to U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's office knows he's a fan of the gridiron.
A black-and-white photograph of Burr's days as a college player at Wake Forest University hangs on the wall, showing him in his uniform, carrying a ball.
Now, Burr is a hall-of-famer.
R.J. Reynolds High School of Winston-Salem inducted Burr on Friday into its sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony he attended.
Burr played varsity football there and was named to the all-conference and all-state teams before graduating in 1974.
He went on to play defensive back at Wake Forest University until a series of injuries forced him into early retirement his junior year.
In a prepared statement, Burr spokesman David Ward said, "Senator Burr is honored to be inducted into the R.J. Reynolds High School Sports Hall of Fame and is looking forward to adding more memorabilia to the North Carolina sports wall in his office."
By Benjamin Niolet, Rob Christensen and Barbara Barrett
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