Rove to raise money in Raleigh for Burr

December 29, 2009 

Karl Rove, the chief strategist for President George W. Bush, will be coming to Raleigh next month to help raise money for the re-election campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

Although details have not been announced, Rove agreed to be the headliner at a fundraiser Jan. 28 in Raleigh. The event is being put together by Louis DeJoy, a Greensboro businessman who was state finance chairman for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008. Also helping out is Jim Cain, a Raleigh lawyer and former U.S. ambassador to Denmark who was also a Bush fundraiser.

In addition to being closely associated with Bush, Rove also helped recruit both Burr and former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole to run for the Senate.

Rove appeared at a Winston-Salem fundraiser for Burr when he ran in 2004 against Democrat Erskine Bowles. Since leaving the White House, Rove has worked as a political analyst for Fox News, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.

No braying for Perdue

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue says you shouldn't expect to see a lot of her on the campaign trail stumping for Democratic candidates in 2010.

Perdue told reporters last week that she was tired of the "absolutely nasty partisan rhetoric" coming out of Washington these days and that leaders need to do a better job of working in a more bipartisan spirit.

"I believe that is true in North Carolina," Perdue said. "So I am not going to have you go out and write a story saying she is going to put on her donkey ears and go out and bray all over the state. I don't intend to do that. I intend to help good people get elected. More importantly, I want you to hold us all accountable for good, quality, honest public service."

Of course, unless her polling numbers start improving, there may not be a lot of legislative candidates asking her to stump for them.

A name change, maybe?

Free name recognition may cost Kenneth Lewis.

Lewis, a Chapel Hill lawyer and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, has a lot of work to do to establish name recognition across the state, according to poll numbers by Public Policy Polling.

A Dec. 11-13 survey of 593 likely voters found that 80percent of them are unsure of how they feel about Lewis. PPP noted that in the Charlotte area code of 704, there are strong opinions about "Kenneth Lewis."

Of the voters in that area code surveyed by PPP, 39 percent had an opinion. Many of those opinions - 27 percent - were negative. PPP's Tom Jensen postulates that Lewis may be a victim of his name. There's another Ken Lewis, familiar to many in the Charlotte area: outgoing Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis.

Bank of America's Ken Lewis has been criticized for leading his company's purchase of Merrill Lynch, a deal that turned out to be a burden to Bank of America. After regulators pressed him to proceed with the purchase, the bank accepted more government aid and became a symbol for the nation's bailed-out banks.

There is of time for Chapel Hill Ken Lewis to show voters that he is not Charlotte Ken Lewis. Look for all of Chapel Hill Ken Lewis' ads and signs in Charlotte to include his photo.

By staff writers RobChristensen and BenjaminNiolet

robc@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4532

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