National Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele vowed to reclaim North Carolina for his party Monday and introduced a TV ad seeking to build support for the GOP brand in the state.
"Nancy Pelosi and President Obama and Harry Reid have certainly lost their mind when it comes to spending the people's money," Steele told about 60 supporters at an Embassy Suites hotel in Greensboro. "I don't think there is any doubt about that."
"All of us have a large stake in what happens next, whether it's health care, or job creation, or whether it's how we educate our kids, or how we run our small businesses," Steele said.
The TV ad will run for three weeks on the Fox affiliate in the Triad. The ad asks people who are concerned that "President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are experimenting with America" to become engaged with the Republican Party.
Similar ads are being run in strong Republican markets in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Cincinnati and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla. The ad features Steele talking to the camera and was produced by Mark Stephens, a Raleigh-based political consultant.
Steele told reporters that he is determined to win back North Carolina after the state surprised many by voting for Obama in 2008.
He said the re-election of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr would be both "a challenge" and "an opportunity."
Steele said he spends a lot of time in North Carolina because his son is a student at Elon University.
SEANC targets insurers
Members of the State Employees Association of North Carolina to join a protest in Washington today meant to rally support for President Barack Obama's health care reform efforts.
SEANC says it intends to have 200 members join the event.
The organization is seeking to blame health insurance companies, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in particular, for the failure of Congress to pass a reform bill.
The rally is timed to coincide with a conference for America's Health Insurance Plans at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.
"The contrast is clear: We're outside eating Ritz crackers while the insurance bigwigs are holed up in the Ritz-Carlton," said Dana Cope, SEANC's executive director.
Blue Cross has been a target of SEANC, in part because the insurer administers the health insurance plan offered to state employees.
Skydiving for dollars
Tim D'Annunzio just won't settle for the standard political fundraiser.
Light hors d'oeuvres and schmoozing won't do for D'Annunzio, a Republican candidate for the congressional seat now held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell.
First there was the "Machine Gun Social" where contributors could light up targets with a submachine gun. Now there's a chance to take a simulated sky dive.
D'Annunzio is offering 12 straight hours of "tunnel time" at Paraclete XP SkyVenture, D'Annunzio's Raeford business, in which customers can ride in a vertical wind tunnel. Such tunnels are used to train skydivers.
D'Annunzio is hoping to get 30 people to sign up for Tunnel Boogie. At $350 per person, a booked-up boogie would raise $10,500.
By staff writers Rob Christensen and Benjamin Niolet
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