Dome: Facebook co-founder won't friend amendment

STAFF WRITERSSeptember 12, 2011 

Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook and a native of Hickory, doesn't like the state's proposed same-sex marriage amendment.

He has written to the N.C. General Assembly urging it to reject the amendment, which is at the top of lawmakers' agendas when they get into town today. Hughes and his fiancé, political activist and philanthropist Sean Eldridge, pledge to donate $10 for each person who "likes" Equality NC's page on Facebook - up to $10,000 - by Tuesday.

The money will go to help Equality NC fight the marriage amendment, which he says "is bad for business, bad for the perception of my home state on the national stage, and a far cry from job-creating legislation that North Carolina lawmakers should be focused on."

Hughes' letter says he knows what it's like to grow up different in a small Southern town and that this legislation "will only perpetuate this stigma for a new generation of creative, talented youth, uninterested in second-class citizenship in a state they call home.

"The next Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian," Hughes concludes. "Be mindful of how you treat them and their families."

Loans and LaRoque

N.C. Policy Watch reports its probe of Rep. Stephen LaRoque has found that the Kinston Republican's private management company, which runs his two nonprofits, received a $200,000 loan without interest from one of the nonprofits. The loan could cause a problem with the Internal Revenue Service, which regulates tax-exempt organizations.

Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska reported finding a promissory note for the loan filed last week in a Lenoir County defamation lawsuit that LaRoque brought against Van Braxton, the Democratic incumbent LaRoque unseated last year.

"I'm not talking to you about anything," LaRoque told Ovaska when she called him for comment, she reported.

LaRoque's nonprofits loan federal funds to help small businesses that can't find financing through banks. Tax records show the lawmaker was paid up to $195,000 a year. Policy Watch found LaRoque's family served on the nonprofit boards and that he loaned federal money to a political ally and other close associates.

Read Ovaska's article at www.ncpolicywatch.com.

Bo, Mo or Elmo?

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory has launched a YouTube video, featuring his dog, Bo or Mo, whatever his name is. It's not quite clear because McCrory calls him Bo at the beginning of the video and then twice calls him Mo at the end.

While McCrory stops short of announcing for governor, he does say he will have an announcement soon and adds, "Mo might want to move to Raleigh."

The McCrory camp says the dog's name is Elmo, hence the Mo, and that the as-yet-undeclared gubernatorial candidate clearly says so.

Dome has posted the video on our blog, so listen and decide for yourself: http://projects.newsobserver.com/dome.

craig.jarvis@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4576

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