Under the Dome

Dome: GOP robo calls target four N.C. Democrats

STAFF WRITERSDecember 22, 2011 

The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee began sending recorded telephone messages Wednesday into the districts of four North Carolina Democratic congressmen, criticizing them for their votes on the payroll tax cut.

The robo calls went into the districts of four Democrats targeted for defeat next year: Brad Miller of Raleigh, Mike McIntyre of Lumberton, Larry Kissell of Troy and Heath Shuler of Bryson City.

"If you're as fed up with Congress as everyone else is, wait till you hear what your Congressman Mike McIntyre did," said one recording. "Not only did McIntyre vote last week to pave the way for a tax increase for you and every other American middle-class family, but he is now stubbornly standing by his position that could raise your taxes by over a thousand dollars starting Jan. 1."

Andrew Whalen, spokesman for the Blue Dog Democrat PAC, noted that the four Democrats are being attacked for voting the same way as the Senate Republicans.

"The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin bombarding homes with robo-calls, just days before Christmas and on the second day of Hanukkah, peddling their dishonest spin about why millions of America's working families are facing a tax increase beginning January 1st," Whalen wrote in a memo to reporters. "Blue Dogs stand with the overwhelming bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate ready to protect working families from a tax increase. House Republicans, their Tea Party freshmen and commitment to ideology rather than American families are to blame for this looming tax increase."

Whalen said the calls are also going into districts of Reps. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, Jim Costa of California and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday began running robo calls in the district of Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn.

Coble in Greensboro hospital

N.C. Republican Congressman Howard Coble was moved Wednesday by medical transport from a hospital in Washington to a hospital in Greensboro, where he will continue to recover from an upper respiratory illness.

Coble, 80, has spent eight days at Washington University Hospital because of depleted sodium levels associated with the respiratory problem. He was expected to be hospitalized for only a few days, but he was too weak to be released sooner, his office reported.

Coble is headed to Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro for continued treatment.

"The physicians at George Washington University Hospital told his family and our office that Rep. Coble is making steady progress in recovering from a severe upper respiratory infection," Chief of Staff Ed McDonald said in a statement. "At Moses Cone, doctors will monitor Congressman Coble's sodium treatment while he begins a physical therapy program."

Carney ready for revolution

Chris Carney, the mayor pro tem of Mooresville, has been sworn in as the newest member of the N.C. Senate. He takes the District 41 seat held by the late Jim Forrester. Both are Republicans.

Carney, 40, is a small business owner who has served more than five years on the Mooresville Board of Commissioners.

He said his first act would be to vote to override Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the Racial Justice Act repeal when the legislature returns Jan. 4 for a special session.

The Racial Justice Act is "a flawed law," Carney told the Statesville Record and Landmark. "And any time you have the opportunity to fix something that is flawed, I think that's a good thing."

Carney said a kind of revolution is taking place in the state legislature, and he is glad to be part of it.

"I think this is the start of a decade of young, conservative professionals in Raleigh," he told the Statesville paper. "We have a chance to take North Carolina to the next level, and it's just really exciting."

Senate leader Phil Berger welcomed Carney to the Senate.

"Chris Carney has succeeded in the private sector and as a public servant," he said, "and I'm confident he will represent his constituents well as a state senator."

rchristensen@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4532

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