Under the Dome

Does Gov. Perdue still count as a candidate? State elections agency weighs the question

April 1, 2012 

Bob Hall at Democracy North Carolina is asking the N.C. State Board of Elections for a legal clarification about the Americans for Prosperity Foundation TV and radio advertisements on the state budget.

Hall’s liberal group is no fan of the conservative AFP. But he raises an interesting question about who constitutes a candidate under state election laws.

If a candidate is mentioned, the ads would qualify as electioneering communications and the sponsor would have to meet disclosure requirements for expenditures and donors. AFP hasn’t filed disclosure forms because its 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, paid for the “educational” advertisement.

The question revolves around whether Gov. Bev Perdue – who is mentioned and in the advertisement – still qualifies as a candidate even though she is not seeking re-election.

Civitas poll shows strong support for amendment

The conservative Civitas Institute has released new numbers showing the constitutional amendment defining marriage with solid support.

If the election were held today the referendum would pass with 61 percent support. The numbers show little change since September (62 percent) when lawmakers voted to put it on the May primary ballot.

The current level is the lowest in five months – but it means little because all the numbers are within the 4 percent margin of error. Opposition is also consistent at 32 percent, Civitas reported.

The poll was conducted March 22-25 by National Research. It tracks with a recent Public Policy Polling survey showing the constitutional amendment with 58 percent support.

Burr abandons bid for No. 2 GOP post

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has announced he will abandon his bid for the No. 2 Republican post in the Senate.

The Winston-Salem lawmaker said he began to realize in recent weeks that a leadership post wouldn’t allow him to purse his policy reforms.

“These efforts require serious attention, and they simply cannot be pursued with the focus they demand while also serving as a member of leadership,” he said in a statement. “As interested as I am in the Whip position, these legislative and policy efforts are of primary importance to me, and being in leadership wouldn’t provide me the ability and flexibility to commit the time and energy to them that they deserve.”

In his campaign for Senate GOP whip, Burr was considered the underdog to Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. If chosen by his colleagues for the position, Burr would have served as the right-hand man for Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Jeb Bush to headline McCrory event

Pat McCrory’s red-carpet political fundraising has attracted its fair share of GOP stars: Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Steve Forbes and Nikki Haley.

But his campaign’s April 30 check-gathering at the Angus Barn will likely top those events thanks to headliner Jeb Bush. The hosts for the event –announced Thursday by his campaign – include former Denmark Ambassador Jim Cain, appointed by President George W. Bush; Golden Corral executive Ted Fowler; lawyer Kieran Shanahan; and businesswoman Judi Grainger.

Bush, the former Florida Republican governor, is widely considered as a future presidential candidate and known for his dedication to education policy. And it’s worth noting he’s in town next month as part of an education summit with former Democratic N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt.

The event will help McCrory boost his financial advantage over the Democratic candidates, who will spend the next six weeks squeezing blood from a turnip and spend much of it to get the party’s nomination.

jfrank@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4698

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