Dome: Former Easley aide Ruffin Poole living in Raleigh halfway house

STAFF WRITERSApril 3, 2012 

POOLE10.NE.121709.CCS

Former Gov. Mike Easley aide Ruffin Poole listens as his attorney speaks to the State Board of Elections in Raleigh on Dec. 17, 2009.

CHRIS SEWARD — CHRIS SEWARD - cseward@newsobserver.com

A man who served as a top aide to former Gov. Mike Easley is back in North Carolina after serving several months of his tax evasion sentence at a Florida prison, The Associated Press reports.

The federal Bureau of Prisons said Monday records show Ruffin Poole is living at a halfway house in the Raleigh area.

Bureau spokesman Chris Burke said Poole returned three weeks ago after being at a minimum-security prison in Pensacola, Fla., since July. Poole is projected to leave the prison system in early June but will have two years of supervised release.

The 40-year-old Poole received a one-year and one-day sentence for pleading guilty before his trial was to begin on public corruption-related charges. Poole’s case stemmed from an investigation of Easley.

Poole’s attorney didn’t return a phone message Monday.

Cobb gets big backers

GOP House candidate Glenn Cobb of Winston-Salem got some high-powered backing for a fundraiser last week.

It was hosted by former Governors Jim Martin and Jim Holshouser and by Brooke Burr, the wife of U.S. Senator Richard Burr.

Cobb is politically well connected having worked as a field representative for the U.S. Senate campaign of Jim Broyhill in 1986, and worked in the Martin administration for four years in the Department of Human Resources.

He also ran the district office for U.S. Rep. Alex McMillan.

His father, Larry Cobb, is a former Senate Majority leader.

He is running for the open House seat being vacated by Dale Folwell, who is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Cobb heads the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors.

Jones seen as vulnerable

Congressman Walter Jones continues to land in the crossfire this election season. First, an independent group, Campaign for Primary Accountability, identifies him as a target.

And now, the Republican is landing in a Top 10 list of incumbents who could lose their primary elections.

The Washington Post’s political pundits give Jones’ Republican challenger Frank Palombo, a former New Bern police chief, a good shot in the May 8 primary.

The write up: “Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.): If there’s one guy who’s ripe for a conservative primary challenge, it’s Jones. Jones frequently votes against his party on the major issues of the day, the most recent being Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget. In fact, it’s a wonder he’s escaped serious opposition in recent years.

“That could change this year, with former New Bern Police Chief Frank Palombo running against him and the Campaign for Primary Accountability targeting him. We’ll see if Jones is actually threatened, but he’s a ripe target.”

Daily Show in Charlotte

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and host Jon Stewart will make their home at ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center in Charlotte’s uptown during the Democratic National Convention in September.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library board agreed Monday to rent part of the facility to the national cable TV show for $94,488.

In return, The Daily Show will have use of ImaginOn around the clock from Aug. 28 to Sept 8.

The show’s actual air dates from Charlotte will be Sept. 4-7.

jfrank@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4698

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