Under the Dome

Dome: Americans for Prosperity says complaints over ads are harassment

jfrank@newsobserver.comApril 10, 2012 

An attorney for Americans for Prosperity is asking the State Board of Elections to dismiss outright a request for information regarding its recent television advertisements, calling it harassment.

Bob Hall with Democracy North Carolina, a liberal advocacy group, asked the state’s election agency to clarify whether the ads count as electioneering communications because they mention Gov. Bev Perdue, who still has an open campaign account. If they count, AFP would need to disclose donors.

In a letter to the state elections agency, Steven Long, AFP’s attorney, wrote that “frivolous and baseless complaints motivated by the desire to harass, such as the one presented by Mr. Hall, amount to an abuse of process and should be rejected summarily by the state board to send a signal that more authority than one man’s unfounded conjecture is required to merit the state board’s time and attention.”

Gary Bartlett, the election agency executive director, said he expects to respond to Hall’s request this week.

Dalton seeks boost to coffers

Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is looking to raise thousands of dollars to fuel his gubernatorial campaign in the final weeks before the May 8 primary with a big-name fundraiser on the day early voting starts.

The April 19 event is hosted by Lou and Burley Mitchell. Burley Mitchell is a former N.C. Supreme Court Justice who serves on Perdue’s judicial nominating commission.

Hosts for the event gave $4,000 and the cheapest ticket costs $100. Other big names on the list include a number of prominent Democratic lawyers, such as Wade Smith, Eddie Speas, Robert Zaytoun, Josh Stein and Mack Paul.

Dalton faces two Democratic challengers in the primary: former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge and state Rep. Bill Faison. His fundraising supporters include some overlap with an event held the night before Perdue announced she wouldn’t seek re-election.

Ellmers: Silence can be golden

In a recent interview with Politico, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers says she’s not one to get up and speak about every issue.

“I’m one to speak my mind, and over time, I have been able to establish that,” she tells the online political newspaper. “I don’t speak on every issue; not every issue is my issue. I’m not the one to get up every week at conference and speak at the microphone, because when I do, I want people to listen to what I’m saying. … I wish more of (the) members would follow that.”

One issue Ellmers says she is comfortable talking about is health care. Ellmers says she’s proud of all the work House Republicans have done to repeal and defund parts of the health care law.

“We just assume the Supreme Court will strike the law down, so from the legislative side we have to be ready,” she told the newspaper.

Ellmers faces three GOP challengers in the May primary for the 2nd District congressional seat: Clement Munno, Sonya Holmes and Richard Speer.

Slim change for new Dem gov

The Washington punditry continues to view Democrats’ chances of retaining the governor’s office as slim.

The Washington Post ranked North Carolina, again, as the state most likely to see a change in party control at the top of the ticket. Coming in second was Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker faces a recall election in June.

Staff writers David Bracken and John Frank

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