Under the Dome

Dome: Democrat video skewers GOP on school funding

jfrank@newsobserver.comApril 11, 2012 

A new web video from the N.C. Democratic Party hits Republican lawmakers for cutting state education funding – reinforcing the results of a recent survey that puts the issue squarely on Jones Street.

N.C. Policy Watch, a liberal outfit, has released poll numbers showing that 50 percent of voters blame the state legislature for cuts to education, compared to 21 percent who fault Gov. Bev Perdue and 19 percent who point the finger at the federal government.

The two-minute Democratic Party video – featuring former Gov. Jim Hunt, Perdue and state lawmakers – is meant to stir the party’s base. It rehashes a “war” mantra the party used to criticize GOP lawmakers for budget cuts hurting women.

The video includes plenty of claims worth truth-squadding. It also comes as two conservative groups, Americans for Prosperity and the Civitas Institute, launched a road tour Tuesday, stopping in Burlington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point and Lexington to spread their message.

The bottom line: Expect to hear plenty of stats and figures on education funding in the GOP-designed state budget – with neither side completely capturing the entire picture.

Here’s the video: http://bit.ly/ItLd9O.

Rouzer, Pantano trade barbs

Republican candidates for the 7th Congressional District touted vastly different credentials Monday night in a Johnston County GOP debate. N.C. Sen. David Rouzer, who represents Johnston and Wayne counties, spoke of his legislative experience cutting budgets, while opponent Ilario Pantano tried to paint him as a Washington insider.

Pantano blasted what he described as Rouzer’s 20 years on Capitol Hill that included stints on the staffs of former senators Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole. Rouzer pointed out that he spent only 10 years working there. Pantano said his own lack of experience in elected office will make him a better congressman.

“In the past 10 years, I’ve probably spent more time in North Carolina than you have,” he told Rouzer. “I think it’s time for some private-sector experience.” ”

Rouzer pointed to his work in cutting the state budget last year, adding that he has the skills to cut spending in Washington.

“It takes courage, it takes political will,” he said. “I know how to say no, and the record proves it.”

Trump to headline GOP event

The Donald will be the featured guest at the N.C. Republican Party’s convention in June.

Donald Trump will speak at 7 p.m. June 1 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

“Donald Trump is an entrepreneurial icon,” said state party chairman Robin Hayes. “He is someone who has invested time and money into making North Carolina a better place to live and work. At a time when North Carolinians, just like the rest of the country, are wondering how to get our economy going again, I can think of nobody more qualified to speak about entrepreneurship and job creation that Donald Trump.”

Trump’s North Carolina investment refers to his recent deal to buy The Point, a golf course in an exclusive Lake Norman development north of Charlotte that will take the name Trump National.

Trump flirted with running for president in the GOP primary. Expect him to “fire” at least a few Democrats, most notably Gov. Bev Perdue, as he rallies conservatives ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Impatient on illegal immigration

A prominent anti-illegal immigration advocate is soliciting support from state lawmakers to remove House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger from power.

“I am getting more traction than I thought I would,” said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration’s political action committee. “Many of the Republican lawmakers are disappointed to see them imitate their predecessors.”

Gheen’s problem with the top Republican legislative leaders came after a special House immigration committee delayed any action until the next legislative session.

“Speaker Thom Tillis and President (Pro Tem) Phil Berger are protecting illegal immigrants and those that employ them,” Gheen said in a recent interview. “Immigration legislation is one of the issues that led to Democrats’ overthrow.”

Gheen leads a national advocacy group. But as a North Carolina resident, he also tries to flex his muscle at the state legislature. He said he is developing plans for a state-level PAC to help elect immigration-reform minded lawmakers.

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service