Under the  Dome

Last-minute drive by pro- and con-amendment campaigns

From staff reportsMay 6, 2012 

Proponents and opponents of the gay marriage amendment are sprinting toward Tuesday’s finish line with fundraising, advertising and word-of-mouth campaigning.

Both sides emailed pleas Sunday for last-minute money. Vote for Marriage NC, the pro-amendment side, says it’s received about half of the $50,000 last-minute surge it sought.

On Friday, the group reported new donations of $41,500, including $36,500 from a Baptist church in Charlotte and $5,000 from a Baptist church in Gastonia.

The anti-side, Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families, reported $146,610 in new money on Friday. That includes a $3,000 donation from movie star and North Carolina native Zach Galifianakis, and $5,000 from Capitol Broadcasting’s CEO Jim Goodmon.

On Monday, Vote for Marriage will have a rally with ministers in North Raleigh. The Coalition to Protect on Monday will get help staffing its phone bank from members of the cast of “Wicked,” the traveling Broadway show currently playing in Durham.

Democratic chair candidate resigns from ALEC

State Sen. Don Vaughan of Greensboro, who is running for state Democratic Party chairman, is defending himself from charges that he is too conservative.

In a statement to Democratic activists, Vaughan said he voted against Republican cuts to schools, against efforts to repeal the Racial Justice Act, against the Voter ID bill, against GOP efforts to limit a women’s right to choose. He also noted that he received the Green Tie award from the League of Conservation Voters.

He also announced his resignation from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative national group that has drawn fire from Democrats and government watchdog groups for its secretive, corporate-sponsored attempts to pass laws.

“Many years ago, when I joined the American Legislative Exchange Council it was a nonpartisan group which provided a forum for legislators to discuss issues,” Vaughan wrote. “However, I agree with the many others who have recently left ALEC. I recent years ALEC has become too partisan. Because of that, I am announcing my resignation from ALEC.’’

He also noted the plans to work to re-elect President Barack Obama, something he didn’t mention when he announced his candidacy.

The state Democratic Executive Committee is scheduled to meet next Saturday in Raleigh to find a replacement for David Parker, who is stepping down after criticism of the way he handled complaints of sexual harassment on the party staff.

Redistricting could lead to ‘voter confusion’

Redistricting could catch some voters by surprise when they find different candidates on their ballot than they were expecting.

Wake, Johnston, Franklin, Nash, Lee, Granville are among the counties ranked highest in a “voter confusion index” analysis by the watchdog group Democracy NC. Durham is included as having some of the most complex changes.

A voter information hotline has been set up for Election Day, and can be reached at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), or in Spanish 888-839-8682.

It’s hosted by a public service program at UNC-CH law school, Democracy NC and the national Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Also, a website by Democracy NC provides a good overview of the election.

— Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

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