Under the Dome

VP Biden’s son visits Fayetteville on Monday

FROM STAFF REPORTSMay 21, 2012 

Biden Son Hospitalized

U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden in a July 4, 2009 file photo.

KHALID MOHAMMED — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, will kick off a gathering of North Carolina veterans for Obama Monday in Fayetteville.

Biden, of course, is the son of Vice President Joe Biden. The event will also include former U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, Rob Diamond, Obama’s veterans outreach director and Councilwoman Val Applewhite, a retired Air Force veteran.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Room, 109 Green Street, in Fayetteville.

Dalton stirs base

At district Democratic conventions across North Carolina on Saturday, a letter from Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton was read to party activists.

“Pat McCrory and the Republicans in the legislature are trying to erase over 100 years of North Carolina’s progress led by our party,” Dalton wrote in the letter. “We created the first public university, the nation’s best community college system, a commitment to our children through Smart Start, and cutting edge research like RTP.”

“If they remain in power,” Dalton wrote, “they will continue to kill jobs, destroy public education, attack women, limit voting rights, and destroy natural resources.’’

Dalton team adds new spokesman

Walter Dalton’s campaign recently switch press wranglers, adding Schorr Johnson, a former communications director from the lieutenant governor’s office, to the team.

Johnson, a former N.C. Democratic Party spokesman, will serve as communications director for the campaign. He fills the void left by Pearse Edwards, who returned to his private consulting firm in Greensboro. Edwards said he promised to work through the primary and planned all along to leave after it was completed.

Johnson is one of many lieutenant governor staffers to make the move, including campaign manager Caroline Valand and deputy campaign manager Derwin Dubose.

Ballantine returns

Patrick Ballantine, a former GOP candidate for governor, has returned to Raleigh as a lobbyist.

Ballantine, who lost to former Gov. Mike Easley in 2004, is lobbying for aluminum giant Alcoa, Lorillard Tobacco, Universal Leaf Tobacco and a group called Advocates for Free Commerce. His new firm is Ballantine Co. Ballantine was elected Senate minority leader in 1999 when he represented New Hanover in the legislature. He resigned his Senate seat in 2004 to focus on his run for governor.

Hagan sponsors bill

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan introduced a bill last week that would cut down on the paperwork small businesses must complete in order to apply for federal grants and contracts.

The Greensboro Democrat says the Small Business Common Application Act would encourage small businesses to seek new opportunities they’d otherwise avoid. According to a 2010 study from the SBA Office of Advocacy, it costs small businesses with less than 20 employees more than $10,500 per employee to comply with federal regulations.

John Frank, Rob Christensen, Lynn Bonner and Franco Ordonez

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