Under the Dome

Once moderate, McCrory sides with tea partyers in opposition to Agenda 21

June 7, 2012 

Pat McCrory sent a tweet at the state GOP convention that drew little attention: “Proud to support @NCGOP’s resolution against Agenda 21.”

With his statement, the moderate Republican mayor staked his flag with the most conservative members of his party and the tea partyers who believe the United Nations endorsement of sustainable growth, public transportation and open space policies is part of an international conspiracy.

McCrory endorsed a resolution calling Agenda 21 “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering and global political control.”

But it seems to contradict his tenure as mayor. “(Our critics) are saying that smart growth is bad,” McCrory said at a Charlotte planning retreat in 2004, according to The Charlotte Observer. He was referring to a policy that emphasizes pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and redevelopment of older areas. “But what they don’t understand is without smart growth, we have no growth in the future, because we won’t be able to get permits,” McCrory continued.

McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said McCrory is “firmly opposed to the United Nations’ Agenda 21 and proudly supported the North Carolina Republican Party’s resolution against it.”

Asked if it contradicts his record, Diaz added: “Clearly the Agenda 21 goals are wildly different from actions Pat promoted as mayor. For instance, the light rail funding was decided by a ballot initiative that was voted on by the people of Charlotte, versus some sort of government edict.”

Travel released, taxes not

McCrory released travel records from his 14 years as mayor Thursday, seeking to elevate the issue of transparency in the governor’s race.

“Pat had a long record of openness and transparency, routinely providing emails, documents, and other records to the public and media,” McCrory’s campaign said in a statement.

But the issue is a double-edged sword for the Republican nominee, given his adamant refusal to release his tax returns as Democrat Walter Dalton did earlier this year.

Candidates are not required to release their tax returns, but Democrats have pounded McCrory on the issue for months, saying the public deserves greater transparency given his work for a law firm that does lobbying work in Raleigh. McCrory is not a lawyer and says he’s not doing lobbying work.

“It’s clear that Pat McCrory thinks he can distract people by ‘releasing’ records that are already public,” said Democratic Party spokesman Walton Robinson. “I would like to reiterate our call for Pat McCrory to release his tax returns and his client list to the people of North Carolina so that the citizens can know exactly who is paying him and exactly where his real interests lie.”

McCrory’s campaign is also highlighting the candidate’s pledge to release a daily schedule if elected, something Dalton said he wouldn’t do.

PAC disburses $321,600

Ten state legislators will benefit from a $321,600 advertising campaign planned by a new super PAC backed by business-interest money.

The Carolina Business Coalition Education Fund in a June 4 report filed with the state Board of Elections said it had received $350,000 in May from the Carolina Business Coalition, whose board membership include executives from Dole Foods, Reynolds American, a former BB&T executive, a former GlaxoWellcome CEO and the textile company Glen Raven Inc. Former Gov. Jim Martin is also on the board.

The new independent expenditure committee indicated it had spent $321,660 on the 10 incumbent members of the General Assembly, all but one of whom are Republicans. The amounts to each candidate range from $2,754 (to the sole Democrat, Sen. Michael Walters of Hoke and Robeson counties) up to $61,128 for Sen. Neal Hunt of Raleigh.

Other Triangle lawmakers who benefited include Rep. Tom Murry of Morrisville ($44,415) and Rep. Mike Stone of Sanford ($7,164). In the $45,000 range were Rep. Bryan Holloway of King, Sen. Jim Davis of Franklin, and Rep. Tim Moffitt of Asheville.

So-called super PACs can raise and spend unlimited money to help elect or defeat candidates, so long as they don’t coordinate their efforts with candidates’ campaigns. This new super PAC was first reported on by BlueNC.com, a liberal website.

New Obama ad

The re-election campaign of President Barack Obama has gone up with a new ad called “jobs” that calls on Congress to pass his jobs plan. It pushes a plan that Vice President Joe Biden plugged in Winston-Salem on Wednesday that calls for cutting taxes for small businesses that hire or raise wages and for companies that bring jobs back home, for expanding refinancing for homeowners, create a veterans jobs corps, and invest in clean energy manufacturing.

Besides North Carolina, the ad is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Here’s the ad: http://bit.ly/LxAnvk.

Staff writers John Frank, Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen

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