Under the Dome

Political novel inspired by John Edwards

cjarvis@newsobserver.comJune 20, 2012 

Rielle Hunter’s soon-to-be released tell-all memoir and former aide Andrew Young’s 2010 inside account aren’t the only John Edwards-inspired books on the market. In August, an ex-staffer’s novel will be published.

Bridget Siegel, who was a young finance director for the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign with vice presidential nominee Edwards, has written “Domestic Affairs.” According to the publisher, Weinstein Books, the novel is “full of all the scandal and back-room dealings that go into raising money for a presidential campaign.

“It also features an affair with a very married Southern candidate.”

Terry McAuliffe, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, contributes a blurb (“a fun, provocative read”), as does author Jeffrey Frank (“Bridget Siegel has probably spent too much time in the company of politicians, but her reward was to find enough material to write about her own presidential candidate: an adulterous Southerner with major-league hair, impressive blue eyes and great-sounding empathic ideals – in other words, someone who couldn’t possibly be based on a real person.”

TVs in lieu of payment

Officials with the N.C. Education Lottery accepted TVs and DVD players and lottery equipment from its primary vendor in lieu of payments to compensate for any down time in the system, according to an audit released Wednesday.

Under its contract with the state lottery, GTECH, the vendor, was supposed to pay penalties whenever its games and machines failed to perform. Over a five-year period, the lottery was supposed to assess $460,804 in damages. Instead of receiving that money, the lottery accepted $287,432 worth of goods and services, according to the audit.

The audit demanded that the lottery comply with state statues, verify the value of items received by GTECH and offset future payments to the company for the value of any items it received without adequate documentation.

In a written response to the audit, lottery chairman Robert Farris wrote that the practice was common in other states and that the auditor’s office did not question the issue during a 2009 audit.

“This report is basically a discussion of which accounting method is the best way to do it,” lottery spokesman Van Denton said Wednesday. “No money is wasted or missing. The equipment is being used every day to help us raise money for education.”

But Dennis Patterson, spokesman for the State Auditor’s Office, said the auditor’s office has a different view.

“When you’re just sort of bartering and not giving the money you owe, that’s money that’s not going into education,” he said.

Anti-Obama debuts in N.C.

A nonprofit conservative political group is buttressing efforts by Mitt Romney and a Republican super PAC to label President Barack Obama as “out of touch.”

Americans for Prosperity debuted a new TV ad in political swing states Wednesday – including North Carolina – that repeats Obama’s comment that the “private sector is doing fine.” (In fact, the ad puts the line on remix and repeats it three times.)

Dallas Woodhouse, state director for AFP, said the group spent $1 million to air the ad in all North Carolina TV markets.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama debuted two new TV ads Wednesday hitting Romney on tax and fee hikes in Massachusetts and his private sector work outsourcing jobs.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and John Frank

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