A look inside the campaign finance reports filed late last week shows why Republican Pat McCrory is dominating the money race: Walter Dalton started the general election with nothing in the bank.
The Democratic candidates primary contest with Bob Etheridge and Bill Faison cost him just about everything in his campaign account. Dalton entered 2012 with $590,000 in the bank and raised $887,000 in the primary. But he spent roughly $1.5 million to win his partys nomination.
At the end, Daltons campaign spent what it took to win, including about $670,000 for a television commercial and another approximately $70,000 for direct mailings to voters. In the same amount of time, he raised just $230,000.
McCrory raised $2.2 million, more than double Daltons $1 million in the second quarter. It helped McCrory continue to build his campaign coffer to $4.4 million at a time when Dalton is starting from scratch. The money will give McCrory more resources to get his message to the voters in the 2012 election.
McCrory, by contrast, faced no credible challenger in his primary election. And his 3,200 donors in the second quarter doubled the number of contributionsDalton got and approximately 80 percent gave more than $1,000.
The 175 donors who gave the maximum $4,000 contribution for a combined $700,000 in the second quarter represented one-third of McCrorys overall donations.
The good news for Dalton: His big-donor pace is strong. Dalton raised $320,000 from 80 donors who gave the max, the same rate as McCrory. The problem for Dalton is he just doesnt have as many donors 1,500 from late April through the end of June.
The Republican and Democratic candidates are getting roughly equal amounts of support from their respective state parties and various political action committees, with those groups giving each about 6 percent of their total haul.
McCrory also is spending big money. Like Dalton, political consultants and media production costs are his biggest line items. McCrory paid Smart Media, a video production firm, $410,000 in the second quarter. His fundraiser with Jeb Bush also cost a pretty penny: $8,100 for a private jet and a $11,251 catering bill at Angus Barn.
Supreme Court race
The second most watched race in North Carolina after the presidential race may not be the governors race, but the N.C. Supreme Court contest, says veteran GOP strategist Carter Wrenn.
That is because the race between GOP Justice Paul Newby and his Democratic challenger, appellate court Judge Sam Ervin IV, could tip the balance of the court. And that could decide the legislative redistricting case that will likely be heard by the court next year.
So if Newby wins, Republicans in the House and the Senate keep their districts and, the way they see it, control of the legislature for the next decade, Wrenn writes in his blog, Talking About Politics. The Democrats have figured out the same thing in reverse Ervin winning and throwing out those Republican districts may be their last hope of winning the State House or Senate for years.
So every one of North Carolinas 170 state legislators eyes are riveted on one race and the super PACs are forming. Republicans already have an elect Newby Super PAC and the Democrats cant be far behind, Wrenn wrote.
For more read www.talkingaboutpolitics.com.
Bills awaiting action
Things have been pretty quiet in the governors office since the legislature left town earlier this month. But on Friday there was a flurry of activity as Gov. Bev Perdue signed 38 bills.
At last count there were 20 bills still on her desk awaiting action. If she doesnt sign or veto them by Aug. 2, they become law.
Most arent controversial, although a coalition of environmental groups is pushing Perdue to veto three bills: HB819, the controversial sea-level rise bill on coastal development; HB953, delaying cleanup of polluted lakes and streams, including Jordan Lake; and SB229, a bill they say weakens the states ability to deal with water pollution.
Perdue singled out SB444 as one of Fridays favorites. It authorizes construction of several UNC projects, with employment estimates of 4,500 to 4,700 people during construction.
Other bills increased the penalty for second-degree murder and brought the state into compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling finding unconstitutional mandatory sentences of life without parole for minors convicted of first-degree murder. The new law set a maximum 25-year term before parole eligibility.
Staff writers John Frank, Rob Christensen and Craig Jarvis
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