As with every recent presidential election, cash is getting spent at a record-setting clip.
Conventional wisdom suggests the 2008 record will be shattered in the wake of the Supreme Courts decision in Citizens United, with political action committees driving much of the uptick in campaign spending.
But Barack Obamas campaign is doing its part to keep the trend alive. He is dropping $77 million to grab up additional broadcast ad time starting Friday and running through election day, according to CNN.
Of that amount, $7.65 million will go buy ads in North Carolina, which has already been swamped with ads from both sides. The move brings Obamas total ad buys this election cycle to almost $190 million, with the following breakdown showing a continued focus on battleground states in his most recent buy:
• Colorado: $7,025,120
• Florida: $13,355,226
• Iowa: $7,315,224
• Nevada: $4,939,620
• New Hampshire: $4,939,620
• North Carolina: $7,647,844
• Ohio: $19,533,433
• Virginia: $11,582,49
Romney urged to stay mum
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldnt release any more tax records.
If I were him, I wouldnt do it, Burr said. Hes fulfilled exactly what the requirements are.
Romney has come under pressure from Democrats to reveal more than two years worth of his taxes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused Romney this week of not paying taxes for 10 years, a charge Romney denied.
The fact that Romney hasnt released more of his taxes shouldnt lead people to concur hes hiding something, Burr said.
Hes probably lived exactly by the letter of the law, he said. To chastise him would be to chastise all of us who actually have taken a deduction when its offered to us.
Burr said hes also been asked if he would release his taxes, which he has no plans on doing and does not think its peoples business.
I think he pays a pretty good amount of taxes, Burr said of Romney. I pay a pretty good amount of taxes. Id be concerned about the 51 percent of the American people who have no federal tax obligation. Thats whats scary.
Obama to sign Lejeune bill
President Obama will sign a bill on Monday to give health care to thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, according to a White House official.
The signing will occur during a signing ceremony at the Oval Office. The time of the ceremony and guest lists had not been released over the weekend.
Jerry Ensminger, who helped lead the fight to get health care for those who were exposed said he was invited and plans to attend. Part of the bill is named after his daughter who died of a rare form of leukemia in 1985 at age 9. Its been a long time coming, Ensminger said. But like I said before, this is not the end. I got a lot of kick left. I want the truth. There is still a lot were not being told.
For years, the bill failed to gain needed momentum. But last month the Senate and House passed the measure after their respective Veterans Affairs committees agreed on a bill, introduced by Burr, that would provide health care for people who lived or worked at the Marine Corps base from Jan. 1, 1957, through Dec. 31, 1987. They also must have a condition listed within the bill thats associated with exposure to these chemicals.
Burr, who along with Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat and Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, long sought to convince members of Congress to provide health care for the sick Marines and their families.
Ex-House speaker blasts GOP
State House Democratic leader Joe Hackney said he finds it hard to believe that the GOP is trying to take credit for raising the high school graduation rate during the year and half they have been in control of the legislature.
After firing more than 6,000 educators in the past two years, Republicans are now unbelievably trying to take credit for the remarkable improvement in our states graduation rate, Hackney, the former House speaker, said. North Carolinas graduation rate has improved 17 percent since 2006 as a result of long-term effort and investment in education. This years rate passed an important milestone, but it is part of a six-year trend, not an overnight improvement.
He continued: Dropout prevention is the product of many years of effort, often beginning in middle school or earlier. Under Democratic leadership, our state invested in dropout prevention programs and improvements to public education that have resulted in these tremendous gains. Astoundingly, Republicans this session abolished the successful Dropout Prevention Grant program, an innovative program that put small grants into community-based dropout prevention efforts across the state. This legislature has stepped backwards on public education, yet it now wants the public to believe that cutting $650 million in funding has somehow strengthened our schools. Their efforts have diminished public education in North Carolina and unless reversed will continue to damage public education for years to come.
Staff writers Austin Baird,
Franco Ordoòez and Rob Christensen
Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.