Under the Dome

Art Pope and David Koch get a party in Tampa

From staff reportsAugust 26, 2012 

Raleigh businessman Art Pope and David Koch will be honored at a reception at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Americans for Prosperity will hold the reception Thursday, the day Mitt Romney makes his speech, entitled “A Salute to Entrepreneurs Building America.”

Koch, chairman of AFP Foundation, is a New York businessman who, with his brother Charles, owns Koch Industries, a conglomerate whose companies include Georgia Pacific. Pope, AFP chairman, owns Variety Wholesalers, a retail chain that includes Roses and Maxwell stores.

Politico reports that Pope has maxed out possible donations to the Republican National Committee, but it’s impossible to say how much he has given to other nonprofit groups that don’t disclose their donors.

Marshall, Goodwin square off

Voters got a glimpse of the candidates for secretary of state – Republican Ed Goodwin and Democrat Elaine Marshall – at a Thursday night forum in Raleigh.

The League of Women Voters and the N.C. Center for Voter Education put on the event to turn attention to the down-ballot race and to help people better understand the state office tasked with spurring economic development.

The 50 or so in attendance at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hall were allowed to ask questions, and they ranged from simple – why are you running and what does secretary of state do – to whether state lobbying rules need to be changed.

There were a few interesting exchanges – including one on lobbying law where Marshall said she wanted lobbyists’ compensation made public but Goodwin said the laws are fine now.

There was also contention on how the secretary of state should interact with business leaders.

Marshall said she is on the road often, meeting with county leaders and interested parties from an array of sectors. Goodwin has often claimed during the campaign that he would go to each of the state’s 100 counties, talking to managers and businesses along the way.

In his closing remarks, Goodwin took issue with Marshall’s attendance at an Occupy Raleigh event. Goodwin said the group “advocate(s) for the overthrow of government and is a “redistributionist organization.”

A woman in the crowd responded – “no they don’t” – but Goodwin insisted he was “disrespected and disgraced” by Marshall’s attendance.

Because of the rules set for the forum, Marshall could not respond to the crowd, but she said in an interview after that it was a “cheap shot,” and she pointed out that she has also attended tea party events and often speaks to North Carolinians with a wide range of views.

No debates between the candidates have yet been scheduled.

You can watch for yourself at http://VoterRadio.com/2012 or online at Dome.

Absentee ballots ready Sept. 7

The national party conventions will take the spotlight for the next two weeks, but another important date is approaching.

The State Board of Elections is scheduled to have absentee ballots ready Sept. 7, two weeks from now and one week from the end of the Democratic convention. And at least one advocacy group already is prepping.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit whose political arm is opposing President Barack Obama, is distributing a flier asking people to mail ballot requests to them with a pre-stamped postcard. (“We’ll get it to the Board of Elections,” it says.) The card is blank, but AFP gives a guide on how to make the request.

“Let your voice be heard first,” the flier says. “It’s easy, quick, safe and patriotic.”

It’s not all that hard to request one yourself. You or a “near relative” just needs to send a note to the board of elections. Here’s the information needed:

• Request statement such as “I am requesting an absentee ballot for the _______ Election on [insert date].”

• Name of voter

• Address of voter

• Address where ballot should be mailed (if different from residential address)

• Voter’s date of birth

• Contact phone number

• Requestor’s name, address and relationship to the voter (if making the request on behalf of the voter)

• Signature of voter or near relative

A near relative is a spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent or stepchild. If a relative is making the request, that person’s name, address, phone number and relationship to the voter should be included.

The address: N.C. State Board of Elections, P.O. Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

Military and overseas citizens can email or fax in their request to: UOCAVA.ABSENTEE@sboe.state.nc.us or 919-715-0351.

Staff writers Rob, Christensen, John Frank and Austin Baird

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