Dome: Innovative work site is stage for Massachusetts governor’s message

FROM STAFF REPORTSOctober 13, 2012 

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was in Raleigh on Friday afternoon, criticizing Mitt Romney’s record as governor and to press the point that President Barack Obama is better for entrepreneurs and education.

Patrick appeared with U.S. Rep. David Price, local politicians and businesspeople at a co-working space in downtown Raleigh.

“We are in this world in the midst of a knowledge explosion,” Patrick said. “We would be foolish not to double down on our investment in education, because we need everybody in order for us to compete effectively in the global economy.”

Industries depend on the concentration of brain-power, Patrick said. Many of those businesses start out small but turn in to “the next big thing,” he said.

“We have to invest in innovation.”

“Investment” translates into “spending” on a ledger, and the United States has had a budget deficit of more than $1 trillion for four years straight.

Patrick said Obama wants to take a “balanced approach” of budget cuts and increased revenue to cut the deficit.

“If all we do is cut, we don’t get growth,” he said.

Race in N.C. still a tossup

A new poll shows the presidential race in North Carolina continues to be a tossup.

The survey found President Barack Obama leading Gov. Mitt Romney 46 percent to 45 percent, well within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

The survey was conducted by High Point University with the support of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The survey of 605 voters was conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 10, an unusually long period, and occurred during the time of the first presidential debate, held Oct. 3.

The survey found a shift in the race after the debate toward Romney. Obama led among likely voters by 9 points before the debate, but Romney led 49-43 after the debate.

There was a 5.75 percentage point margin of sampling error for the pre-debate group, and a 5 point margin of error for the post-debate group.

The spin: “When we look at the apparent shift in the vote for president and the possible direction of President Obama’s approval numbers, we see that this race is not necessarily headed to an easily foreseeable conclusion,” said Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “We continue to see a consistently close contest that is nevertheless somewhat reactive to campaign events.”

Candidate’s affiliation changes

The candidate for the state House was startled to discover she’s a Republican, as far as the state voter registration online database is concerned. Not only is it not true, but Jenifer Bubenik is the Democratic candidate for state representative from Johnston County.

“I freaked out a little bit,” said Bubenik, a Clayton woman making her first run for public office, against longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Leo Daughtry.

Fortunately, her party affiliation will be correct on the ballot, she said. Bubenik said Friday that she went to the Johnston County Board of Elections to straighten things out.

She was told that someone had changed her party affiliation in the computer system within the past month, she said, but no one knows why or how. She filled out a new form.

Bubenik, who owns a small gourmet sausage ball catering business, said she registered to vote in 2010 upon returning to North Carolina from a stint in the Peace Corps.

“It’s upsetting,” she said. “When people who are on the ballot are getting changed, that’s dangerous.”

Earlier this month, a Raleigh woman’s affiliation was changed from independent to Republican when she submitted a change of address during a GOP registration drive.

She also discovered the error – or the intentional mischief – when she went online to find the location of her new polling place.

Tribe gives $90K to parties

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, now in the table-game gambling business thanks to the General Assembly signing off on it earlier this year, recently dropped $90,000 on both political parties.

The tribe has contributed nearly $1 million to political candidates over the past five years. In September, it gave $60,000 to the N.C. Republican Party and the N.C. Senate Republican Caucus, and $30,000 to the Democratic Party counterparts.

The resort and casino in Cherokee began running blackjack, roulette and craps in August. The tribe and the state signed a 30-year agreement that funnels a small portion of the revenue from the table games to the state.

The contributions were disclosed in a filing earlier this month.

Staff writers Rob Christensen and Craig Jarvis

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