A North Carolina operative is behind a secretive new political group that is targeting six U.S. Senate elections across the country.
America Continues launched a targeted radio ad campaign last week that accuses the incumbent Democratic senators of persecuting the Catholic Church stemming from a battle about the new federal health care law requiring coverage of contraception. The Democratic senators are Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
The organization is registered as a N.C. company and its principal is Sam Hassell. He also runs a political nonprofit called America Foundation, another N.C. company, that earlier this year launched a two-minute video detailing a fictional scenario where President Barack Obama suspends his campaign. The firm, like America Continues, is a nonprofit that doesnt disclose its donors like other political committees.
Hassell, a web marketer, is best known for owning two firms that helped produce a super PAC called Winning Our Future that supported Newt Gingrich in the GOP presidential primary.
Rogers catering to both sides
As co-chair of the Charlotte Host Committee, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was in some ways a face of the Democratic National Convention. He also arranged Dukes $10 million line of credit and gave $10,000 to Barack Obamas campaign.
Now hes helping one of North Carolinas top Republicans. Rogers is hosting a fundraiser at his Eastover home for House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius. Tillis expects to use the money to help elect other Republicans to the state House, where hes trying to build a super-majority.
Lt. Gov. candidate airs story
Linda Coleman, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, started running a TV ad on Saturday.
Its partly autobiographical with an education theme. Coleman, who faces Republican Dan Forest in the race, will run the ad through Election Day in the Wilmington and Greenville/New Bern markets. The campaign is trying to raise money to expand to other markets.
Commerce official to lead restaurant/hotel trade group
A high-ranking official in the N.C. Department of Commerce is leaving her post ahead of a change in administration.
Lynn Minges starts Dec. 3 as president and CEO of the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, one of the largest and most influential trade groups in Raleigh, one with significant interests before the state legislature.
She worked in the commerce department for 20 years, most recently as assistant secretary for tourism, marketing and global branding.
Minges, who lives in Raleigh, is a Bladen County native and graduate of Peace College and N.C. State University.
How is the Debra Goldman controversy playing among voters? Consider this exchange from Saturday.
Two state GOP volunteers went canvassing in a Wake Forest neighborhood, knocking on doors of Republican supporters, encouraging them to vote. A woman answered the door in her pajamas. After she said she supported Mitt Romney, she asked:
What are you doing with that lady, the woman asked the volunteers. The one theyve got that big controversy over. Im just wondering if you have a substitute for her.
The volunteers didnt know what to say.
Staff writers Lynn Bonner, John Frank and Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer
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