The political year included its share of odd stories and not-so-flattering headlines. Here’s a look at the top 5:
1. @GovBevPerdue makes a splash: A Twitter parody account for Gov. Bev Perdue (real handle: @ncgovoffice) caught a number of national media outlets looking silly. MSNBC and Huffington Post were among those fooled by the account that has steadily mocked all things Perdue. The account is labeled as the “first female governor of North Carolina, and probably the last.” The background image, and often point of discussion, is Bojangles’ Bo-Berry Biscuits. Nonetheless, HuffPo in May quoted the faux Perdue as apologizing to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for a quip the real governor made after the state approved an amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. During the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC was caught sleeping when they aired some of the fake Tweets on live TV.
2. Oh, frack! Mistaken vote approves major legislation: Democratic state Rep. Becky Carney made a mistake to remember. In a July vote to decide whether to explore the possibility of allowing hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina, the Charlotte Democrat voted in favor of the bill by mistake. Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis would not let Carney change to her apparently intended vote, which is sometimes allowed, and it ended up being the deciding factor in an override of Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the bill.
3. Fear, loathing and Debra Goldman: Hunter Thompson would have enjoyed covering the state auditor’s race. He couldn’t have made up a stranger narrative than Debra Goldman’s real life campaign aimed at unseating Democrat Beth Wood. Goldman, a Republican member of the Wake County School Board, was hit with the year’s most memorable October surprise – the revelation that in 2010 she had suggested to Cary police that fellow school board member Chris Malone had stolen $130,000 worth of jewelry and cash from her home. Those police reports, delivered anonymously to The News & Observer in October, also suggested a “personal and physical” relationship between the two married (not to each other) politicos.
4. Auditing Beth Wood’s closet: Wood was decisively re-elected over challenger Goldman. But between her previous campaign and the one in 2012, Wood was hampered by lingering debt. She took to Facebook and eBay to auction away family heirlooms to retire the debt.
5. Boos in Blue Heaven: Perdue had a rough year. At a UNC basketball game in January she was booed by a contingent of loud people, a Bronx cheer that would usually be reserved for Duke. It reflected another not-so-great headline from June: most unpopular governor in America, according to the Democratic Public Policy Polling. She lost her title to Illinois’ governor in late November but still ranks among the lowest.
Staff writers John Frank and Austin Baird
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