Under the Dome

Dome: GOP lawmaker apologizes to Tillis

May 1, 2013 

Republican state Rep. Larry Pittman apologized Wednesday to House Speaker Thom Tillis for questioning his conservative credentials at a recent tea party forum.

“While we do still have some disagreement about process, I have done damage to his reputation in a manner in which I did not consider at the time,” Pittman said in a letter released to the media from his legislative office. “I regret that this has damaged our friendship, and I ask for his forgiveness, not for the disagreement, but for the manner in which I handled it.”

In his remarks at the forum, Pittman, who is from Concord, suggested Tillis’ potential bid for the U.S. Senate was interfering with legislation. He said conservative bills were being deemed too controversial and not getting approved.

“It was my intention to let the folks know that it is not that I have not tried to move the gun rights legislation they were expecting from me, but that the bills were not being given a hearing,” Pittman wrote in the letter.

Dockham caught speeding

Winston-Salem Journal columnist Scott Sexton reports that state Rep. Jerry Dockham, a veteran legislator from Davidson County, copped an attitude when stopped by a Winston-Salem police officer for speeding.

Sexton writes: “Dockham was clocked at 52 in a 35-mph zone about 11:30 p.m. April 6 on Peters Creek Parkway. He wound up getting a ticket for driving 44 mph, nine miles over – a standard on-the-spot reduction. ... But according to four sources familiar with the situation, including three who have seen the videotape, Dockham, 63, got huffy with (Cpl. Richard) Necessary by adopting a posture that, while not abusive, could be described as pompous and self-important.” A bit of “Do you know who I am?”

Sexton was told that Dockham asked the officer for his name and badge number, which the officer provided.

Dockham didn’t return Sexton’s calls for comment. Maybe he was too busy in Raleigh, where this week Gov. Pat McCrory appointed him to the N.C. Utilities Commission, the state judicial panel that decides rate disputes and other matters.

Tax plan coming

Senate Republicans could debut their tax plan as early as Thursday, but don’t expect the House to stand at their side. Rep. David Lewis, the lead House tax negotiator, said Tuesday they still haven’t found complete agreement. “The two chambers are not yet on one accord,” he said. Lewis said he’s optimistic the two sides will still unify around a single plan. He wouldn’t identify the sticking point, but it is likely how to pay for the plan – with the Senate wanting to tax dozens of new services and the House wanting a more modest approach.

Rove headed for Charlotte

GOP uber-strategist and TV pundit Karl Rove will address the N.C. Republican Party convention in June.

Rove will be the special guest at the banquet June 8 at the Westin in Charlotte. “He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy,” said Robin Hayes, the state party chairman. “We are honored to have him as a guest in North Carolina and look forward to hearing him cast a vision for making our party stronger and better.”

Rove is visiting one of the few bright spots for Republicans in the 2012 election.

Staff writers John Frank and Rob Christensen

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