Under the Dome

For NC politicos, some comfort and joy

Republican Senators Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore, left, and Tom Apodaca, right, head to an afternoon session of a Senate Conference Committee.
Republican Senators Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore, left, and Tom Apodaca, right, head to an afternoon session of a Senate Conference Committee. NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

It’s no fun being a politico in North Carolina, what with a web of rules, laws, advisories and executive orders that pertain to the ins and outs of when, where and how state officials can accept a gift.

Basically, they can’t – and generally don’t. Lawmakers even place themselves on a “no gift” list at the legislature.

That won’t stop Dome, which is in the Christmas spirit this year, happy to fill up the stockings – even if virtually and theoretically. Good tidings!

For Gov. Pat McCrory, a jumbo pack of News & Observer swag: A comics umbrella, a North Carolina lighthouse poster, Under the Dome podcasts on a thumb drive, a Dome mug, and a life-time subscription to the digital edition.

For Senate leader Phil Berger, a new best friend. Berger’s bro, Sen. Tom Apodaca, is not running for re-election. There’s going to be an opening for a new consigliere.

More tickets to Disney on Ice for Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, for the times he needs to make more life-changing choices. Hartsell said he enjoyed seeing the performance with his granddaughter, which triggered his decision not to seek reelection to a 14th term.

For state Public Safety Director Frank Perry: A spy pen of his own.

For Renee Ellmers: Peace on Earth.

For Sen. Mike Woodard of Durham, a Johnny Cash songbook, so he’ll be prepared the next time Sen. Jerry Tillman ropes him into a late-night sing-along on the Senate floor.

And while we’re at it, a bigger gavel for the presiding officer in the N.C. Senate, to help prevent senators singing in the chamber.

For public school students: textbooks.

A board game for Duke Energy, environmentalists and state regulators so they can learn to play nice with each other. Otherwise, coal ash in their stockings.

For the video sweepstakes industry, new software one more time to keep a step ahead of law enforcement and politicians, who have almost eradicated the games in North Carolina over the past few years no matter how much they change.

For Thom Tillis: hand sanitizer, a nice stocking stuffer this time of year.

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