Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Edwards N.C. supporters back Obama

Sen. John Edwards' former national campaign chairman heads a list of Edwards' supporters endorsing Sen. Barack Obama.

Ed Turlington, a Raleigh attorney, joined reporters on a conference call this afternoon announcing their support of the Illinois senator two weeks ahead of the N.C. primary.

"I do hope what we're doing today is a symbol of what many people who supported Sen. Edwards will do," Turlington said.

He was joined by state Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro and headlined a list that includes former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, Charlotte City Council member Anthony Foxx, former Democratic chairman Wade Smith and cabinet secretary Libba Evans.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hillary coming to Charlotte

Democrat Hillary Clinton will campaign in Charlotte on April 28, eight days before North Carolina's presidential primary.

The New York senator is scheduled to attend a campaign event at The Square uptown and then a fundraiser at the home of businessman Cameron Harris. One co-sponsor of the fundraiser: Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman of the Bank of America.

It will be Clinton's first visit to Charlotte since a fundraiser last May.

Harris, a former chairman of the Mecklenburg County Democrats, is leasing office space to the Clinton campaign in Charlotte. He's not bothered by the continued sniping between Clinton and her last rival, Barack Obama.

"I'm probably one of the few people who believes this has been great for the Democratic Party," he says.

VIP seats for Clinton's Monday appearance cost $250. Other seats are available for $44 and $20. General admission is free. Gates to the event at The Square at Trade and Tryon Streets open at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rankings, rasslin' and a survey

New effectiveness rankings for N.C. legislators are giving ammunition to at least one Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

Greg Dority says he'll use rival Robert Pittenger's ranking against him. Pittenger was ranked 49th in the 50-member Senate by the non-partisan N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, which bases its rankings on surveys of lawmakers, lobbyists and reporters.

"If a guy can't hack it in the state senate, what makes him think he is qualified to be Lieutenant Governor?," Dority said in a statement.

The rankings are skewed to Democrats, who control the General Assembly. Only four Republicans, for example, cracked the top 25 most effective senators.

"95 percent of all legislation passed is by democrats," Pittenger wrote in an email. "They don't allow republicans to passed their legislation. Condidering the (partisanship), I was very effective."

Here's how Charlotte-area lawmakers ranked:

SENATE (50 members)
3. David Hoyle, D-Gaston
4. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg
6. Walter Dalton, D-Rutherford
9. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus
18. Charlie Dannelly, D-Mecklenburg
37. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston
42. Eddie Goodall, R-Union
43. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg
45. Austin Allran, R-Catawba
49. Robet Pittenger, R-Mecklenburg

HOUSE (120 members)
17. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg
20. Drew Saunders, D-Mecklenburg
24. Martha Alexander, D-Mecklenburg
37. Joe Kiser, R-Lincoln
41. Jeff Barnhart, R-Cabarrus
48. Debbie Clary, R-Cleveland
53. Beverly Earle, D-Mecklenburg
56. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland
61. Karen Ray, R-Iredell
62. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus
75. Pete Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg
85. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg
89. Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba
92. Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg
95. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg
101. Bill Current, R-Gaston
103. Mark Hilton, R-Catawba
107. Wil Neumann, R-Gaston
109. Ric Killian, R-Mecklenburg
115. Jacob Blackwood, R-Union
117. Jim Gulley, R-Mecklenburg

------ 'WOOOO!' Myrick

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick got up in Congress recently and talked about wrestler Ric Flair and his "dreaded Figure Four Leglock." She also tried his trademark yell. Check it out.

----- NYU Survey

New York University student Matthew Schottland asked for help on a survey aimed at "understanding voting behavior from a psychological perspective." It's funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

To take the survey, click this link.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bob Johnson: Ferraro right on Obama

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama wouldn't be leading his party's presidential field if he were a white freshman senator, Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson said Monday.

Johnson's comments, in interviews with the Observer, echoed those former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro made in March.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she said, just before the resulting firestorm forced her to step down as an adviser to Obama rival Hillary Clinton.

"What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant (is) if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called 'Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote? And the answer is, probably not.

"Would he also start out with the excitement of starting out as something completely different? Probably not. He would just be a freshmen senator ...

"Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair trigger on anything racial. It is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

N.C. presidential debate finally set?

Sen. Hillary Clinton has accepted an invitation to debate in North Carolina on April 27. The debate will be held in Charlotte or Raleigh.

Her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, hadn't responded to the invitation but had agreed to an earlier request to debate in the state.

“We had proposed a debate in North Carolina before the 22nd of April," said Obama spokesman Dan Leistikow. "Apparently, the Clinton folks vetoed that. We haven’t made a decision whether the later date fits into our schedule.”

The N.C. Democratic Party and CBS News today formally invited the candidates to debate either at the N.C. Blumenthal Center in Charlotte or at N.C. State University.

The move comes weeks after CBS proposed an April 19 debate in the state. The Obama campaign accepted. The Clinton campaign never committed.

The proposed debate would come four days after the Pennsylvania primary and 10 days before North Carolina's contest.

"We're working closely with both the campaigns, and while we don't have commitments yet we're very hopeful and excited about the possibility of a debate in North Carolina," said state party spokeswoman Kerra Bolton.

The invitations, signed by party chairman Jerry Meek and CBS News President Sean McManus, come a week after a group of Charlotte-area college presidents invited the candidates to debate at the Blumenthal.