Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Uh, Senator, you forgot to pay .....

It didn't take long for candidates to leave North Carolina after the May 6 presidential primary. All they left behind was a few bills.

Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton racked up nearly $61,000 in debts to N.C. vendors during April, according to a new report filed this week. That doesn't include earlier, unpaid debts such as the $800 owed Charlotte's Stonewall Jackson VFW Post for hosting Bill Clinton in March.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama reported only one N.C. debt in April: $4,620 to AT&T in Charlotte. That was part of the $2 million in total debts he reported. Clinton has $19.5 million.

Republican Sen. John McCain, by contrast, reported no debts at all.

Clinton incurred five N.C. debts during April, including $1,383 to UNC Charlotte and $24,865 to Total Event Production, a Charlotte company that provided lighting, sound and staging equipment for 20 Clinton campaign events in the run-up to the primary.

Company president Mark Levi says he's confident he'll get paid.

"You're always worried about it until the money's in the bank," he says. "But I don't have any reason at this point in time to be overly concerned."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meck Dems: Filling a vacancy and looking for a clarification

Six months after state Rep. Pete Cunningham resigned, Mecklenburg County Democrats are finally ready to nominate a successor to the longtime Charlotte lawmaker.

Democrats are scheduled to meet May 28 to nominate Kelly Alexander Jr. for the seat. Alexander won the May 6 primary over Mary Richardson. He faces Republican Gary Hardee in November, but the district is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Once recommended by his district's party executive committee, Alexander has to be appointed by Gov. Mike Easley. That's considered a formality.

Alexander would join a House already in progress. Its so-called short session started last week. But he isn't waiting. He'll meet with House Speaker Joe Hackney in Raleigh in Tuesday. He doesn't want to lose any more time.

"The train," he says, "has already pulled out of the station."


Party chairman Joel Ford says he expects Sen. Dan Clodfelter may also use the occasion of the May 28 meeting to clarify remarks he made in an email.

With a subject line that said "Disaffilate me," Clodfelter took issue with state party chairman Jerry Meek's endorsement of Barack Obama a day after Obama swept the N.C. primary.

"I do not wish to be associated with the party in consequence of this endorsement," Clodfelter wrote. He said later he was frustrated with email blasts from the party and piqued by Meek's endorsement. Clodfelter is a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Ford said he hopes Clodfelter clarifies his comments.

"People did take it as anti-Obama," he said.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards to endorse Obama

A week after North Carolina's primary, Democrat John Edwards is about to endorse Barack Obama.

An Obama spokesman confirmed this afternoon that the former U.S. senator from North Carolina will endorse Obama within the hour in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Obama won Edwards' home state by 14 points. The N.C. victory, coupled with Hillary Clinton's narrow win in Indiana, has proved to be a tipping point in the campaign.

Shortly after Edwards dropped his own candidacy in January, Obama and Clinton both visited his home in Chapel Hill. But despite weeks of speculation, he declined to endorse either. Until now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Democrat Clodfelter: 'Disafilliate me!'

State Sen. Dan Clodfelter, a Charlotte Democrat, wasn't in a particularly good mood Saturday when he sent this email to the state Party:

"Subject: Disaffiliation

"...please remove me from all membership rosters, e-mail lists, contribution solicitation lists, and any other associations with NCDP.

"My wife informs me that Jerry [Meek] has today publicly endorsed Obama for president. I do not wish to be associated with the party in consequence of this endorsement."

Clodfelter says his aim was to get his name off mass email lists, including those of the party. But he also had a moment of pique following Meek's endorsement of Barack Obama. Meek, a superdelegate, made the endorsement after Obama's 14-point victory in last week's N.C. primary.

"He should have stayed neutral until all the primaries are done," Clodfelter says. "He’s the state chairman."

Clodfelter supports Obama's rival, Hillary Clinton.