Myrick asked to help defend Palin if needed

Rep. Sue Myrick is standing by.

The Charlotte Republican is one of a few dozen people appointed to serve on the “Palin Truth Squad” in the event of “false attacks, rumors and smears” against the GOP vice presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Myrick said she hasn't been tapped to actually serve yet, but feels somewhat certain there will be cause to at some point before the November election.

“One side tries to kill the other,” she said of political campaigns. “It's very unfortunate that's life today.

“I hope we can get to campaign on all levels without all the nastiness that usually prevails. It's disturbing to me.”

Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign said it put together the truth squad after reading that Democrats were sent to Alaska to investigate Palin after she was picked as McCain's running mate.

Myrick said she isn't sure why the campaign put her on the team but suspects it's because she's a vocal Palin supporter.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, and several other members of Congress and state officials also are on the go-to list to defend Palin in the media.

Burr says he's gotten many requests for Palin

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., says he's never been so bombarded with requests for appearances.

But he's not the one who is in demand. N.C. groups want to hear from Palin.

“I could not begin to tell you how many events (and) venues in a week that I've been asked to try to get her to,” Burr said.

The veep nominee will make it to North Carolina eventually, Burr said, but it will be difficult to compete with more competitive states for her time.

“It's hard for me to overcome what the Obama campaign says, but North Carolina is not in play,” Burr insisted. “It's tougher to get candidates away from the battleground states. If North Carolina were a pivotal state, Barack Obama would be there once a week.”

Watt's committee to review mortgage settlements

The mortgage settlement process will come under review in a hearing chaired by Rep. Mel Watt this week.

The Charlotte Democrat will review a controversial proposal by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to change settlement fees and other home purchase procedures.

Half the House has urged HUD to withdraw the rewrite of the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act, saying it's too confusing.

Watt is chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.

Spratt calls Carol Fowler's comment ‘outrageous'

Rep. John Spratt had to distance himself from both Don and Carol Fowler in the past couple weeks.

The York County Democrat first found himself responding to a video, shot by a passenger, that showed an exchange between Spratt and Don Fowler on an airplane following the Democratic convention in Denver.

Fowler, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, joked that Hurricane Gustav would strike land just as the Republican convention was starting, demonstrating that “God is on our side.” Fowler told The (Rock Hill) Herald that it was a reference to the Rev. Jerry Falwell's suggestion that Sept. 11 attacks were God's retribution for abortion and other sins.

Fowler apologized, and Spratt said he wasn't even wearing his hearing aid when the comment was made “in jest.”

Spratt was a little more forceful in distancing himself last week from Fowler's wife, Carol, chairwoman of the S.C. Democratic Party, when she suggested that Palin's “primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion.”

“I cannot believe that Carol Fowler made such a statement, and I want to make it clear that she speaks for herself, and not for me or the Democratic Party,” Spratt said in a press release. “Her statement about Governor Palin is outrageous and wrong, because Sarah Palin's qualifications are quite evident. She is the mother of five children who has been elected mayor of her town and governor of her state, and she has shown herself to be an effective public speaker and an energetic campaigner.”

Fowler apologized for her comment, saying she was clumsily trying to make a point about single-issue voters to the Capitol Hill publication Politico.

Parker has a story for his family

Keith Parker, chief executive officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System, was in Washington last week talking about the growing demand for public transportation in the region.

He told senators he'd have a story to tell when he returned home, too.

Parker was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and was sitting on the same witness panel as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Dorothy Dugger, general manager of the San Francisco rapid transit system.

“It's a tremendous day as the father of two girls to sit at a table with Sen. Clinton, next to Ms. Dugger, and being introduced by Sen. Dole,” he said. “What a great story for me to go home and tell my daughters.”