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Pittenger plans a power play

What would Robert Pittenger do as lieutenant governor?

In 1988, Republican Jim Gardner was elected to gavel sessions led by a Democrat-controlled legislature. They responded by stripping away much of the job's power, leading to the rise of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight.

At a debate Wednesday night, Pittenger promised that he would help ensure GOP ideas were discussed in the Senate if he was elected.

But with Basnight and Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand holding sway, that could prove tricky.

After the debate, Pittenger told reporters how he would operate.

He said that he would recognize more Republican legislators to speak on the floor, allowing them to make amendments. (Currently, some never get that chance.) To prevent those bills from being voted on, Rand would be forced to rule them out of order.

“Is he going to do that 20 times a day, four days a week?” Pittenger asked.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

‘Liquid Pleasure' at McCrory fundraiser

“Liquid Pleasure” does not sound like something a politician typically would want publicly plastered next to his name. Pat McCrory will be raising money with it.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign is playing host to a fundraiser at the North Hills shopping center in Raleigh tonight, and the band Liquid Pleasure is headlining the event.

The band is a regional group that plays Carolina beach music, Top 40 and a mix of standards. Twentysomething and thirtysomething supporters of McCrory floated the idea for the event to attract some of their peers, according to campaign officials.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

N.C.'s grade on campaign disclosures: B-

North Carolina has received a B-minus on campaign finance disclosure.

In a regular report card by the Campaign Disclosure Project, the State Board of Elections received higher marks on campaign finance laws and accessibility of its Web site. Last year, the state received a C-plus, and in 2003 it received a D-plus.

The state was graded well for requiring detailed information about contributors of more than $50, including occupation and employer data, as well as vendors used by candidates.

However, it received lower marks for its electronic filing program, which is required of statewide candidates who raise $5,000 or more but not legislative candidates.

North Carolina was ranked 23rd of U.S. states.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Easley pushes for control of offshore leases

As offshore drilling looks more and more like a possibility, politicians are trying to shape what might happen off North Carolina's coastline.

Gov. Mike Easley told the state's congressional delegation Wednesday that he wants North Carolina – not oil companies – to hold any leases that are put out for offshore drilling.

His comments come in the wake of a bill in the U.S. House that would open up the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. That bill, approved late Tuesday, was supported by nine of the state's 13 House members.

The federal government usually leases acreage to oil companies for several years, putting the leases out to bid and earning money both from fees and a share of oil revenues.

But Easley said North Carolina should get any leases – without paying the federal fees.

“North Carolina's intention is to maintain control over the exploration, drilling and production of this petroleum to guarantee that it benefits our people,” Easley wrote the delegation.

The House bill, pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lifts the congressional moratorium on federal offshore drilling.

(Raleigh) News & Observer
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