A look at how the parties party

The Sunlight Foundation is tracking the other kind of political parties.

On its new “Political Party Time” Web site, the open government advocacy group is tracking invitations to fundraisers for members of Congress.

For example, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr held a “Breakfast with Burr” Wednesday morning at a Washington Krispy Kreme. Snagging a seat at the sugar-coated table cost political action committees $500, or they could pay $1,000 to be a host.

Individual attendees were encouraged to pay “whatever you can afford.”

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, meantime, favors Charlie Palmer's steakhouse. Receptions to benefit her have been held there on April 24, July 20, July 30 and Aug. 5 of this year. Hosts have included former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, Sen. Jon Kyl and the International Paper PAC.

You can use the site's “Partyfinder” to look for politicians' events at http://politicalpartytime.org/reueriynueouiye

(Raleigh) News & Observer

New leader for Indigent Defense Services

The N.C. Office of Indigent Defense Services will have a new executive director in December: veteran defense attorney Thomas Maher.

Maher replaces Tye Hunter, the office's founding executive director, who plans to retire. Since 2006, Maher has been executive director for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham. He is a 1982 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill's law school and was admitted to the N.C. bar in 1985.

Maher was one of the attorneys who represented Michael Peterson, the Durham novelist who was convicted of murder in the death of his wife.

The 2003 trial was televised nationally.

Lawmakers created the office in 2000 to oversee legal representation for indigent defendants and others who may be entitled to legal services under state law. Maher will make $123,022 a year.

(Raleigh) News & Observer