Election news in the Carolinas |

McCrory lawyer asks radio stations not to play Perdue ads

A lawyer for Pat McCrory wrote to N.C. radio stations asking them to stop airing an ad purchased by Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue's campaign.

“Negative Bev is willing to say anything to win this race even if she knows it's a downright lie,” said McCrory's spokeswoman, Amy Auth.

The ad repeats claims that McCrory opposes paving of rural roads and supported bringing northeastern garbage to the state. McCrory has denied those charges.

“To take Mayor McCrory's statements out of context and then build a patently false allegation is made in wanton and willful disregard of the truth,” the letter says. “This rises to the level of libel and slander as defined by the United States Supreme Court which meets the standard which can be established to sustain the burden of proof even in a suit brought by a public official.”

A representative for of the Perdue campaign referred to McCrory's letter as “a desperate stunt to hide the truth from voters.”

“The fact is,” said Perdue spokesman David Kochman, “he said he would have vetoed a bill that prevented North Carolina from becoming the dumping ground of the East Coast, and he said it was because of jobs and economic development. And the Durham Herald-Sun said he ‘questioned the state's policy of building paved roads to every North Carolina community.'”

Staff Reports

GOP accuses state senator of ethics violation

The state Republican Party is filing a complaint with the N.C. State Ethics Commission against state Sen. Janet Cowell over allegations that she used her state office for campaign business.

A former staffer for Cowell said that she had members of her staff contact a Dell computer lobbyist to fix a campaign laptop.

Cowell, a Democrat, faces Republican state Rep. Bill Daughtridge in the race for Treasurer. Cowell dismissed the claims as a last-minute partisan attack.

“I am shocked and disappointed that a disgruntled former employee who resigned half a year ago would make unfounded and untrue allegations three days before an election. These unfounded and untrue allegations are now being used in a desperate, last-minute partisan attack,” Cowell said.

Mark Johnson

McCrory panel members give to Perdue campaign

Two members of Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory's finance committee, including a former Republican U.S. Senator, gave $2,000 each to Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue's campaign.

Former U.S. Sen. Lauch Faircloth and William Prestage, owner of Prestage Farms in Clinton, each gave $2,000 to Perdue, a Democrat. Both men, who own hog farms, sit on the campaign finance committee for McCrory, the Republican nominee.

Faircloth gave McCrory $1,000 in June and another $2,000 in September, according to campaign finance records. Prestage gave McCrory $4,000 in June, the reports show.

The McCrory campaign didn't comment immediately. Faircloth did not return a message, and efforts to reach Prestage were unsuccessful.

“Even Pat McCrory's supporters are beginning to see that Bev Perdue is the right choice to move North Carolina forward,” said spokesman David Kochman.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Jay-Z, Chris Rock aim to draw N.C. voters

Jay-Z is coming to North Carolina to get out the vote.

The hip-hop star will make two stops today: at a location to be determined in Charlotte and N.C. A&T University in Greensboro on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Details at www.barackobama.com.

Also in Raleigh, comedian Chris Rock will host a “Vote for Change” rally for Barack Obama at Shaw University today. The event starts at 3 p.m., with Rock expected to speak at about 3:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Staff reports

Mary Easley hires lawmaker as a lawyer

N.C. first lady Mary Easley is using private money to pay state Sen. Tony Rand to be her attorney.

Rand, the Senate majority leader and a Fayetteville Democrat, has been representing Easley in her dealings with state Auditor Les Merritt, a Republican. A spokeswoman in the governor's office said Rand is not being paid with state funds.

Merritt released a report Thursday about two trips to Europe. In 2007, Easley and an assistant went to France. A year later, Easley and a delegation of state arts officials went to Russia and Estonia. The two trips cost taxpayers a total of $110,000. Merritt found that $45,000 worth of those expenses were unreasonable.

Merritt, who is seeking re-election, was criticized for releasing the report days before the election. He said it was only because he had tried for a month to ask Easley questions. Merritt released a list of his office's attempts.

The list shows that Merritt's staff and officials in the governor's office started trying to arrange an interview on Sept. 15. After agreeing to send questions by e-mail, Rand entered the picture on Oct. 10. On Oct. 13, Rand offered to make his client available. By then, Rand said, Merritt didn't want the interview.

(Raleigh) News & Observer