Saturday Morning Post

Crazy week in NC politics. Crazy.
The scrambling continues after Bev Perdue’s announcement. Lt. Guv Walter Dalton is in because, as someone said, that’s what Lt. Guvs do. Bill Faison is fixing to run as well.
Both gentlemen need to step up and state their positions on the marriage amendment as does everyone planning to get into the race. One thing Perdue’s decision did was guarantee a lot more voters at the polls during the primary. That changes the equation for the marriage amendment vote, which would have taken place when the primary was almost exclusively a Republican event. Now, with soon-to-announce Pat McCrory looking like he’s avoided a serious primary challenge and the likelihood that Romney will break Newt in Florida, there’s a significant shift of energy toward Dems in the primary. If Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx gets in the race that energy level will rise even higher because it will draw in significant numbers of urban African-American voters. U.S. Rep Brad Miller is also being encouraged to consider a run.

Here’s a couple of NC links for the am on this lovely day:
Shuler? Anyone?
– The NAACP national leadership is going to be on Jones Street on February 11 for HKonJ.
Howard Coble says he’s running again
– Rep. Larry Pittman, who was recently appointed to fill a vacant seat, says he’d like to bring back public hangings and includes abortion doctors with the folk he’d string up;
– Via Progressive Pulse – Turns out Stephen LaRoque , co-sponsor of a recent pro-billboard bill, owns some billboards.

Faison announces run for governor

Statement from Rep. Bill Faison:

Representative Bill Faison announces gubernatorial bid — January 28, 2012
The future of our children and our State depends on a healthy economy, quality education for everyone and good jobs. For the past five months, I have traveled our State talking to folks about the issues that matter. I have debated Pat McCrory and the Republicans about jobs and education, and pressed the GOP Leadership for positive legislative action.
Since September, I have promoted a JOBS Plan supported by 70 percent of the NC House Democrats. This common sense solution will immediately put over 36,000 people back to work, including teachers, teachers’ aides, and employees essential to services we rely on in both the public and private sectors. Moreover, our plan focuses on a smart tax policy that encourages the 155,000 small businesses in our State to hire and promotes entrepreneurial job creation.
Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have been out of work since last summer. We are in an economic crisis. Working together, using good common sense and practical solutions, WE CAN FIX THIS.
I am the only elected official who has been actively out and about the State focusing on the issues that matter to everyone; jobs, education, the economy and energy. I have exposed the GOP Leadership in the General Assembly for wasting our tax dollars on the divisive social issues of a few in their party, rather than dealing with the economic issues affecting all of us.
Today, my kids and I announce that I am a candidate for Governor of our great State. I am here to provide the leadership you need to put our economy back on track, put folks back to work, and secure our kids education and future. We are excited to continue talking with folks all across our State about both the problems we face, and the best solutions that do the most good for the most folks. And when the talking is done, I want to get busy solving the problems. WE CAN FIX THIS.
Our State and our people need leadership. We need solutions that are practical and make good common sense, and then we need action to solve the problems that affect all of us. For months folks have been asking me to run for Governor. I have weighed and considered the needs of people across our State, the needs of my kids, the needs of your kids, the need for jobs, and the future of education in our State. Today I am answering the call to run for Governor with a resounding “YES”. I am in the race to win the Governor’s office for the people of our State. I am looking forward to working with you to achieve the best results that secures your economic future and that of your kids.
Representative Faison was first elected to the Legislature in 2005. Bill is a staunch supporter and advocate for jobs, education and health care. As a Single Dad, Bill knows how important it is to make good decisions now for results in the future. With three children in college and one in high school, Bill is focused on acting now to secure the future for all of our children. As a legislator, he has championed rural high-speed internet access and in his role as Chairman of the House Democrats’ Business Caucus, he has taken on the issue of rising unemployment in NC and is calling for a JOBS plan for the State, with a challenge to the GOP Leadership.
For information on the JOBS plan, supported by 35 of his colleagues in the NC House, and a policy agenda for education and energy, go to www.BillFaison.com

Hagan on Perdue’s decision

You may recall the two served together in the NC Senate. Another email:

GREENSBORO, N.C. — U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today commented on Governor Bev Perdue’s announcement that she would not seek re-election.

“Governor Perdue deserves the state’s sincere gratitude for her many years of public service. During times of extraordinary economic stress and budgetary pressures, she continues to vigorously pursue priorities near and dear to the hearts of generations of North Carolinians, including expanding and improving education at every level and a tireless pursuit of new businesses and jobs for the state.

“I am especially heartened to hear she will devote her remaining time in office fighting to ensure that the children of North Carolina receive the affordable, quality education mandated by our state constitution.

“The Governor’s office plays an important role in resisting those in Raleigh who wish to abandon North Carolina’s well-earned reputation as a state with its eyes firmly and pragmatically on the future. Whether the issue is access to the ballot box; a commonsense jobs-creating business climate; robust support for our military and veterans and their families; or the guarantee of a first-rate education, the Governor’s office often provides a critical moderating counterweight to the backward-looking forces of extremism elsewhere in state government. North Carolinians will surely keep this in mind as they choose the next governor in November.”

Shifting sands

Maybe it was getting booed at a Carolina game or having to make the unemployment rate dropping below 10 percent seem like a harbinger of happy days ahead. Maybe it was the poll numbers, the impending announcement by Pat McCrory and having to listen to Skip Stam chortling about veto overrides. Or maybe someone from DC just said it’s over and she knew it was time to move on. Bev Perdue made the right choice. Fortunately, she went out swinging. If the remaining vetoes stand, she can claim to have held back some of the GOP’s legislative agenda. She’s held office in tough times. We’ll have no idea what she would have done had she a decent budget to work with.
Speculation about who will run is rampant. All kinds of names are being thrown around – The Lt. Gov, new Facebook board member Erskine Bowles, Brad Miller (who announced today he would not challenge David Price in the Fourth) and Bill Faison, who has 500K for something. Roy Cooper has already said no. It’s going to be a while before the SBI issue is resolved and I doubt he’ll do anything until that’s fixed.
This late in the game, someone with a lot of name recognition would be a big boost. I refuse to speculate except to say I think Dalton runs for Gov and Faison runs for Lt. Gov.
Miller is going to give it serious consideration and should. With extensive netroots connections he could probably moneybomb himself into a competitive position very quickly. He also has a heck of a record to point to on the economy, particularly Wall Street’s failures. Last time I talked to him he said he wanted to stay in congress to work on reform. Being governor of the state with the largest banks in the country and with financial rules and regulations that are badly in need of reform might be an attractive prospect.
The move was good news for Democrats because it takes away a major GOP talking point. They won’t be able to remind everyone of how unpopular Perdue is. On a national level it’s a boost for President Obama because it’ll be far easier to play team. Statewide, it’s opens up a new blood message that could really help with the other big state race of the year – control of the House.

Statement from Joe Hackney on Perdue’s decision

Just got this from Joe Hackney:

Gov. Perdue will leave office with a reputation as a good governor who managed this state through a difficult time. Despite the financial circumstances of our state, though, she kept a focus on education. She realized that education moves our state forward and moves our people forward. She never forgot that and it was at the core of her time as a legislator and in the executive branch. I am grateful for her service to our state and wish her well.

Email from Bev

Just got this:

Dear Friend –

Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina has been facing difficult economic times — demanding many difficult decisions. I have had to make painful budget cuts in important areas of government. But I believe I have
approached this challenge in a way that is consistent with my values and the values that have made our state a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I have spent my tenure in office – and, in fact, my adult lifetime — fighting for things that I care deeply about. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, I do not back down from tough fights.

But I understand this: We live in highly partisan times, where some people seem more worried about scoring political points than working together to address the real challenges our state faces. And it is clear to me that my race for
re-election will only further politicize the fight to adequately fund our schools. A re-election campaign in this already divisive environment will make it more difficult to find any bipartisan solutions.

The thing I care about most right now is making sure that our schools and schoolchildren do not continue to be the victims of shortsighted legislative actions and severe budget cuts inflicted by a legislative majority with the wrong priorities. Therefore, I am announcing today that I have decided not to seek re-election. I hope this decision will open the door to an honest and bipartisan effort to help our schools.

To those of you who have supported me throughout my years of public service, I will always be grateful for the confidence you have placed in me. In my remaining months in office, I look forward to continuing to fight for the priorities we share, by putting North Carolinians back to work and investing in our children’s future. To my children and grandchildren, and especially to my husband Bob, thank you for always being there for me – especially as I’ve weighed this difficult decision.

Thank you all, and God bless North Carolina.

Dalton’s views

In case you’re wondering about Walter Dalton’s views you can review his 2008 responses to Project Vote Smart‘s political courage survey. On the topic of abortion, which will surely be a point of scrutiny if he runs for Guv, he says it should be illegal after the first trimester, but he would not outlaw it in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s health was threatened.