George W. Bush Will Visit Triangle For Major Fund-Raiser

The News & Observer Raleigh, NC

Copyright 1999

Monday, July 19, 1999

News

Under the Dome

George W. Bush will visit Triangle for major fund-raiser

Wade Rawlins
Staff Writer

Overheard

'Don't bring a $3 billion bond package to us in the last two weeks
of session. And don't try to figure out a loophole around the
people. Other than that, it was a great plan.'

Rep. Connie Wilson, a Republican from Charlotte

* * *

POLITICAL scorecard

The UNC bond package. Since the state Senate passed a $3 billion
bond plan, university leaders gradually have reduced the package to
$810 million in an effort to win House support.

An AG and AG wanna-be. A bill to curb predatory lending practices
that was backed by Attorney General Mike Easley, a Democratic
gubernatorial candidate, and state Sen. Roy Cooper, a Rocky Mount
Democrat running for attorney general, won final passage.

Corporate welfare. The legislature passed a $55 million tax break
for DuPont to build a Teflon factory in Bladen County and tax credits
of up to $6 million a year to cigarette makers Philip Morris Cos. and
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. based on the volume of their overseas
exports.

* * *

Texas Gov. George W. Bush will make his first campaign foray into
North Carolina next month with a major fund-raiser for his GOP
presidential effort.

Bush will hold a $1,000-a-person event at the Sheraton Imperial
Hotel in Research Triangle Park from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 26,
according to Bush organizers, who think this will be one of the
larger fund-raisers in state history.

Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer and Jim Culbertson, who heads Financial
Computing Inc. in Winston-Salem, will be chairmen of the statewide
event.

Also on hand will be Bush's three North Carolina campaign co-
chairs: U.S. Reps. Cass Ballenger, Walter Jones and Sue Myrick, and
honorary state chairman Lauch Faircloth, a former U.S. senator.

Bush, who has raised a record $36.25 million for his campaign, is
the front-runner in the GOP presidential primary.

* * *

Cooper amasses war chest:

Sen. Roy Cooper has amassed a formidable campaign war chest of
$602,613 in his bid for the Democratic nomination for attorney
general next year, making it one of the largest raised at this stage
for a Council-of-State race.

His contributors have ranged from liberals such as Chapel Hill
lawyer Adam Stein to conservatives such as Lewis Holding, chairman of
First Citizens Bank. Among those who gave the maximum $4,000 to the
campaign were House Speaker Jim Black, Senate leader Marc Basnight,
Greenville lawyer Tom Taft, Rocky Mount businessmen Steve and Jerry
Wordsworth, Sen. Tony Rand, Texas oil man Walter Davis and his wife,
Joanne, Fayetteville physician William R. Jordan, and Raleigh
contractor Fred Mills.

Cooper also lent his campaign $100,000 on June 30, the closing day
of the reporting period.

* * *

Easley and trial lawyers:

Attorney General Mike Easley has picked up the support of several
key leaders of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers in his bid for the
Democratic nomination for governor next May.

"We can't emphasize enough how critical it is that we support
Mike," said a letter signed by such trial lawyer heavyweights as Wade
Byrd,
Doug Parsons, Howard Twiggs and Robert Zaytoun.

"If we split our support among the candidates, this election may
be disastrous to our clients and our practices," they wrote in a
letter to fellow trial lawyers dated July 7. "One viable candidate
for the Republican nomination is Chuck Neely, a tort-reform advocate
who opposes trial lawyers in general. Neely and his supporters will
work hard to make sure that our tremendous successes in the 1998
elections are not repeated."

Neely's campaign was delighted by the Easley fund-raising letter.

"In politics you are known by your opponents," Neely wrote. "As
the only true conservative in the Republican primary it is no
surprise that the liberal trial lawyers are opposing me."