The News & Observer Raleigh, NC
Monday, July 19, 1999
Under the Dome
George W. Bush will visit Triangle for major fund-raiser
Wade Rawlins Staff Writer
‘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
* * *
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.”