The steno pool at the N&O must have blisters on their footsies judging from today's Under the Dome. They've been out pounding the pavement to report some interesting news and *surprise* none of the items are Puppetmaster talking points!
With a month to go before the November elections, there are some bad signs for North Carolina Republicans. A new poll shows veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor of Brevard is trailing former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, 51-40. Things have gotten so bad that Taylor has agreed to a campaign debate for the first time since 1994. Incumbents who are running strong often shy from debates.
In North Carolina's 8th District, Democratic challenger Larry Kissell is in a dead heat with Republican U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, according to a survey by OnPoint Polling and Research.
I still don't think Heath has anything to gain from debating the old windbag. Taylor is a born-again liar who will say anything and do anything to make voters think he cares about his district. Up Chuck cares about Up Chuck. That's all there is to say.
John Edwards has signed on Howard Dean's Internet guru. Matthew Gross, who now lives in North Carolina, will go to work for Edwards' One America Committee. Gross made his name as director of Internet Communications for Dean's 2004 presidential campaign, helping him raise more than $25 million online. Gross worked as Internet coordinator for U.S. Senate candidate Erskine Bowles' campaign in 2004.
Good move, Mr. Edwards. Let us know if you want so local color, so to speak.
And finally, this news about occasional BlueNC blogger, Mark Kleinschmidt. Mark is now the new executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative, a legal group that recruits young lawyers to defend those facing the death penalty.
Kleinschmidt, 36, who also serves on the Chapel Hill Town Council, began Oct. 1. Previously, Kleinschmidt was a staff attorney with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, representing death row defendants on appeal and advising trial attorneys handling death row cases.
Interesting stuff. Kudos to the Dome crew for getting out and talking to someone besides John Hood.