1250 vs. 1110

If you're following the NC governor's race at all, you know that on the Democratic side, Richard Moore has picked up the intensity a lot. And with good reason, when candidates feed stuff to the mainstream media, reporters eat it up.

A quick Googly review (unscientific of course) shows about 1110 hits on the N&O site for Perdue, and 1250 for Moore. My back-of-the-envelop chronological search shows a big increase in recent hits for Moore, not so big for Perdue. The lesson in this? Reporters will write whatever you're willing to tell them.

On the Republican, the numbers are way out of whack:

Bob Orr: 638 hits
Bill Graham: 729 hits
Fred Smith: 3310 hits

Of course, Fred Smith has been running for Governor ever since he grew up in an orphanage, so no surprise there. Interestingly, the "sort by date" analysis suggests that Orr's anti-incentives drumbeat has been good for a bump in the news coverage over the past few months. In any case, the same lesson for dealing with the media applies: if you spoon-feed, they will slurp.

We're probably a few weeks away from Perdue officially declaring. It'll be interesting to see if the gloves come off - and how the numbers of hits move on both sides of the aisle.

Comments

Keep in mind

The three elected officials (Smith, Perdue, Moore) have a significant structural advantage when it comes to generating news coverage. Still, it's a little weird that Smith has been able to attract so much fawning.

Pounding away for Fred?

Still, it's a little weird that Smith has been able to attract so much fawning.* A

Naw! That's Fred internet wiz Nathan Tabor pounding away since he has yet to find a job in politics. Nathan! Take a break kid! Did you know that you can catch Aids from pounding a keyboard 24/7. It's not a republican circle jerk Nathan!

Media Cooperation

It should be noted that Moore is notorious for not being cooperative with reporters.

If anything, I'd say Moore garners more hits based on the numerous cases of questionable dealings he's had involving the state pension fund.

As for the Republican hits, I've got no explanations better than what has already been said.

Moore hasn't had questionable dealings

with the state pension fund. It's one of the top three rated funds in the entire country. Folks have tried to find dirt and can't. Nice of you to spew the Republican line there Gideon.

As for feeding the press.....um....there's that whole coal miner's daughter shtick that Bev does for the press....only she was the coal mine owner's daughter. That one backfired when she pulled it out and dusted it off this past year for the CharO.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Dirt

Folks have tried to find dirt and can't.

As you well know, dirt is in the eye of the beholder. If the Perdue campaign decides to go on the attack after she announces (I hope they don't, by the way), things could get really nasty, with more than enough dirt to start a family farm.

oh, lawd.

I am not looking forward to that race and right now I have no intension of touching it with a ten foot pole. I'm still miffed one of 'em didn't have the gumption and foresite to see the "Send Liddy home to Kansas" race coming up and go for that. I think right now the best we can hope is that the race doesn't get so nasty that it qualifies for a state grant to erect a huge methane capture system over whole thing.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I'm with you on that one, Leslie.

Actually, I will be delighted should either one of them wind up in the Governor's office. I sure would like to see some one take on Elizabeth Dole.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

From your lips

to God's ears, Jerimee. Perhaps we should all add the race to the prayer lists at our respective houses of worship.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Questionable Dealings

I look at it like this: Moore's campaign has profited quite well from his status as state treasurer, and I wonder if that is good for the state.

Many of his contributions have come from people outside North Carolina doing business with the state pension fund. Is that illegal? No, it isn't. However, the fact that it's legal doesn't make it good either. At the least, it's something that is reasonable to look at closely.

I maintain that "questionable" still describes the situation. But it strikes at the normal troubles with money and politics.

Moore's campaign hasn't profited from him being treasurer

any more than most office holders profit from their office. He's fought against conflicts of interest in corporate dealings; after Perdue's campaign pushed this story, news outlets from Forbes to the N&O tried to find any unethical dealings our Treasurer may have had. There weren't any. He's fought many times for accountability from companies in which our state has interests as a shareholder. What are you even accusing Moore of doing? He's built the pension fund up to its current place as second in the nation, and we're right on the heels of Florida. He's been completely above malfeasance, and nobody has suggested otherwise.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

The Point

I think you mistake my point.

The state treasurer is charged with protecting the pension fund. And while it has flourished under Moore, he's also raised a good bit of money from people that do business with it. This isn't really an unusual type of practice for office holders, but I question whether it should be done by the state treasurer.

He's the steward of every state employee's retirement, and taking campaign money from people doing business with the pension fund could cause a conflict of interest. I'm not accusing him of having one, but I am questioning whether that sort of practice should occur at all. It is dangerous to even have the possibility of something so important being swayed by political considerations -- it sets a bad precedent, even if Moore is completely innocent.

Personally, I think the state treasurer needs to be an appointed position.

That's an entirely different point than "questionable dealings".

If you think the state treasurer position needs to be appointed, then that should have been what you said.

But you said:

I'd say Moore garners more hits based on the numerous cases of questionable dealings he's had involving the state pension fund.

There's not much to misunderstand in that statement, my friend. In fact, your statement pretty clearly says that Moore has had questionable dealings involving the state pension fund. Anyone who follows NC politics and business even a little bit knows that no matter which side of the aisle you come down on, Richard Moore has been one of the best State Treasurers in the country. We've been lucky to have him. You get called on it, and you claim you were misunderstood: it's because you think he shouldn't raise money from people he knows and with whom he does business. Then you say it's because you think the state treasurer's position should be appointed.

I'm calling bullshit. You know it's bullshit, and everyone here, whether they support Purdue, Moore, Munger, or Adam's Housecat for Governor knows it's bullshit.

Every politician in the country raises money from people they know and with whom they do business. You can't have it both ways. If it's not good for one, it's not good for any of them. The thing is - as voters - we're allowed to contribute to candidates we support, as long as we stay within election laws. I've contributed to candidates who are not running in NC, because I thought they'd be good for the country. I've contributed to candidates in states where I used to live because I still care about those places.

As for the state treasurer being appointed or not - that has absolutely zero to do with Richard Moore's campaign for Governor. So far as we know, he has done nothing illegal to become State Treasurer, he has acquitted himself extremely well in that position, and is now running for a different office. There is not anything more questionable about that than there is about any other politician who holds one office and is running for another.

/rant off


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Thank you, Linda

I was trying to respond to this and couldn't be nice, so decided to wait. You said everything I wanted to say...but without the potty mouth. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You should have seen what I deleted. :)

Definitely NC-17 for language.

I haven't decided who to support for Governor, but I hate smear stuff that's false, no matter who it's directed at or by whom.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

hehehe....I can imagine!



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

This is

one of the times I wish I could hit the recommend button on a comment.

It is a work of art, isn't it?



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks for the Backup

I was out taking NASCAR journalists to the airport and visiting Vote Against Repeal HQ.

An aside for any Charlotte people out there - Vote Against Repeal has the most dangerous campaign office ever. Price's Chicken Coop is right next door, making me wonder how Pat Mumford gets any work done ...

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Appointed vs Elected

IMO, one of the reasons NC has historically enjoyed good government is because the voters retain control over so much of the executive branch.

I have become convinced in recent years that we have to take the money out of the electoral process. The General Assembly recently passed legislation to publicly finance the campaigns for Insurance Commissioner, State Auditor, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. That legislation should have included, at the least, Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Labor Commissioner as well.

For those who argue that nobody pays attention to these races and thus the electorate is ill-informed I leave this comment from Jefferson:

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but inform their discretion."

I know only one response to that.

Word.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Things that Make you Go ... Hmm....

I think the state treasurer needs to be an appointed position.

Why?

Who does the appointing?

For the sake of argument, let's say it's appointed by the Governor. To make it interesting, let's say we get someone loverly elected as Governor - oh, I don't know, let's just use Fred as an example.

Would you want him to appoint someone?

What a wonderful opportunity to reward a crony - put them in charge of the State's henhouse. Voting for a position isn't a guarantee of great results (look around) but appointing isn't always a wonderful thing either.

If it ain't broke - don't fix it.

My .02 indexed to nowhere ...

Lovely analysis for 6 in the morning, Unique.

How anyone is even awake enough to make a cogent statement at that hour is beyond me. :)

I"m not thrilled with judges having to campaign for office, but at least that's technically non-partisan. The state treasurer is essentially in charge of my money (at least, the money I pay in taxes, which gets spent on the state's business, which is, as I see it, my business.)

I want some kind of say so into who is performing that function. If it's not an elected position, then I would want them to have to go through a confirmation process with the legislature, rather than the Governor simply appointing his buddy. Even if it isn't "someone loverly" like Fred -- that process could take weeks. Meanwhile, the state's business would be overseen by bureaucrats who might be good at their job, or might not be. They might be trying to curry favor should the appointment fail. They might be trying to make de facto policy while there is no one over-seeing the process.

No - I'm with you on this one. Leave the people to decide this one. We obviously chose well with Richard Moore - we can be trusted to do it again.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Lesson learned

As an early Perdue supporter, I have been trying unsuccessfully to walk a line of objectivity here at BlueNC - in this case by reporting some data about news coverage. What's clear is that any discussion about the race runs the risk of degenerating quickly. Lesson learned.

As I've said all along, either candidate would be a fine governor of North Carolina. And as I've also said, it's maddening that we're even having this primary in the first place. But having it we are, and there's no sense pretending it's all going to be goodness and light.

So here's how I see it:

From my reading of the polls, Perdue likely has a sizable lead over Moore at this early stage. That probably accounts for her not being in a great hurry to officially declare - and may also explain Moore's stepped up activities. When you're behind, there's nothing like poking at the front-runner to get attention. It seems to be working.

I think both are executing smart strategies at a high level. All eyes will be looking at Perdue for signs and signals when she announces in the next few weeks, and how she comes out of the blocks will set the tone for the rest of the campaign. I hope she takes the high road, but we all know that it's going to be a tough fight.

Meanwhile Moore will have to be careful in his poking. His push-back on the NCAE endorsement process was a good move because he really had nothing to lose. Announcing some new ideas this week about education was also smart, though the ideas themselves were not especially interesting in my opinion. The attack on Perdue's pro-choice credentials was stupid.

Not very many people are paying attention yet, which means most of this is inside-baseball stuff that won't make much difference among the electorate. But it does make a difference among the media, who are always looking for controversy to cover. It also makes a difference in fundraising. To the extent Perdue is seen as the likely winner, in-state funding will be easier to come by - which could force Moore to make contributions from out of state interests a higher priority.

A

PS All of this makes me very glad I'm not running for something or working on any campaigns. When we get fed up, at least we can walk away and forget about it for a few days.

Objectivity is extremely difficult if you've

already determined your preference. :)

I haven't determined who I will or should support in the Gov. race. Perdue hasn't said enough for me to make any kind of comparison. Moore has some decent ideas. Munger has some decent ideas. (Did y'all just here that rumbling? It was my father, rolling over in his grave. I said something nice about a libertarian. :) )

I just plan to push at anyone who plays obvious games.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

If you restrict your search terms to exact phrase

It's "Beverly Perdue" 1110, "Richard Moore" 1150. If you do LexisNexis of the N&O for all time, and you search for one without the other, Bev leads 543 to 535.

Reporters won't do whatever you tell them, and Moore is actually having a hard time getting his message out there since most papers won't cover something policy-related unless there's an opponent to get a response from.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Sam

you're sounding more and more like a campaign staffer - or at least someone with inside information. How do you know Moore is having a hard time getting his message out? It sure doesn't look like that from my little corner of the Tubes.

A

By the way, if you search Perdue on the Googly across all time, you get 9.5 million hits. Moore is 126 million. Go figure.

I don't have much info that's really "insider"

But anybody could figure it out by working the rooms at Democratic events and looking at which campaign releases and apperances the press picks up, and which ones they don't - and frankly, the Dome blog doesn't really count. You need statewide coverage in a statewide race. And you know I'd announce it if I had any agreement with any campaign and I started writing about that campaign.

Politics is full of BS, whether it's true believers being spoonfed the good stuff before a canvass or two staffers talking shop while watching the World Series at a bar in October. So my personal view is that if I'm going to comment on politics, I'm going to talk to the first, third, and fourth estates as much as possible in addition to reading stuff like the Dome and Nexis feeds ... and hope that my epistemological iteration is the best.

By the way, "Richard Moore" is a more common name than "Beverly Perdue"

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

My point exactly

:)

I'm not sure I'd say the Dome doesn't count. From what I can see, all the Capitol Corpse Reporters (and other political writers) read each other every day, especially those who blog on the side. Binker. Johnson. Leslie. Beckwith. That's how the agenda gets set statewide . . . just watch how the stories migrate . . . it's easy to see.

Smear

Don't confuse my opinions for anything other than that. I just think we're lucky so far to have treasurers who have been responsible. I still call the whole matter questionable -- and Moore's dealings fall into that category, they are questionable. Don't confuse what is moral with what is legal. I'm sorry if you don't like the phrasing, and you're free to call it bullshit if you like.

As for how to actually fix the problem of money affecting politics -- and I think the treasurer's post is particularly susceptible -- I'm perfectly willing to hear other suggestions, because I do think the system is broke.

Public financing and limited campaign times.

I think it would fix most of what ails the broken system.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I'll agree with that.

Though plenty of people call public financing a waste of taxpayer money, it's probably the only real solution.

I've been thinking on the appointment suggestion I made earlier, and I'll admit that it may be a bit much. But a cooldown period -- like the one imposed on lobbyists/legislators -- might be worth looking into for Council of State posts.

Moore's not really taking heat for taking donations from people he deals with. That's normal political practice. He's taking heat because he's running for governor while controlling something tied directly to people's futures. Even the appearance of a conflict (which is what the media has been highlighting, and Moore's critics have been attacking) is something to cause worry.

I like Moore -- and I think he's one of three candidates that would do a good job as governor. But any treasurer with his sights set higher than his current post is going to take heat for taking donations from people working with the pension fund. It's simply an office that needs to be above political considerations moreso than many others.

I don't disagree that a Treasurer running for another office

is in a difficult position. Personally, because of how well Moore has done as Treasurer, I don't have as much of a problem with it as I would if this were a hypothetical situation. (And I'm not backing Moore - or anyone else at this point.)

Public campaign financing would cost taxpayers money - especially if campaigns were endless the way they are now. I think they already cost us money in lost productivity when our elected officials must begin campaigning almost immediately after they are elected. That's why in my perfect world, public campaign financing would also be tied to a limited campaign period - 3 months to the primary, then no more than 6 months between the primary and the general election. The public already owns the airwaves, let the airwaves be used to disseminate information about candidates without cost to the campaigns who agree to public financing. Make that a part of the FCC licensing. I don't care if the TV stations would complain...this is my perfect world, we're talking about. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Cui Bono?

Yesterday, continuing today, our gubernatorial campaigns took off the gloves. From the Under the Dome blog:

"Moore has had months of bad press about his pay-to-play fund raising and about his questionable ethics in his office," said David Kochman, Perdue's campaign spokesman.

Jay Reiff: “Since Mr. Kochman is new to North Carolina, he may not be aware that his candidate is the one who has been under SBI investigation not once, but several times.”

Both have been doing this surreptitiously for months. One of these candidates will need the other in June. One of these candidates will need to govern for four, possibly eight years. The state, the party, and the progressive movement will continue to need the talent and skills of both individuals.

CUT IT OUT!

Please. (sighs prayerfully)

Well said.

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I'll second that.

Maybe if enough of us tell them they don't need to play this game, they'll stop.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi