This morning our own Southern Dem dissected the Party of Greed meltdown over who will replace the inept Ferrell Blount. The source of her information was this story in the Charlotte Observer which was written by Mark Johnson.
The Raleigh News and Observer's Under the Dome section this morning also covers the story, this one written by Rob Christensen and Andrew Curliss.
I must admit that I fully expected the two stories to be identical. The coziness of the papers, which are now owned by the same corporate parent, is unnerving. And it would have been easy for management to settle for running the same story in both papers. But they didn't. There's good and different information in both.
From the Charlotte paper, we learned that
Daves has the advantages of seven years as state vice-chair and her status as interim chair. But Sen. Andrew Brock of Mocksville and Guilford County Republican Party Chair Marcus Kindley also are running.
"They (Dole and Burr) were looking for somebody with business connections," said Brock.
From the N&O we get:
The senators have privately been floating the name of Bob Ingram of Durham, the former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company, according to GOP insiders. Ingram was national finance chairman for Burr's 2004 Senate campaign and also hosted a Washington gala for President Bush in 2002 that raised $30 million for the president's re-election.
There's one potential problem about the Ingram trial balloon. Like many corporate executives, he gives to candidates of both parties including to Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Jim Black, both Democrats.
The N&O also ties in a Tom Fetzer angle:
"The timing of Ferrell's resignation caught everybody off guard," said former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer, a political consultant who made overtures on behalf of the senators. "The senators, along with the Council of State members, were trying to get a little more time to assess the needs of the party and who could best lead the party."
So kudos to the papers for demonstrating independence in their reporting.
Beyond the media analysis, I'm thrilled by the possibility of Ingram and Fetzer teaming up with Dull and Brrrr. The NCGOP is backed into a corner of its own making and its leaders are turning to corporate interests in search of a bail out. More power to them. I'd love to have a rich retired pharmaceutical executive squarely in our cross hairs as the public face of the Party of Greed in 2008. Bob is a good guy and has contributed a lot to North Carolina, but he's also a person who helped keep George Bush in the White House in 2004. Jerry Meek vs. Bob Ingram. It's David and Goliath all over again.
The election in 2008 will build on the wave of 2006. It will be an epic battle between monied interests of the corporate elite and people-powered candidates like Larry Kissell. It is a battle we will win.