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N.C. governor's race enters home stretch as N.C. primary day approaches

Posted May 4, 2008
Updated May 5, 2008

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— With Tuesday's state primary election approaching, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue headed east Sunday as she tries to wrap up the Democratic Party's nomination for governor.

Perdue and her rival for the nomination, State Treasurer Richard Moore, campaigned at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Durham.

"Durham is a place where grassroots politics are alive and well. There are a lot of very concerned folks here tonight,” Moore said.

"This is a group of tremendous community, faith-based and civil leaders.  So it is obviously a good place to end up on a Sunday because these folks are about the future, as I am,’ Perdue said.

Durham CAN, a grass-roots organization made up of congregations, associations and neighborhood groups, hosted the event. One of Durham CAN's biggest issues is the lack of decent wages in Durham.

"We all know that the end game is not the minimum wage. We have got to build those jobs, wrapped around 21st-century opportunities that do pay $30 or $40 an hour. That is how you create a new middle-class,” Perdue said.

"We were the first campaign to talk about free community college for two years. We were the first campaign to talk about senior property tax reform. We we were the first campaign to talk about raising the minimum wage again – real issues that matter to people," Moore said.

Perdue and Moore have spent nearly $16 million since 2005 to win the Democratic Party's nomination.

Perdue won an early key endorsement from the powerful N.C. Association of Educators and would become the state's first female governor. She has touted her 14-year history in the Legislature and seven more years as lieutenant governor, highlighting her efforts to raise teacher salaries and to protect the state's military installations during the 2005 round of base closings.

Moore counters with a resume that includes running two state agencies – the treasurer's office and the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, where he managed the state's response to Hurricanes Fran and Floyd. He has received national attention for his corporate accountability efforts on Wall Street, and the $78 billion pension fund he manages for state employees is rated among the healthiest in the country.

The top candidates for the Republican Party's nomination for governor were also out on the campaign trail this weekend. A recent poll showed State Sen. Fred Smith and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory essentially tied.

McCrory has focused on what he believes are shortcomings in the state's government, pointing out his own frustration with Gov. Mike Easley and lawmakers for failing to pass anti-gang legislation or spend more money on the courts.

Easley was barred by state law from seeking a third consecutive term.

Smith has chipped away at McCrory's record as mayor, accusing him of runaway government spending and failing to combat rising rates of crime in North Carolina's largest city. A developer, Smith built a following of social conservatives and activists during his 100-county barbecue tour and campaign concerts featuring country singer Lee Greenwood.

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  • keepitreal May 5, 2008

    wcnc-- ever hear of Mingo Creek in Knightdale? Most of his units are in Wake County, it's public record, stop arguing losing battles.
    Fred has these long term contracts with his other companies signed when he has a majority vote on the HOA, it's not a bad HOA it's a BS one. The contracts are put to a vote, but if 2 of your employees and your son in law had 3 of 5 votes. How is that not going to pass? Exactly as everyone has said- he does what is in Freds best interest not anyone else.

    WRAL was in Hedingham when he assessed the homeowners, no not technically him but the HOA board he controlled, and funny thing they also hired one of his companies, at an approximate cost of $25,000 to do the work that the city would have done for free.

    What divsion of Fred's companies do you work for because you sure sound like one of Fred's cronies?

  • keepitreal May 5, 2008

    It goes way beyond greedy developer. He is in another class.
    Look no further than his Hedingham subdivision. Started in 1992 and still building so he went through the boom where anything would sell. 1st 10% of homes 14-1600 square feet, next 20% of home 17-2000 square feet, next 5% 2000-2300 square feet. Buy now, get in early homes will be over 3000 square feet in back section past lake. Everyone in the front 1/3 heard this. He buried almost all remaining land in townhomes and rental apartments destroying property values of those who supported him and gave him his start early, he was on the verge of BK in these early years. His answer was he asked the board for permission to change style and size. He asked permission but did what was in his best interest not anyone else and had control of the board through appointees at the time
    He twisted this to bringing country club lifestyle to the wortking class- working mans hero.
    Get the whole story before you make a decision.

  • wcnc May 5, 2008

    "Most" of his development is NOT in Wake!! As far as I know, only Hedingham is in Wake. Ever heard of Riverwood?? That's in Johnston County!!

    There is probably NO builder in this state who does NOT employ illegal immigrants. That's why our houses do NOT cost what they do in the north under unions.

    "He also secretly had our HOA sign a contract with his own maintenance company for much above the market rate for 10 years"

    Then you have a BAD HOA!!! They obviously did NOT read what they signed, nor did they get several bids, so that is their fault, not his!!

    " I really hate to see crooks, thieves, and liars advance at the expense of others."

    Then I hope you're not voting for a Dem for Governor!! (haha!!)

    Tell you what, if you have all of this "proof", then have WRAL do an investigative story on Fred Smith.....Get it out there to be proven or not instead of making anonymous claims....

  • fredssmithisnotmysenator May 5, 2008

    Greed is just the tip of the iceberg, my friend.

  • Garnerwolf1 May 5, 2008

    You guys are beginning to convince me. Now, is he just your usual greedy developer, or does it go way beyond that?

  • fredssmithisnotmysenator May 5, 2008

    wcnc- i am hardly bitter nor am I looking for a handout. I have a very good job and am well compensated for my duties...so get over it. I really hate to see crooks, thieves, and liars advance at the expense of others. He's crooked...accept it and vote McCrory!

  • keepitreal May 5, 2008

    ncweathercraft
    I used to live in one of his communities and isn't it funny how anyone who has hands on experience with him has one opinion, and if he kissed your kid and gave you free lunch you have another.
    Wake up people and listen to experience. We looked through those rose colored glasses once too. He's a sweet talking soft spoken attorney- that should say enough. We're not saying it isn't a good story, but it's just that a story. Let us help you from making the same mistakes we did.
    Fred Smith is out for himself only, no one else.

  • NCwxguy May 5, 2008

    I live in a Fred Smith community, and have seen first hand how he makes money off the backs of illegal immigrants. He talks the talk but certainly doesn't walk the walk. CC Mangum, a company he owns, damaged the foundations of several homes when they had to do some blasting. When the neighbors complained, Smith's cronies ignored the complaints and dismissed the damage as "natural settling." He also secretly had our HOA sign a contract with his own maintenance company for much above the market rate for 10 years. Smith is a snake, pure and simple, and undoubtedly would perform similar shenanigans as governor. God help us if that should happen! Vote McCrory!

  • keepitreal May 5, 2008

    wcnc
    Most of his development is in Wake County and he ran in Johnston where most of the people he bait and switched couldn't vote. Let's see how he does in Wake County tomorrow! Why is his business successful? Define successful- move alot of units but almost no repeat business. If your idea of successful is 1 and done, then I guess he is.
    His developments have been in the media before. In 1996 after hurricane Fran his Hedingham development was on all 3 major stations as the only subdivision in all of NC to assess the residents a special assessment to clean up debris, and this is in the city limits of Raleigh. His company had control of the HOA and implemeted this within days of the storm to be paid within 30 days. He didn't want to wait for the city to clean debris and had residents pay the bill. Curiously enough his golf course got cleaned up as quick as the streets. Look through the news archives there is print and video proof of this story.

  • wcnc May 5, 2008

    "90+% of the people who have done business with him- bought from him, not sold him materials- would never do business with him again."

    If that is true, then:

    1. Why was he elected to the Legislature??
    2. Why was he re-elected to the Legislature??
    3. Why is his business succesful??
    4. Why has someone NOT gone to the media?? (The media would eat this up!!)

    Can you see why your numbers and "logic" make NO sense??? It just sounds like bitter grapes.....

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