Posted on Wed, May. 05, 2004

Ad campaign defends Morgan's cooperation

Raleigh Bureau

Allies of N.C. House Republican Co-Speaker Richard Morgan have organized a new political committee and scheduled statewide radio commercials starting today praising Morgan and the GOP leadership in the House.

"It is because of strong leaders like Speaker Morgan," House Majority Leader Joe Kiser, R-Lincoln, says in the ad airing on talk radio stations today, that "Republicans were able to shape a legislative agenda that focused on finding real solutions to real problems."

Kiser did not vote for Morgan as co-speaker last year.

The ads attempt to highlight accomplishments under Morgan's stewardship and draw attention away from a split among House Republicans. Morgan, whose original dozen allies have grown in number, has been at odds with a majority of Republican House members on most contentious votes since last year when he and Democrat Jim Black of Matthews were elected co-speakers. The duo has led a coalition of all 59 Democrats plus Morgan's Republicans.

Morgan said he wants Republican voters to hear about achievements made by "working in a spirit of cooperation and progress."

"I don't think the public has heard that yet," Morgan said. "They've just heard from the folks that want to advance gloom and doom and don't have any vision for the future."

The N.C. Republican Mainstreet Committee is an issue advocacy committee, commonly called a "527" in recognition of the tax code that allows such organizations. The groups do not have to disclose donors and can run ads promoting or criticizing a candidate but are prohibited from explicitly calling for a candidate's election or defeat. The group may not coordinate with a campaign.

2004 Charlotte Observer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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