Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pantano Fund-Raising Letter Details Suit For Slander Against David Rouzer in 2008

Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM Blogmaster
April 25, 2012


Early voting has begun, and this race will be settled in days.
We can tell by the polls and the early voting turnout that we are going to win, but…COMPLACENCY KILLS.  That is a hard lesson that I learned in Iraq.
While we have the lead, let us not forget my opponent, Senator Rouzer, has relied on desperate measures in the past.  Rouzer attacked his last Republican competitor so viciously in his last primary that she sued him for slander. (see the details of the suit at the bottom of this email)
COULD IT HAPPEN AGAIN?  We will stay on guard and I ask you to forward any kind of last ditch attacks so we can respond rapidly.
That is why I am not taking any chances. I am asking you for help one LAST TIME.
We know that folks will do anything to win, and since my opponent Sen. Rouzer was sued for slander in his last primary, we are not taking any chances.  That wasn’t a Democrat Union boss that sued him for going over the top…it was a Republican woman!
Well this time my opponent has someone his own size to pick on, and I am relying on you, my 11,000 supporters to help us finish strong in these final days!
If you can dig deep this one last time, we will deliver you a victory you can be proud of for principles that you believe in.  Your gift of $20, $50 or $75 dollars will go a long way in ensuring a true conservative victory.
I would not be asking this last time if I did not sense something BIG was coming, so I am calling on you for help one last time.
I remain Semper Fidelis,
Ilario Pantano
PS, Did you know I am the only candidate in this race that is serious about Term Limits or about balancing the Federal budget?
See for yourself that I am the only Supporter of Sen. Jim Demint’s CUT, CAP & BALANCE plan:

Details of the Suit for Slander filed against Senator David Rouzer and his campaign strategist:

On May 1st 2008, Mr. David Rouzer and his campaign strategist Bob Rosser were served a civil summons by Rouzer’s NC State Senate primary opponent according to court documents filed in Wake County Superior Court (Google the Raleigh News & Observer and see for yourself).

On the 19th of May, 2008 Ms. Nena Reeves, Rouzer’s primary opponent, filed a formal complaint seeking damages of at least $10,000 and alleging the following:

“6. Plaintiff Nena Reeves and Defendant David Rouzer, in April 2008, were opposing candidates for nomination as the Republican candidate for election to the NC State Senate for Senate District 12.

7. In late April, 2008, to win the primary election, the Defendants (Rouzer & Rosser) conspired to issue written statements to thousands of people making accusations about the plaintiff that are false and defamatory…

23. The false words and statements knowingly published by Defendants have defamed and libeled the plaintiff in her profession, standing in the community and means of livelihood…

27. The actions of Defendants as hereinbefore alleged were done in the course of and scope of commercial activity in the State of North Carolina. Defendants’ actions were made in bad faith, were unethical, were unfair to Plaintiff, were deceptive to the public and were intended to harm Plaintiff in her personal and professional activities…”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


That he (Rouzer) would subject his party to such criticism to advance his own personal political agenda and career, give up his seat of power in the NC Senate where he has championed the cause of his constitients to their benefit, and place himself as just one more freshman in the US House where he will likely accomplish very little in the first term, is the height of arrogance, and the antithesis of what a public servant should do.
USA DOT COM reader comment.


State Sen...

Verne Strickland / Blogmaster / April 24, 2012

State Senator David Rouzer has stirred up a political hornets' nest with his announcement on July 20 that he is interested in running for U.S. Congress in North Carolina's Seventh Congressional District.

The fact that he is throwing his hat in the ring for a run at the U.S. Congress in North Carolina's Seventh District is not at all surprising. He has an impressive background in business and government, and has already released the names of a stable of GOP heavy hitters committed to endorsing him and supporting his candidacy.

What is raising some eyebrows is how quickly the Johnston County Republican bolted out of the starting gate after North Carolina's Congressional Redistricting showed that the desperate squiggles of official mapmakers put Rouzer into the Seventh District, where he declares that he will face off against Republican Ilario Pantano of Wilmington.

Of course, thorough advance planning is always a good idea. But there is the impression here that the Johnston County businessman and legislator is showing a curious degree of haste to launch a campaign whose GOP primary will not take place until May 8, 2012 -- almost a year away.

Was it premature? Opportunistic?  Excessively anxious? Some are teeing off on Rouzer's revelation of his ambitions before the ink is even dry on newly-drafted North Carolina redistricting maps.

The following story referenced the senator's curious rush to get into the race at the earliest possible moment.

VOTE 2012: Johnston Co. senator will square off against Pantano; Goolsby and Rabon support run.

By Colin Campbell / The News & Observer

RALEIGH, NC (THE NEWS & OBSERVER) -- One day after new redistricting maps put Johnston County in the 7th Congressional District, N.C. Sen. David Rouzer of McGee's Crossroads announced Wednesday that he'll run for the seat in 2012.

Rouzer won't be challenging his area's current Congresswoman, fellow Republican Renee Ellmers of Dunn. Under the maps released Tuesday, Ellmers' 2nd District would extend west from her Harnett County home into Lee, Moore, Chatham and Randolph counties.

Rouzer wants to represent the district extending southeast from his Johnston County home, covering Sampson, Duplin, Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

He'll face Ilario Pantano of Wilmington, the former U.S. Marine who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre in 2010.

Pantano months ago announced his plans to run again, long before the new district maps were released.

Here's what one USA DOT COM reader had to say about the curious timing of the Rouzer announcement:

July 25, 2011 9:03 PM 

Given the public statement by Senator Rouzer shortly after the release of the new map that he will seek office in the new 7th District, I don't see any ambiguity at all in the "purpose" of drawing the district this way. That his candidacy will paint him as the GOP version of Brad Miller, who they have blasted for the last decade for doing the same thing, will be a stain on the entire party far beyond the borders of the 7th.

That he (Rouzer) would subject his party to such criticism to advance his own personal political agenda and career, give up his seat of power in the NC Senate where he has championed the cause of his constitients to their benefit, and place himself as just one more freshman in the US House where he will likely accomplish very little in the first term, is the height of arrogance, and the antithesis of what a public servant should do.

Others questioned the advanced state of Rouzer's endorsements in concert with the release of the results of the Redistricting Committee's report, suggesting that much planning had gone on in anticipation of the Senator Rouzer's public disclosure of his plans. 

This statement was also especially interesting:

Well… that was fast. Rouzer to run for N.C.-7
Posted on July 20, 2011 by Press 7 for Celtic

I wrote my post about the new reconfigured U.S. Districts less than 12 hours ago. I happened to mention that the new 7th goes all the way up to Johnston County, which happens to be the home of highly ambitious state senator David Rouzer. I further mentioned that Rouzer really, really wants to be a congressman.

State Sen. David Rouzer of Johnston County said he plans to seek the GOP nomination for the 7th congressional seat next year.

Rouzer said he decided to make the run, after the GOP legislature came out with a newly configured 7th district that swings northward to include Johnston County. He will likely face a competitive primary with Illario Pantano of Wilmington.

“The ball kind of rolled my way,” Rouzer said. “When they redrew the maps. When I looked at this version it is a very strong district that matched my background and my ties going back to my years working with Sen Helms and Sen. Dole.”

Among those supporting Rouzer’s bid are Mrs. Jesse Helms, former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, former state Sen. Fred Smith, state Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County, state Sen. Thom Goolsby of New Hanover County, State Sen. Wesley Meredith of Cumberland County, State Sen. Brent Jackson of Sampson,  County, state Rep. J.H. Langdon of Johnston County, Bill Prestage of Sampson County, and Dial Gray and Frank Grainger of Columbus County.

I’m sure it’s just a wacky coincidence he ended up in the 7th. Lucky him!

Anyways, this should be an interesting primary now. Pantano has a head start, but Rouzer is personally wealthy and has the Helms machine (and from the looks of those endorsements, the Dee Stewart machine) behind him.


VS: Okay. There you have it. USA DOT COM will be the go-to place for all the inside and outside news on the 2012 political season -- with special attention paid to the interests of the Cape Fear Region. Stay tuned friends. This is going to be big. And it's going to be fun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pantano, Rouzer locked in fierce battle for right to challenge McIntyre.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / April 23, 2012


Two years ago, when Republicans surged into power in the U.S. House, Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre held onto his seat for an eighth term with 54 percent of the vote. It was his closest race as an incumbent in a district that no Republican has won since 1868.

But this year, with a redrawn 7th District designed to send a Republican to Congress, party front-runners Ilario Pantano of Wilmington and state Sen. David Rouzer of Johnston County are battling to earn the GOP nomination in a primary that has the ferocity of a November race.

Pantano, a war veteran who was the 7th District's Republican nominee two years ago, has for months been airing scathing ads attacking Rouzer's record on illegal immigration.

Rouzer, a two-term state senator and former aide to longtime U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, worked as a lobbyist supporting the AgJOBS Act of 2007, which included citizenship provisions for illegal immigrants working in the U.S.

Rouzer says the bill was nearly identical to legislation proposed by Helms in 1998, and that it offers farmers a solution to the real problem in North Carolina of finding enough legal labor to support the state's $70 billion agriculture industry. Rouzer says he doesn't support amnesty for illegal aliens, but he does support a path to citizenship for reliable workers.

"In those cases where you have an employee who has been here illegally, I'm for letting them come forward, vouch for who they are, and if everything comes up clean, let them earn a way to become legal," Rouzer said.

"They like to take that and say that I'm for all these illegal aliens. I'm for the people here working doing the jobs that no other Americans are willing to do."

Rouzer says Pantano is exaggerating the (illegal immigration) issue to score political points.
Pantano says Rouzer's work on the bill, which his television ads note was supported by Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy, Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Clinton, but no North Carolina congressmen, is "a betrayal of conservative values.
"He's on record saying he does not support amnesty, but he was paid thousands of dollars lobbying for a bill that would provide amnesty," Pantano said. "Either he's a liar or a hypocrite."

Rouzer touts his experience with Helms and in the state Senate as an advantage against Pantano, while Pantano tries to use those experiences against him.

Says Rouzer: "Do you want someone who's tried and true and been through the political fires and been trained by one of the forefathers of the tea party movement, or do you want to place your trust in one who says all the right things and has all the right buzzwords but never offers any solutions?"

Rouzer points to his accomplishments in the General Assembly, balancing the budget, cutting taxes and reducing regulations for business. That shows he's ready to make a difference in Washington, he says.

Pantano, who unlike Rouzer supports term limits, says career politicians are part of what got the country in the mess it's in today. Pantano says his life story is one of sacrificing for his country: enlisting in the Marines to fight in the Gulf War, then leaving a lucrative Wall Street job after Sept. 11, 2001, to fight in another war.
Pantano also questions Rouzer's voting record as a state senator, pointing to the conservative Civitas Institute's grades for Rouzer's votes as a conservative: an A in 2011, D- in 2010 and F in 2009. But in 2010, Rouzer's grade may be misleading. The D- made him the eighth most conservative senator because only one senator managed a grade better than a C.

Also on the primary ballot is Randy Crow of Kelly, who has run unsuccessfully for office 18 other times. Crow believes the attacks on 9/11 weren't orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

A poll last month by Citizens United showed Pantano leading Rouzer by a 2-1 margin.
But Rouzer says he has been making up ground as more voters across the district learn about him. Pantano had the initial advantage of being well-known because of his 2010 run.

Rouzer has backing from North Carolina's GOP establishment, including endorsements from Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and the top Republicans in the General Assembly.

But Pantano has his own high-level Republican support: former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held a fundraiser for him last week in Washington, which could help shield Pantano from any attacks on his experience in Iraq. Pantano was charged with killing two unarmed Iraqi prisoners, but the charges were dropped before the case went to trial. Fox News has called Pantano a "conservative rock star."
Ferrel Guillory, a political observer and lecturer in the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the fiercely contested primary reflects the new district lines, which cut out McIntyre's home turf in Robeson County and now include conservative Johnston County. Two years ago, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2-1 in the district. No more.

A key for unseating McIntyre, Guillory said, will be matching his spending.
McIntyre and Pantano ran the most expensive U.S. House race in the state in 2010, spending a combined $3.1 million.

Financial statements filed last week show that Pantano raised more than Rouzer in the first three months of 2012 - $128,767 to $89,460. And for the entire election season, Pantano's fundraising of $380,306 gives him a small $5,000 edge over Rouzer. But while Pantano has about $44,000 left to spend from donations, Rouzer has $145,640 leading up to the May 8 primary.

One of them will have to raise a lot more cash to catch up with McIntyre, who has raised a little more than $1 million so far this election cycle, with three-quarters of that still in his war chest for the general election.

"Because they will be the Republican nominee in a redrawn district, they will be a formidable opponent for Mike McIntyre," Guillory said. "I fully expect them to go real hard at each other for the next 20 days or so."

Staff writer John Ramsey can be reached at or 486-3574.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

ROUZER WATCH: Lobbyist loophole in campaign finance law helps Rouzer


Verne Strickland / Blogmaster / April 21, 2012


Submitted by cjarvis on 2011-09-01 17:12
Tags: Under the Dome | David Rouzer

It’s against the law in North Carolina for lobbyists to make campaign
contributions to members of the General Assembly – except when it’s
not: when they’re running for federal office.

That’s how two-term state Sen. David Rouzer, a Republican
representing Johnston and Wayne counties, is benefitting from a
fundraiser that several lobbyists are throwing for him.  Rouzer is
running for the newly drawncongressional seat held by Rep. Mike
McIntyre, a Democrat fromLumberton. Rouzer will remain in the
state Senate while he campaigns.

On Sept. 15, longtime lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa will host the
fundraiser at her home in Raleigh. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger
and senators Harry Brown, Neal Hunt and Richard Stevens will be there.
Several prominent lobbyists are also hosts, including Rufus Edmisten,
the former attorney general and secretary of state.

A flier for the event reminds attendees “federal law recognizes the
First Amendment rights of NC lobbyists and allows personal
contributions to be made to Congressional candidates!” Donors are
 invited to become one of the hosts for $2,500, or chip in lesser
amounts down to $100.

Campaign finance watchdog Bob Hall of Democracy N.C. told
Dome today, “I’m surprised these lobbyists would take advantage
of a loophole to make donations to a state legislator.

“The public will rightly wonder if the legislator pushes or blocks
a certain bill because of its merits or because of the money some
lobbyist handed over. The law tries to stop money and gifts from
being in the middle, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to reach
state legislators running for federal office.”

Rouzer told the Wilmington Star-News, which reported on the
event in today’s paper, “every individual has as constitutional right
to participate in the political process."

September 2, 2011 - 7:59am — louisburgpatriot

First of all, Bob Hall is nothing but a progressive liberal partisan
hack that would not know the essence of objectivity or perspective
if it bit him. Governor Perdue has routinely accepted donation from
these "evil" lobbyists throughout her entire career. Oh wait...she is
a Democrat and Bob Hall is a ultra-liberal Democrats whose
"righteous" attacks only target Republicans.

Perhaps the lobbyist, Edmisten (a Democrat) and Kostrzewa might
 think that David Rouzer will serve the district and North Carolina
well in Congress.  Did anyone at the N&O know that Bob Hall is
actually a lobbyist?  Just offering a perspective!

So what do they want for their contribution???
more here: