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Group of Republicans publicly back Wake County school bond issue

Several local GOP elected officials and business people are publicly distancing themselves from the Wake County Republican Party's opposition to the $810 million school bond issue.

In an opinion piece today by developer John Kane and Raleigh City Councilman John Odom, they stress that the Aug. 19 vote by the Wake GOP's executive committee to oppose the bond was only by a one-vote margin. They write "that it is simply not true" that all Republicans and conservatives oppose the bond issue.

"We represent a group of Republicans who support the referendum," the opinion piece states. "That is because it is a fiscally conservative plan presented with the most cost-effective way to pay for it.

MMI moves into larger space in Cary

MMI Public Relations is moving deeper into Cary.

The growing company, which has a Raleigh address but resides on the Cary side of the towns' border, bought a pair of buildings at 223 E. Chatham St.

The company is expected to move in by the end of the year, said MMI founder Patty Briguglio, whose 6-year-old company has 22 employees and represents 60 clients including Lenovo, Bayer CropScience and the Carolina Mudcats.

As MMI has grown, it has expanded to 3,000 square feet, bit by bit, in several office condos at 7406 Chapel Hill Road. But the patchwork expansions have created some inefficiencies. "We have an upstairs, a downstairs and you have to go across the parking lot," Briguglio said.

With space getting tighter, she decided to play the market rather than add another patch.

The new buildings, which total 6,000 square feet, sit on 0.62 of an acre on the edge of downtown Cary.

MMI paid Avalon Partners $617,500, county property records show. The price was 5.5 percent more than the assessed value. 

Nucor CEO dines at White House

A few days after President Barack Obama visited Raleigh and thrust several Raleigh businesspeople into the spotlight, a Charlotte corporate chieft got a turn today.

Dan DiMicco, CEO of Charlotte-based steelmaker Nucor, was one of four CEOs who had lunch with Obama at the White House.

DiMicco ate a cheeseburger, waffle fries and iced tea, reports Charlotte Observer staff writer Stella M. Hopkins. Alas, there was no beer.

Briguglio makes the NYT front page

We told you yesterday about local business owner Patty Briguglio and her chance Q&A with President Obama during his speech in Raleigh about health care.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones who noticed.

Briguglio, president and CEO of MMI Public Relations, is featured front and center on the front page of today's New York Times in a picture showing her discussion with the President after his speech.

According to Briguglio, the President promised her that any additional taxes her business would incur would be offset by additional credits, and she told him that she'd hold him to that.

But, she said, the conversation was not hostile.

"We weren't fighting, we were being nice," she said.

Local PR lady has presidential Q&A

Patty Briguglio has been getting a lot of face time with President Obama lately.

In June, the president and CEO of MMI Public Relations, was invited to a town hall on health care. And on Wednesday morning, she found herself in Raleigh on stage sitting behind the President as he delivered his speech on health care.

Briguglio didn't know when she decided to attend that she would be on stage. She also didn't know that she'd be allowed to ask a question during the Q&A following President Obama's speech.

But she came prepared just in case with several questions she composed in advance.

White House bound

Talk about a road trip.

Patty Briguglio, president of the Raleigh PR firm MMI Associates, and Lisa Pineiro, president of Technical Service Inc., a Durham recruiting firm for the electrical construction industry, will hit the road this morning and head for Washington.

Destination: White House.

The women were invited by ABC News to take part tonight in special edition of "Primetime" that will focus on efforts to change the U.S. healthcare system.

Briguglio and Pineiro will participate in a Q&A session with President Barrack Obama.

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