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Pat McCrory praises Beth Wood and reserves "final decision" on Debra Goldman for auditor's position

Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory sounded more tonight like he was backing Beth Wood, the Democratic incumbent state auditor, than Debra Goldman, the GOP nominee.

When asked at tonight's debate if he still supported Goldman, McCrory said "it's extremely unfair to make a final decision based upon allegations which I don't have much information on." Goldman has been embroiled in a recent controversy over whether she had an affair with fellow Wake County school board member Chris Malone, a GOP candidate for the District 35 state House seat.

Unsolicited, McCrory went on to praise Wood, saying "she's done a good job." McCrory also said Wood "was the only member of the Council of State who did stand up to the broken government of both the Easley and Perdue administrations."

1351202602 Pat McCrory praises Beth Wood and reserves "final decision" on Debra Goldman for auditor's position The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Fact check: McCrory's land conflict with Duke Energy

Claim: “The North Carolina Supreme Court and Justice Lake had a case, and they said when he was mayor pro tem he collaborated with his employer, Duke Energy, to have the city of Charlotte condemn part of a family farm in order to enhance Duke’s profit line,” Dalton said during the debate. “And they said he filed a sworn affidavit and didn’t tell the truth. He was looking after that special interest. He wasn’t looking after the people. He certainly wasn’t looking after the farmer.”

McCrory responded by saying, “This is the first I’ve heard of this. It is just amazing, this attack on the private sector. … I had 34 years of business experience with Duke Energy, which I am very proud of. I was employed by them the whole time I was mayor. Never was there a question of ethical indiscretion.”

Dalton later responded, “I think that is a pretty significant indiscretion.”

Debra Goldman-Chris Malone story becoming state gubernatorial issue

The controversy over Wake County school board member Debra Goldman's 2010 police statements about fellow board member Chris Malone are turning into a statewide issue.

As noted in today's article, both major North Carolina gubernatorial candidates are speaking out about Goldman, the GOP candidate for state auditor. Republican candidate Pat McCrory is defending Goldman while Democratic candidate Walter Dalton is accusing McCrory of overlooking "Republican scandals."

In addition, state Republican officials are still publicly backing Goldman while behind the scenes distancing themselves from her.

Fact check: Walter Dalton's tax bracket is 25 percent, but not his tax rate

Claim: “I’m going to estimate, 25 percent, give or take.” 

Speaker: Democrat Walter Dalton at gubernatorial debate Wednesday. 

Context: In the first televised debate, the candidates for governor were asked this question: “Can each of you tell me the approximate tax rate you paid last year?” 

The subject is ripe this election season because Republican Pat McCrory won’t release his personal tax returns amid questions about his job as a consultant at a law firm that lobbies state government and the controversy in the presidential race about Mitt Romney’s taxes.

Fact check: Are N.C. tax rates the highest in Southeast? Depends on the map

Claim: “The best incentive for new jobs in North Carolina ... is not to have the highest sales tax, the highest corporate tax and the highest income tax in the Southeast, which is what we have right now.”

Speaker: Pat McCrory

Context: McCrory compares North Carolina’s tax rates to its peers as part of his pitch to make the state more competitive and business-friendly. We will look at just the tax rates here.

Fact check: McCrory critique of Dalton on sales tax is correct

Claim: “There is only one person up here who has proposed new taxes and that is the lieutenant governor along with Gov. Perdue, when just three, four months ago they were recommending a 15 percent sales tax increase.”

Speaker: Republican candidate Pat McCrory, gubernatorial debate Oct. 3

Context: McCrory hit his Democratic rival early in the debate for supporting a sales-tax hike pitched earlier this year by Gov. Bev Perdue.

Fact check: Dalton says he took salary cuts, McCrory took pay hike

Claim: “Three times when I was in the N.C. Senate, and as lieutenant governor, I took a voluntary cut in pay to empathize with state employees because I think if they are suffering you have to lead by example. At the height of the financial collapse in Charlotte, when unemployment was at its highest, the mayor took at 19 percent pay raise.”

Speaker: Democratic candidate Walter Dalton, gubernatorial debate Oct. 3

Context: In making a point about leadership during the debate, Dalton makes two claims: one about his salary and one about McCrory’s record. Both need context.

Fact check: RGA ad hitting Dalton on sales tax is false

Claim: "Now, Walter Dalton is pushing Perdue's 15 percent tax increase -- that will kill 8,000 jobs."

Speaker: Republican Governors Association TV advertisement

Context: The RGA debuted a new TV commercial Sept. 28 that attacked Democratic candidate Walter Dalton for supporting a sales tax increase.

Facts back up Democrats claims against McCrory but "Laundry" ad still has spin

The Democratic Governors Association has started its fall ad campaign in support of Walter Dalton for governor of North Carolina. Here’s a look at the facts

Sponsor: The ad is sponsored by a group called N.C. Citizens for Progress but is financed by the Democratic Governors Association. It is airing in Triangle, the Triad, Asheville, Greenville and Wilmington.

Claim: “Pat McCrory. He just won’t come clean. Refusing to release his tax returns. Or explain why even though he is not a lawyer he is being paid by a powerful law firm that lobbies for big oil, insurance and the financial industry. But what is McCrory’s spin? McCrory: ‘I’m making a living right now.’ So Pat McCrory won’t come clean on his taxes or what special interests he is working for. Why should we trust him to be governor?”

Fact check: Dalton's votes on taxes more complicated than ad suggests

Sponsor: Republican Governors Association ad, "Year after Year"

Claim: “Year after year Walter Dalton has raised taxes on families and businesses.”

Context: Dalton served as a state senator from 1997 until 2009, when he took

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