The story published Sunday about Gov. Bev Perdue's government reform efforts and the upcoming legislative session were based on interviews and on reviewing a range of documents.
Here is a breakdown on how the behind-the-scenes policy decisions unfolded within the Perdue administration, along with links to some of the key documents.
1. December 2009 reform ideas memos.
By the end of last year, ideas were flowing. A series of memos and notes from meetings detail the possibilities, not final decisions.
The first key memo is from Dec. 9, 2009, and provides a wide range of policy considerations that Gov. Bev Perdue and her staff were weighing at the time, about a month after former Gov. Mike Easley was sanctioned at the conclusion of a state elections board hearing into his campaign.
To read the 25-page memo, click here.
The second memo, from Dec. 21, 2009, was drafted four days after a longtime aide to Easley named Ruffin Poole had invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the state Board of Elections. It narrows things down a bit. It's 11 pages, and includes notations of outside support for each issue and Perdue's public stance on some.
Click here to read it.
The Easley and Poole developments had renewed attention on ethics issues — and included a unanimous request from the state Board of Elections that lawmakers pass a law to force candidates to pay for their misdeeds.
A second version of the Dec. 21 "ideas" memo includes handwritten notes written by Perdue, according to her office.
The governor's notes are mostly check marks, but they include the one-word entry "no" next to an idea long-sought by Attorney General Roy Cooper — the power to convene state level grand juries to probe public corruption.
2. Investigative grand jury notes.
A lawyer for Perdue named Kendra Hill took hand-written notes on the investigative grand jury idea, one that Attorney General Roy Cooper tried to secure in 2006 amid the controversy surrounding former House Speaker Jim Black, who is now in prison on a corruption charge.
She noted that Cooper supports it, but "legis leadership (House/Senate) did not" and that the idea could still be brought up in the upcoming short session because it would need appropriations. (Only certain types of legislation can be run in the even-year short sessions of the legislature.)
She also notes that there is concern about allowing state investigative grand juries because of the "possibility of abusing this for political purposes."
A bill, HB 1304, has been filed that outlines exactly how it would work. The bill has not moved.
To see six pages on the issue, click here.
3. Draft news releases on the reform issue
At least two news releases were drafted in the January time frame (one is undated) that were to trumpet Perdue's efforts on reform.
They include sample quotes from the governor.
They also emphasize her efforts on campaign finance reform, an area of reform efforts that would not get much attention in Perdue's publicly released legislative agenda.
The news releases were not released.
4. February 2010 memo and email
By Feb. 18, the reform package was more refined. Perdue's advisers warned her that, "While our proposals may initially be met with widespread applause, we may face some backlash or skepticism if we don't address campaign finance reform at some level."
Among the items no longer on the list were support for two bills that had passed the state House last year and are up to be considered by the state Senate.
One, HB 944, would force more disclosures by fundraising of appointees. It passed 115-0.
Another, HB 120, would allow for public financing in local campaigns. It passed 60-56.
Also not on the list: The request from the state Board of Elections to ensure officials pay their campaign fines.
To see it, click here.
On Feb. 26, Perdue met with House Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate leader Marc Basnight. An email message indicates some reform decisions could be made then, but no one present could remember the talk, saying it was mostly focused on the state budget and other concerns.
5. March 18, 2010, reform memo.
This memo shows some final revisions — it does not exactly match what Perdue has publicly supported since, but it's very close.
It also includes a breakdown on several initiatives that "for a variety of reasons, including costs, viability, additional research needed, etc." were not going to get Perdue's support for this year's legislative session.
Among them are several ideas that Perdue is on record as having publicly supported in the past.
6. April 5, 2010, news release.
Perdue announced her legislative reform agenda in a news conference outside the state Capitol. Her office issued this release to the media and the public detailing what she was advocating for in the upcoming session.