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More House bills from day two

A few more bills have been filed in the House:

H.B. 15: Military Family Assistance Center / Funds, Rep. Cullie Tarleton

H.B. 16: Retired Judge May Perform Marriage, Rep. Russell Tucker

H.B. 17: Asheboro Satellite Annexation, Rep. Harold Brubaker

H.B. 18: Speech Language Pathologist Qualifications, Rep. Bill Faison

H.B. 19: MLK's 80th Birthday / Obama Inauguration, Reps. Larry Womble, Paul Luebke, Jennifer Weiss, Earline Parmon

H.B. 20: Compensate Eugenics Sterilization Survivors, Reps. Womble, Parmon, Ronnie Sutton and Martha Alexander

Wright allies faced charges, too

The four House Democrats who voted against expelling Thomas Wright have also faced accusations.

Reps. Larry Womble and Earline Parmon, both Winston-Salem Democrats; Earl Jones, a Greensboro Democrat; and Mary McAllister, a Fayetteville Democrat; have all been accused of poor financial handling.

"Wright has been charged but he’s not been convicted of anything in court,” Womble said. "I'm not one to pre-judge. I’ve always been taught to wait and see and let due process work itself out."

Womble was indicted in 1991 on four counts of extortion after a corruption investigation that started when he was on the Winston-Salem Board of Aldermen. He was found not guilty in 1992.

Parmon was under suspicion when a charter school she founded, LIFT, had its license revoked. The state Department of Public Instruction said the school routinely mismanaged money.

Jones ran a nonprofit, the Guilford County Community Action Program, that was dinged by state auditors when it couldn't account for more than $700,000 in taxpayer money. 

And McAllister was forced to pay a $16,294 fine last year after the State Board of Elections said she received a repayment for campaign loans she never made. (W-SJ

Womble and Jeffus on their votes

Reps. Larry Womble and Maggie Jeffus explained their votes.

Womble, a Winston-Salem Democrat, voted for censure, and when that failed, against expulsion. He told the Associated Press he agreed with Thomas Wright's arguments.

"Not only has he not been convicted, but he has not had his day in court," Womble said.

Jeffus, a Greensboro Democrat, voted against censure, and when that failed, for expulsion.

She told Mark Binker of the Greensboro News & Record that she has sat next to Wright for at least two sessions.

"I felt like we might give that a chance and see. In my own mind I think censure and expulsion are both very serious and in the end would have the same kind of result," she said.

Womble home

Rep. Larry Womble has been discharged from WakeMed.

The Winston-Salem Democrat was taken to the Raleigh hospital last night after feeling ill on the House floor Monday night. But he has returned home to Winston-Salem for follow-up care, a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Hackney said today.

Womble "will not be in session today," said spokesman Bill Holmes. "We will provide more information as it becomes available. Thank you again for your concern about Rep. Womble."

Womble, 66, is a seven-term Democrat and a retired educator.

Womble ill?

Rep. Larry Womble, a Winston-Salem Democrat, was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he complained of not feeling well just as the legislative session was about to get underway Monday night.

An ambulance took Womble to WakeMed for treatment. He appeared alert as he was loaded on to the ambulance, Dan Kane reports.

Womble, 66, is in his seventh term in the House. He is a retired educator.

Update: House Speaker Joe Hackney told his colleagues an hour later, after getting a report from the hospital, that Womble appears to be doing OK.

N.C. State's PAC

A political action committee that advocated for N.C. State University gave to the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

The Economic Development Coalition 2000 was formed in 1995 to promote the university's interests before the legislature, said Reef Ivey II, a Raleigh attorney who served as its treasurer.

According to the PAC's campaign finance records, it has given a total of $6,000 since 1997 to the Black Caucus Foundation.

In a note of irony, the PAC was the target of a protest in March by two dozen students of the state’s historically black universities. They argued that it and a similar political action committee for UNC-Chapel Hill gave the schools an unfair advantage when it came to state funding.

Among the legislators they met with were members of the black caucus, who were sympathetic, according to the N&O's Jane Stancill:

"A blind man can see there's not any parity," said Rep. Larry Womble, a Democrat from Winston-Salem, who wore a red lapel pin from Winston-Salem State.

More on scholarships

ABC-11 has some details to the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation scholarships.

A story cites Winston-Salem State University's financial aid office as saying that Rep. Larry Womble's son, Jamaal, received $1,000 in 2005-06 and $500 in 2006-07 from the foundation, and Rep. Earline Parmon's granddaughter, Shalonda Ingram, received $1,000 in the 2005-06 year and $500 in 2006-07.

The fifth scholarship

Who is the fifth recipient of a scholarship from the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation?

We don't know, but we do know who it could be. There are 28 members of the Black Caucus. Of them, we know that scholarships went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, and the daughter of Rep. Alma Adams.

That leaves 24 possible members. Check back here this afternoon for a running list of who has said it wasn't a relative of theirs.

In addition, Adams said she would leave the decision up to the legislator, so we can rule out those who have died: Sen. Jeanne Lucas, Sen. Robert Holloman, Rep. Howard Hunter, Rep. John Hall and Rep. Bernard Allen.

First, Rep. Dan Blue was not in the legislature at that time, and Rep. Linda Coleman said it was not any of her relatives ... a staffer for Rep. Mickey Michaux said it was not him, although he personally refused to answer ... Rep. William Wainwright said it was not him ... Rep. Larry Hall said it was not him ... a staffer for Rep. Marvin Lucas said it was not him and that he designated his scholarship money for students from local churches ... Rep. Angela Bryant was appointed in January so it's not her either ...

If your legislator tells you that it wasn't them (or was), please contact us at dome@newsobserver.com.

The fourth Caucus scholarship

Rep. Alma Adams confirmed that her daughter was the recipient of a scholarship from the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

In an interview with reporters on the House floor today, the Greensboro Democrat said that her daughter, Jeanelle Lindsay, was one of the five recipients of scholarships from the nonprofit.

She did not elaborate, saying that she had to make a committee meeting before the House reconvenes at 3 p.m.

She did, however, say that press coverage has been inaccurate, though she did not explain how.

 "My real problem with the press is that you all don't quote things accurately," she said.

The foundation is reviewing its process for awarding scholarships. Scholarships also went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield.

It is not known who the fifth recipient is.

Correction: An earlier version of the post incorrectly used Lindsay's maiden name.

Two more Caucus scholarships

Relatives of five members of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus received scholarships from its nonprofit foundation in 2005 and 2006.

According to a statement issued this afternoon by caucus chair Rep. Alma Adams, roughly $5,400 in scholarships given in those two academic years went to relatives of legislators.

"To the best of the Foundation's knowledge, the scholarship funds benefited students with financial and academic promise, and there was no intention to improperly benefit a legislator," she wrote.

In 2007, the Foundation gave out more than $12,000 in scholarships, none of which went to legislators' relatives, according to the release.

The foundation is reviewing its process for awarding scholarships. Scholarships went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield.

It is not known who the other two recipients are.

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