newsobserver.com blogs

Tag search result

Tip: Clicking on tags in this page allows you to drill further with combined tag search. For example, if you are currently viewing the tag search result page for "health care", clicking on "Kay Hagan" will bring you to a list of contents that are tagged with both "health care" and "Kay Hagan."

Morning Memo: As storm approaches, House set for major tax vote

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: As a tropical storm hits Raleigh, the House will meet in its first full Friday session this year to debate a tax bill that represents one of the most expansive policy changes in decades. At the same time, appropriation subcommittees will meet to roll out the House budget, meeting before and after session. The Senate adjourned until Monday. The House action precedes what is expected to be a busy time next week in Raleigh with budget and taxes, among dozens of other bills, moving quickly as the legislature nears adjournment toward the end of the month. Top GOP lawmakers will rush from the statehouse to Charlotte for the state Republican Party convention. Gov. Pat McCrory will hold a reception at the convention this evening.

NEW NUMBERS SHOW TAX BILLS AFFECTS: The median North Carolina family would get a modest tax break while wealthy taxpayers may see a significant cut under a sweeping bill primed for a landmark House vote Friday. (Read more below.)

***Special Friday Dome Morning Memo edition. Read more about the tax plan on the House floor below and a recap from President Barack Obama's visit.***

Gov. McCrory appoints fundraisers to board after candidate McCrory vowed not to

During his first campaign for governor in 2008, Republican Pat McCrory hammered his opponent, Bev Perdue, on her ties to major Democratic Party fundraisers on the state Board of Transportation.

McCrory vowed repeatedly in 2008 that he would never appoint his campaign fundraisers to transportation, university and other powerful boards if he was elected governor.

But that's what he just did after he won the 2012 election, The N&O's Bruce Siceloff reports.

McCrory's transportation appointees donated $156,000 to his campaign

Gov. Pat McCrory's campaign raised $156,394 with the help of nine men and a woman who will take their seats Thursday as his appointees to the state Board of Transportation, according to financial disclosure statements released Wednesday by McCrory's office.

The governor's top helper among the group is Michael C. Smith of Raleigh, president of Kane Realty Corp., the developer of North Hills. Smith is the new transportation board representative for Division 5, seven Triangle-area counties including Durham and Wake. Smith is the only one of the 10 new board members who reports no campaign contributions directly from himself to McCrory. But he says he worked as a campaign fundraiser, bringing in $106,000 from other donors to McCrory, and his brother gave $250.

Among the other transportation appointees, only Michael V. Lee of Wilmington reported helping McCrory as a fundraiser. Lee said he raised $500 from other donors, and he and his wife contributed $829.

Morning Memo: McCrory budget may emerge soon, men oppose 'nipple bill'

McCRORY BUDGET RELEASE NEXT WEEK? Top GOP lawmakers say Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to release his state budget plan next week. The governor's office is remaining mum. But budget details are leaking to lawmakers, who say McCrory's spending plan isn't like to include details of a major tax overhaul, such as corporate or personal income tax cuts, and instead it will assume the tax plan being negotiated privately by Republicans will be revenue neutral.

MEN OPPOSE NIPPLE BILL: Public Policy Polling will release more from its statewide voter survey later Friday. But here's a peak: nearly half of men -- 45 percent -- oppose the bill to prohibit women from barring their breasts and 34 percent support. Women are deadlocked at 38 percent on what is called the "nipple bill." (Insert stereotypical joke about men here.)

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- a roundup of North Carolina political news and analysis. Send news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. And read much more below.***

McCrory appoints 10 men to state transportation board

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory named 10 men to the state Board of Transportation on Monday, including several developers and a former state Republican Party chairman.

The board has 19 members. It wasn't clear whether McCrory intends to replace any of the nine members whose replacements were not named Monday. A spokesman said only that these appointments were the only ones being announced now.

Resign embarrassed, get an honor

Travelers on a new stretch of road in Rocky Mount will be greeted with name of a former state transportation member who resigned a few years ago after his questionable fund raising tactics came to light.

The state Board of Transportation this month approved a request to name a 4.6 mile stretch of new highway in Rocky Mount after Thomas A. Betts Jr.  The project, known as the Northern Corridor, was approved during his time on the board.

Betts resigned his seat in 2008 after he pushed a Roanoke Rapids city official to help raise money for then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue's gubernatorial campaign from country singer Randy Parton and others involved in a theater there.

Betts represented the region on the DOT board from 2003 until he resigned in early 2008. In that role, Betts helped steer money for road projects to the area.

The Rocky Mount City Council asked the transportation board in May to name the Northern Corridor after Betts "in sincere appreciation of his selfless service and his contributions not only to the Rocky Mount/Nash County community, but to the state of North Carolina."

Perdue distanced herself from Betts after the 2008 fund raising revelation, but they seem to have revived their connection.  He was listed on the agenda of an April "Team Perdue" reelection campaign meeting.

In wake of scandal, Betts back raising money for Perdue

Thomas Betts Jr., a Rocky Mount businessman who resigned from the state Board of Transportation in 2008 in the wake of a fundraising scandal, is apparently back in the good graces of Gov. Bev Perdue.

Betts' name was listed last week on the agenda for a meeting of "Team Perdue," the inner-circle of the governor's 2012 reelection campaign.

Betts, a long-time Perdue supporter, resigned from the DOT board in January 2008 after he sought $20,000 in contributions from country singer Randy Parton and others involved in a performing arts theater in Roanoke Rapids. Betts had previously used his position on the board to steer money for road projects to benefit the theater.

Then-Lt. Gov. Perdue distanced herself from Betts, saying she had no knowledge of the Parton fundraising and that she did not condone it. Her campaign also refused to accept eight checks totaling $9,000 from donors involved in the struggling project.

Perdue had made problems at the theatre a campaign issue in her Democratic Primary campaign against then-State Treasurer Richard Moore, who had led a panel that approved $21 million in debt used by Roanoke Rapids to build the facility. 

"Mr. Betts appropriately recognized that his fundraising activities in 2008 presented a conflict or the appearance of a conflict with his service and activities on the Board of Transportation, and he therefore resigned his position," Marc Farinella, Perdue's campaign-spokesman, said in an e-mail Tuesday.

"This transpired before Bev Perdue became governor. Mr. Betts' potential conflict no longer exists since he is no longer on the Board, and so we do not believe he should be precluded from raising money for Governor Perdue or other candidates he may support."

DMV wiretaps investigated

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Federal authorities are investigating whether the former commissioner of the state Division of Motor Vehicles illegally wiretapped the phone calls of agency employees. George Tatum, who resigned in 2007 amid a corruption scandal, had a special telephone in his office that allowed him to listen in on the calls of his subordinates without their knowledge. The agency's internal affairs director also had a phone set up for secret eavesdropping. (N&O)

IT'S ON ME: The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has widened a probe into possible violations of liquor laws across North Carolina in the wake of a company's lavish holiday dinner for the Mecklenburg County ABC Board. (Charlotte Observer)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Robert A. Collier Jr. of Statesville, a businessman and retired judge appointed to the N.C. Board of Transportation six years ago, was elected chairman of the 19-member board Thursday. (N&O)

Perdue picks replacement for Sewell

Gov. Bev Perdue picked a Jacksonville auto dealer to replace Board of Transportation member Louis Sewell Jr.

Michael K. Alford is Perdue’s 11th pick for a vacant seat on the state board, which oversees policy for the N.C. Department of Transportation, Bruce Siceloff reports on his Crosstown Traffic blog.

After Alford's name is reviewed by members of a legislative oversight committee, he is expected to take an at-large seat dedicated to rural transportation needs.

He will succeed Sewell, a developer and part-owner of the Golden Corral restaurants, who resigned in 2008 after The News & Observer reported that he had steered DOT money to road projects near commercial property he or his son owned.

Sewell, a registered Republican, was a major fundraiser for Perdue, a Democrat, as well as former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley

State election records show that Alford, a registered Democrat and president of Marine Chevrolet, has contributed to a number of Democratic and Republican political campaigns. He gave $4,000 to the campaign of Perdue in 2008, and $2,000 to Easley in 2000.

Greensboro lawyer to DOT board

Gov. Bev Perdue picked Greensboro lawyer Michael Fox, a campaign donor, for the board of transportation.

Fox, who gave $2,500 to Perdue's campaign during the 2007-2008 election cycle, will represent district seven, which includes: Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties.

Check out Bruce Siceloff's blog for the full story.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Go
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Go
Homes View All
Find a Home
Go

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of dome.newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.
Advertisements