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Thom Tillis tries to deflect ethical questions

U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis danced around a question about his recent appointments of big donors to UNC posts and tried to pivot to attack Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

In an interview with CQ/Roll Call posted online Thursday, Tillis faced a question about a News & Observer report that showed major donors to his campaign getting seats on the UNC Board of Governors. Tillis called the storyline "tired old arguments" and his appointees "some of the greatest people in North Carolina."

"It is disingenuous at the very best probably misleading or dishonest in reality because (Democrats) did it at levels that we would never allow," Tillis said.

Ethics amendment politely tabled

Amendments to the state budget were flying fast and furious leading up to the Senate’s approval on Wednesday.

One of them would have required any officeholder who fails to file a state economic disclosure form within 60 days could be removed from office immediately.

That proposal came from Sen. Gladys Robinson, a Democrat from Guilford County, but it didn’t get anywhere.

Rules Chairman Sen. Tom Apodaca, the Hendersonville Republican, had it tabled – but in a nice way.

“It has a lot of merit,” he said. “I just don’t think the budget is the place to put it. It needs to be discussed thoroughly and looked at. It’s a major policy change that’s probably needed.”

McCrory's transition team subject to limited lobbying ban

Pat McCrory's transition team must abide by a 14-point ethics pledge that includes a limited ban on lobbying and the disclosure of all conflicts of interest and criminal charges.

The Republican governor-elect said he asked each of his transition team members to sign the code of ethical conduct. McCrory's campaign promised to release an ethics platform during the campaign but never did.

Transition members are not allowed to do anything that would force them to register as a lobbyist while on the team and may not lobby a state agency to which they are assigned for six months. It does not prevent them from lobbying other parts of the administration or the state legislature.


McCrory campaign won't release an ethics plan it pledged months ago

Two months ago, Pat McCrory's campaign pledged to release an ethics plan for the Republican's potential administration. But now it's obvious it won't happen.

GOP state lawmaker hit with ethics complaint filed by Democrats

Rep. Mike Stone is being hit with a legislative ethics complaint amid his re-election campaign.

The Lee County Democrats allege a recent letter from the Republican lawmaker amounts to taxpayer-funded campaigning, according to the Sanford Herald.

From the Herald"The mailer in question, dated Aug. 31, was delivered in an envelope marked “official General Assembly business,” according to a statement from the Lee County Democratic Party, and lists “what Stone touted as his legislative accomplishments” since his election to the N.C. House in 2010."

Walter Dalton pitches ethics plan, McCrory camp calls it hypocritical

Walter Dalton proposed a litany of ethics and transparency reforms Wednesday designed to revive the public’s trust in government and distance himself from scandals that tarnished the past two Democratic governors.

The Democratic candidate for governor proposed a plan to limit legislative leaders’ terms to eight consecutive years, create an independent panel to draw political boundaries and expand campaign contributions and public records disclosure. He also wants tougher penalties for public corruption crimes and a better equipped State Ethics Commission, the government’s watchdog agency.

Dalton’s ideas are not new, but his proposal underscores how political scandals have plagued state government in recent years.

Ethics committee will probe LaRoque

The Legislative Ethics Committee will investigate Rep. Stephen LaRoque, a Kinston Republican who was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on charges that he used a federal lending program to enrich himself.

Also, House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Mecklenburg Republican, will appoint a House investigatory committee to do the same.

Democrats call for ethics probes of Tillis' office scandal

The state legislative Democratic caucus today sent letters to the N.C. Ethics Commission and the Legislative Ethics Committee asking for a review of the scandal in House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office.

Tillis in the past week accepted resignations from his chief of staff and from a policy adviser after they admitted having had affairs with lobbyists.

The letters ask for a review of former chief of staff Charles Thomas’ romantic relationship with Jessica Hayes, who was a lobbyist for the N.C. Home Builders Association until she was forced to resign last week.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton releases tax returns

UPDATED: Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton released his tax returns Friday, following the lead of his main Democratic opponent and continuing the pressure on Republican Pat McCrory to do the same.

Dalton's records show he made $104,951 in 2011, about $20,000 less than the previous year. The decrease represents Dalton entering the state's 401k plan, his campaign said.

The campaign initially attributed the decrease to a voluntary pay cut, per a request from the governor, but corrected the statement Saturday.


As McCrory makes bid official, Democrats want him to disclose interests

N.C. Democrats are welcoming Republican Pat McCrory to the governor's race today with a call for him to disclose information about his business dealings and any potential lobbying activity since his unsuccessful 2008 campaign.

The party approved a resolution Saturday at its election kickoff fundraiser that reinforces an ongoing effort to highlight McCrory's role in a Charlotte law firm that does lobbying work, his work on various company boards, his speaker fees and work with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

"His financial behaviors and hidden employment interests represent a serious potential conflict of interest and indicate a serious lack of ethical fortitude," the partisan resolution states.

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