Shades of Gray: McCrory appointed judge, candidate contributions

According to North Carolina state campaign finance reports 17 candidate contributions have been attributed to Judge Beecher “Gus” Gray since 2008, totaling $12,046 received by 5 candidates. If the reports are correct some would seem to represent violations of the NC Judicial Code of Conduct. Canon 7 of the Code prohibits judges from personally making financial contributions or loans to almost all individuals seeking election to office.

Beecher Reynolds Gray was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory as a Special Superior Court Judge in January 2014, prior to which he had served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings since 1986. He was sworn in 01/09/2014 for a term ending 01/09/2019. Six of the 17 contributions have been recorded since taking office. The six campaign contributions provided $1,000 to Pat McCrory, $2,650 to Brent Jackson, and $1,000 to Phil Berger Sr. (These six contributions are specifically covered by the Judicial Code of Conduct)*.

Continue reading

Goodall forms charter school 527 group

Eddie Goodall may have stepped out of the NC charter school media spotlight but he still lurks just behind the curtain. Early February the NC Public Charter Schools Association made a big to-do about Goodall stepping down as executive director and handing the reigns to Lee Teague. Goodall had been president of the NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools before leaving to set up and lead the NC Public Charter Schools Association as a competing group. Goodall’s departure was apparently intended to help the two groups, and others, mend fences.

“I think more people will step in the void when I step out,” Goodall said

But Goodall hasn’t gone far. Continue reading

Carolina Rising Sun

CarolinaSunA recent sliver of sunlight reveals slightly more about the dark money group Carolina Rising than previously known. The 501(c)4 organization led by Dallas Woodhouse filed its first tax return, for the 2014 tax year, on August 12th. The return shows income of $4,880,000 and expenses of $4,799,344 for the period beginning March 25, 2014 and ending December 31, 2014. The bulk of expense payments was $4,654,645 to Crossroads Media, LLC, in Alexandria VA, for TV and cable ads. The revenue came in donations from two unnamed contributors, one in the amount of $4,820,000 and another in the amount of $60,000.
Continue reading

Previous Newby contributions

The Pat McCrory Committee reported a contribution of $500 on 9/18/08 from Paul Newby, listed as “Associate Justice, NC Supreme Court”. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest reported a contribution of $500 on 10/19/12 from Paul Newby, listed as “Supreme Ct Justice, State of NC”. The candidate contributions appear to have violated a section of the NC Code of Judicial Conduct which limits the political activity of judges, but the 90 day window for reporting and taking action on such violations has long since passed.
Continue reading