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)*.

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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

Signs of Gary Pendleton’s arrogance

Gary Pendleton’s illegal campaign signs around Raleigh are the least of his problems. Pendleton, running for NC State House District 49 against Kim Hanchette has used a facsimile of legislative letterhead to solicit votes in apparent violation of Legislative Ethics Guidelines. Pendleton is a relatively new incumbent, having been appointed 8/18/2014 to the seat made vacant by the death of Jim Fulghum. Official legislative stationery or mailing privileges may not be used to solicit votes and, according to a recipient of such a letter, it did not contain a required clear disclaimer stating that the stationery was not printed or mailed at State expense.
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$32K missing from Marcus Brandon campaign report

$31,818.36 is missing from the federal election campaign finance filings of the Marcus Brandon for Congress committee. A Pre-Primary report filed 4/24/14 showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $31,818.36. The subsequent July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 showed a zero cash-on-hand beginning balance when it should have shown the $31,818.36 carried over. One $1,000.00 contribution on 5/2/2014 was reported. No expenditures were reported. The report showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $1,000.00. An October Quarterly report due 10/15/2014 was not filed. While Cecil Antonio Brockman is still listed as the Treasurer, the July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 that showed zero cash-on-hand was electronically signed uncharacteristically as “Antonio Cecil Brockman”.
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Marcus Brandon Pays Prohibited Contribution Penalty

Marcus Brandon, NC State Representative and a congressional candidate paid a penalty of $5,000 for prohibited contributions to his state campaign committee, and may have used another prohibited payment to do so. Brandon, a Democratic primary candidate for the Congressional District 12 elections, used a check drawn on the account of his congressional campaign to satisfy the penalty imposed by the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) as part of an ongoing audit.

The $5,000 check was given to the NCSBE on February 28th to be paid directly into the NC Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund on March 1st, and reported as disbursed for “penalties and fees” in a quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by the Marcus Brandon for US Congress committee. Brandon is not running for re-election to his state seat.
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Is Tillis Betting the Farm?

NC House Speaker Thom Tillis, has reportedly loaned $250,000 of personal money to his US Senate campaign committee. His Cornelius home is currently on the market for sale at an asking price of $825,000, according to Carolina Multiple Listing Services as listed on Realtor.com. His wife Susan, a real estate broker, is the listing agent at Allen Tate Realtors in Charlotte.


Real estate records indicate that a mortgage debt in the amount of $417,000 was satisfied in June. Earlier this year in February a different loan in the amount of $200,000 was secured by the property. It would appear that Thom Tillis intends to throw everything he has at the US Senate race.

Update: Tillis is selling his “domicile” but it’s not his only Mecklenburg property. He has a more valuable house on Lake Norman, and condo in Davidson. He’ll be one home less but won’t be homeless.

Gurley Men With a Dash of Tedesco

With a week to go to the Republican primary runoff election for NC Lieutenant Governor and early voting underway a small custom super PAC, “A True Direction Committee“, better described as a micro PAC, popped up to support Tony Gurley in his race against Dan Forest. The committee was organized June 28th by Daniel Spuller, political consultant and, fundraiser for Wake Tech Community College. There are two modest initial contributions to the committee, a $38 in-kind contribution from Spuller and $2,500 from Gurley’s Medical Supply LLC in Durham, a company recently set up by Tony Gurley’s brother and often business partner Danny Gurley. Because of the closeness of the election the full extent of contributions and spending will likely not be known until after the election.
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