A week before the North Carolina 2018 primary election day about one in six candidates had not filed state ethics disclosures required of them since a March 12th deadline. While election day is May 8th, voting has been underway since absentee ballots were first made available March 29th. Voters have been deprived of legally required ethics information in one out of three state primary contests and almost half of the NC House primaries. Continue reading
Today I file a complaint with the State Ethics Commission asking for an investigation into whether NC House Speaker Tim Moore and NC Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger have violated state ethics laws by using their leadership positions to intimidate and interfere with judges considering constitutional challenges to laws enacted by the NC General Assembly. The assault on the judiciary includes changes to judicial elections, judicial redistricting and a blunt statement of “profound consequences”.
A campaign finance report filed by the Ralph Hise for NC Senate Committee in August contains inconsistencies that compound previous discrepancies yet to be properly addressed by Hise.
The mid-year semi-annual report for the period January through June of 2017 was submitted by Ralph Hise’s newest treasurer, Amy B Ellis, CPA. Ellis took over in May after the irregularities in Hise’s campaign finances were the subject of a complaint and follow-up by this author to the NC State Board of Elections.
The Ralph Hise for NC Senate Committee has not reported a number of contributions, amounting to $9,700, that have been reported by various Political Action Committees (PACs) as having been made to the campaign committee of State Senator Ralph Hise. Also, the Hise committee reported a $1,500.00 “refund” from “University of NC” for a payment that was never recorded, making it an impermissible contribution from UNC. Today I filed an amendment to my complaint to the State Board of Elections to include these anomalies.
State Senator Ralph Hise appears to have received over $10,000 more in loan repayments from his campaign committee than the total amount of loans he has made to the committee. Since the formation of the Ralph Hise for NC Senate Committee in 2009 campaign finance records show evidence of 17 personal loans from Ralph E Hise Jr totaling $50,694.37, and evidence of 39 loan repayments totaling $61,020.98, an excess of $10,326.61. Earlier today I filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections regarding this, and other apparent irregularities.
Republican Sue Googe’s quixotic campaign to unseat Congressman David Price in an overwhelmingly Democratic 4th Congressional District has built a superficially compelling narrative but close scrutiny reveals holes clearly visible in the light of public information. “Let me Google that for you”.
Googe is registered to vote at an address in the 4th District where she does not appear to live. Congressional candidates are not required by law to live in the district they hope to represent, but it helps. Jiangxiu “Sue” Fu Googe has been a Cary resident since 2004 when she and her husband bought a 2,400 SF home in a desirable Lochmere development. It was located in the 13th District when Sue Googe filed to run in the 4th Congressional District and it is currently located in the 2nd District.
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)*.
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
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.
$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”.