"Conflict of interest? What does that mean?"

And if they understood what the word "ethics" means, they'd probably disband that Commission, too:

"This is a power grab by a small handful of economic interests that profit off of the use of our environment," said Todd Miller, executive director of the N.C. Coastal Federation. "It puts the foxes completely in charge of the hen house."

You've got to understand, in the twisted mind of a Republican, the people who are positioned to profit the most from a board or commission seat are exactly the ones who need to be there. What's in the best interests of the public doesn't even register, because one person making an assload of money will (magically) improve the lives of everybody else. And as far as institutional knowledge:

"This is unprecedented," said David Webster, a CRC member and professor of biology and marine biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. "I don't think this has ever happened in the state of North Carolina, and I think it sets a very bad precedent."

See, people who have been involved in these issues for years know all the tricks and bad ideas that realtors and others have been trying to implement. Start over from scratch, and they can stop worrying about all those pesky environmental consequences.