It's time to quit this craziness.

From the N&O regarding McQueen Campbell.

In two letters to the partnership's land manager obtained by The News & Observer, Campbell bragged about his connections, writing that he had the "political presence" and "strong relationships throughout state government" to get developments approved "much quicker than any other developer."

And then there's this mind-boggling exchange.

This is the kind of baloney that keeps the frat-boy crowd hanging tight together, scratching each others' backs all the way to the bank. It's no wonder regular people think so many politicians are jerks. And while Campbell apparently did plenty of favors for Mr. Mike, the relationship was completely symbiotic.

More than $50,000 in campaign contributions from Campbell and his brothers, mother and father, placing the family among Easley's most generous donors.

Support and help for Mary Easley when she was first hired at N.C. State in 2005, as well as Campbell's endorsement of her job amid controversy over a big raise she got last year.

Campbell held key positions on the NCSU board when actions were taken on Easley's job.

Campbell got help from the Easley administration. He got quick action on the Cannonsgate development permits.

He twice won dismissals of investigations of his vehicle inspection station from the Division of Motor Vehicles, part of the Easley administration. DMV agents documented serious violations and in one case ordered the station closed. Once Campbell began appeals, both inquiries ended with little explanation.

The trustees at NC State probably think it's a good thing to be tapped into the Easley-Campbell Love Fest. But if they had any integrity, they'd throw the bum out, like yesterday.

Kudos to the N&O for some good investigative reporting.

Updated, as always, to tone down the outrage.


Speaking of undue influence in higher education

Take a look at this list of honorary Ph.D. degrees being granted in Chapel Hill today.

  • Desmond Mpilo Tutu, recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in opposition to South African Apartheid, who will receive a doctor of divinity degree;
  • William J. “Billy” Armfield IV, a UNC alumnus and highly successful textile executive and philanthropist, who will receive a doctor of laws degree;
  • Eli N. Evans, a writer, philanthropist and Carolina alumnus, who will receive a doctor of laws degree;
  • Charles A. Sanders, a leader in health care administration and former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, who will receive a doctor of science degree;
  • Helen M. Scheirbeck, a Lumberton native and advocate for American Indian rights, culture and education, who will receive a doctor of laws degree; and
  • Lee M. Smith, the author of more than a dozen award-winning books and a teacher of creative writing, who will receive a doctor of letters.

I call your attention to Billy Armfield, a string puller like McQueen Campbell and Mike Easley. Read more:

Plaintiff then requested Hancock's (Armfield's daughter) driver's license, which listed her age as eighteen years old. Plaintiff proceeded to write her a citation for underage drinking. Soon thereafter, Hancock's father approached, and plaintiff informed him that he was citing Hancock. Hancock's father, Billy Armfield, was a member of the University Board of Trustees. Armfield asked plaintiff not to issue the citation, but plaintiff declined the request. Plaintiff then left and headed back to the police department.

After the game, Armfield protested his daughter's citation to University officials. Plaintiff's superior, Major Jeffrey McCracken, later communicated to plaintiff that there were questions regarding plaintiff's probable cause to issue the citation. On 29 September 1997, plaintiff reported for duty and entered Hancock's citation into the computer. According to plaintiff, Major McCracken ordered him to turn over the copies of the citation to him, and tried to persuade him to withdraw the citation. The citation was later pulled from a stack of citations ready for transfer to a magistrate.

Emphasis added

This isn't the most horrible thing in the world. I'm sure it happens every day. But it's still wrong.

To my knowledge.

Via email

His term started in July of 2001, then again in 2005, so he is off the board as of the last meeting (last month). We won't get to savor the tossing.

I guess the guy has moved on to greener pastures?

Hood on Easley

Even when the guy's right, I can't get past the smug certainty of someone who thinks he knows the Truth about Everything.

Good editorials from the N&O

Laying out the case of collusion between Campbell and the the Easley family.

And taking Mr. Mike to task for being Governor FREEsley.

The plot sickens

Be sure you read this ... especially after the jump.