Joe Sinsheimer is taking his ball and going home. Pay to play still rules at the State Legislature and few players have stepped up to lead the charge for ethical government, and least of all the leadership. Sinsheimer hand delivered a letter to Governor Mike Easley in which he asked the Governor to call for Jim Black's resignation as Speaker.
In addition he asked Easley to rescind Bill Culpepper's nomination to the State Utilities Commission in the light of Culpepper's acceptance of a Bellsouth PAC contribution after his nomination and he asked Easley to: ...more below...
conduct a top-to-bottom review of ethics in state government with a goal of eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, the “pay-to-play culture” that permeates Jones Street and other parts of state government.
The Charlotte Observer first broke this story:
12:14 pm | Anti-Black Web site will disappear
Former Democratic campaign researcher Joe Sinsheimer announced Wednesday that he will take down his Web site, www.jimblackmustgo.com, at the end of the month, almost a year after creating it.
"I have had my say and my role in this fight is finished," Sinsheimer wrote in a letter to Gov. Mike Easley Tuesday. Sinsheimer will continue to run his venture capital firm in Raleigh.
He called on Easley to ask Black to resign.
Easley's office said he had not yet seen the letter.
Black's office offered no comment.
Now that Black is clearly in the crosshairs of Federal prosecutors Sinsheimer is retooling his advocacy agenda. The spotlight on Black also helped flush out other unsavory practices related to lobbying and campaign finance most notably the insidious influence of payday lending money. While his role in the Black affair has been superceded by Federal prosecutors, he believes reform will still have to come from the top down and has started at the top, with Mike Easley:
There are political reasons to address this problem now as the scandal surrounding Speaker Black is hurting Democratic candidates today and has the potential to hurt our party in the crucial 2008 elections. Democrats need to show North Carolina that good government is more important than party loyalty.