A top executive at a North Carolina paving company has pleaded guilty in federal court in what prosecutors say was an $87 million scheme involving government-funded road construction projects.
Carl Andrew Boggs III pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation and money laundering. The 50-year-old from Waxhaw is president and part owner of Boggs Paving, Inc. He now faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
And not one word about Boggs hosting a campaign fundraiser for Gubernatorial candidate McCrory, during the time Boggs was ripping off the Federal government, no less. If this had been Bev Perdue or Mike Easley, the press would be all over this connection like flies on dog poop. Infuriating.
The 29-count indictment charges Boggs Paving Inc., Carl Andrew Boggs, III (a/k/a Drew Boggs), 49, of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Kevin Hicks, 42, of Monroe, North Carolina; Greg Miller, 59, of Matthews, North Carolina; Greg Tucker, 40, of Oakboro, North Carolina; John Cuthbertson (a/k/a Styx Cuthbertson), 68, of Monroe; and Styx Cuthbertson Trucking Company Inc., of Wingate, North Carolina; with conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud for a scheme that lasted more than 10 years and involved more than $87 million in government contracts. All the defendants except Greg Tucker are also charged with mail fraud.
And McCrory can't claim he doesn't know this particular crook, because it appears Drew Boggs actually hosted a reception for the soon-to-be Governor:
But one of his leading challengers, Rev. Mark Harris, is hoping to stir things up and is planning to repeatedly criticize Tillis's decision to remain as House Republican leader while running for the Senate. Tillis is able to raise money for his Senate campaign from lobbyists with interests before the state's General Assembly, but it's illegal to raise such funds for his state legislative campaigns. Framing the speaker's conduct as "pay to play," Harris suggested the activity was unethical.
"It would have been better judgment for him to step down as speaker. It opens the door for questions of ethics to be raised," Harris told National Journal, arguing that it could become a glaring vulnerability if Tillis wins the GOP nomination against Sen. Kay Hagan. "If I had one thing to do differently [in the campaign], I would have demanded he step down as speaker in October."
Tillis is blatantly taking advantage of a loophole in our campaign finance/lobbying laws by doing this, and it should be an issue for voters (both Primary and General) to contemplate. And unless I missed it somehow, our NC reporters have left this issue alone. Maybe he isn't "breaking the law" in the classic sense, but it is definitely newsworthy.
Our America, a Super PAC based in North Carolina, has announced that it has purchased a number of billboards that will highlight Senator Kay Hagan's continued refusals to back up her promises with regard to Obamacare. "On more than 20 occasions, Senator Hagan has stated that she will protect the rights of citizens to keep their health plan and to see the doctors of their choice", said Allison Milbridge, spokesperson for Our America.
Our America is working in several different states with a goal of returning Republican majority to the Senate. The group is preparing to release this commercial (http://www.ouramericaaction.com) in Minnesota targeting Senator Al Franken, the actual deciding vote in the passage of Obamacare.
Maybe you can find something more on Allison Milbridge, but I couldn't. And it looks like this is another case where the "Headquarters" is actually a UPS Store. Which should be a serious red flag for the NC BOE, but apparently not.
It was the spring of 2013, and lawmakers were busy drafting more than 1,700 bills, including a handful that had big implications for companies that manage homeowners associations and condominiums. At the same time, a group called Alliance for Better Communities, which is bankrolled by property management companies, gave four donations totaling $51,000 to a nonprofit closely tied to Republican state House leaders.
There's a lot more to this sordid tale, but (as is almost always the case) the people slinging money around were able to do so legally. Proving once again, there's often a huge difference between "legal" and "ethical."
We saw this with the 19th century robber barons and in the 1930’s with the liberty league. Each generation has had to deal with these bullies. In the modern era, they are the Koch brothers and their wealthy allies, including North Carolina’s Art Pope. Spending millions of dollars, America’s 21st century bullies have reshaped the Republican Party and are threatening representative democracy.
Since 2010, in North Carolina, conservative businessman Art Pope has spent millions moving the state government to the right. Now, for the first time since reconstruction, Republicans control the governorship and the legislature. One observer noted, “Democrats running for office in North Carolina are running against Art Pope.”
This is one big reason why Democrats (both elected and activists) need to support campaign finance reform, instead of trying to "play the game" of big money with their Republican opposition. Aside from a handful of progressive businessmen, most of the wealthy would prefer to continue the shift of the nation's wealth upwards and preserve their dominance of our public policy debates, and the GOP gives them exactly that. The longer we put that off, the more influential these modern-day robber barons become:
I and my company have never given money to super PACs, and none of the organizations I worked with in 2010 did any election campaigning under Citizens United.
It was the voters, not Citizens United, who changed the face of North Carolina government. No matter how many times the progressive left repeats its lies about North Carolina, it is not going to change the truth.
Like many of his faux-Libertarian "experts" who write about various issues, Pope uses a small truth to conceal a much greater lie. By adding that "under Citizens United" qualification at the end of the sentence, he hopes to convince readers that this never happened:
As a so-called "social welfare" 501(c)(4) nonprofit, number of its donors the group, since renamed the Renew North Carolina Foundation, must publicly disclose: 0
Limits Renew NC must adhere to on contributions from lobbyists and corporations, which are banned from giving directly to candidates: 0
Date on which McCrory told reporters who questioned his participation in Renew NC's high-dollar events that "[e]verything we are doing is right regardless of the perception you are giving": 6/26/2013
This is another massive fail by the NC Board of Elections. The television ad which all of us (including the BOE) have watched for too many days now was obviously (and poorly) acted out by the Governor, meaning he is actively and directly involved with Renew North Carolina's efforts. In case that's not a clear enough description, here are two more words for the BOE to mull over: coordinated communications.
The N.C. Republican House Caucus Leadership fund will be raising money at the Carolina Country Club next month. The Aug. 27 shindig is billed as a reception honoring the GOP House caucus. Chipping in $10,000 will get you 12 tickets to the VIP and general receptions, with less expensive options available down to $150 single tickets.
In all fairness, the Club did just decide to finally allow one (Duke Energy) African-American to join its previously lily-white ranks:
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