Progress NC

McCrory's ethical troubles continue

If you're following the ethical trials and tribulations of our hapless governor, you already know that he's not smart enough to fill out a disclosure form that thousands of others have managed to complete just fine. But "not smart enough" is just a red herring. The truth is, McCrory has been trying to cover up his ties to special interests (most notably, Duke Energy) throughout his career. What most people don't seem to understand is that Duke Energy simply paid Pat McCrory to run for governor for more than a decade. His only job was glad-handing and ass-kissing.

WHAT: Progress NC Action files second ethics complaint against Gov. McCrory
WHEN: Monday, March 9 at 10:30am
WHERE: State Ethics Commission, 424 North Blount St., Raleigh

From Progress NC's press release:

RALEIGH -- Progress NC Action will file a second formal ethics complaint with the State Ethics Commission on Monday morning, further outlining Gov. Pat McCrory’s pattern of deceptive omissions of clear conflicts of interest from his ethics forms. As the complaint shows, Gov. McCrory has failed to properly disclose a number of luxury hotel stays at partisan political conventions which were paid for by the Republican Governors Association. These summits were held behind closed doors at some of the country’s most luxurious and expensive hotels, with unknown corporate donors. Despite Gov. McCrory’s repeated claims that he filled out his Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) forms correctly, the governor now admits that he should have disclosed the trips as gifts.

McCrory’s admission that he should have disclosed the gift of luxury hotel stays comes after he failed to report ownership of Duke Energy stock after the Dan River coal ash spill, and his failure to report over $185,000 in income from during his first year as governor in 2013. McCrory made more money from in 2013 than he did as governor.

Progress NC Action will file the second complaint around 10:30am Monday at the State Ethics Commission in Raleigh. The group will also deliver more than 11,000 petition signatures asking Gov. McCrory to allow the Ethics Commission to make its investigation public.

This week on Jones Street

As we roll toward April 15th, it would be great to hear from North Carolina citizens everywhere about the Very Big Savings you're seeing on your tax bills. And while you're busy calculating your new-found wealth, you might want to look ahead to the coming Republican "Trojan Horse Tax Cuts":

  • Are you one of the people who had your mortgage written down after being defrauded by the banksters? If so, did you know that the amount of the write-down will now be taxed as income? Even though you'll never see a dime of that amount, guess what? You'll get to pay taxes on it! How cool is that?
  • Are you a student who was counting on being able to deduct tuition expenses from your taxable income? Count no more. If the NC House goes along with Phil Berger's plan, that deduction will be off the table.
  • Are you a person who drives a car? Well, congratulations. Thanks to some legislative sleight of hand, you'll be seeing the amount of tax you pay on gasoline go up, up, and more up later this year. Just you wait.

All of these insults to the middle class are on the docket this week in Raleigh. The only question is whether these bills will sneak through without debate or be rammed down our throats will a hearty "screw you." And that, of course, depends on what kind of speaker Tim Moore is. Will he turn out to be Phil Berger's "yes man" and do the dirty work of further shredding the middle class, or will he stand up and say, "this isn't right."

Smart money says he's a yes man. There not a hint of evidence that he can think for himself, and there's certainly no indication that he understands the toll Republican policies are taking on North Carolina's middle class.

If you're a rich guy who doesn't care about anyone else, you should be delighted this week with the legislature. The Republican plan to help you get even richer is well underway. To those who are counting on trickle down to lift all boats, well, you're basically shit out of luck.

PS Also, look for Democrats to propose legislation for equal rights for women in North Carolina, and that could include equal pay. Then look for Republicans to say "we don't need no stinkin' equality. A woman's place is under her man."

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