Gov. Pat McCrory’s pick to lead the privatized arm of the state Commerce Department is raising questions from the start about conflicts of interest. It is only reinforcing critics concerns about the how the state’s job recruiting will work behind the shade of a private nonprofit outside state government.
While McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker emphasized Richard Lindenmuth’s deep credentials Tuesday, by the end of the day the story focused on Lindenmuth’s decision not to resign from the company that he co-founded, Verto Partners. As today’s story notes, the management consulting firm specializes in corporate restructuring and crisis management.
From the story: “Immediately, critics raised questions about potential conflicts of interest. Lindenmuth said he is no longer involved in the company’s day-to-day operations and that his full attention would be on the partnership. “While I’m doing this, I’m 110 percent here,” he said.”
The question remains whether Lindemuth will file any kind of economic interest disclosure forms like high-ranking appointments inside state government must do. Read more here.
*** Get more on Lindenmuth and the latest campaign news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
The Senate did take an important step toward restoring the benefits, which ended Dec. 28. Senators voted 60-37 to remove a big procedural roadblock to any legislation, with six Republicans joining 52 Democrats and two independents. Yet even if the Senate approves the benefits, advocates still face big hurdles in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Read more here.
The decline is good news but probably overstates the improvement in the local economy, said Mark Vitner, a Wells Fargo economist.
Vitner believes that a key factor in the declining jobless rate is long-term unemployed workers taking jobs that they wouldn’t have accepted otherwise, including part-time work, because they have exhausted both their unemployment benefits and savings. Read more here.
“While he likes G.K. Butterfield as a person, Hewlin believes little growth has progressed in 1st Congressional District in NC in the 10 years he has been in office, pointing out that certain low populated areas in the districted have been neglected,” a statement from the campaign reads.
“With a newly available upgrade in our statistical software we’re also adjusting our weighting procedures with the New Year so that we’ll weight for gender, race, and age simultaneously. The ‘random deletion’ procedure we’ve used since our founding in 2001 has served us well, but you can always do things in a more efficient manner and we hope this change will help make for more robust crosstabs as well.” Read more here.
“The numbers are interesting and newsworthy. But it’s important to understand the dirty little secret of early TV ads: At the end of the day, most of the ads, and most of the money spent on them, won’t make a dime’s worth of difference in the November results.
“I know because I’ve seen this movie before — almost 30 years ago.” Read more here.
Critics expressed skepticism about solar, wind and other green energy subsidies Tuesday at a hearing of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. The panel is chaired by two Republicans who oppose subsidizing green power, Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherfordton and Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte.
After the hearing, Hager said he may propose a study that would focus on how green subsidies impact energy costs, which he sees as a major impediment to economic growth and attracting business to the state.
“There’s gotta be some end to it,” Hager said of state subsidies for renewable energy. “There’s gotta be a point where we say, ‘You’re a business and you gotta operate on your own.’” Read more here.
“The suit, filed by the N.C. School Boards Association, objects to the section of the 2013 N.C. budget bill “appropriating public funds to pay tuition and fees at private schools for certain students” according to the suit filed on Dec. 16. The “Opportunity Scholarship Act” legislation gives a $4,200 voucher to parents of qualified public school students to use toward tuition at a private school of the parents’ choice.” Read more here.