Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest and criminal complaint is extraordinary in its sweep and its detail.
The most stunning image is this one: At a Jan. 17, 2013, meeting, the undercover agent allegedly “gave Cannon $12,500 in cash by placing it on the coffee table in front of him. At the same time, (the agent) stated: ‘Well, there is the twelve five under the radar.’
“When (the agent) presented the cash, Cannon looked nervously towards the window and covered the money with a folder. … After (the agent) closed the window blinds, Cannon placed the money near his ear and fanned the bills. Before and after he was given this cash, Cannon promoted himself as the right person to insure that (the agent) does not have any problems with the city.”
Cannon’s prominence sent him to the White House and he enjoyed a close personal relationship with Gov. Pat McCrory, who seemed anguished, as if he lost a loved one, in reacting to the news.
And the ties to another Charlotte scandal are astounding: The case included allegations of payoff negotiations at the Capital Grille – the same uptown steakhouse that figured in the region’s last major political scandal. It was there that former N.C. House Speaker Jim Black of Matthews, also a Democrat, took bribes from a group of chiropractors seeking help with legislation.
It’s a story where you can’t get enough. Here’s a primer:
*** More fundraising maneuvers in the Senate race below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
The event – with hosts paying $2,600 and guests $100 – is at the Brasstown home of Hayden Rogers, Manchin’s chief of staff, according to an invite. Rogers previously served as chief of staff to Rep. Heath Shuler and made an unsuccessful bid for Shuler’s seat in 2012 when his boss retired.
Dubbed “North Carolina Women Vote!,” the group is preparing outside expenditures to help boost the two candidates. “North Carolina Women Vote will seek to educate women voters about the most pressing issues facing North Carolina families in the 2014 elections,” said Marcy Stech, a national spokeswoman.
“Timid Thom was missing in action at forums hosted by The Gaston County Tea Party, Conservatives for Guilford County, and The Forsyth County Republican Party. He didn’t even to bother to participate in a forum hosted by the Lake Norman Conservatives in January that was held less than 10 minutes from his house!
“In February we heard that Timid Thom is “chomping at the bit” to debate. Since then he’s been able to avoid tough questions at forums hosted by The Republican Women of Cary and Southwest Wake, The Cumberland County Republican Men’s Club, The Greater Guilford Republican Women’s Club, and The Rowan County Tea Party.
“Chomping at the bit? After seven years in public office, you’d think Tillis’ shaky knees and butterflies would be gone. You have to wonder why Timid Thom isn’t taking this race seriously.”
Mark Calloway will help steer the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the process. He has extensive experience in the U.S. Department of Justice and in private practice focusing on government investigations.
He was the United States attorney in Charlotte from 1994 to 2001, where he hired Thomas Walker as a prosecutor. He also supervised Walker at Alston & Bird, the law firm where Calloway still works. Walker is now the U.S. attorney in Raleigh; his office is supervising the investigation into how DENR has regulated Duke Energy’s coal ash plants. Read more here.
“Coal ash was being discussed in environmental committees in the state legislature when I arrived in 2009,” he said in the statement. “Apparently, the urgency wasn’t there under Governors Hunt, Easley and Perdue to solve the impending problem. Blaming Governor McCrory for this is akin to blaming my recently-elected hometown council for trying to fix a sewer cost overrun problem that the previous councils incurred over the prior 10 years.”
“The business community has got to step up and get Congress unparalyzed up there,” McCrory said at a daylong conference on transportation and the state economy. “This is coming very quickly, and it could cost us a billion dollars here in North Carolina.”
Conference speakers warned that both the state and federal governments are failing to keep up with the rising cost of transportation needs. Read more here.
A national report released Wednesday by Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry says Indian casino revenue growth in 2012 slowed to 2 percent, down from 3.4 percent in the previous year. At North Carolina’s only casino, revenue was up by nearly 3 percent in 2012, compared to 5.8 percent in the previous year. North Carolina’s one casino is operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Read more here.
Josh Lawson’s first day on the job was Monday, and he attended the state board’s regular meeting. His salary is $50,716. Lawson said he previously worked in commercial litigation at the Law Office of John T. Benjamin Jr. in Raleigh.
Kim Westbrook Strach, the state board’s executive director, said she didn’t believe the agency has ever had a public information officer but that it has needed one for a long time. She said Lawson’s job would involve educating the public about the new voting laws and responding to media questions. “I feel it’s really important to be responsive to the media, and it’s very difficult with the number of calls we get,” Strach said.
Medicaid spending gap estimated to be lower than last year. Read more here.
Hagan: I still work, meet with Obama. Read more here.
Stan White campaign gets NCAE endorsement. Read more here.