#NCSEN: As Theam Tillis gloats, the speaker’s ”right hand man” wins a new trial

thom sighEstablishment Republicans giggling about Greg Brannon’s unfavorable courtroom verdict today might want to stifle it and pay close attention to what happened today in a Greenville courtroom.  Former legislator Steven LaRoque — convicted last year on federal corruption charges — has won a new trial on all counts. LaRoque was a close ally of state House speaker and US Senate candidate Thom Tillis while in the state House.  The speaker rewarded his friend Laroque with the chairmanship of the prestigious House Rules Committee, which works closely with the speaker’s office to determine the fate of each and every introduced piece of legislation:

 […] LaRoque, in explaining to jurors the House Rules Committee that he co-chaired, said he was Tillis’ “right-hand man” in the state legislature and the Rules Committee made sure rules were followed, but also manipulated legislative rules. “Were you good at manipulating rules, sir?,” Duffy asked. “I wasn’t, but I saw that other people did,” LaRoque said. He added, “It’s politics.”

According to reports, the US Attorney has 30 days to file an appeal of the judge’s decision to grant LaRoque a new trial.  That would put a new trial for LaRoque starting in April.  Hmmm.  There’s an election in May ….

In the first trial, LaRoque was eager to boast about his close working relationship with Tillis.  Raleigh sources tell me that LaRoque has soured on Tillis lately — believing his old friend, the speaker, has thrown him under the bus. Could we hear more at an upcoming retrial? 

9 comments for “#NCSEN: As Theam Tillis gloats, the speaker’s ”right hand man” wins a new trial

  1. RJ Matthews
    February 19, 2014 at 11:53 am

    So difficult to find a good conservative candidate.

    • Raphael
      February 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      This is a civil case, but the media reports make people think it was criminal. That preception is going to hurt, and it all goes back to the political propagandizing by the liberal media.

      In the real world. Tilli$ corruption on looking out for the financial interests of the bank he is part owner of when he blocked the bill to end the rip-off renewable energy mandate is much more sleazy than the subject matter of the Brannon court case. Tilli$’ corruption will run up the electric bills of most North Carolinians substantially, while the facts in the Brannon case only impact the plaintiffs.

      As to the impact of the LaRoque case, LaRoque may or may not try to throw Tilli$ under the bus, like Tilli$ threw him. I hope he does.

      But the problem is that the media elite tries to shape the GOP field just like they try to elect the Democrat in November. They try to push the candidate who will be easiest for the Democrats to beat in the Fall. That is why the liberal media beat the drums for Romney for president in the 2012 primaries and McCain in 2008, only to turn on them in the general election. It is why they are pushing Tilli$ and trying to destroy Brannon now.

      The media elite, I am certain, has made note of most of the Tilli$ defects exposed on this site, but they are holding those to nail him in the general election. They have far less to nail Brannon with then, so they are trying to destroy him now.

      Most of all the media elite wants to run with a narrative about how ”awful” the GOP legislature has been and to wrap that around the Senate candidate. Tilli$ is the only one in the primary field with which that media propaganda narrative works, so that is why they are bound and determined to be sure he is there as the target in November. The media elite was so insistent that we nominate Romney because 1) due to Romneycare, he could not effectively go after Obamacare, a very potent issue that was thus taken off the table, and 2) he was the perfect foil for Obama and the media’s class warfare campaign. The GOP establishment is just too inbred to comprehend the way the media elite is using them. Rove is dumb as a brick when it comes to things like this.

      I hope this issue will blow over, and I intend to stick with Brannon in the hopes that it does. However, civil cases like this are many months, sometimes a couple of years in the making, as they go through all the preliminary steps. I wish Brannon had realized that this had the potential to damage his campaign, and stood aside so that conservatives could have chosen another candidate. It is far too late for that now.

      If this does knock out Brannon’s candidacy, then we all need to get behind Mark Harris. The operative words for the 2014 NC Senate race should be ”NOT TILLI$”.

  2. jimmy roberts
    February 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    From Othello:

    “Who can control his fate? ’tis not so now.
    Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed.
    Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt,
    And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
    Do you go back dismayed? ’tis a lost fear.”

    He would have made a formidable candidate but I fear this is the undoing.

  3. jr cooper
    February 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    So let me get this straight. LaRoque claims to be Tillis’ right hand man and is mad because Tillis threw him under the bus and opened the door so that LaRoque would face charges. So LaRoque is mad that Tillis did not somehow make the charges go away.

    So wouldn’t that be in Tillis’ favor?

  4. ALEC
    February 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    No Tillis threw Laroque under the bus to distance himself from incriminating evidence when the heat got too hot and too close to Tillis. Tillis has a history of making poor choices and suffers from Napoleonic Syndrome. In Tillis’s delusional world its okay to put people in leadership positions such as the married chief of staff that had an affair with a married lobbyist in Tillis shared apartment and the Laroque character as his main right hand man in leadership. He believes that he’s Teflon Thom. Tillis has made poor choices and lacks good judgement. If Tillis is called in to testify under oath in this case the Tillis house of cards will continue to be exposed and fall. It will be interesting to see if the continue to cover for him or if he’s messed up so bad they’ll throw Tillis under the bus. If he does trip up and actaully gets elected Teflon Thom’s past will catch up. Tillis is the republican’s John Edwards saga in the making. Tillis is delusional, he can’t even see it. Waterloo is coming for Tillis.

    • jr cooper
      February 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Was Tillis called during LaRoque’s first trial. I must have missed his testimony. What was revealed? Thanks.

  5. jweaks
    February 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    The story says 2 of 12 counts, not all. And frankly, it’s just a dreamy fantasy that this will hurt Tillis. If the dude had anything on Tillis, it would likely have already been played by now.

    Brannon’s troubles are more real and immediate. Even if Brannon is completely innocent, the battle of perceptions is most likely lost.

    It is now harder to beat Tillis and harder to beat Hagan.

  6. jweaks
    February 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Wait a minute… the story says a new trial on all counts and it also says a on 2 of 12 counts… so which is it? Ah… I missed the “previous story” break between the two paragraphs. So he had a retrial coming on 2 counts and now he has a retrial coming on all counts. I got it. Still don’t see this hurting Tillis.

  7. DownEast
    February 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    LaRoque “borrowed” the funds from his non-profit while waiting for his inheritance from his parents estate. When the settlement of the affairs took longer than expected, and his suit against former Democrat Rep Van Braxton was not going as planned, along with his Non-partisan lawsuit v Holder & the DOJ, and his tussle with Rev Barber over LaRoque calling him a racist, is when Sara Ovasko wrote her hit piece. Speaker Tillis distanced himself from LaRoque when he lost his primary and then forced him to resign his position, lest he cast the NCGA & Tillis in a negative light. LaRoque is guilty of not reporting the funds as income via loans on his Dept of Ag forms and as the Co – Chair of the Rules Committee, I’m sure he knows where some secrets are buried in the House, and we wouldn’t want them exposed, now would we? Ask Thom how he likes to flavor his coffee during a session, you might discover one.

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