LGBT-ing the G-O-P.

A national group that says having the GOP incorporate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) agenda into its platform is “the conservative thing to do” has apparently established a beachhead on Jones Street. The American Unity Fund  has hired two lobbyists, who are in very good standing with Republican state House leaders, to make the LGBTQ case in the North Carolina State Legislature.  According to the secretary of state’s web site, Theresa Kostrezwa and Lisa Martin of Capitol Advantage Associates are representing the group on Jones Street. If you’ve been paying attention, you may know that the driveby media…

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#nc-03: Emerson Electric, Boehner tag-teaming Walter Jones?

That’s what it looks like.  Take a gander at this invitation for a September 29 fundraiser in DC for Jones’s primary opponent, *local boy* Taylor Griffin: Subject: Fwd: Taylor Griffin Please Join Jim Carter John Green Will Kinzel Hunter Moorhead Jeff Strunk Emerson Responsible Government Fund For a Reception Honoring TAYLOR GRIFFIN Republican Candidate for NC3 September 29th,2015  5:00 PM Bobby Van’s Steak House 809 15th Street,NW Washington, DC $2500/PAC Host, $1000/Individual Host $1000/PAC,$250/Individual Please make checks payable to: Taylor Griffin for Congress PO Box 3451New Bern, NC 28564 Kindly RSVP by contacting Tandy Harrison at H2 CapitalConsulting Group.Phone: (202) 904-8005 | Email: tharrison@h2ccdc.com…

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#ncga: Sex And The (capital) City

We all remember the hubbub over the chief of staff (and roommate) to then-speaker Thom Tillis getting caught in a tryst with a Jones Street lobbyist.  Then, late last year, the state ethics commission said sex does not count as trading something of value. Now, a quartet of House members — Faircloth, Glazier, Grier Martin, and Leo Daughtry — have decided to address the whole matter with some legislation:  […] SECTION 1. G.S. 138A-31 is amended to add a new subsection to read: “(d) A covered person shall recuse themselves from any legislative, executive, or official  action if that action may…

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Want to get BIG money out of politics? Shrink Big Government.

$100 million for ONE US Senate race. Most of it flooded in from out of state.  What is this all about?  Why are all of these people willing to fork out so much for a US Senate seat from North Carolina?  If it can be done, government tries to regulate it.  (No kidding.  There are regulations and studies dealing with COW FLATULENCE.  There are also attempts to regulate carbon dioxide — which we exhale. ) Lobbyists are paid to protect certain interests from government busybodies.  As the busybodies expand their scope of influence, we get more regulations and rules and…

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#NCGA: A short session surprise?

A piece of legislation that has raised the ire of Civitas and other Tea Party-aligned groups,  and has been voted down twice in the state House, has been resurrected and sent to the House Rules Committee.  According to a rather surprising source — who has a vote in the House GOP caucus — it’s eligible to be voted on in the General Assembly’s short session.   The legislation I am taking about is H440 — The North Carolina Benefit Corporation Act.  It’s come up in the legislature in 2011 and in 2013.  Tea Party groups have attacked this legislation as…

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#NCSEN: Speaker Thom & Lobbyist LOVE

      Some time back, we wrote about the high levels of affection Thom Tillis’ legislative staff was showing some Jones Street lobbyists.  Now, it appears some lobbyists are showing Speaker Thom a little bit different kind of love. Word broke yesterday that a gaggle of Raleigh lobbyists was hosting a fundraiser for the Speaker’s US Senate run.  Now, word comes from our nation’s capital of another feeding from the special-interest trough:  A Washington, D.C., fundraiser scheduled for this week for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican candidate for Senate, will feature a few big GOP names, including…

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Emails from Speaker Tillis, other lawmakers raise suspicions of lobbyist shakedowns

        Some lobbyists recently received an email from the reelection campaign of House Speaker Thom Tillis asking for money.  State law prohibits lawmakers from soliciting lobbyists for campaign contributions.   Bob Hall, with Democracy North Carolina,  has chimed in on the episode quite passionately: Despite campaign promises to stamp out “pay to play” politics in Raleigh, House Speaker Thom Tillis is in the middle of what can only be called a shakedown of lobbyists for campaign cash. His political director sent an email to many lobbyists with a clear message: get your PAC to send us a…

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“Tom-with-an-H” is all alone on this one

Drip-drip-drip.  The sordid details surrounding Speaker Thom’s staff  are treating Raleigh Republicans to the worst kind of Chinese water torture.  They took power in 2010  promising a different environment than what their predecessors offered.  Considering some of the stories coming out of the speaker’s office, it’s like Richard, Jim, Joe, and Marc NEVER left. First we find out that Speaker Thom’s right-hand man — and roommate — was having an affair with a married lobbyist.  Then, we find out that a female employee on Speaker Thom’s staff was ALSO having an affair with a lobbyist.  Both employees “resigned” and we…

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Ex-members of Team Thom hit jackpot on way out the door

        Hmmmm.  Severance pay for resigning from your job.   That’s a new one.  But they’re always breaking new ground, or looking to do so, on Jones Street: State House Speaker Thom Tillis authorized payments equal to a month’s salary for two high-level staffers after they resigned because of inappropriate relationships with lobbyists. The payments total a combined $19,333 to Tillis’ former chief of staff and his former policy adviser. Tillis said Wednesday the payments were made to help each staffer after they were no longer working for the state. Tillis’ office also offered a justification for…

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Around the world with Renee (and the lobbyists)

Government records show that lobbyists paid for congresswoman Renee Ellmers, her husband, and her chief of staff to visit Turkey and Israel in August and October of 2011. From 8/13/11 to 8/21/11,  Ellmers and her husband toured Israel on the dime of The American Israel Education Fund. From 10/14/11 to 10/21/11, Ellmers and her husband toured Turkey on the dime of   the  U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, the Congressional Study Group on Turkey, and  the  Turkish Coalition of America.   (Is this what you call “fighting for the people of North Carolina”?) The congresswoman’s chief of staff, Al Lytton,…

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