#ncpol: ONE MORE GOPer looking at LtGov?

We’ve got four potentials out there on the GOP side, and it appears that a  New Bern restauranteur and minor-league baseball team owner may make it a quintet.  Buddy Bengel,  owner of Bengel Hospitality and The Morehead City Marlins, is reported to be feeling out various key political players in his neck of the woods about a 2020 run for lieutenant governor. Bengel was quite active in post-hurricane relief efforts in  his home region.  He also appears to be a must-see person for GOP politicians — like Dan Forest, Richard Burr, and Thom Tillis —  campaigning in his neck of…

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NC-03: More vultures?

While incumbent congressman Walter Jones recovers from an injury and the resulting surgery, a number of Republicans are already jockeying to replace him. We’ve heard from perennial candidate Phil Law.  Now, state Rep. Phil Shepard (R-Onslow) is stepping out there publicly: Law and Sheppard would appear to be fighting over the same base of supporters in the Jacksonville area. For what it’s worth, the name of Jonathan Brooks — a longtime GOP campaign consultant and “government relations” expert — is also floating around political circles inside and outside the Raleigh beltline  as a possible candidate for NC-03.  Brooks has worked…

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#ncpol: LtGov GOP field for 2020 already getting crowded

It’s the worst kept secret in Raleigh that Dan Forest is leaving the lieutenant governor post to run for governor in 2020.  A gaggle of Republicans is out there already positioning themselves to replace him. We’ve already told you about NC Rep. Mark Brody (R-Union) and former Mecklenburg County commissioner Jim Puckett.  We also learned former congresswoman Renee Ellmers is eyeing the seat.  (Sources tell me her candidacy is looking more and more certain.)   Another name to throw on the list:  Neal Robbins, an attorney, the current publisher of The North State Journal, and a former aide to Richard…

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#ncga: And then there were TWO! (Perhaps a THIRD?)

We already told you about John Blust getting a visit from the FeeBs.  Now it appears another Republican legislator also had an unexpected encounter: FBI agents reached out to at least two members of the N.C. House of Representatives in recent months, asking questions about an anonymous letter that accused Speaker of the House Tim Moore  of chicanery. Recently retired state Rep. John Blust said a pair of agents visited his office. State Rep.Jason Saine said he got a phone call. Neither man could say exactly what the agents wanted, but they didn’t have any proof of wrongdoing to share. “I hadn’t read the…

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#ncga: FBI? (O-M-G.)

It’s been whispered around the halls of the legislative building for years now:  The feds are hot on the trail of Speaker Timmy and his pals.   Now, according to one former legislator, that piece of workplace gossip may be coming true: A former state House member said Tuesday that two FBI agents visited him in early October and talked with him about an anonymous letter that claimed House Speaker Tim Moore engineered legislation favorable to one of Moore’s legal clients. John Blust, a Greensboro Republican who did not seek re-election and finished his term in December, said in an…

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#ncga: Campaign funds to pay “COLLEGE HUNKS” ?????

No,  we’re not talking about a sex scandal here.  (At least, I DON’T THINK SO.) Jason Saine is still living the good life with his campaign treasury.  Apparently, his folks back home don’t care.  They keep sending him back to Raleigh.  Apparently, the state board of elections doesn’t care.  (Why did they care with Fletcher Hartsell or Ralph Hise, though?)  But we’re STILL going to call him out. Jason reported spending $41,465.83 for the fourth quarter of 2018.  That total includes $2043.20 for airline flights on November 29 and 30.  That was weeks after the election.  His district isn’t big…

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NCGOP picks up senator’s legal bill

This post kinda dovetails off the previous one …. State senator Ralph Hise got caught up in an ethics /elections brouhaha over allegations of using campaign funds for personal use.  (Paying attention, Kelly and Jason?) Steve Long, of the politically-powerful Ward & Smith firm, is IDed (and quoted) as a Hise campaign attorney.  Long is reportedly a tax attorney who also happens to be a prominent NCGOP activist AND a member of the UNC Board of Governors. Well, the case against Hise got settled.  And it appears that the state Republican Party paid Ward & Smith for its representation of…

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Fools and our money ….

In 2018, the state GOP managed to blow the reelection of a state Supreme Court justice,  FOUR appellate court races, and two super-majorities in the legislature. The state Republican majority only managed to scrape together $825 for then-Supreme Court justice Barbara Jackson in her losing effort.   Yet they managed to find nearly $11,000 for county commissioner candidates in Tim Moore’s neck of the woods.   Exhibit A: That’s right.  A 10/30/18 check for $7500 to Catawba County commissioner Kitty Barnes (R).  Apparently, someone had the good sense to STOP PAYMENT on said check on  11/2.    Exhibit B: Here we…

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NCGOP Follies: “Results, not Rhetoric” & The Pronunciation Game

Surprisingly, this one has NOTHING to do with the little cartoon character. What you see below is being pushed out all over social media: This is not news.  He already told us in his emailed Christmas card that he was running again.  The ad is recycled from his last run for chairman, where he knocked off Jim Womack. The fact that it’s being pushed out now means someone is putting some money behind it.  But is he seriously going to run under the slogan “Results, not Rhetoric” this time around?  After November???? The 9-11 hijackers got results.   Let’s look at…

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It’s ALIVE! (Chicken plant is back to take another peck at Speaker Timmy)

We told you earlier about Speaker Tim  Moore conveniently getting an ethics complaint about a private business deal dismissed on the very last day of existence for the state board of elections and ethics enforcement.   Well, the liberal group that filed that one is back with a NEW complaint about the same deal: A Washington, D.C.,-based government watchdog group asked the state ethics board Monday to look into the role a senior aide to House Speaker Tim Moore played in state environmental approvals for a closed chicken plant Moore co-owned. The Campaign for Accountability obtained emails in late November…

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