Infighting is no surprise in politics. We hear stories all the time of betrayals – perceived and real. The story of Julius Caesar and Brutus is probably the most famous.
Mark Robinson is the sitting lieutenant governor of North Carolina. He arguably owes his election to that position to an April 2018 speech he made before the Greensboro City Council.
Mark Walker is a former pastor in Greensboro who also served that city in Congress from 2015 to 2021.
Political insiders have long recognized that Walker played a major role in elevating Robinson’s political profile so that he would be a credible competitor in the 2020 election. Robinson, in his memoir released in Sept. 2022, even gave Walker a shout-out in the last line of the Acknowledgements:
Okay. That’s nice, isn’t it?
Let’s think back to 2022. Walker was competing with congressman Ted Budd and former governor Pat McCrory for the GOP nomination for US Senate. It sounds like Robinson was extremely grateful for Walker’s help with his rise to power. It would not be surprising to see Robinson returning the favor.
Sources tell us Robinson spoke privately with Walker about the campaign and gave the impression an endorsement might be forthcoming. Then, out-of-the-blue in April 2022, Robinson publicly endorses Ted Budd — figuratively shoving a knife in his buddy Walker like ol’ Brutus did to ol’ Julius way-back-when.
The primary vote happened the next month. Ted Budd won, and the rest is history.
So, it wasn’t hard to see revenge as a possible motive behind Walker’s entry into the 2024 GOP primary for governor. The former congressman has even taken some shots at his old buddy-now-primary-opponent. Check out what a Robinson spokesman had to say in response to some of Walker’s criticisms:
[…] Mike Lonergan is a a spokesman for Robinson’s campaign. In an email to WUNC, he said the financial and legal issues are “decades-old news peddled by washed-up career politicians desperate to gain traction for their doomed campaigns.” […]
So, Walker goes from the subject of a kind-hearted, grateful acknowledgement in Robinson’s 2022 book to being labeled a “washed-up career politician” by one of Robinson’s henchmen in 2023?
Speaking of that Robinson book, here’s how it’s done in terms of sales, AS OF RIGHT NOW:
Has there been any reporting of income from this book? I haven’t seen any mention on the lieutenant governor’s statement of economic interest.
(The book HAS been out there for a year now.)
I know some “honorables” in Raleigh and DC have gotten in trouble for lobbyists buying extremely LARGE quantities of pols’ godawful, poorly-written memoirs.
For what it’s worth, Robinson’s most recently-filed ethics form says he is NOT a candidate for elected office.
This ethics form making that declaration was filed one day after the drive-by media reported on his official announcement of his gubernatorial campaign.
This form was likely filled out by the same person who did the tax reporting for Balanced Nutrition, handled the Robinsons’ Guilford County taxes, and neglected to mention Yolanda’s involvement in all that charter school stuff on previous ethics forms.
*Keep flooring that accelerator as we speed precariously toward that steep cliff.*