Fishiness: Did Robin Hayes’s side deal screw over McCrory, commercial fishing AND The NCGOP Downeast?

Many of the folks I’m hearing from say ‘Yes.’220px-Robin_Hayes,_official_109th_Congress_photo

Governor Pat McCrory was one of the few blemishes on what was otherwise a great election for North Carolina Republicans.  Some suggest the fallout from HB2 hurt the governor.  Others are suggesting anger over a controversial toll deal in the Charlotte area contributed significantly to his close loss to Democrat Roy Cooper.  Others are pointing to a long-simmering feud along the North Carolina coast.

For those who don’t know, there has been a significant fight going on over the last few years between our state’s commercial fishermen and the Coast Conservation Association (CCA).  The CCA stands accused of working to kill off commercial fishing along our coast.  635539950868005532-something-fishy-2

The state marine fisheries commission — appointed by the governor — is charged with overseeing rules, regulations, and laws governing fishing in the state’s waters.   Commercial fishing is a significant economic activity along the state’s coast. Wealthy recreational fishermen allied with the CCA have been flooding the governor’s campaign with cash and making some political gains at commercial fishing’s expense.

Well, there was an appointment quietly made to the fisheries commission just before the November election.  Here are some details from the commercial fishing side:

As noted in a Wednesday special update, the Governor has released the names of his latest appointments to the Marine Fisheries Commission. They are:
Mark Gorges was reappointed, but moved from a recreational seat to at-large;
Chuck Laughridge was reappointed, but moved from an at-large position to recreational;
Alison Willis was reappointed in a commercial seat;
Brad Koury was appointed to an at-large seat.

I was asked by media for comments on those appointments, and here is what I released:
Comments from Jerry Schill on the recent appointments to the Marine Fisheries Commission by Governor McCrory:

nt viewpoint, such as a restaurant owner or seafood consumer, the Governor assures the continuing decimation of commercial fishing communities along our coast.The appointments announced by Governor McCrory on November 2nd are astounding. Commissioners known to have violated the Open Meetings Laws of this state were reappointed. The two at-large seats were filled by recreational fishermen, meaning that the MFC will now be three from the commercial perspective, five recreational and one scientist. Rather than fill the at-large seats with individuals from a differe
Coincidentally, a Petition for Rulemaking was filed on November 2nd before the Marine Fisheries Commission by the Southern Environmental Law Center, acting on behalf of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, that would severely restrict shrimping in North Carolina. Or was it a coincidence? Will fishermen get a fair hearing on the issue now before a stacked Commission?[…]

stock-vector-quirky-drawing-of-a-rotten-fish-49263286According to the official magazine of the NC Wildlife Federation, former congressman and current NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes is a “senior advisor” to the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

Interesting.  The fisheries commission is quietly remade just before the election in a manner that suits the CCA and NCWF.  On the very same day the commission is remade, the NCWF — with their senior advisor Robin Hayes — files a petition before the fisheries commission.  Hayes, as you know, likely had a little influence with the governor — who, as you know, makes appointments to the fisheries commission. (But, I digress …)

And here is Dare County GOP chairman Browny Douglas tossing in his two cents: 

Myself and quite a few others could write volumes on this subject. I’ll try not to, however. It can all be brought to light by connecting the dots. Dot 1 is the forever disgusting Coastal CONservation Association (CCA) The 2nd dot is the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). The 3 dot is the Marine Fisheries hayes-keyframeCommission (MFC). Dot 4 is the N C Wildlife Federation (NCWF). Dot 5 is, the NC GOP Ch Robin Hayes. Dot 6 is the NC Governor.

Think CONTROL of what rightfully belongs to ” we the people” by those that want CONTROL for themselves.
The above 6 dots once connected will lead you the point of CONTROL. Now since the CCA for over 20 yrs in NC has failed to completely achieve their goal, it has married up with the NCWF who has brought to the table none other than the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).

The normal recommendation process to fill the MFC was cast aside 5 days before election day. I have more than ample reason to BELIEVE that reappointed member Chuck Laughridge’s name WAS NOT on the list of recommendations presented to the Governor. But, guess what? Wonder if Robin Hayes would care to expound on how that happened?

shenanThose of you in the Outer Banks area may remember the SELC’s role in prolonging the renovations to the rapidly deteriorating Bonner Bridge AND N.C. 12.  SELC lawyers were throwing all kinds of monkey wrenches in the process, putting lives at risk in the area, negatively impacting the local economy, and costing taxpayers a ton.

So, did the NCGOP chairman — who gained that office via dubious means — put his own self-interests ahead of the welfare of the people of eastern North Carolina and the election-year fortunes of the state GOP?