#hayesscandal: Lt. Dan speaks up
McClatchy got Lt. Gov. Dan Forest — the GOP frontrunner for governor in 2020 — to speak up on this week’s indictments and his relationship with donor Eric Lindberg:
[…] From 2016 to 2018, Lindberg donated just over $7.5 million to both super PACs and state and federal political committees, according to campaign finance records filed with the NC State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission.
The largest of those donations included $1 million in December 2017 to Truth and Prosperity Committee, an N.C. super political action committee for which Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has raised money, and a total of $1.4 million to the N.C. Republican Council of State Committee, which Forest chairs. That same committee reported in-kind expenditures of $48,582 to the Committee to Elect Dan Forest from April to November in 2018.
A Forest spokesman said Tuesday following the indictment of Lindberg that the lieutenant governor was not interviewed or subpoenaed during the investigation into bribery and conspiracy. Hal Weatherman, chair of Forest’s exploratory committee to run for governor, said Forest’s official campaign had not received contributions from Lindberg.
In a statement, Forest said of Hayes, Lindberg and others: “I know these men and consider most of them friends. I have read the indictments and they are very troubling. I believe in the presumption of innocence and thus will withhold judgment. But I agree with the rule of law and if laws were broken, then justice should be served. They are facing serious charges.”[…]
First, I don’t know if I’d publicly call ANY of those guys under indictment “friends.” (Even if they ARE, or WERE.)
(Most people don’t give you millions of dollars just because they love you. There is typically an expectation of a return of some kind.)
Let’s get to the troubling part of the story. Forest GOT the treatment Lindberg had allegedly offered Mike Causey (according to the indictment). Lindberg’s team had promised Causey a fundraiser AND some big contributions to his campaign.
(Seriously. What would our side be saying if we were talking about Roy Cooper, Walter Dalton, or Bev Perdue instead of Dan Forest?)
6 thoughts on “#hayesscandal: Lt. Dan speaks up”
Those donations were likely a set up for future “favors” when Lindberg came calling when he needed something done once Forest won the governor’s post. Hopefully Lt. Dan does not have anything he already did for the guy. The Lt. Governor post does not really have much power over anything so a past favor (hopefully) will not turn up.
Lindberg has been a shady type character for some time now. Wouldn’t it be wise to do a little due diligence into the background of someone offing to donate the amounts of money Lindberg donated? Not in reference to Lindberg, but I have seen bills move or not move in the legislature and have had to wonder if money going to someone or some committee wasn’t the reason. There are now several ways to influence politicians – super PACS, 527’s, affiliated committees, caucus committees, and a PAC getting several people from its interest group to individually donate. One member, for example, a few years back raised over $300,000 from assisted living operators who would have been affected by legislation the legislature was considering. It has become a huge problem! The biggest way to dump money behind someone is the “independent expenditure.” It is a right of freedom of speech, but there could be laws that politicians cannot even be told money is being spent on their behalf. Look at the indictment – Causey was offered $1.5 million to be spent on his behalf. So we have to ask questions when that amount of money is put behind a candidate. Would someone like Lindberg really spend that kind of money because he/she just wants good government?
I can see where the Insurance Commissioner has the ability within his powers to do some major things for Lindberg’s insurance companies. I do not seem any functions of the Lt. Governor that would be of use to those companies. I cannot see any quid pro quo with Forest, given the limited powers of his office. And it does not look like Forest was contacting others on Lindberg’s behalf. That was Mark Walker.
The most I can figure is that Lindberg was playing a long game with Forest, figuring that once Forest was governor, Lindberg could call in favors.
The real question here is “Should the council of state, the caucuses or the leaders of the house and senate, both federal and state, be allowed to raise money for other than their personal campaigns”? That is the root of the corruption. This is easy to fix. Pass a low that all donations must go directly to candidate’s campaigns or federal, state and county parties.
The present practice is a major conflict of interest. Nothing more than legal bribery. A lot of problems would be solved with this law.
Why is no one talking about Wayne? You know, the guy that is the NC Dem Chair, that was the commissioner, and received a boat load of money while in that elected office.
I guess I should’ve waited until I’d read the all the post. Never mind.
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