Mark & Yolanda stiffed their landlord. Robinson campaign response: ‘Not our problem.’

We sure are being asked to excuse and forgive an awful lot from our current lieutenant governor and his wife.  Bankruptcies. Criminal charges. False Information. Sketchy business practices. Back-stabbing. On-going financial irresponsibility. Not showing up for work. The list goes on and on.  At what point is enough enough for the man seeking to be the next governor of the great state of North Carolina?

The drive-bys churned out yet another Mark & Yolanda tale I’m afraid will be just one of  many quite similar if Raleigh’s new power couple survives the GOP gubernatorial primary and makes it to the 2024 general election:

In 2012, Kermit Robinson’s life was turning upside down. His wife, Margaret, was on her death bed with cancer. And his tenants in a middle-class Greensboro home quit paying their rent — causing him to lose not only money but also time, dealing with the legal proceedings.

He ended up getting his tenants evicted after they never showed up to the court hearing, public records show. And a decade later he says they’ve still never paid him the roughly $2,000 in question.

In some ways it’s an ordinary tale of hardships many North Carolinians have experienced, from one side or the other. But in one big way, it’s not ordinary at all: Those former tenants could be North Carolina’s next governor and first lady.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a leading Republican candidate for governor, has been open about some of his past financial struggles — which include criminal convictions for writing bad checks, plus multiple bankruptcies and liens for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, rent and car payments. Some of those debts have been paid.

“We the people of North Carolina need someone who understands us,” Robinson said when he kicked off his campaign for governor. “We don’t need another politician who’s spent their life climbing the political ladder. We need a public servant, someone who’s actually lived through the struggles of everyday North Carolinians. I know what it’s like to grow up poor.”

While Robinson is hoping his own hard times make him more relatable to some voters, he’s also not struggling anymore. He has earned more than $350,000 from his taxpayer-funded salary since taking office in 2021. His political supporters have also given millions to his campaign — money Robinson and his wife Yolanda Hill have reported using in the past to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of new clothing.

“Everybody goes through hard times at some point,” Kermit Robinson told WRAL News in an interview. “The quality of a person is — once they’ve gone through that — do they try to rectify their situation.”

Kermit Robinson, who is not related to the lieutenant governor, said he’s not going public now just to try to get paid, or for partisan political motives. The 84-year-old has been a Democrat since he first registered to vote 63 years ago, but he says these days he considers himself a “Democrat in name only” and votes for Republicans if he thinks they’re the best candidate. Most important to him, he said, is that voters know about Mark Robinson’s history.

When Mark Robinson’s family was evicted in 2012, court records show, the judge only ordered them to get out — not to also repay the money. Kermit Robinson acknowledged he could have pursued the back rent further in court. But he said it would’ve taken even more time and, in his experience as a landlord, is usually a waste of time. His wife died a few weeks later, and he was distracted by that as well.[…]

If you thought that was bad, get a load of this next part, arguably one of the most bone-headed public utterances I’ve heard in my decades of experience around political campaigns:

[…] Mark Robinson’s communications director told WRAL it’s not Robinson’s fault his landlord didn’t do what he needed to do to get a court order for the money. “The court did not order for [Kermit Robinson] to recover any rent or damages,” campaign spokesman Mike Lonergan said in an email. “There is a legal process for that and the landlord did not pursue it within the statute of limitations.”[…]

So, it’s Kermit Robinson’s fault that Mark & Yolanda have been sticking it to him on a debt for over a decade ???

WTH, people?  Seriously.

We’ve reported extensively on the Robinsons’ so-called “family business.”  Yolanda, right now, is pulling down a bigger yearly salary there than Mark is as lieutenant governor.  She’s had that business since 2015.

If you owe this man some money, JUST PAY HIM.  Don’t hide behind some lawyerly jive or politico mumbo-jumbo. Do the right thing and PAY HIM. That’s the way decent people handle stuff like this. 

A lot of people fall on hard times.  If you can’t pay a debt on time, most creditors will work something out with you.  Just ask.   Mark & Yolanda have been making good money for a few years now.  They have long been able to afford the payoff amount.

Did Mark & Yolanda not have friends or family they could turn to at the time who could possibly front them the money to pay the debt?

Robinson’s bone-headed campaign spokesman doubled down on his foolishness:

[…]. Lonergan, Robinson’s spokesman, dismissed criticism of Robinson’s past: “It is unfortunate that it is being rehashed by Mark Walker’s flailing campaign in a desperate attempt to boost his dismal numbers.” […]

Again, the candidate who bounces around preaching personal responsibility has his flack refusing to accept personal responsibility and even passing the buck.  I’ve heard the backstory on the Walker-Robinson relationship.  And it makes things even worse.

It’s my understanding that Mark Walker was one of the key people who encouraged Robinson and mentored him along his way in his big-time politics debut.  When Walker ran for US Senate, it’s my understanding that Robinson pledged to endorse Walker in the GOP primary.

Then, to everyone’s surprise — including Walker — Robinson publicly jumps on the bandwagon and endorses Walker’s primary opponent Ted Budd.  It’s my understanding that advertisements, featuring Robinson praising Walker, were even produced and ready to air when the Budd endorsement occurred.

The Tale of These Two Marks is all about betrayal and back-stabbing, folks. Kind of like promising to pay a debt, and not doing it.  Kind of like promising to appear at a fundraiser or speak at an event, and just not doing it.  Kind of like pledging to fight to clean up public education, but skipping important meetings in Raleigh to go fundraise out of state for 2024.

(If I were Josh Stein, or any of Robinson’s GOP primary opponents, I’d schedule a photo op where I’d present Kermit Robinson a check for $2,000 and offer some words of sympathy.) 

An awful lot of big names are clamoring onto the Mark Robinson bandwagon.  This guy got shoved into the limelight after one high-profile speech.  There wasn’t much vetting. Anyone who seriously digs into the story of Mark & Yolanda can find stuff like what’s in this article and MORE. If we found it, and WRAL found it, you KNOW the Democrats have.

Is a track record of financial irresponsibility and failure to honor commitments really what the NCGOP wants leading its ticket into the November elections?  Is it what we need running our great state for the next four years?