Blinkin’ Chris, Scowlin’ Rob and the crew over at WRAL’s political wing may be on to something here. Granted, they’re upset from the leftist POV on environmental issues. Really, the most disturbing part of this story is that, apparently, ex-House Speaker Harold Brubaker felt comfortable enough to threaten a state agency with legislative retaliation if his lobbying client’s needs were not met:
Harold Brubaker, the former Republican House Speaker turned powerful lobbyist, tried to ram through a scientifically dubious cleanup project for Jordan Lake and allegedly used hurricane relief funding as leverage, according to emails obtained by NCPW under the Open Records law.
Brubaker’s client, SePro, proposes using chemical treatments — the effectiveness of which has been questioned in scientific journals, by the EPA and DEQ — to clean up algae in Jordan Lake.
Last winter, Brubaker reportedly told then-DEQ Chief Deputy John Evans that if the agency didn’t sign a $1.3 million contract with Sepro, “the GA [General Assembly] would refuse to support hurricane funding.”[…]
On one hand, you could dismiss this as a bunch of blowhard nonsense from a fast-talking lobbyist. But THIS IS a former Republican legislator and former Speaker of the House who has sprinkled around a lot of campaign funds and has A LOT of friends on Jones Street. (And LAST WINTER? That would have been the Republican McCrory administration he was allegedly strong-arming.)
Here’s the apparent CYA email sent by Evans after his alleged conversation with Brubaker:
Some of you may (or may not) recognize the name Mollie Young in the cc: line. She once served as spokesperson for Speaker Timmy.
This is screaming for commentary from Jones Street. DID this go down the way it looks like it did? Was this guy just shooting off his mouth? Or ARE lobbyists being given free reign to use their connections on Jones Street as leverage to threaten state agencies on behalf of their clients?
Harold Brubaker presided over the previous “Republican Revolution” on Jones street (circa 1995). He’s been a close political ally of the notorious Richard Morgan for years.
Brubaker also served as a director of The North Carolina Republican Main Street Committee, a PAC dreamed up in 2003-2004 by Richard Morgan and Burr-Tillis consultant Paul Shumaker to target House Republicans who just couldn’t let go of that pesky conservatism.