#ncga: Being charitable with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY

I’m a big fan of private citizens voluntarily investing their time, talents, and funds to do good for their fellow man.  (I’ve done my share via my involvement with various civic clubs and my church.)  It can feel quite good knowing that your sacrifice / contributions / sweat equity led to something good happening.  

State senator Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg) has apparently decided to be charitable on our behalf: 

NC Sen. Jeff Tarte, the former mayor of Cornelius, has secured $200,000 in discretionary money  for Charlotte-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas. The funding was announced at a Big Day at the Lake reception last night.

On hand were Cornelius Commissioners Thurman Ross and Jim Duke,  Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham, NC Rep. John Bradford and a variety of business and community leaders, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Donna Dunlap, and Carol Lee, the CEO of Big Day at the Lake when it was launched 13 years ago.

Tarte said he has seen the difference first hand Big Brothers Big Sisters make in children and teens. His daughter became a Big Sister after the Tarte family hosted kids during Big Day at the Lake each July.

The Tartes have been Big Day at the Lake Boat Hosts and financial supporters since its inception in 2004.

Big Day at the Lake matches at-risk kids in Big Brothers with volunteer boaters for a fun day on the lake. The kids fish, boat and swim with their Boat Hosts—and their chaperones or Bigs—and then gather at Duke Energy Explorium for a picnic.

The event is July 22 this year; the State of North Carolina has declared July 22 Big Day at the Lake Day.[…]

“Discretionary funds” is politician-speak for what the rest of us know as “slush funds.”  The money is not earmarked for anything in particular.  Politicians get to use their “discretion” as to how it gets spent.  And, of course, those decisions are made based on how much re-election help the recipient can provide.

I have  no problem with Big Brothers-Big Sisters.  it’s a great organization.  But there are A LOT of arguably worthy non-profits doing good work at the local level from Murphy to Manteo.  Where do you draw the line? 


[…] The $200,000 discretionary appropriation will help push Big Day at the Lake well past $1.15 million in funds given directly to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas.The Charlotte-based non-profit has a strong track record of effective mentoring, such that “littles” stay in school, get better grades and steer clear of the juvenile justice system.

“This is a good way to put money into a successful program with a demonstrated track record,” Tarte said.

This year’s Big Day at the Lake fundraising goal was $100,000, said financial chair Della Stafford. The total was $98,200 Friday night with more pledges coming in, and not counting the $200,000 appropriation from the state legislature.[…] 

Okay.  First, these folks were on the verge of having ONE MILLION DOLLARS in the bank.  They were apparently doing just fine without our tax dollars.

Second, they were easily going to make their fundraising goal.  Where was the need for this $200,000 from US (via Tarte)? 

I guarantee this, um, “donation” will show up again down the road in Tarte re-election propaganda.


7 thoughts on “#ncga: Being charitable with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY

  1. As the late US Senator Roman Hruska (R-NE) once said, “the politician who buys votes with his own money is called corrupt but the politician who buys votes with the taxpayers money is called a liberal”

    These days it seems more the special interests using campaign money to turn politicians into prostitutes who will turn tricks for them in the legislature, but Tarte is showing that there are other types of corruption, too. This slush fund needs to be zeroed out.

  2. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

    Davy Crockett (Member of Congress – Later died at the Alamo)

  3. “I guarantee this, um, “donation” will show up again down the road in Tarte re-election propaganda.”
    Nice allegation but thanks to Citizen’s United you will have no proof.
    $200K can do a LOT for a non-profit organization that is doing good work throughout the region. Helping to grow good citizens from those children with difficult situations is a big benefit for all of us.

  4. It’s so transparent. Don’t get me wrong, Big Bros Big Sisters Is a fantastic Organization. But they were on track to meet their goals for this event.
    Tarte’s seat is in trouble, especially in th lake area because of his ineffectiveness stopping the toll roads, our ever conjested roads that have never seen widening, and for other reasons.
    But Big Day at the Lake is a favored boat owner charity. It’s a fabulous event. I have volunteered to help disadvantaged kids in court for years. All volunteers to help kids know the joy of volunteering, and the struggles.
    But the overblown amount? Sheehan at work. For his client who has voted yes on bills that will hurt us including kids. Especially when it comes to de-funding education. And passing tax hikes to where our taxes are way higher than other states, like MA. So he has a slush fund to throw around, transparent.

  5. You are some real sick people. Why can’t you just be happy that this money will help kids? You are the ones playing politics with this. Fix your moral compass.

    1. People like you need to heed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s words – “The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples money”.

      Maybe you need to move to Venezuela. They do lots of things with other peoples money there, although they are now close to running out of it.

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