Former legislator Dale Folwell, now heading up the Employment Security Commission for Gov. Pat McCrory, went back to Jones Street today to get grilled by his former colleagues. From all the reports we’ve seen and heard, he didn’t exactly roll over and submit to the ‘honorables’:
The controversy over who will make future appointments to the state Board of Review, which rules on appeals of unemployment board decisions, has gotten personal.
Rep. Julia Howard, a senior Republican lawmaker from Mocksville, and Dale Folwell, head of the N.C. Division of Employment Security and himself a former Republican legislator, harshly criticized each other in comments to reporters following a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday morning.
Howard charged that remarks Folwell made during the session were “very disrespectful” to the committee.
Folwell contended Howard was angling to get herself appointed to the Board of Review. Howard denied the accusation.
During the committee meeting, Folwell complained his agency had been “bullied” with regard to the Board of Review. His remarks were limited by the committee chairman, Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, who disallowed discussing a provision that wasn’t in the bill before the legislators.
“But,” she added, “it is what it is.”
Folwell said of his “bullied” comment that Howard “has constantly told me that I got this job because of her” and that the Board of Review issue “continually comes up.”
Howard “continues to try to get herself appointed to the best part-time job in North Carolina’s history,” Folwell said of the Board of Review. “It pays $120,000 a year.”
Folwell said Howard sought an appointment to the board last year, but Howard said she hadn’t.
“Nor would I,” she added.
Last year, Howard said, she did file a government application required for appointments “in case something comes up,” but it wasn’t for any particular position.
“You have to have your information on file,” she said.
Howard later said in an email message that “just for the record, I have never, ever said (Folwell) got the job because of me.”
Julia Howard is QUITE a, um, “treasure.” Long-time politics watchers may remember her as a co-conspirator in the successful 2002 effort to steal the House majority from the GOP and hand it to a coalition led by Democrat Jim Black and Republican Richard Morgan. (For 2013, Civitas Action gave her a conservative effectiveness grade of 76.9 out of 100 — basically a C-. )
In 2004, Frank Mitchell, a Republican legislator Howard and Morgan helped gerrymander out of the House, moved into Howard’s district to primary her:
[…] In Iredell County, Rep. Frank Mitchell changed residences to run against Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, a close ally of Morgan. In one Mitchell radio ad, a barking dog complains about Howard’s support for a tax on pet food. “Apparently she believes in taxing anything that wags its tail,” the ad says.[…]
[…] “They’re going to have to explain to their constituents why they sided with Morgan,” said Rep. Frank Mitchell, who is changing his address to run against Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, a Morgan lieutenant. “They just can’t go home and … say they sold their vote for a little bit of power and a nice office.” […]
Apparently, cooperating with Morgan and Black is no longer the sin that it was a decade ago. Howard’s co-conspirator in the Morgan-Black affair, Carolyn Justice, is now vice-chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Folwell left the House in 2012 to run for lieutenant governor. At that time, he held the position of speaker pro tem. House insiders tell me that Folwell’s departure was motivated, primarily, by his frustration with the Tillis-Stam clique in the GOP caucus.
Folwell, a forensic accountant by trade, is arguably one of the smartest stars in the NCGOP stable. He’s not the most photogenic or articulate or politically-astute guy in Raleigh, but he’s loaded with principle and integrity. Folwell is the kind of guy we need in a leadership role.
Kudos to Secretary Folwell for calling out Howard — a political parasite who has long overstayed her welcome in state government.