#ncga: David Lewis. (Working HARD for the money?)

State Rep. David Lewis has had a bumpy holiday season. He’s had an ethic complaint filed against him by a fellow Republican legislator. He’s been the focus of two stories alleging pay-to-play style activities. dl

Despite the similarities in the two ethics allegations, Lewis and his allies are dismissing them as bookkeeping errors and simply constituent service.  (Never mind big campaign contributions came to Lewis from those ”constituents” in close proximity to his specific legislative maneuvering.) 

Well, if you talk to  folks in Lewis’s home county, these Raleigh allegations against Lewis are nothing new.  Here’s then-Harnett County commissioner Gary House (R) in 2014: 

[…].As time went on, NC House Representative David Lewis started putting pressure on Commissioner Burgin to change the way the $500 recreation fees were charged to the developers in the county.  I clearly remember on several occasions Commissioner Burgin telling me that if David Lewis wants the rec fees changed, he needs to do it in Raleigh and not ask the county board to do it.
Representative Lewis also telephoned and emailed the planning department on numerous occasions in an attempt to persuade them to change our ordinance.  From what I have been told, he even went as far as re-writing our ordinance for us.  In my eight years on the board, I have never known Representative Lewis to become so involved in any county issue.

Hmmm.  The Rules chairman in the North Carolina House neck-deep in the middle of rewriting a county ordinance?  What’s up here?  (Keep Reading:) 

The planning board approved language for our ordinance.  I have even had one planning board member tell me that Representative Lewis called him before thdl111111eir vote in an attempt to persuade him.
The planning board approved new language but it was not the language Representative Lewis wanted.
The planning board sent the new language up to the county board to approve at its next meeting.  The morning before the county board meeting, Commissioner Burgin calls me and asks me to come to a lunch meeting with him, Representative Lewis and David Levinson, one of the developers of the Anderson Creek Club.  It was probably a wise move that I elected not to go.
At 4:00 that afternoon, Commissioner Burgin shows up at the planning department with even new language to be inserted into the planning board’s recommendation to the county board.  This is completely against protocol.  I actually saw the new language at 6:55 pm and was asked to vote on it at 7:10.  I tried my best to read the changes while listening to Commissioner Burgin and Commissioner Miller argue for ten minutes over the issue.  Frankly, the new language was not clear.  Commissioner Miller obviously had the stronger arguments that night.
Sound familiar to you folks who have tried to understand and react to some of this stuff coming out of Rules this past session? MORE: 
After listening to the arguments and not wanting to make a rash decision, I made a motion to table the issue so that I could study the impact on the county.
The next day I called Representative Lewis and asked if he would meet with me to explain the rec fee issue since he had been so heavily involved in it.  He jumped at the opportunity and appeared at my office two days later.  We met for 50 minutes and, quite frankly, he had no good argument that making changes in or eliminating the rec fees was in the county’s best interest.  As he was leaving he said that he wanted to come back and talk about capacity fees in our utilities plants.  He never came back to discuss that issue.
The rec fee issue stayed on the table until the 100 day time lapsed.its_mine_mine_mine
Recreation fees are assessed when a lot is recorded in Harnett County.  They are $500 per lot and are used to purchase land for recreational purposes in the area where the fees are collected.  According to information provided to me, Mr. Levinson’s argument is that since he provides recreational amenities inside a private club, that the rec fees should be waived or reduced.
The rec fees collected in the Anderson Creek area have always went to make the payments on West Park which opened for visitors last month.   I am certain Anderson Creek Club members will use this public park.  I cannot understand why Mr. Levinson does not appear to think that Anderson Creek Partners, LLC should pay its fair share for public recreational facilities.
Based on my calculations, the elimination of the rec fee would save Anderson Creek Partners, LLC $1.25 million.[…] 
Hmmm.  Lewis lobbies county officials to kill off these rec fees — a move that would save the developer of Anderson Creek over a million dollars.  According to the web site Follow The Money, the developer for Anderson Creek gave Lewis TWO CONTRIBUTIONS that year totaling $4000.
For what it’s worth, House lost a close primary race in 2014 — to an establishment ally of Lewis. 

6 thoughts on “#ncga: David Lewis. (Working HARD for the money?)

  1. Whereas I do agree this appears quite problematic, and decent and thorough answers are needed I wonder about one thing… Rep Lewis is the number 2 man up there and there are those out there suggesting he has been bought for with very little money. If buying is going on the numbers are way too weak for someone so powerful. Secondly it is something to consider that certain groups give to specific sides of the debate. I’m guessing the Sierra Club doesn’t give to any Republicans save maybe McGrady. Still I agree answers need to be found and the issue satisfactorily resolved, but until then the benefit of the doubt to any person of either party is in order. Having said that if he’s found innocent then lets give them same level of press… if guilty then the facts will determine what we or he must do.

    1. Does the GOP really need to have to deal with the guilt or innocence issue being put in public by a Democrat prosecutor about say October 1, 2016 where it will reverberate in elections beyond his own? This guy is an embarassment to the party and the problems just keep coming. To make matters worse, he is our national committeeman.

      1. “To make matters worse, he is our national committeeman.”

        Yeah, he is, isn’t he. Some of us have other ideas about that. Hope we’ll act soon. Meanwhile, for those who question opposing him, here’s one good reason….the RNC of which he is a member was fully involved in making sure Thad Cochran beat his primary rival in Mississippi last year and for that reason alone, he deserves to be canned. But if that isn’t reason enough, the fact that he spearheaded the GOP House caucus’ war on their own Party by ramming through HR 373, should be sufficient.

        1. On that Mississippi front, the outrageous race baiting dirty tricks used against the conservative frontrunner Chris McDaniel in the Senate runoff were orchestrated by Mississippi GOP National Committeeman Henry Barbour (nephew of Haley), a particularly nasty establishment suckweasel. The Missouri GOP state chairman made a public call for the RNC to take action against Barbour on that but it was strongly resisted by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and RNC ended up doing nothing. NC’s national committeeman and committeewoman both supported Priebus in the RNC sitting on its hands, which is a very good reason to replace both. They condoned what Barbour did by inaction.

          And, of course, Richard Burr was caught by the Senate Conservatives Fund which traced the money that paid for Barbour’s dirty tricks to seven US Senators, of which Burr was one. That is a big reason to replace Burr in the primary.

          Ironically, when the Michigan GOP National Committeeman made one somewhat racially insensitive post on the internet, that was much., much milder than the extreme race baiting that Barbour did, Priebus was in full war cry for the Michigan National Committeeman’s head, and pushed a resolution to denounce him. What a stinking two-faced hypocrite Priebus is. And so are NC’s national committee representatives who also went along with Priebus on both.

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