#ncga: Fletch Rents

Fletch_Lives_movie_posterPolitical consultant do a lot of things for their clients.  Not many play landlord for them.  

We’ve been following the unusual case of state senator Fletcher Hartsell (RINO-Cabarrus)such a good Republican that he got committee chairmanships under Democrat majorities.   It took two and a half years, but the state board of elections has finally acted on the allegations against the Cabarrus County pol — sending them to a prosecutor.  (*And we’re SURE the delay had nothing to do with the senator’s close relations with Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory or his attorney Roger Knight’s close relationship with state BOE director Kim Strach’s husband. *)

Apparently, some folks at the elections board believe there is some stuff on Hartsell’s campaign reports that really and truly shouldn’t be paid for with campaign funds.  The state board released only a summary of their findings to the public.(*Again, we’re SURE this had nothing to do with the senator’s close relations with Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory or his attorney Roger Knight’s close relationship with state BOE director Kim Strach’s husband. *)

fh1Being the helpful souls we are, we thought we’d do a little digging beyond what the state board publicly released.   if you go back to 2012 in Hartsell’s reports, you’ll see that he used campaign funds to rent something from Capitol Communications of Granite Falls, North Carolina.  (To the politically-uninitiated, THAT is Mr. Paul Shumaker, uber-consultant.  The solar energy king, himself.)

Are these accommodations to stay in while the legislature is in session?  Hartsell lives in Cabarrus County.  It’s likely he’d have a primary residence there.  It would be unusual to pay rent for something like that with campaign funds, since the taxpayers kick in a yearly salary of $13,951, in addition to a per diem, to each and every legislator to cover those types of expenses. 

Let’s look at some 2014 reports to see if we can get some clarification.  There, we find more rent payments to Capitol Communications for rent with the notation “Oberlin.”   (FYI — there IS an Oberlin Road in Raleigh.) On that same finance report, we find notations for payments to Duke Energy for “Power-Oberlin.”   There are also payments to Time Warner for “telephone / internet.”

We could find notations of rent payments  from the Hartsell campaign to Capitol Communications for “Oberlin” totaling $19,684 going back to September 2012.

Stay tuned, folks.  We have a feeling this is only going to get, um, better.  

4 thoughts on “#ncga: Fletch Rents

  1. The title of this article should be “All Roads Lead to Paul Shumaker”, at least all the crooked ones. Any true conservative or any GOP member who cares about ethics should have nothing to do with Paul Shumaker. I will not support any candidate he deals with.

    1. It would be interesting to know how he claimed all of this on his taxes. Taxes are always one of the ways the feds get folks. But then since this matter has gone to the federal prosecutors, I would imagine they have passed it on to the IRS already or will soon as some of the issues identified by the SBOE have tax implications. We will probably find out eventually. The feds could get some good info from this site. They might not connect the dots on codes like ”Oberlin”. I wonder if they read it?

      1. GU Wonder, the IRS as well as the FBI are not roving around conducting sweeping checks of elected officials’ accounts. They rely on vigilant members of the public, to alert them to news stories like this. Believe it or not, unless someone passes it along to them, it’s unlikely they will know about it.

        1. Therefore, it is good that the SBOE passed this on to federal prosecutors, who are certain to recognize the tax implications and involve the IRS. But you are right as to some of the specific details like the ”Oberlin” code. That may also be why Fletch is spending so much on accountants these days.

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