A disturbing pattern is starting to emerge regarding the man many are ready to anoint as Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024. In just about every aspect of his life, we are coming across disturbing details which can lead an honest person to question whether Mark Robinson is just in over his or head, very disorganized, or running a long con on all of us.
Campaign finance problems. There are some allegations against the 2020 Robinson campaign for lieutenant governor that are still sitting out there unresolved. Granted, they were brought by a liberal activist. Party affiliation and ideological bent can go right out the window when the allegations come with, um, “receipts.”
The state board of elections has supposedly been investigating for three years. They have some secrecy constraints. But Robinson is not bound by any of that. He COULD take steps to clear his name and get this stuff off the table and out of the public eye. But Robinson has nothing to say. An aide dismissed the problematic issues with Robinson’s campaign finances as “accounting errors.” (There is no clear evidence that anyone on Team Robinson has taken steps in the last three years to “fix” those “accounting errors”.)
Personal finance problems. We’ve all heard about the Robinson family’s financial struggles. They’ve gone through THREE personal bankruptcies and at least ONE eviction. Robinson and his team dismiss concerns about that — saying that they help him connect better with average North Carolinians.
Now, I know people who have gone through personal bankruptcies. ONCE. I’ve yet to come across ANYONE who has done it TWO or THREE times.
And the eviction. Robinson and his wife, Yolanda, were taken to court in Greensboro a little over ten years ago for nonpayment of rent. They were evicted, but never paid the money they owed. A Robinson campaign spokesman explained that they did not pay back the former landlord because he didn’t sue them for the money in question. (The landlord was a man in his 80s with a wife dying of cancer, at the time of the eviction.)
The debt in question is $2,000. Together, Mark and Yolanda make a combined $360,000 per year. (All taxpayer funds.). WHY NOT pay the man the money they owe?
And then there was the whole county taxes kerfuffle. WRAL had to inform Robinson that he had not paid the taxes he’s owed to Guilford County for the past few years. The lieutenant governor also confessed that he’s not very good at math, and that anyone counting on him to manage money is going to end up in jail.
On the official Office of The Lieutenant Governor web site, there is a claim in Robinson’s bio that he and his wife started and sold a successful business. That business – unless there is some other well kept secret out there – was a Greensboro day care center which became party to one of the three Robinson family bankruptcies. Mark and Yolanda simply walked away from the money-bleeding enterprise. There was no sale.
Family Business Issues. Let’s not forget Greensboro-based Balanced Nutrition. Yolanda Hill – the aspiring First Lady of North Carolina – is listed on paperwork as the principal and CFO. Mark Robinson admitted in his 2022 memoir that he worked there some between his furniture company job and kicking off his lieutenant governor campaign. Balanced Nutrition is fully-funded by money transferred from the US Department of Agriculture via The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. Balanced Nutrition’s mission is to transfer the government money they receive to day care centers across the state seeking reimbursement for lunches they feed their attendees. (It’s quite an unusual career choice for a pair marketing themselves as The First Couple of North Carolina conservatism.)
Balanced Nutrition appears to have a number of problems deserving further discussion and investigation from government authorities and our drive-by media:
- Improper application for and receipt of TWO PayCheck Protection loans — from the COVID era — which evolved into grants not needing repayment,
- Failing to identify family members on the company board and payroll, as required by the Internal Revenue Service,
- Accounting documents that fail to adhere to generally accepted accounting practices,
- Accounting practices that make it a challenge to actually confirm who has worked for the company and how much they have been paid.
What’s the plan for Balanced Nutrition if Mark Robinson gets elected governor? Will his wife continue to run a company funded by a state agency to be staffed by her husband’s appointees?
Team Robinson has already been forced by media reports to correct ethics forms they had filed with the state to reflect Yolanda Hill’s involvement with two charter school boards.
We found paperwork revealing Mark Robinson as a paid employee of Balanced Nutrition. According to the state ethics office, Robinson has not disclosed to them his employment with Balanced Nutrition nor his income from Balanced Nutrition.
People are not perfect. Nowhere is that made more clear than in American politics. Most of us, when confronted with problems, take steps to fix them. Mark Robinson’s modus operandi for confronting problematic allegations appears to be (a) clamming up, or (b) hollering during one of his church sermons / campaign speeches about folks being out to get him.
(He also benefits from a less-than-inqusitive drive-by media. I’ve yet to see a lazier, more uninterested pack of alleged watchdogs in my decades long tenure in journalism and politics.)
A wise man once told me that you shouldn’t judge people by whether they make mistakes. (All of us make mistakes.) But you should rather focus on how they react once the mistake is revealed.
Mark and Yolanda may be wonderful people. But you need to look at their record, and ask yourselves: Are these the people I want managing my home state and guiding it toward a new decade?