How well do we really know the man NCGOPe types are giving us the hard-sell on for the 2024 governor’s race?
It’s a rarity – some might call it a pleasant surprise – to come across a black man saying some conservative-sounding things. You can imagine the excitement to get Mark Keith Robinson out on center stage right away. *He’s just running for lieutenant governor. What’s the big deal?*
Apart from the excitement over the guy’s skin pigmentation and his great sound bites, what do we really know about this guy?
We know a lot about Balanced Nutrition, a contracting operation partnered with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) that Robinson, his wife, and their family have been operating since 2017.
But what about “Precious Beginnings,’’ a daycare center the lieutenant governor and his wife personally ran from 2002 until 2007?
Here is all that is mentioned about the daycare on Lt. Gov. Robinson’s official website:
[…] In his professional life, Mark has worked in various industries, including a long stint in furniture manufacturing. Unfortunately, like a lot of people in manufacturing during the implementation of NAFTA, he lost not one, but two manufacturing jobs. In addition to working in manufacturing and other industries, he was also blessed to start, run, and sell a successful small business with his wife.[…]
Successful, eh? Let’s compare that to what Greensboro’s Fox affiliate reported earlier this year:
[…] Robinson, whose failed childcare business with Hill had led to personal bankruptcy filings, court records showed, also paid off federal and state tax liens that totaled about $15,000, which ended in 2012. “Any outstanding issues we might have had with the IRS have been taken care of,” he told The News & Observer in 2020. […
Failed? Wait. I thought Robinson’s office was telling us — ON THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE – that the business was successful.
Our research into this matter found that Mark Robinson and Yolanda Hill launched their daycare center in 2002. By January 2003, according to federal court records, they were in bankruptcy proceedings. “Precious Beginnings’’ was specifically named in the bankruptcy filings.
Within a matter of months after starting the business, they’re in bankruptcy proceedings. HOW can this venture seriously be described as a success?
Wait. There’s even more.
If you go back to the snippet above from the lieutenant governor’s website, there is talk of how the business was “sold.’’
On page 95 of Robinson’s 2022 memoir, there is discussion of “selling’’ the daycare center.
A historical website called “BlackPast’’ also references Robinson and his wife “selling’’ the daycare business.
“Precious Beginnings’’ was run out of a small, rented building on Randleman Road in Greensboro. Mark & Yolanda DID NOT own the facility. So, WHAT – of value – was there to “Sell”?
I always thought a SALE involved the exchange of two or more things of value (i.e., cash for desired goods or services).
Again, the bankruptcy proceedings began shortly after the Robinsons started the daycare. If there was any value in the business, surely creditors would have gone after it. The daycare continued to operate well after the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings in 2003.
So, with the daycare center, we appear to have some debate over the meaning of the words “success” and “sell.”
With Balanced Nutrition, we have some sketchy accounting practices, some inaccurate information passed on to the Internal Revenue Service, and some apparent confusion over WHAT might be a conflict of interest, and who IS and who IS NOT a family member.
We face the possibility of Mark Robinson being elected governor — creating a situation where he oversees the agency that feeds revenue into his family’s business.
Yet, we’re being met with silence from the Robinson campaign and a dysfunctional drive-by media. We, the people of North Carolina, deserve better. We deserve some explanation from a person who wants us to trust him with the stewardship of our state government.