The Robinsons: Movin’ On Up?

Watch out, George and Weezie.  There’s a new power couple hot on your six.

It’s well known — by now, we think — that Lt. Gov Mark Robinson and his wife, Yolanda Hill, are seeking to upgrade their current Guilford County digs to a more upscale  location on Raleigh’s Blount Street.

In the wake of the vote earlier this month, Robinson is slated to take on attorney general Josh Stein in November’s gubernatorial race.

Something interesting just popped up on the Facebook feed of Yolanda Hill — aka “Mrs. Mark Robinson”:

Could this be for Balanced Nutritionthe family business neither the Robinsons nor their campaign will discuss?  

The business currently has rarely-used office space in the Self-Help building in downtown Greensboro.

Balanced Nutrition receives its only revenues from the US Department of Agriculture via the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The business purportedly serves as a middle-man — forwarding reimbursement checks to day care centers which have fed lunch to low-income attendees.

(According to the office of the state controller, Balanced Nutrition has taken in roughly $2.5 million in tax dollars over the last 14 months. Regulations allow for the Robinsons to use up to 15 percent of the revenue for salaries and other operating expenses.)  

The payroll for the firm has been loaded up with Robinson family members — despite the fact the firm has submitted forms to the IRS declaring there are no family members in key company roles.

Even Mark Robinson himself has appeared on reports to state authorities as a Balanced Nutrition employee.

It’s a curious career choice for a man who is a vocal and frequent critic of the social welfare state.

Neither the lieutenant governor’s office nor his campaign will acknowledge Balanced Nutrition.  The drive-by media is avoiding the subject of this business like a plague.  We’ve only seen TWO drive-by media outlets who have had the stones to even mention its existence.

There’s still the question of a conflict-of-interest if Mark Robinson gets elected governor in November.  As governor, he would have supervision over the NC DHHS and state controller employees who allocate tax dollars to Balanced Nutrition.  

NC DHHS has provided to us copies of reports submitted to them by Balanced Nutrition.  Kimberly Cephas – Robinson and Hill’s daughter — has signed some of the forms as a company representative.  She has been identified on some forms we have seen as “Operations Manager” and “Purchasing Manager.”  (We have not seen any documentation submitted to the state by Balanced Nutrition indicating that Cephas has either been (1) approved as an employee, or (2) added to the company payroll.)  Remember, all of Balanced Nutrition’s money comes to them from the state Department of Health and Human Services. 

Adding Cephas to the operation may be a way of trying to avoid a conflict should Robinson be elected governor.  But you have to ask:  How is there any less of a conflict overseeing the flow of government dollars to a firm headed by your daughter?

Being honest and up-front about Balanced Nutrition would be a great way to change the subject and move on.  (The $30k per week beach house, as well.). Silence on stuff like this creates the impression there is an actual fire behind all the smoke.   We’ve been writing about this, and asking questions, for nearly a year. Team Robinson has kept the story alive by clamming up.

Why not share with the voters what your family does for money outside of your lieutenant governor salary?