Titan Barksdale, Staff Writer
As a federal prosecutor, Sam Currin spent six years prosecuting drug dealers, pornographers and other criminals. Now, he will spend nearly the same amount of time in prison himself.
Currin, 58, whose career included stints as a judge and as chairman of the state's Republican Party, became the latest North Carolina leader to be sent to jail when he was sentenced this week in federal court to 70 months behind bars on money laundering and obstruction charges.
His attorney, Mark Calloway, would not comment about the sentence.
Currin rose through the political and legal ranks as a protege of then-Sen. Jesse Helms. He worked as an aide to Helms, a conservative Republican who eventually nominated him for the U.S. attorney position and later for a federal judgeship, which Democrats vehemently opposed. Critics of the nomination called Currin a religious and political zealot and accused him of lying in a 1982 personnel hearing over his firing of a paralegal.
Currin, 58, was never confirmed. But he served as a Superior Court judge before becoming the Republican Party chairman.
Though Currin hasn't had a leading role in politics since he was ousted as Republican Party chairman in 1999, his actions could contribute to a sense of mistrust of government. Voters have seen Meg Scott Phipps, a Democrat who was the state's agriculture secretary, former Democratic House Speaker Jim Black and state Rep. Michael Decker sentenced for illegal activities.
More at the link. It's becoming a steady litany of one scandalous Republic after another one, elbows deep in money laundering, influence peddling, or some version of footsie. The Democratic party has had its problems, but the Republics outdid us in scale, scope and aggressiveness in pursuing every sort of corruption and vice. What took the Democrats to achieve in 30 years, the Republics well outdid in less than 12.
Perhaps a closer look at other Helms protégés is in order (can we say "Richard Burr and his Abramoff connections"? Of course ya can, neighbor!).
As for me, I don't want to hear another mewling word about their much-vaunted "moral superiority", "strong conservatism" and "good Christian values". These terms are inextricably linked to Republic corruption -- but they made their own beds and I pity them not.