Pittenger real estate scandal?

I posted this earlier, and it immediately got lost. So here it is again. This stuff comes from Village Scribe Online, which is apparently a really good local Charlotte blog. Charlotte is extremely far out of my orbit, so I'm just discovering these things as an outsider:

The good senator has been a very active land speculator in western Union County. One of the most lucrative was the satellite annexation into Waxhaw arranged by NC Legislature, so Senator Pittenger’s property would enjoy much higher home density than county zoning. That resulting ’school busting’ development is known as Lawson. There are others...

Anyway, Pittenger’s pet bill, his personal multi-million-dollar moneymaking machine, was House Bill 705 from the 2003 session: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2...

A brief recap of the calendar is:

3/26/03 Bill was introduced by Jim Black, legislatively annexing some remaining parcels into the Town of Matthews
5/22/03 Bill received favorable report by house finance committee
5/28/03 Bill passed house; there was still no mention of Pittenger’s Get Rich Quicker scheme
5/29/03 PASSED house bill went to senate finance committee; I don’t know if Pittenger sat on that committe during that session, but he is listed as a member of the senate finance committee now: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=... Standing_77
6/18/03 Senate finance committee amends passed house bill, adds language ANNEXING PITTENGER’S PROPERTY INTO WAXHAW, reports favorable…Surprise, Surprise!
6/24/03 Senate votes to pass H705 with the Pittenger annexation added…vote was 47-1 followed by 49-1 with Pittenger voting “AYE” both times on the bill that would net him millions of dollars; only “NAY” vote was by Sen. Katie Dorsett (D-Guilford)…man, we need more senators like her and fewer like Pittenger and Shubert
6/26/03 Re-voted in house on concurrence after senate passage; 3 “NAY” votes including Rep. Pryor Gibson (D-Anson,Union)


And there's apparently another mini-scandal about the Weddington water tower. There must be people out there from Charlotte who know about this. It strikes me that Pittenger is talked about unusually rarely, especially with this stuff floating around out there.


Thanks for posting this here Mike

I imagine it scrolled off because we're all still concentrating on the primary races. This will be fun to research.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Village Scribe

I don't know if Village Scribe or its opperators have any official bent or politics, but there seem to be posters from all political camps on it. From first blush it seems to be a pretty deep local interest blog, and I'm inclined to take it seriously.

Yeah it all just might be a moot point.

He might wake up on May 6 and manage to lose to Jim Snyder. Other than some endorsements that no regular person knows about and some radio ads that I have only read mention of, there isn't really a campaign here.

The Village Scribe Online and Sen. Pittenger

I noticed the incoming link from this post and I am glad of your interest.

Should you wish to visit the Village Scribe, I added a new category labeled --Robert Pittenger, under the POLITICS section to make it easy for those interested in reading about the illustrious Mr. Inside.

Union County has been a bonanza for developers and land speculators. We are the 7th fastest growing county in the country. With the LLC laws shielding partners, we may never know how connected and cozy Senators Pittenger, Clodfelter and Goodall really are, but Pittenger has never been blashful about using local bills to grease the skins of his development deals.

To answer a posted question, while I am a republican, the Village Scribe rarely engages in partisan politics. The issues covered are mostly local and we don't have a single elected Democrat in the county -- except the School Board which is non-partisan. But we still have two parties though, Managed Growth Republicans versus Gordon Gecko Republicans or Growth at any Cost Republicans. Democrats, were there any, would just get in the cross-fire. :)

Mark D (The Scribe)

Mark D (The Scribe)

Hi Mark. I'm a Union County Democrat.

There's not much Dem v Rep going on, so I've been watching the Waxhaw vs. the rest of the county craziness.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hey Mark

Props to your blog. It's quite good. If I was on top of my game I'd spend more time there. Keep up the good work.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

Cool. Thanks.

I have started reading Village Scribe since I found this.

Cool. Thanks.

I have started reading it since I found these articles. ( meant to attach that post below to this.)

So I have to ask, what do you think of this; is it a conflict of interest or more than that? Do you think it's going to matter in the campaign? I wanted to find out what people from Charlotte know and think, and you're definitely one.

The mask that Pittenger hides behind.

As you noted, Sen. Pittenger arranged the lucrative high-density annexation into Waxhaw, a town with a corrupt council, whose ties to developers and builders should qualify as a RICO case. My personal opinion about Pittenger is that he is a walking talking 'conflict of interest', a 24 caret hypocrite who professes 'conservative' values, preaches on his 'Foundation of NC Future' (http://www.ncfuture.org) and works LLCs like the Wizard of Oz. My understanding is that Mr. Pittenger has holdings in other Charlotte metro counties and pretty much plays the same game there.

In Union County, Pittenger flys under the radar, we have so many politicals bought and paid for my developement community, it's only graft like the Waxhaw annexation that gets peoples notice. Voters need to be reminded, but in Union County, there is so much corruption, Pittenger is invisible, as most residents haven't had opportunity to vote for him before.

I use the 'Eddie Goodall' (Union County's State Senator), rule to judge candidates. If Eddie supports someone, then its a sure bet they are frat brothers in an LLC. Eddie supports Fred Smith (The Asphalt King) for governor and of course candidate Pittenger for Lt. Governor. Naturally a question to pose, is can NC stand any more corruption?

My answer is; do you think anyone will notice?

Mark D (The Scribe)

Holdings like these?

State Senator Robert Pittenger purchased the land from Crescent Resources (Duke Power) several years ago. Crescent had years earlier voluntarily annexed the land into the city limits [in Belmont]. Pittenger now is planning to sell the land to real estate developers, “…from up north…”, accrding to the article.


A Charlotte, N.C.-based land investor is buying 2,500 acres on the borders of Cheatham, Dickson and Williamson counties [in Tennessee].

Investor Robert Pittenger has told local real estate investors that he has put an expanse north of Highway 96 between Fairview and Dickson under contract. Pittenger's firm has no plans to develop the hilly, heavily forested property, he said.


Will anyone notice?

They might just notice if a certain other lt. governor candidate starts talking up the issue.

Links to Liddy?

I stumbled across Pittenger's name on Liddy Dole's FEC report, where he had donated $50,000 to one of her campaign PACs. There are also some other Charlotte folks that gave big, including the guy (Rosenburgh?) who is deeply involved in the Waxhaw Commons development.

If anybody knows of Federal legislation that has benefitted local developers, I would appreciate a nudge in the right direction.

I'm trying to put together

a substantial (and damning) diary on this stuff, and I'll be glad to cross-post when it's done.

Pittenger only gave $25,000

to this fund, as did Rosenburgh (U.S. Land Investments) and Michael Kahn (Empire Distributors) from Waxhaw.

What initially caught my eye was a bunch of high-dollar contributions from Charlotte totalling some $150,000 in Aug/Sep 2005, and I've been trying to make connections ever since.

I take back everything I said

There's no way Pittenger is going to risk this thing. He's spent over $750k on advertising this month, nearly $1 million in total expenditures for this campaign. That's more than Walter Dalton and Hampton Dellinger are spending to take each other down.

I imagine there are some clues in this report somewhere. Of course there are a lot of real estate executives in the mix. Does anyone know about Best Efforts? I see it a lot in this report and in past State Senate reports.

Place holder for a blank field

It's just a place holder for a blank field where the information wasn't collected. duh... haha

Our work cut out for us...

Yeah, I hate to see Pittenger's abject corruption fade off the radar screen (as if it were ever there in the first place), but we need to put it there since the unfortunate events of May 6.

How could Pittenger out-poll Snyder by that sort of margin statewide? I guess our Rethugs are even stupider statewide than we give them credit for...but Pittenger presses all the right Rethug buttons: the "3-G's", God, Guns, and Gays, and adds a bit of Eco-hate with his Climate Change Denial. Nobody who votes for him knows what he REALLY stands for, nor do they care, because he mouths all the right platitudes.

Please keep researching Pittenger's corrupt behavior. I live near his senate district and read the Village Scribe myself.

Dalton for Lt. Governor!