Jim Black and NC Democrats


With Jim Black gone from the scene, a serious look at the reaction of Democratic Party officials across the state must be made. Throughout this scandal, Democratic Party Chair Jerry Meek, Governor Mike Easley, Lt. Gov. Bev Purdue, and the rest of the Demcrats on the Council of State refused to ask Black to step aside. Often times, these individuals used a very short measuring stick when asked about Black's political troubles brushing them off by saying, "he has done nothing illegal."

As Democrats, I am proud of our party's tradition of standing up to public corruption by seeking to uphold the trust people have placed in their elected officials. Sadly, North Carolina Democrats and their elected leaders within the party and public realm failed to act during Black's troubles, tarnishing the image of "the party of reform."

Why was the party leadership so silent on Black? Maybe it is because this powerful Speaker of the House controlled the purse strings that funded many a campaign. If so, this further advances the calls for serious reform in legislative rules of the general assembly, public elections and lobbying in the state.

In the future, I ask that the Democratic Party take notice and rid themselves of individuals who can only polute the atmosphere of what our organization believes fundamental to the preservation of our republic.

I hope today's announcement and the eventual sentencing of Jim Black will put politicians on notice that when they betray the trust of the voters, they too will be punished.


The problem arises

when there are no formal charges. At the time, Black had not been charged(with the federal crime) or convicted of anything, so technically he had "done" nothing illegal in the eyes of the public - he had only allegedly done something wrong/illegal. (I know I'm not saying this right, but I do know what I'm trying to say.) If we start asking politicians to step aside simply because they are under investigation we might find the state lege and congress empty on a bad day.

Government investigators don't have to share with Jerry Meek or anyone else information about their investigation, so he wasn't privy to information that might have lead him to denounce Black or Black's actions. I also don't think it's his job to attack people in his own party and I don't think he should speak out against a politician in his own party until the investigators, lawyers, judge and jury have done their jobs.

Also, we don't know what was going on behind closed doors. Jim Black might have been asked by numerous people to step down, but once he decided on a course of action, tearing him apart publicly wasn't going to accomplish any good for the party in November's elections.

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

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

Now he's guilty

At 1.30pm today Jim Black entered a plea of guilty in Federal Court. After a formal reading of the factual basis of the charge by US Attorney John Bruce, at 1.39pm, Judge Dever accepted the plea and found him guilty.

Regardless of the court of law or the court of public opinion a review of facts would lead a reasonable person to see that something was wrong. It is sad that it took this long.


I don't think it would be proper for an official of our party to take official action against a duly elected legislator until there is a formal charge, plea or conviction.

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

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


I tend to agree about official action though it is not a universal standard in politics.

I also don't think it was proper that Jerry Meek was saying officially that this was "character assasination, totally devoid of allegations of wrongdoing".

when those comments were made

it WAS still devoid of anything other than whisperings of wrongdoing.

If charges had been brought it would have been a different story. I hope.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

I don't think so.

Jerry Meek made that statement sometime in mid to late November 2005.

This all got started in June/July 2004 when Democracy North Carolina filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections:

The image of “strings attached” runs through the sad and not-yet-finished story of House Speaker Jim Black’s fall from power. Investigators at the State Board of Elections began pulling on a string connected to one group of Black’s political donors soon after Democracy North Carolina filed a complaint in July 2004 about the illegal donations to his campaign from video-poker operators. That string led investigators to a host of other problems. Meanwhile, another ball of string connected to gambling, namely the proposed state lottery, began unraveling and revealing attachments between Speaker Black and other problem areas, including what eventually emerged as illegal lobbying and fraud.

Federal and state investigators following the strings kept finding new tangles and entanglements. It was only a matter of time before a clearly illegal quid-pro-quo attachment sealed the fate of House Speaker Jim Black.

In mid October 2005 the first subpoenas were issued to Jim Black.
October 17, 2005
October 21, 2005
October 18, 2005

Or peruse this Chronology

a subpoena

is not a charge. Huge difference.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Read what I said

You keep changing the subject.

June 2005: Black backs provision in state budget bill requiring comprehensive eye exams for all children entering public kindergarten. Local officials balk at the cost; critics accuse Black of pandering to fellow optometrists to win campaign contributions. The legislature cuts back the requirement significantly in July 2006.
Sept. 22, 2005: Black appoints public relations consultant Kevin Geddings to the new state lottery commission.
Nov. 1, 2005: Geddings resigns from commission hours before lottery company Scientific Games reveals it paid him $24,500 for communications work that he failed to list on state disclosure forms.
Late 2005: Federal grand jury begins close examination of Black's campaign finances, ties to lobbyists and his connections to the lottery and video poker industries.

I was responding to your statement that "it WAS still devoid of anything other than whisperings of wrongdoing".

If you only heard whisperings it was because the MSM was yawning. Many people close to this knew there was fire before anybody else saw smoke.

Again read what I said:

I tend to agree about official action though it is not a universal standard in politics.

I also don't think it was proper that Jerry Meek was saying officially that this was "character assasination, totally devoid of allegations of wrongdoing"

It was not "character assassination" and it was not "totally devoid of allegations of wrongdoing". Jim Black brought this upon himself.

At the time

I was paying a lot of attention to it, and it still looked to me like a very good chance that it was a lot of noise about people around him. Call me dumb, but I didnt think he was guilty until almost 9 months after the grand jury issued its first subpoena.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"


No I won't call you dumb. Only smart people ever say things like that out loud about themselves.

Part of what drew be to BlueNC was the ability to talk about things that were not being picked up by the MSM. Reporters were picking up on a lot of things but editors weren't very supportive because they'd already done their Jim Black story for the week.

I was a little closer to various Black stories and some of the research spun off into other stories that were carried by the MSM. Nothing compares to the groundwork by Democracy NC and even they were getting jaded responses.

It wasn't a sexy story at that time but there was something there that the NCDP should have known about. The eye exam debacle was in plain view and it seems that every other person in Raleigh knew about Meredith Norris.

I think

That was part of the problem. Everyone seemed to know of rumors about her behavior, but they were rumors about her personal life behavior, so when stuff started to show up it looked like character assassination because people knew the wrong rumors.

IF any of that makes sense.

As for the eye stuff, I still think giving kids eye exams early and often is good policy. Jim Black pushing it was bad politics though. Again, that was something that looked like nothing more than character assassination but ended up leading to actual investigators finding something real.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Actually....you were the one who changed the subject

Blue South and I responded to AJD's comments about why something wasn't said in the past.

You changed it to "he's guilty now"

Then you changed the subject again and went back to a chronology and said any reasonable person should have known.

We continued to speak to the original subject of what was known in the past. You were the one changing the subject.

Also, it doesn't matter what any reasonable person should have known. In the eyes of the law, the man wasn't guilty until today. To imply or assert otherwise is actionable under libel law.

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


If a driver is weaving down the street he doesn't need to be charged and convicted for me to know that something is wrong. It's not libelous to say the driver is driving erratically. It might be libelous to say he was drunk if in fact it was a woman with a medical condition.

I don't the libel statement is going, especially since we're discussing a public figure.

Another way to say it

Is that we expect our elected officials to be above even the suspicion of a crime.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

You can libel a public figure

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

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


If you are false and malicious. It's a higher standard. Like I said tried to say, I don't know where this is going.

February 2007

Whatever the outcome, February 2007 should be known in the NC Legislature as "BLACK IS HISTORY MONTH!"



That's really very funny.