Ethics complaint filed against Tim Moore related to lucrative property deal

Bending two branches of the government to the breaking point:

Internal emails that the group says it obtained from the NC Department of Environmental Quality show the company being granted a waiver of thousands of dollars in fees, and being given multiple extensions to address pollution on the site. DEQ officials could not immediately be reached to confirm that the emails are authentic.

Southeast Land Holdings, the company co-owned by Moore, bought the plant for $85,000 in 2013 and sold it for $550,000 in 2016, according to the complaint. Moore’s financial disclosure forms required by the state show he owned 25 percent of the property.

Hoo boy, this stinks to high heaven. Not only does it expose serious ethical questions about Moore, but both McCrory and Van der Vaart along with him. And it also brings into play another questionable Republican action, that of combining the offices of the Ethics Commission and state Board of Elections, which has thrown both into chaos and confusion. Which very well could have been the goal in the first place. In other words, this complaint may be floating in limbo for quite some time. But somebody needs to move on it soon, because this corrupt scheme goes all the way down to the county government level. Some excerpts from the 42 page complaint:

Duane Hall floats conspiracy theory to explain sexual harassment crisis

Which also happens to be a classic defense mechanism of a serial harasser:

In a late Sunday night phone conversation with WUNC Hall again denied the allegations laid out in the original story, and said he believes it stems from a personal relationship.

“The father of my ex-girlfriend is the executive director of NC Policy Watch,” Hall said, referring to Megan Glazier, the daughter of Rick Glazier. “They worked on the story for months and released on the last day of primary filing, with unnamed sources. They have a journalistic obligation to disclose those personal conflicts, but did not. There is a big difference between reporting a story, and creating a story.” “This was a personal vendetta.”

To say I find this "very unlikely" is an understatement. The first hurdle of disbelief to hop over is the idea that Rick Glazier would use his position at the NC Justice Center to do such a thing, to carry out a personal vendetta. But let's say we make it over that jump in one piece, and can keep running. Now we have to leap over the idea that Rob Schofield would play along. A man who has dedicated 12 years to building the structure and integrity of NC Policy Watch. Not gonna happen. But since we're already in fantasy-land, let's assume that record-breaking jump was successful. Now we've got to convince Billy Ball to be a co-conspirator, a man who has been neck-deep in journalistic reporting since before he even graduated from UNC. That's fifteen years of building a reputation of credibility and accuracy. The idea that any of these guys, much less all three, would even want to engage in a fraudulent smear campaign, much less jeopardize their integrity and careers over it, ranks up there somewhere near chem-trails on the crazy conspiracy chart. Three strikes, you're out Duane.

Monday News: Dream or nightmare?


FATE OF DACA RECIPIENTS UNCERTAIN AS COURT-BLOCKED DEADLINE ARRIVES: Cervantes Garcia visited a federal immigration office to renew his DACA status Sept. 4. That same month, President Donald Trump moved to rescind DACA, giving Congress a March 5 deadline to come up with replacement legislation. Two federal judges ruled against rescinding DACA and the Supreme Court declined to review the lower courts’ rulings, however, putting the president’s order on hold. With Congress unlikely to pass a new immigration bill by Monday, the future of Dreamers like Cervantes Garcia is unclear again. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates 915 young unauthorized immigrants across the country would have lost their DACA permits each day beginning Tuesday had the deadline held.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BANNING ASSAULT WEAPONS--SIMPLE QUESTIONS AND SIMPLER ANSWERS: We have two questions for the North Carolina Congressional delegation. The questions are simple. The answers are simpler: Do you support a ban on military-style assault weapons such as the AR-15? Is there anyone, aside from members of the military service and law enforcement, who need to possess military assault weapons? Please don’t give use a Second Amendment answer. WE SUPPORT the Second Amendment – all of it. But the Second Amendment doesn’t provide an unlimited right to all weapons. Sensible limits protect everybody. Where is that sensible limit? We think a sensible limit has been passed and it is time to renew the assault weapons ban. Just where do our members of Congress stand?

Add "Insider Trading" to the list of Trump administration crimes


It's all about the timing:

Between February 12 and February 22, three of Carl Icahn's companies happened to place four sell orders amounting to $31,277,063.43, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The filing was first reported by the liberal news site ThinkProgress. Trump didn't announce his plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum products until Thursday, one week after Icahn's final transaction.

On February 23, a day after Icahn's final sales, Bloomberg reported the president had "told confidants" of his plan to impose steep steel tariffs. In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Icahn said he hasn't "had much interaction with [Trump] at all in the last four or five months."

Trump can't even grasp the concept of ethics, much less how it applies to individual actions. It's amazing he hasn't been thrown in jail yet. Scratch that, it's not amazing, since he's a rich white man. But if you think this insider trading thing stinks, it's not nearly as rank as the Kushner family engineering a Persian Gulf crisis because Qatar refused to give them a big pile of money:

Saturday News: Drop those charges


JUDGE MIFFED AT BERGER & MOORE FOR ADOPTING RULES BY THEMSELVES: On Friday, Fox told attorneys for Carol Anderson and Dale Herman, the Durham residents who challenged the constitutionality of the rules, that he still agreed that General Assembly members had the authority to delegate rulemaking to a Legislative Services Commission. But Fox said he had trouble with the part of the law that allows rules to be made with just the House speaker and Senate leader present, not a quorum of the 10-member commission. “What I’m saying is if you have 10 members of a commission, you can’t have two deciding ... anything that involves criminal sanctions should require that there be a quorum,” Fox said.

Puppy mills vs shelter dogs: There's only one moral choice

Because the death toll is staggering:

Two million dogs are euthanized in shelters across the United States each year. The Humane Society of the United States says it’s a disturbingly high statistic that most people are unaware of. Now, consider the flip side: about two million dogs are brought into existence each year and sold by commercial breeders, competing against otherwise adoptable, existing animals waiting in shelters but unable to find homes.

“There is a direct correlation, a very obvious correlation, that this industry is directly participating in the pet overpopulation problem,” Erica Geppi, the North Carolina Director for the US Humane Society, explained to WECT of puppy mills. She says there are some reputable breeders, but far too many are breeding litter after litter in inhumane conditions, putting profit over animal welfare.

Normally I don't do fluffy bunny stories here, because we try to remain laser-focused on politics and policy. But it is glaringly obvious the free market cares nothing about animal cruelty, and their only hope lies in sound and humane policy decisions. And it is also obvious that North Carolina is one of the worst states when it comes to the euthanization of unwanted domestic pets:

Friday News: The price of bent lawmaking


ATTORNEY CALLS FOR WAKE LEGISLATIVE SPECIAL ELECTION IF NECESSARY: An attorney leading another challenge to North Carolina legislative districts wants Wake County House boundaries changed for this year's elections, but a lawyer for Republican state lawmakers says it's too late for that. Three state judges asked the lawyers Thursday how litigation by advocacy groups and voters should proceed. No decisions were announced. The plaintiffs contend four districts must revert to 2011 boundaries because the state constitution prevented lawmakers from changing them last summer without specific court orders. Complicating the case is the U.S. Supreme Court blocking a federal court ruling so last year's lines are in use for May primaries. Plaintiffs' lawyer Allison Riggs suggested holding special Wake County House primary elections this summer if her clients succeed. GOP lawyer Phil Strach says that would cause disruption and uncertainty.

Tipping point

It seems to me that we have moved in the past day to the brink of irreversible disaster. GOP grifters are bellying up to the bar, while the the billions of people worldwide who will suffer from their actions watch helplessly from the outside. Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, a small and stupid act of greed, are the tipping point. They are already triggering aun unstoppable trade war, which the US will most assuredly lose. Our agricultural products will fall from favor with foreign buyers overnight in retaliation. Our farmers will go bankrupt in record numbers.


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