Another example of NC's 'pay-to-play' politics
A series of recent articles appears to confirm that pay-to-play politics is alive and well in North Carolina, with major donors receiving special treatment. The most recent revelation came when Patrick Gannon of the N.C. Insider news service reported that Republican Rep. David Lewis of Dunn, pushed through a law that protected the state contract of one of his biggest contributors.
Here’s what happened:
On March 31, a House committee signed off on a bill that would have had a state agency, rather than a private company, sell cars seized from repeat DWI offenders. The next day, Lewis’ campaign received a $5,000 contribution from Rickie Day, president of the company that currently holds the contract for the eastern half of the state.
The next day, Lewis added a provision that would force the bill to go through his Rules committee. The bill sat untouched for months.
But then Republican Rep. George Cleveland of Jacksonville added the bill’s language to the state budget. That passed Sept. 18. Lewis then used a “technical corrections” bill to nullify that budget language. That passed at 4:12 a.m. on Sept. 30, minutes before the legislature adjourned. Day’s contract was essentially saved.
Lewis says Day sought his help in protecting his contract and he gave it, but not because of the $5,000 contribution. He says he just believes contractors can do the work better than the state can.
“Throw me in the briar patch,” Lewis told Gannon. “Accuse me of trying to fight for my folks. I’m OK with that.”
Businessman’s contract is threatened. He makes large contribution to powerful legislator. Legislator protects businessman’s contract. That’s called transactional politics, and Lewis isn’t the first to do it.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article45265278.html#storylink=cpy