Fayetteville Observer: Meredith Has Questions To Answer
It's day 5 of Medicaid Meredith and the Fayetteville Observer is out with an editorial calling on Senator Wesley Meredith to answer questions about the allegations he fraudulently collected tens of thousands of dollars in Medicaid money. From their article,
Wesley Meredith needs to answer some questions. So does the man who's trying to take his Senate seat, lawyer and former Rep. Billy Richardson.
Richardson leveled serious charges against Meredith during a press conference this week, introducing evidence that he and his then-wife may have fraudulently applied for Medicaid and other welfare benefits in 1996. Tax records Richardson supplied show Meredith's gross income around $100,000 a year, far above the state's cap of $19,800 for those benefits.
Meredith, whose Senate district includes most of Fayetteville, has denied knowing about the welfare application but has refused to comment further, other than to complain about Richardson's "below the belt" campaigning. "It's the type of politics that forces so many people to lose faith in politics," he said. Yet Meredith's own campaigns have regularly launched personal attacks on his opponents, including one that depicted former state Sen. Margaret Dickson as a prostitute.
At his press conference Tuesday, called on short notice, Richardson read a prepared statement, reciting the accusations against Meredith. Then he turned and left the room, taking no questions, such as where he got the information and why he's chosen to build a campaign around an incident that's nearly two decades old - albeit relevant, given Meredith's vote against Medicaid expansion.
Democrats leaped on the story, of course. But Republicans responded almost as fast, with county GOP chair Linda Devore saying the party is "disappointed," and calling on Meredith to address the charges "completely and without delay." It was a surprising reaction from a party long bound to Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."