View Archive

Entries for October 2009

30
Ferrel Guillory – political expert extraordinaire and director of the Program on Public Life at UNC-Chapel Hill – offers a good perspective to my question (see below) about coordinated campaigns.
 
He cites an article by two of his students about the 2004 coordinated campaign.
 
Ferrel notes: “As you know, Jim Hunt used to be criticized for running his own campaigns, not coordinating, sucking all of the oxygen (funding)….Now Easley and co. are being chastised for coordinating.”
 
After all, isn't it better to have candidates linked to their political parties, and parties vigorous enough to build coalitions and hold candidates accountable?

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

30
Are reporters and reformers skirting the truth by suggesting – and even stating flatly – that the Easley campaign and the Democratic Party skirted the law?
 
As I understand it, coordinated campaigns are not a loophole – or a way around the law. They are actually encouraged by the law.
 
The law was written to explicitly foster party-building – and activities like getting out the vote.
 
You may not like the law. You may think it should be changed. But that doesn’t mean coordinated campaigns are by definition illegal – or unethical.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

29
There was one odd sidelight in former Governor Easley’s testimony.
 
He was busy as governor and candidate, too busy to go to headquarters or keep up with flight invoices.
 
But he was home vacuuming his chimney?

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

29
The old amateur boxer sure won yesterday’s round.
 
Of course, the match isn’t over. And Governor Easley has more fights ahead. But he showed yesterday he can slip a punch – and land a few of his own.
 
If I was a federal prosecutor, I’d think twice about going in the ring with him in front of a jury.
 
Mark Binker of the Greensboro News & Record and James Romoser of the Winston-Salem Journal asked if I believed Easley didn’t know where his headquarters was or how the coordinated campaign worked.
 
Yes.
 
The last thing you want is the candidate hanging around the headquarters. He should be talking to voters.
 
And even when I was in campaigns I never understood coordinated campaigns.
 
But one thing hit me about Easley’s performance.
 
If he had done that with reporters from the start, could he have avoided this fight?

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (14) RSS comment feed |

28
Watching the hearings, you see why Mike Easley was the candidate and the other guys weren’t.
 
It looked like their lawyers had cowed the other witnesses into being so careful and precise they came off slippery and evasive, even if they weren’t.
 
Easley, by contrast, is charming, confident and commanding. Too busy with the people’s business to bother with details.
 
I can’t say how he’s doing legally. That’s above my pay grade. Good lawyers say they’d sit on him to keep him from testifying like this.
 
But the only other witness who performed well was McQueen Campbell. And he and Easley apparently contradicted each other on the home-repair/flight bill.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |

28
I’ve been quick to note lately that I supported Dennis Wicker in 2000.  I remember the arrogance of some – not all – of Mike Easley’s people after they won.
 
But I’ll say a word in their defense.
 
 
News flash: So does every campaign – Democratic and Republican.
 
Every campaign strives to maximize every dollar. Saving, say, a half-million dollars might give you a decisive advantage.
 
That’s why there are coordinated campaigns.
 
But you need a battery of lawyers. Because campaign finance laws are complex – and change every election.
 
It’s not clear – as I listen to Governor Easley testify – whether the Board of Elections thinks the Easley campaign crossed the line.
 
But a coordinated campaign is not illegal.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (11) RSS comment feed |

27
Well, what went on in Raleigh yesterday in the State Board of Elections hearing was high political drama – the fireworks started right off when Easley buddy McQueen Campbell fessed up he’d paid for $11,000 in repairs on Easley’s house in Raleigh, then sent Easley’s campaign a fake bill for the $11,000 – which the campaign paid. Then the insurance company reimbursed Easley, personally, $5,400.
 
The next point is just plain tacky: Here’s what Campbell said he repaired – the roof, trimming the trees, water damage, washing sidewalks and cleaning dog feces from a bedroom and closet.
 
The Governor’s also trying to explain taking $101,000 in free airplane flights from Campbell, free dues at a posh country club, a $137,000 discount on a beach front lot from a developer, free cars and how he created a job for his wife at NCSU that paid her $175,000 a year.
 
And what did all these folks get in return from Easley?
 
Here’s one example: Last time Easley was running for reelection, Wilmington developer Lanny Wilson wrote Easley’s campaign money-raiser a five point memo about how to get a big donation from Wilson’s partner. Here’s quid pro quo: Easley reappointed Wilson’s partner to the State Wildlife Commission and Wilson’s partner got a state permit to build a boat ramp at a subdivision. Then Wilson’s partner wrote a check to the Democratic Party for $50,000 to re-elect Easley – and Easley got a $137,000 ‘discount’ on one of Wilson’s partner’s beach front lots.
 
Meantime Easley’s legal counsel (from back when he was Governor), Ruffin Poole, who master-minded the scheme to end run election laws by getting big donors to funnel money into Easley’s campaign through the Democratic Party, has stiff-armed the Board of Elections by refusing to testify, saying Easley’s protected by Attorney-client privilege and his lips are sealed. Meanwhile, his client, Governor Easley says he’d be delighted for Poole to testify.
“The Governor’s not concerned other than getting these issues resolved and moving on,” Easley’s spokesman says.
 
So why isn’t Poole testifying? Maybe the Board will ask Easley that when he takes the stand Wednesday.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (18) RSS comment feed |

27
Mike Easley was always described as quirky, but charming. Part of the charm was his reputation as a cheapskate.
 
That was a good quality for a governor in a budget crisis. Now, not so good.
 
Now he’s charged with flimflamming his campaign into paying $11,000 for home repairs. And maybe pocketing the insurance money.
 
Surely Easley could afford the repair bill.
 
And surely Easley’s campaign – which raised and spent more than $10 million – could afford to pay $88,000 for plane flights.
 
This is a big price to pay for small savings.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (12) RSS comment feed |

26
I worked with Jesse Helms so over the years I grew accustomed to looking at polls where politicians had high ‘Unfavorable’ ratings. But I’ve never see...

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

26
Jane said it’s good the Board of Elections is digging into “pay for play” politics.
 
Joe said it’s much ado about minor campaign reporting violations.
 
Jane said we’re lucky to have The News & Observer.
 
Joe said it’s a vendetta by John Drescher.
 
Jane said the combination of big-time appointments, free trips, cut-rate land deals and a sweet job for the First Lady stinks to high heaven.
 
Joe said politics always has been – and always will be – about helping your friends.
 
Jane said helping your friends is fine, but not using your position and your power to abuse a great university, corrupt the state’s environmental-permitting process, help yourself to the public till and enrich yourself and your friends.
 
Joe said why get out of breath about this when there are wars, global warming, atomic weapons in Iran, the huge need for health care reform and stunning rural poverty.
 
Jane said that, if we don’t clean this up, people won’t trust their government.
 
Joe recited a rhyme: “The thunder roared, the lightning flashed, a tree was felled – and a frog was smashed.”

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |

Page 1 of 5First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement