When the press asked Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand about his dealings with defrocked lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings – Rand had a severe case of amnesia. It appears to be contagious. Now, several other Democratic politicians seem to have suffered a loss of memory.
Now, the newspapers are reporting Rand had more reasons to know Geddings than just the lottery. According to the press, the State Democratic Party paid Geddings “nearly $109,000″ to work on state Senate campaigns. And Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue – who chairs the State Senate – also paid Geddings a whopping $1.5 million during her 2000 campaign.
The News and Observer also reports Geddings has worked with Jay Reiff, Governor Easley’s campaign manager, in campaigns – not Easley’s – and that several members of Easley’s staff knew Geddings was doing radio ads for the NCAE attacking Republicans who opposed the lottery. But when the News and Observer asked Mac McCorkle, one of Governor Easley’s advisors, what he told Easley about Geddings’ ads – McCorkle said that was privileged information.
Privileged information? Is Mr. McCorkle an attorney or a political consultant? Mr. McCorkle added innocently that “he didn’t know they [the ads] had run until last week.”
Think about that. Mr. McCorkle was told they would run last summer. August, the News and Observer reported they were running. But now Mr. McCorkle says he didn’t know they had actually aired. More amnesia?
According to phone records obtained by the N&O, another Easley aide – Scott Anderson – called Geddings forty-six times while Anderson worked in the Governor’s office. Mr. Anderson has now decided – months after the fact – that those were personal calls and he has reimbursed the state. And finally, Easley aide Dan Gerlach, called Geddings twice on September 19, just three days before Geddings was appointed to the lottery commission.
So what does Governor Easley say about all this? Well, at his press conference, the Governor had his own attack of amnesia. The press asked (Winston-Salem Journal, 11-09-05), “When did you first hear the name Kevin Geddings, and what interactions have you had with him and Scientific Games?”
Easley said he knew Geddings was chief of staff to South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges and added, “I did not have a relationship with him like say, a Scott Anderson would.”
Now that’s called an evasion. The Governor told us what kind of relationship he did not have with Geddings. But he told us nothing about the relationship he did have.
And what about Scientific Games? The Governor said: “All the venders pay a courtesy visit…they pay a courtesy visit to our office. And I do remember meeting briefly with Scientific Games.” Then amnesia struck: “I don’t recall who was in the meeting…I met with them as well as others…and I am told that one of the people in the meeting was Alan Middleton…quite honestly I wouldn’t know him if he walked in here now.”
So Senator Tony Rand was ‘fuzzy,’ and Mr. McCorkle ‘didn’t know’, and Mr. Anderson’s calls were ‘personal calls’ and Governor Easley can’t recall who he met with.
Pretty soon, nobody is going to be able to remember whether the lottery passed or not.