gregflynn's blog

The Great Republican Governors Association McCrory Money Laundering Machine

The Republican Governors Association wasted no time setting up an Independent Expenditure Committee called the RGA NC 2008 PAC to receive and spend unlimited amounts of money from individuals to run ads for Pat McCrory in the wake of court rulings and subsequent recent changes to North Carolina election law. A Statement of Organization was filed 5/19/08 and the PAC already has $387,380 on hand from out of state donors ready to spend in support of McCrory

Corporate funds are prohibited for independent expenditures but, according to IRS records, the Republican Governors Association 527 Political Committee received $135,000 from North Carolina corporations in the first half of 2008.

FEC Fined Realtors $78,000 for Burr Campaigning

In a little noticed action in 2007 the National Association of Realtors was fined $78,000 by the Federal Election Commission for violations of election law including $282,500 spent on mailings and advertisements expressly advocating the election of Richard Burr for Senate in 2004. The FEC found that the National Association of Realtors 527 Fund failed to register and file disclosure reports as a Federal political committee and accepted contributions in violation of Federal limits and source prohibitions. In total the NAR 527 Fund spent $2.8 million advocating the election of 9 federal candidates in 2004 including Richard Burr, their favorite son Johnny Isakson, a Georgia realtor, and the disgraced Rick Renzi.

The campaigning for Richard Burr spurred the complaint by one North Carolina man, Thomas Strini, of Mint Hill, and subsequent enforcement action by the FEC.

Real Debate or Fake Debate?

State Senator Fletcher Hartsell and State Representative Jeff Barnhart, both Cabarrus County Republicans, last week set up a non-profit corporation called “Real Debate.org, Inc.”. Only Hartsell’s name appears on the corporate filing but Barnhart is listed on a parallel filing last week with the IRS establishing “Real Debate.org, Inc.” as a 527 Political Committee along with Wilmington millionaire Fred Eshelman.

Transparency Group Lacks Transparency: Another Puppet Show

There’s a new puppet show in town, but you wouldn’t know it from their website. Capitol Monitor claims to “shed daylight into the darkest corners of our "citizen" government”:

It's all about transparency.

The problem is, there is no transparency about the website and its owners. But, it's got Art Pope's fingerprints all over it

What Would Al Gore Do?

Figure 8 houseWhen Al Gore spends time at the North Carolina coast he stays at Figure Eight Island in a 7,000 square foot house voted most likely to fall into the ocean.  A thin stretch of beach separates the house from the rising sea along with a temporary line of sand bags 25 feet away, due for removal May 2008 in compliance with coastal regulations.  Sand bags on the beach are double edged swords, protecting the land side while accelerating erosion on the ocean side.  Owner Parker Overton filed a spirited variance request with the Coastal Resources Commission in February for a March hearing. 

Part of the variance request referred to the passing of SB 599 (what I refer to as the Terminal Groin Injury Act) in 2007 due to be heard in the House 2008 which would allow a terminal groin pilot project, presumed to be destined for a location close to the house.  Among political contributors on Figure Eight Island Parker Overton and his wife are the most generous.  As recently as December 2007 they each contributed $4,000 to the campaign of Marc Basnight. 

Open Thread: Have Fun With Science

Via Discover Magazine: Space Travel For Every Budget: 7 ways to be a space tourist—even if you’re broke.

a Northrop Grumman–sponsored flight of schoolteachers, who were videotaping a variety of experiments to show their students. This meant a full cabin, which at times resembled a human washing machine as the teachers bounced off each other while trying to do their experiments and line up their cameras for a good shot.

Patrick McHenry Partners With Pittenger

How does Patrick McHenry manage to stand tall financially? His personal accumulation of assets through property deals has been a wonder. I’ve always been curious how a paper entry on a form turns into a cash windfall later. Now it seems he has a business partner in Republican State Senator and Lt Governor candidate Robert Pittenger, Lord of the LLC land deals, to help him along.

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