March 19, 2015 •

NC Legislature Introduces Conflict of Interest Bill

State Reps. Grier Martin and Rick Glazier introduced a bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives requiring public officials to recuse themselves from taking any official action if they are in a current dating or sexual relationship with a […]

North Carolina LegislatureState Reps. Grier Martin and Rick Glazier introduced a bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives requiring public officials to recuse themselves from taking any official action if they are in a current dating or sexual relationship with a registered lobbyist who would financially benefit from the official action.

This legislation comes one month after the State Ethics Commission issued a ruling that sex between lobbyists and government officials does not constitute a gift in violation of state ethics law.

House Bill 252 was introduced March 17, 2015, and is currently in committee.

Photo of the North Carolina State Legislative Building by Jayron32 on Wikipedia.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 27, 2014 •

NC Gov. Signs Senate Bill 403

Gov. Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 403 into law. The bill requires treasurers of political committees with contributions, expenditures, or loans totaling more than $10,000 in an election cycle to electronically file campaign finance reports. North Carolina law already requires […]

North CarolinaGov. Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 403 into law. The bill requires treasurers of political committees with contributions, expenditures, or loans totaling more than $10,000 in an election cycle to electronically file campaign finance reports.

North Carolina law already requires electronic filing for political committees making contributions in excess of $5,000 to candidates for statewide office or making independent expenditures in excess of $5,000 affecting contests for statewide office. This provision of the bill takes effect January 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 403 further permits counties, municipalities, and special districts to schedule special elections only when a general or primary election is already scheduled or when there is a general election requiring all county precincts to be open. This provision of the bill takes effect January 1, 2015, and applies to all special elections held on or after that date.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 21, 2014 •

North Carolina General Assembly Adjourns

After 163 legislative days, the North Carolina General Assembly has adjourned sine die. The adjournment is several weeks overdue as legislators hotly debated such contentious issues as pay increases for educators and the dumping of coal ash. Photo of the […]

North Carolina LegislatureAfter 163 legislative days, the North Carolina General Assembly has adjourned sine die.

The adjournment is several weeks overdue as legislators hotly debated such contentious issues as pay increases for educators and the dumping of coal ash.

Photo of the North Carolina Legislative Building by Jayron32 on Wikimedia Commons.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 5, 2014 •

Special Election Called for NC Judicial Races

A special election will be held for three state judicial seats recently vacated by sitting judges. The state Board of Elections set the special election to coincide with the general election on November 4, 2014. The seats up for election […]

North CarolinaA special election will be held for three state judicial seats recently vacated by sitting judges. The state Board of Elections set the special election to coincide with the general election on November 4, 2014.

The seats up for election are for the Court of Appeals, the Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, and the Superior Court in Alamance County.

Judicial races in North Carolina are nonpartisan, statewide races, where all judicial candidates appear on the statewide ballot with no party affiliation. Each race is determined by a plurality of votes.

Candidates must file with the Board of Elections by noon on August 8, 2014, in order to appear on the special election ballot.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 8, 2014 •

Charlotte City Council Selects New Mayor

The Charlotte City Council has appointed a new mayor after the abrupt resignation of former mayor Patrick Cannon following his arrest on federal corruption charges. North Carolina State Senator Dan Clodfelter was named mayor of Charlotte and will be sworn-in […]

Charlotte Skyline

The Charlotte City Council has appointed a new mayor after the abrupt resignation of former mayor Patrick Cannon following his arrest on federal corruption charges.

North Carolina State Senator Dan Clodfelter was named mayor of Charlotte and will be sworn-in on Wednesday. Clodfelter will become Charlotte’s fourth mayor since the spring of 2013. His term expires in December 2015.

Photo of the Charlotte, North Carolina Skyline by Riction on Wikimedia Commons.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 28, 2014 •

Charlotte Mayor Resigns After Corruption, Bribery Charges Filed

Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned Wednesday amid allegations of federal public corruption and taking bribes. The allegations stem from Cannon, on several occasions, accepting over $48,000 of bribes from federal undercover agents posing as businessmen seeking city contracts. If convicted on […]

Charlotte

Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned Wednesday amid allegations of federal public corruption and taking bribes. The allegations stem from Cannon, on several occasions, accepting over $48,000 of bribes from federal undercover agents posing as businessmen seeking city contracts.

If convicted on all charges, Cannon could face up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

Cannon held the mayoral office only four months; he was elected in November 2013.

Photo of the Charlotte, N.C. skyline by Riction on Wikimedia Commons.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 18, 2014 •

North Carolina Ethics Commission to Hold Public Hearing May 9

The State Ethics Commission has called a public hearing to introduce new rules regarding lobbying complaints. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. on May 9, 2014, at the Capehart Crocker House, Commission Meeting Room, 424 North Blount Street, […]

North Carolina

The State Ethics Commission has called a public hearing to introduce new rules regarding lobbying complaints. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. on May 9, 2014, at the Capehart Crocker House, Commission Meeting Room, 424 North Blount Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Oral comments about the new rules will be accepted at this meeting.

Written comments should be directed to Pam Cashwell via U.S. mail at 1324 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699; via fax at (919) 716-1644; or via email at pam.cashwell@doa.nc.gov. The written comment period began March 17, 2014, and will end May 5, 2014.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 5, 2014 •

North Carolina Special Election Scheduled for Same Day as General Election

Governor Pat McCrory drew widespread criticism for his decision to leave the 12th Congressional District seat formerly held by Mel Watt vacant until the regularly scheduled general election in November of this year. In a possible attempt to appease his […]

Gov. Pat McCrory

Governor Pat McCrory drew widespread criticism for his decision to leave the 12th Congressional District seat formerly held by Mel Watt vacant until the regularly scheduled general election in November of this year. In a possible attempt to appease his critics, McCrory has called a belated special election to fill the vacant seat.

The special election will be held on the same day as the general election, consistent with McCrory’s budgetary concerns related to holding the special election on a different day. Because the two elections will occur on the same day, most candidates will be on the ballot twice.

Those candidates running in the special election will serve the remainder of the term expiring in 2014. Those candidates running in the general election, a slate nearly identical to that of the special election, will succeed the prevailing candidate in the special election and serve a two year term beginning in 2015.

Only two candidates chose not to participate in both elections, Republican Leon Threatt and Democrat Rajive Patel. Threatt and Patel will only appear on the general election ballot.

Photo of Governor Pat McCrory courtesy of Hal Goodtree on Wikimedia Commons.

 

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

January 15, 2014 •

No Special Election for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District

With the appointment of Mel Watt to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the 12th Congressional District seat in North Carolina is vacant. Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will not call a special election for that seat, but instead will […]

North Carolina

With the appointment of Mel Watt to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the 12th Congressional District seat in North Carolina is vacant. Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will not call a special election for that seat, but instead will wait until the regularly scheduled primary and general elections, on May 6, 2014 and November 4, 2014, respectively.

The governor’s decision has caused much controversy as many North Carolina citizens feel they will be unrepresented in Congress for an unreasonable amount of time. The 12th District encompasses an area from Charlotte through High Point to Greensboro, containing approximately 700,000 citizens.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP has threatened a lawsuit against the state if Governor McCrory does not change his mind. McCrory’s decision to leave the seat vacant until the regularly scheduled 2014 elections is partly due to the large expense a special election typically costs taxpayers. Despite the threat of a lawsuit, McCrory has given no indication of calling a special election.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 23, 2013 •

N.C. Governor Calls Special Session

Session to address vetoed bills

North CarolinaGovernor Pat McCrory has issued a proclamation calling for a special session to convene at noon on September 3, 2013.

However, if a majority of legislators write declaring they do not want to meet, no session will occur.

The purpose of the session is to consider overriding the governor’s vetoes.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 12, 2013 •

North Carolina Governor Signs Voter ID Bill into Law

Bill also changes how lobbyists may collect contributions

NC House Bill 589Gov. Pat McCrory signed a controversial bill into law and it will change how lobbyists are able to bundle contributions. McCrory signed House Bill 589 into law Monday. McCrory eschewed a typical signing ceremony and instead announced his approval with a 95-second YouTube clip. The bill, which has been heavily criticized by voter’s rights groups, will require, among other things, voters to show identification at the polls starting with the 2016 elections.

McCrory, in his YouTube clip said, “North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot. I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.”

The bill also makes it illegal for lobbyists to collect checks from one or multiple donors and deliver them to state candidates. Previously, only collecting checks from multiple donors and delivering them to a state candidate was illegal. However, under the new law, collecting a single check from one donor and delivering it to a state candidate is not allowed either. This provision of the law will go into effect on October 1.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

July 30, 2013 •

North Carolina’s Budget Bill Includes Changes to Lobbying Law

Registration fees to increase and electronic filing to become mandatory

flag of North CarolinaLobbyists in North Carolina will be seeing some changes in the way they do business and those changes will be coming very quickly. With the passage of the state’s budget bill, Senate Bill 402, the registration fees for lobbyists and principals will be increasing.

Currently, lobbyists and principals must pay a $100 fee when they register. Effective August 1, 2013, lobbyists and principals will see that fee more than double to $250.

Another result of the bill becoming law is a change in how lobbyist filings are made.

Effective October 1, 2013, which includes the next quarterly reports for lobbyists and principals, all registrations and reports must be filed electronically. Currently, electronic filing is available, but it is not mandatory.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 26, 2013 •

North Carolina State Legislature Adjourns

Two contentious bills pass both houses and now head to the governor’s desk

North Carolina LegislatureThe North Carolina State Legislature adjourned Friday, but not without two contentious bills being approved and sent to Gov. Pat McCrory. The State Senate adjourned early Friday morning at around 2 a.m. and the State House followed suit later in the day around noon. Before adjourning though, the Legislature managed to pass bills regarding voter identification and abortion.

The voter ID bill also included a restriction on the ability of lobbyists to bundle contributions. This provision was added to the bill by the Senate after the House had previously passed the bill. Therefore, the bill had to be sent back to the House before it could go to the governor. The House approved it late last night and McCrory has given every indication he will sign the bill into law.

The bill will make it illegal for lobbyists to collect checks from one or multiple donors and deliver them to state candidates. Currently, lobbyists are only prohibited from collecting contributions from multiple donors and delivering them to candidates. However, since this provision is tucked into a voter ID bill drawing the ire of voting rights groups everywhere; it is possible this bill will face judicial scrutiny. For now, if McCrory signs the bill, it will go into effect this October.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

April 3, 2013 •

North Carolina Appellate Court Sends Lobbying Case Back to Trial Court

Trial court to decide whether state can fine lobbyists for violations

North CarolinaA state appellate court has ruled that a trial court judge must reconsider the state’s large fine for lobbying law violations. Don Beason, once considered one of the state’s most influential lobbyists, was originally fined $111,000 for a violation of the state’s disclosure policy for lobbyists. This fine was eventually reduced to $30,000 after the court ruled it was too large. Beason was working on overturning the state’s “Buy America” law for Sigma Corporation, a New Jersey company who imports foreign-made iron and steel.

The state claims Beason was paid with money funneled from an Indian iron exporters’ trade association and other companies through Sigma and Beason knew of this arrangement and failed to disclose. The trial court ruled that state law defines a lobbyist as someone who communicates directly with legislators or their employees and there was no evidence Beason directly contacted anyone for these clients supposedly funneling money through Sigma.

The appellate court however found the trial court failed to consider a second aspect of Beason’s case; whether Beason’s activities for the client constituted lobbying. The trial court must rule on that issue and then can determine whether the state has the power to fine Beason.

There is no time frame on when the trial court will hear the second part of this case.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close