Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and the Lapsed Ethics of Our Governor

Since taking office, Gov. Pat McCrory has failed to disclose six-figure payouts from a company (  that is regulated by the state, and he similarly failed to disclose thousands of dollars worth of stock holdings from a company (Duke Energy) under federal indictment for polluting our state’s rivers. An ethics complaint against him appears to be advancing as of yesterday morning, according to the N&O.

Today another "failure to disclose" has emerged. The governor took a number of luxury trips to hang out with fellow pooh-bahs in the Republican Governors Association, paid for by the Republican Governors Association. According to state ethics laws, unless the governor paid for those trips himself, he must list those trips as "gifts" under question 17 of the Statement of Economic Interest form. He did not list those trips anywhere. The governor now admits -- once the whistle was blown -- that he should have listed those trips as gifts. Oops. "How clumsy of me!" said the governor who claims that he loves stepping on toes.

Trips? Read on:

In November 2013, the RGA paid for Gov. McCrory’s stay at an Arizona resort featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” with rooms starting at $400 per night. The five-star resort features marble imported from Italy, ceilings etched in 24-karat gold, 11 rare Steinway pianos, and a “lush tropical landscape” manicured by workers from the island kingdom of Tonga. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the RGA also paid for McCrory’s stays at luxury hotels in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Charleston, South Carolina, in May and September of 2013. Gov. McCrory also attended an RGA junket in 2014, held at a 356-acre resort in Boca Raton, Florida, with “a spa built to resemble the Alhambra Palace in Spain” and rooms which start at over $300 per night. 

But McCrory never reported these free trips as gifts.

It's so hard keeping up with the pelf.

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