Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How/Why Speaker Tim Moore Punished Fellow Republican Julia Howard

Julia Howard and Speaker Tim Moore

Totally indebted to Jeffrey Billman's "Primer" and to "Under the Dome" for the information that follows. Billman first:

Check out this timeline:

April 13, 2:29 p.m.: Charlotte reporter emails House Speaker Tim Moore asking for an interview about a bill to change the tax code related to Paycheck Protection Program loans.

April 13, 5:36 p.m.: Moore tells reporter, “I just want you to know that I have not advocated for that bill.”

April 13, 6 p.m.: State Rep. Julia Howard, the chair of the Finance Committee, opens a committee meeting with “I was given orders from the Speaker that we would hear this PPP bill today.” ...

“If passed, House Bill 334 would exempt some federal coronavirus relief loans from state taxes. Records show some of the bill’s strongest backers would likely save thousands of dollars, including one lawmaker whose businesses could gain some $20,000. House Speaker Tim Moore’s law firm could stand to benefit a more modest amount, as much as $1,300.”

“Rep. John Bradford, a Republican from Cornelius and a supporter of the bill, for example, could see his businesses’ taxes owed reduced by up to $20,000. Bradford is the CEO of a software company and sole owner of a property management company.” (N&O)

So long as the change applies to all PPP recipients and not just the lawmakers’ companies, they don’t have to recuse themselves.

"Under the Dome" yesterday afternoon:

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore removed fellow Republican Rep. Julia Howard from her position as a senior finance committee chair Tuesday.

The move comes after Howard, one of the longest-serving members of North Carolina’s General Assembly, publicly opposed a bill that was backed by Moore and would benefit some North Carolina lawmakers who received federal coronavirus relief money from the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill, if signed into law, would give tax breaks to businesses that received those loans, including dozens of lawmakers’ businesses.

By revoking Howard’s chairmanship, Moore acted swiftly to punish a challenge to his control. With the legislature sharply divided along party lines, infighting in the speaker’s party presents a challenge to his ability to advance his, and his party’s, agenda....

Just on the face of it, Tim Moore lied to the reporter: "I just want you to know that I have not advocated for that bill." And when has Moore ever passed up an opportunity to benefit personally from the power of his office? 

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