Sunday, July 02, 2023

Tim Moore Is Basically a Loser


NC House Speaker Tim Moore reeks of self-seeking. He's a schemer. Doesn't he always know "what's in it for him"? Early on in his career, he was grabbing mainly for money. Now, having amassed a great heap of power serving a record number of years as Speaker of the House, he's perfectly capable of torching someone who crosses him. There's now an imperial attitude to go with the nose for cash. But the strong arm doesn't always work for him.

Tim Moore Wanted an Academic Robe

It got leaked in October 2019 that Tim Moore wanted to "retire" from the General Assembly and be president of the UNC system. That rumor actually sparked a UNC student protest demonstration and just incidentally, plenty of coolness from members of the UNC board of governors who were wary about that kind of pressure. In the end, too many important people didn't see Tim Moore in the top dog mortarboard and cape, and that air ship went down.

Then, only a few months later, in Feb. 2020, it had become an open secret that Tim Moore was angling now to get appointed chancellor of East Carolina University. The job was open. It was lesser than being president of the entire system, but maybe he was feeling bargain-basement. Another Republican, Robert Moore, the East Carolina University Board of Trustees member censured as part of an SGA election scandal in February 2020, was the one who outed Moore's pressure campaign, in a defiant and get-even resignation letter

So Moore's second try for a cushy retirement plan deflated as quickly as the first one.

If He Can't Have the Regalia, He Wants It for His Friend

By the spring of 2022, a couple of years after Moore's last feint toward becoming university royalty, Moore became hellbent on getting his former chief of staff Clayton Somers in as chancellor of UNC-W. Clayton Somers had been Moore's inside man at UNC, his messenger boy and his fixer, but a new university president, Kevin Guskiewicz, had begun ignoring Somers and showing a dangerous independent streak:

"Kevin wouldn't just accept what Clayton said unquestioningly," one senior university official said. "Clayton didn't like being questioned .... That got their relationship off to a rocky start and it never recovered." 

Clayton Somers' side-eye. Photo Cornell Watson

Somers had become "deeply involved in negotiations around what to do with the [Silent Sam] statue after it came down. He ultimate plan involved a multimillion-dollar settlement with the highly controversial Sons of Confederate Veterans. It created a public relations nightmare from late 2019 into early 2020 and was ultimately thrown out in court" (The Assembly).

Bottomline: Fair-haired boy Clayton Somers had become a walking, talking sorehead who was on the outs with university administration, plus he was never going to be chancellor of anything. He didn't make it past the second round interview and wasn't on the short list of finalists. Another man got the job, so once again Tim Moore had custard creme on his face.

He took it out on Holly Grange.

Who Is Holly Grange and What Did Tim Moore Do To Her?

In July 2019, Holly Grange was a moderate conservative Republican member of the NC House (Dist. 20, at the Coast). She'd been in the job since the election of 2016 but was evidently getting antsy. She began to talk about maybe running for governor, which Lt. Gov. Dan Forest already had sewn up. That was a surprise (who did she think she was kidding?). NC Republican primary voters preferred the self-righteous vinegar coming out of Dan Forest. So Forest beat Grange with 89% of the vote. Ouchie

Grange's consolation prize, more or less -- she got appointed to the UNC-Wilmington board of trustees, and as a board member she was also selected to serve on the chancellor search committee. She didn't like what Tim Moore was doing to force his guy on the search committee. Some -- several -- members involved confirmed to The Assembly that Speaker Moore waved his dick around, but it didn't impress anyone. So Clayton Somers failed, and Tim Moore failed, and Holly Grange did it!

So about a year into her service on the board of trustees and in October 2022, very soon after Clayton Somers did not become chancellor of UNC-W, Holly Grange received a mysterious heads-up in a text message, that she should look at a bill that was just filed in the House. It declared her trustees seat "vacant." What? She was in the seat, a voting member. But a new law declared she didn't exist. It was a way to fire someone without firing them. Senior admin people at UNC-W couldn't believe it either, but just like that, Tim Moore had Holly Grange dumped out of her seat. Grange herself summed up the action: “I was removed simply because the Speaker of the House could not secure the chancellor’s position for his chosen person.” 

That's a fundamentally weak man who would do that.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention all the money he made by using the state legislature to force the city of Durham to change its rules on development which allowed a friend of Moores to sell property obtained for $2M for $20M. Moore got caught red handed with a $50K payoff (hardly what he is due) but stymied investigation by saying the money was for lobbying in Washington and therefore not subject to investigation due to attorney client privilege. To be leader of the House he sure he sure has lots of time to be involved in outside jobs!

Anonymous said...

I miss the old days when University Chancellors came up through the school as professors and deans. Now we have an Appstate Chancellor that lives in Charlotte.