The elephant in the video poker checks scandal room

McCrory11092012No one has presented any evidence thus far of any wrongdoing by Governor Pat McCrory or his campaign in the growing scandal surrounding campaign checks from the video “sweepstakes” (aka video poker) industry, but at some point, the Governor would do well to address the issue and answer some questions.

This is because the hard and uncomfortable truth is that the checks appear to have been funneled through the law firm at which the Governor (a non-lawyer) worked for many years on matters that have never been explained and on behalf of clients that have never been identified. 

The Governor’s campaign also received a $4,000 check from the video poker industry operator who was apparently behind the whole scam (and one from his wife too), but they do not appear to have been funneled through the law firm.

The assumption here is that the questionable activity was the doing of a handful of bad apples at what is a very large law firm with lots of honorable employees. It seems implausible that the Governor (or, the Mayor — as he was then) would have ever entangled himself in any way in such shady activity.

That said, it’s hard not to feel a smidgen of concern and unease at the notion that people “down the hall” from the Governor were apparently engaged in such behavior — especially when the Governor’s  role at the firm has always been so shrouded in secrecy.  (As an aside, one can only imagine the screaming headlines we’d be seeing right now at the Pope groups if such a situation developed around a Democratic governor).

So, in keeping with time-honored wisdom that the cover-up is always worse than the scandal, Governor McCrory would do well to come out ASAP with: 1) an honest account of everything he did for Moore and Van Allen and 2) a full explanation of what, if anything, he knew about the firm’s work for the video poker industry and the people who did it.  He would also do well to do all of this in a no-holds-barred press conference in which real journalists are permitted to ask real, unscripted questions. As an added bonus, an endorsement of genuine campaign finance reform that includes real public financing of elections would be extra nice (but we won’t hold our breath on this last one).

The bottom line: Speaking up loudly and clearly on this matter will be better for McCrory and better for the state and, in all likelihood, put the matter to rest for good. Let’s hope it happens soon.


  1. Rev. Carl Johnson

    May 24, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I wouldn’t hold my breath hoping any of these excellent suggestions would ever happen. The administration and the GOP leadership in the legislature are not deaf to our concerns, as I feared. I’ve found they just don’t care how the opposition feels. Apparently, since we didn’t vote for them, they believe we should be ignored. Depending on the redistricting challenge and outcome, they may find that a different response would have been better for their political lives.

    Either that, or they figure they’ve got one chance in office to enact the most regressive civil rights legislation they can, feather the nests of their moneyed supporters, damage or destroy public education and do their worst to the poor and middle class before elections again.

  2. Doug

    May 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I wouldn’t hold my breath either side will advocate for any reforms around contributions like this. All politicians, regardless of the letter beside their name, unfortunately are in bed with the seedy entities like the video poker sharks.

  3. Steve Harrison

    May 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    “As an aside, one can only imagine the screaming headlines we’d be seeing right now at the Pope groups if such a situation developed around a Democratic governor.”

    Their silence is deafening, and should result in their exclusion from mainstream media appearances as “policy experts” on News 14 and the like.

    Every day that goes by without at least a lukewarm admonition from John or the good Colonel erodes what little credibility they still have.

  4. Jack

    May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    The fact that Republicans don’t care about the voter and feel secure in office reveals how insulated from voters the GOP believe they are. With the gerrymandering of districts therefore the voting booth coupled with voter suppression laws, not just in NC but throughout the country, is there any reason the GOP shouldn’t feel secure in their positions of power?

    Today’s open arrogance of politicians isn’t new but what is new for this generation is the broad display of arrogance on the part of politicians. The Rev. is correct they “just don’t care…” and why should they? Since the Reagan administration there is strong evidence that voters no longer vote to their best interest but rather against other segments of the population in the form of issues such as – social welfare, social security, labor, fair housing, health and human services to name a few.

  5. Frances Jenkins

    May 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    The fair hairchild received major donations as well as Nesbitt from the evil contributor.

  6. david esmay

    May 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    The cross dressing conservatroll slash GOP legislative sycophant is back!

  7. Max

    May 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Jack, republicans has always been like that unfortunately and they will never change, that’s for sure !!!!:(

  8. Frances Jenkins

    May 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

    David has trouble with the truth and as a result of not being able to handle the truth, he behaves like a spoiled child.

  9. Doug

    May 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Well dave….since you have resorted to a hate filled attack on me, You validated my points for me.. Otherwise you would have some logic and facts on your side to present.

Check Also

Cooper continues winning streak against legislators; Judges grant TRO

In case you missed it earlier this evening, ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With just a few hours left until the crossover deadline, the state of North Carolina’s environment i [...]

On Monday morning, there was only one way left to save the Court of Appeals and a few hours with whi [...]

The political compromise that repealed HB2 was enough for the NCAA and ACC, both of which have retur [...]

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of rec [...]

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assem [...]

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing The last week of [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more

HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more