The News & Observer had another interesting and troubling story this morning about the McCrory Administration’s ill-advised plan to privatize the state’s economic development efforts by creating a private nonprofit to recruit companies to the state and to convince corporations already here to stay.
But the story, like the one last week about the privatization plan, leaves out one especially disturbing part, the shocking conflict of interest of John Lassiter, one member of the board of the new nonprofit.
Lassiter is a longtime supporter of McCrory and has run his campaigns in the past. He is now the head of the Renew North Carolina Foundation, the 501(c)4 political group with close ties to McCrory, that is raising anonymous money from corporations to run commercials to defend McCrory’s record.
Lassiter’s appointment to the private nonprofit means he will literally be involved in negotiating millions of dollars in incentive deals with corporations at the same time he is raising cash from corporations to help McCrory politically.
It is hard to think of a more blatant conflict of interest, yet it is rarely mentioned in the the stories about the privatization scheme. Lassiter is usually only described as the head of Carolina Legal Staffing or occasionally as a political donor to McCrory’s campaigns.
He is a lot more than that, he is McCrory’s link to secret corporate contributions and people need to know about his unbelievable ethical conflict.