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McCrory Administration’s conflict of interest buried again

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.

2 Comments


  1. Skeptic

    December 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Massa’ McCrory is at it again…. How much do you want to bet slave traders get the first grant??????

  2. ncborn

    December 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Which raises the question of where state ethics laws fit in. Since Commerce is flying without benefit of legislation to create the nonprofit and delineate its responsibilities, it is impossible to know who will actually have decision making power and what (if any) oversight Commerce will exercise over commitment of state money. All reasons that this needs to stop until the General Assembly puts some boundaries around the activities of a nonprofit economic development entity. It would be unconscionable to turn state dollars over to a nonproft unconstrained by ethics laws or by state officials who are.

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