House Majority Leader John Bell IV alleged corruption in a recent racial gerrymandering case at a GOP fundraiser in Goldsboro.
The event was hosted Oct. 24 by the Lenoir-Wayne Republican Men’s Club at the Walnut Creek Country Club. Bell spoke about a number of topics, but notably indicated that he felt like lawmakers would “lose” in court over redistricting litigation.
The North Carolina Democratic Party released the audio from the event. Bell did not return phone and email messages from NC Policy Watch for comment. He represents Craven, Greene, Lenoir and Wayne counties.
You can listen to the audio here. Bell’s comments about redistricting begin around 1:10:40.
“I feel like we’re probably going to lose our case on redistricting,” he says. “It does’t look good.”
His prediction wasn’t incorrect, although the case is still pending. The federal three-judge panel in North Carolina v. Covington officially appointed a special master this week to review and potentially redraw some state House and Senate districts that could still be unconstitutional.
Bell, at the fundraiser, alleged that there was an inappropriate relationship between the judges in the case and the plaintiffs. He did not elaborate on details, nor did he provide any proof of his allegations.
“When you talk about corruption, let me tell you something; did you ever see the plaintiffs and the judges hanging out with each other?” he asked.
He later adds that the case will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I feel that they’ll actually, the Supreme Court, will agree with us,” he said.