Another Upstanding Democrat

Mayor of Charlotte arrested on public corruption charges

Published March 26, 2014

Oct. 29, 2013: Then-candidate for Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon speaks to students at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C.AP

The mayor of Charlotte, N.C. — the state’s largest city and the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention — was arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges and accused of taking bribes after an FBI sting.

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, a 47-year-old Democrat, is facing theft and bribery charges, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said. Cannon is accused of soliciting and accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers who wanted to do business in Charlotte.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI first learned that he may have been involved in illegal activities years ago and started an investigation in 2010.

During the course of that probe, the mayor allegedly accepted bribes from undercover FBI agents on five separate occasions, in exchange for access to city officials responsible for planning, zoning and permitting.

A criminal complaint said Cannon is accused of soliciting and accepting more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes.

During the last encounter, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, he accepted $20,000 in cash.

If convicted on all the charges, he faces 20 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

Cannon was elected mayor in November, replacing Anthony Foxx. Foxx was named Transportation Secretary by President Obama.

Cannon was first elected to City Council in 1993. He is also longtime radio show host who discusses local and national politics. In November, he defeated Republican challenger Edwin Peacock.

Cannon was also accused of accepting $12,500 from an undercover agent to help him develop a feminine hygiene product called “Hers” to be marketed and sold in the United States. In exchange, Cannon offered to help the undercover agent — posing as a business manager for a venture capital company — get the necessary permits to open a nightclub.

During the meeting, an undercover agent told Cannon: “You know, again whatever you can do to get our application moved up towards the top, uh, business license and things like that, that we need.”

According to the complaint, Cannon responded: “Yeah, not a problem.”

In a separate case, federal agents on Wednesday also arrested a California state senator during a series of raids in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

FBI spokesman Peter Lee confirmed the arrest of State Sen. Leland Yee, but declined to discuss the charges, citing an ongoing investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Letter To The Editor Of The Tryon Daily Bulletin

Well, now I’ve heard everything! Our County Commissioners are being called
“bullies.” You can’t be serious. I have known and worked with the four Republican
Commissioners for years and they are truly nice people who care deeply for Polk County.
Tom Pack, admittedly, has a bit less tolerance for nonsense and lying than the others, but
he is a really good guy and a good businessman.

Let’s look at the facts to determine who is really bullying whom. Ray Gasperson, by
his own admission, betrayed the ethics of Closed Session confidentiality. It is a natural
response by prudent people to be more guarded in what they say once they know that
someone has betrayed the trust of confidence. Something like that cannot be ignored. It
must be addressed.

Rather than sit and discuss things like an adult, Ray chose to leave
the meeting, even though he had agreed to the format of the meeting in advance. It was
his choice to behave in that manner. Then he went whining to anyone who would listen,
crying “Foul!” and blaming others for his behavior. Next came the onslaught of Letters
to the Editor from the Democrats hammering away at the Republicans.

When the shoe was on the other foot and Tom Pack and Ted Owens were in the minority,
they were treated with complete disrespect and their input dismissed. They didn’t stomp
out of meetings or write articles to the Bulletin. They behaved like grown men who were
elected to do a job and they did their best. The Republicans didn’t write letter after letter
to the Bulletin. We respectfully let the Commissioners do their jobs and when Election
Day came, we changed the direction of the Board.

Ever since the Republicans took over as the majority, the Democrats have relentlessly
pounded away at every little thing they do. In fact, leaked memos from high ranking
officials in the Democratic Party have instructed their people to do that very thing –
criticize, criticize, criticize and attack. Hardly a day goes by that there isn’t a negative
article in the Bulletin about the Republican Commissioners. If you look at the Polk
County Democrat’s website, it has been consistently filled with hate and vengeance from
the moment the Republicans took office. It even stated at the very beginning of their
terms that it was their intent to track every little thing the Republicans did while in office.

The Republican Commissioners have chosen to take the high road and just focus on the
business of Polk County. But I think they are running out of cheeks to turn. I know I
have.

The hatefulness publicly expressed by the Democrats has been so extreme that political
parties are no longer allowed to have booths at the Green Creek Heritage Festival. The
last time we were allowed to be there, the Republican booth had nothing but positive
campaign material representing our candidates. The Democrat’s booth, however,
had a whole string of vicious signs that were very personal attacks on the Republican
candidates. The signs were so nasty and hateful that the Democrats were forced to
remove them. The Green Creek Heritage Festival is a happy, family event and spewing
such venom was completely inappropriate in that environment. In fact, I cannot think
of any place where such venom would be appropriate other than perhaps a Democrat
meeting.

So, now tell me, who is the bully here?

-Cheryl Every

Business Is Improving In North Carolina

For the week of March 21, 2014 – carolinajournal.com

Reaction of the Week

 

RALEIGH — Newly revised employment data show that 2013 was the strongest year for job growth in North Carolina since the Great Recession. Those numbers contradict liberal arguments about the impact of policies adopted by the conservative-led General Assembly,according to new analysis from the John Locke Foundation’s president.

The N.C. Employment Security Commission’s latest report lists the state’s official unemployment rate at 6.7 percent in January, down 0.2 percentage points from December’s revised rate of 6.9 percent.

The North Carolina rate remains above the national average of 6.6 percent. But the gap between the state and national rates is the smallest reported in more than a year.

Beyond the headline numbers, JLF President John Hood notes with interest new revisions in establishment-survey data the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects to help compute unemployment rates.

“According to the revised establishment-survey data, 2013 was the strongest year of job growth in North Carolina since the end of the recession,” Hood said. “From December 2012 to December 2013, North Carolina employers added 85,600 positions, a 2.1 percent increase, compared with 73,200 net new jobs in 2012 (1.9 percent) and 49,600 jobs net new jobs in 2011 (1.3 percent).”

Those numbers contrast sharply with arguments from left-of-center pundits, who contend that North Carolina’s economy suffered in comparison to other states during the first year of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. 2013 marked the first year that a Republican governor worked with the Republicans who took control of the General Assembly in 2011.