Should Jim Black Resign?

First, who is Jim Black, and why must he go? From Jim Black Must Go:

Over the course of the last 12 months, the Speaker clearly has abused his office. Need evidence? Consider this:

The Speaker let a registered lobbyist secretly run his office. He appointed a paid representative of one of the companies seeking the state’s multi-million dollar lottery contract to the State Lottery Commission. He used our taxpaper dollars—hidden in a secret political slush fund—to create state jobs for political supporters and campaign donors. He has turned our state’s rural economic development partnerships into giant patronage operations at a time when our state’s rural counties are desperately in need of real help. He has solicited campaign contributions from strip club owners, video poker operators, and payday lenders who want to charge the poorest citizens in our state 400 percent annual interest. There is an on-going state criminal investigation of his former political director Meredith Norris. There is an ongoing federal criminal investigation of the Speaker’s entire political empire with over 30 witnesses subpoenaed to date. The list of abuses grows longer each week.

Just to reiterate, Jim Black is the Speaker of the House in NC, the most important person in NC politics, even more important then the Governor. And, stone cold sleezy. Even for a politician.

Ogre has noted that Black’s hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, has called for his resignation. Today, the Raleigh N&O has done the same. This is no small feat. The N&O is the paper of North Carolina’s capital.

Let’s cut to the chase:

The speaker’s office, however, requires a leader who retains the confidence of his colleagues and the public, who can lead the chamber to confront the important challenges facing the state. Black’s presence in the speaker’s chair threatens to deepen partisan divides and weaken confidence, things that will make it even more difficult to find consensus.

Jones Street is an insulated place, and it’s easy for those who have been in office a while, at any level, to lose touch with the folks out there who believe their government belongs to them and not to lobbyists and politicians. Let’s hope the firestorm in which Jim Black finds himself has been a wake-up call for lawmakers. But for reform to proceed, and for the General Assembly to retain the respect of the people it is supposed to serve, this should be goodbye for Speaker Black.

Don’t forget, Democrats NEVER do anything wrong, illegal, or immoral, though. Or so they tell us.

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One Response to “Should Jim Black Resign?”

  1. Chief RZ says:

    Gambling leads to corruption. This state or any other state should not be involved with gambling. In South Carolina, at least the people had a chance to vote on it. 58% were in favor. The people have spoken. Now I hope that more of those will see the results of this immoral operation and the results that follow.

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