Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The News Gets Worse for Jim Black

The Charlotte Observer reports that state officials are having a hard time swallowing yesterday's testimony by some who made contributions to Jim Black's campaign.
"I've been a lawyer for 31 years. I've examined a lot of witnesses," Larry Leake told Faye Maness. "Seldom have I found one less believable."
In yesterday's proceedings several people with very modest incomes reported that they each gave Jim Black $1000 and were not reimbursed by anyone.

Maness, of Rockingham County, makes about $400 a week at Sara Lee Hosiery. But she told the N.C. State Board of Elections on Tuesday that she gathered up $1,000 she had around the house, deposited it in her bank and wrote a check to House Speaker Jim Black's campaign that passed through the hands of a video-poker operator.

Two other witnesses with similarly modest incomes told the board that they wrote $1,000 checks on the same day as Maness. They also had ties to the same video-poker operator.

I have to admit that I've been a hold out on calling for Jim Black's resignation. I am getting more and more frustrated and am tired of lecturing my friends telling them to hold off until we get him elected. I decided it was time to trudge through North Carolina's election laws and this is what I found:

ยง 163-114.(Warning PDF) Filling vacancies among party nominees occurring after nomination
and before election. If any person nominated as a candidate of a political party for one of the offices listed below (either in a primary or convention or by virtue of having no opposition in a primary) dies, resigns, or for any reason becomes ineligible or disqualified before the date of the ensuing general election, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment according to the following instructions:


Member of State House of Representatives in a single-county representative district


County executive committee of political party in which vacancy occurs, provided, in the case of the State Senator or State Representative in a single-county district where not all the county is located in that district, then in voting, only those members of the county executive committee who reside within the district shall vote.

Now that I'm sure that Jim Black can be replaced at this time even without a primary opponent to receive the nomination, I will join many other Democrats in calling for Jim Black's resignation. The investigation will continue and if exonerated Mr. Black will be easily elected at a later time in his home district, where many still think very highly of him. For the good of the party and for the good of the Democratic process, Jim Black should resign effective immediately.

Governor Easley, do you already have a replacement in mind for Mr. Black? If not, you best get on it!


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