Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm working on a million things today so I don't have a ton of time to add much new here after being caught in the Wright ethics hearing all week.

A few things..

Friday 6pm - Political Connections - GOP Lt. Gov. Race
Sunday 11am - Special Political Connections - Dem. Lt. Gov. debate taped last night
Sunday 1pm - Special Political Connections - Airing GOP Governor's race debate in Meck. Co.

Still working on a few Wright things as's my piece from today. Have a great weekend! I have to work tomorrow but will be done in just enough time to get a nap and watch the big game!!!

RALEIGH -- For the first time in more than 120 years lawmakers could kick out one of their own.

Thursday, a House ethics panel voted to remove Representative Thomas Wright from office. This comes after former House Speaker Jim Black pleaded guilty to corruption charges last year. So, is this the beginning of the end for public corruption cases?

After thE committee found the Wilmington Democrat guilty on six counts of ethical misconduct, he walked out and spoke out.

"So woe onto my colleagues because this will just come back to bite them squarely where they sit," Rep. Wright said. "How dare they pass judgement on me not knowing the facts but drawing conclusions."

The controversy surrounds allegations that Wright misused more than $350,000 in campaign donations, charitable donations, and loans.

That includes not reporting thousands of dollars in campaign cash. Wright maintains it was sloppy bookkeeping and he believes he's not alone.

"What make an example out of me?" Wright added. "Let the show begin because this is just the beginning. They've set the precedent."

But is it a precedent of further problems that exist or is this the end of an era of public corruption?

"So I think we're still seeing what happened in the state legislature six years ago in the Jim Black era," Chris Fitzsimon from NC Policy Watch said. "I'm not sure we've seen everything but I feel relatively sure that we're not seeing that kind of thing going on now."

Thomas Wright's political future it rests in the hands of the House of Representatives. Lawmakers must decide to keep wright or kick him out of office. At least some of the leadership is hoping to wait until a March 31st criminal trial for Thomas Wright ends, because if he's found guilty he can not serve in the legislature as a convicted felon.

He has filed for re-election but faces two opponents in the May sixth primary. This year's legislative session starts on may 13th.

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