Pat McCrory has received $82,000 in campaign donations from the sweepstakes industry. His former employer, the lobbying firm Moore & Van Allen, was implicated in the affair which led to an investigation by the State Board of Elections. According to the Associated Press, McCrory initially denied meeting with anyone from the sweepstakes industry, however his spokesperson later changed that story, admitting that McCrory, “met with representatives both for and against the sweepstakes issue.” This evasive and vague response is typical of McCrory’s M.O., but it raises even more questions; such as whom did he meet with, when did they meet and what did they discuss? If McCrory refuses to answer these very basic questions, his silence on the issue strongly implies a scandal which goes even deeper beneath the surface.
The original sweepstakes scandal began in Florida where sweepstakes operator Chase Burns was arrested for using a charity as a fake business front to launder $300 million in gambling money. That scandal led to the resignation of Florida’s Lieutenant Governor. Burns is leading the charge of sweepstakes operators who want North Carolina to reverse its ban on internet sweepstakes cafes and he was the largest individual donor to North Carolina candidates in 2012. North Carolina lawmakers originally passed a ban on video poker and all other electronic gambling in 2006, following a political scandal involving campaign donations from the sweepstakes operators. The industry quickly adapted, and introduced new games that they claimed were in compliance with the law. NC Lawmakers responded with legislation in 2008 and 2010 that made it unlawful to possess game terminals that “simulate slot machines or are used for the display of electronic sweepstakes”. In response, the creators of the sweepstakes software sued the state of NC, asserting that the ban violated their Constitutional rights to free speech. The resulting legal battle dragged on two years, until December 2012 when the Supreme Court made a decision to uphold the ban. As a result of the ban, law enforcement agencies are supposed to be cracking down on these establishments, which prey on the poor; but of course they aren’t. They are being paid off at the local level which is then funneled carefully through county commissioners with all paper trails leading to Raleigh.
One of the blank checks was written in cursive handwriting while another features neat all-caps lettering. While a third check is marked by its messy script. But all checks bear the signature of the same exact campaign donor; raising questions about how the checks were directed to state lawmakers and to Gov. Pat McCrory and whether state law was violated.
At the same time, local watchdog groups including Democracy North Carolina found irregularities with Burns’ and other sweepstakes operators’ campaign contributions and have called for an immediate investigation into suspected violations; including bundling by lobbyists and corporate campaign donations. Burns’ company had hired McCrory’s former firm, Moore & Van Allen, to lobby while McCrory was employed at the firm. According to Democracy NC, Moore & Van Allen lobbyists appear to have distributed Burns political donations illegally.
McCrory served as a mayor of Charlotte, NC from 1995 to 2009 and campaigned for Governor on his record of “running” a large city, although Charlotte is in fact being “run” by large outside banking interests who call the shots via an inept and ineffectual city council. But what McCrory has done from 2009 to 2012 is anybody’s guess. Thanks to his lack of disclosure, no one really knows exactly what he has been doing because he has refused to release his income tax returns, which would show how much he’s been paid by various firms and organizations. We know that McCrory isn’t a lawyer, yet he’s been working for a law and lobbying firm which has represented Big Oil and the insurance industry. He worked most conspicuously for the Koch Brothers front group Americans for Prosperity, while pushing frantically to stop the Affordable Care Act.
If you do a quick search for McCrory’s name in the North Carolina’s lobbyist registry, it will not come up. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Political contribution disclosure in America is a complete joke. According to North Carolina’s registration guidelines, he could easily influence the sweepstakes operators and supporters while peddling and pimping himself without ever even registering as a lobbyist. How is that? Well, McCrory avoided registering as a lobbyist by spending less than 5% of his time within a 30-day period actually meeting with lawmakers. He also avoided registering by acting as an individual performing professional services in advising and rendering opinions to clients, or to executive branch officers on behalf of clients, as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislative/executive actions where the professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative or executive action. In other words, he’s playing games at North Carolina taxpayers expense while being protected by corporate thugs and gambling-parlor lowlifes. When a local reporter confronted McCrory about all this paid work he is doing yet refusing to disclose by releasing his tax returns, McCrory admitted that he is giving “policy advice” to clients. He then excitedly stated that ” the attack against the private sector has got to end, or we’re not going to have anyone from the private sector who wants to run for office anymore!” Uh, maybe someone should explain to this genius that’s exactly the point! Lobbyists exist to extract policy from the Government which benefits the Corporatocracy. Private sector experience at any level is merely a farm system of that process. The bottom line is, North Carolina Voters don’t know who is giving pay-outs to McCrory or for what purpose. My guess would be a continual slush fund to support and finance the FEMA and DHS “drills” which will take place in this state over the next year or so, including the seized assets and equipment of the illegal gambling lobby as leverage; an incentive to look the other way when a so-called “disaster” strikes in the exact same area in which drills are occurring and coincidentally, at the exact same time.
This whole house of cards is destined to fall. Anyone who has the guts to investigate can easily start with the sweepstakes operator Chase E. Burns, owner of International Internet Technologies LLC of Anadarko, OK which is a known CIA front company. In addition, International Internet Technologies was represented by lobbyists and attorneys for Moore & Van Allen – the same firm which employed Pat McMcory, from June 1st, 2012 until the scandal broke. The firm has since dropped IIT as a client, but the writing is on the wall.