What the Associated Press Refused to Print in its Misleading and Factually Incorrect Attack on Governor McCrory
“The governor has done everything in a proper and ethical manner. This is a classic example of partisan drive-by journalism that deliberately misrepresents the facts. The AP is making reckless accusations through anonymous people about laws that they cannot cite.” – Josh Ellis, Communications Director
AP CLAIM: “McCrory and Sanford deny they did anything improper by accepting the payments from Tree.com, which were not fully described in their ethics statements.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: Governor McCrory properly filled out his ethics statement as required by law. That source of income was previously listed in another part of the 2014 SEI form; therefore, the form is in compliance with the State Ethics Act (See NCGS 138A-24A3).
AP CLAIM: “However, more than a dozen securities lawyers and ethics experts told The Associated Press that such stock payouts are uncommon for elected officials, and raise significant concerns. These experts gave differing opinions about whether laws were broken.
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: What “securities lawyers” and what “ethics experts?” Name them. Not one “expert” was named. These same “experts” said that such stock payouts are uncommon, but it’s the standing board policy of Tree.com to make these payouts. Do these “experts” know that this was Tree.com’s policy? Doesn’t sound like it. And as the AP says itself, this was payment that was in fact ENTITLED. More importantly, the AP event contradicts itself saying, “Early vesting of restricted shares for departing directors is not unheard of in the corporate world.”
AP CLAIM: “AP reported that McCrory, a Duke retiree, held stock in the company as his administration made key regulatory decisions involving his former employer. Those decisions are now the subject of a federal criminal investigation.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: This is an outrageous accusation and this is absolutely incorrect – it is a false statement and was printed and published with malice. The AP is saying that the governor is under federal investigation and that is 100% false. Neither the governor nor anyone he hired has been subpoenaed as part of this investigation.
AP CLAIM: “McCrory declined requests for an interview. In a written statement McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said the governor fully complied with state law and “continues to uphold high ethical standards.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The AP reporter who wrote this story had dozens of chances to interview the governor. On one single occasion after letting the governor’s office know about this story, he had 15 minutes of the governor’s time with 3-4 other reporters where he asked two questions that weren’t related to this story.
AP CLAIM: “North Carolina officials are required to disclose their business dealings and their sources of compensation on annual ethics forms. Knowingly providing false information or concealing sources of income is potentially punishable by removal from office and up to eight months in prison.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: What the AP fails to mention here is that the governor did nothing wrong, nor has anyone accused him of doing anything wrong, and he fully complied with state ethics laws.
AP CLAIM: “In a statement, Ellis said that under state law, the governor wasn’t required to disclose his cash compensation from Tree.com because he had disclosed his company stock holdings earlier on the form. As for the other omissions, Ellis said the instructions on the ethics forms were unclear.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor answered the question (19a) correctly as it was plainly written. The State Ethics Commission recognized that the form needed to be changed and voted at the last commission meeting to rephrase the question on the 2015 SEI form.
AP CLAIM: “McCrory also rebuffed calls earlier this year to disclose the full value of Duke Energy stock he owned following the Dan River coal ash spill.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor properly disclosed what he was required to by state law.
AP CLAIM: “Despite his Tree.com payments, McCrory did not recuse himself from naming the state banking director in the weeks before receiving his special dividend, or from naming eight commissioners to the regulatory agency 18 days later. In addition to licensing mortgage brokers, the commission investigates complaints, which are kept secret under state law unless they result in discipline.”
WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor didn’t need to recuse himself as per state law. Instead, the AP is implying through shifty wordsmithing and editing – that the Governor took actions that benefitted Tree.com – another example of irresponsible drive-by journalism. Further, the governor re-appointed the chair, which was appointed by the previous Democratic governor, and he has over 40 years of banking experience. See what the former Democratic governor who appointed Ray Grace had to say about Commissioner Grace: http://www.nccob.gov/public/docs/News/Press%20Releases/Grace_nomination_press_release.pdf
I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to our winning candidates and THANK YOU to the dozens of volunteers, Election Judges and poll workers that helped our candidates get elected on November 4th. We won several races…and we lost a few, but none of them would have been possible without the help of our volunteers. I hate to loose!! We are a small group, but the workers we have are committed. There will be new opportunities for more people to get involved and to grow our Party going forward. Thanks to those that had the courage to run for office….it’s not easy and it takes a toll on a person and their family. Thanks to EVERYONE that has supported me and the Madison County GOP. I’ve been honored to serve as your County Chairman and I believe our work has resulted in a better Madison County…..but there is still a lot of work to do. It’s been fun and I appreciate all of you that have supported me and our Party. THANK YOU ALL!!
Chairman, Madison County GOP
This is an actual message I received from a self-described life-long Madison County democrat. Please read it all the way to the end. I think he is trying to defend Pat Franklin, but he has actually reinforced the message on our signs. What do you guys think?? I think we should share this with as many Madison County voters as possible.
Here it is: “I would like to respond to the signs that were put up in front of Ingles on the Marshall by-pass and Ingles in Mars Hill. They seem to indicate that there is something wrong with Pat Franklin who absolutelylikes Barrack Obama and Larry Leake. Remember, Obama is our President and Larry Leake has run Madison County for years, so what is wrong with Pat liking our President and being a close friend to Larry Leake? This is her right and if you ask me, this is smart for Pat. Remember, she has had a good life being Larry’s close friend and she has had a good job with DSS and retired from that and is now drawing county retirement and insurance for life. Larry is still the attorney for the towns of Marshall, Mars Hill and Hot Springs and also most importantly French Broad Electric, so it pays to be his friend. I think Pat is smart to run for County Commissioner and help her friend Larry for a while. He has helped her in the past and for the Republican Party to criticize her for paying her dues to a good friend is simply wrong.”
Congratulations to Dyatt Smathers and Ray Lewis on their new positions with the Madison County Board of Elections. Ray Lewis was sworn in by the Honorable Jim Baker as the newest Board Member on Wednesday, June 11th. Ray’s first action was to nominate Dyatt Smathers as the new Chairman of the Board and Ray was then nominated to fill Dyatt’s former Secretary position. We look forward to the upcoming elections in November.