North Carolina: Just barely passing

North Carolina can be proud. It didn’t fail in the State Integrity Investigation results. Its overall grade was a C-minus.

It did receive an F in public access to information, which will not surprise any journalist, an F in state budget process, and an F in redistricting, which will not surprise any Guilford County resident.

From the analysis: When an influential North Carolina lawmaker named Stephen LaRoque helped sponsor and pass a 2011 bill loosening regulations on billboards, he was the co-owner of five billboards and president of a firm that owned four others.

But when LaRoque asked the North Carolina Ethics Commission to review his key legislative role, it found no conflict, citing what it called a “safe harbor” stemming from the fact that his law would benefit everyone owning billboards.

The case reflected what many analysts say is the prevailing state of North Carolina’s ethics regulations: A lengthy set of rules has been enacted to help keep public officials honest, but enforcement has sometimes not been strict. They also complain that the extensive rules haven’t adequately curbed the influence of monied interests on state policymaking.

No surprise that the latest Elon University Poll found that only 27% of North Carolinians approve of the way the General assembly is doing its job.

Proud is the wrong descriptor for what it should be. Ashamed is more like it.


2 thoughts on “North Carolina: Just barely passing

  1. John:

    Just an FYI.
    None of the LaRoque related
    Locations are eligible for a permit
    Under this law. Do your homework
    Before trying to incite liberal nuts

    • I think the writer’s point is that someone involved with the billboard business is able to freely sponsor legislation that favorably impacts the industry. But I appreciate you distinguishing between liberals and liberal nuts.

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