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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Payola Well Crafted - Submitted by Common Sense

This evening I received another anonymous e-mail from a person who has said that they are a frequent viewer of the Hound and they said they personally know the Mayor and Council. They stated they could not post this information with their name for fear of reprisal. I have verified that the contributions to these candidates by these people are accurate. 

Submitted by Common Sense

With Election Day drawing closer I've found myself wondering what's the going rate for an elected official. Here's what I found while doing some comparison shopping.

***All of the following info is available to the public at the Board of Elections

I'm sure this is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak. These are only the reported contributions. There's no telling how many anonymous contributions have been made to the Hickory United PAC.

Mayor Rudy Wright:
Benny Yount - $500
Sue Redmond - $200 "Best Attempt"
Mike Johnson - $750
D. E. Eidson - $500
William Pitts - $100
Don Norwood - $500

Hank Guess:
David Eidson - $500
Mike Johnson -$500
Don Norwood - $250
Chip Fotheringham $100
Dean Proctor - $250
Nancy Willingham - $200
Jeff Cline - $200
Sue Redmond - $200 Retired

David Zagaroli:
William Pitts $100
Don Norwood $500
Barbara Garlitz $300
Sue Redmond $200 VP Operations @ TCS Designs
Coke Gunter $500

Apparently, Don Norwood has a lot to lose should the status quo change. So what does $1250 get Mr. Norwood? Most recently it secured him a slot on the Rental Property Taskforce. The Mayor appointed Mr. Norwood to that position to protect his own rental property interests. Heaven forbid that the Council form an advisory committee/panel without ensuring that the "fix" was in.

Mike Johnson plopped down $1,250 too (Wright - $750, Guess - $500). Mike Johnson was also appointed to the Inspiring Spaces Committee. At the recent forums, I have seen/heard the Mayor participate in that have been reported on here by The Hound, any time the Mayor has opened his mouth it seems that I'm listening to an infomercial for Inspiring Spaces. The only thing the Mayor lacks is a bad British accent; although his sales pitch so far is just about as flimsy as those on-air snake oil salesmen. Sidebar - Hank and Rudy both purchased their cars from Mike Johnson Toyota.

Jeff Cline and Nancy Willingham both gave $200 each to Hank Guess, but not to any other candidates so far. One must ask why is this? Please allow me to offer up this possible explanation - though neither Cline nor Willingham would ever own up to this - how could they? Mr. Cline and Mrs. Willingham both worked very hard against last year's Ward Referendum. Mr. Cline's dad and Mrs. Willingham's dad were both at the heart of the racist decision that led Hickory away from Hickory's original Ward electoral system to today's less representative at-large system. Mrs. Willingham (and husband) have been known to still use - well let's just say less-than-sensitive language - when referring to African-Americans and that community. Any chance that this led to them only contributing to the candidate that has two African-American challengers?

Lastly, there's the minor eyebrow-raising issue of Sue Redmond. The Mayor has her job title/employer listed as "Best Attempt" meaning that he didn't know what to put. Hank Guess has Mrs. Redmond's info listed as "Retired". And finally, David Zagaroli listed Mrs. Redmond's info as "VP Operations at TCS Designs". Now either Mrs. Redmond herself has trouble deciding what her employment status is, or these candidates are, let's just say sloppy, in their record keeping abilities.

So there it is so far. Draw the same conclusions or not - it's completely your call. However, remember that just as you're entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine.

Rudy Wright's 35 day report 
Hank Guess's 35 day report
David Zagaroli's 35 day report

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