Remember how the GOP used to complain about cronyism when Democrats were in power? They were coming to Raleigh to clean it up, bring transparency and run government like a business. Well, that didn’t work out so well.
Governor Pat McCrory got in trouble early in his administration when he appointed people who were handing out jobs to family members and business partners. Now, though, we have a new poster boy for cronyism–Former state Senator Thom Goolsby.
Goolsby, a ideological partisan, first hit a lot of people’s radar when he labeled the Moral Monday protests “Moron Mondays.” A lawyer, Goolsby then got caught losing clients’ money in a shady investment scheme and had his investment license revoked by the Secretary of State’s office. He announced he would not seek another term in office and then resigned from the Senate.
And now that Goolsby can’t gamble with other people’s money himself, he’s taken a gig as a lobbyist for the sweepstakes industry, better known as video poker. The state outlawed video poker five years ago but there’s a bill being introduced this year that would legalize it. As a state senator, Goolsby took contributions from Chase Burns, an Oklahoma-based video poker executive who was indicted for fraud in Florida.
You would think that the GOP would be glad to see a guy like Goolsby just quietly fade away. Not this Republican Party. No, they appointed him to one of those highly coveted seats on the UNC Board of Governors. He might be too crooked for the voters, but he’s just right for an appointed spot beyond public scrutiny.
Goolsby’s story is politics at it’s worst. A guy who’s too ethically challenged to win re-election is appointed to a high-powered board by his former legislative colleagues. Then, to let us know that the revolving door is fully operational, he takes a job representing one of the sleaziest industries. He’s trading on his relationships and getting rewarded for bad behavior.
Good job, GOP. That’s how cronyism works.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >