Party of grifters

by | May 3, 2018 | Editor's Blog, North Carolina | 6 comments

Under the leadership and example of Donald Trump, the GOP has openly become a party of grifters, using positions of power and influence to benefit themselves and their cronies. The latest example is over at the UNC Board of Governors. The next chair has been trying to profit off his position with little shame or regret.

Harry Smith, who is running unopposed for Chair of the Board of Governors, tried to push a sweetheart deal that would have given East Carolina University more beds and made a bunch of money for him and his business partners. He wanted to buy a foreclosed apartment complex adjacent to university property and then rent the units to ECU. He said he would split the profits with university. The only catch is that to keep the place full, ECU would require sophomores to live in Smith’s newly acquire apartment complex.

Smith and his business partners, The Preiss Company, own apartment complexes including some near other universities. Smith is currently part of a legal battle right now in which he is accused by a North Carolina Central University employee of pushing the school to do business with Preiss. Of course he denies any wrong doing.

Smith’s actions are part of a pattern that’s emerged since Republicans took over the state. House Speaker Tim Moore has gotten rich since he won a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He drives a Maserati. Last month, reporters uncovered a deal where he bought a troubled property with an old chicken plant on it for $85,000 and sold it three years later with no improvements for more than $500,000. That’s a windfall and it’s not likely to have happened if Moore were still just an attorney in Kings Mountain.

In Washington, Republicans in Congress have decided to look the other way while Trump and his family cash in on him being president. They fill their hotel in Washington, DC, with guests looking for favors. His resort down in Florida, Mar-a-Lago is a destination for GOP bigwigs and others seeking favor from the president. Nobody in the GOP is going to criticize the Trumps or hold them accountable in any way.

The GOP has become a party of grifters who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand and supply-side economics. Profits are all that matter and if you can turn your stint in public service into windfall profits, good on you. Accountability and transparency seem quaint. When Democrats did these things, they went to jail. When Republicans do them, the GOP base cheers.


  1. Churchill

    I am hardly surprised to discover that the modern GOP uses the Great Orange Primp as a sideshow while they loot the country and parade gangsters in public. What do we expect?
    2009 and its aftermath proved to be a walk in the park for the biggest, most brazen thieves in modern history. Nobody went to prison. As usual, those Democrats who were not actively participating in the madness just figured that, surely the corporatists would learn their lessons in humility and empathy.
    I know that I will catch flak for saying this, but if Democrats do get back a supermajority, they had better make examples out of these gangsters who are destroying our nation, dividing our citizens and turning majority rule into a farce. As in, “LOCK ‘em UP!”
    If we fail to do this, we deserve our fate. The Rule of Law MUST be preserved, and those who corrupt the laws for political and financial gain must be purged from power. There is no good outcome if we fail.
    I am so glad to see so many new faces in the race. But it We the People who must Mind the Store!

  2. Jay Ligon

    The American people and North Carolinians are adjusting to an incredible fact – that the Republican Party has become a vast criminal conspiracy working against the people of this state and this nation. Bribery, obstruction of justice, extortion, treason, money laundering, witness tampering, child molestation, and sexual predation, to name some of the crimes are either in the recent past or on-going.

    The last shreds of moral and human decency have vanished and only a silly pretense of American values remain.

    They should use yellow tape to rope off Republican Party meetings. It is always a crime scene.

  3. Randolph Voller

    America is now led by a Grifter-in-Chief who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so this new reality is not that unexpected.

    My father’s GOP will rue the day that they let a gold plated carnival barker steal their soul. (For most of his life my dad was an old school Eisenhower Republican, but he died a Pragmatic/Progressive Democrat who liked Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader. The Tea Party turned him off as well as the corrupting influence of Wall Street and our failure to rein in the excesses of the Military/Industrial Complex.)

  4. Kicking Butt

    Empty the GOP swamp—kick the gators out. Support your reform candidates, vote and get your like-minded friends out to vote as well.

  5. Progressive Wing

    And your blog touches on but a few of the dozens of scams that Republicans in NC and across the US. It is malfeasance—unethical at least and illegal at worst.

  6. Norma Munn

    And people screamed at Hillary for giving a speeches for which she was well paid while overlooking the many speeches she gave for no fee! I wonder what percentage of his annual income House Speaker Moore donates to charity?

    Amazing how easy it is for so many to accept this outrageous behavior from the GOP folks.

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