Leading from the Left

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Time to End the Black Saga

The News and Observer reports today that a July 10th sentencing date has been set for Jim Black, the former Speaker of the State House. This sentencing date is two months later than originally planned because Black argued for the appointment of a new judge. I wish there hadn't been a delay because we sorely need to put this mess behind us and move on. The Black affair has revealed an ugly side of North Carolina politics, and the sooner he's sentenced the better off the legislature, as an institution, will be.

But even after the sentencing, the dirt still will not have been swept away completely. There are on-going investigations into Rep. Thomas Wright's campaign finances and Rep. Mary McAllister's campaign reports. Wright has been urged to step down, and he should do so. He's refused.

McAllister's hearing with the State Board of Elections has been scheduled for the end of this month. We'll know then more about the scope of the charges against her. It's not completely clear yet if she's guilty of inefficiency and irregularity or if there is actual corruption to be revealed. I'm looking forward to her hearing to learn more.

But, could this scandal go deeper still? You have to wonder if there are other legislators who just haven't been caught yet.