Our series on the GOP's Toxic Agenda for North Carolina continues with a look at Tim Moore's shady dealings.
It was more than a decade ago that Speaker Jim Black's political career ended in scandal, and he ended up in jail. Since then, the stench of public corruption in North Carolina has been all Republican, all the time. The most recent example finds Republican Speaker Tim Moore using his power and influence to get rich quick. The familiar story goes like this.
Moore and his well-connected cronies snatched up a piece of abandoned property that was tainted by pollution. In this case, he bought a Siler City chicken plant for $85,000 in 2013.
Moore sold the property in 2016 for $550,000, after the political skids were greased for Mountainaire Farms, the new buyer. With Republicans calling the shots, state regulators declined to crack down on long-standing pollution at the property, and instead gave the site a clean bill of health. Mountainaire Farms magically avoided the costs of remediation, while Moore & Co., cleared almost a cool half-million. That makes Jim Black's $30,000 deal look like chicken feed, no pun intended.
But the story gets worse. Not only did Mountainaire Farms get a sweet deal (the costs of pollution remediation could have been prohibitive), they also got more than $2 million in tax breaks and other government incentives. Mountainaire Farms was then able to buy an adjacent trailer part, which the company will pave over as they expand. More than 100 low-income people are facing eviction.
Moore, like any good criminal, says everything was above board. He dismisses charges of corruption as politically motivated. He says he just happened to benefit from a miraculous string of coincidences. Anyone could have done it. It didn't have anything to do with him being the Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. He didn't get any special favors. He's just a good ol' country lawyer, tryin' to make a livin.'
To my knowledge.
If you want more details, the News and Observer has an excellent recounting of the soon-to-be scandal. It looks like something straight from the Cheatin' Trump playbook.