Tom Apodaca

Apodaca the latest to traverse NC's unethical revolving door

Anticipating the pot of gold at the end of the unimpressive legislative career:

Powerful Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca announced his resignation from the Senate Friday morning but it wasn’t much of a surprise and he will likely be back in Raleigh soon enough. Rumors surfaced recently that Apodaca was interested in becoming a lobbyist and would resign this month so he’d be able to lobby his former colleagues when the 2017 session begins in January.

State law requires a six month cooling off period before legislators can register to lobby and it’s become more common for lawmakers interested in cashing in to resign halfway through the second year of their term so they can lobby in the next session.

One of the lesser-used definitions of "Corruption" deals with biological necrosis; decay and putrefaction. But it was also the etymological origin of the other, more common usages, because this behavior tends to spread throughout a political organism just like a biological one. Why are retired Legislators so successful at lobbying? Because many current Legislators are eyeing that as a future career option, and helping their former colleagues is an easy way to help themselves a few years down the road. As long as they are effective, those jobs will be waiting for others. This is the crux of the ethical conflict; the perpetuation of undue influence over public policy by private-sector players. And until that revolving door is locked, the cycle of corruption will continue.

NC House serves Apodaca a bi-partisan rejection of Asheville gerrymandering

A whiff of Democracy returns to the General Assembly:

Fisher: “It is beyond my ability to understand why Asheville has been the continual target for authoritarian and penalizing legislation for much of the 12 years I have spent here. I resent the idea that the current senior senator and rules chair feels he must take one last parting shot at the city of Asheville when he in fact only represents a fraction of the residents of that city, less than 10,000. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I urge you to vote no. And especially if you live in cities and towns that are trying their best to govern your whole city or town. Because beware: Yours may be the next city to be gerrymandered.”

Whether it was Fisher’s words or something else, something shifted. The House would debate for another 40 minutes, with some of the loudest arguments against the bill coming not from Democrats, but from Republicans.

Something definitely shifted, and I have a hunch it was that little voice in the back of some GOP lawmakers' minds whispering: Just because you can do something, it doesn't automatically follow that you should. And then giving words to those thoughts:

Subscribe to RSS - Tom Apodaca