Attorney Charlton Allen's nomination by Governor Pat McCrory to serve on the quasi-judicial Industrial Commission has come under fire. An article today by the Independent Weekly lays out some of Allen's “Racially Dubious Past”, in particular his activities while a student at UNC Chapel Hill in the early 1990s.
"They [led by Allen] also deposited an inflatable sheep at the headquarters of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance to equate homosexuality with bestiality. One issue of the Carolina Review featured a black man in a bull's eye. Some issues featured cartoons with pictures of Klansmen."
More recently he expressed his opposition to protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation in answering a 2012 candidate questionnaire from the NC Family Policy Council:
12. Should homosexuals as a group receive the same special legal protections against discrimination in areas like employment and housing as those given to other groups based on characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability? [Answered NO]
In the same questionnaire he allowed that his personal religious beliefs could affect his judgment:
7. Should an individual’s personal religious beliefs influence the decisions he or she makes while serving in public office? [Answered YES]
In 2004, as Chair of the New Hanover Republican Party he was responsible for anti-gay smear tactics against Julia Boseman, running for a State Senate seat, which the Wilmington Star-News newspaper found so despicable that it rebuked Woody White, the GOP incumbent it had endorsed.
"That was before the Republican Party issued ugly and mindless campaign ads that focused on Ms. Boseman's sexual orientation and suggested she would pursue "a liberal, activist homosexual agenda". Mr. White seems to be a decent man. These are not decent ads."
"It's something else to use language such as "known lesbian activists" and "radical homosexual rights and privileges" and to conclude by saying "The truth is ... Julia Boseman seeks to be the first openly gay or lesbian State Senator in North Carolina History." So what?"
Allen had signed a letter that appeared as part of an ad in the Wilmington newspaper and a 4-page glossy mailer was distributed by mail just prior to the election. Boseman went on to win the seat.
According to the NC Industrial Commission:
The North Carolina Industrial Commission is an agency of the State of North Carolina created by the General Assembly in 1929 to administer the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. In 1949, the Industrial Commission was also given authority by the General Assembly to administer the Tort Claims Act.
Additionally, the Industrial Commission is charged with administering the Law Enforcement Officers’, Firemen’s, Rescue Squad Workers’ and Civil Air Patrol Members’ Death Benefits Act, the Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program and Compensation to Persons Erroneously Convicted of Felonies.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission strives to effectively and fairly administer the Workers’ Compensation Act and Tort Claims Act for the State of North Carolina and its citizens
Allen expressed his opposition to minimum wage law, collective bargaining, paid sick leave, lunch breaks in responses to a 2012 Civitas questionnaire. His public statements and actions cast doubt on his ability to “effectively and fairly administer” worker and citizen protections. However his nomination has been confirmed by the House and is likely to be confirmed by the Senate, despite his dubious past.