Saturday, October 24, 2015

Matheny. Lomax, Hammer, Barber and Vaughan; Greensboro is Corrupt; An Adaptation as our press has been compromised

"Four qualities have distinguished republican government from ancient Athens forward: the sovereignty of the people; a sense of the common good; government dedicated to the commonwealth; and resistance to corruption.

It was okay Allen Johnson and the News and Record
and John Hammer and Roy's Rhino
for Zack to have pushed for Tom Phillips
as Matheny's replacement
to vote for Zack's salary at DGI 
while Tom was dating Zack's mom.

Measured against the standards established for republics from ancient times, Greensboro's government is massively corrupt.

From Plato and Aristotle forward, corruption was meant to describe actions and decisions that put a narrow, special, or personal interest ahead of the interest of the public or commonwealth.

Like Roy Carroll's Water and Sewer 
for his AMEX data center under the table incentive
which the News and Record didn't and won't report.

Corruption did not have to stoop to money under the table, vote buying, or even renting out the Lincoln bedroom. In the governing of a republic, corruption was self-interest placed above the interest of all—the public interest.

By that standard, can anyone seriously doubt that Greensboro's government is corrupt?

It was okay for Nancy Hoffmann 
to vote for some taxpayer money
for her real estate and business partners
and compete for DGI's taxpayer subsidized lease
which she voted to fund.

There has never been a time when Greensboro's government was so perversely and systematically dedicated to special interests, earmarks, side deals, log-rolling, vote-trading and sweetheart deals of one kind or another.

Zack Matheny guiding incentives to his contributors
Sam Simpson and John Lomax
who are also good friends of his.

What brought us to this? A sinister system combining staggering campaign costs, political contributions, political action committees, special interest payments for access, and, most of all, the rise of the lobbying class.

Ivan Saul Cutler, Roy Carroll, Andrew Brod, Amanda Lehmert
Marty Kotis, David McLean, David Craft etc...

Greensboro's law firms, 'non-profit' lobbyists and compromised news outlets of the right, left, and an amalgam of both, now take on former members of the press, City executives, Council members and connected staff members.

It's okay for Greensboro's Mayor Nancy Vaughan 
to cover for Don's White Street landfill methane income
from Wilbur Ross' ITG
which the Rhino and News and Record won't report.

The key word is not quid-pro-quo bribery, the key word is access. In exchange for a few moments of City Council's and many more moments of Greensboro's executive management's time, fund-raising events with the promise of thousands of dollars are delivered.

It is okay for Mike Barber to abuse his position
to get taxpayer funded golf course time from which he personally profits
voted for by his fellow Council Members
who apparently think Mike's Melvin funded skimming is a good idea.

Corruption such as ours operates vertically as well as horizontally. Seeing how business is conducted in Greensboro, it did not take long for the connected of both parties to subscribe to the desires of special-interests like Roy Carroll, Marty Kotis and Jim Melvin.

Andrew Brod's involvement in misleading GPAC endevours, 
asking for a loan for a mattress recycling company
and then asking for CityFi money along with Roch Smith Jr.,
who helps Candidates for money.

Frustrated, irate discussions of this legalized corruption are met in the News and Record and Rhino Times with a shrug.  So what?  Didn’t we just have dinner with Mark Brazil, David Powell and Jim Melvin at that well-known RLF lobbyist's house whose husband covers City politics only two nights ago?  Fine lady, and she used to cover the City and the State for the same paper.

The News and Record's Joe Killian's wife Amanda Lehmert
now works at Monty Hagler's RLF communications, 
indirectly funded by Greensboro City Council votes
covered in the press by her husband.

I gather she is using her Rolodex rather skillfully on behalf of her new clients.

Illegal?   Not at all.   Just smart . . . and so charming.

There is little wonder that Greensboro's middle and bottom are apoplectic at their government and absolutely, and rightly, convinced that the game of government is rigged in favor of the elite and the powerful.  Few in our City can see the wealth rising to the top at the expense of the poor and the middle class, as our press is in on the game.

Our tax dollars are going to well-organized corporate welfare parasites, real estate developers/landlords and campaign contributors.

It was okay for Mike Barber and Zack Matheny 
to break the law to get Zack his DGI job
without repercussion from Guilford County DA Doug Henderson.

The ultimate victims of the corruption of the democratic process are not defeated candidates and parties but Greensboro’s citizens.

Whomever has enough money to purchase a Greensboro City Council candidate from the endless reserve bench of 'want to be' politicians and make him or her a star, a mouthpiece for any cause or purpose however questionable, and that candidate will mouth the script in endless political debates and through as many television spots as their patrons/contributors are willing to pay for.

Marty Kotis and his millions in benefits
voted for by his purchased City Council minions
whose faces will soon occupy his and Roy Carroll's billboards
with campaign signs on their commercial properties 
all over the city.

The bought-and-paid-for Greensboro's City Council members should wear sponsor labels on their suits as stock-car drivers do.  Though, for the time being, sponsored candidates will not be openly promoted by Roy Carroll and friends but by phony “committees for good government PAC” smokescreens and garbage journalism.

The City's population has swallowed the messages of public relations, advertising, and lobbying outfits, along with dozens of smaller players of Greensboro's lucrative special interest and influence-manipulation scene.

Shovel Ready Loans for Samet and David Howard.

Why pay for a Councilman here or there when you can buy a newspaper which endorses who you want, and takes campaign cash for advertising in exchange?

Roy Carroll and his millions in benefits
voted for by his purchased City Council minions. 

Think of the protection from scrutiny that can be paid for and the economic incentive policies that can be manipulated.

Jim Melvin and the Megasite
voted for by his purchased City Council minions.

Dawn Chaney and Nancy Hoffmann's Iron Hen/Lee Comer money.

Marty Kotis' free street and illegally obtained water and sewer.

Roy Carroll's free street and water and sewer

We have gone way beyond mere vote buying now.

The converging Public-Private Partnership con represents nothing less than an unofficial but enormously powerful fourth branch of government, which is Greensboro's connected elite.

Jim Melvin's Megasite deal,
of which Mayor Nancy Vaughan refuses to disclose details 
of which private interests stand to profit.

To whom is this branch of government accountable?  Who sets the agenda for its rising army of influence marketers?  How easy will it be to not only go from office to a lucrative lobbying job but, more important, from lucrative lobbying job to holding office?

Zack Matheny

America’s founders knew one thing: The republics of history all died when narrow interests overwhelmed the common good and the interests of the commonwealth.

Welcome to Greensboro's Vanity politics and campaigns-for-hire featuring candidates who repeat their sponsored messages like ice-cream-truck vendors passing through the neighborhood.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan

Greensboro's mayor Nancy Vaughan responds to her patron's contributions with compliant legislative action doling out taxpayer monies to cronies with the help of City Manager Jim Westmoreland.

The scope and scale of this genuine scandal is absolutely incompatible with the principles and ideals upon which America was founded.

How can public service be promoted as an ideal to young people when this sewer corrupts our City?

The greatest service our City’s young people could provide is to lead an army of outraged youth armed with brooms on a crusade to sweep out the rascals and rid our government of the money changers, rent seekers, revolving door dancers, and special interest deal makers and power brokers and send them packing.

For all practical political purposes, the government of Greensboro is for sale to the highest bidder.

It is impossible to claim to love one’s City and not be outraged at how corrupt it has become. For former Council-members to trade a title given them by the voters for cash is beyond shameful.

It is outrageous.

Mike Barber, whose grossly over-sized personal profits from First Tee,
the City of Greensboro and Jim Melvin's Bryan Foundation 
has never been reported by the News and Record,
the Rhino Times, Triad City Beat or Yes Weekly.

It is an error of serious proportion to dismiss this corruption on the grounds that this has all been going on from the beginning, that boys will be boys, that politicians are always on the take. Past incidents of the violation of public ethics provide no argument for accepting the systemic and cancerous commercialization of our politics.

Nancy Hoffmann

Political office, public service, and engagement in governance must not be monetized.  Even if no laws are broken, even if a public servant can walk out the door one day and cash in his or her experience and title for cash the next, that does not make it right.

Everything strictly legal is not therefore ethical.

Monty Hagler

Virtue as applied to public service is a powerful standard. It genuinely does require having no personal interest in the public’s business, not only at the time one is involved in decision making but also thereafter.

Zack Matheny 

Virtue, the disinterestedness of our elected officials, must replace political careerism and special interests. The best interests of Greensboro must replace struggles for power, bitter partisanship, and ideological rigidity.

Nancy and Don Vaughan's White Street Landfill methane
never reported by any Greensboro for-profit news outlet.

This is not dreamy idealism; it is an idealism rooted in the original purpose of this nation.

Bad politics drives out good politics.  Legalized corruption drives men and women of stature, honor, and dignity out of the halls of government.

Roch Smith Jr. and Andrew Brod

Self-respecting individuals cannot long tolerate a system of election and reelection so dependent on cultivating the favor of those known to expect access in return.  Such a system is corrosive to our community's soul.

Campaign funds now go to feed an army of consultants (or “strategists” in the coinage of the day), media advisors, media producers, television-time buyers, speechwriters, schedulers, advance specialists and crowd raisers.  Almost all of the money goes to the media, the same media whose commentators regularly deplore the costs of campaigns, and then endorse whomever is electable, compliant and spent the most for advertising.

If the News and Record 
has been misleading Greensboro's population on redistricting,
what difference does it make if there is a referendum or not,
if they lie and omit, like multiple times before
to rig the outcome of the vote?

Major changes must be made in the way we elect our leaders."