In case you missed it, today's WND Exclusive.
As Republicans hope to pick up additional House seats and even capture the Senate in November, they are nettled by the growing prospect of losing an otherwise safe House seat in North Carolina to Democrats.
Two Republicans are battling in a primary run-off for the 9th District seat held by retiring Republican Rep. Sue Myrick, who has held it for 18 years. But the frontrunner is so plagued by scandals that the party fears the Democrat candidate in the race could exploit them and possibly win Myrick’s largely conservative congressional district located south of Charlotte, N.C.
Tuesday’s [July 17] run-off election will decide the primary race between Robert Pittenger, who garnered 32 percent of the vote, and Jim Pendergraph, who took 25 percent.
Despite his edge in the polls, Pittenger is considered “damaged goods,”according to a GOP congressional leader in Washington.
“Robert Pittenger is a bad person,” said the official, who wished to go unnamed. “The guy is involved in public corruption by FBI definition.”
In fact, Pittenger, a former North Carolina state senator, may soon become a target of investigation. And party officials worry Democratic candidate Jennifer Roberts will seize on the news during the general election.
Also, party officials are concerned about an excessive number of police calls to Pittenger’s residence over the years involving alleged domestic disturbances.
In 2010, the IRS filed a $78,343 lien on Pittenger and his wife, Suzanne, records show. Pittenger blames the unpaid taxes, which he’s since paid, to a financial adviser he no longer employs.
As a state senator, Pittenger voted for a bill that annexed a tract of land he partly owned in a way that increased its value substantially. After the bill sailed through the finance panel Pittenger served on, he personally lobbied Republicans to vote for it.
“He came to me on the Senate floor and said he wished I would support it,” said Sen. Fern Shubert, R-Union County, N.C. “I remember that vividly.”
Pittenger ended up voting three times for the bill as it went through from mark-up to floor vote.
Pendergraph, a former Charlotte sheriff, says Pittenger broke conflict-of-interest laws by not abstaining from voting on legislation benefiting his personal investments.
State ethics codes say lawmakers should not vote on issues affecting their own economic interests.
“You failed to recuse yourself and profited greatly,” Pendergraph said in a debate last week. “You broke the law.”
Pittenger shot back that “there was no wrongdoing whatsoever.”
He later recused himself on some votes affecting other property investments to avoid the appearance of conflict. He currently owns a stake in about 2,000 acres near four proposed exits of a planned tollroad in the Charlotte area.
He did not respond to requests for comment regarding records showing a high number of police and 911 calls to his home.
Pittenger has spent more than $2 million on his bid for federal congressional office, most of it on TV and radio ads attacking Pendergraph for not being conservative enough.
Myrick has endorsed Pendergraph to replace her in Congress.
In 2007, she publicly severed ties with Pittenger after he spread what she called false rumors that they had cut a deal whereby she would run for North Carolina governor and endorse Pittenger for her congressional seat.
No fewer than 16 current and former elected officials from Myrick’s district – including seven mayors – have endorsed Pendergraph over Pittenger, largely because of the ethical cloud hanging over Pittenger.
|Thanks for this information Neal!|
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