The Sad Facts About Civic Corruption in Charlotte

April 12, 2013

"Once you start down a path of accepting indulgences and gifts from those most likely to benefit from the power you obtain in public service, you can never go back.”

One of the main reasons for the average person like me to serve in public office today is simple. We need more individuals willing to do the hard work without reaping enormous rewards. Public office, I don’t believe, was ever meant to be a career, or a place to earn a fortune. But that is what it has become.

Worse, we seem less affected by the news everyday of another politician caught stealing from us. I too, had hope that our local mayor of Charlotte was NOT involved in corrupt activities but the evidence is overwhelming. What can we do but continue? I do wish that his party would own up to what he did and stop trying to blame someone else for his taking large sums of cash from undercover agents. Of course pray for them, but realize he had everything he needed, yet still succumbed to greed.

In Pennsylvania recently, the state Attorney General, a Democrat also, let drop several cases against high-ranking officials, also all Democrats. They claimed the cases were biased. That only Democrats were being prosecuted. It turns out that Republicans in the state legislature were also offered the same bribes, but every Republican turned them down. Yet every Democrat took them! What does this say about a party that insists on transparency?

In Charlotte, and North Carolina, we have seen a parade of scandals from Jim Black, Mike Easley, Patrick Cannon and many others who are ALL Democrats, yet we won’t state the obvious. If you don’t want to get caught being CORRUPT, don’t take the money! Your public office is not a carnival game where people throw money at you and you pocket it.

I have serious reservations about my opponent, Senator Joel Ford, and so should voters. He had very close connections to everyone involved in the corruption indictment. He, in fact, took campaign money from Patrick Cannon, and he cannot claim complete innocence of what transpires inside the Democratic party because during the time this corruption took place, Joel Ford was the chairman of the local Mecklenburg Democratic party for years! Even if he was not complicit in setting up transactions, taking money, or facilitating bribes, he must have had some knowledge something was wrong. But he said nothing. He still will only mouth condolences for the family. Senator Ford needed to step up and come clean. He refused to answer any questions, and never met to debate me, not even once in 2014.

I look forward to debating the Democratic primary winner and meeting in open forums over the next months so voters can question us and see who has the ability to lead for themselves.

I am the PROCharlotte, PROnc candidate with a plan to help us expand growth and opportunity for all.

For the voter who reads this, please understand, we moved here together to start a family, build a business, advance in our education, contribute to local charitable efforts, found a scout troop, and become enmeshed with Charlotte, because we fell in love with North Carolina many years ago. We love the people, the places, and the opportunities. Someone should run for office when they are entwined with their city, their state, and that is why I think it is important to develop jobs, training, and improve education in this area – because we love Charlotte, and we call it home.

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One can decide to regress or move ahead. I choose to progress, but without a valid direction, support and guidance from experienced leadership like mine, we risk more bureaucracy and less freedom in our daily lives.
- Richard Rivette