A flyer came through my inbox today for an upcoming fundraiser for Gov. Pat McCrory in Albemarle (Stanly County).
What aroused my attention were the names of Roger Dick, the man behind the "state takeover of Alcoa’s project" campaign, along with two of his closest allies, on the Steering Committee!
It was noticeable that during his 2012 campaign for Governor, and during the period following his election, Pat McCrory avoided taking a position on the Alcoa debate like the plague! Then, suddenly, on August 2, 2013, he had his Department of Administration file a lawsuit claiming state ownership of the Yadkin riverbed in Alcoa's section of the river. That same day, his Division of Water Quality declined to issue Alcoa's 401 Water Quality Certificate, based solely on the filing of the riverbed ownership lawsuit. (Both actions have since failed in court.) It was an abrupt change, and political insiders could not help but speculate that someone had influenced him. The most likely suspect was Roger Dick, or one of his surrogate friends. That suspicion gained credence today. Let's look at these three members of the Steering Committee.
Roger L. Dick, President and CEO of Uwharrie Capital Corp. (Albemarle) and its subsidiaries, the Bank of Stanly, Anson Bank and Trust, and Cabarrus Bank and Trust. Roger has been holding local meetings to recruit support for his cause since about 2000, and is almost always present at all applicable public meetings, hearings and gatherings. He is strongly suspected to have had a great deal of influence with the Stanly County Commissioners when they first took legal action to obstruct Alcoa’s relicensing in 2007, eventually spending over $5 million of the County’s funds before settling their dispute with Alcoa in 2013. He admitted to paying for 75% of the NC Water Rights Committee’s expenses. See Who is the NC Water Rights Committee - REALLY? There are voluminous emails between he and Eszter Vajda when she was working on her later-discredited UNC-TV “documentary” about Alcoa. He took her and others out to dinners, and paid the travel expenses of her researcher. He is known to have contributed to the Yadkin Riverkeeper organization, although most donations have not been made public. He has shown up in Yadkin Riverkeeper newspaper articles when there was someone important (like Bobby Kennedy, Jr.) around. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Central Park NC, producer of the “River of Opportunity” report. He was appointed to the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission (URRC) Jan 2011 – July 2013, which focused almost entirely on attacking Alcoa during the course of its existence. All roads lead back to him! see also: Money and Influence behind the Takeover Campaign .
Jim (James E.) Nance, at Roger’s right hand for years, cc’ed on the same emails, he seldom visibly acts to support an Alcoa takeover. He was formerly the owner of Confederate Motor Co. of Albemarle, a former NCDOT Board Member, and is currently a Board member of Stanly County Community College. He, along with Roger Dick, was a member of the URRC. He is currently a Director of Uwharrie Capital Corp. The reception will be held at his home.
Jim Cogdell, multi-millionaire owner of the Fork Farm & Stables at the confluence of the Rocky and Pee Dee Rivers. He is a long-time associate of Roger Dick. He was appointed to a 6-year term on the NC Wildlife Resources Commission by Gov. Perdue in July 2011. He was elected Chairman in July 2013, and served for 2 years. Cogdell presided over his first meeting as Chairman on August 29, 2013, at which time the Commission voted to rescind its status as a signatory of Alcoa’s Relicensing Settlement Agreement, although there was never any public notice given that this matter would be considered, nor did it appear on the meeting’s agenda. see NC Wildlife shoots itself in both kneecaps .
This may not be “pay to play” but it certainly looks like “pay to support our cause”!