Thursday, 07 July 2011
The patronage politics of roads, money, power, and ethics in North Carolina is a strange creature. Individual NCDOT board commissioners may not receive direct compensation (nor anyone related to them to the first degree) for a road building project in their districts; yet that is not the whole story.
Every four years the DOT commissioners are re-appointed (or not) to their districts by the governor. Often, these re-appointed commissioners have given thousands of dollars to gubernatorial candidates’ campaigns. These DOT commissioners have given money, not necessarily out of their own pockets but through many $100, $200, and $300 contributions that the individual commissioner receives from other constituents (private citizens, paving companies, architectural firms, etc.). This is called “bundling.”