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A Presidential Price for Bad Appointments

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David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002

NC Governor James B. Hunt, Jr, immediate past governor of North Carolina, is considered by many to have been an exceptional chief executive of the state over his four terms of service. He accomplished monumental feats, especially in education; but is also personally responsible for much of the state's growth and prosperity over his tenure. He is well known and well respected by leaders around the country and around the world. However, you will probably never know much of him, while odds are you would have. The price for bad appointments to state boards and commissions has proven to be unexpectedly consequential. It appears it has now altered world history. It has eliminated from consideration the most likely candidate for a noteworthy position: The most powerful man on the face of the Earth.

Who Will Win the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election?

<span style='color:darkblue'>The overriding pertinent factor omitted by this study (i.e., an algorithmic modeling) is the necessity to pass a record check. The governor fails. He will not even be nominated. Ever. He is not electable. This is due to his and/or his staff's board member and commission member appointment record in North Carolina which is well documented and available public record involving statewide scandal of "seats for sale" for important appointed positions. Most obvious was the longtime scandal involving the NC State Board of Transportation, but hundreds of such appointments in all sectors of state commerce and regulatory bodies are involved. The governor was not and is not alone. This continues as a widespread, quietly accepted shadowy political fundraising and quid quo pro farce in state politics -- perhaps particularly so in the South, but likely elsewhere as well -- for many decades; and has been incredibly damaging and corruptive for as long. The practice is the official unofficial rules for how the game is played, and has long been absurdly out of hand. The issue of concern is broadly defined as Campaign Finance Reform.

While rarely featured in state and national reporting, the Institution of the North Carolina Appraisal Board has certainly been a victim, and remains profoundly effected today. There is considerable evidence that other states' appraisal boards have also been particularly susceptible to such appointment abuse. It is hoped that the documentation of some new extraordinary consequences and costs directly incurred by those of the system, will further encourage their participation in its reform. The media should take notice. At very least, some appointors across the country may decide to think twice before making or allowing questionable or asinine selections to such critical state bodies. The "preface" for this post can be found here:</span>

[url=http://www.appraisersforum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20661#20661]We Must Start Policing Our Own

The following is an excerpt from the Presidential Study cited with inserted comments:

3. Discussion-- as revised

An empirical formula is of little use if it cannot predict future events. Should George W. Bush remain in office and run for re-election in 2004, he would have an electability of 70. The Democrats, however, could defeat him if they nominated James B. Hunt, Jr., the four-term governor of North Carolina.

Think McCain Maybe. It might be a real good start: [/color]

<span style='color:darkblue'>
Bad board & commission appointments have done immeasurable damage to the professions, the states, the country, and consequently the world -- whether they have actually messed with world history specifically by messing with the US Presidency roster, or not. But, there's a real good chance it's done just that, and will do so again in the future. We know it could be very real, and therefore there's a cost.

Some will remain less than impressed, and far from convinced: "It's all speculation, and besides, if this is what it takes, so be it." Perhaps the possibility of more concrete damage, and true human loss, might make a difference for some. I'll not go there -- but others may if they like:
[url=http://appraisersforum.com/offtopic/index.cgi?read=6551]A Diverted FBI?


David C. Johnson, Appraiser & Scientist[/color]

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
>>widespread, quietly accepted shadowy political fundraising and quid quo pro farce in state politics -- perhaps particularly so in the South, <<

Don't think so. It was just it was more acceptable in the North when public. They just started earlier. A few years ago, a man claimed at a dinner party, former Arkansas Gov. Faubus was asked why he did not seek a raise in the salary of the Gov., then lowest in the Nation at $10,000. He replied, "I don't have any respect for a man who cannot make a good living out of public office. I don't need a pay raise." In Oklahoma, dozens of county commissioners were indicted a few years ago for taking kickbacks on county equipment purchases. To keep salaries low, many counties and states expected county judges and commissioners to take a little kickback...you know, wink wink. In many minds, that was OK. A county was likely to purchase only 1 road grader in the term of office, maybe a truck or two. 10% was only a few hundred or thousands bucks bonus. Last year my county purchased 1.5 million dollars worth of road graders. Does anyone think 10% of that is chicken feed anymore??

One of the most troubling and unsung stories of Whitewater and Bill Clinton's tenure as Governor, was when special prosecutor Donald Smaltz investigated Tyson Foods gifts to Mike Espy, Secy of Agriculture. In interviewing a former pilot for Tyson, the pilot said that he had never flown Espy. As an aside, the investigator asked if he knew of anything suspecious, and he replied that he had flown paper bags full of cash to Little Rock to deliver to the governor [Clinton]....the investigator choked on that statement. Reno informed Smaltz that was beyond the scope of his investigation..don't go there. Tyson denied it was money, but did not deny the pilot had flown to LR with a bag. And someone suggested how did the pilot know it was money unless he opened it.

Put a stack of bills in a paper lunch sack and feel it. Know what it is? What the heck else would it be? It is a sad accounting of the state of honesty in government. How could we not have an Enron? Worldcom? Kenneth Lay was once a government employee for the SEC. Perhaps 50% of our Governments budget is graft and stupidity. Paying $1800 for hammers, then selling them as surplus after a construction job, only to pay $1800 for another one for the next job is pure stupidity and greed at its worst. It is dumb government. When Carter ordered all departments to cut fuel use by 10%, no exception was granted the Dept of Energy which was doubled in size (i.e.- net was 60% reduction) Solution? They rented cars with full gas tanks and parked government vehicles in the rental carlots. While working for them in 1979, I remember G-men coming to our site with Blazers and Cherokees rented from Hertz while their vehicle sat in a parking lot.
People without real moral character see the taxpayer being taken on every corner and say, "I want some of that." justifying it by saying, "the government is misusing my tax money, I will just get even....."

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002

In June 2001, AppraisersForum crashed. Many thousands of archived and (then) current posts to the forum were lost. I have retrieved the following post from my own partial archives prior to that date.

I am reprinting the following post to document the fact that even TIME Magazine had identified NC Gov. Hunt as one of the two most likely running mates for the Democratic Ticket for the most recent U.S. Presidential race many months prior to the election -- which ultimately may have proven to be the closest election in the history of our country.

Note: Dr. Rulison, a retired Economics Professor at NC State University, and immediate past president and current active member of the NCCC, an affiliate of the Consumers Federation of America, continues to assist efforts to improve the NCAB -- and thereby other appraisal boards across the country. His efforts are of much significance to you, the reader of this post -- personally and professionally -- regardless of which state you live and practice, in ways most of our citizens may never truly understand.

Thank you for reading.



<span style='color:black'>
Date: 05/03/2001 2:17:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time


I wrote the following which was printed in the most recent News Bulletin of the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC). Dr. Michael Rulison of the NCCC has been very helpful in the effort to reform the North Carolina Appraisal Board.

"Campaign Contributions from many of the 1,600 North Carolina board & commission appointments probably add up to serious money. These campaign funds are a coup for incumbents. This money helps keep them in office by building the war chest for the next election.

This is at the expense of "statistically insuring" the tainted and inferior performance of some boards and commissions. I believe the cost to the citizenry is incredibly high and grossly underestimated.

My suggestion for improvement is that a person can serve his State, party, or candidate in one of two ways.

1) Give money


2) Serve on such a board or commission


I believe the appearance of bribery alone is reason enough for this rule."

We have had a very bad appointment system in North Carolina for many, many years. In the past, the NC Board of Boards & Commissions was actually headed by a winning candidates Campaign Finance Director! It was not created by anyone currently living and the system applies to both major political parties--just the rules of road in NC. It has been bad news for the citizens of the State and also for our politicians. For example, early on TIME Magazine had identified then NC Governor James B. Hunt as one of the two most likely successful running mates for Al Gore to select in the recent presidential election. This was the case even with the acknowledged lack of geographic diversity (Tennessee & NC being adjacent states). NC Board & Commission scandals had a hand in ruining his nomination and thus may have changed the course of the Nation. I think well of ex-Governor Hunt and hope and expect to see him in further NC and/or National service in the future.

(For your information, I am listed as "Unaffiliated" on my voter's registration card.)


David C. Johnson, Raleigh
NC State-Certified General R.E. Appraiser</span>
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