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Perdue picks six for Board of Transportation

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[7/10/9 correction and update:

[This blog post and today's story (see story with reader comments) gave the wrong total for campaign contributions received since 2006 by Gov. Perdue from Ralph H. Womble of Winston-Salem, one of Perdue's picks for the state Board of Transportation. Womble's contributions to Perdue totaled $7,842.23.]

Gov. Bev Perdue has picked six new members for the state Board of Transportation. All but one of them, Durham lawyer Chuck Watts, gave money to Perdue's campaign last year.

The legislature’s Joint Transportation Oversight Committee received the names earlier this month, and the new members are expected to take their seats at the Aug. 6 meeting:

Charles D. “Chuck” Watts Jr., a Durham attorney, to succeed Ken Spaulding of Durham, who stepped down in February as the board representative for Division 5 (Wake, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties). State records show no political contributions from Watts to Perdue.

Hugh Overholt, a New Bern attorney and retired general, to succeed Greenville lawyer Marvin Blount III in Division 2 (Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Grene, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt counties). Overholt has given $12,500 to Perdue campaigns since 1998.

Ralph H. Womble, a Winston-Salem investor, in Division 9 (Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties). Womble has given $10,805 $7,842.23 to Perdue campaigns since 2006.

John Collett, a Charlotte developer, in Division 10 (Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly and Union counties). Collett has given $6,000 to Perdue campaigns since 2007.

Wanda J. Proffitt, a Burnsville real estate executive, to succeed Alan Thornburg in Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey counties). Proffitt and her husband have given $6,266 to Perdue campaigns since 2004.

Leigh Harvey McNairy of Kinston to succeed Cameron McRae as at-large board member for ports and aviation. McNairy has given $8,000 to Perdue campaigns since 2005.

The six will join 11 other board members. Perdue has scaled back the board's powers, removing board members from decisions on individual transportation projects.

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Gov. Low Ratings

If Gov. Perdue wants to improve her low approval ratings she needs to avoid the appearance of wrong doing, however she has been a player in the corrupt Raleigh scene so long she decides to continue with the same old crap practice of selling appointments to the highest bidders aka contributors. The practice of rewarding donors with appointments creates the appearance that the Governor's Office is for Sale. Some day the voters may tire of everyone making fun of the corrupt politics in NC which reflects poorly on the State as a whole and all the residents thereof. Kind of reminds one of an enlarged version of Boss Hogg on the Dukes of Hazzard.

No Color?

ken spaulding was an african american but he is gone, any new color going back on the board? what about gays and lesbians? Latinos?

Spaulding's successor ...

Chuck Watts, like Spaulding (and Spaulding's predecessor, Cy Cox), is African-American. 

So is Andrew Perkins Jr. of Greensboro, who is the board's lead member on mass transit issues.

I don't know the ethnicity of any other new board picks, or the sexual orientation of any present or future board member.

Yes, by all means put

Yes, by all means put campaign contributors on the BOT; that way bottle blonde Perdue can control every decision they are allowed to make in return for wonderful salaries doing nothing and making no original decision for NC. Perhaps the feds need to start looking into Perdue's appointments after they finish with the Easley's - sounds a lot like the same thing as Mary Easley's super dupper job creation that was not posted.

Better than a Lottery Win!!!

Those appointments are better than a lottery win for those six. They'll collect millions in bribes and kickbacks during their terms and even after slipping Bev her cut will never have to work again.

More biased board members

Two of her new board members are either developers or real estate agents, two groups who never saw a new road they didn't like. In other words, we're getting the same old same old when it comes to the BOT.

And, that 'scaling back the board's power' thing is a nice PR move but that's all it is. A very small percentage of the highway projects involved direct BOT decisions, and they are still capable of working out 'back room deals' amongst themselves to get enough votes for any project they want approved. Other states have far smaller BOT's, why is NC's so bloated?

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About the blogger

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter, editor and blogger since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, check out his Crosstown Traffic blog or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.
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