Jul 152012

As Republicans hope to pick up additional House seats and even capture the Senate in November, they are nettled by the growing prospect of losing an otherwise safe House seat in North Carolina to Democrats.

Two Republicans are battling in a primary run-off for the 9th District seat held by retiring Republican Rep. Sue Myrick, who has held it for 18 years. But the frontrunner is so plagued by scandals that the party fears the Democrat candidate in the race could exploit them and possibly win Myrick’s largely conservative congressional district located south of Charlotte, N.C.

Tuesday’s [July 17] run-off election will decide the primary race between Robert Pittenger, who garnered 32 percent of the vote, and Jim Pendergraph, who took 25 percent.

Despite his edge in the polls, Pittenger is considered “damaged goods,”according to a GOP congressional leader in Washington.

“Robert Pittenger is a bad person,” said the official, who wished to go unnamed. “The guy is involved in public corruption by FBI definition.”

In 2007, she publicly severed ties with Pittenger after he spread what she called false rumors that they had cut a deal whereby she would run for North Carolina governor and endorse Pittenger for her congressional seat.

No fewer than 16 current and former elected officials from Myrick’s district – including seven mayors – have endorsed Pendergraph over Pittenger, largely because of the ethical cloud hanging over Pittenger.

In fact, Pittenger, a former North Carolina state senator, may soon become a target of investigation. And party officials worry Democratic candidate Jennifer Roberts will seize on the news during the general election.
via ‘Damaged’ GOP candidate to hand Dems safe seat?.

Reader Note: I am not a fan of quoting unnamed sources as used in the article linked above, but in this case, common sense would lend credence to the use. Democrats, with the aid of a liberal media has made Mitt Romney’s departure from Bain Capital into a felony, what do you think they will do with the alleged corruption of Robert Pittenger? How much more of his millions will Pittenger spend after the primary? How much enthusiasm can the GOP muster to support damaged goods?

Jul 092012

At the News 14/WTVI/League of Women Voters debate, Pendergraph and Pittenger posed for photos shaking hands. But in the second half of the debate, Pendergraph came out swinging.

“As a state senator he failed to recuse himself from a vote where he profited greatly,” Pendergraph said. “That’s illegal. And as a career law enforcement officer I can promise you that will be investigated.”

Then like a prosecutor cross-examining a hostile witness, Pendergraph leaned over the table separating him and Pittenger and presented him with a photocopy of the deed to the Waxhaw land.

“And I have to ask, Mr. Pittenger, is that your signature on this deed?”

Pittenger responded, “I think it’s well understood what you have there and we’ll respond to it.”

Pittenger has accused Pendergraph of desperation tactics saying an ethics committee investigation had cleared him in the 2003 land deal and there was no criminal investigation.

“This is political nonsense,” said Pittenger in a post-debate interview. “These are people who have a political agenda. They have their own reasons they want to use something like this that is a very cheap shot that has no basis at all.”

Pendergraph explicitly stated that the issue of “trust” was crucial in the election because so little separated he and Pittenger on the issues. Pendergraph declined to say whether he would endorse Pittenger in the general election if he won the primary, saying he had not thought about it and to check back with him after next Tuesday’s runoff.

via Pendergraph, Pittenger spar in 9th District debate | WCNC.com Charlotte.

Jul 092012

Republicans Jim Pendergraph and Robert Pittenger will meet for their first, and probably only, televised debate today (July 9). They meet in a July 17 runoff in the 9th Congressional District.

• The debate will air at 8 p.m. Monday on News 14, and at 7 p.m. on WTVI.

• WTVI will rebroadcast the debate Thursday at 9 p.m. News 14 will rerun it at 8 p.m. July 15.


Watch Pendergraph, Pittenger debate tonight | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Jul 012012

A legislative vote that ignited controversy a decade ago is sparking new questions about a candidate in the runoff in the 9th Congressional District.

At issue: a 2003 vote by then-Sen. Robert Pittenger for a bill that involved land which he partly owned, a bill that ultimately helped increase the property’s value.

It’s one reason 16 current or former elected officials in Union County, including seven mayors, have endorsed Jim Pendergraph, a Mecklenburg County commissioner, over Pittenger in the race to replace Rep. Sue Myrick. The Republicans meet in a July 17 runoff, with the winner facing Democrat Jennifer Roberts.

To critics, including Pendergraph, the decade-old controversy in Union County suggests that Pittenger blurs the lines between self-interest and public interest.

via Questions linger on Robert Pittenger land deals | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Jun 232012

One of the consistent fears about candidate Robert Pittenger, a former NC State Senator and currently running for the United States Congress in the 9th District (Union-Mecklenburg-Iredell) has been his connections to a network of land speculators who have used their elected office as a means to direct, coerce and cajole state road projects to their own benefit.

In Union County, Mr. Pittenger has a sordid reputation, specifically involving a specially tailored satellite annexation bill passed by the NC General Assembly to allow his Lawson subdivision to be annexed into Waxhaw for triple the density allowed under county zoning at the time and promise of the 30 arce gift to Waxhaw that has never happened.


Rep. William Current Sr., a Republican from Gastonia, sent an email to Perdue aide Pryor Gibson on June 12 saying that the lack of funding “would probably kill the project.”

Gibson, who represented Anson and Union counties in the N.C. House, is the senior adviser on legislative matters to the governor, who is not seeking re-election.

Records show that Current has had a financial interest in the road, too. He was an investor in land owned by former legislator Robert Pittenger, who is now in a Republican primary runoff for the 9th Congressional District. Pittenger has a stake in roughly 2,000 acres near four proposed parkway exits.

Current, who has lobbied to keep the parkway moving forward for years, said in 2008 that he had sold his interest in the Pittenger/Parkway land to his son. Current was at a funeral Monday and could not be reached for comment. He issued a statement saying the Garden Parkway “promises major economic development potential for all of North Carolina.”

via Perdue staffers altered letters on road projects | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Editorial – Altered letters on transportation projects take toll on governor’s trust

Highway tales from the crypt

Who owns land along the Garden Parkway?

Parkway power players: Hoyle, Pittenger among largest landowners along proposed toll road

You call that a fight? GOP candidates could do better

May 042012

Primary Piffle in North Carolina

Posted on May 4, 2012 The FactCheck Wire • Primary Piffle in North Carolina

In the final week of a hotly fought Republican primary in North Carolina, one congressional candidate accuses his rival — in a mailer sent to GOP voters — of being a “Big Money Donor” to Democrats. And he accuses another of breaking a tax pledge. But we find both claims by wealthy businessman and former state Sen. Robert Pittenger are off the mark.

In truth, financial adviser Dan Barry, the supposed “Big Money Donor,” contributed to 11 Republicans and only two Democrats in national races between 2003 and 2011. And a life insurance trade group with which Barry is affiliated — and similarly attacked in the mailer — has contributed to more Republicans than Democrats during the 2012 election cycle.

The other candidate, County Commissioner Jim Pendergraph, didn’t break a tax pledge — even according to the conservative group that sponsors the pledge. What he pledged to oppose were federal tax hikes — if he’s elected to Congress. As a county commissioner, Pendergraph recently approved a new tax to provide more fire service to unincorporated areas in Charlotte’s suburbs. His vote drew criticism — but not claims of broken promises — from the pledge group.

Read the full article – click here.

Over the last few months my mailbox, like most 9th District Republicans, has been inundated with campaign mailers, mostly from former State Sen. Robert Pittenger, one of the ten candidates vying for the 9th District Congressional seat in the Republican primary.  With the exception of Mr. Pittenger, this race is been free of personal attacks, distorting opponents records and inflamed rhetoric. Sen. Pittenger began bombarding mailboxes and television commercials with hyped and distorted claims concerning Mecklenburg Commissioner Jim Pendergraph, all in an attempt I imagine, to obscure his own dismal record.

The other day I received two Pittenger mailers, one soft and fuzzy and the other an attack job. There was however a new addition to the attack. Dan Barry, our local Union County candidate for the 9th District, was drawning Mr. Pittenger’s fire as well.

I have been annoyed by the constant baseless attacks, but pleased that Dan Barry had apparently moved up in the polls sufficiently to threaten Pittenger, so I sent out this tweet,

The Pittenger campaign mailers keep coming, today I got one ATTACK mailer and one “soft fuzzy” He is attacking Dan Barry now too #nc09
5/2/12 2:29 PM

Within a day I was contacted by a representative from Factcheck.org who asked me to send them Pittenger’s mailer, which I did.

My thanks to Ben Finley who researched and wrote the article.