09/15/06 — Time for action: House Speaker Jim Black’s woes should get closer look

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Time for action: House Speaker Jim Black’s woes should get closer look

It’s not a good thing when the leader of your state’s House of Representatives gets a subpoena.

It is even worse when questions continually swirl around him, and those queries include the words “wrong-doing,” “ethics” and “attorneys.”

So, the continued news coverage of House Speaker Jim Black and his connection to the state lottery contracts controversy, as well as continued questions about his own dealings, specifically with regard to the eye exam fiasco, suggest that it is time to seriously consider making another choice when it comes to leadership for North Carolina.

When there are multiple questions about your own activities, it is difficult to lead a state forward with ethics legislation designed to clean up the Statehouse.

And when you are regularly getting subpoenaed to testify in this case and answer questions about that case, you have a hard time concentrating on the issues that are facing North Carolina’s families.

Whether Black is guilty or innocent or whether he is extremely good at finding loopholes in the law, the fact still remains that his leadership has been compromised.

A leader without the trust of his or her community, state or nation is nothing more than a placeholder — and Black is dangerously close to falling into that classification, if he is not already there.

Whether Black’s constituents decide to support him is immaterial. There is enough reason right now for someone, somewhere to take the action necessary to make sure he is not in the highest position in the N.C. House.

Even if he is guilty of nothing more than manipulating the system, he is in no position to lead this state into the future.

It is time to bite the bullet, and to make a change that seems to be more of a moral imperative each day.

Published in Editorials on September 15, 2006 11:26 AM