Dix bill debate angers Apodaca

Posted March 21, 2013

— Things got heated Thursday morning at a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting on the proposal to tear up the state's contract with Raleigh for the Dorothea Dix property.

Sergeants-at-arms and the committee chairman had to intervene in a confrontation between a lawmaker and a witness.

The witness was Jim Goodmon, who came to the committee to testify on behalf of Dix Visionaries, a group of local business and community leaders who've been raising money to develop the property as a park. Goodmon is president and Chief executive of Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent company of WRAL-TV and WRAL.com.

Goodmon warned the committee in blunt terms that reneging on the Dix contract will brand the state as an unreliable partner for other business development.  

"We have a lease, and you guys are backing out on the lease," Goodmon said. "What lease are we going to not do next?

"The notion that you can come in and take a lease, just say, 'Well, we – nope, we're not going to do it – is remarkable. I mean, you should hear yourselves saying that," he said. "There's no business person in this state that would agree with you with what you're doing.

"Why am I going to do a deal with you, if you just do a lease and just decide you don't like it?" he said. "Tell me why people are supposed to trust doing business with the state. You can't."  

Goodmon said honoring the lease was a "matter of honor."

"You need to think about how we feel about what you're doing, and about how everybody else in the business community is going to feel about what you're doing," he said. "This doesn't make sense, and it is not honorable."

Goodmon's comments angered Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca, who was quick to respond.

"I feel like we've been somewhat intimidated by the press here today with the comments made by Capitol Broadcasting," Apodaca, R-Henderson, said hotly. "I will not be threatened at the General Assembly. That is wrong."

Goodmon returned to the public microphone to respond, but Apodaca cut him off, rising out of his committee seat, moving toward Goodmon as if to confront him. 

"I felt threatened by you, sir, when you said your ownership of Capitol Broadcasting," Apodaca continued.

Sergeants-at-arms hurried to intervene if needed, and Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Harry Brown interrupted: "Tom... Tom."

Brown told Goodmon, "Please sit."

The committee went on to vote to approve the bill and adjourn.  

Afterward, Goodmon said he wanted to speak with Apodaca after the meeting, but the senator left immediately.

"I'm here representing the Visionaries," Goodmon said, "to say that we do not believe they will have any credibility long-range if they just decide to void leases.

"We felt like that needed to be said, and I went after it pretty good," he said. "I'm sorry if somebody felt intimidated, but I said what I came here to say."

Apodaca didn't respond to a request to clarify his remarks.

This is Apodaca's second angry outburst of the session. Last month, he slammed the door on a House committee that made changes to his boards and commissions overhaul bill.


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  • barbrobertson70 Mar 26, 2013

    Hmmmm so what did you actually say? lets take a look:
    "If you cannot keep your mouth shut and listen to what THE PEOPLE have to say, I suggest stepping down and finding another line of work."
    - hmmm lets listen to the people! how about the last civitas poll that shows most nc voters want to VOID the deal?

    "People voted for a change from the past leadership, not for the extreme power grabs and of this legislature. " - power grab? see the deal that perdue put in place then see the current correction by the ncga.

    "Perdue acted within her constitutional powers to negotiate leases for the state. This is nothing more than a power grab and the state reneging on a contract." - and now the ncga is acting within their powers to enact a change that is supported by the MAJORITY of the state! THANKS FOR PLAYING!

  • jlp Mar 25, 2013


    It is a straw man as you have argued against a position I have not made. No where in this entire thread have I argued that the legislature has done anything illegal. This is an argument that YOU have claimed I made. I do believe it is foolish and sets a terrible precedent for future administration transitions in the future but I have made no claim of the legality. The courts will have to sort that out. You and those like you are using a failed argument that since Perdue was a lame duck it doesn't count. This is not true. Again you have every right to disagree with the deal but you cannot say that it was invalid as you have no grounds to do so. That is the argument I have made. The only way to successfully argue against my position would be to show a law that indicates that the Perdue deal is illegal. Go ahead and find another straw man.

  • barbrobertson70 Mar 25, 2013

    So JLP, you want to argue legality on the side of the old governor, but not recognize legality of the legislature moving forward? it is no strawman, it is right there in front of you. mak is right.

  • jlp Mar 25, 2013

    " i guess you would take the position that the senate passing a bill to void the lease IS against the law?" - barbrobertson70

    I have made no such position and don't care for you to put words in my mouth. It will be up to the courts to decide the legality of such a bill. What I have stated is that a deal is not made invalid because some people don't like it. I don't like a majority of what the current legislature is doing, but I have not questioned their authority to do so. It does not matter if Perdue was a lame duck governor, she was still the governor and had the authority to make this deal. You can line up straw men and knock them over all day, however it does not change the fact this deal is valid regardless of what you or I think about it.

  • barbrobertson70 Mar 25, 2013

    a two edged sword jlp. insinuating that just because doing things the wrong way and harming the taxpayers with an inside deal isn't technically against the law is terrible. i guess you would take the position that the senate passing a bill to void the lease IS against the law?

  • jlp Mar 25, 2013


    And yet again you have failed to provide one law that was broken. It doesn't matter if you like it or not, it is not for you to decide. If you want to make decisions run for office. You are certainly free to voice your opinion, as we all are, but to insinuate that the deal is invalid because you don't like it is a different thing entirely.

  • barbrobertson70 Mar 25, 2013

    sure jlp
    perdue acted within her authority to secretly set up a sweetheart deal from the state to her close friends. within her authority as a lame duck governor surrounded by controversy to set up a statewide taxpayer subsidized deal that barely benefits one small segment of the entire state. the only hacks involved with this are the liberal inside the beltline raleigh democrats desperately clinging to this issue to gain relevancy. how sad

  • mvoiland Mar 23, 2013

    Another case in the litany of selfish, power-driven, partisan, and closeminded actions taken by the majority in the General Assembly, and thatwill further identify our state as a laughing stock among states and depress productive partnerships with other governments and corporations.

  • jlp Mar 23, 2013


    I haven't pivoted anything. It is irrelevant whether you like Perdue or the deal or not. She acted within her legal authority. When you produce a law that was broken I will believe you have credibility. In the meantime I will continue to believe you are a partisan hack. I never said whether I believed it was a fair deal. I just said Jim Goodman has a right to criticize the legislature as we all do, Perdue acted within her legal authority, and Apodaca has shown the citizens of this state that he has no interest in the views of citizens he doesn't agree with.

  • barbrobertson70 Mar 22, 2013

    great pivot by jlp. the fact is perdue was absolutely wrong to craft this sweetheart deal in secret and away from any public or official review. absolutely terrible and we deserve better, i for one welcome the revocation of the lease, it was perdues failed attempt to try and look good. the real power grab was what perdue did for her buddies that were stacked on goodmon's board ,who were slated to get a nice chunk from the redevelopment efforts.
    its a day of reckoning for the old guard that used to run the state for decades, and good to see the old basnight regime completely powerless here.